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Parshas Beshalach - Shishi with Rashi

We learned before that the Yidden finished eating the food they took out of Mitzrayim, and they complained there was no food. Moshe told Aharon to tell the Yidden that Hashem will soon speak to them about this.

All of the Yidden were waiting to hear what Hashem would say to them, since they had complained about having no food.

With all of the Yidden standing there, Hashem spoke to Moshe from the cloud.

Hashem said: “I heard what the Yidden complained about! Tell them that they will have meat and bread, and they will know that I am Hashem! They will get the meat in the afternoon, but they will get the bread in the morning, in a loving way.”

The next morning, the mahn fell for the first time! Hashem sent a layer of dew underneath it, so it would be clean, and another layer to fall on top, to protect it. When the sun came up, the top layer of dew disappeared, and the Yidden could see the mahn! They didn’t know what it was exactly, and that’s why it got the name “mahn” — meaning just plain food. 

Moshe told the Yidden that this was the bread Hashem sent for them! They should take as much as they need for everyone in their family. The Yidden listened, but some people ended up taking more mahn than they needed, and some people took less. But when they measured it, they found that Hashem made a neis — everyone had EXACTLY as much as they needed!

Moshe warned the Yidden not to save the mahn, Hashem would send more when they needed! But some Yidden didn’t trust that they would get more tomorrow, and they put some away for the next day. The mahn got all rotten and full of worms, and Moshe got very upset at them for not listening and believing in Hashem!

Every morning, after the Yidden took their mahn, the mahn that was left on the ground would melt, and go into the rivers and streams. The meat from animals who drank it was delicious — and all of the goyim could see how Hashem loves the Yidden to send them such special food!

On Friday, the Yidden took as much mahn as they needed — but they found out that they had DOUBLE! They asked Moshe why. (The Yidden knew about Shabbos, but didn’t know Hashem wanted them to keep Shabbos even before Matan Torah.)

Moshe said, “I didn’t tell you this yet, but some of the halachos of Shabbos will be kept starting this week! You won’t be able to cook or bake on Shabbos. Everything will need to be prepared before Shabbos starts.” So the Yidden put the extra mahn aside — and this time, it didn’t get rotten overnight!

Still, the Yidden asked if they should go to get mahn on Shabbos, but Moshe told them no. When they asked again, he realized that they were scared that the mahn might not fall again! Moshe told them not to worry — the mahn would fall again after Shabbos, on Sunday.

Still, some Yidden went out on Shabbos to look for mahn. Hashem was not happy with the Yidden! Even though only some people went, all Yidden are responsible for each other.

The Yidden could have given the mahn a different name, but they decided to keep the name mahn. The mahn was round, like a little seed, and it was white. It tasted like dough fried in honey — unless they wanted it to taste like something else!

Hashem told Moshe to put an omer of mahn in a little jar, to keep forever in the Mishkan — so the Yidden will remember that Hashem always gives us what we need. (When the Mishkan was put up, Aharon did this.)

The Yidden would continue to eat the mahn for 40 years!



66 - 68

Today’s kapitelach Tehillim are Samach-Vov, Samach-Zayin, and Samach-Ches.

In Kapitel Samech-Vov (66), it says “Hofach Yam LaYabasha” — Hashem made the water into dry land, during Kriyas Yam Suf.

Chassidus explains that this is like what happens when Moshiach comes!

Usually, there is water that covers over the sea. But when Hashem makes it into dry land, like by Kriyas Yam Suf, we can see what’s inside, what’s usually hiding!

When Moshiach comes, we’ll be able to see things that are hidden. Now we can’t see how Hashem makes everything be, but when Moshiach comes we will see it!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe teaches us that we can use a special koach that is built into every Yid’s neshama to win over our Nefesh Habehamis all the time!

The Nefesh Habehamis can only get us to do an aveira by giving us a Ruach Shtus — a foolish thought. It tricks us by convincing us that our aveira is not a big deal. But the Nefesh Habehamis is only able to convince us with this foolish thought most of the time. One thing it can NEVER convince us is that separating from Hashem is not a big deal. Every single Yid realizes that losing their connection to Hashem and to Yiddishkeit is a very big deal, and would be ready to even give up their life not to be separated from Hashem chas veshalom and to remain a Yid!

That is the koach of the Ahava Mesuteres, a very powerful love for Hashem that is part of every Yid’s neshama.

So if we can just realize that really EVERY aveira separates us from Hashem, then no Ruach Shtus will ever be able to convince us that it isn’t a big deal!

The Alter Rebbe shows us where we see that really every mitzvah is like believing in Hashem, and every aveira is like serving Avodah Zarah and becoming separate from Hashem.

There are two main mitzvos that are about being connected and never being separated from Hashem. They are the first two of the Aseres Hadibros, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” and “Lo Yihiyeh Lecha Elokim Acheirim.”

The Gemara teaches us that all of the Mitzvos Asei come from the first dibur, and all of the Mitzvos Lo Saasei come from the second dibur. That’s why we heard only the first two of the Aseres Hadibros directly from Hashem — because they include ALL of the mitzvos! So by hearing just these two mitzvos from Hashem, we are really hearing the entire Torah which is included in them, straight from Hashem.

We also see from this Gemara that every mitzvah connects us to Hashem, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha,” and every aveira separates us — “Lo Yihiyeh.”

To understand WHY aveiros separate us from Hashem, the Alter Rebbe needs to first teach us at least a little bit about Achdus Hashem, understanding how Hashem is everything and nothing changes Him.

The posuk says, “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” that Hashem created the world with “speech.” Over the next few days, the Alter Rebbe is going to show us how Hashem doesn’t change after the world was created, by explaining the mashal of dibur and what dibur means lemaalah.

