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Chamishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe and Aharon tell the Yidden about the mitzvah of the Korban Pesach.

Moshe and Aharon told the Yidden about the mitzvah Hashem had given them:

The Yidden should take one of their lambs or baby goats, or buy one just for the Korban Pesach. After shechting it before the night of Pesach, they should smear some of the blood on the top and sides of the door frame. The Yidden shouldn’t go outside that night until the morning.

The Yidden will start to keep the Yom Tov of Pesach when they come to Eretz Yisroel! When they will have children who will ask them why they are bringing the Korban Pesach, they should tell them that it is because of the miracle of Hashem skipping over (Pasach) the Jewish homes to save the Yidden during Makas Bechoros.

When the Yidden heard Moshe Rabbeinu tell them about this mitzvah, they bowed to Hashem! They just heard many pieces of good news: They heard that the Geulah is about to happen, that they will go into Eretz Yisroel, and they will have children! They wanted to show their appreciation to Hashem, so they bowed.

The posuk tells us that the Yidden did what Hashem said. Even though they didn’t actually do it yet, since they decided to do it, the Torah considers it as if it was already done.

From this we see the power of a hachlata! Once we decide to do something good, even before we do it, Hashem already considers it like we did it, and rewards us for it!



23 - 28

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel through Chof-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — “Hashem teaches humble people His path.”

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things! Here they are:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuvah.

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Zayin

On the Shaar Blatt of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe told us that the Tanya is based on the posuk (which is one of the Yud-Beis Pesukim!) “Ki Karov Eilecha Hadavar Meod, Beficha Uvilvavcha Laasoso — It is very close to you (possible), in your mouth and your heart to do it.”

How can we say that it’s very close IN OUR HEARTS? We can understand that it is very possible to DO what Hashem wants. We can speak words of Torah, we can even be careful what we think about in our minds. But how can we control what goes on in our hearts, to control how we FEEL?

Do you know how you love your mother and father, your brothers and sisters, or your best friend? You might love them because they’re your family, but to feel it more, you can think about how special they are, how much they do for you, and how much you like being around them. And even if they’re not there, you can really feel how you love them.

Tzadikim can love Hashem as much as we love our parents, but not every beinoni can. A Beinoni knows he SHOULD love Hashem, but he can’t feel it the same way a Tzadik can. (Every Yid has a natural love for Hashem — just because he’s a Yid. But it’s hidden.) So how can a beinoni serve Hashem “bilvavcha,” with his heart? It doesn’t seem practical for every Yid!

The Alter Rebbe explains that for a beinoni, you don’t have to FEEL that kind of love. You just need to be mature enough in your Yiddishkeit to appreciate your connection with Hashem and be motivated to do what Hashem wants you to do. In Tanya that’s called the Ahava of Laasoso — it’s just enough motivation to get you to act like the Yid you’re supposed to be.

The Alter Rebbe gives a mashal to explain this inyan from Tanya in a different maamar:

Some adults LOVE their jobs. They are so excited to go work every morning! But most people don’t love what they do. They don’t hate it, but it doesn’t get them excited. So why do they do it? They know that it’s important, they know that they need to get paid for their job, and they also know that people are depending on them. In their mind they appreciate it, so even if they are feeling lazy or not in the mood, they show maturity. They may not be excited, but what they know motivates them to do the right thing.

The same thing is with Yiddishkeit for a beinoni! Even if the beinoni is feeling lazy or not in the mood, he can still serve Hashem “bilvavecha.” If he learned in Chassidus that it’s important for his neshama to be connected to Hashem through davening, learning, or doing mitzvos, that will motivate him later, even when he’s not in the mood. For a beinoni, acting the way Hashem wants because of this Ruchnius maturity which he gets from learning Chassidus or going to a farbrengen or davening, is counted as serving Hashem with his heart.



Daled Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn the inyan of Golus Mitzrayim and Yetziyas Mitzrayim in Ruchnius!

