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Parshas Vayechi - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Yaakov begins to give the bracha to Efrayim and Menasheh.

Yaakov couldn’t see so well anymore because of his old age, so Yosef brought his sons in and brought them close to Yaakov. Yaakov hugged and kissed them! He said to Yosef, “I didn’t even think I would be able to see YOU, and Hashem even showed me now your children!”

After Yaakov kissed them, Yosef had his sons move away a little, and bowed to the ground before his father. Yosef then put Efrayim and Menasheh in the proper place to be bentched by Yaakov. He put Menasheh, who was older, near Yaakov’s right hand, and Efrayim near Yaakov’s left hand. This way, the older son would receive a bracha from Yaakov’s right hand.

But Yaakov purposely switched his hands, and put his right hand on Efrayim!

Yaakov bentched Yosef about the children. “May Hashem, Who Avraham and Yitzchak followed, and Who has always taken care of me and sent me a malach to take care of me, give these boys a bracha. They should be known with my name and the names of the rest of the Avos, and they should have many children like fish do, without being afraid of an Ayin Hara.”

The Rebbe tells us another reason why Yaakov bentched them that they should be like fish. Fish can’t be separated from the water, where they get their chayus. Yaakov was giving a bracha for Menashe and Efrayim that they should also be one with the source of their chayus, Hashem. By always being connected to Hashem’s Ratzon and avodah, they will always be a good keili to get brachos from Hashem. (Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Hey p. 11)



69 - 71

Today’s kapitelach are Samach-Tes, Ayin, and Ayin-Alef.

One of the pesukim in Kapitel Samech-Tes is “Va’ani Sefilosi Lecha Hashem Eis Ratzon.” We say this posuk every day in (can you guess?) Mah Tovu.

There is another place we say this posuk as well — before we take the Torah out on Shabbos at Mincha time. The posuk means that when we daven it’s a very special time. The reason why we say it by Mincha on Shabbos is because that’s ALSO a very special time, the most special time of the whole Shabbos!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Alef

In today’s Tanya, the entire Perek Yud-Alef, we learn about a Rasha.

Yesterday we learned that a Tzadik takes control of himself and the Yetzer Hara has no say.

Today we learn that the opposite can happen Chas Veshalom if a person lets his Yetzer Hara behave however it wants: It can end up controlling the person, and the Yetzer Tov won’t be able to say anything. This is what the Alter Rebbe calls a Rasha.

By some people the Yetzer Hara can take control only once in a while, or only with a certain aveira. For other people, the Yetzer Hara can be in control more often, and with more aveiros.

We said that with a Tzadik She’aino Gamur, even though the Yetzer Tov is in charge there could still be some Yetzer Hara left inside. Even though it is there, it does not have a say. That’s also called a Tzadik Vera Lo, which means that he is a tzadik, but there is still something bad inside.

With a Rasha the opposite is possible. Even though the Yetzer Hara is in charge, the Yetzer Tov is still inside. It can make the person think and feel good things, even if it’s not strong enough to make the person do teshuvah and keep them from doing the wrong thing again. This is a Rasha VeTov Lo.

That’s why a person feels bad after he does an aveira. The good that’s inside of him is making him feel like he acted in the wrong way.

A Rasha VeRa Lo is someone who got so used to doing the wrong thing that the Yetzer Hara pushed the Yetzer Tov out. He can’t feel the good inside of him anymore, and won’t even feel bad for doing the aveira.

That’s the opposite of the Tzadik VeTov Lo, where the Yetzer Tov pushed the Yetzer Hara out completely, so he won’t feel anything bad inside.

But there is one very important difference between a Tzadik VeTov Lo and a Rasha VeRa Lo: The tzadik pushed the Yetzer Hara out completely, but the rasha can never lose his neshama and the chayus of Hashem that is there! It is just that he can’t feel it, and so it stays in a way called makif until he does teshuvah.

That’s why the Chachomim say that when ten Yidden come together, the Shechinah is there. This is true even if they are resha’im, because of the makif chayus that is always there in EVERY Yid.

So what does a person do if his Yetzer Tov isn’t strong enough? What if he’s so used to doing something he shouldn’t be doing, that he can’t control himself? One thing he can do is to get help from someone else to help his Yetzer Tov become stronger, so he will be able to choose to do the right thing again! (We learn in Hayom Yom that when two people talk together to become stronger in their Avodas Hashem, there are two Yetzer Tovs fighting against one Yetzer Hara.)



Yud-Gimmel Teves

When we act the way Chassidus teaches, sometimes we don’t even need to work very hard to bring Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit!

If you put a lantern outside in the dark, people will gather around, because they like to be around light. If you are a “lantern” shining with Torah and Chassidus, people will want to come closer to you too! They will want to become closer to Yiddishkeit when they see how you act.



