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CHUMASH

Parshas Korach - Sheini with Rashi

We learned yesterday that Moshe told Korach and his group to bring Ketores to show that Hashem didn’t want everyone to be a Kohen Gadol. Moshe Rabbeinu tried to make Dasan and Aviram feel better so they would do Teshuvah, but they didn’t want to listen.

At first, Moshe thought that this group was just jealous of the special job of the Kohen Gadol, who got to do the holiest jobs in the Mishkan. He thought that by trying to bring Ketores, they would realize that Hashem had not chosen them.

But Dasan and Aviram kept complaining: “You didn’t bring us to Eretz Yisroel like you promised us!”

Moshe realized that they didn’t just want the honor of being the Kohen Gadol, they didn’t want ANYONE to be in charge of them! He asked Hashem to punish only those who brought their ketores for the wrong reasons — those that didn’t like that anyone was in charge.

All night, Korach tried to get the Yidden to join him. He went to all of the Shevatim, convincing them that he was trying to help them. He managed to get them all to come with him the next morning.

The next morning, the original 250 people who joined Korach took their ketores and stood by the Mishkan with Moshe and Aharon. Everyone else was there too.

Then, everyone could see Hashem’s cloud in front of them, with a special message!

 
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TEHILLIM

145 - 150

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh, so today we finish the whole sefer Tehillim for this month!

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim is very special! It starts with the words “Tehillah LeDovid,” which is the third posuk of Ashrei. We say Ashrei three times every day in davening! (Twice in Shacharis and once in Mincha.) Ashrei goes in the order of the Alef-Beis — one posuk for each letter (except for Nun).

The posuk that starts with Zayin is “Zecher Rav Tuvcha Yabiu,” “They will tell over to the next generation what they remember about Hashem’s great goodness.”

There is a long maamar of the Alter Rebbe in his “Siddur Im Dach” (Siddur with maamorim of Chassidus) that explains this posuk. (This is one of the early maamarim that the Mitteler Rebbe chazered at the beginning of his Nesius, as mentioned in the Hayom Yom of Lamed Av.)

When the Rebbe said the posukZecher Rav Tuvcha” in davening, he would say the word Zecher twice (like we do when we lein the part of the Torah that talks about remembering Amalek) — “Zeicher Zecher” — once with a tzeirei and once with a segol.

 
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TANYA

Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Tes

There is a mitzvah for us to “know” Hashem. Obviously, this can’t mean that we need to understand Hashem! Of course we can’t understand Hashem, because Hashem CREATED our sechel (our mind), and our sechel is certainly not strong enough to understand our Creator!

The mitzvah of knowing Hashem is to be able to see the world the way Hashem wants us to see it. The world looks like it exists on its own, but really the world’s existence is only the chayus of Hashem in it!

Even this is really too hard for us to understand. But by realizing the differences between the way we are able to know something and the way things really are as Hashem knows them, it helps us come closer to picturing it the way it really is.

In this part of Tanya, we are learning the differences between the way we might think things are, based on OUR sechel, and the way Hashem sees them — the way they really are.

One of the things the Alter Rebbe told us before is that Hashem is much higher than even the level of Chochmah, which is the highest level by a person. The only reason why we call Hashem a “Chochom” is because Chochmah COMES FROM Hashem.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe teaches us how Chochmah comes from Hashem, the way it is explained in Kabbalah.

Hashem’s Chochmah and also Hashem’s midos are what makes the world exist, and are the way the world really is, the way Hashem creates it!

Because they are above our understanding, they are called Raza D’Mheimenusa, which means the secret of Emunah. They are higher than our sechel, and we need to use our Emunah! Still, we do our best to understand it the best we can.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Lamed Sivan

Today we learn about our minhag for Haavaras Hasedra, about the difference between Gashmius and Ruchnius and why they are opposites, and about the midah of being Sameiach Bechelko, happy with what we have.

There is a halacha that every week we need to do something called “Haavaras Hasedra,” or “Shnayim Mikra Ve’Echad Targum.” We need to lein every posuk of that week’s parsha two times — one time with teitch (translation). The Chachomim chose Targum Onkelos, which translates the Chumash into Aramaic.

Some have a minhag to lein the whole parsha two times, and then to read through the whole Targum Onkelos. But that’s not Minhag Chabad. Our minhag is to lein each posuk twice, and then Targum Onkelos, before going on to the next posuk. We also lein the Haftorah of the Parsha, and the haftorah we read in shul if they’re different (like if it’s Rosh Chodesh and we need to lein a special Rosh Chodesh Haftorah).

Today the Rebbe teaches us that Ruchnius and Gashmius are opposites. Something that is GOOD in Gashmius, might NOT be good in Ruchnius.

One example for this is the midah of “Sameach BeChelko” — being happy with what we have. If we are happy with our Gashmius, that’s great! We will be able to use all of our energy for the real important things.

