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Parshas Vayeilech - Shvi'i with Rashi

When Moshe finished writing down the WHOLE Torah, he told the Leviim who carry the Aron to take the Sefer Torah he wrote, and put it inside the Aron (or, as Rashi says, maybe on a shelf attached to the Aron and not really inside).

The Yidden lots of times stop listening to Hashem, even with Moshe Rabbeinu there. Of course they will make that mistake after Moshe Rabbeinu passes away, and this Torah will remind them that they should know better!

Moshe blew two trumpets he made himself, to call all the Zekeinim to come hear Haazinu. In Haazinu, Moshe says that the sky and the ground will remind the Yidden that they know about Hashem’s mitzvos!

Even though the Yidden wouldn’t stop listening to Hashem until after Yehoshua passes away, Moshe said that this would happen after HE passes away — as long as Moshe’s dear talmid, Yeshoshua, was still alive, to Moshe it was like he was also alive.

Then Moshe told the Yidden the words of the song Haazinu, which we will learn this coming week!



35 - 38

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Lamed-Gimmel to Lamed-Ches. Until Yom Kippur, we continue adding three extra kapitelach. Today we say kapitelach Kuf-Gimmel, Kuf-Daled, and Kuf-Hey.

In the first Maamar the Rebbe said, Bosi Legani, he explains a posuk from today’s Tehillim: “Tzadikim Yirshu Aretz Veyishkenu La’ad Aleha.” “Tzadikim get ‘aretz’ (Gan Eden), because they make Hashem rest (Veyishkenu) in the world.”

In the maamar, the Rebbe tells us that this is OUR special shlichus too — to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world, which will bring Moshiach Tzidkeinu!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

Today’s Tanya is answering a very complicated Kabbalah question about how Hashem created the world — the question we asked at the beginning of this letter.

How can Hashem, Who is Ein Sof (without any limits) be one with the Ruchnius’dike madreigos which do have limits (“Keilim D’Atzilus”)?

(This isn’t a question for us, we know Hashem can do anything! But in Kabbalah, it can be important to understand HOW.)

To create Gashmiyus from nothing is only possible with the koach of Hashem which is Ein Sof.

But to give these things the chayus that makes them look the way they are (with sizes, colors, and differences), they need the chayus to come down through these Ruchniyus’dike madreigos that make limits and details.

That’s how Hashem is one with the limited Ruchnius’dike madreigos — because Hashem chose to hide Himself there to create a world that looks just right!



Vov Tishrei

R’ Zushe of Anipoli said that Teshuvah has five parts, one for each letter of the word “Teshuvah!” Today we learn that the Vov teaches us to have a lot of Ahavas Yisroel.

A Yid needs to have a good heart and be kind to others. When people are happy with the way we act, Hashem is too! The Alter Rebbe said that a way to love Hashem is by loving another yid.

That is the Vov of the word Teshuvah, and it stands for “Ve’ohavta Le’reiacha Kamocha.”

This is the Teshuvah that comes from a Lev Tov, a good heart.



Shiur #61 - Mitzvas Asei #153

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the same mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #153) again: How the Beis Din needs to calculate when the months and years of the Jewish calendar should be.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Alef, Mesechta Rosh Hashana and Brachos.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh

Perek Gimmel: We learn how the witnesses come to say that they saw the new moon, and the messengers that would go out from Beis Din to let everyone know when Rosh Chodesh is.

Perek Daled: We learn why and how the Beis Din would decide that there should be a leap year.

Perek Hey: Now the Rambam starts to tells us what the halachos are when there are no Sanhedrin. We don’t decide based on eidim anymore, but we follow a calendar. We learn about the second day of Yom Tov, which we keep nowadays because of a gezeira of the Chachomim.



Hilchos Geneivah - Perek Alef

Perek Alef talks about what it means to steal. We are not allowed to steal ANYTHING, not even a tiny thing, and not from anyone — not from even a little kid! We aren’t allowed to take their things for a joke, or even if we are planning on giving them back later!



Vov Tishrei

Today is the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chana, the Rebbe’s mother. She passed away on Shabbos at Mincha time, in Tof-Shin-Chof-Hey.

