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CHUMASH

Shvi'i with Rashi

Hashem tells the Yidden about all the ways He will make it easier for them to live in Eretz Yisroel.

If the Yidden keep the mitzvos, Hashem will give them so many special rewards!

In Eretz Yisroel, all of the mothers will have kinderlach, and everyone will live a good long life.

Hashem will scare away everyone who is not supposed to live in Eretz Yisroel with a kind of wasp, so the Yidden won’t have to make a war.

But if everyone leaves Eretz Yisroel right away, who will take care of the fields and make sure that there are not too many wild animals? Because of that, Hashem will only send out the goyim little by little, until the Yidden are able to take care of the whole land.

Hashem will do His part to give the Yidden Eretz Yisroel, but the Yidden need to do THEIR part and make sure that they don’t learn from the goyim to serve Avodah Zarah.

Now that Hashem finished telling the Yidden the way the deal will work, the Torah goes back and tells us more about Matan Torah (which we learned about in Parshas Yisro).

Hashem had told Moshe that some of the Zekeinim could go partway up Har Sinai, but only Moshe can come all the way up to the top. Moshe reviewed these rules and the halachos of the mitzvos they were told about before Matan Torah. The Yidden all said, “We will do whatever Hashem said to do!”

Then Moshe wrote down all the parts of the Torah that already happened, from Bereishis until Matan Torah! The next morning, he made a Mizbeiach and brought korbanos, as a promise to Hashem that the Yidden agree to keep the Torah.

Moshe went up on Har Sinai, and the Zekeinim didn’t follow him — but they looked. They saw how Hashem had been with them in Mitzrayim, and how happy Hashem was that they were free.

After Matan Torah, Hashem told Moshe to come back up on Har Sinai for 40 days and nights, to get the Luchos. Moshe told the Yidden he would be back in 40 days, and left the Zekeinim in charge.

While he was on Har Sinai, Moshe didn’t need to eat or drink anything, and Hashem taught him all of the mitzvos of the Torah!

 
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TEHILLIM

120 - 134

A Chossid once complained to the Rebbe Maharash about how hard it is for him at home, because he has no money. He said (from today’s Tehillim), “MeiAyin Yavo Ezri?” “Where will my help come from?”

The Rebbe Maharash answered, “Your answer is in the next posuk! ‘Ezri Me’Im Hashem, Osei Shomayim VaAretz!’ Your help comes from Hashem, Who takes care of everything in the Shomayim and the earth. He gives everything what it needs in the right time, and He will take care of you too!”

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Hey

The Alter Rebbe gives examples today — not just of how a person should be ready to have very painful things so they won’t do even a little aveira, but also how a person should work VERY hard to do a mitzvah!

Sometimes mitzvos aren’t easy. They might be very hard for us, and feel like we can’t do them or we really don’t want to. But because we know that’s what Hashem wants, we’re ready to have Mesiras Nefesh and do them anyway!

The Alter Rebbe tells us about how learning Torah, davening, and giving Tzedakah can be hard for a person. Still, because of the hidden love (Ahava Mesuteres) that we all have for Hashem, we are ready to do ANYTHING to be one with Hashem!

We just need to think about how we would do ANYTHING it takes to stay connected to Hashem, even if Chas Veshalom it would mean to go through terrible pain and suffering. Knowing that should make it easier for us to do things, since they for sure aren’t THAT hard!

Can you think of a mitzvah that’s hard for you? Remind yourself how much you love Hashem, and you will be ready to do even this hard mitzvah!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Zayin Shevat

Have you ever made a hachlata at a farbrengen? What was it? To learn something extra, or have more Ahavas Yisroel?

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about a hachlata that early Chassidim made: That any time that they feel that they have a taavah for something (that they want it very much), they won’t have it! This way, they would break the taavah!

There is a famous story with R’ Shmuel Munkes that helps us understand this.

The Alter Rebbe had many Chassidim. One of these Chassidim was named R’ Shmuel Munkes. R’ Shmuel was known as a big joker, who always had a funny thing to say or a funny way to teach something.

But one day, the other Chassidim learned that he was also a very great chossid!

R’ Shmuel Munkes was sitting at a farbrengen with other Chassidim in shul, late at night. They were singing, making lechaims, and encouraging each other to grow in their avodah. It was a great farbrengen!