But to be “Sameach BeChelko” in Ruchnius can be terrible! A person should never feel like he has enough Torah, Yiras Shomayim, Hiskashrus, or Ahavas Yisroel. Even someone who did many special things needs to always feel like he has to do even better.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #322 - Mitzvas Asei #179

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #179) is for a Beis Din. When witnesses come and tell the judges about something they saw or heard, they are not allowed to believe them right away and make a decision. They need to ask many questions to make sure they understand what the witnesses are saying before they pasken the din. If they would just pasken right away, they might end up punishing someone who wasn’t guilty!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: וְדָרַשְׁתָּ וְחָקַרְתָּ וְשָׁאַלְתָּ הֵיטֵב וְהִנֵּה אֱמֶת נָכוֹן הַדָּבָר

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Eidus

In today’s Rambam, we learn about the questions we ask witnesses.

In Perek Beis, we learn what happens if the eidim contradict each other in any of the questions. If one person says “he was wearing black clothes!” and the other person says “he was wearing white clothes!”, we don’t listen to what those witnesses say.

In Perek Gimmel, the Rambam tells us that the Chachomim were not as strict with court cases about money. That’s because if we ask too many questions, there is a very good chance that the witnesses will get confused, and very few cases will be won by people who lend money! If people see how hard it is to get their money back in Beis Din, they will stop lending money. That’s why the Beis Din was not as strict, so more people will help each other by lending money.

Perek Daled teaches us more halachos about not being strict with the witnesses in a money case. For example, if the witnesses saw what happened from different places (like different sides of the street) and didn’t see each other, we still count them as good witnesses. Why? So the special mitzvah of Gemilus Chasadim (which includes lending money to others) will be easier to keep, and Yidden will have the money they need.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

The Rebbe explains something very special about davening at the Ohel!

There is a halacha that when we daven, we should face Eretz Yisroel, because Hashem’s Shechinah is there. In Eretz Yisroel, we face Yerushalayim, and in Yerushalayim, we face the Beis Hamikdash, the place where Hashem rests.

This helps that our davening should be accepted by Hashem!

Even though the halacha is always this way, in Eretz Yisroel itself there is still a very big difference between the way it was when the Beis Hamikdash stood and the way it is after the Churban. Even though there is still kedusha there, it is much more hidden.

In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, there were less things that blocked our tefillos from going up to Hashem right away. It was easier to see how our tefillos are answered!

But there still is a place where we can reach the level of kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was before the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed!

Chassidus teaches that the neshamos of great tzadikim, like Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, were not affected by the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash. So being close to the neshama of a great tzadik is able to connect us to the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was before the Churban!

That is what is special about davening at the Ohel of the Rebbe! We are connected to the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was when the Beis Hamikdash stood, and we can see how our tefillah goes right up to Hashem, and how Hashem answers us!

See Sicha Yud Shevat 5714

 

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TEFILLAH

Ribono Shel Olam Hareini Mochel

In the beginning of the paragraph “Ribono Shel Olam,” we forgive anyone who may have hurt us.

In the second half of this paragraph, we ask Hashem to take away our aveiros. If we did anything wrong, Hashem should help us break these habits so we don’t do it again. One of the ways to take away an aveira can be by the person suffering. We ask Hashem to erase our aveiros with Rachamim, not Chas Veshalom by making us sick or causing us pain!

We finish off with the same words we say at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, “Yihiyu Leratzon Imrei Fi,” that Hashem should accept our tefillah.

(In the two halves of Ribono Shel Olam, we are mochel other people, and we ask Hashem to be mochel us. We know that Hashem acts with us the way we act with others. When we forgive others, Hashem will forgive us too.)

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bein Adam Lechaveiro

Treating others nicely
Is a mentchlich thing to do.
But it’s not just about manners —
It’s a mitzvah, too!

There are many halachos that teach us how to act when we are dealing with other people.

Here is one halacha:

Let’s say your friend Avi tells you about a neat trip he went on. You think it’s really interesting, and you want to ask Levi what he thinks. No problem, right?

Actually, there is a problem!

Whenever someone tells us something, the halacha is that we need to treat it as private, unless the other person TELLS us that we are allowed to talk about it. We can’t share what another person told us unless he specifically tells us that it is okay!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Masa Umatan, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov, se’if yud-daled

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

The Small Will Become Great

The Navi Yeshaya tells us something special that will happen at the time of the Geulah! Nowadays there are many people who don’t think they are important, and many families that feel very small. Look what the Navi says will happen when it’s time for the Geulah to come!

הַקָּטֹן יִהְיֶה לָאֶלֶף וְהַצָּעִיר לְגוֹי עָצוּם אֲנִי ה׳ בְּעִתָּהּ אֲחִישֶׁנָּה

Hakaton Yihiyeh La’elef — The smallest family will become a thousand

Vehatza’ir Legoy Atzum — And the smallest person will become a great nation!

Ani Hashem — I am Hashem, Who can do this!

Be’ita Achishena — In the right time, I will speed it up to make it happen!

See Yeshaya perek Samach posuk Chof-Beis

 
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