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CHUMASH

Shishi with Rashi

Hashem decided that it was time for the suffering of the Yidden to end! He chose Moshe Rabbeinu to do the important shlichus of taking the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem spoke to Moshe from a burning bush, convincing him to take on this achrayus.

Moshe finally accepted Hashem’s shlichus!

Moshe had promised Yisro not to leave without permission, so before he went to Mitzrayim, he asked Yisro’s permission to go to Mitzrayim. Yisro agreed.

Moshe was afraid that Dasan and Aviram (who had told on him to Paraoh, making him run away to Midyan) might try to get him killed, but Hashem told him that they were now poor and they wouldn’t be dangerous to him.

Moshe put his family onto a special donkey. This donkey was used by Avraham to go to the Akeida. This same donkey will be used again when Moshiach will be revealed!

Hashem told Moshe that he will have special signs to use in front of Paraoh, but he should know that Paraoh won’t listen. Moshe should tell Paraoh that he needs to listen or else he will be punished!

Moshe and Tziporah had a baby boy, Eliezer, right before going. Moshe knew that he couldn’t give him a bris right away, because it’s not safe to go on a big trip right after a bris. But when they were close to Mitzrayim, instead of giving a bris right away, Moshe first set up a place to sleep. Hashem was not happy! He sent a malach that looked like a snake to swallow up Moshe! Tziporah understood that this was because of the bris, and so she took a sharp stone and made a bris on Eliezer right away, and Hashem sent the malach away.

Hashem told Aharon to go meet Moshe in the desert, and he met him at Har Sinai. Moshe told Aharon why he was coming to Mitzrayim, and they went together. Aharon didn’t think Tziporah and the children should come to Mitzrayim, so Moshe sent them back to Midyan.

Moshe and Aharon gathered the leaders of the Yidden. Aharon told over what Moshe said, and they did the special signs before the Yidden. Even though the Golus was so hard, the Yidden believed right away that Hashem was going to take them out of Golus, and they bowed down to thank Hashem!

 
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TEHILLIM

97 - 103

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin through Kuf-Gimmel.

In one of today’s kapitelach, we have a posuk that says “Horiu LaHashem Kol Ha’aretz” — “the whole world should sing to Hashem!”

It is brought in Chassidus that the words “Horiu LaHashem Kol Ha’aretz” are the Roshei Teivos of (the first letters spell the word) Halacha!

When we follow Halacha, the way the Aibershter wants things to be, that’s like the world is singing to Hashem!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Beis

In today’s Tanya, we continue to learn about the Beinoni.

What is a beinoni?

The word beinoni means “in the middle,” because the beinoni is right between a tzadik and a rasha. In a way the beinoni is just like a tzadik, because he makes sure that only the Nefesh Elokis is allowed to control what the body does! But the way the person really feels inside isn’t like a tzadik at all. In fact, he feels like a rasha! The Nefesh Habehamis has a lot to say! It constantly makes the beinoni feel that it wants or needs things (taavos), and makes him aware of feelings that can lead him to think, speak, or do something against what Hashem wants.

The beinoni will never LISTEN to what the Nefesh Habehamis is saying if it is against the Torah. He will never do — or even think — anything that would let the Nefesh Habehamis have control of his body. He can’t ever do an aveira!

There is even a way for the beinoni to make his love for Hashem much stronger, almost like a tzadik! It can become so strong that the Nefesh Habehamis will be overwhelmed and fall “asleep,” and it won’t even be able to come up with any feelings! This can only happen during special times, like the time of davening, when a powerful koach called Mochin Degadlus shines in Shomayim. The beinoni is able to use Shema (with the brachos before, which are a preparation for it) to make his love for Hashem strong enough to put his Nefesh Habehamis to sleep.

When the special koach of davening goes away, then the Nefesh Habehamis wakes up again, and again he can feel inside like a rasha.