But as it got later, the Chassidim started to run out of farbeisen. Farbeisen is something to eat after making a lechaim. Without farbeisen, you can’t have lechaims. And without lechaims, what kind of farbrengen will it be?

The Chassidim felt bad that their farbrengen would have to end. But suddenly, the door of the shul opened, and the butcher came in. He was carrying a big, steaming pot that smelled delicious!

“It’s a fresh cow lung,” the butcher said proudly. “I had two cows shechted today, and one of them was kosher, Boruch Hashem! I decided that the best part, the lung, belongs to the Chassidim. My wife cooked it up, and now I want you to enjoy it at your farbrengen.”

The Chassidim thanked the butcher, and R’ Shmuel Munkes jumped up and took the pot so the butcher could go home. The Chassidim were very excited to have such special farbeisen by their farbrengen, and waited impatiently for R’ Shmuel to serve the roasted lung, which smelled so good.

But R’ Shmuel didn’t give out the meat.

After a few minutes, one of the other Chassidim started to get annoyed. He got up and tried to grab the pot out of R’ Shmuel’s hands so he could give it out himself. But R’ Shmuel turned and jumped onto a bench!

A few of the younger Chassidim started to chase R’ Shmuel so they could grab the pot and continue their farbrengen already, but R’ Shmuel kept running away — jumping onto the tables or benches to get away from them.

Finally, they managed to trap R’ Shmuel in a corner. But before they could take the pot, R’ Shmuel turned and dumped the whole delicious lung into a smelly garbage pail!

The Chassidim were furious! How dare he have the chutzpah to waste good food and mess up their farbrengen? They decided he deserved to be punished for doing that. They hit him a few times, but R’ Shmuel, with a smile still on his face, left the shul for a few minutes to get something.

R’ Shmuel Munkes came back to the farbrengen with a bowl of cabbage salad, but the Chassidim were very disappointed. Salad is good, but it’s not a steaming plate of fresh meat!

Still, they continued the farbrengen.

Suddenly, the door to the shul burst open, and the butcher came in, crying. “Oy vey, what have I done? How will Hashem ever forgive me for giving treife food to all of the holy Chassidim?” The butcher explained that the lung of the non-kosher cow had gotten mixed up with the kosher cow, and by mistake the treif lung got cooked and brought to the Chassidim!

The Chassidim calmed down the butcher, telling him that nobody had eaten even a bite of the meat, and the butcher finally went home, feeling much better.

But now the Chassidim were upset at R’ Shmuel! Was he showing off that he had Ruach Hakodesh? That’s not a very nice way to behave!

R’ Shmuel explained: “I don’t have Ruach Hakodesh at all. All I know is that for many years I have been working on being stronger than my taavos. Over the years, I stopped having taavos for food at all!

“But then, today, I had a very strong taavah to eat the meat. I started to wonder why that would be. But when I saw so many big Chassidim getting so upset because they wanted to eat a piece of meat, I realized that there must be something wrong with it. Why else would the Yetzer Hara want us to eat it so much? So I put it where it belongs — in the garbage.”

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Lo Saasei #75, #76, Asei #24, Lo Saasei #69, #70, #71

Today we learn 6 mitzvos for kohanim in the Beis Hamikdash:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #75) A kohen who is tamei is not allowed to do any Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #76) A kohen who already did all the steps to become Tahor, but still is supposed to wait until the night to become completely tahor (called a “Tevul Yom”), is also not allowed to do any Avodah until he becomes completely tahor.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #24) The kohanim need to wash their hands and feet (from the Kiyor) before they do their Avodah.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #69) A kohen with a mum is not allowed to GO INTO parts of the Beis Hamikdash that are only for doing Avodah.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #70) A kohen with a mum is not allowed to DO Avodah.

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #71) If a kohen has a mum that will go away, he is also not allowed to do Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash until it does go away.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Biyas HaMikdash

In today's Rambam, we learn more about the kohanim and their Avodah.

Perek Hey: Before the Avodah, a kohen needs to make himself tahor by using the kiyor. One halacha is that the kohen needs to wash his hands and feet every morning, even if he was up all night doing his avodah.

Perek Vov: We start learning the halachos about a kohen who has a mum.

