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Chamishi with Rashi

Moshe is giving brachos to the Shevatim before he passes away:

First Moshe gives a bracha to Shevet Dan: They live in a place near the border, and they get a bracha to be very strong to keep the Yidden safe!

To Shevet Naftali: They are happy with the part of Eretz Yisroel Hashem gave them! They will be able to catch a lot of fish in the Kinneres, which is in their part.

Asher should have many sons. They will make the rest of the Yidden happy because they will trade oil and fruit for grain. Asher’s daughters will be beautiful, and the rest of the Yidden will want to marry them.

Shevet Asher will have so much olive oil!

The mountains in Asher’s part of Eretz Yisroel have metal inside, and they protect the Yidden from anyone coming to attack the Yidden from the top (north) of Eretz Yisroel.

Now Moshe gives a bracha to ALL of the Yidden:

Your soldiers are strong, and keep the borders of Eretz Yisroel safe, as if they were locked tightly with metal locks that can’t be broken!

All of your life will be wonderful, and you will have plenty of parnasa — as much as you serve Hashem every day.

There is no one like Hashem! Hashem helps you, and keeps you safe.



88 - 89

In Kapitel Pey-Tes, there’s a posuk, “Ki Amarti Olam Chesed Yibaneh” — Hashem said, “I will build a world of chesed.”

Chassidus explains that Hashem created the world with the midah of Chesed. Why did Hashem choose this midah?

To use the midah of Chesed, there needs to be someone else to give to or help. We see this with Avraham Avinu, whose strongest midah was the midah of Chesed. When there were no guests, it bothered him very much! Without someone to GIVE to, you can’t use Chesed.

This is one of the reasons Hashem created the world — so that He could show His Chesed! In order to use Hashem’s midah of Chesed, there needed to be a world to do Chesed for!

Hashem also gave each of us the Midah of Chesed! We use our Chesed when we have Ahavas Yisroel to help another Yid.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Beis

In this letter, the Alter Rebbe encourages Chassidim to daven the way a Chossid should! (We will see more letters about this later in Igeres Hakodesh too!)

The words the Alter Rebbe uses show us how important it is. He asks Chassidim to be “Akshanim” (stubborn) — to make sure to daven all the words out loud (except Shemoneh Esrei), even if the Yetzer Hara tries to tell them not to or if people laugh at them!

When we are “stubborn” in the way we serve Hashem, Hashem will also be “stubborn” to give us brachos in all of the things we need and want.



Yud-Ches Tishrei

Today the Rebbe tells us the way we do Hoshaanos in Chabad: (Hoshaanos is when we take our Lulav and go around the Bimah, saying the words “Hoshaana — Hashem save us!”)

If one of the days was Shabbos, we say the Hoshaana for BOTH days on Sunday, but we only go around the Bimah once.

The paragraphs of Hoshaanos are in Alef-Beis order, with a few words for each letter. We say the first part of each paragraph with the word “Hoshaana” before each letter, and we do it to ourselves while standing still. (“Hoshaana Adon Hamoshia, Hoshaana Biltecha Ein Lehoshia, Hoshaana Gibor Umoshia.”)

At the letter Samach or Ayin, we start to go around the Bimah, and the Chazan starts to say it out loud. Now we say “Hoshaana” before AND after the words (“Hoshaana Se’irim Lehania Hoshaana, Hoshaana Ananim Milehamnia Hoshaana.”)

We make sure to go all the way around the Bimah and end when we reach the last word of Hoshaanos, the word that starts with Tof.



Mitzvas Asei #13

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #13) is to put on the Tefillin Shel Yad, the hand tefillin. The Torah tells us about this mitzvah in FOUR places!

It is a separate mitzvah from the Tefillin Shel Rosh, so if someone can’t put on the Tefillin Shel Rosh for some reason, he should still put on the Tefillin Shel Yad.

Women don’t do this mitzvah, because the Torah connects the mitzvah of Tefillin with the mitzvah of learning Torah all the time, and women don’t have that achrayus.