So the beinoni is in the middle. He feels like a rasha, and acts like a tzadik. He is always fighting with the feelings of his Yetzer Hara inside, to keep his Nefesh Elokis in control of his body. In his behavior, he always wins and acts like a tzadik.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn how important it is to have a good friend to discuss how to be a better Yid!

When the Mitteler Rebbe was 16, the Alter Rebbe put him in charge of guiding the younger Chassidim. One of the things that the Mitteler Rebbe started was the inyan of having a good chaver (friend). A good friend also helps a person find what kinds of things they should be asking their mashpia, and helps him follow what the mashpia says. Here the Mitteler Rebbe explains to someone in Yechidus why a good chaver is so helpful in serving Hashem!

The Mitteler Rebbe said to someone in Yechidus:

When two Yidden talk about Avodas Hashem together, their neshamos help each other! So inside each of them, it’s like there are TWO Nefesh Elokis (or Yetzer Tovs) working to overcome their Nefesh Hativis (or Yetzer Hara)!

We are learning in Tanya about ways to help our Nefesh Elokis outsmart the Nefesh Habehamis. Here in Hayom Yom, we learn another way to do it — to join with another Yid!

When we say “Two Yetzer Tovs against one Yetzer Hara,” we are talking about the way it is for EACH of the Yidden talking together. Another person’s Yetzer Tov will be happy to help his friend, and will join with the friend’s Yetzer Tov. But a Yetzer Hara is selfish — it won’t try to help the other person! So each person only has their own Yetzer Hara. When there’s two against one, there is a much bigger chance to be successful!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Lo Saasei #111, #215

Today we are learning the last perek in Sefer Hafla’ah, and starting a new Sefer in Rambam, called Sefer Zeraim! In this new sefer, we will learn all about the mitzvos of planting!

We learn one last mitzvah about Cherem (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #111): That a person is not allowed to change his mind about something he made into Cherem. He cannot decide instead to redeem it (“podeh”) by giving as much as it is worth, like he can with other things that a person promises to give to Hashem. If he gives something in a way of Cherem, he needs to give that actual thing he said he would to the kohen.

(Mitzvas Lo Saasei #215): We also learn a mitzvah about Kilayim, mixing seeds: In Eretz Yisroel, we aren’t allowed to plant two kinds of seeds together.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin - Hilchos Kela'im

In Rambam, we learn the rest of the halachos about Cherem.

Perek Ches: On Tes-Vov Adar (Shushan Purim), the Beis Din checks on the donations they got all year for the Beis Hamikdash and puts the money together with the Machtzis Hashekel they just collected, so it will be ready to use for all of the things the Beis Hamikdash needs. All of the things need to be sold, because the Beis Hamikdash only uses the money!

If someone wants to give this kind of present nowadays, what do we do with it?

The person isn’t allowed to use it — it is Cherem. He needs to put it away until he can give it to the Beis Hamikdash, or until it is ruined.

The Rambam tells us not to give away ALL of our money for tzedakah, only what we can afford. (In Tanya, in Igeres HaTeshuvah, the Alter Rebbe says that this is only for a person with no aveiros. For teshuvah, a person can give more, the same way a sick person would pay anything to become healthy.)

Now we start learning the halachos of Kilayim, in Sefer Zera’im:

Perek Alef: We learn about two kinds of Kilayim, what we aren’t allowed to plant together. There are Kilai Zeraim, more than one kind of seeds or plants, and Kilai Ilanos, more than one kind of tree.

The isur of kilayim is mixing seeds from any of the kinds of plants we can eat: Grain, kitniyos, or vegetables. But the Rambam says that we ARE allowed to plant bitter kinds of seeds together to make medicine, since they are not from those three types.

Perek Beis: What happens if someone realizes that his field was by mistake planted with different kinds of seeds? How can he fix it? There are many halachos about what to do!

Every year, the Beis Din reminds everyone to check their fields to make sure there is no Kilayim. On Tes-Vov Adar (like with Erkin), the Beis Din comes around to check everyone’s fields!