Shiur #172 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #130, #129

Today we learn two mitzvos that show us how holy a korban is! We need to make sure it doesn’t get Tomei.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #130) We are not allowed to eat meat from a korban if it became tomei.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: וְהַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע בְּכָל טָמֵא לֹא יֵאָכֵל

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #129) A tomei person isn’t allowed to eat the meat of a korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tazria: בְּכָל קֹדֶשׁ לֹא תִגָּע

The details of both of these mitzvos are explained in Perek Yud-Gimmel of Mesechta Zevachim.



Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin

In today’s Rambam, we are learning about things that can make a korban (or part of a korban) posul.

Perek Yud-Alef: In this perek, we learn what can make a Korban Mincha posul.

Perek Yud-Beis: This perek talks about what can make the korban for Shavuos (Shtei Halechem), Lechem Hapanim, or Korban Todah posul.

Perek Yud-Gimmel: What the kohen is thinking about when he shechts the korban is very important! There are certain thoughts that can make the Korban not good (like we learned earlier in Sefer Hamitzvos).



Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav - Perek Vov

After learning about the walls of the sukkah and the sechach, in this perek, we learn the halachos of actually sitting in the sukkah. For example, we learn that you are allowed to eat certain snacks outside of the sukkah, but someone who is careful not to even drink water outside of the sukkahHarei Zeh Meshubach, he is doing something very good and should be praised.



Ahavas Yisroel

We will learn a vort from the Baal Shem Tov which can help us have more Ahavas Yisroel:

It says in the posuk that when Hashem created Adam Harishon, Hashem said, “It is not good for a person to be alone. I will make him an Eizer Kenegdo, a helper.” Hashem then gave him a helper, Chava.

Why does a person need a helper?

The Baal Shem Tov explains, if a person was alone, he could make a mistake and think that he is perfect. So Hashem helps us by giving us another person. How does that help? By seeing the chisaron, what is missing in the other person, we will know that we also have a similar chisaron in ourselves.

When we look at the other person’s chisaron in that way, realizing that it’s really OUR chisaron, we will see the other person in a different way! This will help us to have more Ahavas Yisroel, so that we will start to see only the other person’s maalos, the GOOD things they have!

See Keser Shem Tov siman 302, Chasidim Ein Mishpacha gilyon vov


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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Yismach

The 12th of the Yud-Beis Pesukim and Maamorei Razal is “Yismach.” These words come from Tanya, where the Alter Rebbe teaches us the importance of simcha.

Yismach Yisroel Be’osav — “Yidden should be happy with Hashem Who created them.” (these words are from Tehillim)

Peirush — This is what it means:

Shekol Mi Shehu Mizera Yisroel — That everyone who has the neshama of a Yid

Yeish Lo Lismoach — Should be happy

Besimchas Hashem — With the joy of Hashem!

Asher Sas Vesameiach — Because Hashem is happy and joyful

Bediraso Besachtonim — That the world is being made into Hashem’s home — a Dira Betachtonim!

This teaches us that whatever we are doing, we should do it in a happy way: When we think about how much nachas our Avodah brings Hashem, we will feel a special joy and chayus! Not only do we have a neshama which is a part of Hashem and Hashem is always with us, but we are making the world more of a home for Hashem, a home that will be ready when Moshiach comes. We can feel Hashem’s joy in our neshama, and that should make us DOUBLY happy!

This is the twelfth and last of the Yud-Beis Pesukim, which makes sure that everything we learned about in the other pesukim will be done with simcha! Our learning Torah, doing mitzvos, and helping another Yid with Ahavas Yisroel should all be done with simcha!

When what we are doing is with a feeling of simcha, it will be done in the most beautiful and best possible way, and we will also have the most hatzlacha!



Netilas Yodayim

After we wash our hands well, so that the water covers our entire hands, we lift our hands up, as high as our heart, and make the bracha.

By Netilas Yodayim in the morning, we lift our hands up separately, and as high as our peyos. But when we are washing Netilas Yodayim for bread, we lift them up together, and only as high as our heart.

We should hold a little bit of the water from washing in our hands, which we will use when rubbing our hands together, called “shifshuf.” We will IY”H learn more about Shifshuf later.

See Seder Netilas Yodayim L’Seudah se’if daled

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



Moshiach Ambulances

In Parshas Pekudei Tof-Shin-Daled-Mem, the Rebbe spoke about the Melave Malka that Hatzolah of Crown Heights was making to raise money. The Rebbe said that the Hatzolah cars are also coming to Yerushalayim when Moshiach comes!

When Moshiach comes, we will take all of the shuls with us to Eretz Yisroel. Why? Not because we need them, but because we used the shuls to daven and do so many mitzvos! We won’t want to leave them in Golus, we will take them with us to Eretz Yisroel.

The same is with a Hatzolah car! Because it is used to save a Yid’s life, it will also come to Eretz Yisroel with Moshiach! Even though we won’t need it then, we will bring it along!

Whenever we use things to do a mitzvah, we are making them also things that will be with us when Moshiach comes!

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