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Parshas Bamidbar - Shlishi with Rashi

Today we learn about how the Yidden camped and traveled in the Midbar.

Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon that the Yidden will need to camp in a certain order around the Mishkan. There will be 4 sections, each with 3 Shevatim in it.

These sections should be 2000 amos away from the Mishkan, so that they aren’t right next to the Mishkan, but they are close enough to walk on Shabbos. (On Shabbos, we can’t walk outside of the “Techum Shabbos,” 2000 amos past where the city ends.)

Each section should have its own flag, with a color for each Shevet. The colors match the stones that each Shevet has in the Choshen!

Here are the sections of the Yidden, with the Shevatim in each section, and the side of the Mishkan where they camped. They are written in the Torah in the order of how they travel. The Torah also tells us how many Yidden were in each Shevet again, and how many in each section.

East of the Mishkan

Yehudah - nasi: Nachshon ben Aminadav
Yissachar - nasi: Nesanel ben Tzuar
Zevulun - nasi: Eliav ben Cheilon

South of the Mishkan

Reuven - nasi: Elitzur ben Shdeiur
Shimon - nasi: Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai
Gad - nasi: Eliasaf ben Reuel

In the middle (the Mishkan)


West of the Mishkan

Efrayim - nasi: Elishama ben Amihud
Menasheh - nasi: Gamliel ben Pedatzur
Benyamin - nasi: Avidan ben Gidoni

North of the Mishkan

Dan - nasi: Achiezer ben Amishadai
Asher - nasi: Pagiel ben Ochran
Naftali - nasi: Achira ben Einan

When Hashem makes a sign for the Yidden to travel, first Yehudah’s section should travel, then Reuven’s section, then the Leviim (who carry the Mishkan), then Efrayim’s section, and then Dan’s section.



119 (first half)

Today we say the first half of the longest kapitel of the whole Tehillim, Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes (119)!

One of the pesukim in this kapitel says, “Chatzos Laila Akum Lehodos Lach” — Dovid Hamelech says, “at midnight I get up to praise You, Hashem!”

The Gemara tells us that Dovid Hamelech used to leave the window open in his room, and hung a harp near his bed. At midnight, the north wind would blow, and the harp strings would make noise! Dovid Hamelech would wake up right away when he heard the noise, and learn Torah until the morning.

It happened in the morning that the Chachomim came to him and said, “The Yidden need parnasa! What should we do?”

Dovid Hamelech told them to collect tzedakah for the poor people.

“But it’s not enough!” the Chachomim said. “We can’t collect enough tzedakah to take care of all of the poor people.”

Dovid Hamelech answered, “So go and fight against our enemies who want to attack us, and you can take their money to help the poor people.”

Right away, the Yidden asked the Sanhedrin and the Kohen Gadol if they were allowed to fight.

The Rebbe Rashab once farbrenged all night about this Gemara! He said that Dovid Hamelech was such a big Talmid Chochom, he could have written many important seforim. But he didn’t! He only wrote a Tehillim’l, which makes our hearts warm and helps us feel close to Hashem.

Dovid Hamelech was the leader of the Yidden. He understood what the Yidden needed! Even though he could have written seforim, he knew that the Yidden would need a sefer that would help them in hard times, like when they are fighting with their enemies.

And even today, we use the Tehillim to help us when we have challenges.

We see the same thing with our Rebbe! Of course the Rebbe could have written an amazing pirush on the entire Gemara, but the Rebbe chose to farbreng with us, to teach us how to be close to Hashem and do our shlichus in the world.



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Alef

There are two kinds of chayus that a person has from his neshama: One is a kind of Chayus that is the same for the whole person, to keep him alive, and there is a second kind of Chayus that is specific for each part of the person. Each part gets exactly the kochos it needs from the neshama to do its job, like the eye to see, the ear to hear, and the feet to walk.

The world is the same way! Hashem gives the whole world one kind of chayus so it can exist. This chayus is the same in the highest Ruchnius world, and in the lowest part of the Gashmius world.

Then Hashem gives ANOTHER kind of chayus which is specific to each part of the world, so it has the exact koach it needs.

