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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayeishev - Shishi with Rashi

Potifar’s wife tries to get Yosef to do an aveira. When she finally catches him, he escapes! She is very angry and gets Yosef in big trouble. He gets thrown in jail.

Potifar’s wife used astrology (looking at the stars to know what will happen later), and saw in the stars that Yosef would have children from her family. She thought that meant her, but really in the end Yosef married her daughter!

Since she thought it had to happen, she told Yosef to act like he was married to her. But Yosef said no.

Potifar’s wife kept trying to get Yosef to do an aveira. But Yosef didn’t listen. He knew it was a big aveira to act like you’re married to someone else’s wife!

One day, the people in Mitzrayim had a goyishe holiday. Everyone went to the place they worshipped their idols, but Potifar’s wife had an idea — since nobody will be home, now is a good time to get Yosef to listen to her! So she pretended she was sick and didn’t go.

Yosef almost listened to her, but then he saw an image of his father Yaakov! He heard Yaakov say, like in a dream, “Yosef! Your name is supposed to be on the Kohen Gadol’s Urim Vetumim! If you do this aveira, your name won’t be on there, and instead your name will be written down next to a zonah!”

Yosef right away decided to run away from Potifar’s wife. She grabbed his clothes, but he just slipped out of them and ran outside!

Potifar’s wife was very angry that he said no to her. She decided to make up a story and use Yosef’s clothes to show that her story is true, and get Yosef in trouble. She called the servants and said “Look! My husband brought us this person from far away and he wanted to act like he’s married to me! I screamed and he ran away, but I held on to his clothes!’

When Potifar came home, she told him the same thing. At first he didn’t believe her, but she found a good time to tell him again, until he believed her and got very angry at Yosef.

Potifar’s job for Paraoh was the top butcher, and also he was in charge of the jail. So he put Yosef in jail, and left him there. Everybody who heard about it talked in a not nice way about Yosef and what they said he did to Potifar’s wife.

Hashem was with Yosef, and the people in jail liked him, even the guards! The top guard put Yosef in charge of the prison, and Hashem helped him do everything well.

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TEHILLIM

106 - 107

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

The second kapitel of today’s Tehillim is part of what we say on Erev Shabbos before Mincha. It talks about the four groups of people who thank Hashem for miracles that happen to them. (We say this kapitel Erev Shabbos to thank Hashem for saving us from the hardships and dangers of the whole week, so we can come and celebrate Shabbos!)

One of the groups are sick people who became healthy. The posuk says about them, “Re’eivim Gam Tzemei’im, Nafsham Bahem Tis’ataf.” “They were hungry and thirsty, their neshamos were suffering in them.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains that there is something deeper that this posuk is hinting to. When we are hungry or thirsty for something, it is because our neshama really wants the pieces of Hashem that are hiding inside the gashmiyus! Because the neshama knows that the sparks of kedusha are there, it causes the body to feel a hunger or a thirst, which brings the person to eat or drink and bring those sparks of kedusha to where they belong!

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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Hakdamas Hamelaket

The Alter Rebbe is telling us how the Tanya is going to accomplish its goal of showing everyone how they can serve Hashem with chayus!

Even though everyone is different, and it’s hard to imagine that one sefer could possibly answer EVERYONE’s questions about serving Hashem, the Alter Rebbe gives us two points to explain to us how Tanya will work:

The Tanya isn’t a sefer written out of the blue. It is a sefer written with all of the answers that were given to Chassidim over the years in yechidus. Because the Alter Rebbe heard from all the Chassidim what the problems are, he is able to address them all together in this one sefer.

But if a person isn’t old enough or smart enough to FIND the answers inside, he should ask a mashpia (who is older and smarter) for help to find the answer, and he will definitely find it!

Very soon Moshiach will come, and we will all have the koach to find the answers in Torah on our own. Until then, we should ask a mashpia for help!

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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Beis Kislev

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn about the Frierdiker Rebbe’s takana to say Tehillim after davening.

