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Parshas Ki Seitzei - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu is speaking to the Yidden about many the mitzvos they will get to keep in Eretz Yisroel!

Lo Solin: In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned about the Ben Sorer Umoreh, who the Beis Din punishes with Sekilah since the way he is acting now proves he will be a rasha when he gets older. Rashi tells us that he will anyways end up deserving to be punished by Sekilah (stoning). The Torah now also tells us something about Sekilah:

If someone gets Sekilah, afterwards his body is hung up on a pole. Still, there is a mitzvah that it should not stay hanging overnight, because it is not kavodik. Why are we careful about his kavod, if he is a rasha? Because Hashem made a person in the image of Hashem, and it is not kavod for Hashem for a Yid — even a Rasha! — to be hanging all night.

Hashovas Aveidah: If you find an animal wandering around outside, you can’t just pretend you didn’t see it! You need to do Hashovas Aveida — to give it back to the owner.

There are some times when a person CAN ignore the animal — like if he is a Kohen, and the animal is somewhere that a Kohen is not allowed to go, like a cemetery.

This mitzvah isn’t JUST for animals, it’s for ANYTHING that we find that belongs to someone else! We need to take care of it until we find the owner and he tells us about what he lost so we know it really belongs to him.

Now we learn three more mitzvos:

1) Hokeim Tokim: If you see someone’s animal with its packages falling off of it, it is a mitzvah to help the owner reload the animal properly.

2) Lo Silbash: A man is not allowed to wear women’s clothes, because it can make a person act in a not tznius way. A woman is also not allowed to wear a man’s clothes.

3) Shiluach Hakan: If you find a bird’s nest with eggs or baby birds, you should send away the mother bird before you take the babies or eggs. Even though this seems like a very easy mitzvah, Hashem gives us a lot of sechar for it — it makes a person live for a long time!

If we get a reward like that for an EASY mitzvah, imagine what kind of sechar we must get for a HARD mitzvah!



49 - 54

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Mem-Tes to Nun-Daled. For Chodesh Elul we also say kapitelach Chof-Hey, Chof-Vov, and Chof-Zayin.

Kapitel Nun-Alef is the kapitel which Yidden have used throughout the years to learn how to do teshuvah. This kapitel is what Dovid Hamelech said to Hashem when he heard from the Navi that he had done an aveira. It is part of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah (and in Tikun Chatzos), which is the time when we do teshuvah for everything we’ve done during the day.

One of the things that Dovid Hamelech says in this kapitel is “Vechatosi Negdi Somid.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this means that “I always know about my aveira.” Even if a person did teshuvah properly, and is sure that Hashem forgave him 100% (as the Alter Rebbe teaches us in Igeres Hateshuvah), you still have to know that you once did an aveira.

Why is that a good thing? Wouldn’t that just make you feel sad?

No! We don’t think about this ALL the time. But at times when we notice something someone else did wrong, and we might think that we’re much better than them, we remind ourselves that we did aveiros too! This will help us not to feel gaava, that we are not more special than another person. It can also help us be happy even when hard things happen, or to stay calm even when things happen that might make us angry, because we realize that they could have been a kapara for our aveira!

See Tanya, Igeres HaTeshuvah, end of perek Yud-Alef



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Beis

We are continuing to learn a letter, where the Alter Rebbe encourages Chassidim to give tzedakah, especially when it’s hard!

When someone comes to us and asks us for a favor, we get excited! We know that we are helping another person, and it’s good for us too, and it brings Moshiach closer! Usually we LIKE to do nice things for other people.

But what if it’s someone who is annoying, or you’re busy or tired now, and you don’t want to do the favor? Of course we should still try to do the favor — we’ll still be helping another person and bringing Moshiach closer!

The Alter Rebbe tells us that when you DON’T want to help, that is one of the most special opportunities that there could be!

