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Parshas Shemos - Chamishi with Rashi

Hashem chose Moshe Rabbeinu to be the one to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem appeared to Moshe through a burning bush, and is giving him the details of his shlichus.

In today’s Chumash, we learn how Hashem tells Moshe to go say to the leaders of the Yidden that Hashem will take them out, and then to go speak to Paraoh. Moshe says that the Yidden won’t believe him, so Hashem gives him signs. Still, Hashem has to convince Moshe to go.

Hashem tells Moshe to gather the 70 Zekeinim (elders) of the Yidden, and tell them that Hashem says, “I didn’t forget about My promise! I will take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, and bring them to Eretz Yisroel.”

You do not need to be worried, Hashem tells Moshe. “The Zekeinim will listen to you, because the Yidden know that they will hear about the Geulah with the words ‘Pakod Pokadeti’ — “I remembered you!”

Hashem continues to tell Moshe, “Then, go with them to Paraoh and tell him to let the Yidden go to the desert for three days to bring korbanos.”

But, Hashem says, Paraoh won’t listen to you until I use My “strong arm” to punish them and show them my nisim. When he does let you go in the end, you will take gold and silver, and clothes for the way, to fulfill My promise to Avraham that the Yidden will be very rich when they leave Golus!

Moshe was afraid that the Yidden wouldn’t believe that Hashem really talked to him! So Hashem gave Moshe a sign to show the Yidden: Moshe should throw his sapphire stick on the ground, and it will turn into a snake. When he picks it up, it will turn back into a stick.

Hashem also gave him another sign: He should put his hand into his shirt, and when it comes out, it will be covered with Tzoraas. When he puts it back into his shirt, the Tzoraas will go away.

Hashem gave Moshe specifically these two signs to tell him that he shouldn’t speak Lashon Hara about the Yidden and say they won’t believe him! Lashon Hara is like a snake, and Tzoraas is the punishment for Lashon Hara.

Hashem also gave Moshe a THIRD sign if they still didn’t believe him: Take some water from the Nilus and pour it on the ground, and there it will turn into blood.

Still, Moshe didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to take such an important job, since his brother Aharon was older than him, and a Navi too! He thought that Aharon should get the job. Also, he wasn’t able to speak well, and all of the things Hashem was telling him to do were speaking.

Hashem answered him, “Who gave you the ability to speak when you were in front of Paraoh and had to run away? It was I, Hashem! Now also, I will be with you and show you what to say.”

Moshe continued to tell Hashem that he shouldn’t take the job. He knew with Ruach Hakodesh that he wouldn’t bring the Yidden into Eretz Yisroel in the end anyhow. He told Hashem, “Shelach Na Beyad Tishlach!” Send the person who You will send in the end! “Either send Yehoshua who will bring them into Eretz Yisroel, or send Moshiach who will take them out of the final Golus!”

Hashem wasn’t so happy with Moshe, and told him that because he wasn’t listening right away, Aharon would become a Kohen, and Moshe would become only a Levi.

Hashem also told Moshe not to worry about having a more important job than Aharon — Aharon would come meet him when he went to Mitzrayim, and he would be very happy for Moshe. (Rashi says that because of Aharon’s good feeling in his heart for his younger brother, he was zoche to wear the Choshen on his heart as the Kohen Gadol!)

Moshe could tell Aharon what to say, and Aharon would speak clearly so everyone will understand.

“Now,” said Hashem, “Take your stick so you can do the nisim.”



108 - 112

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Ches through Kuf-Yud-Beis.

In kapitel Kuf-Yud, Dovid Hamelech asks Hashem, “Mateh Uz’cha Yishlach Hashem Mitziyon,” “Your stick of strength Hashem should send out from Yerushalayim, “Redei Bekerev Oivecha,” “to rule over your enemies.”

Dovid Hamelech fought many wars, and was asking Hashem to show His strength so that the enemies will not bother the Yidden!

The Medrash says that there was a Mateh, a stick, that was used by great tzadikim throughout the generations.

It was the same stick that Yaakov Avinu used to cross the Yarden.

It was the same stick that Yehuda gave to Tamar.

It was the same stick that Moshe Rabbeinu had, like we learn in today’s Chumash!

It was the same stick that Aharon used to make some of the Makos.

It was the same stick that Dovid Hameelch used when he went to fight Golias.

It was the same stick that every Jewish king had, until the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, and then it was hidden.

