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CHUMASH

Parshas Naso - Shlishi with Rashi

Now the Torah tells us about the day when the Mishkan was first put up — on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. On this day, the different sections of the camp of the Yidden were also set up, with different levels of kedusha. There were the Machaneh Yisroel, where most of the Yidden camped, Machaneh Leviah, where the kohanim and Leviim camped, and Machaneh Shechinah, where the Mishkan was.

Hashem told Moshe that the Yidden who are tomei with a strong source of Tumah (like Tzoraas, Zav/Zava, and Tumas Meis) need to go outside of where the Yidden are camping in the Midbar, so that the camp will be tahor.

Now Hashem tells Moshe about what happens if a Yid steals and lies to Beis Din that he did not do it. (This isn’t only talking about someone who actually took someone else’s money — it could also be someone who says that he didn’t borrow money when he really did, or is not paying someone who worked for him, or found something someone else lost and is not telling the truth about it.)

If someone did one of these things, and promised in Beis Din that he did not do it, later he might want to do Teshuvah. What does he do? He has to pay back what he stole, PLUS another 1/5. (That’s like giving maaser from that money two times.)

What happens if the person he stole from passed away? Then he should pay back the money to the person’s closest relative.

But what if the person was a Ger Tzedek, and he doesn’t have any relatives (since when someone becomes a Ger, it’s like he’s a new person, and not related to anyone)? Then to do teshuvah, the one who stole has to pay the money to a kohen. He also needs to bring a Korban as a kaparah (forgiveness) for his aveira, like we learned earlier in Chumash.

Hashem also tells Moshe about another thing that needs to go to the kohanim:

The Bikurim that the Yidden bring to the Beis Hamikdash should go to the kohanim. Even though it’s hard to give away our very first fruits to the kohanim, we will get brachos from Hashem to become rich because of this mitzvah. Hashem warns us that if we DON’T give the kohanim what we’re supposed to, then Hashem will only give us as much as we were supposed to have given to the kohanim!

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TEHILLIM

39 - 43

In today’s Tehillim, it says “Haysa Li Dimasi Lechem Yomam Valayla, Be’emor Eilai Kol Hayom Ayei Elokecha.” “My tears were like my food all day and night, when they say to me all day ‘Where is Hashem?’”

The Rebbe explains that this posuk is saying that for a person to really be close to Hashem, we need to be crying for Hashem ALL the time, not just on Shavuos or only when we’re davening, but even when we’re eating or playing on a regular weekday.

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TANYA

Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Alef

This part of Tanya is called “Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah.” This means that it talks about the mitzvah of knowing that Hashem is One — understanding that there is nothing separate from Hashem, even if it sometimes looks like that. We will learn about how that is, and the things that we are not able to understand, and we need to take in a way of Emunah.

First the Alter Rebbe tells us that there are two ways of understanding Achdus Hashem, knowing that Hashem is One. They are hinted to in the pesukim of Shema and Boruch Shem. The Alter Rebbe will explain these two ways (Yichuda Ila’a and Yichuda Tata’a) in Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah.

The Alter Rebbe starts with a posuk in the Torah.

There is a posuk in the Torah that says “Veyadaata Hayom Vehasheivosa El Levavaecha Ki Hashem Hu HaElokim, Bashomayim Mimaal Ve’al Haaretz Mitachas, Ein Od” — “You should know today and take to your heart that Hashem is our G-d, high in Shomayim and under the earth — there is nothing else.”

The Alter Rebbe starts to explain this posuk with another posuk in Tehillim: “Leolam Hashem Devarcha Nitzav Bashomayim” — “Hashem’s Word is always in Shomayim.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains what this means: “Hashem’s Word” means the words Hashem used to make the world — the Asara Maamaros (for example “Yehi Or”, “Yehi Rakia”). And the word “Leolam,” “forever”, means that Hashem has to keep on saying these words for the world to be there. If He stopped, the world would just completely disappear, just like it was before Hashem made it.

The Arizal says that it’s not just people that need the chayus of the words of Hashem to be constantly in them — even things that don’t move (like rocks) also need this chayus or else they can’t be there.

The Rebbe points out that today’s Tanya has a very special connection to Shavuos, because it mentions the 3 Tzadikim connected to Shavuos!

