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Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is reminding the Yidden about the things that happened during the last forty years of traveling in the midbar. They are getting ready to go into Eretz Yisroel with Yehoshua!

“You are about to go into the special land of Eretz Yisroel! Don’t make a mistake and think that Hashem is taking out the goyim and letting you go in because you are tzadikim and you deserve it!”

Moshe Rabbeinu doesn’t want the Yidden to have gaava (to think about themselves and how important and special they are), because then they will be busy thinking about themselves, and won’t be able to to think about Hashem and doing what Hashem wants!

“Remember that right after Matan Torah, you decided to make the Eigel — and remember what happened to everyone who helped!

“Remember all the times when you complained about food and water instead of having bitachon that Hashem will take care of whatever you need!

“Remember how you complained that you didn’t want to go into Eretz Yisroel after the Meraglim came back!

“So why are you going into Eretz Yisroel, if you don’t deserve it? Because the goyim are acting in ways that make Hashem upset, and He doesn’t want them to live there anymore. It is also because of the Mesiras Nefesh the Avos had to act the way Hashem wants, and Hashem’s promise to them that their children would get Eretz Yisroel.

“Don’t think that you can act however you want and still stay in Eretz Yisroel — you need to make sure to live the way Hashem tells you, in order to deserve to stay!”



90 - 96

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik to Tzadik-Vov.

The first kapitel in today’s Tehillim was written by Moshe Rabbeinu. Dovid Hamelech later put it in Tehillim. It starts with the words “Tefillah LeMoshe, Ish HaElokim.” “This is a Tefillah by Moshe Rabbeinu, a person of Hashem.”

Why is Moshe Rabbeinu called “a person of Hashem”?

Hashem is everything and everything is Hashem — but we can’t see that! Hashem made the world because Hashem wants Yidden to act according to Torah and mitzvos and make a Dira Betachtonim.

But if we can’t see Hashem, how do we know how to act? That’s why Hashem gives Yidden a Moshe Rabbeinu, who is “a person of Hashem.” A Moshe Rabbeinu has two parts — one part of him that is “of Hashem” — very close to Hashem so he knows what Hashem wants, but he is also “a person” — so he can teach us what we need to do!

There is always a Nasi, like Moshe Rabbeinu, who helps the Yidden do what Hashem wants at that time. Now, of course, the Rebbe is our Moshe Rabbeinu!

The Rebbe told us that we are about to see the Geulah, and we need to learn and teach about it! We need to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus and ask Hashem to bring Moshiach NOW!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Vov

Here is another letter from the Alter Rebbe, explaining to Chassidim how special it is to give Tzedakah. (The Alter Rebbe especially wanted Chassidim to send money to the Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel, who had no way to get money. This is actually one of the reasons why the Alter Rebbe was arrested before the Chag HaGeulah of Yud-Tes Kislev!)

There is a posuk (in Mishlei) that teaches us that the reward for giving Tzedakah is that a Yid gets Emes (truth). What does it mean “to get Emes,” and why do we get it for giving Tzedakah?

To understand this, first let’s learn something about our neshamos: When the neshama is born in a body, it can only see things that a Gashmius body can let it see. It can’t see Hashem and that Hashem is one — even though it is true! (Like we learned before in Tanya, “Hashem is one” means that even though there are so many things in the world, and even though Hashem made a whole world from nothing, it didn’t change Hashem!)

It is a big rachmonus on the poor Neshama when it is in a Gashmius’dike body and can’t see the Emes.

IY”H tomorrow we will see what this has to do with getting emes as a reward for giving tzedakah.



Yud-Tes Menachem Av

Today we learn the seder of someone who puts on four pairs of Tefillin.

Why would someone have FOUR pairs of Tefillin?

Four different Chachomim explained the halacha of which order to put the parshios (the pieces of parchment) in the compartments inside the Tefillin. Each gave a different order, and they each bring a different kind of Ruchnius koach to the person who wears them.

The halacha in Shulchan Aruch is according to Rashi, but some people have a minhag to wear the other kinds too. Our minhag is to wear two pairs of Tefillin — Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam. Still, some special people have a minhag to wear ALL FOUR kinds of Tefillin!

We learn today what a person should daven or learn when wearing each pair of tefillin.



Mitzvas Asei #246

In today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #246), we learn (like the past few days) that if there are ever people who have an argument about money or belongings, then Beis Din has a mitzvah to decide what should be done, according to the rules of the Torah.



Hilchos To'ein Venit'an

Perek Yud-Gimmel: Here’s a case that could come before Beis Din: Reuven was living in a house for a long time, and Shimon came to him and said, “What are you doing in this house?! It’s mine!” What does the Beis Din do?