This same stick will also be given to Moshiach, to control the world!

This is the Mateh of strength, the stick which Dovid Hamelech is speaking about, asking Hashem to send from Tzion.

See Yalkut Shimoni, Tehillim



Likutei Amarim Perek Tes-Vov

In this perek in Tanya, which we are starting to learn today, we learn about the importance of Avodah. Avodah means changing something in our nature which is not the way it should be, and we need to work to fix.

The Alter Rebbe brings a posuk that speaks about three kinds of Yidden: An Eved Hashem (a tzadik, who already finished his work with the Yetzer Hara), an Oved Hashem (someone who is in the middle of fighting with his Yetzer Hara — a beinoni), and a “Lo Avado” — someone who doesn’t serve Hashem.

“Someone who doesn’t serve Hashem” can also be a kind of beinoni, just that he’s not WORKING on serving Hashem!

That’s because as long as someone isn’t doing any aveiros, he can be a beinoni. But for some people, that doesn’t need Avodah! They don’t LIKE non-kosher food! They don’t LIKE saying mean things to other people! They don’t get excited when they see a computer game and waste a few hours instead of learning Torah! They LOVE learning Torah!

As long as a person isn’t fighting his Yetzer Hara, he’s called someone who “doesn’t serve Hashem.” Every Yid loves Hashem a little bit, just because he’s a Yid. Since he loves Hashem at least a little, he doesn’t need to try very hard. So he’s not trying to love Hashem more, or have more Yiras Shomayim.

He will only be called an “Oved Hashem,” someone who is serving Hashem, if he wants to do MORE than what he usually does. He needs to put in special effort to make that happen.



Chof-Gimmel Teves

Today’s Hayom Yom teaches us that when we notice problems in Yiddishkeit around us, it’s not enough to complain about them — we need to try to fix them!

The beginning of today’s Hayom Yom is a correction in this wek’s Chassidishe Parsha, the Torah Ohr of Parshas Shemos, in a posuk that from today’s Chumash, “Mi Sam Peh L’Adam.” This maamar explains according to very deep Kabbalah why Moshe didn’t want to take the Shlichus and how Hashem answered him.

A krechtz (graon) by itself will not help us!

Our krechtz is only a beginning. It is supposed to make us realize that something needs to be changed! After that, though, we need to think about how we can help fix the problem. Every person can figure out a way how they can be part of this — to teach more Torah and help more Yidden to do mitzvos. One person can do this through writing, another person by giving speeches, and a different person by giving money for strengthening Yiddishkeit.

What can YOU do? What special kochos do you have to be able to strengthen Yiddishkeit?



Shiur #182 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #117, #119, #118, Asei #53, #52

The first three mitzvos of today’s mitzvos are about the Korban Pesach, and the next two are from the next set of halachos, Hilchos Chagigah.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #117) We can’t leave any of the Korban Pesach meat until the next day — we need to eat it all on the night of Pesach!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo, where the Yidden are given the mitzvah of the Korban Pesach: וְלֹא תוֹתִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #119) We are not allowed to leave over any meat from the Korban Pesach we bring on Pesach Sheini — it needs to all be eaten that night.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha, where the Yidden are taught about Pesach Sheini: לֹא יַשְׁאִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #118) We can’t leave any meat from the Korban Chagigah, which is brought on Yud-Daled Nissan together with the Korban Pesach, until after the time we are supposed to eat it. We can eat the Chagigah for two days, so we have to make sure to finish it then! (This is separate from the Korban Chagigah in Mitzvas Asei #52, which is an actual chiyuv to bring. This Korban Chagigah which we bring with the Korban Pesach is optional, but if we do bring it we need to finish eating it on time.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְלֹא יָלִין מִן הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר תִּזְבַּח בָּעֶרֶב בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן לַבֹּקֶר

The details of this mitzvah are explained in many places in Mesechta Pesachim and Mesechta Chagigah.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #53) It is a mitzvah to be Oleh Regel, to come to the Beis Hamikdash three times a year, on Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos! A person needs to bring his sons along with him if they are able to walk themselves. When we come to the Beis Hamikdash on these special times, we bring a korban called an Olas Re’iyah, which is a korban olah and completely burned on the Mizbeiach.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Reeh: שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָל זְכוּרְךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Chagigah.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #52) We come to the Beis Hamikdash three times a year — Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos! When we are there, we also bring a Korban Chagigah, in addition to the Korban Olah that we learned about before. This is a korban shelamim, which we are also able to eat part of and enjoy!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: שָׁלשׁ רְגָלִים תָּחֹג לִי בַּשָּׁנָה

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Mesechta Chagigah.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Chagigah

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about the Korban Pesach.

