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Parshas Noach - Shishi with Rashi

After the Mabul was over, the world needed to fill up again with people and animals. We start to learn about the children Noach had, and the nations from them that filled up the world. We also learn a story that happened not long after Noach left the Teivah.

We learned in the beginning of the parsha that Noach was a Tzadik Bedorosav, a tzadik in his time. One of the ways Rashi explains this is that Noach was a tzadik compared to everyone else who lived then, but not everything he did was the way a tzadik of nowadays should behave.

Noach should have realized what an important job he had now. The world would need to get filled up again with people and plants and animals. They would need to plant food, raise animals, and build cities!

But, the Torah tells us, “Vayachel Noach” — Noach made himself “chulin,” free to relax. Instead of planting wheat, Noach planted grapes first. When the grapes were ready, he made wine and drank much more than he should have.

In fact, Noach got so drunk that he hardly knew what he was doing. He finally fell asleep in his tent, and wasn’t even tznius’dik.

Canaan, the son of Cham, came into Noach’s tent. He saw his grandfather lying that way, and told his father. Cham came in too, and instead of covering up his father Noach, he excitedly told his brothers to come look.

Shem and Yafes were not excited to hear about this. They were upset at what Cham did! Together, they brought a blanket, and walked in backwards so they could cover up their father without looking at him when he wasn’t tznius’dik.

When Noach woke up, he realized what happened. He gave a curse to Canaan, the son of Cham, saying that his family would be slaves to the children of Shem.

He gave brachos to Shem (that the Yidden would come from him), and to Yafes (that his family should become very rich).

We start to learn about the 70 nations that came from Noach. We learn everyone’s names, and a little bit about some of them. For example, Nimrod tried to fight against Hashem (Mored, like Nimrod), and Peleg was in the time of the Dor Haflagah (like Peleg), the generation that got spread out all over the world.



10 - 17

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Yud through Yud-Zayin.

Before Dovid Hamelech became king, he was forced to run away from his enemies.

Some people said to him then that he must have done aveiros, because he was suffering so much! In Kapitel Yud-Alef, Dovid Hamelech says that this is not true — this was a test, not a punishment. “Hashem Tzadik Yivchan,” Hashem tests a tzadik!

In fact, a test is sometimes what SHOWS that someone is a tzadik!

Rashi says on this posuk that we can see an example of this from how linen is made. For the threads to be very soft, the stalks of flax need to be beaten. But if the flax is not good quality, it can’t be hit as hard, because the stalks will break. The same thing is with a person: Only a tzadik, who is strong, can have these kinds of hard tests from Hashem!

Dovid Hamelech said that the same was true here: Hashem knows the truth, that he didn’t do the aveiros people were blaming him for, and the reason he was being chased was because it was a test from Hashem.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Hey

Today the Alter Rebbe finishes explaining the vort of the Baal Shem Tov that we’ve been learning over the last few days, about what to do if someone is bothering you during davening.

But first we review about what to do if anything at all is bothering you, from someone or something else that can make you angry, so that we will see what the vort of the Baal Shem Tov is talking about.

There are three KINDS of things that can make a person angry:

1. Something happened that you don’t like. For that we learned before what the Chachomim say, that we need to make our emunah stronger so that we remember that it is B’Hashgacha Protis. Hashem made it happen and we should think about that — not about the cause, the person who did it.

2. Someone said or did something that is an aveira and you can stop it. Then it’s Hashgacha Protis but you need to say or do something to stop it. The Alter Rebbe tells us a story from the Torah where Moshe became angry to stop Yidden from doing something they shouldn’t have been doing.

3. Someone is doing something wrong but there isn’t anything you can do about it. For example, you are doing Mivtzoyim at a fair, and you stop to daven Mincha. All of a sudden, a band starts playing loud goyishe music. This is the type of case the Baal Shem Tov’s vort is talking about! You know it’s Hashgacha Protis, but even though you can’t stop the music, there is still something you still need to do!

You need to think about what we learned earlier, that Hashem’s Shechinah is in Golus in the people singing the goyishe music. Hashem is making you hear it because He wants you to concentrate harder on the davening. Then you will have used out this opportunity Hashem sent to you in the right way!



