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Parshas Shelach - Sheini with Rashi

The Meraglim go through Eretz Yisroel, looking for not nice things to say about it. When they come back, they scare all of the Yidden so they shouldn’t want to go to Eretz Yisroel! Yehoshua and Kalev, though, try to get the Yidden to want to go.

The Meraglim started going the way Moshe Rabbeinu told them to go, all the way around Eretz Yisroel.

Kalev knew that they were looking for excuses to decide that Eretz Yisroel would be too hard to capture from the Goyim. So he made a detour and went to daven at Me’aras Hamachpeila in Chevron, to ask Hashem to help him not act like them!

To understand how good Eretz Yisroel is, the Torah tells us that Chevron was the WORST place to plant things in Eretz Yisroel — and it was 7 times better than Tzo’an, the BEST place in Mitzrayim.

The Meraglim took a cluster of grapes that was so big that eight of them had to carry it hanging from two poles! Another one of the Meraglim took a humongous pomegranate, and another took a huge fig. But Yehoshua and Kalev didn’t take any. Even though Moshe had said to bring back fruit, they knew that the other Meraglim were going to try to show everyone how BAD Eretz Yisroel was from the fruit, and they didn’t want to be a part of that.

Hashem knew that the Yidden would need a year to do Teshuvah for EACH day that the Meraglim spent looking for not nice things to say about Eretz Yisroel. So He made a neis, that they went much faster than it should have taken — it only took 40 days to go around the whole Eretz Yisroel! They came back on Ches Av.

Now the Meraglim told all the Yidden what they saw.

First, they said something nice about Eretz Yisroel, so everyone would listen to them. They said that Eretz Yisroel is an “Eretz Zovas Cholov Udevash” like Hashem said — a land flowing with milk and honey — and showed everyone the fruit.

BUT, they said, the people of Eretz Yisroel are HUGE, like the fruit! Amalek, who fought with us before, is right there and can attack us again! There are also a lot of other nations who can stop us from going into Eretz Yisroel.

Kalev saw that the Meraglim were making the Yidden upset at Moshe for wanting to bring them to Eretz Yisroel! He said, “Hasn’t Hashem helped us many times in Moshe Rabbeinu’s zechus? Whatever Moshe tells us we can do, we for sure can do.”

The Meraglim didn’t give up though, they said MORE not nice things about Eretz Yisroel. They said that the people are so strong, that Hashem won’t be able to bring them there even with nisim! They said that Eretz Yisroel makes people die, since when they came, Hashem made the people of Eretz Yisroel busy burying dead people. (Really, Hashem did this so that the nations wouldn’t notice the Meraglim and try to hurt them, but the Meraglim didn’t look at it in the right way.) They also said that the giants are very strong and they come from Malachim.

The Yidden were afraid that Hashem wouldn’t help them, and they cried all that night — the night of Tisha B’Av. The men complained to Moshe and Aharon, “It would be better to die in Mitzrayim! Let’s get a new leader, and a new Hashem, and go back to Mitzrayim!”

Moshe and Aharon fell on the ground and begged them not to talk that way. Yehoshua bin Nun and Kalev ripped their clothes to show how upset they were. They said to the Yidden, “Eretz Yisroel is SUCH a good place!”



104 - 105

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

R’ Meir was one of the greatest Tannaim of the Mishna.

His neighbors, though, were not such great tzadikim. They were wild and noisy, and when they started their wild parties, it made it hard for R’ Meir to learn! He was so upset, he once davened that Hashem should get rid of them.

When R’ Meir’s wife, Bruriah, heard this, she reminded him of a posuk from today’s Tehillim:

In the last posuk of Kapitel Kuf-Daled, Dovid Hamelech says: “Yitamu Chata’im Min Ha’aretz, U’reshaim Od Einam — Barchi Nafshi Es Hashem Hallelukah!” “

We usually translate “Yitamu Cha’atim Min Ha’aretz” as “those who do aveiros should be taken away from the world.” But, Bruriah said, the posuk says “Chata’im,” the AVEIROS should be taken away, not “Chotim,” the PEOPLE who do aveiros! Instead of davening for these wild people to go away, R’ Meir should daven for them to do teshuvah!

R’ Meir did what Bruriah said, and davened that his wild neighbors should do teshuvah.

And they did!

See Gemara Brachos daf Yud amud Alef



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Zayin

Today we learn about Yichudah Ila’ah.

So far we learned about three midos of Hashem. Hashem is called by three names, which are connected to each of these midos.

