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Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we continue to learn what happened during Matan Torah and afterwards!

When Hashem said the Aseres Hadibros, the Yidden could hear and SEE Hashem’s words! It was so powerful, they shook and backed up far away from Har Sinai! Malochim came and calmed the Yidden down and brought them back.

After the Yidden heard the Aseres Hadibros they asked that now Moshe should talk to them, because even though they can hear from Hashem, they need a neis to hear. Now they want to hear Hashem’s words in a way that their guf can hear them.

Moshe told the Yidden that they really don’t need to worry, since it’s good for them to be scared — it will bring Yiras Shomayim! Still, Hashem told Moshe to talk to the Yidden himself, so Moshe went high up on Har Sinai, into the cloud, and the rest of the Yidden stood back.

Later, when Moshe went up on Har Sinai for 40 days, Hashem told Moshe to remind the Yidden that they heard Hashem! They should be very careful not to do any kind of Avodah Zarah, to think that Hashem needs any “help.”

Later the Yidden will build a Mizbeiach to serve Hashem in the way Hashem wants!



97 - 103

Today’s kapitelach are Tzadik-Zayin through Kuf-Gimmel.

Here are the first and last pesukim of today’s first kapitel:

ה׳ מָלָךְ תָּגֵל הָאָרֶץ יִשְׂמְחוּ אִיִּים רַבִּים

Hashem Malach Tageil Ha’aretz — When Hashem will show His malchus, the world will be happy

Yismechu Iyim Rabim — The many islands will be joyful!

And the last posuk:

שִׂמְחוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּה׳ וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ

Simchu Tzadikim BaHashem — Be happy with Hashem, tzadikim

Vehodu Lezeicher Kadsho — And praise Hashem’s holy Name!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Gimmel

What happens when someone drives a car? Does the car decide where it wants to go, or how fast it should go? Of course not! The car goes only wherever the driver wants it to go!

When we do a mitzvah, our body is like the “car” for Hashem’s ratzon, what Hashem wants! We can feel like Hashem is “driving” us!

The Avos are called the Merkavah (wagon) in the Medrash. Every moment of their lives, they felt what Hashem wanted, and only did those things. Hashem was “driving” them!

That’s what happens when every Yid does a mitzvah — he becomes united with Achdus Hashem.



Chof Shevat

Today’s Hayom Yom teaches us about our minhag in Netilas Yodayim before eating bread.

The Rebbe Rashab writes in one of his letters that our minhag is to wash our hands three times on each hand for Netilas Yodayim. (Some people do only two times, but it is a special hidur to pour water THREE times.)

The Rebbe Maharash would also do it this way, and would leave a little bit of water in his hand after pouring for the third time, to rub his hands together (shifshuf) after the bracha.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #79, #80

Today we learn two mitzvos about the Mizbeiach:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #79) We are not allowed to make the Mizbeiach out of stones that were cut with iron.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #80) We are not allowed to go up to the Mizbeiach with steps, only with a ramp.



Hilchos Beis HaBechirah

In today's Rambam, we learn about parts of the Beis Hamikdash!

Perek Beis: This perek teaches us about the Mizbeiach.

Perek Gimmel: We learn about the Menorah, the Shulchan, the Mizbeiach HaZahav, and the Kiyor.

Perek Daled: This perek has the measurements of the Heichal! It also tells us that when Shlomo Hamelech built the first Beis Hamikdash, he knew it would be destroyed. He had tunnels made underground to hide the Aron. Before the Churban, the king Yoshiyahu ordered that the Aron be hidden underground. We will take it out again for the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi!



Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos - Perek Yud-Gimmel

We learn about the different kinds of Korban Mincha and how we bring them.



Story the Rebbe Told Us

One night, when the Rebbe was in Vienna, he went into a shul to daven. While he was there, he put some money into a tzedakah pushka.

A knowledgable young man came over to him, and said, “How can you do such a thing? It says in Kisvei HoArizal not to give tzedakah at night!”

Later the Rebbe told the Frierdiker Rebbe what had happened. The Frierdiker Rebbe said, “That person probably doesn’t give tzedakah during the day either…”

The lesson the Rebbe learns from this is that sometimes when we want to do something good, people can say that we shouldn’t do it since we’re not doing it 100% right. But probably that’s because they aren’t doing enough themselves, not because of the excuses they are giving! So we should never let that stop us, and keep doing more good things, even if people tell us it’s not perfect!


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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. Then we continue:

Vezocher Chasdei Avos — Hashem remembers the kindness of the Avos, meaning the zechus of the Avos

Umeivi Goel — And Hashem brings someone to save them

Livnei Veneihem — To the Yidden that come from the Avos

Lemaan Shemo — For the sake of Hashem’s name, meaning even if the Yidden don’t deserve it

Be’Ahava — With His love for us.

The Avudraham points out that we don’t say that Hashem DID any of these things in the past, but through the whole bracha we say that Hashem DOES these things! Why? Because Hashem didn’t do these things only once, Hashem does them for us all the time! Hashem saved the Yidden in Mitzrayim, and will continue to save us whenever we need, until we have a complete Geulah!

We say this praise of Hashem to begin our Shemoneh Esrei properly. In Shemoneh Esrei, we are going to ask Hashem for all of the things we need to do our special shlichus, the shlichus we decided to do when we said Shema! We tell Hashem that we are sure He will help us and give us all we need, the way Hashem always does, because we are Hashem’s special nation, the children of the Avos!



Kiddush Bemakom Seudah

The Chachomim teach us that Kiddush needs to be in connection with a meal, called “Kiddush Bemakom Seudah.” The Chachomim learn this from the posukVekarasa LeShabbos Oneg.”

When we make Kiddush, we should have in mind that we will be eating right afterwards. If someone wasn’t planning on eating right afterwards, he has only a very short time (Kedei Achilas Pras, like the amount of time we have to eat the shiur of matzah in) to start eating, or else he wasn’t yotzei the mitzvah of Kiddush!

Bedieved, if we were planning on eating our seudah, but weren’t able to right away, or had to interrupt because of something we needed for the seudah, we are still yotzei Kiddush.

We should be careful, though, not to leave the house, and try not to even go to a different part of the house before we start our seudah.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Gimmel se’if Hey; Kitzur Halachos p. 178 fn. 10, from the Badei Hashulchan; and audio shiurim of Rabbi Farkash, halachos of Kiddush, tape 3

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



Can We Really Do It?

In seforim of Mussar, there is a very interesting mashal that will help us understand how it is possible that we can bring the Geulah:

Who can see farther, a tall person or a short person? Of course, a tall person can see much farther. But if the short person stands on top of the tall person, then the short person can see even farther than the tall one!

This mashal helps us understand how our generation, which is not as special as the generations before, is able to bring Moshiach. We are like a midget, a very short person. But we are standing on top of a giant, on top of the work of the giants in the generations before us!

So even though we might not be as strong or as special, we have the koach of the Torah and mitzvos and Mesiras Nefesh of all of the Yidden of past generations. That is how even one little mitzvah of a Yid in our times can bring Moshiach now!

See Toras Menachem Hisvaaduyos 5742, chelek Gimmel p. 1290

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