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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Va'eschanan - Revi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the Yidden about the Aseres Hadibros that they heard by Matan Torah!

At Matan Torah, Hashem spoke to the Yidden face to face! Moshe reviews each of the Aseres Hadibros — do you know them?

1) Believe in Hashem!
2) Don’t make or daven to Avodah Zarah.
3) Don’t promise in Hashem’s name for no reason.
4) Keep Shabbos!
5) Kibbud Av Va’em
6) Don’t kill.
7) Don’t get married to a woman who is already married.
8) Don’t kidnap.
9) Don’t lie to a Beis Din if you are a witness.
10) Don’t be jealous of things that belong to someone else.



66 - 68

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Vov, Samach-Zayin, and Samach-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, we have Kapitel Samach-Zayin, which is also called the Mizmor of the Menorah.

This kapitel, which starts with the words Lamnatzeiach Binginos, has seven pesukim and 49 words. These represent the seven branches of the menorah, and the 49 pieces (22 cups, 9 flowers, 11 buttons, and 7 oil cups) on the menorah.

We say it every day in davening, before Boruch She’amar, and it is counted as if we are lighting the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash!

Dovid Hamelech had this kapitel engraved on a golden plaque in the shape of a menorah. He would carry it with him when he went out to war, to help him have hatzlacha in battle!

In many shuls, you can find an image of the Menorah with this kapitel written on it!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Daled

Learning and davening and going to farbrengens makes us feel different. We get inspired and want to have more Yiddishkeit!

But do we want Yiddishkeit for a reason, or is Yiddishkeit our life, and we feel that we want and NEED it?

Wanting things for reasons is from our Chitzonius Halev. Wanting things because they are what our life is all about is from Pnimius Halev.

The Alter Rebbe said that if our whole life is busy with other things, our Yiddishkeit will only be able to be in our Chitzonius Halev. Our Pnimius Halev will be in Golus in the Gashmius!

The only way to get it out of Golus, so that our whole LIFE can be Yiddishkeit, is if Hashem takes it out!

What makes Hashem take it out? When we give tzedakah! We take what we put our life into — for example, the money we earned — and give it to Hashem by giving tzedakah! Then Hashem gives us a present, and takes our Pnimius Halev out of Golus!

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us that through giving tzedakah, which takes our Pnimius Halev out of Golus, ALL of our Yiddishkeit can be done in a different way!

Once Hashem takes our Pnimius Halev out of Golus (since we gave Tzedakah), then we can do ALL of our mitzvos, and learn ALL of our Torah, with our WHOLE heart!

This is also why Tzedakah is called Shalom, because it makes Shalom between Hashem and Yidden.

A Yid has a piece of Hashem inside, and it makes Hashem sad when it is in Golus. When it comes out of Golus, Hashem is happy, and there is Shalom between Hashem and Yidden!

The Alter Rebbe tells the Chassidim to give Tzedakah, especially to the Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel — the land which is so close to Hashem.



Yud-Beis Menachem Av

The Alter Rebbe said something that he heard from the Maggid, who heard it from the Baal Shem Tov!

Ahavas Yisroel is part of Ahavas Hashem — loving Hashem! Because every Yid has a piece of Hashem inside, the neshama. When we love another Yid, we are really loving Hashem, which is the pnimius of the Yid!



Shiur #38 - Mitzvas Asei #154

Today, we learn a very important mitzvah again (Mitzvas Asei #154): To rest on Shabbos! Hashem tells us clearly in the Torah that “on the seventh day you should rest.” This mitzvah means that we are not allowed to do any melacha on Shabbos — and that we can’t let our animals or our slaves do melacha either.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי תִּשְׁבֹּת

The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos and Mesechta Beitzah (Yom Tov).

The Chachomim explain to us what “melacha” means — the 39 kinds of work that were used to build the Mishkan. There is a whole mesechta in Gemara that talks about the details of this mitzvah, called Mesechta Shabbos! Many more halachos are also discussed in another mesechta about Yom Tov, called Mesechta Beitzah.



Hilchos Shabbos

In Rambam today, we are learning many halachos about Shabbos. Today we are learning about the halachos of cooking on Shabbos, and bentching licht.

