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Parshas Toldos - Shvi'i with Rashi

Rivkah asked Yitzchak to give Yaakov more brachos, and he did.

After giving Yaakov a bracha to find a wife, Yitzchak sent him off to Padan Aram, to the house of Lavan, his uncle (Rivkah’s brother). Yitzchak sent him with presents for his wife, like Avraham did when he sent Eliezer.

When Esav saw that Yitzchak had sent Yaakov to get married and told him not to marry a girl from Canaan, he realized that Yitzchak felt that the Canaani girls were resha’im. To show how he was better than Yaakov, he went and got engaged Machalas, Yishmael’s daughter. He wanted to show that HE didn’t need his father to even tell him to, and that HE married someone from Avraham’s family, not just a cousin.

(Yishmael passed away before they got married, so everyone called her “Achos Nevayos” — the sister of Nevayos, because she took care of the chasuna instead of her father. But he didn’t get rid of his Canaani wives, because this chasunah too was just to trick people.)




Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Yud through Yud-Zayin.

Tehillim tidbits from the Rebbeim of Chassidus:

Baal Shem Tov: In Kapitel Yud, it says “Rasha Kegova Apo Bal Yidrosh” — “A Rasha, because of his gaavah and chutzpah, doesn’t think about how Hashem will punish people who deserve it.”

The Baal Shem Tov tells us that this posuk shows us why it is important to be humble to learn Torah properly: A person who is humble will learn from the Chachomim to understand better the way Hashem wants us to live. But a person with gaavah, “Bal Yidrosh” — he thinks he doesn’t need to hear from anyone else to understand better (“Yidrosh” can also mean to learn), he thinks he is smart enough on his own and doesn’t need to learn more.

See Keser Shem Tov siman Kuf-Mem-Tes

Maggid: In Kapitel Tes-Vov, there is a posuk that starts with the words, “Lo Ragal Al Leshono” — “he doesn’t speak Lashon Hara.” This kapitel is talking about the special things a tzadik has in order to go up to Gan Eden.

Because the tzadik is careful with how he speaks, something special happens!

When a person says Lashon Hara, those words go up to Shomayim. Later, when he speaks words of Torah, the Yetzer Hara tries to push away those words because of the words of Lashon Hara that he said. But because a tzadik DOESN’T have Lashon Hara, his words of Torah and Tefillah go straight up to Hashem!



Kuntres Acharon Siman Daled

The Alter Rebbe is explaining the importance of taking Gashmius things and making them holy, which we also accomplish through davening.

In today’s Tanya, one of things that the Alter Rebbe explains based on this is why Moshe Rabbeinu begged Hashem so much to be able to go into Eretz Yisrael. Why did he want it so much?

The Alter Rebbe explains that mitzvos are very special and close to Hashem. The way Hashem REALLY wants the mitzvos to be done is with gashmius, using things from this world.

There are certain mitzvos you can only do in Eretz Yisroel. If you’re not in Eretz Yisroel, you can keep them by learning about them. But Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t happy ith that. He wanted to do those mitzvos with gashmius, because he knew that’s the best way to do a mitzvah.



Beis Kislev

The Gemara tells about an Amora called R’ Elazar. He used to be careful to give tzedakah before he davened.

In a maamar, the Rebbe Maharash explained why: Davening needs to be done with chayus. But we need Hashem’s help to get chayus! When we help ANOTHER Yid to have chayus, by giving tzedakah or helping him in another way, Hashem gives US a lot of chayus for our davening to be very special! (The Rebbe Maharash showed with his hands that the chayus is VERY much!)

The Rebbe Rashab was very careful to do this. Before davening, he would LOOK for a poor person to give Tzedakah to!



Shiur #117 - Mitzvas Asei #115, #116, #117

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn about three of the many kinds of presents a person can give to the Beis Hamikdash. The mitzvah is to follow the halachos if we give these kinds of presents.

We learn all of these mitzvos from pesukim in Parshas Bechukosai:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #115) If someone gives a non-kosher animal (like a horse), or an animal that has a mum and can’t be brought as a korban, he needs to follow the halachos of how it can be given as a present.

The words of the Torah we learn this from are: וְהֶעֱמִיד אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱרִיךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָהּ

We learn the details of this mitzvah in Mesechta Temurah and Me’ilah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #116) If someone promises to give a house to the Beis Hamikdash he has to follow the halachos of how this present is given.

We learn this from the words: וְאִישׁ כִּי יַקְדִּשׁ אֶת בֵּיתוֹ קֹדֶשׁ לַה׳ וְהֶעֱרִיכוֹ הַכֹּהֵן

The Gemara explains the details of this mitzvah and the next one in Mesechta Erkim.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #117) If someone promises to give a field to the Beis Hamikdash he has to keep the halachos of how to give it as a present.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: וְאִם מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳ וְאִם אֶת שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳

We learn the halachos about this mitzvah in today’s Rambam; we will IY”H learn about houses and animals in tomorrow’s Rambam.



