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Parshas Vayigash - Shvi'i with Rashi

Yosef’s whole family goes to live in Goshen, and he gives them plenty of food. We find out how Yosef got all of the money, land, animals, and people of Mitzrayim for Paraoh! Yaakov’s family grows as they have many children.

Yosef had his family go to live in the Raamses part of Goshen, like Paraoh said. He gave them plenty of food, just as if they were little kids who make a mess with their food and waste a lot of it!

Now the Torah will go back to telling us how Yosef took care of Mitzrayim during the hunger:

In the first year of the hunger, there was no bread in the entire country. All of the food people had got rotten, so everyone was very hungry. But the food Yosef put away didn’t get rotten, so everyone came to buy from him. Yosef gave all of the money to Paraoh.

When the people didn’t have any money left, they begged to have food anyway. Yosef told them to bring their animals and he would give them food. The people traded their animals for food, and had enough to eat that whole year.

The next year, they begged for food again. Now they didn’t have any animals left to trade for food either. “All we have left is ourselves and our land! Please buy us and our land, and give us food. We will work on this land for Paraoh. And now that the Nilus started to overflow because of Yaakov’s bracha, please give us seeds to plant so we can also have food for next year.”

This way, Yosef got the WHOLE Mitzrayim, and all of the people, to belong to Paraoh!

Yosef moved the people to different parts of Mitzrayim, so they’ll remember that they are Paraoh’s servants. He also did this so EVERYONE was new to where they lived, and his brothers won’t feel different. He told everyone that they would have to give a fifth (meaning 1 out of every 5 bundles of grain) to Paraoh, and the rest they could use for themselves.

The Mitzriyim didn’t mind paying this tax, because Yosef saved their lives. Only the land of the priests of Avodah Zara didn’t belong to Paraoh, because that was the law in Mitzrayim.

Yaakov’s family settled in Mitzrayim. They were in the nicest part of Mitzrayim, but it wasn’t Eretz Yisroel. So even though it wasn’t very uncomfortable, it was still part of the Golus that Hashem told Avraham his children would have.

They had many children, and the family got to be very very big.



39 - 43

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Lamed-Tes through Mem-Gimmel.

In one of today’s Kapitelach Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Ach Betzelem Yis’halech Ish.” It means that people don’t understand what to do in the world, it’s like they’re walking in the dark.

The Rebbe says that the word “tzelem” (darkness) also means image (picture)! So we can translate the posuk as “Only with the picture can a person go.” What picture? A picture of the Rebbe! When we look at the Rebbe’s picture, we aren’t so mixed up anymore and we are encouraged to act in the right way.

When a Yid looks at a picture of the Rebbe, it reminds him that the Rebbe is a Nosi, a leader of the Yidden. The Rebbe cares about all of us, and it’s important to the Rebbe that we should act the way we should. When we look, it reminds us to do the right thing! That gives us the koach to do what we should, in a way of simcha.



Likutei Amarim Perek Vov

In yesterday’s Tanya, we learned that anything that is not kedusha is automatically kelipah. Kedusha means something that is done especially for Hashem, and anything we do for a different reason is kelipah.

But not all kelipah is the same! There is some kelipah that can NEVER be a part of kedusha. It can never be used by the Nefesh Elokis. There are actually 3 of these (we learn their names from the Navi Yechezkel), and they’re called the Shalosh Kelipos Hatemeios.

In the end of today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe talks about what kinds of things are these kelipos: Goyim that don’t keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, non-kosher animals, and non-kosher food or food that’s asur to eat for another reason (like Orlah or Kilayim), or any kind of thing that’s an aveira.

In tomorrow’s Tanya, we’re going to learn about the OTHER kind of kelipah, that even though it’s kelipah, it can be used for and become a part of kedusha.



Zayin Teves

We will soon be learning in Tanya that even after fixing up Kelipas Noga that we didn’t use for kedusha, there’s still a mark left on the guf.

Usually the guf needs to be cleaned off using something called “Chibut Hakever.” There are also certain things we learn about in Tanya, where the neshama needs a type of cleaning called “Kaf Hakela.” Even though they do clean off a neshama and a guf, they are very painful.

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe shows us a way to make sure the neshama and guf stay clean and won’t need to have that cleaning later: Saying words of Torah, Tehillim, or other holy words for 4 hours every day can clean off a guf so they don’t need “Chibut Hakever,” and saying as much Mishnayos or Tanya or Tehillim Baal Peh as you can keeps a neshama from needing “Kaf Hakela.”



Shiur #181 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125, #123, #128, #126, #127, #121, #122

In Sefer Hamitzvos today, we learn A LOT of mitzvos about the Korban Pesach! Most of these mitzvos come from Parshas Bo, where Hashem tells the Yidden about this mitzvah.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125) We are not allowed to eat the Korban Pesach when it is cooked in any liquid, or when it is not fully cooked. It needs to be roasted well, the way people usually eat meat.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: אַל תֹּאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נָא וּבָשֵׁל מְבֻשָּׁל בַּמָּיִם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #123) We are not allowed to take any of the Korban Pesach out of the house where we are eating it.

This mitzvah comes from the words: לֹא תוֹצִיא מִן הַבַּיִת מִן הַבָּשָׂר חוּצָה

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.

