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CHUMASH

Chamishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about the hatzlacha that Yosef had in the house of Potifar.

Yosef was sold to a person called Potifar, who worked for Paraoh.

Hashem helped Yosef and he had a lot of hatzlacha in the things he was doing. Potifar served Avodah Zarah and didn’t know anything about Hashem, but when he saw that Yosef mentioned Hashem all the time, he understood that Yosef had hatzlacha because of his connection with Hashem. Potifar was very happy with Yosef, and made him in charge of the whole house. Once Yosef was in charge, Hashem gave lots of brachos to all of Potifar’s things.

After some years of working in Potifar’s house, Yosef started feeling proud of himself. He started thinking about how he looked, what he ate, and if his hair was nice. Hashem wasn’t happy with Yosef, since his father Yaakov was crying, and he was spending time doing foolish things!

So Hashem made Yosef learn a lesson: That if you try very hard to show other people how beautiful you are, you might also get people looking at you that you DON’T want…

 
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TEHILLIM

104 - 105

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Daled and Kuf-Hey.

The first kapitel from today’s Tehillim is Borchi Nafshi, one of the special pieces we say on Rosh Chodesh in davening.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel is explained in Hayom Yom: “Yeitzei Adam Lefa’alo, Vela’avodaso Adei Arev.” It means that a person goes out to do his work all day, until it is night.

A neshama comes into the world to do its work — a special avodah, which it can only do here in this world.

This posuk also shows us the way the neshamah grows: A neshama comes into the world, and when it comes back up to Shomayim, it gets to work at the same thing it worked at in the world — if the neshama learned Torah here, it can learn Torah in Shomayim too! And if it did its avodah in the right way, the neshama goes higher and higher, very close to Hashem!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Hakdamas Hamelaket

Over the next three days IY”H we will learn the introduction the Alter Rebbe wrote to the first section of Tanya. In it we will see the purpose for which the sefer was written, and that even though it might look like just another sefer it is really much more: It is a way to have yechidus with the Alter Rebbe all the time!

We learned in the Shaar Blatt that the Tanya will teach us how it is very much within the reach of every Yid to serve Hashem with chayus and feeling. So we know that this sefer will inspire us and show us how to act and live that way. But before we find out HOW this sefer can do this, the Alter Rebbe answers a question that a person might have:

First of all, Chassidim would often say that you can’t compare reading a sefer to going into Yechidus. When you’re reading a sefer, you might not be able to understand how the sefer is answering your questions. Even if the sefer is a very good and clear sefer, you might not be able to find what you need in it!

Besides for that, even if you COULD figure out the answers from a sefer, how can one sefer answer everyone’s questions?

Hashem made people think and act very differently from each other. That’s why the Yidden needed a special leader like Yehoshua, who was called “Ish Asher Ruach Bo” — he was able to understand what each Yid needs, feels, and knows. So because everyone is so different, there is no ONE book that can inspire and guide EVERYONE!

Of course, every Yid has a part of Torah, and Torah is for everyone, but there are many parts of Torah, and each Yid is connected in their own way. So how can we teach EVERYONE from the same sefer? How will the Tanya reach its goal to help EVERYONE serve Hashem with chayus — to be a Chossid the way we should be?

Think about it — IY”H tomorrow we will learn the answer!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Alef Kislev

Today’s Hayom Yom comes from a very special farbrengen of the Frierdiker Rebbe. It was a Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in the year Tof-Reish-Pey-Tes, which was also part of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s Sheva Brachos!

The Frierdiker Rebbe said then that his father, the Rebbe Rashab, wants him to give this message over to Chassidim. He is not going to repeat it later, make sure to listen to it now and make it a part of you!

Everyone needs to learn Mishnayos Baal Peh, as much as you are able to! When you’re walking outside, you should review the Mishnayos that you know, and with this, we will go to greet Moshiach!

Chassidim need to learn Chassidus at least three times a week — Monday, Thursday, and Shabbos. A tomim, who learned in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, needs to learn Chassidus for an hour every day.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Lo Saasei #348, #349, #350, #351

We are still learning about keeping marriage holy. Today we learn 4 mitzvos about who we can’t get married to:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #348) A man is not allowed to get married to an animal.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #349) A woman isn’t allowed to get married to an animal.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #350) A man isn’t allowed to get married to another man.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #351) A man isn’t allowed to get married to his father.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Isurei Biah

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Tes, Yud, and Yud-Alef, we are learning more about Taharas Hamishpacha — making sure that our marriage is tahor.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Shemitah V'Yovel - Perek Beis

We even need to be careful not to do things that LOOK like we are working in our fields during Shemitah.

Some kinds of garbage can help fields grow! Peels and seeds and eggshells turn into a kind of fertilizer called compost. We aren’t allowed to put those kinds of garbage into our fields during Shemitah. We are allowed to make a big pile of compost, though, since you can see that a big pile of compost won’t help your field unless you spread it around!

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Mivtza Chanukah

Chanukah is coming up next week! Here are some things the Rebbe told us to do for Chanukah Mivtzoyim:

1) Make sure there is a Menorah lit in every Jewish home — especially our friends and neighbors!

2) Every boy in the family lights their own menorah — just like all the girls bentch licht for Shabbos!

3) Tell kids who didn’t learn in a Jewish school about the neis of Chanukah!

4) Make sure that all Jewish children get Chanukah gelt! Kids should give to their friends too!

5) Kids should give extra tzedakah on Chanukah, and double on Erev Shabbos!

6) On Chanukah, learn parts of Torah that talk about Chanukah!

See Shevach Hamoadim, Hilchos Chanukah

 

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TEFILLAH

The Second Paragraph of Shema - Shimon

The first parsha of Shema is connected to Reuven. This is when we see (“Re’u”) Hashem’s Hashgacha Protis.

When we realize how Hashem is taking care of every detail of the world, we are inspired to want to live the way Hashem asks us to.

The second parsha in Shema represents the times when we KNOW Hashem is there, but we don’t see it. It isn’t easy to want to do what Hashem tells us. So we need to tell ourselves what it says in this paragraph: When we follow what Hashem asks, we get brachos; and if we chas veshalom go away from the path of Torah and mitzvos, it won’t be good for us.

This is the avodah of Shimon, which means “to hear.” It is a time when the neshama only “hears” about Hashem, but can’t see it. But even then, there is a way to live the way a Yid needs to, by telling ourselves what it says in the second paragraph of Shema.

Maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos chelek Chof p. 348

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

A Beautiful Menorah

Before Chanukah, people go to buy menorahs or make them for arts and crafts.

It is important to make sure that however beautiful we want our menorah to look, that it is kosher!

The neiros of the menorah need to be all in a straight line. They can’t be in a curved line, a half circle, or in a zigzag. That way, even when you see the menorah from far away, you can tell that they are separate lights, not that they are all part of a bigger flame.

See Sefer Halachos Uminhagei Chabad

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Little Mitzvos, Big Kochos!

We know that our one mitzvah has the power to bring the Geulah! That is what the Rambam paskens in Hilchos Teshuvah.

But wait — how is this possible? How can just one little person, with their one little mitzvah, make a HUGE difference for the whole world? One thing compared to the whole world is less than one drop of water in the ocean!

The Rebbe teaches that when we do a mitzvah with the kavana to bring Moshiach, we are using the piece of Moshiach that is inside of ourselves! With the Moshiach koach, the mitzvah we are doing is full of tremendous koach — it can change the world and bring the Geulah!

Sefer Hasichos 5747, vol. 1, p. 240 ha’ara 123

 
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