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Parshas Ki Savo - Sheini with Rashi

We are continuing to learn the words of Moshe Rabbeinu about the mitzvos the Yidden will be doing when they come into Eretz Yisroel.

On Erev Pesach in the fourth year of Shemitah, a person needs to check and make sure that he gave all of the Terumah and Maaser he owes.

He has to make sure that none of it is left in his house! Then he says the Vidui Maaser, telling Hashem that he did his job! He gave all of the presents he was supposed to, in the right order, the way Hashem wants. He didn’t make it tomei, or use it for the wrong things. He used the Terumah and Maaser to make people happy, like Hashem wants!

At the end, he says: Hashem! I did what you asked me to do! Now You should do what You promised — to give the Yidden brachos!



77 - 78

Today’s kapitelach are Ayin-Zayin and Ayin-Ches. For Elul, we also say kapitelach Mem-Gimmel, Mem-Daled, and Mem-Hey.

Kapitel Ayin-Ches talks about all of the Nissim that Hashem did for the Yidden, from the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim until Dovid Hamelech became the king.

In the first posuk that talks about Dovid Hamelech, it says “Vayivchar BeDovid Avdo, Vayikacheihu Mimichle’os Tzon.” “Hashem chose Dovid, and He took him from the sheep pens.”

Rashi explains how Dovid Hamelech took such special care of the sheep:

When Dovid Hamelech was taking care of the sheep, he noticed that not all of the sheep were getting food to eat! The big strong sheep would run very fast into the field and eat as much as they wanted. Then the older sheep and the baby sheep would come into the field, but there was no more soft grass left! The hard grass was hard for them to eat, so they were hungry.

So Dovid Hamelech built fences to keep the sheep in. He put the strong sheep behind one fence, the baby sheep behind another fence, and the older sheep behind the last fence.

When they went to a new field, Dovid Hamelech first let out the baby sheep. They ran into the field and ate the very soft grass that was easy for their baby teeth to chew. Then Dovid Hamelech let the older sheep come in. There was plenty of softer grass left for them, and they ate until they were full. Finally, Dovid Hamelech let the strong sheep come into the field. Even though most of the grass that was left was very hard and chewy, they were happy to eat it all up.

Hashem saw that Dovid Hamelech is careful to take care of every single sheep in the way they need, and knew that someone who takes good care of even a little sheep will also take care of every single Yid! That’s why Hashem chose Dovid to be the king of the Yidden.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Daled

Many of the letters in Igeres Hakodesh were sent to the Chassidim to get them excited about giving Tzedakah!

There were other great Talmidim of the Maggid, big Tzadikim, who lived in Eretz Yisroel. It was very hard in those days to make money in Eretz Yisroel, and they needed the money that Chassidim sent from other countries. The Alter Rebbe started a special Tzedakah called Colel Chabad (which we still have today!) to collect money for Chassidim there.

When something new starts, everyone gets excited and wants to be a part of it! After a while, though, it isn’t so new and exciting anymore, and people get busy with other things. The same was with Colel Chabad — at first, everyone was giving Tzedakah with a chayus! But then, the donations started slowing down. In this letter, the Alter Rebbe is getting the Chassidim excited again about giving to this special tzedakah.

Eretz Yisroel is a very special place. It gets its chayus DIRECTLY from Hashem! (The rest of the world gets chayus through the chayus that goes into Eretz Yisroel.)

But this chayus isn’t always the same. Every year, a NEW chayus comes into Eretz Yisroel, that was never there before!

Every year on Erev Rosh Hashana, all of the mitzvos we did all year go up to Hashem, and when we daven and blow the Shofar, the new chayus comes into Eretz Yisroel, and from there, to the rest of the world!

Since there is a new chayus in Eretz Yisroel every year, there should also be a new chayus every year in giving tzedakah to Eretz Yisroel!



Tes-Vov Elul

Today is a very special day!

The Lubavitcher Yeshiva, Tomchei Tmimim was started by the Rebbe Rashab, just two days after the Frierdiker Rebbe’s chasuna! It was Sunday, Tes-Vov Elul in the year Tof-Reish-Nun-Zayin.

The bochurim started learning Niglah and Chassidus on Wednesday, Chai Elul, only a few days later.

At first, the Yeshiva didn’t have any name. A year later, on Simchas Torah after hakafos, in the year Tof-Reish-Nun-Tes, the Rebbe Rashab announced:

The Yeshiva which was made is called Tomchei Temimim, and the Talmidim who learn in the Yeshiva and act the way they are supposed to are called temimim!



