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Parshas Bo - Rishon with Rashi

Moshe and Aharon are in the middle of the shlichus Hashem gave them, to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. They had to bring makos onto the Mitzriyim to punish them for the way they mistreated the Yidden, to show them Hashem’s nisim, and to make them let the Yidden go. Moshe warns Paraoh about the next makah, the locusts, and the Mitzriyim are scared. Paraoh considers letting the Yidden go, but when he hears that they ALL will be going, he says NO!

8: Makas Arbeh (locusts)

Hashem told Moshe and Aharon to warn Paraoh to let the Yidden go. Even though it is hard for him to do teshuvah without Hashem helping him, Paraoh still can do teshuvah if he really wants!

So Moshe and Aharon told Paraoh that if he doesn’t let the Yidden go, Hashem will send a makah of locusts, a kind of grasshopper that will eat up all of the things that grow, all over Mitzrayim! Whatever wasn’t destroyed by the hail will be eaten by the locusts.

The Mitzriyim were afraid of the makah, and told Paraoh to just let the Yidden go already!

So Paraoh called Moshe and Aharon back, and asked them, “Who will be going?”

Moshe answered, “Everyone will go serve Hashem! Young people and old people, our sons and our daughters, our sheep and our cattle. Everyone!”

Paraoh said, “Kids don’t bring korbanos! Why do you want to bring them? You don’t want to go serve Hashem for a few days, you want to run away! I’m not going to let ANY of you go!”



23 - 28

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel through Chof-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — “Hashem teaches humble people His path.”

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things! Here they are:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuvah.

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Tes

In today’s Tanya, we learn that even though the chochmah of the neshama could be in Golus by the Yetzer Hara, it can’t be completely in Golus. There’s something that can happen which will wake it up!

As we learned yesterday in Tanya, the chochma of the neshama which only wants to be connected to Hashem can sometimes be sleeping in a Yid — which can Chas Veshalom let him do an Aveira!

We also learned before that even poshute Yidden will overcome a test in their Yiddishkeit that is about if they believe in Hashem. How can they do that if the chochma is sometimes asleep?

The reason why a person can ever do an aveira is because the chochma is asleep, and not reminding the person that aveiros are narishkeit!

But when it comes to a nisayon in Emunah, it’s like poking the Emunah! And where does the Emunah come from? The Chochma of the Neshama! What happens when you poke something? It wakes up! So a nisayon in emunah wakes up the chochma of the neshama. With that koach, a person is only ready to do what Hashem wants.

The Chochma of the Neshama is so strong that when it’s awake, the person can’t even say or do something that doesn’t show Emunah — like to bow to an idol even if he doesn’t believe in it, or say something that sounds like he doesn’t believe in Hashem, even if he doesn’t mean it.

So the chochmah of the Neshama can be in Golus, which will allow a Yid to do an aveira. But when it comes to a nisayon in emunah, the chochmah of the neshama wakes up and becomes active, ready to act with Mesiras Nefesh for Hashem!



Daled Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn the inyan of Golus Mitzrayim and Yetziyas Mitzrayim in Ruchnius!

In the last few parshios in Chumash, we learned how hard it was for the Yidden in Mitzrayim. They were slaves who had to work very hard, and couldn’t behave the way they wanted to.

Finally, Hashem made big nissim with the Makos, and in Parshas Bo, the Yidden come out of Mitzrayim!

In each one of us today, we also have “Yidden” suffering in “Mitzrayim,” and “Yetziyas Mitzrayim.” Our neshamos are like the Yidden. The neshama wants to act in a certain way, to always be connected to Hashem and do what He wants (like we are learning in Tanya).

But the Nefesh Habehamis doesn’t want the neshama to be that way — it wants to live like “Mitzrayim,” to do things that are fun and make it happy, even if it’s not what Hashem wants. That makes the neshama feel like it’s still in Mitzrayim!

So how does it get out? Like we learned in Tanya, a beinoni has a special koach to use his mind, the place of the neshama, to tell the heart how to feel and the body how to act — Moach Shalit Al Halev. When a Yid does that, he gets out of Mitzrayim!



Shiur #192 - Mitzvas Asei #74, #77

We learn two mitzvos today, about korbanos that need to be brought for someone to finish becoming Tahor:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #74) To become tahor enough to eat korbanos, a Zav (a man who had a certain kind of sickness) needs to bring a korban of two birds.

We learn this from the words of the pesukim in Parshas Metzora: וְכִי יִטְהַר הַזָּב מִזּוֹבוֹ וְגוֹ׳ וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים וְגוֹ׳

2) (Mitzvas Asei #77) After a person gets better from Tzoraas (a Metzora), he needs to bring 3 korbanos — an Olah, a Chatas, and an Asham — and oil. Until he does, he isn’t tahor enough to eat meat from korbanos.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Metzora: וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים תְּמִימִם וְכַבְשָׂה אַחַת בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ תְּמִימָה



Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the Mechusrei Kaparah, people who are Tahor, but still need to bring korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn about when a Zav can become tahor — he needs to wait a week after his sickness is over.

