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Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Avraham buries Sarah in Me’aras Hamachpeilah. He also makes Eliezer his shliach to find a shidduch for Yitzchak.

Avraham bought Me’aras Hamachpeilah, and all of the people of Cheis saw that he paid for it, and now it belonged to him without a doubt. Avraham buried Sarah there.

Three years later, Avraham decided that it was time for Yitzchak to marry Rivkah. By now, Avraham was 140 years old! Hashem had given Avraham this special son, and Avraham knew it was his job to make sure that Yitzchak would get married and have children, so that they would continue Avraham’s work.

Avraham told Eliezer his servant to promise him to find Yitzchak a wife. He shouldn’t find a girl from Canaan, instead, he should go to Charan, where Avraham’s family is from. (Even though the people of Canaan agreed that Hashem is in charge of the whole world, they didn’t believe it strongly enough to ACT differently, so Avraham didn’t want his son to marry any of them.)

Eliezer asked if it would be okay if Yitzchak would move to Charan, because maybe a girl from there wouldn’t want to go live far away from her family.

Avraham answered no — Yitzchak CAN’T move to a place like Charan! Hashem wants Yitzchak to stay in Canaan (Eretz Yisroel). Because he was brought up as a korban to Hashem (at the Akeidah), it is not appropriate for him to leave Eretz Yisroel. Since Hashem wants Yitzchak to stay there, He will send a malach to help make sure things work out!

But since Eliezer was worried, Avraham told him that he just had to try. If the girl from Charan wouldn’t want to move to Canaan, the promise would be over, and Eliezer could look for a girl from the family of Aner, Eshkol, or Mamre.

(Eliezer hoped that Avraham would choose HIS daughter, but Avraham said no, because Eliezer was from the family of Canaan, who was cursed.)

Avraham asked Eliezer to make a shevuah, a very strong promise, that he would go and do this shlichus, to go to Charan and find the shidduch.

(To make a Torah promise, you need to hold onto something holy. For example, someone making a promise in Beis Din will hold onto a Sefer Torah. But before Matan Torah, it wasn’t so easy to find something that was holy! Even though the Avos kept the mitzvos and even used Gashmius’dike things for mitzvos, the world wasn’t able to hold onto kedusha. So as soon as the mitzvah was done, the kedusha went away. Only after Matan Torah could we use a piece of leather for Tefillin, and then have that leather stay holy forever! There was only one mitzvah that Avraham had specifically from Hashem with a Gashmius thing — his Bris Milah. Since that was a specific mitzvah from Hashem, it stayed holy even afterwards! So Eliezer promised with Avraham’s bris.)

Eliezer made the shevuah that he would do the shlichus as Avraham asked him.



97 - 103

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin to Kuf-Gimmel.

In today’s Tehillim there is a posukMoshe VeAharon BeChohanov, U’Shmuel BeKorei Shemo.”

The Gemara explains that Shmuel Hanavi in his generation was as great as Moshe and Aharon in their generation!

The Rebbe teaches us that when the Yidden went out of Mitzrayim, Hashem gave them TWO leaders: Moshe, who taught them the Torah that is the same for everyone, and Aharon, who helped each person do their best to connect to Torah on their own level.

Shmuel Hanavi was able to do BOTH jobs together — to teach Yidden the truth, AND to help everyone according to their own level.

The Rebbe tells us that the Chabad Rebbes were each like Shmuel, who have both kochos together — they teach us Torah and how we need to serve Hashem, and help each one of us come closer to doing our own special shlichus.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Tes

In order for the neshama to feel the pleasure of Elokus in Gan Eden, it needs to prepare in this world. We do that by doing what Hashem wants — the mitzvos.

The Chachomim say that a person who learns halachos of the Torah in this world is promised Olam Haba. That’s because the halachos explain the mitzvos of the Torah, which get the Neshama ready so it can feel Hashem in Olam Haba.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe starts to explain why the mitzvos and halachos of the Torah are the “clothes” to make it possible for the neshama to be able to enjoy Elokus in Gan Eden.



Chof Mar-Cheshvan

Today is the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab. He was born in the year 5621. (The Tzemach Tzedek called this year “Kitra,” the letters of Tof-Reish-Chof-Alef, which means “crown!”)

The name the Rebbe Rashab was given was for two people: Part of his name was from the Mitteler Rebbe, Dovber, and the other part was from the first half of the Tzemach Tzedek’s father’s name (Sholom Shachna). Together his full name became Sholom Dovber.

The Rebbe Rashab said a maamar every year on his Yom Huledes (not in public unless it fell out on Shabbos). The last year before he passed away he again said a maamar on his new kapitel, Kapitel Samach, on the words “Nosata Lereiacha Neis Lehisnoseis.” Then he told the Frierdiker Rebbe to do the same on his Yom Huledes. He also hinted to him that he would have something special happen on his birthday. In fact, seven years later, the Frierdiker Rebbe was released from jail on his birthday and it became a big Yom Tov!



Mitzvas Asei #171

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #171) of giving a half Shekel every year to the Beis Hamikdash. This mitzvah is explained in Mesechta Shekalim, and we only keep it when the Beis Hamikdash is standing.



Hilchos Shekalim

In today’s Rambam, Hilchos Shekalim perakim Alef, Beis, and Gimmel, we learn lots of halachos about the Machtzis Hashekel. Here are some of them:

On Rosh Chodesh Adar, they would start to remind people to give the Machatzis Hashekel. They had two of a special kind of pushka that they used for this — it was shaped like a shofar! This way you could put money in easily in the small part, but it wasn’t easy to take the money out. Every man had to give a half shekel, even if he was very very poor.

