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Parshas Terumah - Chamishi with Rashi

We are learning the instructions Hashem is giving to Moshe Rabbeinu about how the Mishkan should be built. Today we learn about the curtains.

Hashem tells Moshe how to make the Paroches inside the Mishkan, a curtain to separate between the Kodesh and the Kodesh Hakodoshim. It should match the first cover of the Mishkan, made of colorful threads with the shapes of animals on it.

The Paroches should be hung on four wooden pillars (Amudim) covered in gold, that have gold hooks on them. The hooks should hold a rod for the Paroches. At the bottom of the pillars there should be silver boxes, like there are for the Kerashim of the walls of the Mishkan.

When the Paroches is up, the Aron should be put behind it, in the Kodesh Hakodoshim.

The Shulchan, the Menorah, and Mizbeiach Hazahav (the Mizbeiach Haketores, which we learn about next week) should all be put in the Kodesh section.

There should also be a curtain for the door of the Mishkan, like the Paroches that was between the Kodesh and the Kodesh Hakodoshim. It should hang on a rod attached to five wooden pillars covered with gold, but with a copper box on the bottom, instead of silver like all the other pillars.



10 - 17

In Kapitel Tes-Vov (15), we learn about the special midos that a Yid needs to have for the neshama to be able to go into Gan Eden.

One of the things the posuk says is, “Nivzeh BeEinav Nimas” — “he is embarrassed of himself, and thinks he is disgusting.”

What kind of midah is that?!

In this perek of Tanya that we are learning now, the Alter Rebbe tells us what it means: That when our Yetzer Hara is getting too big and too proud, and not leaving room to think about Hashem and another Yid, we need to do something about it! We need to spend some time thinking about how there is a part of us called the Nefesh Habehamis, and how disgusting it is that it tries to take us away from Hashem.

Then we’ll be able to make room in our hearts for Hashem and another Yid. We’ll be able to daven the way a Yid should and win over our Yetzer Hara!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Tes

The Alter Rebbe is telling us what to do with Timtum Halev, when the heart is not open to serve Hashem. We learned thoughts to take away the Yetzer Hara’s gaava and chutzpah, which is why Timtum Halev happens. Today the Alter Rebbe tells us how these thoughts work to take away the Timtum Halev:

The Yetzer Hara’s chutzpah is only there because Hashem gave it permission to challenge a person. When we use the eitzos the Alter Rebbe told us about making ourselves humble and getting angry at the Yetzer Hara, Hashem will take away that koach of the Yetzer Hara, and it will lose its power, like darkness disappears when there is light.

The Alter Rebbe explains a story in the Torah that shows us this idea:

When the Meraglim came back from spying out Eretz Yisroel, they cried that it would be too hard for them to fight with the nations that were in Eretz Yisroel. The Yidden’s Yetzer Haras became very strong — they were thinking so much about how they felt, and how they would be scared, that they didn’t think about Hashem and the shlichus they were given!

So Hashem told Moshe to use strong language with the Yidden.

As soon as they heard that, the Yidden said that they were ready to go to Eretz Yisroel!

Why did the Yidden change their minds? Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t show them any nissim to prove that they would be able to conquer Eretz Yisroel.

The answer is that really, there WAS no problem with going into Eretz Yisroel! Their neshama really knew that this was the right thing to do, and that Hashem would give them the koach to do it. It was just that their Yetzer Hara got in the way! When they heard the strong words of Moshe Rabbeinu, their Yetzer Hara lost its strength. Then they were able to feel how their neshama REALLY felt — that they really DID want to go into Eretz Yisroel!

The same way, when the Yetzer Hara comes to a Yid and throws in doubts in Emunah, we will know that it’s not really who we are! It’s just from the Yetzer Hara, and in fact the Yetzer Hara itself has no doubts in Emunah! It’s just doing its job to convince the person by giving him doubts.

So certainly, by following these directions in Torah, of how to take away the koach of the Yetzer Hara, our neshama will be able to shine!



Beis Adar

Since the Hayom Yom was written in a year where there were TWO Adars (a Shana Me’uberes), and this year there is only one Adar (a Shana Peshutah), we learn TWO Hayom Yoms every day!

Beis Adar Alef

The Avodah of Chabad that the Alter Rebbe set up for Chassidim is to find the pnimius in our Avodas Hashem. We need to have kavana in the mitzvos we do, and do them with an Emes!