- Havaya is Chesed
- Elokim is Gevura
- Ad-nay is Malchus

It is Sheim Havaya (Hashem’s Chesed) that make Hashem WANT to make a world for us. Sheim Elokim (Hashem’s Gevurah) is what makes Hashem hide the chayus so we can live. But Hashem actually MAKES the world (Yeish Me’Ayin) using Sheim Ad-nay, Malchus.

What is the world? The world is TIME and PLACE, that things take time, and that things take up space. This comes from the name of Hashem Ad-nay. The other names of Hashem are from a place in Kedusha where there is no such thing as “time” and “space”!

What happens when you have two names together? Both things happen! So when the name Ad-nay is together with the name Havaya, the time and place of the world is connected with what’s higher than time and place. That’s Yichuda Ila’ah!

A Yid’s neshama is able to connect to Hashem in a way of Yichuda Ila’ah, and even feel it in his avodah!

Imagine you are in your house, far away from New York, watching a video of a Farbrengen. You could feel like you are in 770, while the Farbrengen is happening — even though you are really in your house far away, and it isn’t Tof-Shin- Lamed-Ches anymore!

But really, in Ruchnius, it is ALWAYS Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches — the chayus from that farbrengen is ALWAYS. So when you are watching that farbrengen and feel like you’re there — you really are! You are connecting to the Farbrengen in a way of Yichuda Ila’ah — connecting using the koach of Hashem that is HIGHER than time and place.

The Avodah connected to Yichuda Ila’ah is when even in the world (which is created with the Sheim Ad-nay) we feel Hashem in a way of Havaya — feeling Hashem in a way that is HIGHER than time and place.

Sometimes when we daven, especially on a special day like Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Yud-Tes Kislev, Yud Shevat, or Gimmel Tammuz, we can feel connected to Hashem in a way that we forget we’re standing in shul, we forget how long we are standing for... we feel Hashem in a way that is HIGHER than time and place!

That’s feeling Yichuda Ila’ah.



Chof-Alef Sivan

Today we learn about the koach of Mesiras Nefesh that every Yid has, and where it comes from.

Chassidus teaches how special a Yid is, and the special kochos Hashem gives to our neshamos.

We learned in Tanya about the neshama’s kochos that Hashem gives us so we can learn Torah and have Yiras Shomayim. They are called sechel and midos. They help us feel close to Hashem and act like Hashem wants.

But there’s something even more special than these kochos: The koach of Mesiras Nefesh.

The koach of Mesiras Nefesh makes it that a Yid is never able to act differently than what Hashem wants. “A Yid Nit Er Vil, Un Nit Er Kon Zain Chas Veshalom A Nifrad Fun Elokus!” “A Yid doesn’t want to, and CANNOT be Chas Veshalom separated from Elokus!

This koach comes from the DEEPEST part of our neshama, which is connected to the deepest part of Hashem — to Atzmus Ein Sof, Baruch Hu!



Shiur #296 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #239

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #239) that we can’t take a mashkon by ourselves, we have to let the Beis Din do it.

What is a mashkon?

Let’s say that I borrow $5 from my friend, but I don’t pay back on time. My friend might want to take my markers as a mashkon, to keep them until I pay back the money.

This mitzvah is that my friend is not allowed to take the Mashkon herself, she needs to ask the Beis Din to get the mashkon for her.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תָבֹא אֶל בֵּיתוֹ לַעֲבֹט עֲבֹטוֹ

The details are explained in Perek Tes of Mesechta Bava Metziah.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about ribbis, interest.

In Perek Zayin we learn to be careful when paying a worker, so we don’t pay him with interest.

Perek Ches teaches us about not paying extra so we can pay later. That’s also called interest! For example, sometimes when you owe someone money, they will ask for a “late fee” — extra money if you don’t pay on time. A Yid can’t charge another Yid a late fee, because it is like ribbis!

In Perek Tes we learn when someone is allowed to buy something in advance. Many times it is asur to sell something that didn’t grow yet, because we might end up charging more than it’s really worth, and we don’t know how much it will be worth yet, until we see how much people are paying in the marketplace. The Rambam tells us the halachos about when we can buy something in advance without being a problem of ribbis.



Hilchos Tumas Tzoraas - Perek Tes-Zayin

We learn how people or things can get Tomei from a Tomei house.

