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CHUMASH

Parshas Tzav - Chamishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu brings the Korban Chatas and the Korban Olah for the first day of the Yemei Miluim! He puts the blood around the Mizbeiach, and now it is ready to be used for more korbanos!

The Alter Rebbe teaches us something very special in the Likutei Torah of this week, the “Chassidishe Parsha!”

Do you remember learning Bosi Legani? In the maamar Bosi Legani we learn that the Shechinah used to be down here in the world, but because of aveiros it went up in Shomayim. Certain tzadikim were able to bring it down further and further, and when Moshiach comes the Shechinah will be back in the world to stay!

As we learned in the maamar, Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the seventh of these tzadikim, was the one who was able to bring the Shechinah all the way back to the earth. And when did he do this? During the Shivas Yemei Hamiluim, the seven days of preparing the Mishkan, that we are learning about now!

That was a taste of the way it will be when Moshiach comes, when the highest level of the Ikar Shechinah will come down into the world to stay!

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TEHILLIM

66 - 68

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Boruch Hashem Yom Yom” — “blessed is Hashem, Who gives us so much chesed every day!”

In the Gemara, we see that Hillel Hazakein used to say that this posuk teaches us bitachon: If we find a fancy or special food, we don’t have to save it for Shabbos — we can use it today! Hashem will for sure give us new chesed, new brachos tomorrow, with something else special for Shabbos.

The Maggid of Mezritch explains what Hillel Hazakein says on this posuk, according to Chassidus:

Why does this posuk say “Yom” (day) twice?

Each time is for one of the ways we serve Hashem every day! The first “yom” is the kedusha things, like doing mitzvos and learning Torah. The second “yom” is the regular things we do, like eating and sleeping and playing. Those things can also be used for Hashem!

The Maggid tells us that a person might think that nice food can only be used on Shabbos, when eating is a mitzvah. But we learn from this posuk that “Boruch Hashem YOM YOM” — BOTH ways of serving Hashem are special! We can also use a nice food on a regular day in a way that will make Hashem happy.

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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Tes

Now the Alter Rebbe is telling us about kavana, how the things we are thinking about that bring us to learn Torah and do mitzvos make a difference in what we actually do.

Sometimes a person does a mitzvah for the wrong reason — like learning a lot of Torah so other people will think he is smart.

If someone does a mitzvah like this, the mitzvah is in Golus! But as soon as he does teshuvah, his mitzvah can go up to Hashem.

That’s why it’s good to do mitzvos even if we won’t be able to do them for the right reason, because every Yid will do teshuvah, and then the mitzvah can go up to Hashem.

But that’s only if someone did the mitzvah for the WRONG reason.

But if someone does a mitzvah for NO reason, without kavana, as soon as he does the same mitzvah for the RIGHT reason, with kavana for Hashem, then the mitzvah he did before ALSO goes up to Hashem!

Also if we daven without kavana, the next time we daven WITH kavana, ALL of our tefillos will go up to Hashem!

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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Beis Nisan

(In the year the Hayom Yom was written, today was Shabbos Hagadol.) The Rebbe tells us that the Haftora is the regular Haftora for the parsha, and that we only do a special haftora for Shabbos Hagadol if it falls out on Erev Pesach, like it does this year. We say part of the Hagaddah at Mincha time on Shabbos Hagadol.

After coming out of Mitzrayim, the Yidden started to be called “the Army of Hashem.” But in other places, the Yidden are called “servants.”

What’s the difference?

Servants AND soldiers work very hard! Sometimes they do things that are very complicated. But only SOLDIERS have Mesiras Nefesh. They do even dangerous things because they are ready to listen to WHATEVER the general says.

The Yidden in Mitzrayim were not treated nicely by the Mitzriyim. Still, they had Mesiras Nefesh to keep their Yiddishe names, and their Yiddishe language, and their Yiddishe clothes. They KNEW that Hashem promised to take them out.