There’s a big problem here — Reuven doesn’t have a contract to show that the house is his! He didn’t keep the paper!

So Beis Din will believe Reuven, and let him stay in the house, because of something called “chazaka” — if a person was living in a house or using a field for 3 years, with other people knowing, that proves it belongs to him — because otherwise Shimon would have told him to move out a long time ago!

But there are some people where this is not a proof — like business partners. These people might not mind if their partner is using their house, but it doesn’t mean that they should be able to keep it forever! There is a different halacha for them — Shimon needs to prove the house used to be his, and needs to make a special kind of shevuah that he didn’t give it away or sell it.

In Perek Yud-Daled, one of the things we learn is that even if a person CAN’T use chazaka to prove that the property is theirs, they can bring witnesses to show that they bought it.

But a robber can’t do that either! If he once stole a field, the Beis Din will never be able to trust him, because maybe the person only pretended to sell the field to him because he was scared of him, since he is a robber!

Perek Tes-Vov teaches us what to do when witnesses come to Beis Din to say that the person has a chazaka on the property, but they don’t say exactly the same thing. If one person says he grew wheat for three years and the other witness says he grew barley, we accept the witnesses, because that is a small detail. But if one witness says he worked there during the odd years, and the other witness says he worked there during the even years, then we don’t have any witness to say he has a chazaka, and he has to give the property back!



Hilchos Shechitah - Perek Yud

In this perek, we learn about problems with an animals bones that can make it a treifah.

The Rambam now reviews all of the 70 problems we have learned that can make an animal a treifah.



Leben Mit Der Tzeit

In this week’s parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden about the Midbar that they traveled through.

The Rebbe tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t only talking about the Midbar that the Yidden went through on their way to Eretz Yisroel. He was also hinting to the long Golus that the Yidden are going through now! This last Golus before Moshiach comes is compared to a desert.

The way Moshe Rabbeinu tells us about the Midbar also teaches us what this Golus is all about, and shows us how we can fight the Golus and bring the Geulah!

The first thing Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden about the Midbar is that it was a Midbar Gadol V’Norah — a great and mighty desert. This shows us the first problem that Golus can give us: To make us think that the parts of the Golus are special and important. Really, a Midbar isn’t so great and special — it’s just a Midbar! Even though many parts of Golus SEEM so important, like being rich or famous — it’s just a Golus!

This also shows us the first way to FIGHT the Golus: By being a proud Jew! Don’t look at the Golus as so important, because there is nothing more special than being a Jew and keeping Torah and mitzvos!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Beis, Parshas Eikev (p. 371)


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In Korbanos in the morning, we say the pesukim that talk about the Korban Tomid and the Ketores, and the halachos about how the Ketores is made. When we do this, Hashem counts it as if we are actually bringing the Korban Tomid and the Ketores!

After finishing (and saying the pesukim that Kabbalah teaches we should say after the Ketores), we say a posuk from Malachi: “Ve’arva LaHashem Minchas Yehuda Viyerushalayim, Kimei Olam Ucheshanim Kadmoniyos.” “The korbanos of the Yidden should be sweet to Hashem, like days of old and previous times.”

This posuk is part of a Nevuah about the Geulah! The Navi says that Hashem will give us the Beis Hamikdash and accept our korbanos with all of the nisim we had during the first Beis Hamikdash.

We are asking Hashem that not only should it be counted as we are bringing the Tomid and the Ketores, but that we should actually be able to bring them for Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi!



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 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



Kibbutz Galuyos

After the days of Shlomo Hamelech, the Yidden split into two groups, each with their own king. Unfortunately, they never got back together, and the group under the Malchei Yisrael was sent into Golus and lost.

But as we see in the words of the Neviim, when Moshiach comes, all of the Yidden will be gathered together again under one king!

The Navi Hoshea also says this in one of his nevuos:

וְנִקְבְּצוּ בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יַחְדָּו וְשָׂמוּ לָהֶם רֹאשׁ אֶחָד וְעָלוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ כִּי גָדוֹל יוֹם יִזְרְעֶאל

Venikbetzu Bnei Yehudah Uvenei Yisrael Yachdav — The Yidden of Yehudah and the Yidden of Yisrael will be gathered together

Vesamu Lahem Rosh Echad — And they will make themselves one leader

Ve’alu Min Ha’aretz — And they will go up from the land of Golus to Eretz Yisroel

Ki Gadol Yom Yizre’el — Because the day of Kibbutz Galuyos will be great!

See Hoshea perek Beis posuk Beis

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