Perek Daled: The Rambam teaches us about the Metzora, and how he brings these korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Hey: Now we learn what happens if something isn’t done right with the korbanos of the Metzora.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Yud-Daled

Today we learn more about the moon’s orbit, its path around the world, so we can figure out exactly where it will be at any time. This will help the Beis Din tell if the witnesses are telling the truth that they saw the new moon!



Yud Shevat

One of the minhagim of Yud Shevat is to learn through the maamar of the Frierdiker Rebbe that he gave to Chassidim to learn on the day of Yud Shevat in the year of his histalkus, in Tof-Shin-Yud (1950). We learn part of the maamar after Maariv, after Shacharis, and after Mincha. This way, we finish the whole maamar on Yud Shevat.

This maamar starts with the words “Bosi Legani,” which is what Hashem said at the time of Matan Torah, “I came to My garden.”

In one of the sichos on Yud Shevat, the Rebbe explained why the posuk compares the world to a garden: Sometimes the world looks like a scary place. But a Yid needs to remember that it’s really a special place, it’s Hashem’s world that Hashem watches every second! It’s just that the Yetzer Hara tries to get us to think it’s scary, so we won’t be brave to act the way Hashem wants us to.

But if we remember that all of the hard things we see are from Hashem, we try hard to find the good things in the world, and work to make the world a place for Hashem’s Shechinah to feel comfortable — we will for sure bring Moshiach, when everyone will be able to see that the world is Hashem’s garden!

The Rebbe also had a minhag to explain one se’if (section) of this series of maamarim every year. There are 20 se’ifim in the Frierdiker Rebbe’s hemshech Bosi Legani, so from Tof-Shin-Yud to Tof-Shin-Lamed, the Rebbe explained the entire series of maamarim. The Rebbe did the same thing again over the next 20 years, and began the third cycle. Chassidim have continued the cycle the way the Rebbe started it. We learn the maamarim that the Rebbe said or edited for the se’if of each year.

This year we are learning the 11th se’if, for the 4th time since Yud Shevat (5721, 5741, 5761, 5781)! We learn the Rebbe’s maamar of Tof-Shin-Chof and Tof-Shin-Mem.

We will IY”H learn about some of things this se’if speaks about later!

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Birchas Kohanim and Eilu Devarim

After we say the Birchos HaTorah, thanking Hashem for this special gift, we actually SAY words of Torah!

First we say a part of Torah Shebichsav, and then a piece of Torah Shebaal Peh. From Torah Shebichsav we say Birchas Kohanim, which comes from Parshas Naso, and for Torah Shebaal Peh we say the Mishnah of Eilu Devarim which comes from Mesechta Pe’ah.

One of the reasons why Birchas Kohanim was chosen is because it is a good preparation for davening. In Shemoneh Esrei, the main part of tefillah, we are going to ask Hashem for many brachos. Birchas Kohanim is a general bracha which includes all of these brachos that we are about to ask for.

The Mishnah of Eilu Devarim seems to have been chosen because it mentions many mitzvos that we do on a regular basis. It includes mitzvos that are Bein Adam Lamakom (mitzvos we do directly with Hashem) and mitzvos Bein Adam Lachaveiro (mitzvos that help other people), and we see the brachos from these mitzvos even in Olam Hazeh!

This is the end of Birchos Hashachar. We have thanked Hashem for the wonderful things He gives us every day, and prepared for the connection our neshama will make with Hashem during davening.

See also Likutei Sichos 39, p. 376



Tashlumin for Kiddush

It is a mitzvah to make Kiddush on Friday night. But what happens if someone didn’t or can’t?

For example, let’s say someone fell asleep right after Licht Bentchen, and didn’t wake up until the next morning, or someone was in the hospital and wasn’t able to make Kiddush. Did they miss the mitzvah?

Actually, there is something they can do to make up for missing the Friday night Kiddush!

The Kiddush on Friday night has three parts: Vayechulu, Borei Pri Hagafen, and the bracha Mekadeish HaShabbos. We only say Vayechulu on Friday night, because it speaks about Friday night. But after we make Hagafen in the Kiddush of Shabbos day, we can make up for the Friday night Kiddush by saying the paragraph ending Mekadeish HaShabbos!

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Tes-Zayin

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



Every Yid Should Deserve the Geulah!

Many tzadikim chose to live in the holy land of Eretz Yisrael, where it is easiest to learn Torah and work on personal Avodas Hashem.

Other tzadikim chose to live in quiet towns and villages, away from the noisy and busy big cities, so it would be easier to learn Torah and Chassidus, and to work on avodah.

But the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe acted differently. They chose to live outside of Eretz Yisroel in big, noisy cities full of people — like New York.


The Rebbe explained that this is because we need to get ready for the Geulah!

When the Yidden were getting ready to come out of Mitzrayim, Hashem gave them a mitzvah to do, so they would deserve to come out. Before the Geulah, we want to help every Yid be ready to come out of Golus! We do this by giving them a chance to do a mitzvah.

The best place to do this is by starting in a place where there are lots of Yidden! We can help all of the Yidden in the big city to do a mitzvah through our mivtzoyim. From there, through shlichus we can spread out to all of the cities and towns in the world, so that EVERY Yid will deserve the Geulah Sheleimah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Tes-Zayin, parshas Bo (Gimmel), end of sicha and haaros

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