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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Netzavim - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the Yidden on the day of Zayin Adar that they will make a promise to Hashem that they will keep the mitzvos.

But why do they need to promise that they will keep the mitzvos? Didn’t the Yidden already promise Hashem BEFORE that they will keep the Torah, by Har Sinai?

Even though EVERY Yid got the Torah, only the Yidden that actually were alive by Matan Torah made the promise. And even that promise was able to be broken, when the Yidden did aveiros, like when they did the Cheit Ha’egel right after Matan Torah.

This new promise is such a strong promise, it stays no matter WHAT the Yidden do! And, it’s not just for the Yidden standing here, it’s for their children and grandchildren for all times! All of the Yidden that will ever live are being directly connected to Hashem with this bris that is being made now with Moshe Rabbeinu on Zayin Adar.



106 - 107

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Kuf-Vov and Kuf-Zayin. We also say the kapitelach for Chodesh Elul: Samach-Daled, Samach-Hey, and Samach-Vov.

In the second posuk of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech says “Mi Yemalel Gevuros Hashem, Yashmia Kol Tehilaso?” “Who is able to say the greatness of Hashem, to say all the special things about Hashem?”

In a maamar, the Alter Rebbe tells over a vort from the Baal Shem Tov:

The word Yemalel (to say) can also mean “to break,” and Gevuros (the greatness) can also mean “the strictness”. So the posuk is asking, “Who can break the strictness of Hashem” — so Hashem doesn’t have to be strict with us? The answer is, “Yashmia Kol Tehilaso” — the one who makes us hear the special things about Hashem. The word Tehilaso (the special things about Him) can also mean Tehillim, so the answer is “Someone who says the whole Tehillim.”

So besides for all of the other good things about saying Tehillim, it also has a special koach to help that Hashem shouldn’t have to be strict with us, and will treat us with chesed!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Zayin

As we have seen, many of the letters in Igeres Hakodesh are about Tzedakah — and this one is too! This letter is written to a certain town where the Chassidim were having a harder time with parnasa, and so they weren’t giving as much Tzedakah. The Alter Rebbe is telling them that they are making a mistake!

The Alter Rebbe tells this town that he knows how hard it is for them to get enough money for their families. He gives them a bracha that Hashem should help!

Still, it’s not right that they stopped giving tzedakah to the poor people in Eretz Yisroel (Colel Chabad) because they have nobody else to help them!

But don’t our Chachomim say “Chayecha Kodmin,” that your own life comes first? So if you don’t have enough money for what your OWN family needs, how can you give to a poor person in Eretz Yisroel?

The Alter Rebbe explains that this is only talking about when both people need the same thing, like two people in a desert with only one bottle of water. There, the halacha is that you take care of yourself first.

But if both people DON’T need the same thing, like if the poor person in Eretz Yisroel needs bread for his kids and wood so his house won’t freeze, and the poor person here wants fancy clothes and family parties, then the poor person in Eretz Yisroel comes first! Because he needs these things to save his life, and the poor person here wants those things to be comfortable.

So even if there’s not enough money to be comfortable, the Chassidim should still give the same amount to Tzedakah to the poor Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel who have no one else to rely on.



Chof-Beis Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn that when we do the mitzvah of Hocheiach Tochiach, we need to be careful not to hurt or embarrass the other Yid.

Did you ever poke yourself with your fingernail by mistake? Ouch!

Did you know that saying something mean to another person can hurt like that too? Maybe it is saying something that will make them feel like they aren’t as good as you.

Chassidus teaches us that if you need to show someone they are doing something wrong (it’s a mitzvah to help another Yid do the right thing — Hocheiach Tochiach!), we need to first make sure that we aren’t going to hurt them.



Shiur #78 - Mitzvas Asei #222

Today’s Sefer Hamitzvos is (Mitzvas Asei #222) that if chas veshalom a man and woman can’t be married anymore, the husband has to give his wife a get. (A get is a paper that shows that they are not married anymore.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Gitin.



Hilchos Girushin

In today’s Rambam, we learn many halachos about a get. There are many details in writing and giving a get in a kosher way.

One interesting halacha is that there needs to be witnesses for the get. They have to sign their names on the get. But what if they don’t know how to write? We can write their names with water on the paper, and they can trace over it. Usually this isn’t a kosher way for eidim (witnesses) to sign, but it is OK for a get because we want to make sure that the woman can get married again.

Another very important halacha is that a man needs to WANT to give the get. If he doesn’t want to, but he needs to, the Beis Din is allowed to force him until he says “I want to!”

But if you force someone until they say yes, they don’t really want it!

The Rambam tells us that really EVERY Yid wants to do all the mitzvos. Sometimes our Yetzer Haras trick us and try to get us not to do the right thing, but really we DO want to do the right thing. When the Beis Din forces the man, his Yetzer Hara becomes weak, and what the Yid really wants comes out! He realizes that he DOES want to do the mitzvah and give the get like the Torah tells him to.