Beis Mar-Cheshvan

The Rebbe Rashab once said in a sicha the following story:

A little while after the Alter Rebbe became Rebbe, he said to the chassidim, “Men Badarf Leben Mit Der Tzeit!” — “we need to live with the time!” Chassidim wondered what this could mean. The Alter Rebbe’s brother, R’ Yehuda Leib (called the Maharil) was told what this meant and the older chassidim found out from him.

The “time” that the Alter Rebbe was talking about was the parsha of the week. And “living with the time” means that we shouldn’t just LEARN the parsha every day (like we do in Chitas), but we need to LIVE with it. We should be thinking about it all the time, and learning lessons for what to do now from the parsha of the week and the Chumash of each day!

In later years, the Rebbe taught that we should also “Live with the times” with the other shiurim of Chitas that we learn every day, and especially the shiur in Rambam!



Shiur #117 - Mitzvas Asei #115, #116, #117

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn about three of the many kinds of presents a person can give to the Beis Hamikdash. The mitzvah is to follow the halachos if we give these kinds of presents.

We learn all of these mitzvos from pesukim in Parshas Bechukosai:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #115) If someone gives a non-kosher animal (like a horse), or an animal that has a mum and can’t be brought as a korban, he needs to follow the halachos of how it can be given as a present.

The words of the Torah we learn this from are: וְהֶעֱמִיד אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱרִיךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָהּ

We learn the details of this mitzvah in Mesechta Temurah and Me’ilah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #116) If someone promises to give a house to the Beis Hamikdash he has to follow the halachos of how this present is given.

We learn this from the words: וְאִישׁ כִּי יַקְדִּשׁ אֶת בֵּיתוֹ קֹדֶשׁ לַה׳ וְהֶעֱרִיכוֹ הַכֹּהֵן

The Gemara explains the details of this mitzvah and the next one in Mesechta Erkim.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #117) If someone promises to give a field to the Beis Hamikdash he has to keep the halachos of how to give it as a present.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: וְאִם מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳ וְאִם אֶת שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳

We learn the halachos about this mitzvah in today’s Rambam; we will IY”H learn about houses and animals in tomorrow’s Rambam.



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we are learning more halachos about someone who promises to make a donation to the Beis Hamikdash, as much as someone is worth. We also start learning the halachos about if someone donates a field.

Perek Beis: We learn about someone who says they want to give as much as PART of a person is worth (like his arms), or how much a person weighs. At the end of the perek, we learn halachos of different rooms in the Beis Hamikdash that were used for different kinds of donations.

Perek Gimmel: What if I promised to give as much as my baby brother is worth to the Beis Hamikdash — and didn’t actually give it until my brother was older? Do I give as much as a baby is worth, or how much a kid is worth? The Rambam teaches us that the amount is based on when he made the promise to give, not when the Beis Din wants to take it. We also learn what happens if someone can’t afford to give the donation in the end, or if his present was lost or stolen. Sometimes the Beis Din needs to take his things instead of his money.

Perek Daled: Now we learn the halachos of someone donating his field to the Beis Hamikdash. There are two kinds of fields — a Sedei Achuzah that someone got as a yerusha (like after his parents passed away) or a Sedei Mikna that a person bought or got from hefker.



Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Ches

Now we learn about the clothes of the kohanim. The clothes had to be perfectly neat and clean — otherwise their Avodah was no good!

The Rambam teaches us about the materials they were made of, and where they were kept. The clothes the Kohen Gadol wore on Yom Kippur were only worn ONCE, and then they had to be buried! The clothes of the kohanim wouldn’t get washed — once they got dirty, they were made into wicks.

In the Beis Hamikdash, they had a very organized way to store all the clothes!



Midos Tovos

In today’s Chumash (Shishi of Parshas Noach), we learn an important lesson in Ahavas Yisroel and having good midos:

When Noach drank too much wine after the Mabul he was not behaving the right way. When Shem and Yafes saw this, they went backwards to cover their father. They didn’t want to see what he had done that wasn’t right, they just went to fix the problem.

