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Parshas Mishpatim - Rishon with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn some of the first mitzvos that Hashem taught Moshe Rabbeinu on Har Sinai after Matan Torah.

- Eved Ivri and Amah Ivriyah: We learn some of the dinim of a Jewish slave, and what to do if he doesn’t want to go free, and the dinim of a Jewish girl slave.

- What happens if someone kills another person on purpose or by mistake

- The punishment for cursing or hurting parents

- The punishment for someone who kidnaps

- The punishment if someone hurts another person



104 - 105

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

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Kuf-Hey, it speaks about the history of the events that led all the way up until when the Yidden went into Eretz Yisroel. It tells how Hashem promised the land to Avraham, how the Yidden had to go down to Mitzrayim because of the hunger, how Hashem took the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, and the nissim that happened until they came to Eretz Yisroel. It is very interesting to see how the whole history is recorded in this one kapitel!

The end of the kapitel is “Vayitein Lohem Artzos Goyim,” “Hashem gave the Yidden the land of the nations,” that Hashem took Eretz Yisroel away from the Goyim and gave it to the Yidden, who Hashem planned for it to belong to from the beginning.

That was the whole reason Hashem set this all up, that He wanted us to have the Torah and keep it in Eretz Yisroel!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Vov

In today’s Tanya, we learn how even when a Yid is suffering, he can still be besimcha.

In order for us to win over our Yetzer Hara, we need to be besimcha.

But it’s not always so easy to be happy! Sometimes we aren’t feeling so well, or someone in our family is having a hard time, or there could be other things that bother us. When these kinds of things happen, we might feel sad or slow. So how can we ALWAYS be besimcha?

The answer is that we can remember the words of the Chachomim who teach us to bentch Hashem for everything that happens to us.

Just like we bentch Hashem when something happens to us that we understand right away is good, we should also bentch Hashem for something that doesn’t seem good, because “Gam Zu L’tova” — really it is also good. Even though it doesn’t SEEM good, when we think about it a little more we can understand that there is good hidden inside.

We can think about things that we can’t see in front of us. For example, we can think about our neshama, even though all we see is something else, the guf (body).

And even though we only see the things that bother us, we can think about the “neshama” (pnimius) that’s inside of these things. What’s the “neshama” in things that happen that don’t look so good?

Everything comes from Hashem. But some things come from a deeper part of Hashem. When a Yid is suffering, he is closer to a deeper part of Hashem which is usually hidden.

Even though we might have less in Gashmius, we are closer to Hashem, which is more precious than ANYTHING a person could have in Gashmius. This should make us feel happy!

The Alter Rebbe tells us that there is a big reward for someone who is able to be happy even when he is suffering: When Moshiach comes, and we can see this deeper part of Hashem, the people who were connected to it in Golus will be even MORE connected to it when Moshiach comes.

Still, since it is harder to serve Hashem when a Yid is suffering, we ask Hashem that we should have a strong closeness to Hashem together with everything we need — Tov Hanira Vehanigla.



Chof-Alef Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about the responsibility of the Nshei Ubnos Hachassidim!

The Rebbe tells us that it is the special job (chova) of Chassidishe women and girls to be on the front lines of every project strengthening Yiddishkeit, especially in Taharas Hamishpacha.

They also need to make sure that Chassidus and Chassidishe Chinuch is also the way it should be! They should organize groups of girls to make sure that the family is living in the way a Chassidishe home should, just like it was in the homes of Chassidim in the past.

In the letter of the Frierdiker Rebbe that this Hayom Yom is taken from, the Frierdiker Rebbe explained why the sichos are filled with so many stories: So it should be interesting to read and share with the whole family. This way everyone in the family will appreciate the Chassidishe way of living!



Shiur #195 - Mitzvas Asei #107

Today (and for the next week!) we will be learning the same mitzvah:

(Mitzvas Asei #107) If someone gets Tomei with Tumas Meis (the tumah from a body after the neshama leaves it), he needs to follow the halachos about how he becomes tomei and how the tumah gets passed on. Later we will learn how to become Tahor from this kind of tumah.



Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Gimmel, Daled and Hey of Hilchos Tumas Meis, we learn many halachos about Tumas Meis, and also important rules about passing on Tumah. A person can get some kinds of Tumah only if he touches or carries it, and he can get other kinds if he is even just in the same house!

Becoming Tomei from Tumas Meis makes a person Tomei for 7 days, and only afterwards can he become Tahor.



Hilchos Sechirus - Perek Yud-Beis

Perek Yud-Beis is about the mitzvos of letting a worker eat while he works! One halacha is that these mitzvos are only with things that grow. So a person working in an ice cream store doesn’t have a mitzvah to be able to eat ice cream. (The ice cream store owner could let him eat anyway, though!)