The Frierdiker Rebbe made a takana to say Tehillim every day after davening. This takana was made in the year Tof-Reish-Pey-Zayin, the year he was put in jail and freed on Yud-Beis Tammuz.

On Rosh Hashana of that year, the Frierdiker Rebbe knew with Ruach Hakodesh that it was a dangerous time. He spoke about it publicly, asking that not only Chassidim should take on this takana, but other Yidden as well, if they are willing to. The Frierdiker Rebbe promised special brachos to anyone accepting this takana.

Later the Frierdiker Rebbe said that many Yidden were saved because of this takana!

Here is the takana that the Frierdiker Rebbe started: Every morning after davening (including Shabbos and Yom Tov), we say the Tehillim for the day. (That’s part of Chitas!)

If you say it with a minyan, there is Kaddish Yasom afterwards.

The Tehillim is divided into THIRTY parts. So what happens if there are only 29 days in a month? When that happens, on the last day, you also say the Tehillim for two days — the 29th and the 30th day.

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #166 - Mitzvas Asei #28, #25, #40, #41, #27, #42

Today we learn SIX mitzvos about the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #28) The kohanim need to bring the Ketores to Hashem two times every day!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk Parshas Tetzaveh: וְהִקְטִיר עָלָיו אַהֲרֹן קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר

The halachos of the ketores are explained in the beginning of Mesechta Kerisus, and in a few places in Mesechta Tamid.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #25) The kohanim have to light the Menorah every day in the Beis Hamikdash.

This mitzvah also comes from a posuk in Parshas Tetzaveh: בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד מִחוּץ לַפָּרֹכֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל הָעֵדֻת יַעֲרֹךְ אֹתוֹ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Ches of Mesechta Menachos, in the first Perek of Mesechta Yoma, and in a few places in Mesechta Tamid.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #40) The Kohen Gadol brings a special Korban Mincha (flour korban) to Hashem, two times every day, called the “Chavitei Kohen Gadol.”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: זֶה קָרְבַּן אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ לַה׳

The halachos are explained in perakim Vov and Tes of Mesechta Menachos, and in many places in Mesechta Yoma and Mesechta Tamid.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #41) On Shabbos, we bring an EXTRA korban (“Musaf”) of two lambs!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas. We say this posuk at the end of davening on Shabbos! וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים

The way this mitzvah is done is explained in Perek Beis of Mesechta Yoma and Mesechta Tamid.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #27) We put Lechem Hapanim on the Shulchan every Shabbos, together with Levonah (a spice). Then the Kohanim can eat last week’s Lechem Hapanim!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Terumah: וְנָתַתָּ עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן לֶחֶם פָּנִים לְפָנַי תָּמִיד

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Yud-Alef of Mesechta Menachos.

6) (Mitzvas Asei #42) On Rosh Chodesh, we need to bring a special korban too!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas: וּבְרָאשֵׁי חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וְגוֹ׳

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Temidin U'Musafin

In today's Rambam, we learn about many of the mitzvos in today’s Sefer Hamitzvos!

Perek Gimmel: This perek teaches us about how we bring the Ketores, how we light the Menorah, and the Chavitin of the Kohen Gadol.

Perek Daled: Now we learn about how the kohanim took turns to do the Avodah! They did a lottery called the Payis to decide who would get the zechus of doing the Avodah: The Kohanim would stand around in a circle, and hold out one or two fingers. The person in charge would decide a number, and which kohen to start from. Then he would count the fingers, and when he reached the number he decided, that kohen would get to do the Avodah!

Perek Hey: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us all about the Lechem Hapanim.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin - Perek Beis

The blood of a korban needs to be sprinkled on the Mizbeiach in a certain way. If it is done wrong, it can make the Korban posul.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Pirsumei Nisa

Part of the mitzvos of Chanukah is Pirsumei Nisa, to show everyone the neis Hashem did for us.