In the posuk the Alter Rebbe used at the beginning of this letter, there are two ways the posuk describes the mitzvah of Tzedakah:

1) Maaseh HaTzedakah (DOING the tzedakah)
2) Avodas HaTzedakah (tzedakah with AVODAH)

Maaseh Hatzedakah means you give because Yidden like to give! Avodas Hatzedakah is that even when you DON’T want to give, you will — because that’s what Hashem wants. That takes Avodah, doing things that aren’t comfortable or easy for us.

We will see in tomorrow’s Tanya, IY”H about the special opportunity we have with Avodas Hatzedakah!



Tes Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom we see that if learning Chassidus is important to us, even if it is hard, we will be able to understand it!

Sometimes Mommies and Tatties wonder how kids come up with such smart ideas of how to get things they want! Even grownups, who use their minds so much more and already learned so much, can’t think of these things by themselves!

If something is very important to you, even if you didn’t exercise your mind so much — you’ll still be able to understand it!

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn something from the Rebbe Maharash. He explains that Hisbonenus, thinking very deeply about inyonim in Chassidus, might seem like it’s TOO hard for us to do! But really, if it’s important to us, we WILL be able to understand it very well.

We can learn this from the halachos about a maidservant. The Gemara tells us all kinds of things she might say so that she can go free, and what we should answer her. But those reasons she might give are very complicated! How can she come up with such smart ideas, if she never learned Torah?

Because she wants to go free so much, she will even be able to come up with ideas that are on the level of the Tannaim and Amoraim, who have a very deep understanding in Torah!



Shiur #35 - Mitzvas Asei #215

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos we learn the same mitzvah again — (Mitzvas Asei #215) that every Jewish boy needs to have a Bris Milah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Lech Lecha: הִמּוֹל לָכֶם כָּל זָכָר
The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos perek Yud-Tes and Mesechta Yevamos perek Daled.

We also say the beginning of the Rambam’s nusach in davening. (This is one of the places where people who do Sefer Hamitzvos say the exact same thing as those who learn 3 perakim of Rambam!)



Hilchos Milah - Tefillos MiKol Hashana

In today’s Rambam, we learn the halachos about how to do a bris and which brachos to say.

Perek Beis: We are allowed to make a bris on Shabbos, but we need to prepare everything before Shabbos. If we forgot, we need to do the Bris Milah the next day.

Perek Gimmel: We learn the brachos we say when we do a Bris Milah. There is a bracha for the mohel, and a bracha for the father.

Then we end the second sefer of Rambam! As an addition to this sefer, where we learned the halachos of davening, we start reading through the whole davening according to the Rambam’s siddur.

If you pay attention, you will see many differences between our nusach and the Rambam’s nusach!



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Chof-Ches

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the halachos about which kinds of keilim can become tomei.

This perek explains what happens if tumah touches the outside of a keili — does the inside become tomei? What about if the tumah touched the inside — is the outside tomei? It depends what the keili is made of!



Chassidishe Parsha - Parshas Ki Seitzei

In this week’s parsha we learn mitzvos that we keep when Yidden have to fight in a war. The posuk starts with the words “Ki Seitzei Lamilchama Al Oivecha” — “When you go out to war ON your enemy.” It doesn’t say to fight WITH the enemy, but to go ON TOP OF the enemy! When a Yid goes to war the way Hashem wants, he is already on top — he is for sure going to win!

How can we be so sure we will win?

The Alter Rebbe tells us the answer by explaining something in the Megillah!

Esther Hamalka told Mordechai that it was very dangerous for her to go into the King’s inside room, because he hadn’t called her for 30 days. She asked Mordechai that everyone should daven and fast, and said that she would go ask the King to save the Yidden — even though it was Mesiras Nefesh for her.

But why didn’t she do what Haman did, when he made the decree? He went to the outside room, and asked the servants to tell Achashveirosh that he was there!

Esther Hamalka knew that this was something important in Ruchnius too. The palace of the king is like where Hashem, the King of the whole world, is hiding. The outside room is like the chayus that Hashem gives to the WHOLE world — Goyim AND Yidden. That’s why a Goy could make a decree on the Yidden there!

The INSIDE room is like the Chayus of Hashem that is special for Torah and mitzvos. There, nobody can have any way to hurt a Yid! Esther knew that to take away the decree, she would have to go to the inside room — even if it meant Mesiras Nefesh!