- Moshe Rabbeinu who gave us the Torah on Shavuos (there’s a posuk from Torah — Veyadaata Hayom)
- Dovid Hamelech whose yartzeit is Shavuos (there’s a posuk from his Tehillim — Leolam Hashem)
- Baal Shem Tov whose yartzeit is Shavuos (the Alter Rebbe brings his explanation on the posuk)

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HAYOM YOM

Zayin Sivan

Outside of Eretz Yisroel, on the second day of Shavuos we say Birchas Kohanim. Today’s Hayom Yom tells us our minhagim when we hear Birchas Kohanim:

1) We are supposed to face a certain way during the bracha.

When the Kohanim say:
- Yevarechecha — face forward
- Hashem — turn your head to the right side
- Veyishmerecha — face forward
- Ya’eir — turn your head to the left side.
Do this pattern for all the words — face forward, head to the right, face forward, head to the left; again forward, to the right, and so on until the end of the bracha.

2) We say a special Tefillah to ask Hashem that our dreams happen in a good way. The Rebbe shows us where we say this.

We only say this paragraph, Ribono Shel Olam, while the Kohanim are SINGING the tune that comes before the words. When they say the words we need to be quiet and listen. We say one part before each of the last three words. (You can see where the parts end in the Siddur because it has two dots like at the end of a posuk.)

3) After Birchas Kohanim, we say a paragraph called Adir Bamarom, and the Rebbe tells us when we say that.

We say this paragraph right after saying Amein to the last bracha the Kohanim give us, while we’re still covered with the Tallis.

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #313 - Mitzvas Asei #176, Lo Saasei #284, Asei #175

We have started to learn the last Sefer in Rambam! There are 3 mitzvos today, related to the halachos of courts:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #176) This mitzvah is that we need to set up a system that makes sure that Yidden follow the Torah. We need to have Shoftim (judges) and Shotrim (officers to make sure people listen).

In a big city, there should be a “small Sanhedrin,” with 23 judges by the gates of the city. In Yerushalayim, there should be the full Sanhedrin of 70 judges, with a Nasi over them, altogether 71. In a city that is too small for a small Sanhedrin, there should at least be a Beis Din of 3 judges to pasken on smaller questions, and send people to a bigger court if needed.

There should also be Shotrim to go around to the marketplace and make sure people are doing business according to Torah.

A judge can only get semicha in Eretz Yisroel, and then he can pasken outside of Eretz Yisroel too. A question about if someone is chayav misa can only be paskened when the Beis Hamikdash is standing.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim, שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #284) This is an aveira for the person in charge of making someone a judge:

A person is fit to be a judge if he is an expert in Torah and its halachos, and acts according to them. It is asur to choose a person to be a judge for any other reasons.

For example, we can’t choose someone as a judge because he is good looking, or because he is strong. We can’t choose someone as a judge because he knows many languages, because he is related to us, or because he did us a favor. Only a judge who is an expert in the chochmah of Torah and follows the mitzvos properly will be able to judge right!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Devarim: לֹא תַכִּירוּ פָנִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט

3) (Mitzvas Asei #175) This is a mitzvah about judges, but also a mitzvah about deciding halacha in general:

When Chachomim don’t agree about a halacha, we decide what to do based on what most of the Chachomim say.

When judges disagree, we pasken based on what MOST of the judges think.

This is clear from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְהַטֹּת

We can find the details of this mitzvah in many places in Mesechta Sanhedrin.

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn the first three perakim of Hilchos Sanhedrin.

In Perek Alef, the Rambam teaches about the BIG Sanhedrin with 71 judges, the SMALL Sanhedrin (which should be in most cities) with 23 judges, and in a small city there should be 3 judges. There are halachos about how the Sanhedrin should sit, and about who writes down what happens. When Moshiach comes, we will have a big Sanhedrin again, in the Beis Hamikdash!

In Perek Beis, we learn about who is allowed to be a judge. For a regular judge, there are seven qualifications which are written in the Torah. They are: Chochmah to know the halachos of the Torah well, Yiras Shomayim, to be humble, to hate money, love truth, people should like him, and he should have a good name. The Rambam explains what all of these are, and how we see them in the pesukim when Moshe Rabbeinu chose judges for the Yidden.

The judges in the big Sanhedrin need to have all of these things and many more!

Perek Gimmel talks about when the Sanhedrin should get together to judge. A small Sanhedrin or a Beis Din should start after Shacharis, and stop at chatzos. A big Sanhedrin starts in the morning and ends at Mincha time. A Sanhedrin is not supposed to start judging a case at night.

One halacha is that the big Sanhedrin with 71 judges didn’t always need all of the judges there at the same time, but there have to be at least 23 there always. So if a judge from the big Sanhedrin has to leave, he needs to make sure there will be at least 23 left — otherwise he has to stay!