But that isn’t only something that we should do on Chanukah, we really need to tell people about EVERY neis Hashem does for us! By praising Hashem in front of others, we are thanking Hashem for the neis.

This is also important to bring Moshiach!

The Gemara says that Hashem wanted to make Chizkiyahu Melech Yehudah into Moshiach. But the Midas HaDin complained to Hashem. It said, how can Chizkiyahu be Moshiach, if he never praised Hashem in public for saving him from Sancheriv or making him healthy?

So when we praise Hashem in public for our nisim, there will be no reason to wait, and Hashem will bring Moshiach now!

See Sicha of Parshas Vayeishev 5752 p. 185

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TEFILLAH

Emes Veyatziv - Levi

Before we say Shemoneh Esrei, we say the long paragraph of Emes Veyatziv.

In this section of davening, we think about our connection to Hashem!

What is the closest way to connect to Hashem? We know that from Tanya — when we learn Torah, we can have a Yichud Nifla, the strongest connection to Hashem.

That’s what we say at the beginning of Emes Veyatziv — we praise “Hadavar Hazeh” in 15 ways. What is “Hadavar Hazeh,” this thing? It is Torah and the connection we have to Hashem through Torah!

This is the third thing we think about to prepare ourselves for the bittul of Shemoneh Esrei. It is the inyan of Levi, whose name means hiskashrus, connection.

See Maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos vol. 20 p. 348

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Where to Light

Many Yidden have the minhag to put their menorah in the window of their home. This way, people passing by can see the menorah, which is the idea of Pirsumei Nisa! But the Rebbeim had a different minhag — to light the menorah in one of the doorways inside the house. This way we are surrounded by mitzvos — with the mezuzah on one side, and the menorah on the other.

Even though we do Pirsumei Nisa in many other ways, like public Menorah lightings and menorahs on our cars, why don’t we do the Pirsumei Nisa with the Menorah that we light at home?

Of course, the main reason is, as the Gemara teaches, because it is important to follow the minhag of our Rebbeim!

But the Rebbe also gives other reasons why lighting in our window is not necessarily the best way for Pirsumei Nisa:

Many windows are higher than 20 amos from the ground, especially people in apartment buildings. A menorah higher up than this is not considered Pirsumei Nisa in halacha, because people don’t usually look up so far.

Also, many menorahs are made with a back plate (like mivtzoyim menorahs). With those menorahs, if you put them facing the window, then nobody inside can see the flames, and if you put them facing inside, then there is no point in putting them by the window!

Therefore, the minhag Chabad is to light our menorahs at home in one of the doorways, and use many other ways to fulfill the inyan of Pirsumei Nisa, to spread the miracle of Chanukah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Hey p. 456

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

Shlichus

In a sicha, the Rebbe explains why our dor is the last dor of Golus and will be the first dor of Geulah!

Since the very beginning of the world, we have been waiting for Moshiach. Many great tzadikim from generations before us waited for and davened for Moshiach to come in their times.

So what is so special about OUR dor, that the Geulah is only going to come in OUR times?

The Chachomim say that Hashem sends the Yidden in Golus to find the sparks of kedusha hiding in the world and take them out of their hiding places so they can go up to Hashem. This makes all of these places holy and ready for the Geulah!

In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, Yidden lived only in Eretz Yisroel and in the countries right near it. Afterwards, they spread to other parts of the world, but mainly in Europe, on the same side of the world as Eretz Yisroel.

But nowadays, Yidden are living EVERYWHERE, all over the world!

And not only are they living there, but shluchim are going to live there too. They help the Yidden in all of these places to do mitzvos, finding the sparks of kedusha hiding in those places. They build mosdos in all of these places, making them holy places of Torah and mitzvos. This finishes the job of Golus, taking care of the kedusha hiding everywhere in the world. That is why OUR dor will be the dor of the Geulah!

See Sicha Parshas Vayeishev Nun-Beis, 174 ff.

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