The same thing is if we see people not acting the way they should. We shouldn’t think about how they aren’t acting right and think not good things about them in our mind, and of course not to say something not nice about them to others Chas Veshalom! Instead, we should just make sure to fix the problem in a kind way.

The Baal Shem Tov says that Hashem uses another person as a mirror for us! When we look in a mirror, we see ourselves. If our face is clean, we don’t see anything dirty in the mirror. If we see dirt in the mirror, it is because OUR face is dirty!

If we think too much about how another person isn’t good, and not just about fixing the person’s problem, that is a sign that we have that not good thing in ourselves.

Imagine if we see someone doing something that could hurt someone else. We might think, “What a terrible kind of person! He doesn’t care about other people! Look at what he is doing!” We aren’t thinking about how to help him be more careful, we’re just upset at him. Really, we should realize that he is a mirror for us! Maybe WE need to be more careful about not hurting other people.

When a tzadik looks at another person, because he doesn’t have any Ra inside of himself, he doesn’t see Ra in another person! If he sees a problem, he doesn’t think about how awful the other person is, he just thinks about how he can help the person become better.

So instead of getting angry about what another person is doing, we should try to help them in a nice way if we can, and work on fixing up the things that need to be corrected in OURSELVES!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud, Parshas Noach (English)

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Making Bitachon Stronger Through Davening

Having bitachon makes our connection with Hashem strong. The Rebbe reminded many people in letters that having stronger bitachon opens up a path for more brachos to come from Hashem!

Sometimes it can be hard to feel our bitachon.

Something that can help is to learn and think about how much having bitachon in Hashem makes sense! When we understand it, we will then start to feel that way too.

When we fly in an airplane, we trust the pilot of the plane. We know that the pilot proved that he is able to fly such a big plane safely and land it in the right place. We can trust him since he is able to do it!

Knowing that someone is ABLE to take care of something helps us trust him.

But people are just people. We trust the pilot to fly our plane, but that doesn’t mean we will trust him as our dentist! We can trust him to do specific things, but we can’t trust him in EVERYTHING.

Bitachon in Hashem is different!

We CAN trust in Hashem for everything. Hashem is able to do anything!

When we think about this, our bitachon in Hashem will be stronger!

One place to think about this is in davening. In the praises of Hashem in Pesukei Dezimra, we speak about how Hashem has the koach to make anything happen. For example, the paragraph “Halelu Es Hashem Min HaShomayim” speaks about how all of the creations praise Hashem and that Hashem is in control of everything in the world.



Buying from Yidden

In Parshas Behar, the Torah teaches us about doing business like a Yid should. One of the pesukim has the words, “Konoi Miyad Amisecha,” “when you buy from your fellow.”

The Chachomim learn from this posuk that if a person has a choice, he should buy from a Yid.

Many years ago, there was a terrible terrorist attack in Kfar Chabad. After this attack, the Rebbe sent a group of bochurim to raise the spirits of the Chassidim and Yidden of Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe made sure that the tickets for these bochurim were bought from a Jewish airline, based on this halacha.

The Rebbe writes about these airline tickets in this letter of 5716

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



Finishing It Up

At the end of this week’s parsha, Parshas Noach, we learn the ten generations from Noach until Avraham Avinu.

In Pirkei Avos, it says that Avraham Avinu got the sechar for all of those generations! He got the reward for all of them because he tried to fix up the not-good things that they did. He found the Nitzutzos of kedusha that got stuck because of their aveiros, and brought them up to kedusha. Many of those generations were resha’im, but with Avraham Avinu’s chesed, he davened for them too and asked Hashem to forgive them.

In this way, Avraham Avinu was able to finish the job of all of those ten generations that came before him.

We are in the last generation of Golus! Like Avraham Avinu, we also need to fix up the Nitzutzos of kedusha that got stuck here, and bring them up to kedusha. We do this by following the example of Avraham Avinu, of chesed and Ahavas Yisroel, to be mekarev everyone with love to Yiddishkeit. This way, we will not only be rewarded for what we do now, but also from the previous generations!

We will be finishing the job of all of the generations that came before us, and bringing the complete and final Geulah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Gimmel, Parshas Noach

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