Kinus Hashluchos

We are now in the middle of the Kinus of the shluchos from all over the world! Here is a section of a sicha that the Rebbe said during one year’s Kinus Hashluchos:

Shlucha” means a women who is sent. Of course we all understand what that means — that they are sent by the Rebbe, together with their husbands and families, to bring Yiddishkeit to Yidden all over the world. But the Rebbe explains that there is also another meaning!

It is the job of ALL women to make every Yiddishe home into a Beis Hamikdash for Hashem, and women and girls have to be an example of how to dress and how to behave.

That’s another reason why the shluchos are called shluchos — they are also the messengers of all the Yiddishe women, and are chosen to go to every part of the world and make sure this job is done everywhere!

The achdus by the Kinus is very special: Every shlucha represents all of the Jewish women in her place, and those women are the Akeres Habayis for the homes of every Yid! So it’s like ALL the Yidden coming together!

So much achdus brings Hashem a lot of nachas, which causes Hashem to give simcha and brachos to all Yidden!

That’s why the Kinus always happens right before Chodesh Adar, when we add in simcha. The “mazal” for Adar (the fish) is called “Bari,” healthy. It’s a month full of bracha, and this achdus is the best way to bring it all in!

See Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef, chelek alef, p. 335


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First Bracha of Shemoneh Esrei

It is very important to understand the words of the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei in order to be yotzei the mitzvah of davening Shemoneh Esrei. We are going through the actual words of the bracha to make sure we understand them.

First we bentch Hashem Who is our Aibershter and the Aibershter of the Avos, and say some of the praises of Hashem from the Torah, which the Anshei Kneses Hagedolah chose to put in davening. We praise Hashem who saves us in the zechus of the Avos.

Today we are finishing the bracha:

Melech Ozer — Hashem is a King who helps us

Umoshia — And saves us

Umagen — And protects us.

Baruch Ata Hashem — Hashem, You are blessed

Magein Avraham — The protector of Avraham.

When Hashem sent Avraham Avinu to travel away from his home, Lech Lecha, Hashem gave Avraham many brachos. Rashi explains that some of these brachos were that Avraham’s children, the Avos, would be spoken about every day in Shemoneh Esrei! But, Hashem promised, “Veheyei Bracha.” Avraham Avinu got a special bracha that even though we speak about all of the Avos in the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, the bracha would end with just Avraham, with the words Magein Avraham.




The Anshei Kneses Hagedolah were the ones set up the nusach of brachos, Tefillos, Kiddush, and Havdalah for all of the Yidden.

In their time, when the Yidden were coming back to Eretz Yisroel to build the second Beis Hamikdash, many of the Yidden were very poor. Not all of them could even afford enough wine to make Havdalah! So instead of telling the Yidden to make Havdalah on a kos of wine, the Anshei Kneses Hagedolah put Havdalah into Maariv.

They put Havdalah into the bracha of Ata Chonen, which asks Hashem for chochmah, in a paragraph starting with the words Ata Chonantanu. They did this for two reasons: First of all, because separating between two things, like Shabbos and weekday, kodesh and chol, needs chochmah! Second of all, on Shabbos we don’t ask for our needs in Shemoneh Esrei, so they put Havdalah into the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei where we start asking for our needs, so that we could ask for all we need right away in the rest of Shemoneh Esrei.

Later the Yidden weren’t so poor anymore. The Chachomim told the Yidden to start making Havdalah again the way we are supposed to, over a kos of wine.

But then again, things changed. Many Yidden couldn’t afford to use wine for Havdalah anymore! Would the Chachomim keep having to switch things?

Instead, the Chachomim decided to tell all the Yidden that Havdalah should always be said in Tefillah, and should also be said over a kos of wine if we are able to.

So we do both — Havdalah in davening and on a kos, even if it is in the opposite order. Even if we already heard Havdalah on a kos before davening Maariv, we also say the paragraph of Ata Chonantanu, since the original takanah the Anshei Kneses Hagedolah set up was to say Havdalah in Maariv.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Tzadik-Daled se’if Alef and Beis

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



Bringing Moshiach

Tomorrow, Chof-Beis Shevat, is the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. The Rebbe teaches us something very special we can learn from the Rebbetzin’s name:

The Roshei Teivos of the Rebbetzin’s name are Ches, Mem, Shin. These letters are the same Gematria as the word Shliach, and together with a Yud, they are the same Gematria as Moshiach!

We can learn from this that when we do our avodah as a Shliach of Hashem, together with the Yud — our ten neshama kochos, then we get the Geulah through Moshiach!

See Sefer Hasichos 5752, p. 359 ha’ara 115

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