Rebbetzin Chana’s life was full of Mesiras Nefesh for Yiddishkeit and Chassidus. She always helped her husband, R’ Levi Yitzchak, through all the hard times and even in Golus. She knew how important it was for him to write his Chiddushei Torah, and went and made ink herself, using plants, so he would be able to.

In the past few years, we had the zechus that her memoirs (chabad.org/1638270) were found and printed! We can see the Mesiras Nefesh she had, how proud she was that her son became the Rebbe and how much she appreciated his visits and the Kibud Eim that he showed her.


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Erev Yom Kippur

On Erev Yom Kippur, there is a minhag to put out plates on the tables in shul, to collect tzedakah for the people and mosdos who need. At Mincha time, people can put money onto these plates to give tzedakah.

(You can see this in videos of the Rebbe from Erev Yom Kippur. There are many plates set up on the tables, and when the Rebbe comes into shul for Mincha, he puts money into all of these plates. The Rebbe would also give to poor people who put out their hands, and to children, so that they will have coins to give tzedakah too.)

In the Luach Colel Chabad, it says that the Baal Shem Tov said, “From the sound that these coins make when you throw them onto the plates, the kelipos become separated.”

What does this mean?

There is a story behind it!

The Yidden of Mezhibuzh were having a meeting. They were talking about different problems in the city and what should be done about them. Someone complained that on Erev Yom Kippur, having the tzedakah plates on all the tables made the shul very noisy and not calm! It wasn’t the right way to go into Yom Kippur.

They decided that they wanted to stop this minhag. Collecting tzedakah is very important, but not if it makes it hard for everyone to have proper kavana in davening!

When the Baal Shem Tov heard about their decision, he refused to let them stop the minhag! He told them a story to understand why this minhag is so important!

One year, before Yom Kippur, all of the kelipos decided to gang up against the Yidden. They would all work together to stop the tefillos of the Yidden from going up to Shomayim! Without these tefillos, Hashem wouldn’t be able to forgive the Yidden, chas veshalom.

The kelipos were standing at the gates of Shomayim, when suddenly, a loud noise started! It was the jingling of all the coins being thrown into the plates in shul. The sound made the kelipos all scatter! They weren’t able to join together again in time to stop the Yidden’s tefillos from reaching Hashem, and their plot was foiled.

This is what it means that the sound of the coins falling onto the plates separates the kelipos. It stops them from joining together, and our tefillos of Yom Kippur will be able to reach straight to Hashem!

See Otzar Minhagei Chabad p. 188



Kiddush Levana

Every month, we bentch the new moon with a special bracha of Kiddush Levana.

We wait until after the seventh of the month, when the moon is getting bigger. Our minhag is to say Kiddush Levana the first Motzei Shabbos after this date, so that we can wear our Shabbos clothes to do this special mitzvah!

But in Tishrei, we don’t say Kiddush Levana right away, instead we wait until Motzaei Yom Kippur.

That’s because it’s best to say Kiddush Levana when we are happy! During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we are worried about doing a proper teshuvah and deserving a good judgment on the Yom Hadin.

But after Yom Kippur, a Bas Kol comes from Shomayim and tells us to go eat and drink with joy, because Hashem is happy with the Yidden! When we know that Hashem is happy with us, we are VERY happy, and that’s a perfect mood to be in to say Kiddush Levana!

But if someone is worried that it will probably be too cloudy to say Kiddush Levana on Motzaei Yom Kippur, or he won’t be able to say it for a different reason, he can do it before. In fact, there are some poskim who say you should do Kiddush Levana davka during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, so that Hashem will count this mitzvah too when He is judging us!

See Shevach Hamoadim, Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

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



The Real Thing

When we can feel something and see something, we say that it is real.

But what is REALLY real?

The truth is that the entire universe isn’t actually anything of its own — it is part of the existence of Hashem and the fact that Hashem wants Torah and mitzvos. But it doesn’t look that way yet!

When Moshiach comes, everything and everyone in the world will know that this is real. Everything will behave in a way that shows what it really is all about.

That’s why the Medrash says that in the times of the Geulah, if a person will try to pick a fig on Shabbos, the fig will scream, “It’s Shabbos!”

See Likutei Sichos Chelek Yud-Alef, p. 69

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