In the last few parshios in Chumash, we learned how hard it was for the Yidden in Mitzrayim. They were slaves who had to work very hard, and couldn’t behave the way they wanted to.

Finally, Hashem made big nissim with the Makos, and in Parshas Bo, the Yidden come out of Mitzrayim!

In each one of us today, we also have “Yidden” suffering in “Mitzrayim,” and “Yetziyas Mitzrayim.” Our neshamos are like the Yidden. The neshama wants to act in a certain way, to always be connected to Hashem and do what He wants (like we are learning in Tanya).

But the Nefesh Habehamis doesn’t want the neshama to be that way — it wants to live like “Mitzrayim,” to do things that are fun and make it happy, even if it’s not what Hashem wants. That makes the neshama feel like it’s still in Mitzrayim!

So how does it get out? Like we learned in Tanya, a beinoni has a special koach to use his mind, the place of the neshama, to tell the heart how to feel and the body how to act — Moach Shalit Al Halev. When a Yid does that, he gets out of Mitzrayim!



Mitzvas Asei #127

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we review the mitzvah we learned yesterday, to bring Maaser Rishon. We need to take 1/10th of what grows in our fields and give it to the Leviim. The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Maasros.



Hilchos Maaser

In today’s Rambam, we learn about tevel, food that needs maaser taken from it. It is asur to eat tevel.

Perek Daled: Food becomes tevel once it is brought into a house. We are allowed to eat food that is still in the field without taking maaser first. One halacha is that if someone meant to eat it outside and forgot, he is allowed to bring the food back outside and eat it there — it isn’t considered tevel.

Perek Hey: When food is sold, the halacha is a little bit different. If a person buys apples that are still on the tree, he doesn’t have to take maaser before eating any of them. But if the apples are already in a bucket, even if they are still in the field, he needs to take maaser before he can eat them!

Perek Vov: We are not allowed to give tevel as a present, or to plant it. We are only allowed to sell tevel if we HAVE to, and even then, only to a Talmid Chochom, so we can be sure maaser will be taken from it!



Hilchos Isruei Mizbeiach - Perek Daled

There are some kinds of animals that even if they have no mum, we shouldn’t bring as a korban. For example, an animal that was used for Avodah Zarah is asur to bring for a korban.



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In yesterday’s Chumash, Revi’i of Parshas Bo, we learned that Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu about the mitzvah of Korban Pesach, and in today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden about it. On the tenth day of Nissan, the Yidden should take a sheep and tie it to their bed. They should keep the sheep there until Yud-Daled Nissan, when they will shecht it as the Korban Pesach. That means that the sheep would be there for four days!

Why did Hashem make them keep the sheep for four days? Why couldn’t they just get a sheep right before shechting it, or just prepare it the day before?

The Rebbe explains in a sicha (on a Rashi in this week’s Chumash) that this mitzvah was very important for the Yidden, so that they will be ready for the Geulah!

While the Yidden were in Mitzrayim, they were bare of mitzvos. Hashem wanted to give them mitzvos, so that they will deserve the Geulah. Hashem gave them two important mitzvos, one in Sur MeiRa, and one in Asei Tov.

1) The first mitzvah Hashem gave the Yidden was Dam Milah, the blood of the Bris Milah. This mitzvah shows the connection a Yid has to Hashem, even in his body. That is what they needed for Asei Tov.

2) The second mitzvah was the mitzvah of Dam Pesach, the blood of the Korban Pesach. This mitzvah showed that the Yidden were not serving Avodah Zarah, even though the Mitzriyim worshiped sheep. This is what the Yidden needed for Sur MeiRa, to separate themselves from the Avodah Zarah they were attached to in Mitzrayim.

But why did they have to do the mitzvah for FOUR days?

We learn from the Akeidah that four days is enough time to think something through, and make sure that we understand what we are doing. When Hashem gave Avraham Avinu the mitzvah of the Akeidah, it took three days after he got the mitzvah for him to get there, so that the mitzvah could only be done on the fourth day. This way, the Satan would not be able to argue that Avraham was just confused and didn’t have time to properly think about what he was doing.