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Alef

In today’s Rambam, we learn about the four different kinds of promises (Shevuos) that a person might make and get punished for. Here are two of them:

1) Shvuas Bitui — A Shvuas Bitui is a false promise. One way a person makes a Shvuas Bitui is by promising that he did not do some- thing, but he already did that thing. Another way is if he promises not to do something in the future, and then does it.

2) Shvuas Shav — A Shvuas Shav is a meaningless promise. One type of Shvuas Shav is if someone makes a promise about something that everyone knows is not true (like if he promises that a tree is made of gold). Another kind of Shvuas Shav is a promise that everyone knows is true (like a promise that the sky is the sky).

It is also a Shvuas Shav to make a promise we can’t keep. For example, a promise not to do a mitzvah (we can’t make a promise like that!); or a promise that it’s impossible to keep (like saying we won’t sleep for 3 days).

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INYANA D'YOMA

Shavuos

At the end of Yom Tov, to bring the Kedusha of Yom Tov into the rest of the year, the Rebbe would always make a farbrengen — and we do too!

We sing the niggunim of each of the Rebbeim, because the Rebbeim come and join us when we sing their niggunim. We say Divrei Torah and Chassidus. Since Shavuos is the Yartzeit of the Baal Shem Tov, we should say Chassidus from the Baal Shem Tov.

In these farbrengens, the Rebbe would talk about making sure our shiurim in Torah are strong, like the takanos of Chitas and Rambam, other personal shiurim, and about the chinuch of children.

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TEFILLAH

Shema Yisroel

Shema Yisroel means “Listen, Yisroel.” This posuk comes from the Chumash.

In the Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the Yidden to listen. “Listen Yidden! Hashem is our Aibershter, Hashem is one!”

But who are WE talking to? Who are WE telling to listen?

Chassidus teaches that we are speaking to our neshama, which is also called Yisroel.

Our neshama is stuck inside of our mind, in this Gashmius’dike body. We tell it, “Shema, Yisroel!”

The word Shema also means to understand. We are telling the neshama: “Understand, neshama! Hashem is our Aibershter!”

How can the neshama understand this? From the fact that the neshama is where it is — blown by Hashem into the body! That’s how it will understand that Hashem is our Aibershter!

And we tell our neshama more: “Understand also, that Hashem is only One — because everything in the world is one with Hashem!”

Sefer Halikutim Tzemach Tzedek os Kuf, p. 226

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Torah and Story of Baal Shem Tov

Shavuos is the yartzeit of the Baal Shem Tov.

There is a minhag from the Rebbeim to tell over a story and a Dvar Torah of the Baal Shem Tov on Shavuos. The Rebbe says that it is appropriate for everyone who knows about the minhag to keep it!

Here is one Dvar Torah of the Baal Shem Tov, from Hayom Yom:

The Baal Shem Tov loved light.

The word “ohr” (light) has the same Gematria as the word “Raz,” which means a secret. Someone who knows the secret in everything can bring ohr, light into it! That was what the Baal Shem Tov did: He revealed the secrets of the Torah, Chassidus. This brought much light into the world!

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

Learning Torah Straight From Hashem!

The Navi Yeshaya told nevuos about the Geulah to the Yidden of his time. They were later written in Nach for Yidden of EVERY generation to know!

Yeshaya told the Yidden that even though during Golus Yidden are busy running after taavos and aren’t interested in the precious Torah and its mitzvos, the Geulah will change things! When Moshiach comes, Hashem will take away our taavos. We won’t be as interested in the Gashmius of the world, and Hashem won’t be hidden anymore! We will be able to see Hashem clearly and learn His holy Torah with joy!

וְנָתַן לָכֶם ה׳ לֶחֶם צַר וּמַיִם לָחַץ וְלֹא יִכָּנֵף עוֹד מוֹרֶיךָ וְהָיוּ עֵינֶיךָ רֹאוֹת אֶת מוֹרֶיךָ

VeNasan Hashem Lachem — In the times of the Geulah, Hashem will put in your hearts

Lechem Tzar Umayim Lachatz — That a little bit of bread and a little bit of water will be enough for you to be happy, you won’t be running after taavos anymore.

Velo Yikanef Od Morecha — And your Teacher, Hashem, won’t be hidden from you anymore

Vehayu Einecha Ro’os Es Morecha — And your eyes will be able to see your Teacher, Hashem!

In the time of the GEulah, Hashem will be so close to all of the Yidden.

See Yeshaya perek Lamed posuk Chof

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