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Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim - Shlishi with Rashi

Yesterday we learned that the Yidden are not allowed to shecht a korban outside of the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash. Today, the posuk adds that burning the korban outside of the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash is another aveira.

We also learn about the punishment for eating blood. We are not allowed to eat blood, because the chayus of a living thing is in its blood. This is also why we need to cover the blood of animal when we shecht it (“Kisui Hadam”).

If someone eats a kosher bird that wasn’t shechted properly, he becomes tomei and his clothes become tomei, too. He is not allowed to eat from korbanos or go into the Beis Hamikdash until he goes himself into the mikvah, and dips his clothing into the mikvah too.

Now Hashem tells the Yidden to remember about Hashem, and not to act like the Mitzriyim, who didn’t know that getting married is a very holy thing! The Torah will give us rules about who we can marry.

We also learn from these pesukim that Yidden need to behave differently than the other nations (“Uvechukoseihem Lo Seileichu”). We need to be dedicated to learning Hashem’s Torah and doing His mitzvos.

Since we are Hashem’s holy nation, we need to remember that getting married is a very holy thing! Hashem gives us very specific rules about getting married.

- A person can’t marry his mother or stepmother

- He can’t marry his sister or stepsister

- He can’t marry his grandchildren

- He can’t marry his aunt

- He can’t marry his daughter-in-law

- He can’t marry a woman and her daughter

- He can’t marry two sisters

- He needs to act differently with a woman who has Tumas Niddah

- He can’t get married to a woman who is married to someone else

Hashem also tells us NOT to do the Avodah Zarah of Molech.



23 - 28

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — Hashem teaches humble people His path.

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuva, and

2) Hashem makes a person WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Daled

We learned about two kinds of Ahavas Hashem that every Yid can have. One is to love Hashem because Hashem gives us our chayus, and the other is to love Hashem like a son loves his father.

One of the ways to bring out this ahava is not just to think about it with our minds, but also to use the special koach which is in our voice (like when we speak about how Hashem is the source of our chayus, in Pesukei Dezimra; or that Hashem is our father, in the bracha before Shema). Saying the words together with the kavana will help the kavana be more real!

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us that even if it seems like we’re pretending that we love Hashem, we should do this anyway!


Because in truth EVERY Yid really loves Hashem inside his neshama! By saying it with our voice and our kavana, we are bringing it out so it will help us do our Torah and mitzvos with the kavana of bringing Hashem nachas, like a son serving his father.

In fact, we are doing the mitzvos to give Hashem TWO kinds of nachas!

1) Our mitzvos make Hashem happy like a king whose son just came out of jail. Our neshama is in Golus in the Gashmius of the world, and when we daven and learn Torah and do mitzvos, our neshama is coming back to Hashem!

2) Hashem also has nachas that now He has a Dira BeTachtonim, a comfortable place in the world because of the mitzvos we did. Now we’re bringing the Geulah in the world!

Even if we aren’t thinking these kavanos while we’re doing the mitzvos, Hashem will connect our mitzvos to the time we thought about it. It is counted as a kind of Ahavas Hashem. That way our mitzvos will have wings to fly up to Hashem!



Daled Iyar

Today is nineteen days of the Omer!

It is a Yiddishe minhag not to cut a boy’s hair until he turns three. We then cut his hair for the first time, called an upshernish.

The main reason for this minhag is so that we can show him that we are NOT cutting his peyos!

After the upshernish, we make sure that the boy gets used to wearing tzitzis, saying brachos in the morning, bentching, and saying Shema before going to sleep.

In a sicha, the Rebbe says that the time of the upshernish is only a deadline when we MUST start to teach a child, but we don’t have to wait until then! We should start as soon as possible.

Also, the same way that girls become Bas Mitzvah a year earlier, girls’ chinuch should start earlier too.

Even though we are now in the middle of Sefiras Haomer and can’t make an upshernish until Lag B’Omer, we still make sure to start all of the other parts of Chinuch right away! We make sure the upshernish boy wears a yarmulka and tzitzis, even before his hair is cut!



Shiur #267 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #251

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #251) is that we are not allowed to hurt other people with our words (ona’as devarim). We aren’t allowed to say mean things, or things that will make someone embarrassed or feel bad.