Kabbalah calls this chayus “Ohr”, “light”, because light can be in many places, but with curtains or windows you can see it more or less. There are some places where this chayus shines more, and we can feel it more! There are other places where it doesn’t shine as much, and it is felt less.

The higher Ruchnius’dike worlds are able to handle the chayus of Hashem much better. So the light of Hashem shines in a stronger way.

But this Gashmius’dike world can’t handle such a strong chayus in a revealed way. That’s why Hashem’s light is very hidden here.

We will see later that this works just like it does in a person! In a person, this second kind of chayus is mainly in the head, and from there it spreads to the rest of the body. The same thing is with the second kind of chayus in the world: This chayus, which is from the Shechinah, mainly rests in the Beis Hamikdash when it is standing, and in Torah and mitzvos nowadays. From there, it spreads out to the rest of the world.



Chof-Hey Iyar

Today is forty days of the Omer!

The Alter Rebbe said the following maamar in Liozna, in 5555:

The Chachomim teach us that “the reward for a mitzvah is a mitzvah.” What does this mean? The best reward for the mitzvah is that it connects us with the etzem of Hashem. We will be able to SEE this reward when Moshiach comes! That is the main part of the mitzvah.

Still, we also get a reward here in this world. Hashem helps us in a way that is similar to the mitzvah that we did: For example, if we give tzedakah and help someone else with their needs, Hashem will help US with OUR needs!

This is what we say in the morning brachos, in “Eilu Devarim” — there are parts of the mitzvahShe’adam Ochel Peiroseihem Ba’olam Hazeh” — that we get the “fruit” (reward) in this world, “Vehakeren Kayemes Le’olam Haba” — but the main part of the reward we will get in Olam Haba.



Shiur #288 - Mitzvas Asei #243

Today we are starting a new sefer in Rambam, called Sefer Mishpatim! The first set of halachos in this sefer is called Hilchos S’chirus, which talks about a “shomer” and a worker.

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #243) is that we need to follow the halachos about a Shomer Sachar and a Socher, someone who is responsible to take care of something that belongs to someone else with payment. Either they paid to use something (Socher), or they were paid to take care of it (Shomer Sachar).

Even though there are four kinds of Shomer, there are only three mitzvos, because two of them have the same halacha, as we learn today!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: כִּי יִתֵּן אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ חֲמוֹר אוֹ שׁוֹר אוֹ שֶׂה וְגוֹ׳

The dinim of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Vov and Perek Tes of Mesechta Bava Kama, Perek Gimmel and Perek Vov of Mesechta Bava Metziah, and Perek Ches of Mesechta Shevuos.



Hilchos Sechirus

In today’s Rambam, we learn about being a shomer:

In Perek Alef, the Rambam explains what a shomer is. “Shomer” means guard — it’s a person who is “guarding” (is in charge of taking care of) something for another person. Of course you have to be very careful with something that isn’t yours!

There are four kinds of Shomrim:

1) Shomer Chinam: Someone who isn’t paid to take care of something (like a friend who asks, “Will you watch this for me?”)

2) Shomer Sachar: A person who is paid to take care of something

3) Shoel: A person who borrows something

4) Socher: A person who pays someone else to use his thing (renting)

One halacha is that if you borrow something, you can’t just lend it to someone else — even if it’s a Sefer Torah and you are lending it for a mitzvah!

Perek Beis: This perek teaches us about who can be a shomer. It has to be a person who is allowed to do business according to Torah, because the halachos of shomer and regular business share many of the same halachos. The Rambam tells us that just like with buying something, there has to be a kinyan, to show that the shomer started taking care of it.

In Perek Gimmel, we learn what happens if the thing you were watching got lost or broken. If it happened because you weren’t careful, even a shomer chinam has to pay for it!


Chassidus teaches the ruchniyus meaning of these halachos, how a neshama is given to the person to watch. The different kinds of shomer are different ways the person has responsibility to take care that the neshama should be successful in its shlichus in the world.

For example, a Shomer Chinam is someone who is watching the neshama “for free” — not thinking about the reward they will receive for keeping Torah and mitzvos. A Shomer Sachar is doing what he is supposed to, but thinking about the reward that Hashem will give for doing the shlichus properly.