Now we finish the halachos of Tzoraas! The Rambam often finishes off a section of halachos with a lesson for us to learn. Here is the lesson from Tumas Tzoraas: Tzoraas comes from speaking Lashon Hara — talking about other people in a not-nice way. The Rambam tells us that this isn’t a Jewish way to talk — Yidden talk about Torah, and Hashem gives them brachos because of it!



Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

All of the things we have in Gashmius come to us in the zechus of the Nasi Hador!

When the Yidden were in the Midbar, Hashem gave them everything they needed! The Chachomim tell us that it was in the zechus of their Nasi, Moshe Rabbeinu.

At first, the mohn was in Moshe’s zechus, the Ananei Hakavod (clouds) were in Aharon’s zechus, and the water was in Miriam’s zechus. When Aharon and Miriam passed away, they came back in Moshe’s zechus. Moshe Rabbeinu had the responsibility for all of the Yidden’s Gashmius and Ruchnius needs. As soon as Aharon and Miriam passed away, Moshe Rabbeinu had to make sure that these brachos came back because the Yidden needed them.

The Zohar says that the leader of the Yidden is like the Moshe Rabbeinu of that time!

Just like with Moshe Rabbeinu, the same thing is true about the Rebbe. He doesn’t only teach us Torah and how to serve Hashem, but all of the Gashmius things that Yidden need come to us in the zechus of the Rebbe.

See Sichos Kodesh, Leil Simchas Torah 5718; Gimmel Tammuz Hachana Booklet p. 14


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Hashem's Pride

There is a type of Yid that wakes up in the morning and rushes to daven with an early minyan. Even though he is busy all day long, he stops everything and hurries to shul to daven Mincha. He then sits and listens to a shiur in Ein Yaakov until it is time to daven Maariv with the minyan. When he comes home, he shares with his family the Ein Yaakov which he learned.

This makes Hashem very proud!

Hashem gathers all of the malochim and points out this Yid. Hashem tells them: “You, malochim, don’t have to worry about parnasa. You don’t have a family, you don’t have the responsibilities of money, taxes, and other things. This person has a very big achrayus that I gave him. But he does his job in the Gashmius world according to Torah! This makes Me very proud!”

Sefer Hasichos (sichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe) 5699, p. 138



Birchos HaTorah

In the morning, we say a group of brachos called Birchos Hashachar, the brachos for the morning. We thank Hashem for all of the things we enjoy each day, like being able to get up, to see, and that we have mitzvos.

Then we say three special brachos to thank Hashem for one of the things we appreciate more than anything else — the Torah!

The first bracha we say is like the bracha we say before many mitzvos: “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivanu Al Divrei Sorah,” that Hashem made us holy by giving us the mitzvah of learning Torah.

Then we say two more brachos, speaking about the sweetness of Torah and about how lucky we are that Hashem chose to give it only to Yidden!

Since we made a bracha on saying words of Torah, it is best not to interrupt with anything else. Just like we do a mitzvah right after we make the bracha on the mitzvah, we should learn Torah right after making the bracha on learning Torah!

First, we say pesukim from the Chumash, Torah Shebichsav (the pesukim of Birchas Kohanim, from Parshas Naso). Then we also say a part of the Torah Shebaal Peh, from Mishnayos Pe’ah, that starts with the words Eilu Devarim. This way, we started doing the mitzvah or learning Torah right away!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Mem-Zayin

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



Using All of Our Kochos

The Gemara says that before Moshiach comes, there will be very hard times for Yidden. Every day will be harder than the day before…

Why would the Torah tell us something like that? So that we can get into a bad mood? To make us upset or sad Chas Veshalom?

The Rebbe teaches us that the reason why the Torah tells it to us is because before Moshiach comes there will be new special kochos every day — that we can use to overcome the new challenges every day!

The Torah tells it to us so we will realize that when Hashem gives us kochos, they aren’t just a nice thing to have. Hashem gives them to us because we NEED them to overcome the hardships and bring Moshiach! So we have to be very careful to use all of the kochos Hashem gives us as much as we can!

How many times a year did your parents (or grandparents) get to see or hear the Rebbe?

Today, we can watch videos of the Rebbe, hear sichos, and learn from the Rebbe like we were never able to do before! What a special koach Hashem gave us! But it’s not just a nice thing — Hashem gave it to us because we NEED it to overcome the challenges of Golus.

What ways were your parents able to spread Yiddishkeit to others before? How many ways can we do it today?

It’s not enough to just use the kochos we had before, since the darkness of Golus gets more as we get closer to Moshiach. We need to use all of the kochos we are given to bring Moshiach now!

See farbrengen Shavuos 5738

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