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Parshas Yisro - Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we continue to learn what happened during Matan Torah and afterwards!

When Hashem said the Aseres Hadibros, the Yidden could hear and SEE Hashem’s words! It was so powerful, they shook and backed up far away from Har Sinai! Malochim came and calmed the Yidden down and brought them back.

After the Yidden heard the Aseres Hadibros they asked that now Moshe should talk to them, because even though they can hear from Hashem, they need a neis to hear. Now they want to hear Hashem’s words in a way that their guf can hear them.

Moshe told the Yidden that they really don’t need to worry, since it’s good for them to be scared — it will bring Yiras Shomayim! Still, Hashem told Moshe to talk to the Yidden himself, so Moshe went high up on Har Sinai, into the cloud, and the rest of the Yidden stood back.

Later, when Moshe went up on Har Sinai for 40 days, Hashem told Moshe to remind the Yidden that they heard Hashem! They should be very careful not to do any kind of Avodah Zarah, to think that Hashem needs any “help.”

Later the Yidden will build a Mizbeiach to serve Hashem in the way Hashem wants!



97 - 103

Today’s kapitelach are Tzadik-Zayin through Kuf-Gimmel.

Here are the first and last pesukim of today’s first kapitel:

ה׳ מָלָךְ תָּגֵל הָאָרֶץ יִשְׂמְחוּ אִיִּים רַבִּים

Hashem Malach Tageil Ha’aretz — When Hashem will show His malchus, the world will be happy

Yismechu Iyim Rabim — The many islands will be joyful!

And the last posuk:

שִׂמְחוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּה׳ וְהוֹדוּ לְזֵכֶר קָדְשׁוֹ

Simchu Tzadikim BaHashem — Be happy with Hashem, tzadikim

Vehodu Lezeicher Kadsho — And praise Hashem’s holy Name!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Hey

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us how important it is to serve Hashem with simcha!

We learned in the past few perakim a shorter way to serve Hashem with chayus. We just need to remind ourselves of the Ahavas Hashem we already have inside of us, the koach of Mesiras Nefesh, which will help us do whatever Hashem wants, even when it’s hard. But this won’t help us if we get depressed! It will be too easy for the Yetzer Hara to convince us that mitzvos are not worth the effort.

We see this even in Gashmius — when two people are fighting with each other, most of the time the stronger one will win. But if one of them is lazy or slow, he will get beaten even if he is the stronger one!

Really, our Yetzer Hara is the weaker one. We have so many kochos from Hashem, like this hidden Ahava, and the fact that Hashem will help us, that we often can easily overcome our Yetzer Hara! But if we are not in a good mood and besimcha, it will be much too easy for the Yetzer Hara to win chas veshalom.

It is true that sometimes it is appropriate to have merirus, to be upset about our Ruchnius situation, and we will be learning when and how later in Tanya. But this feeling of merirus is only at certain times and is only temporary, and makes us FIX our Ruchnius situation, so we will end up happier! Any other time, the ONLY way to stay in control and do what Hashem wants is through simcha!

Many times people would write to the Rebbe asking for an eitza to be happy. Sometimes the Rebbe would tell the person to look in the index (Mafteiach Inyonim) that he wrote on Tanya, and learn the parts where it talks about simcha. We are starting to learn this topic today, where we see how important it is for a Yid to be besimcha, and over the next few perakim the Alter Rebbe will first give us eitzos not to be depressed (atzvus), and then we will learn about two different types of simcha! (Just in time for Adar!)



Chof Shevat

Today’s Hayom Yom teaches us about our minhag in Netilas Yodayim before eating bread.

The Rebbe Rashab writes in one of his letters that our minhag is to wash our hands three times on each hand for Netilas Yodayim. (Some people do only two times, but it is a special hidur to pour water THREE times.)

The Rebbe Maharash would also do it this way, and would leave a little bit of water in his hand after pouring for the third time, to rub his hands together (shifshuf) after the bracha.



Shiur #194 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #107, Asei #107

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #107) If we decided that a certain animal will be for a Korban Asham, we can’t change it afterwards and bring it as a Korban Chatas! It has to be the SAME animal for the SAME Korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אֹתוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Temurah.

Now we start a new Sefer of Rambam, and a new set of halachos, about Tumah and Tahara!

2) (Mitzvas Asei #107) The first mitzvah of this Sefer is that if someone becomes tomei with Tumas Meis (touching the body of a person who passed away), he needs to follow the halachos about what he is not allowed to do while he is tomei, and how he can become tahor again.



Hilchos Temurah - Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the halachos of Temurah.