For example, we aren’t allowed to remind a Baal Teshuvah about the aveiros he did, or tell someone who is sick that it must be a punishment for something he did. We also can’t ask questions that make people think that we are going to buy something when we aren’t really planning on buying it.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Behar: וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקֶיךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Daled of Bava Metzia.



Hilchos Mechirah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about selling and buying according to Torah.

Perek Yud-Gimmel teaches us what happens if someone trades or sells something for more than it is really worth. That is called ona’ah.

If a person is honest, and says how much each thing is really worth, then it is never called ona’ah, since both people agreed to the deal KNOWING that it might not look fair.

Perek Yud-Daled teaches us more about ona’ah. The Beis Din needs to make fair prices for things so that nobody will pay too much.

The second half of this perek teaches us the halachos of today’s mitzvah, Ona’as Devarim. We need to be careful how we talk, not telling someone to buy something in a store that doesn’t really sell it, or pretending that we want to buy something when we really don’t want to. This mitzvah is also important when we aren’t doing business, that we can’t say something that will hurt another person or end up leaving him feeling bad.

Perek Tes-Vov teaches us about “Mekach To’us” — when someone can say “I wouldn’t have bought this if I knew about this problem!” For example, if you knew that the bike seat is wobbly and sometimes falls off, you might have bought a different bike instead. You can go and get your money back from the person who sold it to you!



Hilchos Sanhedrin - Perek Tes

We do not judge according to the Rov (majority) when it is a case of Dinei Nefashos, when someone may be Chayav Misa.



Sefiras Ha'omer

Did you ever learn about manners, or being polite? Not only Yidden try to act with proper manners, but for a Yid it’s extra important.

A person might think, “It doesn’t matter so much if I speak politely to other people or not, it’s more important how I feel about them INSIDE!”

But the truth is that the way we talk makes us feel different inside. If we speak in a polite way to other people, we’ll start feeling nicer feelings to them too.

Also, when we act with good manners, we are making a Kiddush Hashem for the people that see us!

That is one of the ways that we use the midah of tiferes, the midah that we are working on now in Sefiras Haomer. Tiferes means beauty. We need to act in a way that people will be able to see how beautifully Yidden who are connected to Torah and mitzvos behave!


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Ata Chonen

The very first thing we ask Hashem, after the three brachos of praise at the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei, is “Ata Chonein L’Adam Daas.” We ask Hashem to give us sechel.

Why is that the very first thing we ask for? Is being able to understand things SO important that we need to ask for it first?

In a sicha said to kids at camp, the Rebbe explained one reason why: During Shemoneh Esrei, we will be asking Hashem for the things we need. But how will we know what is important and what to ask for? That’s why we first ask for sechel, that we will understand to daven for the right things!




Things that aren’t meant to be used on Shabbos are muktza.

There are different reasons why something isn’t meant to be used. If we don’t expect to use something on Shabbos because it is something important or expensive that we are very careful with, it is called Muktza Machmas Chesron Kis.

For example, a wrapped wedding present is this kind of muktza. You are planning on giving it to someone as a gift, so you are careful not to ruin it!

Another example is a Shochet’s knife. A shochet spends a lot of time making sure his knife is very very sharp, and he wouldn’t use it for anything else!

Another example of Muktza Machmas Chesron Kis is a birth certificate. It is a very important piece of paper that people are very careful with.

This type of muktza is Muktza Chamur, a strict kind of muktza. We are not allowed to move these things on Shabbos, even if we want to use them for something we ARE allowed to do, or if they are in a space we wanted to use (Letzorech Gufo or Letzorech Mekomo).

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Shin-Ches

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



The Purpose of Creation

Kabbalah and Chassidus give us many reasons for why Hashem created the world. One reason, which we learn about in Tanya, comes from the Zohar. The Zohar says that the reason for the world is so that we will come to know the greatness of Hashem!

That is why the Alter Rebbe tells us it is so important to learn about the greatness of Hashem, which will bring us to feel the love for Hashem called Ahavas Olam.

Still, Chassidus explains that the MAIN reason Hashem created the world is the reason we learn from the Medrash: Because Hashem wanted a comfortable place to be — a Dira BeTachtonim. All of the other reasons are true, but they are all part of this reason!

When will this Dira be complete? When Moshiach comes, thanks to all of the Torah and mitzvos Yidden have been doing during the entire time of Golus!

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