Hilchos Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah

Perek Beis: In today’s Rambam, we learn how the parshios of Tefillin are written. The Rambam says that Tefillin NEVER need to be checked if they were written by a good sofer that we can trust! In fact, Hillel HaZokein wore tefillin that he got from his zaidy, and he never got them checked! (Nowadays, though, we are careful to check our tefillin very often.)

Perek Gimmel: The Rambam explains how the leather boxes are made for the tefillin. (Did you ever wonder how leather becomes such a perfect square?) When the leather is wet, we put it into a special wooden mold that helps make perfectly square tefillin, with holes in the right place to put the four pieces of parchment.

The Rambam tells us that the knot for the Tefillin Shel Rosh looks like a daled, but there is no way to describe it — you need to see it to understand it!

Perek Daled: When a person wears tefillin, he needs to be very careful with what he does and thinks. The tefillin are even more holy than the Tzitz that the Kohen Gadol wears on his head! The tzitz only has Hashem’s name once, and each of the Tefillin has Hashem’s name 21 times!



Hilchos Matnos Aniyim - Perek Yud-Alef

Now we start the halachos about Matnos Aniyim, what we need to give to poor people. We will be learning 13 mitzvos about this, in 10 perakim.

In this first perek, the Rambam tells us about the five gifts that a person has to give to the poor from the things he grows. They are called Pe’ah, Leket, Peret, Olelos, and Shichecha.

The Chachomim say that a person should leave over 1/60th of his field or orchard as Pe’ah, but if a person was bentched with more than he expected, he should give more. The more you give, the more reward you get!




Today’s Ushpizin, special Sukkos guests, are Moshe Rabbeinu and the Mitteler Rebbe.

We know that Moshe Rabbeinu gave us the Torah. Even though he only wrote the Chumash, he taught us Torah Shebaal Peh — the halachos of how to keep it, with many details!

The Mitteler Rebbe also taught us Chassidus with many details. If you look in the Seforim of the Mitteler Rebbe, you will see Maamarim that are tens of pages long, while the Alter Rebbe’s are much shorter! This shows us how the Chassidus of the Mitteler Rebbe was taught with many details.

One of the things we can learn from our special guests today is that no matter how much we are already learning, it is never enough! We need to always learn and add more.


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In the Beis Hamikdash, there was a mitzvah for Yidden to go around the Mizbeiach on Sukkos.

To remember what happened in the Beis Hamikdash, the Chachomim taught us to do “Hoshaanos” on Sukkos. A Sefer Torah is brought to the bimah. Carrying our lulavim, we circle around the bimah once, while saying the “Hoshaanos” for that day. We ask Hashem to save us, using each of the letters of the Alef Beis.

Of course, it doesn’t take THAT long to circle around the bimah! Our minhag is that we stand near the bimah holding the lulav, while we say the Hoshaanos until about samach or ayin. Then we start circling around while finishing the Hoshaanos.

Afterwards we say another paragraph of “Ani Vahu.” At the end of this paragraph is “Hoshia Es Amecha,” which is the end of Hoshaanos.




The halacha is that to go around the bima during Hoshaanos, we need to be holding a lulav and esrog.

What should we do if we don’t have one?

We should try to borrow a lulav and esrog from someone else, either someone who already did Hoshaanos or someone who isn’t up to there yet.

(When we wave the Lulav and Esrog in certain directions (“naanuim”) in Hallel, the same is true. If someone doesn’t have his own Lulav and Esrog, he should borrow one.)

See Shevach Hamoadim

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




If you came into the Beis Hamikdash on Sukkos, you would see something very different! Leaning up against the Mizbeiach were very, very long aravos. They were so tall that their tops bent over the top of the Mizbeiach!

Based on a halacha passed down from Moshe Rabbeinu (Halacha L’Moshe MiSinai), the Yidden would hold their lulavim and circle around the Mizbeiach. They would say, “Ana Hashem, Hoshia Na!”

On the seventh day of Sukkos, the Yidden would carry their lulavim and go around the Mizbeiach SEVEN times!

This was one of the special mitzvos of the holy Yom Tov of Sukkos in the Beis Hamikdash. May we be zoche to see the avodah of the Beis Hamikdash again, in Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi, b’karov mamosh!

See Rambam, Hilchos Shofar, Sukkah, Lulav Perek Zayin

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