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CHUMASH

Parshas Tzav - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu about a special korban which is brought by the Kohen Gadol two times every day (called Chavitei Kohen Gadol). We also learn how each kohen brings this korban when he starts to work in the Beis Hamikdash for the first time. This korban is made of flour and oil.

We also learn more about the Korban Chatas and the Korban Asham, which we started to learn about last week. One thing we learn is that the Korban Olah (which is a present for Hashem) and the Chatas (which is part of teshuvah for an aveira) are brought in the same place in the Mishkan, so nobody will know who did an aveira.

Certain parts of the korbanos need to be eaten on the day the korban is brought. It is asur to leave any leftovers.

Just like with kashrus, the pot that a korban is cooked in “holds on to” the taste of the meat! (So there could be a Fleishig, a Milchig, or a Korban’dik pot!) That flavor is also counted as “leftovers” from the korban and cannot be eaten. We need to kasher the pot so we can use it again.

At the end of today’s Chumash we see the parts of the korbanos that the kohen gets to keep, and which parts are burned on the Mizbeiach.

 
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TEHILLIM

29 - 34

In the end of Kapitel Lamed (30), there is a posuk that says “Lemaan Yezamercha Kavod VeLo Yidom.” “In order that my neshama should sing praise to you and not be quiet.” The Rebbe Rashab (whose yartzeit-hilula was this week) explains this posuk in a maamar.

(In today’s Hayom Yom, we will see that the word “kavod” means more than one thing. Here is another meaning of “kavod!”)

The Rebbe Rashab explains that this posuk is talking about the “kavod” of the neshama, the Pintele Yid. Golus is very hard for a neshama. Sometimes a Yid can get overwhelmed and might even chas veshalom give up and let the Yetzer Hara decide how the person should act. But the Pintele Yid is always there, and it always wants to act the way Hashem wants — even in the darkest part of Golus.

The posuk tells us how the Pintele Yid is always ready to sing to Hashem! Lemaan Yezamercha Kavod — …so that the kavod of our neshama, the Pintele Yid will sing to You Hashem, Velo Yidom — and it will never be quiet! The Pintele Yid will ALWAYS sing to Hashem because it always wants to be close to Hashem, even in Golus.

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Ches

Let’s take a few minutes to review why we’re learning what we’re learning:

The Alter Rebbe is giving us a mashal of how we should look at ourselves, from the Zohar. Imagine that a Yid is like an oil candle. The body of a Yid is like the wick, and we are inside a glass cup full of oil, with fire shining from our head! We are all lit up and warm, we feel alive inside, and everyone sees it and is attracted to it.

Of course, we don’t really look like that — at least not the way our eyes can see — but the truth is that when a Yid is living with his “oil” and with his “fire,” he really does feel alive and warm inside, and it makes other people who see him want to come close to Yiddishkeit too!

So what makes us shine?

Mitzvos, are the oil. When we have mitzvos, then the Shechinah, which is like the fire, can shine on us! That’s why maaseh is so important — to DO the mitzvos properly! Only then do we have the oil that lets the Shechinah shine on our body, which is like the wick.

But still, the Alter Rebbe says, we shouldn’t say that it’s enough to do the mitzvos without any kavana! The life and warmth we have when we do mitzvos with kavana is much more than a mitzvah that is done without kavana, just like a sheep has much more chayus than a stone.

Now let’s learn today’s Tanya:

Even though a mitzvah with kavana has much more chayus, we shouldn’t think that a neshama is closer to Hashem when it does a mitzvah with kavana, than when it does a mitzvah without kavana! A mitzvah is the Ratzon of Hashem, it’s what Hashem wants, which is one with Hashem. When we do mitzvos, we are united with Hashem — whether or not we had kavana.

What changes when a person has kavana is how much we FEEL Hashem, and how much of Hashem’s light will shine on us.

And it is also part of Hashem’s Ratzon that we should have the higher level of feeling closer to Hashem, that comes from having kavana!

The Alter Rebbe tells us that we have four kinds of chayus in mitzvos, and we will use a mashal from the four kinds of things in the world:

1) Domem: Think of the chayus in a diamond. It is beautiful, and it is part of Hashem’s creation! That’s like doing Hashem’s mitzvah, without any kavana.

2) Tzomeiach: Think of the chayus in an apple tree in bloom. You can see that it’s growing! You can see that Hashem’s chayus is inside! That’s like when we daven or say words of Torah, and we know what the words mean, but we don’t have any kavana yet.

3) Chai: Now think about the chayus in a majestic deer, swiftly running through a field, like we run to do a mitzvah! There is lots of chayus there.