Whoever acts like them in a way of Mesiras Nefesh is a soldier in Hashem’s army, and Hashem will do nisim for them too!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #259 - Mitzvas Asei #225, Lo Saasei #295, #292

Today we learn three mitzvos about a person who (R”L) kills someone:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #225) The first mitzvah is that if someone kills another person by mistake, the Beis Din needs to send him to the Ir Miklat, and he has to stay there until the Kohen Gadol passes away.

This mitzvah, along with the rest of today’s mitzvos, are from Parshas Masei: וְיָשַׁב בָּהּ עַד מוֹת הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדֹל

The dinim of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Makos.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #295) If someone killed another person by mistake, he needs to run to an Ir Miklat. This mitzvah is that the Beis Din is not allowed to take money from him instead of making him go to an Ir Miklat.

We learn this from the posuk: וְלֹא תִקְחוּ כֹפֶר לָנוּס אֶל עִיר מִקְלָטוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Mesechta Makos.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #292) The Beis Din cannot kill someone who murdered another person unless they follow all of the rules of having a trial with witnesses like we learn in Torah.

The posuk where we learn this mitzvah from is: וְלֹא יָמוּת הָרֹצֵחַ עַד עָמְדוֹ לִפְנֵי הָעֵדָה לַמִּשְׁפָּט

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Rotzeiach U'Shmiras HaNefesh

In today’s Rambam, we learn when the Beis Din punishes someone who killed another person.

Perek Beis teaches us the difference if the murderer did it himself or had another person do it. Of course, even if the Beis Din doesn’t kill someone, Hashem will punish him if he deserves it!

Perek Gimmel explains how we make sure that the person really was trying to kill. The Beis Din figures out if the kind of thing they did, or what they used, is usually enough to kill a person.

Perek Daled teaches that only if a person MEANT to kill THAT person in THAT way, does the Beis Din punish him. We also learn how to treat a murderer that the Beis Din is not allowed to kill, and who it is a mitzvah to kill.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Sotah - Perek Daled

This perek has more halachos about a Sotah. One of the halachos is that the Sotah needs to drink the water during the daytime.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Haggadah Shel Pesach

In the Haggadah, where it talks about the four sons, first it says the Chochom, then the Rasha, then the Tam, and then the She’eino Yodeia Lishol.

Why do we say the Rasha right next to the Chochom? The Rasha is the lowest level — he should be at the end! Why is he right next to the Chochom?

The answer is that it is specifically the Chochom that is able to help the Rasha, because you need to have someone who is at the highest level to be able to bring out the pintele Yid even in the lowest level, someone who is a Rasha.

The Rebbe says that this is why the Frierdiker Rebbe chose the closest Chassidim who had the most hiskashrus, and were obviously the ones who were at the highest level of Torah and Avodah, and sent them out on shlichus. Instead of having them stay close to the Rebbe and work on their own Torah and Avodah and reach the highest level themselves, they were sent to help simple Yidden to learn Alef-Beis, keep mitzvos, and do teshuvah!

This is because is specifically the Chochom, the highest level, who is able to reach every single Yid, even a Yid at the lowest level.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, p. 250

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TEFILLAH

Haggadah Shel Pesach

In the Haggadah, we say the MishnahBechol Dor Vador,” meaning that in every generation we are supposed to see ourselves as if we ourselves came out of Mitzrayim.

The Alter Rebbe says in Tanya that not only every generation, but “Bechol Yom Vayom” — every single day! Every day, we should see ourselves as having come out of Mitzrayim, because in a certain way, we do! Our guf can be like a Mitzrayim, stopping us from doing what Hashem wants. When we decide to connect ourselves to Hashem through Torah and mitzvos when we say Shema every day, we are coming out of Mitzrayim!

If this is something that happens every day, what’s so special about Pesach?

There are many times in Yiddishkeit where we see that a certain day gives us extra chayus in something!