Perek Gimmel: The Rambam teaches us that we are allowed to begin a melacha before Shabbos and let it finish by itself on Shabbos. There are some exceptions to this when it comes to cooking or making a fire. The Chachomim were worried that a person might stir the fire to make food cook faster on Shabbos, which is a melacha! This is the reason why we have a blech, to cover the fire and remind the person not to make the fire higher on Shabbos. This way, we can let something continue cooking on Shabbos.

Perek Daled: This perek discusses something called hatmanah, covering a pot to keep it hot on Shabbos. We are not allowed to wrap it fully in something that would add heat (like an electric blanket!) even before Shabbos. On Shabbos, we aren’t even allowed to wrap a pot with something that DOESN’T add heat, because of gezeiros the Chachomim made to keep us far away from doing melacha on Shabbos.

Perek Hey: We learn about the mitzvah of lighting Shabbos candles! We learn when to light, what kind of wicks and oil we should use, and not using the light of the Shabbos candles so we don’t put it out.

Did you know that the Rambam says it’s a halacha to have a Shabbos alarm in a city? This way everyone knows when to stop working and when to light Shabbos candles.



Hilchos Terumos - Perek Beis

Now the Rambam tells us the KINDS of foods that need Terumah, like if we need to take Terumah from Leket, Pe’ah, or hefker foods. We learn what happens if the food becomes tomei or mixed up with other foods. We also learn about making a bracha when we take Terumah, and not taking it outside of Eretz Yisroel, because it will become tamei.



Ahavas Yisroel

Today, Yud-Beis Menachem Av, is the day of the Alter Rebbe’s chasuna to Rebbetzin Sterna!

The Alter Rebbe’s chasunah took place only a few months after the Baal Shem Tov’s histalkus on Shavuos.

We know that the Alter Rebbe’s chassidus was based on the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. One of the things the Baal Shem Tov taught is that we should ENJOY helping another Yid!

The Alter Rebbe showed a beautiful example of this at the time of his chasunah:

The Alter Rebbe’s kallah, Rebbetzin Sterna, was the daughter of a very rich and respected man. The minhag in those days was that the family of the kallah would give an amount of money, called a nadden (dowry), to the chosson.

Since Rebbetzin Sterna was coming from a very rich family, the nadden was a lot of money! The Alter Rebbe made a condition that he should be able to use this money for whatever he wants.

As soon as he received the money, the Alter Rebbe set up a program to help Yidden move to farms to make a parnasa. In those days, most Yidden lived in towns and cities, and it was hard for many of them to earn enough money. The Alter Rebbe wanted to encourage them to move to farms, where it would be easier to make a proper parnasa.

It was with this beautiful Ahavas Yisroel that the Alter Rebbe started off his married life!

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The Navi Yechezkel was a Navi after the Churban of the first Beis Hamikdash. In his nevuos, he spoke about the way the third Beis Hamikdash should look! Hashem told Yechezkel that he should tell the Yidden to learn the measurements of the Beis Hamikdash, and then Hashem will consider it like they were actually building it! This way, even though they were in Golus, they could still have the mitzvah of building Hashem’s house.

The Medrash says that the same thing is true with the korbanos. When we say the words of the korbanos the way we are taught to bring them in Torah, and the halachos about them, it is like we are actually bringing those korbanos!

Since davening is in place of the korbanos, we first do our best to have a part of bringing the korbanos. At the beginning of davening, we say many paragraphs describing the korbanos and the daily Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash. This way, Hashem will count our tefillos as if we were actually bringing these korbanos at the proper time.




Seforim have Hashem’s holy Torah inside. We need to treat seforim with kavod.

One halacha is that if we see a sefer upside down, we shouldn’t leave it. We should turn it the right way!

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman Chof-Ches se’if vov

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



Expecting Moshiach

The Rambam says that not only do we need to believe in Moshiach, but we also need to be excited and wait for him every day!

It’s easy to understand that we need to believe in Moshiach, but to be hoping that Moshiach will come today — what’s the point of that? Won’t it just make us sad if Moshiach doesn’t come today? Why don’t we just believe that he will come when he will come?

One of the reasons why is because this will help Moshiach come much sooner! If we are expecting Moshiach to come TODAY, we will daven for him to come now, and do more mitzvos to bring him, and then Moshiach WILL come right away!

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