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Yud

We learn how the clothes of the kohanim are put on. They have to be put on in a special order — first the pants, then the shirt, then the belt, then the hat. The Kohen Gadol needs to put on the me’il, the efod, and the choshen, then the hat and the tzitz. We learn about making sure there are exactly the right number of clothes, and what we do when the Urim Vetumim doesn’t light up to tell an answer from Hashem.

Mazel Tov! Now we have finished this set of halachos.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Chof Teves

Today is the yartzeit of the Rambam.

We all know that the Rambam wrote the Sefer Hamitzvos and the Seforim that we call “Rambam” — the Yad Hachazakah. The Rambam also wrote another very famous sefer, called Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed). In the time of the Rambam, many people had questions about Yiddishkeit, and the sefer Moreh Nevuchim helped them understand how to serve Hashem.

The Rebbe teaches us that there must be a connection between the Rambam and the Alter Rebbe, since their Yartzeits are just a few days apart.

One connection is very easy to see:

The Rambam wrote the Yad Hachazakah which teaches us the halachos of Torah, and the Moreh Nevuchim which teaches how to serve Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe wrote the Shulchan Aruch which teaches us the halachos of Torah, and the Tanya to teach us how to serve Hashem!

The Rebbe tells us that today is a good day to make a farbrengen and to strengthen the learning of Sefer Hamitzvos and Rambam, for ourselves and for others!

 

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TEFILLAH

Modeh Ani

When we wake up, before we wash Negel Vasser, we say Modeh Ani.

How soon do we have to say Modeh Ani after we wake up?

In Shulchan Aruch, the Alter Rebbe tells us that we need to say Modeh Animiyad,” right away! We shouldn’t wait at all. Right away when we wake up, we say Modeh Ani.

In other places in halacha, we use a different word, “teikef.” If we do something “teikef,” we can’t wait very long either! But “teikef” is still an amount of time, even though it is a short amount of time. “Miyad” means right away, without waiting at all!

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 1, p. 2

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Negel Vasser After Naps

When we wake up in the morning, before we do anything (or even touch anything), we wash our hands Negel Vasser. Washing three times on each hand, in the pattern of Negel Vasser, makes us tahor from the Ruach Hatumah that came into our hands during the night.

In halacha, there are two opinions about this Ruach Hatumah.

Some Chachomim say that this is a nighttime tumah, and it comes every night, even if we didn’t sleep. According to this opinion, we should wash Negel Vasser right away in the morning even if we stayed up all night.

Other Chachomim say that this Ruach Hatumah comes from sleep, whether it is during the night or during the day. According to this opinion, we should wash Negel Vasser every time we sleep during the day.

The Alter Rebbe says that the Ruach Hatumah comes especially from sleeping at night. When a person sleeps at night, he has to be sure to wash Negel Vasser right away when he wakes up.

If a person sleeps during the day, there is a doubt (sofek) if the Ruach Hatumah comes into a person. Because of this, the halacha is not as strict about needing to wash RIGHT AWAY and before touching anything. So we do wash Negel Vasser three times on each hand if we took a nap during the day, but we don’t need to wash by our bed like we do after sleeping at night.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Daled, se’if Tes-Vov; according to the shiurim of Rabbi Yekusiel Farkash

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

Rambam

The Rebbe’s takana of learning Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos is a very special way to get ready for Moshiach!

Why?

When we have a birthday party coming up, we make sure to prepare the things that will happen at the party! We figure out the rules for the games we will play, which hachlata we make, and decide how we will set the table and when we’ll say the pesukim.

The Rambam says in the halachos about Moshiach that in the times of Moshiach, we are going to be able to do ALL of the mitzvos just like we used to when the Beis Hamikdash was standing, exactly the way Hashem wants!

What is the best way to get ready for that? We can learn and know about all of the mitzvos and halachos so we’ll know what Hashem wants. There is only one sefer that teaches us EVERYTHING we need to know (including the halachos about the Beis Hamikdash and bringing korbanos): The Rambam!

So what’s a better way to get ready for Moshiach? Let’s make sure to learn Rambam every day!

 
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