The Rebbe would repeat this halacha often, to show that every Yid deep down really wants to do all of the mitzvos!



Hilchos Bikurim - Perek Beis

Now we start learning about the present of Bikurim! We bring bikurim from the seven special fruits of Eretz Yisroel: Wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. We take bikurim from the nicest fruits that grew in our fields. We have to bring the actual fruit — we can’t bring pomegranate juice instead of whole pomegranates. If we live too far away from Yerushalayim we are allowed to bring dried figs and raisins, since the fresh ones will get bad on the way.



Chassidishe Parsha - Netzavim

The achdus of Yidden can be in two ways:

1) We all feel like one, because we are all Yidden.

2) We all feel different, because we are different! Each of us has an important job — one Yid is a Rav, another is a melamed, another is a businessman. Some of us are parents, or children, or grandparents.

Even though that doesn’t sound like achdus, the truth is that it is the complete achdus! Hashem gave each of us a mission, and only when we each do it right, Bnei Yisrael becomes one and complete. That’s what Moshe Rabbeinu was telling the Yidden at the beginning of this week’s parsha: When we all stand together (leaders, wood-choppers, and water-carriers, each of you with your own responsibilities) we have achdus — we are all taking care of our job for the Yiddishe nation!

The meforshim also explain that “today” (“You are all standing here today” — “Atem Netzavim Hayom”) can be talking about Rosh Hashana! On Rosh Hashana, when we stand with Achdus, we are all ready to stand together to get Hashem’s bracha for a good year!

Each of us makes sure to take care of our own important job, while remembering that we’re all part of one big job of Klal Yisroel together: to bring the Geulah!

See Likutei Torah parshas Netzavim and Likutei Sichos chelek Daled

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Tekiyas Shofar

In shuls around the world, on Rosh Hashana, the Rav will get up and make a longer speech than usual. He will try to inspire everyone in shul to do better with our connection to Hashem and Kabolas Ol for the year.

In a Michtav Kloli for Rosh Hashana, a letter from the Rebbe addressed to every Jew, the Rebbe gave a lesson to everyone who is giving a speech on Rosh Hashana, and for every Yid to tell themselves:

Don’t get too excited about the big problems in the world, and how the world needs to change. The main thing is to change OURSELVES, and that will change the world!

This is one of the messages of the shofar: The shofar is not a very musical instrument. We blow a very simple sound. We don’t blow many shofros at the same time, we only blow one — one sound at a time.

On Rosh Hashana, we also need to follow this lesson of the shofar. Don’t think you need to do something big — make one simple, practical hachlata at a time to make your connection to Hashem stronger throughout the year.

When we change ourselves and make ourselves better, that will bring the Geulah for the whole world!

See Michtav Kloli for Rosh Hashana, 5723 and 5731




During the month of Elul, we are looking at our behavior, to make sure that it is the way the Torah teaches us. The Rambam tells us that it’s not enough to do teshuvah for our mitzvos, to make sure we are doing our mitzvos right, but we also have to do teshuvah for our midos, to make sure that our midos are the way they should be!

There is a story that the Frierdiker Rebbe tells us in a letter, which was an introduction to the vort that was used in today’s Hayom Yom:

One of the Chassidim of the Rebbe Rashab used to learn a lot of Chassidus, and even used to sometimes daven b’arichus (with lots of kavana, which takes a long time).

But he wasn’t very careful about other people’s feelings. So at farbrengens, he would tell everyone else what they need to fix, but not in a nice way! Sometimes it would make people feel bad or embarrassed.

When the Rebbe Rashab heard this, he told the Chossid that he was acting “like a head without a body!” Yes, there is a head full of Torah, but there is no “body” — no Yid acting with good midos.

Today’s Hayom Yom is a reminder to work on our midos and be sensitive to other people’s feelings.

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



Hashem Echad

In Golus, the world sometimes looks like it is taking care of itself. It isn’t always easy to remember that Hashem is taking care of everything.

But when Moshiach comes, that will be different! It will be clear to see that Hashem is in charge of the world. Not only the Yidden, but the goyim too will all realize that there is only ONE Hashem!

וְהָיָה ה׳ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה ה׳ אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד

Vehaya Hashem Lemelech — Then, Hashem will be accepted as the King

Al Kol Ha’aretz — Over everyone in the world (even the goyim who used to believe in other things)

Bayom Hahu — On that day of Geulah,

Yihiyeh Hashem Echad — It will be clear to everyone that there is only one Hashem

Ushemo Echad — And Hashem’s name will be the only one they speak about!

See Zechariah perek Yud-Daled posuk Tes

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