Shiur #71 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355) that a person is not allowed to do things that show he is married to a woman without first doing the mitzvah of Kiddushin, getting married according to Torah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Ki Seitzei: לֹא תִהְיֶה קְדֵשָׁה מִבְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל

The details are explained in Mesechta Kesubos and Kiddushin.



Hilchos Ishus

We learned that Kiddushin (getting married according to Torah) can be by the man giving something to the woman.

Perek Hey: In this perek, we learn about what a person can use to do Kiddushin.

One halacha is that we can’t use something asur for Kiddushin, like something stolen, or like Basar B’Chalav, milk and meat mixed together.

Perek Vov: The Rambam tells us halachos about conditions that are made at the time of Kiddushin. There are four things that need to happen when a condition is made:

1) The condition has to say what happens both if the condition is met, and if the condition is not met.
2) First he has to say the positive — if it happens, there is Kiddushin, and if not, there is not Kiddushin.
3) The condition has to be said before the action — say the condition before giving the ring or shtar.
4) The condition has to be something that is possible. If the condition is impossible, they are married right away, because it must have been a joke!

For example, the chosson might say, “I am giving you this ring to marry you, if my father agrees — if he doesn’t, we won’t be married.” This is the right way to make a condition, and the halacha is that if his father agrees, they are married.

Perek Zayin: This perek teaches us more conditions and tricky cases where we might not be sure if someone is really married. In the end of the perek, we learn that once the Kiddushin happened, even if they change their minds right away, they are still married!



Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i - Perek Vov

We learn what happens when Maaser Sheini, or money from being podeh Maaser Sheini, gets mixed up with other food or money, and other doubts about Maaser Sheini.

One interesting halacha is about a son whose father passed away, and he is not sure where the Maaser Sheini of his father is. If he has a dream that it is in a certain place, then even if he finds the food there like he heard in the dream, it’s not considered maaser. Words in dreams don’t count in halacha.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

During the Sheva Brachos of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s chasuna, the Rebbe Rashab accepted the suggestion of his son, the Frierdiker Rebbe, to make a new yeshiva! There, the bochurim would have a Seder to learn Chassidus, like the Seder of learning Gemara, and they would put time and effort into davening, which would add chayus in their learning and Avodas Hashem.

Later, the Rebbe Rashab named this YeshivahTomchei Temimim” (Tomim means “complete” — that he has everything), and gave the bochurim the name “Temimim”!

This Yeshiva, which was run by the Frierdiker Rebbe, was very hard.

Why? Because until then, you went to Yeshiva, learned Gemara, and put all of your kochos into it. Here, though, there was SO MUCH for the bochurim to do! They had to learn Nigleh AND Chassidus AND daven with Avodah AND be mekarev other Yidden. Each bochur had to follow the Seder and do exactly what the hanhala of the Yeshiva told him. How could a bochur do all of that?

It's because he became a Tamim!

What is a Tamim?

The Rebbe Rashab explained that a Tomim is Hanachas Atzmuso. This means that he is someone who doesn’t have his own plans and goals. He doesn’t want to be famous, or become a Rosh Yeshiva. He doesn’t even want to become a Boki BeShas — to learn the whole Gemara.

So what DOES a Tamim want? Just to act the way the Rebbeim, who set up the Yeshiva, want him to! That makes it possible for him to have chayus in EVERY part of the Yeshiva, and then everything he does will have great hatzlacha!

By being very strict about keeping the seder (schedule) that the Rebbeim set up, a Tomim has the TIME to do everything. Because he doesn’t have his own idea of what he wants to become, and is ready to do whatever the Rebbe wants, he can have the CHAYUS to do every kind of avodah that the Yeshiva expects him to!

Each of us are a chossid and shliach of the Rebbe. The Rebbe expects us to be successful at so many things — even things that sometimes seem to be opposites! We need to be good Yidden, to learn plenty of Torah and have Yiras Shomayim. We need to take good care of our families, making sure they have everything they need. We need to work hard to help other Yidden come closer to Yiddishkeit. We need to make a Kiddush Hashem for all people. Can we really do it all?

When we realize that the most important thing is to fulfill the Rebbe’s mission of getting ready for the Geulah, we really can do it all! By following the Rebbe’s instructions and keeping seder, we will have time and chayus for everything, and have hatzlacha in our mission!

See Likutei Sichos vol. 14, hosafos Tes Vov – Chai Elul

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On Shacharis of Rosh Hashana, we start with the regular Shabbos and Yom Tov davening. Then, in Pesukei Dezimra, we say something different.

Right before Yishtabach, there is a line that says, “Hamelech Hayosheiv Al Kisei Ram Venisa.” We are praising “the King Who sits on the high and uplifted throne” on the holy day of Shabbos and Yom Tov.

