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Parshas Va'eschanan - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu separates the cities for the Ir Miklat on the other side of the Yarden, so he could be part of the mitzvah!

Moshe decided to separate the cities for the Ir Miklat on the other side of the Yarden now, even though they won’t be used until the Yidden are living in Eretz Yisroel. Even though Moshe Rabbeinu wouldn’t be allowed to enter Eretz Yisroel, he wanted to be as much a part of it as he could.

One Ir Miklat was in Reuven’s part (Betzer), one in Gad’s (Ramos), and one in Menashe’s (Golan).

Then Moshe got ready to review some of the mitzvos!



66 - 68

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Vov, Samach-Zayin, and Samach-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, we have Kapitel Samach-Zayin, which is also called the Mizmor of the Menorah.

This kapitel, which starts with the words Lamnatzeiach Binginos, has seven pesukim and 49 words. These represent the seven branches of the menorah, and the 49 pieces (22 cups, 9 flowers, 11 buttons, and 7 oil cups) on the menorah.

We say it every day in davening, before Boruch She’amar, and it is counted as if we are lighting the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash!

Dovid Hamelech had this kapitel engraved on a golden plaque in the shape of a menorah. He would carry it with him when he went out to war, to help him have hatzlacha in battle!

In many shuls, you can find an image of the Menorah with this kapitel written on it!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Gimmel

In the letter we started learning yesterday, the Alter Rebbe is explaining to the Chassidim how special tzedakah is, so they will want to give it!

The Alter Rebbe shows us how a posuk from Yeshayahu teaches us the special things that happen when a Yid gives tzedakah. Tzedakah doesn’t just make the poor person happy, it brings chayus from Hashem into the world! Because of that, we also get a lot of brachos in Gashmius and Ruchnius.

Today, the Alter Rebbe finishes explaining how this works.



Yud-Beis Menachem Av

The Alter Rebbe said something that he heard from the Maggid, who heard it from the Baal Shem Tov!

Ahavas Yisroel is part of Ahavas Hashem — loving Hashem! Because every Yid has a piece of Hashem inside, the neshama. When we love another Yid, we are really loving Hashem, which is the pnimius of the Yid!



Shiur #8 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64, Asei #8, Asei #6, #206

Today we learn four mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64) We need to trust what Hashem tells us through a Navi (once we know he is really a Navi), and not keep testing him to see if what he is saying is true.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: לֹא תְנַסּוּ אֶת ה׳ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם

2) (Mitzvas Asei #8) We need to act like Hashem! The Torah uses many ways to describe Hashem, like that Hashem is a Rachum, that Hashem has Rachmonus. This mitzvah is that we need to also follow Hashem’s ways, and have Rachmonus like Hashem does!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Savo: וְהָלַכְתָּ בִּדְרָכָיו

3) (Mitzvas Asei #6) We have to stay close to Hashem. How can we do that? By staying close to the tzadikim, who learn Hashem’s Torah!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ

4) (Mitzvas Asei #206) This mitzvah is to have Ahavas Yisroel. We need to love another Yid like we love ourselves: Just like we want to have nice things, we should want other Yidden to have nice things too! Just like we are happy when people play with us, we should try to make other people happy too! And just like we don’t like it when people are mean to us, we shouldn’t be mean to other people.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah - Deios

Perek Yud: In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the first set of halachos, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah! We learn how to keep the mitzvah of not testing a Navi.

Then we start a new set of halachos, called Hilchos Deios! These halachos help us to have good midos.

Perek Alef: The Rambam explains that there are three ways to have each midah. For example, a person has a choice to be a very stingy person, saving all of his money and not buying even important things. Another person might spend lots of money all the time, even on silly things. But there is a MIDDLE way: To spend money on things we need, and not to waste it.

The Rambam teaches us that we should try to have the MIDDLE path in most of our midos.

Perek Beis: There are some midos that we shouldn’t try to go with the middle path! Even if a person doesn’t get angry very often, getting angry is such a bad midah, he should try to do the OPPOSITE! He shouldn’t get angry even in times it makes sense to get mad. The same is also with gaava, when someone feels like he is very important. It is not good to have the middle path — a person should not have gaava at all.



