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Parshas Eikev - Rishon with Rashi

In today’s Chumash Moshe Rabbeinu farbrengs with the Yidden about three things: The brachos they will get from keeping Torah and mitzvos, encouragement that they will be able to conquer Eretz Yisroel, and remembering how Hashem took care of the Yidden in the Midbar and is now giving them the special land of Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden that if they will keep the Torah and mitzvos, Hashem will give them great brachos!


When the Yidden are getting ready to go into Eretz Yisroel, they shouldn’t think — “Oy vey! The goyim are very strong and we won’t be able to go in!”

Instead, they should remember all the nissim that Hashem did before — Hashem will do nissim again for the Yidden! Hashem will even send out the goyim who live there just a few at a time, so that wild animals don’t have a chance to go into the cities before the Yidden get there. But the Yidden need to make sure that they don’t learn from the goyim who serve Avodah Zarah.


The Yidden should remember how Hashem took care of them in the Midbar. They need to be extra careful to only keep all the mitzvos, because they are going to a very special place, Eretz Yisroel!

Eretz Yisroel is an “Eretz Chitah, Se’orah, Vegefen...” a land that has a special bracha for all of the Shiva Minim! (That famous posuk is in today’s Chumash!)

And when the Yidden enjoy everything that grows in Eretz Yisroel, they will eat and get full and bentch Hashem! (“Ve’achalta, Vesavata, Uveirachta Es Hashem!” That’s where we learn about the mitzvah of bentching after we eat a meal!)



83 - 87

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Pey-Gimmel to Pey-Zayin.

Every single kapitel in today’s Tehillim has a special niggun which was made in honor of the Rebbe’s Yom Huledes! Can you find the niggun in each one?

In Kapitel Pey-Daled, the posuk says “Yeilchu Mechayil El Choyil, Yeiro’eh El Elokim BeTzion.” This means that people who trust in Hashem go from strength to strength, and they go before Hashem in Yerushalayim.

The Rebbe tells us that Yeilchu Meichayil El Choyil, when we are always doing better than before, brings Yeiro’eh El Elokim Betzion, that we will be able to go to the Beis Hamikdosh! When we keep trying to do better, every single day and every single hour, we will bring Moshiach!

Chassidus says that there is a new chayus from Hashem that comes into the world, not just every day, but every hour! When that chayus comes, we get more opportunities to grow in Yiddishkeit! We need to make sure to use that new energy to do more!

See Yechidus to Bar/Bas Mitzvah 26 Nissan 5751



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Hey

This section of Tanya, Igeres Hakodesh, is a collection of letters that the Alter Rebbe wrote. They were added to the Tanya after the Alter Rebbe’s histalkus.

Every year, the Alter Rebbe would send a shliach (Shadar) to travel around to many different cities. There they would collect money that had been given over the year for the tzedakos that the Alter Rebbe supported in Eretz Yisroel.

The Alter Rebbe would send a letter with this shliach, to share with all of the Chassidim. These letters would give the Chassidim a hisorerus to give more tzedakah!

This igeres, Siman Hey, is one of those letters.

This letter has many deep inyonim of Chassidus in it. That’s because in the later years, the Alter Rebbe would give much longer explanations in Chassidus in general, and would include longer and deeper inyonim in these letters.

It is a very deep letter, about how Hashem created the world with a Yud and a Hey, and how tzedakah brings chayus into the world which is created with a Hey.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains how all of the many levels in the Ruchnius worlds, with the malochim and neshamos, all are able to see the chayus of Hashem. That is because they get their chayus from the Pnimius of Elokus, which is what it means that Hashem created Olam Haba with the letter Yud.

Tomorrow we will IY”H learn more about this world, and why we are not able to see things clearly like the higher Ruchnius worlds.



Yud-Zayin Menachem Av

Yesterday we said that Chassidus is like fire.