What does that mean?

It means that when we do a mitzvah, we need to know what we are doing.

For example, when we are learning a posuk in Chumash, we need to know that these are the words of Hashem! When we are davening, we need to prepare ourselves and know that we are standing before Hashem. When we say a bracha, we need to have kavana that we are bringing kedusha into the world. When we do a favor for another Yid and help him, it should be with a feeling of Ahavas Yisroel, not just because it makes us feel good!

In order to accomplish this, we need to learn Chassidus, which teaches us all of these things, and try to understand it the best we can. Then we need to make it part of our lives, and part of the way we live as a Yid.

Beis Adar Beis

Rain is a bracha from Hashem that makes things grow. But for that bracha to help, we need to first get the field ready and plant seeds. Then, when the rain falls, it will make things grow! But even lots of rain won’t make a field grow if we didn’t prepare it!

The same thing is true with ALL brachos. Hashem likes to give us brachos, but we need to do things ourselves so that the bracha will help us!

A bochur once wrote to the Rebbe and asked for a bracha.

The Rebbe told him what we just learned, that you need to prepare in order for the bracha to help, just like with a field that must be plowed and planted. As a bochur, your “plowing” is to follow the Seder (schedule) of the Yeshivah. It might be hard, when you want to eat or sleep instead of being on time, but you should do it!

Your “planting” is to learn properly — to try hard to understand what you’re learning, and do it with a chayus! Then the brachos of Hashem will help, and you will have lots of hatzlacha in understanding and appreciating what you are learning!

See Igros Kodesh chelek Chof-Alef p. 141



Shiur #206 - Mitzvas Asei #108

Today's mitzvah is the same as yesterday’s: (Mitzvas Asei #108) This mitzvah is about Mei Nidah — the water that is mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah. There are some kinds of things that it makes tamei, and other things that it makes tahor! The mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos.

At the end of this mitzvah, the Rambam tells us the source of all of the mitzvos of Tumah and Tahara in the Torah (Parshas Shemini, Tazria, Metzora, and Chukas), where they are explained in Mishnayos (Seder Taharos), and which mesechtos explain which mitzvos.



Hilchos Parah Adumah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about using the Mei Nidah for making someone (or something) Tahor from Tumas Meis.

Perek Yud-Alef: In this perek we learn all of the details of how the water is actually sprinkled, using the Eizov branch.

Perek Yud-Beis: We learn what happens when more than one person or thing are sprinkled at one time. What if the water drips from one onto the other one? What if the water went onto one part of something, like only the lid of a pot? All of the answers are in today’s Rambam!

One of the things the Rambam teaches us about is called a Klubkerin — what we would call a winter coat! Even though there is an inside soft lining and an outside made of something else, it’s called just one thing, and if the water was sprinkled on any part, the whole thing is tahor.

Perek Yud-Gimmel: This perek teaches us about the extra rules of tumah and tahara we have with things used for the Mei Nidah.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Beis

Perek Beis teaches us how the Chachomim helped make it easier for us to lend money: After the time of the Gemara, there were a lot of sneaky people who said they couldn’t pay back their loans — even though they really could. The Chachomim decided to force people to make a shevuah (a very strong Torah promise in Hashem’s name) in front of the Beis Din if they didn’t have money. That stopped people from lying, and kept everyone from being afraid to lend money!

We also learn the halacha that when you give a loan, you should have witnesses, a mashkon, or a contract, to show that it is a serious thing and make sure all of the details of the loan are clear (like the exact amount you lent).



Chodesh Adar

There is a halacha that if a person has a court case with a goy, he should try to push it off until the month of Adar, because there is a good mazal for Yidden in Adar.

The Rebbe tells us that the same is true with the “court case” we have with the “goy” that is inside of ourselves:

What “goy” do we have inside? Our Yetzer Hara.

Every day we have court cases with our Yetzer Hara. For example, if Mommy asks us if we washed negel vasser this morning, the Yetzer Hara wants us to say yes even if we didn’t, and the Yetzer Tov wants us to tell the truth. We want to win every time, and during Adar we have a special koach to be successful!


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Humbling Thoughts

There are times when we need to look at all the good things we are doing, and remind ourselves that we are working hard to serve Hashem!