The same is true when Yidden go to war. We need to go ON TOP of the enemy. We need to be connected to Hashem’s inside room — the chayus Hashem gives in Torah and mitzvos. Then, when we go to war with Mesiras Nefesh to fight for what Hashem wants, to fight our Yetzer Hara and the Goyishkeit in the world, and to bring Moshiach now, we are sure to win!

See Likutei Torah Parshas Ki Seitzei, p. 37a — Biur Ki Seitzei


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Pesukei Dezimra

Before we daven and ask Hashem for our needs, we prepare words of praise to Hashem, and speak about His greatness. When the Chachomim set up the davening, they chose the last six kapitelach of Tehillim to be the main part of Pesukei Dezimra, where we praise Hashem. These kapitelach speak about Hashem’s kavod in a very organized way.

Where do we learn that we need to praise Hashem properly before asking Him for what we need?

We learn this from Moshe Rabbeinu, when he begged Hashem to be able to go into Eretz Yisroel. In Parshas Va’eschanan, Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden how he davened. First he praised Hashem and the miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim, “Ata Hachilosa…”, and only afterwards did he ask “E’ebra Na,” that he should be allowed to go into Eretz Yisroel.



The Order of Brachos

There are many halachos about how to say brachos properly, and which ones to say. There is also a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar, a way to do the mitzvah in the BEST way, by also saying the brachos in the right order.

We learned before that a siman to remember the order of brachos is “MaGA AiSh” — first Mezonos, then HaGafen, HaAitz, HaAdamah, and finally Shehakol.

If there are many foods that are same bracha, we choose the most important food to make the bracha on. A food that is shaleim, whole (not cut up or broken) is the most important. If all of the foods are the same (either all shaleim or all cut up), we decide which food is most important to US — choviv. This is a food that we like most or want to eat more now! If we like them all the same, we can just pick any one to make the bracha on.

But if we have fruits of Eretz Yisroel, we shouldn’t just choose any one, we should pick the most important one according to Torah!

How do we know which one this is?

We look at the posuk in the Torah about the Shiva Minim! In the posuk, “Eretz Chita Se’orah Gefen Te’einah Verimon, Eretz Zayis Shemen Udevash,” we speak about the seven special crops of Eretz Yisroel. The order that they are said in the posuk shows us which ones are most important! The most important fruits come right after saying the word “Eretz,” the land of Eretz Yisroel, either the first “Eretz” or the second “Eretz.”

If we choose to follow this order, because we like them all the same, we make a bracha on the first of the fruits that we have in this list: Olives (Zayis), then dates (Devash Temarim), grapes or raisins (Gefen), figs (Te’einah), and then pomegranates (Rimon).

See Seder Birchos Hanehenin Perek Yud

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



Everyone Will Serve Hashem

The Navi Tzefaniah lived in the times of the first Beis Hamikdash. He warned the Yidden of his time about the Churban, but also said some very famous nevuos about the Geulah! Here is one:

כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם ה׳ לְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד

Ki Az Ehepoch El Amim — Because then I will change all the nations

Safa Verura — To all speak a pure language, Lashon Kodesh.

Once they all speak the same language, it will make it easier to unite in being dedicated to the same belief.

Likro Chulam Besheim Hashem — That all of them should call in the name of Hashem,

Le’avdo Shechem Echad — They will all agree to serve Hashem!

In Hilchos Melachim, the Rambam speaks about how we know who is Moshiach. The Rambam uses this posuk to show that one of the things Moshiach will do is to bring the whole world to serve Hashem!

The Rambam teaches that the reason that there are different religions for the goyim is to get the goyim ready to serve Hashem when Moshiach comes!

Each of the religions have things that are based on Yiddishkeit. This will make it easier for the goyim to understand what Moshiach teaches them, and they will be ready to do what Hashem wants!

See Tzefaniah perek Gimmel posuk Tes, Hilchos Melachim Perek Yud-Alef halacha Daled

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