4) Medaber: Now look in the mirror. See how you can smile, and even understand and think!

A person can learn about things that an animal can never think. You can have Emunah! You can learn about the greatness of Hashem! You have MUCH more chayus than an animal.

Animals and people are mashalim for two kinds of kavana, one greater than the other. We will IY”H start learning about these in tomorrow’s Tanya!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Hey Nisan

One of the Amoraim was called R’ Nachman bar Yitzchak. He lived in a town of simple people. Once he was discussing a halacha with another Amora, and R’ Nachman bar Yitzchok helped him understand something which wasn’t clear. The other Amora was so impressed with R’ Nachman’s explanation, that he asked him to come live in his town which was full of Talmidei Chachomim. Since R’ Nachman was obviously a very big Talmid Chochom, this would be a good place for him to live!

R’ Nachman bar Yitzchak answered that he would stay where he was, he does not want to move. He explained that it’s not the place a person lives that gives a person kavod (respect), it’s the person that brings kavod to the place where he lives! He gave an example from Har Sinai, where the mountain was only special because Hashem’s Shechinah was resting on it. When the Shechinah left, Har Sinai wasn’t special anymore. (In fact, we don’t even know where it is today!) That shows us that it wasn’t Har Sinai that was special, it was the Shechinah that made it special. The same thing is true with a person and his surroundings: “Lo Mekomo Shel Adam Mechabdo, Ela Adam Mechabed Es Mekomo.”

The Rebbe Maharash explained this saying of R’ Nachman according to Chassidus:

Kavod doesn’t just mean respect and honor, it also has other meanings. The word kavod is like the word “kavda,” a liver. The Chachomim say on the posukKavod Leiv Paraoh” (Paraoh’s heart was hardened) that his heart became like a liver, that is cold and doesn’t have feelings.

Another meaning is brought in Kabbalah, that it means a very bright light of Hashem — a Gilui Ohr Makif Naalah.

The two times R’ Nachman said kavod are talking about these two meanings in the word kavod:

The Gemara is saying that the place of a person doesn’t bring him kavod (according to the first explanation), but he brings kavod (according to the second explanation) to his place.

The place where a person lives shouldn’t make him have the first meaning of kavod, to have a cold heart and not care about Yiddishkeit. Instead, he brings the second meaning of kavod to his place: He brings the Kavod of Hashem, the light of Hashem, to the place where he is!

A person can choose not to be affected by the place where he lives, and instead CHANGE the place where he lives by bringing it chayus and life!

Just like the neshama gets special koach from Hashem before it comes into the world, so it will be able to do its shlichus, the same way, before a Yid goes to any place, Hashem gives him koach to be able to bring the warmth of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus to that place!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #238 - Mitzvas Asei #109

Today we finally learn a new mitzvah! Today’s mitzvah, (Mitzvas Asei #109) is about how we can become tahor from the kinds of tumah we were just learning about. Do you know how? By going into (or putting our keilim into) a mikvah!

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Keilim - Mikvaos

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the halachos about which kinds of keilim can become tomei.

Perek Chof-Zayin reviews the rules about tumah, by giving us three examples of many types of keilim, and telling us what the halacha is for each of them. Here’s one example:

There are three kinds of sheets:
1) A sheet that goes on a bed — this can get Midras (the tumah of when a Zav rests on it)
2) A sheet that we hang up like a curtain — this can get Tumas Meis
3) A sheet that has sewing designs on it to teach how to sew — this stays tahor

Perek Chof-Ches explains what happens if tumah touches the outside of a keili — does the inside become tomei? What about if the tumah touched the inside — is the outside tomei? (It depends what the keili is made of.)

Then we start learning the next set of halachos — about the Mikvah, to make all of these things tahor!

Perek Alef explains the general rules about a mikvah — like that a person doesn’t become tahor until nighttime, even if they went to the Mikvah during the day, and that a person can’t have anything between them and the mikvah water (for example, a band-aid) — this is called a chatzitzah.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Zayin

We are learning halachos about when two people disagree in Beis Din about what belongs to them.

One halacha in this perek is that if someone says something in Beis Din, he can’t change his mind and say he was joking.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Lekach and Maror

For many years, after the Rebbe would finish the seder, he would come downstairs in 770 and there would be a farbrengen. So after chassidim finished their sedarim at home, they would come to 770 for the farbrengen.

In this farbrengen, the Rebbe would speak about Pesach, and especially would explain different parts of the Haggadah.

In the year Tof-Shin-Tes-Vov (1955), the Rebbe started the farbrengen with a niggun, saying that a niggun is the way the deepest part of the neshama can express itself. Since Pesach is the Yom Tov when Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, the Rebbe asked that they should sing Mimitzrayim Ge’altanu.

