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Parshas Bereishis - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe is giving brachos to the Shevatim on the day he will pass away. In this aliyah, he gives a bracha to Shevet Levi and Shevet Binyamin.

Levi: Aharon, who was the most famous Levi, was such a tzadik! The kohanim, who come from Aharon, will teach the Yidden Torah, and bring Ketores and korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash.

If anyone makes a fight because they are jealous of the kohanim, Hashem should help the kohanim win.

That’s not the only kind of fight the kohanim might have to fight. If the kohanim need to fight for Yiddishkeit, Hashem should help them win then too! (This happened in the story of Chanukah — the family of Matisyahu Kohen Gadol won over the Greeks who wanted to stop the Yidden from doing mitzvos.)

Since Moshe talked about the Beis Hamikdash, now he gives the brachos to Benyamin who had the Beis Hamikdash in his part of Eretz Yisroel, and in tomorrow’s Chumash to Yosef, who had the Mishkan in his part of Eretz Yisrael.

(Even though Yosef should really be next, because he is older, Moshe gives the bracha to Benyamin first since the Beis Hamikdash — which is more important than the Mishkan — is in HIS part of Eretz Yisroel.)

Benyamin: The Shechinah will be in Benyamin’s part of Eretz Yisroel, as soon as the Beis Hamikdash is built! Once it is built, the Shechinah will never leave there.



106 - 107

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Vov and Kuf-Zayin.

In the second posuk of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech says “Mi Yemalel Gevuros Hashem, Yashmia Kol Tehilaso?” “Who is able to say the greatness of Hashem, to say all the special things about Hashem?”

In a maamar, the Alter Rebbe tells over a vort from the Baal Shem Tov:

The word Yemalel (to say) can also mean “to break,” and Gevuros (the greatness) can also mean “the strictness”. So the posuk is asking, “Who can break the strictness of Hashem” — so Hashem doesn’t have to be strict with us? The answer is, “Yashmia Kol Tehilaso” — the one who makes us hear the special things about Hashem. The word Tehilaso (the special things about Him) can also mean Tehillim, so the answer is “Someone who says the whole Tehillim.”

So besides for all of the other good things about saying Tehillim, it also has a special koach to help that Hashem shouldn’t have to be strict with us!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Gimmel

On Shabbos at Mincha time, it is a good idea to learn the halachos of Shabbos. There are many halachos that people don’t know, especially the details that the Chachomim teach us, like the halachos of Muktza. If we don’t know what to do because we didn’t learn them, we can’t say that it’s not our fault!

Everyone should stay and learn TOGETHER (not just something by themselves). If we do this, it will definitely bring Moshiach!



Chof-Beis Tishrei

Every mitzvah can do something special in Ruchnius. Every Yom Tov also has a special Ruchnius kavana and meaning. We learn about these especially in Kabbalah and Chassidus.

The Yom Tov of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, and of Rosh Hashana, have Kavanos that are almost the same! What we do in Ruchnius on Rosh Hashana by being very serious, is the same thing we do in Ruchnius on Simchas Torah by being happy!



Shiur #76 - Mitzvas Asei #212

Today’s Sefer Hamitzvos is the same as yesterday’s (Mitzvas Asei #212): That a man has a mitzvah to have children.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bereishis: פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Yevamos perek Vov.



Hilchos Ishus

In today’s Rambam, the last three perakim of Hilchos Ishus, we learn about a woman who doesn’t listen to her husband when he tells her not to spend time by herself with a certain man. She is called a Sotah, and has to drink bitter water that tests her to see if she did something wrong. We will learn all the halachos about this IY”H in Hilchos Sotah, later in Rambam.

Yidden are like Hashem’s wife. Hashem gave us mitzvos, and doesn’t want us to act in a different way. We need to make sure we keep the Torah and mitzvos so that we can get all of the brachos from Hashem!



Hilchos Gezeilah V'Aveidah - Perek Ches

This perek explains what a robber should do if the person he robbed from passed away. The halachos are also different if the person he robbed from was a Ger.




At the end of Ata Horeisa, we say the posuk “Vehaya Zaracha” three times.

We have a minhag to go on Tahalucha, to make other Yidden happy on Yom Tov before we do our own Hakafos. The Rebbe would always talk about the special brachos Hashem gives to people who go on Tahalucha, and that walking to very far places is a Segulah for healthy feet!


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Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem

In Musaf of Shemini Atzeres, we say a special tefillah asking Hashem to give us enough rain this year to make everything grow properly!

We aren’t ready to start ASKING for rain yet, because we want any Yidden who traveled to Yerushalayim for Yom Tov to get home first. Still, since it is now the rainy season, we MENTION it by praising Hashem for making the wind blow and the rain fall, so that we all have the food we need. We start saying Mashiv HaRuach U’Morid Hageshem instead of Morid HaTal.

We praise Hashem for rain at the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei, in the second bracha where we praise Hashem for His koach to give life (the bracha of Mechayeh Hameisim)!



Shemini Atzeres

Today is Erev Simchas Torah, when we finally get to lein Parshas Vezos Habracha from the Torah! So today is like Erev Shabbos, when we review the parsha with the translation of Onkelos (Maavir Sedra, also called Shnayim Mikra V’Echad Targum).

Today we are Maavir Sedra for Parshas Vezos Habracha, reading each posuk twice, and once in Targum Onkelos.


Every Yom Tov has a mitzvah of the day. On Rosh Hashana the main mitzvah is the Shofar, on Yom Kippur it is fasting, on Sukkos it is eating in the Sukkah, making the bracha on the Lulav and Esrog, and Simcha.

On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, there is one main mitzvahSimcha! The mitzvah is to sing and dance and celebrate with other Yidden, with Hashem, and with the Torah! From the Yom Tov of Sukkos, and especially Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, we get simcha for the whole year!

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



Simchas Torah

In the year Tof-Reish-Nun-Beis, the Rebbe Rashab said a sicha on Simchas Torah. He said that on this day, the Yechidah of the neshama comes out and shines! The Yechidah is the part of the neshama that always sees Hashem, even when it is inside of a body.

This is a taste of the way things will be when Moshiach comes, when Yidden will all be able to understand Hashem, without needing a teacher!

The Rebbe spoke about this 100 years later, in Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis. The Rebbe told us how we can see that Simchas Torah is a taste of Moshiach: On Simchas Torah, we see that we don’t learn Torah, we dance with the Torah. And we have EVERYONE dance with the Torah, especially children! This is a taste of the way it will be when Moshiach comes, as the Navi says, EVERYONE will know Hashem, from young children to old people!

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