The money from the Machtzis Hashekel was used for buying Korbanos.



Hilchos Maaser - Perek Ches

What happens if what was set aside for maaser got mixed up? One halacha is that if a person has 100 barrels of wine, and decided that one of them is maaser but forgot which one, he takes some of the wine from each of the barrels and mixes it together! Then he gives that wine for maaser.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is a special Chassidishe Yom Tov. It is the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab!

One of the most important things that the Rebbe Rashab did, which the Rebbe would farbreng about, was that he started Tomchei Temimim — the Lubavitch Yeshiva. Tomchei Temimim taught bochurim to learn Niglah and Chassidus, to daven b’avodah, and to become Chassidim that were ready to have Mesiras Nefesh to spread Yiddishkeit! The Chassidim who were ready to do anything for Yiddishkeit in Russia, and the Shluchim and Chassidim who work so hard today, are all because of what was started with the yeshiva of Tomchei Temimim!

On Chof Cheshvan, the Rebbe asked that Chassidim should try to go to a Yeshiva for at least a few minutes to daven, give tzedakah, learn something or have a farbrengen. (If you can’t go to a Yeshiva, going to a Chabad House can accomplish the same thing!)

See farbrengen Parshas Vayeira Tof-Shin-Mem-Tes, Hamaaseh Hu Ha’Ikar Chof Cheshvan


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Learning Pirush Hamilos

R’ Shmuel Ber Borisover was a chossid of the Tzemach Tzedek, and later of the Rebbe Maharash. Once, at the end of a long discussion with the Rebbe Maharash, R’ Shmuel Ber asked, “Un vos is fort a chossid?” “So what actually is a chossid?”

The Rebbe Maharash said, “Go to my son.”

R’ Shmuel Ber was confused! He was already one of the older Chassidim, and the Rebbe Maharash was sending him to his son (the Rebbe Rashab), who was very young at that time!

The Rebbe Maharash explained to him what he meant.

The Rebbe Maharash said, “I wake up very early every day (between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning). Once I woke up extra early, and I sent my meshores (assistant) to go to my son and see what he was doing.

“The meshores said that he saw my son sitting in front of a siddur, but the meshores wasn’t sure what he was doing.

“I sent a different shliach to see what he was doing. The shliach came back and told me that my son was sitting with an open siddur, together with an Avudraham (a sefer that explains the structure of davening) and a Nach with meforshim (which explain the meaning of the pesukim in davening).

“He was sitting and learning the simple meaning of the davening!”

The Rebbe Maharash said to R’ Shmuel Ber Borisover, “This is a Chossid!”

Even though there are many Ruchnius’dike things to be learning and thinking about, a Chossid doesn’t forget how important it is to understand the simple meaning of the davening.

See Sefer Hasichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe, Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Tes, p. 305



Don't Pick Up Your Phone Before Davening!

The halacha is that a person shouldn’t get busy with anything before davening. Even though there are some that are not so strict if you already said Birchos Hashachar, the Alter Rebbe says that this is not the right thing to do! Davening should be the FIRST thing in our day. (We should only do things before that prepare us for davening.)

The Rebbe once said at a farbrengen:

A Yid will sometimes wake up in the morning, and the first thing he does is to run to the telephone to make an important call. He can’t wait until after Modeh Ani, after Hodu, or after learning a bit of Torah after davening. He needs to rush and make this phone call before the other businessman leaves his house, so he won’t miss making the deal!

Acting this way comes from not having enough emunah, and not understanding that it is Hashem Who brings us hatzlacha in all we do.

If we had proper emunah, we would realize that it’s impossible that following what the Torah tells us in Shulchan Aruch should make us lose out in what Hashem wants to give us! It is impossible that davening in shul, and learning a shiur afterwards, should cause us to miss out in the parnasa that was decided for us in Shomayim.

So why does a Yid go to the phone before davening? He isn’t going to use the phone to remind his friend to come to the minyan, which is the real reason a phone was created... He thinks that his hatzlacha is based on what HE does: If he gets the businessman in time, it will be good.

But the truth is that when you first daven and learn something, and only afterwards go to the phone, that is when you get Hashem’s bracha!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Pey-Tes, se’if daled; farbrengen Balak Mem-Daled

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



Being Excited About Moshiach

Many years ago, the Rebbe Rashab started the Yeshivah of Tomchei Temimim. The Rebbe Rashab farbrenged with the bochurim, explaining what their job was as Temimim. Three years after Tomchei Temimim was started, the Rebbe Rashab said a very famous sicha that starts with the words Kol Hayotzei Lemilchemes Beis Dovid.

In this sicha, he told the Temimim that there are two types of people that the Temimim need to overcome, because they are dangerous for the Yidden:

1) Those that don’t want other people to believe in Hashem or keep Torah and mitzvos. They make fun of them, and say that Yidden don’t need it chas veshalom.

2) Yidden who DO keep Torah and mitzvos, but say that you don’t need to talk about Moshiach or get excited that Moshiach is coming.

The Yeshiva bochurim have to fight a war with these two kinds of people. And how do they fight it? Not with mussar or arguments, but with teaching Chassidus and strengthening the emunah that Moshiach is about to come!

Many years later, in a farbrengen with Chassidim, the Rebbe said that this sicha that the Rebbe Rashab said is now important for every Yid! We need to know that whenever we meet another Yid, we might think that it was for one reason or another. But the real reason is so we can share a few words of Chassidus and share the excitement that Moshiach is coming!

See sicha of Chof Cheshvan, Tof-Shin-Mem-Hey (video excerpt)

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