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Alef

Now we start learning a new set of halachos, about how keilim can become Tomei.

In the first perek, we learn what kinds of containers can become tomei — ones made of sackcloth, leather, bone, metal, wood, or clay; and clothes also. For keilim made of clay, it has to be a “Klei Kibul” — to have a space inside to hold something (even just one drop). But if it is made of metal, ANY keili can become tomei!



Ahavas Yisroel

Today, Yud-Beis Menachem Av, is the day of the Alter Rebbe’s chasuna to Rebbetzin Sterna!

The Alter Rebbe’s chasunah took place only a few months after the Baal Shem Tov’s histalkus on Shavuos.

We know that the Alter Rebbe’s chassidus was based on the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. One of the things the Baal Shem Tov taught is that we should ENJOY helping another Yid!

The Alter Rebbe showed a beautiful example of this at the time of his chasunah:

The Alter Rebbe’s kallah, Rebbetzin Sterna, was the daughter of a very rich and respected man. The minhag in those days was that the family of the kallah would give an amount of money, called a nadden (dowry), to the chosson.

Since Rebbetzin Sterna was coming from a very rich family, the nadden was a lot of money! The Alter Rebbe made a condition that he should be able to use this money for whatever he wants.

As soon as he received the money, the Alter Rebbe set up a program to help Yidden move to farms to make a parnasa. In those days, most Yidden lived in towns and cities, and it was hard for many of them to earn enough money. The Alter Rebbe wanted to encourage them to move to farms, where it would be easier to make a proper parnasa.

It was with this beautiful Ahavas Yisroel that the Alter Rebbe started off his married life!


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The Navi Yechezkel was a Navi after the Churban of the first Beis Hamikdash. In his nevuos, he spoke about the way the third Beis Hamikdash should look! Hashem told Yechezkel that he should tell the Yidden to learn the measurements of the Beis Hamikdash, and then Hashem will consider it like they were actually building it! This way, even though they were in Golus, they could still have the mitzvah of building Hashem’s house.

The Medrash says that the same thing is true with the korbanos. When we say the words of the korbanos the way we are taught to bring them in Torah, and the halachos about them, it is like we are actually bringing those korbanos!

Since davening is in place of the korbanos, we first do our best to have a part of bringing the korbanos. At the beginning of davening, we say many paragraphs describing the korbanos and the daily Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash. This way, Hashem will count our tefillos as if we were actually bringing these korbanos at the proper time.



Learning Halachos Every Day

At this time of the year, close to Chamisha-Asar B’Av, we need to increase in our Torah learning!

In the introduction to the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, the Mitteler Rebbe writes that the main part of learning needs to be in order to know how Hashem wants us to act. It’s especially important to learn the section of Shulchan Aruch called Orach Chayim, which is about things we do all the time. We can’t always run to the Rav to ask a question, so we need to know the regular halachos well!

Based on this, the Rebbe says that everyone needs to make a set time every day to learn the practical halachos that we need to know, for example the halachos about Hefsek B’Tefillah or brachos. The main thing is that we should learn every single day, even for just a few minutes, because this will help us remember the halachos. Since all halachos are connected, the halacha you learn today will help you remember the halacha you learned yesterday!

See Toras Menachem vol. 7 p. 117, Shulchan Menachem vol. 4, p. 239

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



Expecting Moshiach

The Rambam says that not only do we need to believe in Moshiach, but we also need to be excited and wait for him every day!

It’s easy to understand that we need to believe in Moshiach, but to be hoping that Moshiach will come today — what’s the point of that? Won’t it just make us sad if Moshiach doesn’t come today? Why don’t we just believe that he will come when he will come?

One of the reasons why is because this will help Moshiach come much sooner! If we are expecting Moshiach to come TODAY, we will daven for him to come now, and do more mitzvos to bring him, and then Moshiach WILL come right away!

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