Why is this? The Tzemach Tzedek explained:

Fire is hot — it has lots of chayus! Chassidus is like fire because it gives chayus to the Torah that we learn. Chassidus explains the Neshama of the halachos that we learn. Even when the neshama is in Gan Eden, it learns the same halacha that we learn in the world! But since there is no Gashmius there, it learns the Ruchnius of the halacha.

Chassidus teaches us the Ruchnius of the halachos! When a Yid knows that his neshama will learn the same thing in Gan Eden as he is learning now, it gives him a special chayus!

That’s why Chassidus is compared to fire — because when we learn it, it lights a fire in our neshama and brings excitement to our learning.



Shiur #13 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #10, #47, #60, #6, #5, #2, #3, #4, #15, Asei #186, Lo Saasei #23, #24

Now we have started learning Hilchos Avodah Zarah, the halachos about not serving Avodah Zarah. Hashem gave us many mitzvos about keeping away from Avodah Zarah, so we will be learning many mitzvos every day while we learn these perakim!

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #10) We are not allowed to learn about or think about Avodah Zarah, for example to learn about a religion which is Avodah Zarah. We are also not allowed to look at and think about an image of Avodah Zarah, like a picture or statue.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: אַל תִּפְנוּ אֶל הָאֱלִילִם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #47)VeLo Sasuru” — This is a mitzvah for our thinking. We are not allowed to feel free in our mind to think into non-Torah ideas. Our thoughts need to be only according to the way Torah teaches us. The second half of this mitzvah is not to let our minds get too busy thinking about taavos, enjoying things which won’t help our Avodas Hashem. (This is one of the 6 Mitzvos Temidiyos, the mitzvos we need to keep ALL the time.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shelach: וְלֹא תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #60)Birchas Hashem” — We are not allowed to give the opposite of a bracha to Hashem.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: אֱלֹקִים לֹא תְקַלֵּל

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Zayin.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #6) We are not allowed to do things to an Avodah Zara if that is how it is served, even if it is not bowing down to it or bringing it korbanos. So if a certain Avodah Zarah is served by throwing a rock at it, we aren’t allowed to throw a rock (even though it’s okay to throw rocks in other places where they won’t hurt anyone!)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Zayin.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #5) We are not allowed to bow to or bring korbanos to ANY Avodah Zarah, even if that’s not how most people worship that Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Zayin.

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #2) We are not allowed to make an idol ourselves or pay someone else to make an idol, even if you won’t use it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה לְּךָ פֶסֶל וְכָל תְּמוּנָה

The details are explained in Mesechta Avodah Zarah.

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #3) We are not allowed to make an idol for someone else who will use it as an Avodah Zarah, even for a goy.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וֵאלֹהֵי מַסֵּכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Avodah Zarah.

8) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #4) We can’t make a statue of a person, even just because it looks pretty.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן אִתִּי אֱלֹהֵי כֶסֶף וֵאלֹהֵי זָהָב לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Avodah Zarah perek Gimmel.

9) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #15) We are not allowed to say things that get a group of people to do Avodah Zarah. A person who does this is called a Madiach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל פִּיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Yud.

10) (Mitzvas Asei #186) If there is a city of people who serve Avodah Zarah, we need to burn it down! This is called an Ir Hanidachas, a city that let themselves be convinced by a Madiach to serve Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: וְשָׂרַפְתָּ בָאֵשׁ אֶת הָעִיר וְאֶת כָּל שְׁלָלָהּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin.

11) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #23) We can’t rebuild an Ir Hanidachas after it was burned down.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: וְהָיְתָה תֵּל עוֹלָם לֹא תִבָּנֶה עוֹד

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Yud.

12) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #24) We can’t take anything from an Ir Hanidachas — it ALL needs to be burned.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא יִשָּׁמַע עַל פִּיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Yud.



Hilchos Avodas Kochavim

Perek Alef: In today’s Rambam, the Rambam explains how people starting serving Avodah Zarah in the first place. Of course Adam Harishon knew that Hashem created the world! How did so many people start davening to idols?

At first, it was just a little mistake — people thought that since Hashem created the sun and moon, they need to show the sun and moon special kavod. Then later, they forgot that Hashem made the sun and moon in the first place...