Perek Zayin: There are 15 things that could be wrong that count as a mum if they are in a person, and ALSO if they are in an animal.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Temidin Umusafin - Perek Alef

Now we start learning Hilchos Temidin Umusafin! The first perek is about the Korban Tomid, the korban that we bring EVERY day. No other korbanos should be brought BEFORE the morning one, and no other Korbanos (except the Korban Pesach) can be brought AFTER the afternoon one. If chas veshalom the morning Tomid was missed, we should bring the afternoon one — unless it’s the first time we’re using that Mizbeiach (like if Moshiach comes in the afternoon!)

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Achdus Brings Moshiach

The Rebbe told this story:

The Tzemach Tzedek once had to go to Petersburg (the capital) for many meetings. The government wanted to make rules about the kind of Chinuch the Yidden can have!

The Tzemach Tzedek wouldn’t say yes EVER to making any change in pure Yiddishe chinuch, and they were very mad at him! It was very dangerous for the Tzemach Tzedek to act this way.

One of the Rabbonim who was there asked the Tzemach Tzedek how he could do this! There are so many Yidden who NEED the Tzemach Tzedek, so how can he do something dangerous? Without him, many Yidden won’t know how to live the way a Yid should!

The Tzemach Tzedek said he needs to do what he is doing, and if something would happen to him chas veshalom, there are two other ways to help all of these Yidden know how to act:

1) The Tzemach Tzedek’s children can take over and teach and guide the chassidim.

2) The achdus of Chassidim will carry them until Moshiach.

The Rebbe said this story 100 years after the histalkus of the Tzemach Tzedek. The Rebbe said, “Now the first reason isn’t there anymore — only the second. We need to know that when Chassidim work together, we have the koach to bring Moshiach!”

 

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TEFILLAH

Seder HaTefillah, part one

The first section of davening the way we have it today is Modeh Ani, the morning brachos, korbanos, and then Hodu.

Our whole day starts with davening, and Modeh Ani is just the first step. Everything we do in the morning (getting dressed, going to the mikvah, learning Chassidus, and so on) are all part of getting ready for tefillah.

Modeh Ani means “I give thanks” to Hashem, where we thank Hashem for giving us back our neshama. The word “modeh” also comes from the word “hoda’ah,” which means to admit to Hashem. Even if we don’t understand it, we are ready to admit that Hashem is the only Aibishter.

In the morning, our neshama comes back from Shomayim, where it got chayus for the new day. But at first it is only in our nostrils. During davening, we will help it spread through our whole body. So when we start davening, we don’t yet have the koach of our neshama to understand. We can only admit, with Emunah, that Hashem is in charge of the whole world!

That is the first step of davening, to connect to Hashem with Emunah, a way that is higher than our sechel.

In the next parts of davening, we will explain it to ourselves in sechel, so that we will be able to explain it to our Nefesh Habehamis too. This way, we will be able to serve Hashem with ALL of our kochos throughout the day!

See Vayakhel 5719

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bracha Acharona on Grape Juice

The whole world belongs to Hashem. So we really can’t eat or drink anything without permission from Hashem! Hashem gives us permission to take it, as long as we say a bracha. Otherwise, it’s like stealing from Hashem!

Even if you just eat a little bit, you still need to say a bracha.

After we eat, we need to thank Hashem that we ate! We only make this Bracha Acharona if we ate enough to be counted as eating. How much is that? For food, it’s a kezayis (about as big as an egg), and for a drink, it has to be at least a revi’is (about a half cup).

But you need to be careful with wine or grape juice! There is a machlokes about how much you need to drink in order to make a Bracha Acharona. There is an opinion that even just drinking a little is enough to count as drinking! So the halacha is that l’chatchila, we should always try to drink at least a revi’is so we can make a Bracha Acharona according to all opinions. But bedieved, if we didn’t drink enough, the halacha is like with any other drink, and we don’t make a Bracha Acharona.

Seder Birchas Hanehenin, Perek Ches, Halacha Alef

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Achdus Before Geulah

When the Yidden camped around Har Sinai to get the Torah, they camped like one person, with one heart — “Ke’ish Echad, BeLeiv Echad.”

In Tanya it teaches that Matan Torah was a taste of the way it will be in the times of the Geulah!

The Rambam tells that we will also have this kind of Achdus before Moshiach comes. One of the jobs of Moshiach is “Veyisaken Es Ha’olam Kulo Laavod Es Hashem Beyachad” — to make the whole world ready to serve Hashem TOGETHER!

Just as we got the Torah with true Achdus, we will have the Geulah with true Achdus!

See Migolah L’Geulah p. 312

 
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