Here too, since the Yidden would take the sheep for FOUR days, it would show that they really understood that they didn’t want to serve Avodah Zarah, and they only wanted to serve Hashem! This way they would really be ready to leave Mitzrayim.

This is also a lesson which teaches us how important it is to do mivtzoyim! Every Yid needs to come out of Golus, so we need to make sure every Yid deserves it. We see that it only took two mitzvos for the Yidden to deserve to come out of Mitzrayim! When we go on mivtzoyim, we are giving Yidden a chance to do even just one or two mitzvos, so that every Yid will deserve the Geulah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Tes-Zayin, Parshas Bo (p. 114)


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Birchas Kohanim and Eilu Devarim

After we say the Birchos HaTorah, thanking Hashem for this special gift, we actually SAY words of Torah!

First we say a part of Torah Shebichsav, and then a piece of Torah Shebaal Peh. From Torah Shebichsav we say Birchas Kohanim, which comes from Parshas Naso, and for Torah Shebaal Peh we say the Mishnah of Eilu Devarim which comes from Mesechta Pe’ah.

One of the reasons why Birchas Kohanim was chosen is because it is a good preparation for davening. In Shemoneh Esrei, the main part of tefillah, we are going to ask Hashem for many brachos. Birchas Kohanim is a general bracha which includes all of these brachos that we are about to ask for.

The Mishnah of Eilu Devarim seems to have been chosen because it mentions many mitzvos that we do on a regular basis. It includes mitzvos that are Bein Adam Lamakom (mitzvos we do directly with Hashem) and mitzvos Bein Adam Lachaveiro (mitzvos that help other people), and we see the brachos from these mitzvos even in Olam Hazeh!

This is the end of Birchos Hashachar. We have thanked Hashem for the wonderful things He gives us every day, and prepared for the connection our neshama will make with Hashem during davening.

See also Likutei Sichos 39, p. 376



Tashlumin for Kiddush

It is a mitzvah to make Kiddush on Friday night. But what happens if someone didn’t or can’t?

For example, let’s say someone fell asleep right after Licht Bentchen, and didn’t wake up until the next morning, or someone was in the hospital and wasn’t able to make Kiddush. Did they miss the mitzvah?

Actually, there is something they can do to make up for missing the Friday night Kiddush!

The Kiddush on Friday night has three parts: Vayechulu, Borei Pri Hagafen, and the bracha Mekadeish HaShabbos. We only say Vayechulu on Friday night, because it speaks about Friday night. But after we make Hagafen in the Kiddush of Shabbos day, we can make up for the Friday night Kiddush by saying the paragraph ending Mekadeish HaShabbos!

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Tes-Zayin

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



Every Yid Should Deserve the Geulah!

Many tzadikim chose to live in the holy land of Eretz Yisrael, where it is easiest to learn Torah and work on personal Avodas Hashem.

Other tzadikim chose to live in quiet towns and villages, away from the noisy and busy big cities, so it would be easier to learn Torah and Chassidus, and to work on avodah.

But the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe acted differently. They chose to live outside of Eretz Yisroel in big, noisy cities full of people — like New York.


The Rebbe explained that this is because we need to get ready for the Geulah!

When the Yidden were getting ready to come out of Mitzrayim, Hashem gave them a mitzvah to do, so they would deserve to come out. Before the Geulah, we want to help every Yid be ready to come out of Golus! We do this by giving them a chance to do a mitzvah.

The best place to do this is by starting in a place where there are lots of Yidden! We can help all of the Yidden in the big city to do a mitzvah through our mivtzoyim. From there, through shlichus we can spread out to all of the cities and towns in the world, so that EVERY Yid will deserve the Geulah Sheleimah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Tes-Zayin, parshas Bo (Gimmel), end of sicha and haaros

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