Afterwards the Rebbe explained how the Yom Tov of Pesach affects the entire year, both the past and the future!

This is what the Rebbe said about how Pesach affects the past:

Anything that we didn’t finish on the Yomim Nora’im can be finished on Pesach. We see this from the Maror, which has the same message as Lekach: Before Yom Kippur, we ask for Lekach. We say that if Hashem has decreed that we need to beg for something during the year, this should be it! On Pesach, we eat Maror, so that if we are supposed to have something bitter during the year, this should be it!

This is also why we say “Leshana Haba’ah BiYerushalayim,” next year in Yerushalayim, at the seder. We say this two times a year — at the end of Ne’ilah on Yom Kippur and at the end of the Pesach Seder! That’s because on Pesach, we are able to fill in for anything that was missed at the time of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur!

After saying this, the Rebbe asked the Chassidim to sing the niggun of Avinu Malkeinu, a niggun connected with Rosh Hashana.

Later in this farbrengen, the Rebbe taught the niggun Vehi She’amda for the first time. The Rebbe sang it over and over until the Chassidim learned it!

See Toras Menachem Tof-Shin-Tes-Vov sicha Leil HaPesach, and yomanim

 

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TEFILLAH

Haggadah Shel Pesach

As part of Biur Tefillah, we are also learning some of the parts of the Haggadah, as a preparation for Pesach.

The Medrash explains the posukMagid Devarav LeYaakov, Chukav Umishpatav LeYisroel.” (“Hashem tells HIS words to Yaakov, HIS chukim and mishpatim to Yisroel.”) That means that whatever mitzvos Hashem tells us to do, He does too!

So when we are all sitting down at our Pesach seder, Hashem is saying the Haggadah with us!

Hashem also says, “Hey Lachma Anya” — “this is the bread of tzaros.” It is Hashem’s tzaros too, because as long as we are in Golus, Hashem’s Shechinah is in Golus too, and Hashem feels our pain.

But, Hashem says, “Kol Dichfin Yeisei VeYeichol!” “Everyone who is hungry, come and eat!” If we really want to be connected to Hashem, even in Golus, Hashem promises we will be able to.

By next year, though, as we finish the Haggadah, “Leshana Haba BiYerushalayim!” We will be in Yerushalayim, when the tzaar of Golus will be over, Hashem will bring us Moshiach and build the third Beis Hamikdash!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Ches, Pesach

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Simchas Yom Tov

Don’t forget to say the Nasi! Today’s Nasi is Shevet Shimon.

~

On Pesach there is a mitzvah from the Torah: To be HAPPY on Yom Tov!

This mitzvah means that every person in the family needs to have things that make them happy. The halacha is that a father has to make sure to prepare things for himself, his wife, and his children, to make them feel the happiness of Yom Tov.

The Chachomim tell us that a man is happy when he has meat and wine! A man has to drink a cup of wine every day of Yom Tov, including on Chol Hamoed.

The Chachomim say that for a woman, clothing and jewelry make her happy! A husband has to get his wife new clothes and jewelry for Yom Tov, based on what he can afford.

The Chachomim say that what makes kids happy is to have nuts or nosh! Parents need to make sure that their children have special treats so they will also be happy on Yom Tov.

Even if we are not feeling happy, and we are in pain from the Golus, we are keeping the mitzvah of simcha by doing the things that the Chachomim tell us bring happiness. As the Rebbe often reminds us, by keeping a mitzvah in the best way we can, it brings bracha to ourselves and Geulah to the entire world!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 529:6-7

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

Kimei Tzeischa Me'Eretz Mitzrayim (3)

When the Navi Micha asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden in the time of the Geulah, Hashem promised: “Kimei Tzeischa Me’eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos!” “I will show you nissim like the time when the Yidden went of Mitzrayim!”

Why is the time of Geulah compared to the time of Yetziyas Mitzrayim?

Even though there were other Geulos, they were different than Yetziyas Mitzrayim. For example, in the times of Ezra, the Yidden were able to go back into Eretz Yisroel and build the second Beis Hamikdash — but not every Yid came out of Golus Bavel. Many Yidden stayed in Bavel and didn’t come back to Eretz Yisroel.

When it was time for the Yidden to Mitzrayim, not even one Yid stayed behind!

That’s also what will happen with the Geulah Le’asid Lavo, when Moshiach comes. It will be like the Geulah from Mitzrayim, and not even one Yid will be left behind in Golus!

See farbrengen Yud-Alef Nissan 5744

 
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