Perek Daled: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us what happens if an animal that is supposed to be a Korban or a Temurah has a baby! The Rambam finishes with a lesson from the halachos of Temurah that will help us in our Avodas Hashem!

Now we have finished Sefer Korbanos! Then we start learning a NEW sefer of Rambam, the 10th sefer, Sefer Tahara! The first set of halachos is Hilchos Tumas Meis, about the kind of tumah that comes from the body of a person who passed away R”L.

Perek Alef: The Rambam explains how a person can get Tumah.

Perek Beis: This perek teaches us what can give Tumas Meis.



Hilchos Sechirus - Perek Yud-Alef

In Perek Yud-Alef, we learn about paying workers on time. We only need to pay once the work was done and we received it. So if someone ordered a piece of furniture, it is not counted as paying late until after he picked it up.



Story the Rebbe Told Us

One night, when the Rebbe was in Vienna, he went into a shul to daven. While he was there, he put some money into a tzedakah pushka.

A knowledgable young man came over to him, and said, “How can you do such a thing? It says in Kisvei HoArizal not to give tzedakah at night!”

Later the Rebbe told the Frierdiker Rebbe what had happened. The Frierdiker Rebbe said, “That person probably doesn’t give tzedakah during the day either…”

The lesson the Rebbe learns from this is that sometimes when we want to do something good, people can say that we shouldn’t do it since we’re not doing it 100% right. But probably that’s because they aren’t doing enough themselves, not because of the excuses they are giving! So we should never let that stop us, and keep doing more good things, even if people tell us it’s not perfect!


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First Bracha of Shemoneh Esrei

It is very important to understand the words of the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei in order to be yotzei the mitzvah of davening Shemoneh Esrei. We are going through the actual words of the bracha to make sure we understand them.

First we bentch Hashem Who is our Aibershter and the Aibershter of the Avos, and say some of the praises of Hashem from the Torah, which the Anshei Kneses Hagedolah chose to put in davening. Then we continue:

Vezocher Chasdei Avos — Hashem remembers the kindness of the Avos, meaning the zechus of the Avos

Umeivi Goel — And Hashem brings someone to save them

Livnei Veneihem — To the Yidden that come from the Avos

Lemaan Shemo — For the sake of Hashem’s name, meaning even if the Yidden don’t deserve it

Be’Ahava — With His love for us.

The Avudraham points out that we don’t say that Hashem DID any of these things in the past, but through the whole bracha we say that Hashem DOES these things! Why? Because Hashem didn’t do these things only once, Hashem does them for us all the time! Hashem saved the Yidden in Mitzrayim, and will continue to save us whenever we need, until we have a complete Geulah!

We say this praise of Hashem to begin our Shemoneh Esrei properly. In Shemoneh Esrei, we are going to ask Hashem for all of the things we need to do our special shlichus, the shlichus we decided to do when we said Shema! We tell Hashem that we are sure He will help us and give us all we need, the way Hashem always does, because we are Hashem’s special nation, the children of the Avos!



Kiddush Bemakom Seudah

The Chachomim teach us that Kiddush needs to be in connection with a meal, called “Kiddush Bemakom Seudah.” The Chachomim learn this from the posukVekarasa LeShabbos Oneg.”

When we make Kiddush, we should have in mind that we will be eating right afterwards. If someone wasn’t planning on eating right afterwards, he has only a very short time (Kedei Achilas Pras, like the amount of time we have to eat the shiur of matzah in) to start eating, or else he wasn’t yotzei the mitzvah of Kiddush!

Bedieved, if we were planning on eating our seudah, but weren’t able to right away, or had to interrupt because of something we needed for the seudah, we are still yotzei Kiddush.

We should be careful, though, not to leave the house, and try not to even go to a different part of the house before we start our seudah.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Gimmel se’if Hey; Kitzur Halachos p. 178 fn. 10, from the Badei Hashulchan; and audio shiurim of Rabbi Farkash, halachos of Kiddush, tape 3

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



Can We Really Do It?

In seforim of Mussar, there is a very interesting mashal that will help us understand how it is possible that we can bring the Geulah:

Who can see farther, a tall person or a short person? Of course, a tall person can see much farther. But if the short person stands on top of the tall person, then the short person can see even farther than the tall one!

This mashal helps us understand how our generation, which is not as special as the generations before, is able to bring Moshiach. We are like a midget, a very short person. But we are standing on top of a giant, on top of the work of the giants in the generations before us!

So even though we might not be as strong or as special, we have the koach of the Torah and mitzvos and Mesiras Nefesh of all of the Yidden of past generations. That is how even one little mitzvah of a Yid in our times can bring Moshiach now!

See Toras Menachem Hisvaaduyos 5742, chelek Gimmel p. 1290

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