We will see that Hashem makes the world in a way that it won’t recognize Achdus Hashem, and it will feel separate, which is the idea of Avodah Zarah. When a Yid doesn’t do what Hashem wants, he is separating from Achdus Hashem and connecting to the Avodah Zarah of the world. When we realize that, we will never ever allow it to happen!



Yud-Beis Shevat

A person’s MIND makes him feel very calm, and sometimes “cold” (not excited).

But a person’s HEART can make him feel very warm and excited!

One way isn’t better than the other — Hashem wants us to use both: To use our mind to calmly teach ourselves how to serve Hashem, but with the chayus (warmth) of our heart!



Shiur #215 - Mitzvas Asei #106

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #106) is about a Zavah — a woman who has a specific tumah that comes from her body. This mitzvah is that we need to follow the halachos of when she becomes Tomei, and what else she makes Tomei. These halachos are very important when we have a Beis Hamikdash, because someone tomei is not allowed to go into the Beis Hamikdash or eat from the korbanos!



Hilchos Metamei Mishkav U'Moshav

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the kinds of Tumah where a PERSON makes other things Tomei!

Perek Zayin: This perek teaches us about “Midras” — that anywhere where someone with one of the kinds of “body” Tumah leans, sits, or rides, becomes an “Av Hatumah” (“very” tomei, so it can make many other things Tomei as well).

Perek Ches: The Rambam explains what happens if one of these people move something, in lots of different ways. For example, do the things become Tomei if he moved it with a stick he is holding under his chin?

Perek Tes: We learn what happens if one of these Tomei people bangs into something and makes it fall. We also learn about times when things get Tumas Midras because they MIGHT have become Tomei.



Hilchos Bechoros - Perek Vov

In this perek, we learn about giving Maaser from our animals.

icon of clock



Many years ago, in Eretz Yisroel, there was a very big and scary war called the Yom Kippur War (because it started on Yom Kippur).

That year, at the end of one of the Rebbe’s letters to all Yidden, in Cheshvan, the Rebbe asked that all Yidden should add in Torah and tzedakah — specifically Chitas (Chumash, Tehillim, and Tanya).

We find the word “Chitas” once in Torah, when Yaakov travelled with his family in a dangerous time. The Torah says that the goyim felt the fear (“Chitas”) of Hashem, and didn’t hurt him!

We see from here that learning Chitas helps make the goyim who want to hurt the Yidden (chas veshalom) afraid to hurt us!

Also, many times when people asked for brachos from the Rebbe, the Rebbe would say, “you surely know about the takanah of learning Chitas which we heard from my father-in-law the Rebbe (the Friediker Rebbe), about how important it is, and that it’s a segulah for many different things.”

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Birchas Hamazon

We learned that the four brachos of Birchas Hamazon were made by:

1) Moshe Rabbeinu, in connection with the Mohn
2) Yehoshua, in connection with coming into Eretz Yisroel
3) Dovid Hamelech and Shlomo Hamelech, in connection with Yerushalayim and the Beis Hamikdash
4) The Chachomim, in connection with the neis of Beitar

The Rebbe’s grandfather, R’ Avraham Lavut, wrote a sefer called Shaar Hakollel. This sefer explains the Alter Rebbe’s nusach of davening.

In it, he brings from the words of the Tashbeitz, that when the Gemara says that, it doesn’t mean that Moshe Rabbeinu or Yehoshua WROTE those parts of Birchas Hamazon. It means that they set up these brachos with a certain inyan, but the specific nusach we use was written later.

In the times of Shlomo Hamelech, they said a bracha about the Beis Hamikdash, but of course they didn’t use the words we do, asking Hashem to rebuild it! That nusach was written in later times, after the Churban.

See Shaar Hakollel



Shabbos Shira

This week is called Shabbos Shirah, because Parshas Beshalach has in it the shirah, the song that the Yidden sang to Hashem after Kriyas Yam Suf, Az Yashir!

The Frierdiker Rebbe told a story of the Maharal connected to Shabbos Shira:

In the week of Parshas Beshalach, the Maharal would tell parents and teachers to gather all the young children on Shabbos in the courtyard of the shul. There, they should tell them the story of Kriyas Yam Suf, and how the birds chirped along when the Yidden sang Az Yashir! The children had rachmanus on the birds, and picked fruit from the Yam Suf and fed it to the birds.

The Maharal then asked that the children should be given kasha, so that they can also feed the birds.

Then the Maharal would bless the children and the parents that they should be zoche to teach the children properly and raise them to Torah, Chuppah, and Maasim Tovim.

In those days, most families and communities owned animals. It is only allowed to feed animals on Shabbos if they belong to you, so the minhag of feeding the birds can’t be done on Shabbos nowadays. But it is still important to teach children to have Rachmanus, so we tell them this story. Some put out kasha for the birds before Shabbos as well as keeping the minhag of eating kasha on Shabbos.

See farbrengen Parshas Beshalach Tof-Shin-Mem-Tes

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



Moshiach Minyan

In the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, it brings the halacha that we don’t count people with numbers. Instead, to see if we have enough men for a minyan, we count by saying a posuk with 10 words, the posuk of “Hoshia Es Amecha.”

Why does the Kitzur choose this posuk? In a sefer about Halacha and Minhag from Rashi, called Sefer Hapardes, it says to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha” which also has 10 words.

In fact, it would make more sense to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha,” since that posuk speaks about coming to daven to Hashem!

The Rebbe explains that it is because as we get closer to Moshiach, the Golus gets darker. Whenever we have a chance, we remind ourselves that Hashem will save us and bring the Geulah — “Hoshia Es Amecha!”

Vayakhel-Pekudei Mem-Gimmel, Migolah L’Geulah p. 87

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