But on Rosh Hashana, we aren’t just talking about something that Hashem sometimes does. We say, “Hamelech YOSHEIV,” “the King IS sitting” on His throne!

During the year, we talk about how Hashem is the kind of King Who sits on a high throne in Shomayim. That is very special. But on Rosh Hashana, Hashem’s Malchus (the koach of Hashem as King) is very strong and easy to see. So on Rosh Hashana we say that Hashem IS sitting on His throne! It is happening RIGHT NOW, just look!

In our Machzor, there is a story about one of the Maggid’s great talmidim, R’ Aharon of Karlin. One Rosh Hashana, when he started to say the word “Hamelech,” he fainted.

After they woke him up, the Chassidim around him asked what happened. R’ Aharon answered that he had been thinking about a story in the Gemara:

Before the time of the Churban, R’ Yochanan ben Zakai managed to sneak out of Yerushalayim to ask the enemy to let the Yidden survive. R’ Yochanan knew that Hashem would only let the emperor himself destroy Yerushalayim, not a regular general. He realized that the general now leading the siege against Yerushalayim would need to become the emperor. So when he spoke to the general, he called him, “the Emperor.”

The general was very angry at R’ Yochanan! He said, “You just called me the emperor, when I am not the real emperor! You deserve to die for not respecting the emperor!

“And if I really am the emperor, you also deserve to be killed! Why didn’t you come earlier to speak with me?” (A few minutes later, the emperor got a message that indeed, the king had died, and he was the new emperor.)

R’ Aharon of Karlin explained that he was thinking about what the general had told R’ Yochanan ben Zakai. “If I am the emperor, why didn’t you come earlier?” If Hashem is the King, why didn’t I come to Him earlier?

R’ Aharon of Karlin was asking — we are preparing ourselves and coming before Hashem on Rosh Hashana, but where were we the rest of the year? Are we ALWAYS acting in a way that shows that we know Hashem is our King?

In our Machzor, this finishes off by saying: If R’ Aharon of Karlin, such a great tzadik, felt this way, how should the rest of us feel?

We need to make sure that coming close to Hashem on Rosh Hashana should make a difference for our whole year!



Maos Chitim

It is brought in halacha that 30 days before a Yom Tov, we start to learn about the Yom Tov so there is enough time to prepare.

On Yud-Daled Elul, 30 days before Sukkos, we should start thinking about Sukkos!

There is a minhag that before Pesach, money is given out in each city to help people buy matzah and wine and food for Pesach. That’s because on Pesach we can’t work, but the things we need are very expensive! This is called Maos Chitim (“flour money”).

The truth is that other Yomim Tovim are also days off of work where we need to pay for extra things. The Yomim Tovim of Tishrei have things we need to buy, and it is extra days off work.

The Rebbe asked that we should keep this minhag of helping other people buy the things they need for Yom Tov for these Yomim Tovim too. We should do it now, 30 days before Yom Tov, so there will be plenty of time for everyone to buy what they need, and be able to have the right kind of simcha for Yom Tov!

We also need to make sure that people have enough for Rosh Hashana, which we are about two weeks before — especially since the Navi Nechemya says about Rosh Hashana, “Veshilchu Manos Le’ein Nachon Lo,” that we should send food to those who don’t have their own.

If your city has its own Maos Chitim fund, that is a very important place to give to.

Here are some other places you can give online:

- Colel Chabad (Eretz Yisroel) - colelchabad.org
- Chevra Simchas Shabbos V’Yom Tov (Crown Heights) - cssy.org
- The Shluchim Fund (Shluchim worldwide) - theshluchimfund.com
- Adopt a Family (Anash and Shluchim in Eretz Yisroel) - charityforisrael.com

See Halachos Uminhagei Chabad, Yud-Daled Elul

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



Yerushalayim Will Always Be Special!

In the posuk before, the Navi Zechariah is told that when Moshiach comes, Yerushalayim will become a city without walls! It will grow and spread out as more Yidden come to live there!

But the Yidden might think that the wall around Yerushalayim is what keeps it safe, or that it shows that Yerushalayim is a special city.

The Yidden don’t need to worry that Yerushalayim won’t be safe, or that it won’t be a special place to live anymore:

אֲנִי אֶהְיֶה לָּהּ נְאֻם ה׳ חוֹמַת אֵשׁ סָבִיב וּלְכָבוֹד אֶהְיֶה בְתוֹכָהּ

Ani Eheyeh Lah — I will be for Yerushalayim

Ne’um Hashem — says Hashem

Chomas Eish Saviv — like a wall of fire around it! (This will keep it safe.)

Ulechavod Eheyeh Vesocha — And My Shechinah will rest inside of it! (This will be a kavod for Yerushalayim and show that it is always special.)

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