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Parshas Pinchas - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe and Elazar HaKohen counted the Yidden, like Hashem told them to.

The Torah tells us each of the Shevatim, and the families from that Shevet.

By looking at the names of the families, we learn interesting things about some of the people in the Torah!

- Korach’s family is counted too, because Korach’s sons didn’t die! (During the argument with Korach, they did teshuvah in their hearts, but it looked like they were still part of Korach’s group. Hashem gave them a fair punishment — it looked like they were killed when they were swallowed by the ground. Hashem gave them a safe place to stay underground, and let them come out after that generation had passed away.)

- One of the families of Menasheh, Tzelofchad, had no boys — only girls. The Torah tells us all of their names: Machla, Noa, Chaglah, Milkah, and Tirtza. (We will hear a special story about them later in the parsha!)

- The Torah also tells us that Serach, Asher’s daughter, was still alive!

All together, there were 601,730 Jewish men older than 20.



90 - 96

Today’s kapitelach Tehillim are Tzadik to Tzadik-Vov.

In today’s Tehillim, we have the kapitel that the Leviim would sing in the Beis Hamikdash on Shabbos — the Shir Shel Yom for Shabbos.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel speaks about how everybody thanks Hashem on Shabbos. Chassidus explains on the words “Tov Lehodos LaHashem” (it is good to praise Hashem) that it’s the goodness of Hashem that makes people praise him. Of course Hashem is always good, but on Shabbos we can FEEL it, so that’s why especially on Shabbos His goodness makes us want to thank and praise Hashem!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Daled

To understand how a Yid can do teshuvah, we need to learn more about what a Yid is! Today we will start to learn what is special about a Yid, by seeing how a Yid is different than a malach.

The Alter Rebbe gives us a mashal to help us understand what is special about a Yid:

If you put your hand in front of your mouth when you talk, you will feel something blowing gently on your hand. That is your breath, and some of it comes out when we talk.

But if you BLOW into your hand, you will be able to feel it VERY hard! Blowing things takes MUCH more koach than talking, because we need to blow from very deep inside.

In tomorrow’s Tanya, we will learn what this mashal means — how the difference between Yidden and malochim is like the difference between the chayus a person puts into talking and blowing! Neshamos come from a deeper chayus, like the chayus of a person blowing.



Yud-Tes Tammuz

Did you ever go on a long trip? Hopefully you didn’t forget to say Tefillas Haderech!

The Rebbe Rashab had a minhag that even when he was on a LONG trip, staying in one place for months and months, he STILL said Tefillas Haderech EVERY DAY. Since there is no chiyuv to say the bracha, in order not to say a bracha for no reason, he didn’t say Hashem’s name in the bracha at the end.



Shiur #325 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #286

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #286) is that a judge isn’t allowed to listen to an eid (witness) who is a rasha, like someone who is known to be a robber.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: אַל תָּשֶׁת יָדְךָ עִם רָשָׁע לִהְיֹת עֵד חָמָס

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Gimmel.



Hilchos Eidus

In today’s Rambam we are learning more about people who can’t be eidim:

In Perek Yud-Alef we learn that a person who isn’t a mentsch — like if he doesn’t learn Torah at all, and doesn’t have normal friends, is considered a rasha and we can’t use him as an eid. If he has no aidelkeit and will take off his clothes in front of other people while he is working so he can be more comfortable, he might not be embarrassed to lie in front of Beis Din either!

In Perek Yud-Beis, we answer a very important question: There are many ways a person can be considered a rasha, but how do we know if he did teshuvah and isn’t counted as a rasha anymore?

The Rambam tells us some ways how we can know, depending on the kind of aveira a person did. For example, if someone lent money with ribbis (interest) like we learned about before, we know he did teshuvah if he apologizes, rips up any contract that had ribbis, and stops lending with ribbis even to goyim, when he is allowed to! Or a person who sold non-kosher food to make more money, if he moved to a place where people don’t know him, and lost a lot of money because of kashrus, we know he did teshuvah.

In Perek Yud-Gimmel, we start to learn about tomorrow’s mitzvah — that relatives can’t be witnesses together.



Hilchos Shaar Avos Hatumah - Perek Tes-Vov

In today’s Rambam, we learn more things that when there is a safek, the Chachomim say are they are Tahor.



Hilchos Beis Habechira

After the first Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, Hashem told the Navi Yechezkel to teach the Yidden all of the measurements of the Beis Hamikdash. This way they will be embarrassed of their aveiros and want to go back and have the Beis Hamikdash again.

The Medrash tells us that Yechezkel asked Hashem, “What is the point of telling this to the Yidden, if they aren’t building it now anyway?”

Hashem answered Yechezkel, “If the Yidden learn about the Beis Hamikdash, I will consider it as if they are really building it!”

The Rebbe tells us that because of this, during the Three Weeks, when we are thinking about the Churban, we should learn about the way the Beis Hamikdash was built. This way it will be with us through our learning, and the feeling of the Churban won’t be as strong. It will also make us ask for the THIRD Beis Hamikdash, and Hashem will give it to us right away!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Ches, parshas Masei — Bein Hameitzarim


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Modeh Ani

Before we enjoy a tasty bite
A sweet, sweet smell, or a beautiful sight

We say a bracha to thank Hashem
For creating all of them!

Every morning, we realize
That we got a gift, when we open our eyes.

Our neshama has been returned again
A special gift straight from Hashem!

Just like the Birchos Hanehenin, the brachos on enjoying Hashem’s wonderful world, we also thank Hashem for our neshama in Modeh Ani. We can’t thank Hashem BEFORE starting to enjoy being awake and alive, but as soon as we open our eyes, we thank Hashem right away! We are about to enjoy the pleasure of having our neshama and chayus back again, in time for a new day.

Modeh Ani doesn’t look like a bracha, because our hands are still tomei, and we can’t say Hashem’s name yet. That’s why it doesn’t start with the words “Baruch Ata Hashem.”

Later, after washing our hands and saying Asher Yatzar, we will thank Hashem again for returning our neshama, with the bracha of Elokai Neshama.



New Clothing During the Three Weeks

During the Three Weeks, we don’t do certain things that show we are happy, like having chasunahs.

One halacha is that we don’t wear new clothes during this time.

So are we allowed to BUY new clothes during the Three Weeks? The halacha is that we are not — unless it is something that we can only buy during the Three Weeks, or if it will be more expensive later (like if it is on sale only now).

But these halachos are only about regular clothing — things like socks or undershirts are not a problem, and we can buy them or wear them even when they are new.

Here is a detailed guide with the halachos of the Three Weeks, by Rabbi Lesches from Melbourne, Australia

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



Torah and Tzedakah Bring Moshiach!

During the Three Weeks, the Rebbe taught us to learn more Torah and give more tzedakah. Especially on Shabbos, we should learn even MORE Torah, and give tzedakah in a way we are allowed to, like by having Hachnosas Orchim or giving extra tzedakah before Shabbos.

We learn this from a posuk in Yeshaya. First the Navi tells the Yidden that they are not acting the way they should, which is causing the Churban. Then he promises them that the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt in zechus of their Torah and tzedakah!

צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה

Tzion Bemishpat Tipadeh — Yerushalayim will be redeemed in the zechus of Mishpat (which means Torah)

Veshaveha Bitzedakah — And its captives will be redeemed through tzedakah!

See Yeshayahu perek Alef posuk Chof-Zayin

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