For example, having Kabolas Ol is something we need to do every day. But on Rosh Hashana, that is a very special time for Kabolas Ol Malchus Shomayim, and Rosh Hashana gives us koach for the rest of the year!

Another example is thanking Hashem for the Torah. Every day we say a brachaNosein HaTorah,” thanking Hashem for giving the Torah to the Yidden. But on Shavuos is an extra-special time to thank Hashem for this precious gift, and Shavuos gives us koach and chayus to receive the Torah anew every day!

The same thing is with Pesach. Every single day we thank Hashem for taking us out of Mitzrayim — the Mitzrayim that the Yidden suffered in, and the little Mitzrayim inside of us. But Pesach is a very special night for thanking Hashem for the neis of Geulah, and Pesach gives us koach to appreciate Yetziyas Mitzrayim properly every single day of the year!

See dibur hamaschil “Bechol Dor Vador” in the Rebbe’s Haggadah, and farbrengen Yud-Alef Nissan Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bedikas Chometz

Don’t forget to say the Nasi! Today’s nasi is the last Shevet, Shevet Naftali. (Tomorrow we will say a summary of all of the presents brought, which is for Shevet Levi.)

~

Because Erev Pesach this year is on Shabbos, we can’t do Bedikas Chometz the night before the seder like we usually do, so instead we do Bedikas Chometz tonight!

Here are some of the halachos:

It is good to wash Negel Vasser before starting to search, so we do the mitzvah with clean and pure hands.

We start Bedikas Chometz right after davening Maariv in shul. We don’t start a meal or sit down to learn from a half hour before, so that we won’t get carried away and push off Bedikas Chometz!

We make a bracha before starting to search for chometz. We don’t interrupt after the bracha, so we start searching right away, in the room the bracha was made. Until after the entire house is searched, we don’t talk (unless we need to for the purpose of Bedikas Chometz).

We use a candle for Bedikas Chometz. The Gemara learns this from a posuk in Tzefania that speaks about Moshiach, “Achapeis Es Yerushalayim Baneiros” (Hashem says, “I will search Yerushalayim with candles”). We use a beeswax candle, which burns with the clearest light. (It is fine to use a flashlight to search in places where a candle would be dangerous, like under a bed.)

After the bedika, we say Kol Chamira, and put away the chometz in a safe place to be burned on Friday morning. On Friday morning, we burn the chometz early like we do on a regular year, even though we can really have chometz after this time. The Chachomim didn’t want to make a difference between years, so we still make sure it is burned by the same time of day.

After burning the chometz, we say the Yehi Ratzon, but we do NOT say the second Kol Chamira, saying that we don’t want any more chometz! We still have to put aside some chometz in a safe place to have challah for Shabbos. We will say this Kol Chamira after finishing the chometz and getting rid of any crumbs on Shabbos morning. (We can still eat chometz after burning the chometz on Friday, but we need to be careful since the house is already clean for Pesach!)

It is a good idea to read halacha newsletters put out by different Rabbonim so that we know what to do, especially in a year like this year! Here are some ideas:
- Pesach Day-By-Day (Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun)
- Halacha Newsletter (Horav Shmuel Lesches)

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

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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Ad Mosai and Simcha

The Torah expects us to do two opposite things!

First of all, we have a mitzvah to serve Hashem with simcha, with joy. Avodas Hashem is a job that we do ALL the time, even when we’re eating, drinking or sleeping. We’re doing all these things in order to serve Hashem, so we need to do ALL of them with simcha!

But we’re also supposed to be bothered and upset that we are in Golus. We are supposed to ask Hashem, “Ad Mosai? Until when? We want Moshiach NOW!” That’s the opposite of being happy all the time!

Still, the Torah gives us koach that we can do both at the same time! We can serve Hashem with simcha all the time, thanking Hashem for all the good things that we have. At the same time, we can have a broken heart that we are still in Golus and ask Hashem to bring Moshiach now!

See Farbrengen Ohr L’Yud-Gimmel Nissan 5738

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