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we are learning more halachos about someone who promises to make a donation to the Beis Hamikdash, as much as someone is worth. We also start learning the halachos about if someone donates a field.

Perek Beis: We learn about someone who says they want to give as much as PART of a person is worth (like his arms), or how much a person weighs. At the end of the perek, we learn halachos of different rooms in the Beis Hamikdash that were used for different kinds of donations.

Perek Gimmel: What if I promised to give as much as my baby brother is worth to the Beis Hamikdash — and didn’t actually give it until my brother was older? Do I give as much as a baby is worth, or how much a kid is worth? The Rambam teaches us that the amount is based on when he made the promise to give, not when the Beis Din wants to take it. We also learn what happens if someone can’t afford to give the donation in the end, or if his present was lost or stolen. Sometimes the Beis Din needs to take his things instead of his money.

Perek Daled: Now we learn the halachos of someone donating his field to the Beis Hamikdash. There are two kinds of fields — a Sedei Achuzah that someone got as a yerusha (like after his parents passed away) or a Sedei Mikna that a person bought or got from hefker.



Hilchos Mechirah - Perek Tes

In Perek Tes, the Rambam teaches us that the halacha about changing your mind is different if something was bought for the Beis Hamikdash or to take care of yesomim (orphans).



Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is a Chassidishe Yom Tov!

In about a month we will celebrate Hey Teves, the day when we celebrate Didan Notzach, when even goyim in court recognized what a Rebbe is, and that the seforim that were argued about belong to the Rebbe and to Chassidim. But even though this was decided on Hey Teves, the seforim which were taken from the Rebbe’s library were not brought back until today, Beis Kislev.

When the seforim came back to 770, the Rebbe and Chassidim were very happy!

The Rebbe saw some bochurim standing outside during seder (the time of learning in Yeshiva) waiting for the seforim to come back, and reminded them that Didan Notzach means that we should learn from the seforim and live the way a chossid should!

The Rebbe asked to print some of these seforim, so EVERYONE can learn from them!


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In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us about the mitzvah of Kriyas Shema. Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden that when they will go into Eretz Yisroel, they will need to say Kriyas Shema two times every day, so that they will be mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim and be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh for Hashem.

But wait — why did Moshe Rabbeinu tell them this? He already promised the Yidden that Hashem will make the other nations afraid of them! They won’t NEED to have Mesiras Nefesh. They won’t have to give up their lives for Hashem if goyim try to force them to do certain aveiros. So why do the Yidden need to remind themselves about having Mesiras Nefesh two times a day?

The Alter Rebbe explains that the Yetzer Hara tries to keep a Yid from doing mitzvos, by telling him that the mitzvah will be hard or uncomfortable. But when someone is ready to even have Mesiras Nefesh, that won’t scare him away from doing the mitzvah! It doesn’t matter if it’s not easy or he isn’t in the mood to do the mitzvah, he is ready to do whatever Hashem wants — no matter what!

That’s why the Yidden need to say Shema every day. They need to remind themselves that they are ready to even have Mesiras Nefesh to do what Hashem tells us to. This way, they will be able to ignore their Yetzer Hara and do every mitzvah in Eretz Yisroel!

The same is with every Yid, in every generation. When we say Shema, we give ourselves the koach to win over our Yetzer Hara and keep every mitzvah — no matter what!

See Tanya Perek Chof-Hey



Saying Shema with Kavana

Shema is supposed to help us realize that nothing exists aside for Hashem. That will help us be ready to do all of His mitzvos, no matter what!

In order to feel this, we need to have kavana when we say Shema.

We make sure to say Shema out loud, not just in a whisper, because that helps us have kavana.

We also close our eyes and cover them with our right hand when we say the first line of Shema. This helps keep us from getting distracted by the things around us. We are able to think about what the words mean, and that the words should bring us to have Kabolas Ol and Mesiras Nefesh.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Samach Alef Se’if Hey

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



Halacha When Moshiach Comes

There are some halachos that are about things that are not possible to happen, like the halachos of an Ir Hanidachas. They tell us to stay away from something not good, but those things can never happen.

If these halachos are impossible nowadays, then they DEFINITELY will be impossible when Moshiach comes, and there won’t be any not good things in the world anymore!

Still, the halachos of Torah stay FOREVER, including when Moshiach comes.

One of the reasons is because every halacha has a source in Ruchnius. Even if it’s not practical to KEEP the halacha, the halacha still has a meaning in Ruchnius that we connect to when we learn it.

So even when Moshiach comes, all of the halachos the Torah will stay forever!

See Kuntres Halachos Shel Torah Shebaal Peh She’ainan Beteilin Le’olam, printed in Sefer Hasichos 5752, p. 32, ha’ara 49

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