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Daled

Perek Daled teaches us more halachos about not being strict with the witnesses in a money case. For example, if the witnesses saw what happened from different places (like different sides of the street) and didn’t see each other, we still count them as good witnesses. Why? So the special mitzvah of Gemilus Chasadim (which includes lending money to others) will be easier to keep, and Yidden will have the money they need.



Everyone Needs to Learn

One of the reasons why we count Sefiras Ha’omer is because just as the Yidden in the Midbar were excited and counted the days until they would receive the Torah, every year we are excited for the day that Hashem will give us the Torah, on Shavuos!

Here is a story about a yechidus that a bochur had with the Rebbe, about learning Torah:

When a chossid went into yechidus, he would usually bring a note, a tzetl. The Rebbe would take the tzetl and read through it, answering the questions inside.

But one bochur’s yechidus was a little different!

This bochur brought his tzetl with him as usual, and gave it to the Rebbe.

But even before the Rebbe opened the tzetl, he looked up at the bochur.

The Rebbe told him, whatever you become — whether you become a Rav, an Osek Betzorchei Tzibur (someone involved in helping the community), or a shliach — you need to be able to learn well, Niglah and Chassidus!

Only after telling him this did the Rebbe open the bochur’s note.

We see from here that whatever we want to become, a Rav or an Osek Betzorchei Tzibur, or a shliach, we need to be able to learn well, Niglah and Chassidus!


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Sim Shalom (part 2)

In the last bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, we say, “Borcheinu Avinu Kulanu Ke’Echad Be’or Panecha!” “Our Father, bentch us all together with the light of Your face!”

The Midrash Pesikta Rabbah explains that the light of Hashem means the light of Moshiach!

How do we get the light of Moshiach? When Hashem is able to bentch us all together, kulanu k’echad. When we have achdus, we deserve the light of Moshiach!

We said yesterday that we say this as the last bracha because shalom is the keili for all of the brachos. From this Medrash we see that this shalom is also the keili for the whole reason the world was created: That the light of Moshiach should shine throughout the world!

See Maamar 15 Menachem Av, 5743



Lechem Mishna

When we eat a seudah on Shabbos, we need to start the meal by washing on Lechem Mishna — two loaves of bread or challah. These two loaves of bread remind us of the double portion of Mahn!

Here are two halachos about Lechem Mishnah that not everyone knows:

1) This halacha is not only for the regular seudos on Friday night or Shabbos day. EVERY time we wash for challah on Shabbos, we should make Hamotzi on Lechem Mishnah! So if you decide to have a sandwich in the afternoon, or a bagel for a snack, you also need to have Lechem Mishna!

2) Every person needs to have Lechem Mishna!

Still, just like one person is able to make kiddush and be motzi everyone else at the meal, one person is able to make Hamotzi on Lechem Mishna and be yotzei everyone else there.

Usually a man does this, but if there are no men or boys over Bar Mitzvah, a woman also needs to do it. So if a Mommy is having a Shalosh Seudos while Tatty takes a nap, she needs to make Lechem Mishna for the seudah, and if a teenager wants to have the seudah early, they need Lechem Mishna too.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Shabbos, siman Reish-Tzadik-Alef, se’if Zayin and Ches

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



Bila Hamaves Lanetzach

In one of the nevuos about the Geulah, the Navi Yeshaya says that people won’t pass away anymore, and Hashem will take away all of our sadness.

בִּלַּע הַמָּוֶת לָנֶצַח וּמָחָה ה׳ אֶלֹקִים דִּמְעָה מֵעַל כָּל פָּנִים וְחֶרְפַּת עַמּוֹ יָסִיר מֵעַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ כִּי ה׳ דִּבֵּר

Bila Hamaves Lanetzach — Hashem will destroy death forever

Umacha Hashem Elokim Dimah Me’al Kol Panim— And Hashem will wipe away the tear from every face.

Vecherpas Amo Yasir — And Hashem will take away the embarrassment of His nation

Me’al Kol Ha’aretz — Who are embarrassed in front of the rest of the world, since they are in Golus.

Ki Hashem Diber — Hashem has said so, and it will definitely happen!

See Yeshaya 25:8

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