Later, Avraham Avinu thought for a long time and realized that Hashem created the world! He started teaching everyone again to daven only to Hashem, and NOT to Avodah Zarah.

In Perek Beis, the Rambam explains to us why we have so many mitzvos to keep us away from Avodah Zarah: Because it is easy for a person to make a mistake. We sometimes have questions about Hashem and Torah, but many times we just didn’t know enough to really understand. If we just do whatever we think makes sense, it is very easy to end up serving Avodah Zarah. So we have many mitzvos to keep us from making a mistake!

Perek Gimmel teaches us halachos about when something a person does is considered Avodah Zarah. If a person makes a statue of a person, he gets punished, but it is fine to paint a picture of someone.



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Vov

This perek has the halachos about when a keili changes and can’t become tomei anymore. If a keili is broken, or it can’t do its job anymore, it isn’t counted as a keili anymore, and it can’t become tomei. And if it is coated with something that is not mekabel tumah, it can’t become tomei either.




How did Chassidus start?

We learned in yesterday’s Hayom Yom that the Baal Shem Tov would travel all over, teaching people Chassidus.

The Rebbe says that now, before Moshiach, we need to do the same thing! All of us need to go out and find Yidden to teach them about Chassidus.

When the Mishna speaks about teaching Torah to other people, it uses an expression, “Osek BeTorah” — working in Torah, like a business person. We can learn from this expression that we need to teach Torah like a businessman does his work: He doesn’t just sit in his store and wait for people, he works to find ways to make people want to come in to his store! We also need to go out and help people to WANT to come learn Chassidus!


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Since davening today is instead of the Avodah of the Beis Hamikdash, we say the words from Torah that speak about the Avodah every day in davening.

In the Beis Hamikdash, after bringing the Korban Tomid, they would bring the Ketores. So after reading the part of Torah speaking about the Korban Tomid, we read about the Ketores.

We say a short paragraph as an introduction, and then read the parsha of Ketores from the Chumash. Afterwards we say the words of the Mishna that explain the details of the mixture of spices.

The Arizal writes that speaking about the details of the Ketores is very special. It is connected with birurim, taking sparks of kedusha that are stuck in kelipah and elevating them again.

The Zohar in Parshas Vayakhel speaks at length about the special rewards we get for saying the Ketores every day, especially when we say it with kavana!




When we say the words in davening that speak about the korbanos, Hashem counts it as if we are actually bringing these korbanos!

We know that by learning about mitzvos that we can’t keep now, Hashem counts it like we are doing them. But that’s only if someone is actually learning and understanding it. So if someone doesn’t understand about the korbanos, is it worth it to say those parts of davening?

The Rebbe explains (based on what is written in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch) that the words of these paragraphs themselves are like bringing the korbanos! Even if we didn’t learn about the korbanos and don’t understand them, Hashem still counts it as if we are bringing these korbanos, just by us saying the words.

As the posuk says, “Uneshalma Parim Sefaseinu,” that the words of our mouths are counted as if the actual korbanos were brought.

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 1, p. 189

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



The Nevuos of Trei Asar

The three Neviim of Yeshaya, Yirmiya, and Yechezkel said many nevuos about the time of the Geulah. (We learned some of them over the last few months.)

After these neviim, there is a sefer in Nach called Trei Asar. “Trei Asar” means “twelve” in Aramaic, and this sefer has the nevuos of twelve Neviim. Only some of their nevuos were written down for later generations, so each of these neviim is short. That’s why they were all put together as one sefer.

The nevuos in Trei Asar start from Hoshea, a Navi at the time of the first Beis Hamikdash, and go all the way to the time of the second Beis Hamikdash, when all nevuah stopped. Malachi, the last Navi in Trei Asar, was also the last of the Neviim.

In this sefer, there are also many nevuos about the Geulah. IY”H tomorrow we will start by learning a nevuah from the first Navi in Trei Asar, Hoshea.

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