But there are other times when it is the right thing to remind ourselves that we are NOT so special, to think things that make us feel humble.

We are supposed to use our heart to daven, and if we are feeling too proud of ourselves, it can make it hard to feel kedusha in our heart. The Yetzer Hara fills it all up and blocks it from thoughts of kedusha.

That is why it is important to think thoughts that make us feel more humble.

For example, a person can think about what is important to him: That he should have enough money, that people should be nice to him, and that he should be healthy. But that is all about Gashmiyus! How is that different than an animal? The only difference is that animals think about hay, and he thinks about bread.

A Yid should be worried about other things that are more important: He should be trying to accomplish more in learning Torah, and to do mitzvos in a more beautiful way.

When we realize that we are not the way we should be, our heart becomes more humble. Then it is ready to feel kedusha and connect to Hashem by davening.

In our davening, there is a section that helps us think this way. Before korbanos, we say a paragraph starting “Le’olam Yehei Adam,” reminding ourselves that we aren’t coming to Hashem because of how special we are. We are coming to daven only with the zechus that we are children of the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov Avinu, and that we have a neshama like every Yid does.

When we realize that the neshama is the main thing and not the guf, we will set our goal to do things that are good for the neshama, like adding in learning Torah and doing mitzvos, both ourselves and with other Yidden, with Ahavas Yisroel and simcha!

That is what we say in the next paragraph of davening, Ashreinu — how fortunate we are that we are able to connect with Hashem through saying Shema, and through living as a Yid should throughout the day!

See Tanya Perek Chof-Tes through Lamed-Gimmel, Maamar Shemini 5716



Making a Mikdash

In this week’s Chumash, we learn about the mitzvah of “Ve’asu Li Mikdash Veshachanti Besocham” — that we should build Hashem a Mishkan. Even though we can’t do the mitzvah nowadays by building a Mishkan or a Beis Hamikdash, it is still a mitzvah for us to do nowadays.

How? By making sure that we are a Mikdash for Hashem, and that our home is a Mikdash for Hashem!

When we learn Torah, daven to Hashem, and have Ahavas Yisroel, we are like a Mishkan! When we learn Torah, it is like we have an Aron, which had the Luchos with the words of Torah inside. The Chachomim tell us that davening is in the place of korbanos, so when we daven, it is like we are bringing korbanos on our own Mizbeiach. When we do Gemilus Chasadim, we are like the Shulchan, full of warm bread that the kohanim would later eat.

The Rebbe taught us that children need to make sure that their own rooms are a Mikdash for Hashem! By having Seforim like a Chumash, a Siddur, and a Pushka, our room is a mini-Mishkan. But it’s not just enough to HAVE them, we need to DO the avodah of the Mishkan by USING them too!

Do you have a Chumash, siddur, and pushka in your room? Do you use them regularly?

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Vov, p. 412

לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח ר׳ דניאל יצחק ע״ה בן ר׳ אפרים שי׳ מאסקאוויץ
שליח כ"ק אדמו"ר נשיא דורנו למדינת אילינוי



The Keilim in the Kodesh

When we learn the parshios in the Torah about the Mishkan, we also add in learning from Torah Shebaal Peh where the Chachomim explain more about what we are learning in Chumash. The Rebbe teaches us that this helps bring Moshiach faster!

Today we learn about the way the keilim were set up in the Kodesh.

The Shulchan should be placed on the Tzafon side (on the right), the Menorah on the Darom side (on the left), and the Mizbeiach between them, but closer to the Mizrach entrance to the Kodesh. Which means that the first thing you see when you go into the Kodesh will be the Mizbeiach Haketores.

Now let’s see what is the inyan of each of these keilim in the Ruchnius’dike Mishkan of every Yid:

- Shulchan: This is our involvement in Gashmius, and using it for mitzvos and Gemilus Chassadim
- Menorah: Our Ruchnius, especially learning Torah
- Mizbeiach Haketores: Tefillah, which is compared to bringing Ketores

Just like in the Mishkan, the first thing you approach is the Mizbeiach, the same thing is with the Mishkan of every Yid: First thing every morning, we need to daven! Only after that do we do the rest of our avodah to create a Mishkan for Hashem, through the Gashmius and Ruchnius we are involved with during the day.

See Reshimas Hamenorah; Hamaor ShebaTorah p. 482

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