We also learn some mitzvos about who we can’t share the Korban Pesach with:

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #128) We are not allowed to give part of the Korban Pesach to a meshumad, a Yid who converted to another religion and serves Avodah Zarah.

The posuk says: כָּל בֶּן נֵכָר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #126) We can’t give the Korban Pesach to a Goy, even if he follows the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. As the Torah says: תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #127) A Yid who didn’t have a Bris Milah is not allowed to eat from the Korban Pesach.

We learn this from the posuk that says: וְכָל עָרֵל לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

We need to treat the Korban Pesach with kavod!

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #121) We are not allowed to break any of the bones of the Korban Pesach. As the posuk says: וְעֶצֶם לֹא תִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #122) We can’t break any bones of the Korban Pesach if we bring it on Pesach Sheini.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha, which speaks about Pesach Sheini: וְעֶצֶם לֹא יִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.



Hilchos Korban Pesach

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about bringing the Korban Pesach, and then about eating it!

Perek Vov: There are some people who are not allowed to bring the Korban Pesach. Someone who was Tomei, and won’t become Tahor in time, has to wait until Pesach Sheini.

Perek Zayin: We learn about Tumah Dechuyah Betzibur. When MOST of the Yidden are Tomei, the Yidden are allowed to bring the Korban Pesach on time, even though they are tomei.

Perek Ches: We learn how the Korban Pesach is eaten: We eat the Korban Pesach together with matzah and maror. We are only allowed to prepare it by roasting, and we can eat it only at night.



Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin - Perek Yud-Ches

It is a Mitzvas Lo Saasei that we are not allowed to make korbanos tamei, and a person is punished for it. But a person is not pun- ished for making a korban pigul (for planning on doing something wrong with a korban), because a Beis Din can only punish someone for DOING something, not for thinking something.

Other problems for a korban are Nosar, meat left past the time we are supposed to eat it, and if a tomei person touches a korban.

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Hey – Yud-Beis Teves

In the days after Hey Teves, we continue to learn about and live with the lessons of this Yom Tov!

The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya (Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Zayin) that even after the histalkus of a tzadik, the tzadik still continues to live even in this gashmius’dike world.

How? Because the life of a tzadik was never his gashmius’dike body! The body of a tzadik is just a helper for the main part of the tzadik’s life — emunah, ahava, and yirah for Hashem.

How does a tzadik get this emunah, ahava, and yirah? From learning Torah! So the seforim that the tzadik uses to learn Torah are a part of his life.

(That’s why it was so terrible for someone to take the seforim of the Rebbe: Because they were actually taking a part of the life of the Rebbe! Boruch Hashem, because of Hey Teves, these seforim were returned.)

Before the histalkus of the Rebbe Rashab, the Rebbe Rashab said “Ich gei in Himmel, un di Ksovim loz ich aich” — “I am going to Shomayim, and I am leaving you the Torah that I wrote.”

We see from here that the Rebbe’s life is not only in the seforim that the Rebbe learned from, but from the seforim that the Rebbe wrote! By learning the Rebbe’s Torah, and following what the Rebbe teaches us, we can have a part of the Rebbe’s life.

See Likutei Sichos Chelek Lamed-Beis, Vayikra 5747 and farbrengen Yud-Beis Tammuz 5745

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Hashem's Pride

There is a type of Yid that wakes up in the morning and rushes to daven with an early minyan. Even though he is busy all day long, he stops everything and hurries to shul to daven Mincha. He then sits and listens to a shiur in Ein Yaakov until it is time to daven Maariv with the minyan. When he comes home, he shares with his family the Ein Yaakov which he learned.

This makes Hashem very proud!

Hashem gathers all of the malochim and points out this Yid. Hashem tells them: “You, malochim, don’t have to worry about parnasa. You don’t have a family, you don’t have the responsibilities of money, taxes, and other things. This person has a very big achrayus that I gave him. But he does his job in the Gashmius world according to Torah! This makes Me very proud!”

Sefer Hasichos (sichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe) 5699, p. 138



Buying Seforim

There is a mitzvah in the Torah that every person should write a Sefer Torah. Nowadays, we fulfill this mitzvah by buying a letter in the Sefer Torah and by buying seforim.

Did you know that there are halachos about which seforim to buy first?

The most important seforim to buy are the ones you need for learning. So before having a nice set of seforim to put on your shelf, you should first make sure you have the ones that will you will need for learning.

Of course we need a Chitas and a Rambam, and basic seforim like a Tanach. But after that, which seforim of learning should we get?

The Alter Rebbe tells us in Hilchos Talmud Torah that the first parts of Torah to learn are the ones that teach us how to behave as a Yid, both halacha seforim that teach us what to do and seforim of Mussar and Chassidus which give us the right hashkafa and Yiras Shomayim.

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman Chof-Ches, se’if Beis, and the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Talmud Torah perek Beis

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



Non-Kosher Things When Moshiach Comes

In today’s Tanya, we learned that non-kosher things get their chayus from the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios, the lowest level of kelipah.

When Moshiach comes, and Hashem will take away the tumah from the world, will these things all disappear?

The answer is no! Kelipah itself can’t give chayus. Hidden inside of kelipah there is a spark of kedusha, and that is what gives chayus!

So when the tumah leaves the world, these things won’t get their chayus through kelipah anymore — their chayus will come straight from the kedusha!

See Igros Kodesh vol. 3 p. 152, Tanya Hashalem Perek Vov

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