Perek Tes: In this perek, we learn the Halachos of how we eat the Korban Pesach in a group.

Perek Yud: We learn many halachos about the aveira of not breaking a bone in the korban. We also learn about the mitzva of bringing a Korban Chagigah along with it. The perek finishes with the differences between bringing the korban on Pesach or on Pesach Sheini!

Now we start learning about the Korban Chagigah:

Perek Alef: The Rambam starts to tell us about the mitzvah of going to the Beis Hamikdash for the three Yomim Tovim of Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos. There were three korbanos that Yidden needed to bring, called Olas Re’iya, Korban Chagigah, and Shalmei Simcha. We learned about the first two of these in today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, and we will IY”H learn about the Shalmei Simcha in tomorrow’s first mitzvah.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Daled

We learn why and how the Beis Din would decide that there should be a leap year.



Erev Chof-Daled Teves

The Rebbe teaches us that the avodah of shlichus, bringing people closer to Yiddishkeit, is what makes us into a Chabad chossid! We will understand this from a story with the Alter Rebbe and the Mitteler Rebbe:

Once when the Mitteler Rebbe was a child, he had a dream that bothered him. He came to his father, the Alter Rebbe, and told him the dream. (http://www.sie.org/2787712 — see section 15 and on)

The dream was told over with many details. We will learn one part of it:

The Mitteler Rebbe saw three men walking, one of whom was the Alter Rebbe. They came to two rivers: one was smooth, without any waves, and was flowing along and growing. The second river was colorful, and full of choppy waves. There was a board on each of the rivers. One of the men told the Alter Rebbe to cross the second river, and he did without a problem.

The Mitteler Rebbe was very bothered by this dream.

The Alter Rebbe explained that the other men in the dream were the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid. The two rivers were a mashal for the avodah of tzadikim, which is smooth and strong, and the avodah of Baalei Teshuvah, which is challenging, like choppy waves.

The reason that the Alter Rebbe was able to cross this raging river was because he used the Torah he learned from the Maggid to help bring Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit — to make Baalei Teshuvah.

This story was told over from Rebbe to Rebbe, and each one added something. When the Rebbe Rashab told the story to the Frierdiker Rebbe, he added that the Alter Rebbe gave this koach to make Baalei Teshuvah to whoever he gave it to then, but now it is given to EVERY chossid!

The Frierdiker Rebbe told this story to chassidim on Yud-Tes Kislev, and the Rebbe told this story to chassidim also at a Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen, in Tof-Shin-Chof-Ches. The Rebbe added that not only is this koach GIVEN to every chossid, but that only by working to make Baalei Teshuvah do we BECOME chassidim!

This koach is even more strong by a person who wasn’t born a chossid and became a chossid through his own avodah (a “gevorene”), but is there too for someone who was born a chossid (“geborene”). If they put in effort, they can also have this koach and do amazing things with it!

We see from this that the avodah of shlichus and bringing Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit is what makes us into a chossid.

See farbrengen Yud-Tes Kislev Tof-Shin-Chof-Ches


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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Review

The Yud-Beis Pesukim were taught by the Rebbe in two sets. The first two pesukim of each set are from Torah Shebichsav, the next two are from Torah Shebaal Peh, and the last two of each set are from Chassidus.

The matching pesukim from each set are connected!

Today we will review the fourth posuk from each set, the pesukim of Kol and Ve’ahavta, from Torah Shebaal Peh, and see how they are connected to each other:

The pesukim of Kol Yisroel and Ve’ahavta teach us how to deal with other people.

Part of our job as Yidden is to help other people live the way Hashem wants us to. But we need to know how to do this the right way!

First we need to know the message of the posuk Kol Yisroel:

Kol Yisrael Yeish Lahem Chelek Le’olam Haba! We learn that every single Yid is so special, and every Yid gets a place in Olam Haba!

Before we start dealing with another Yid, we need to realize how precious they are to Hashem! When we look at another person this way, it will help us treat them properly.

Once we know what to think about another Yid, we need to know what to do:

Ve’ahavta Lereiacha Kamocha! The posuk tells us to love another Yid, to be careful with their kavod and treat them the way we would want to be treated.

When we want to share the beauty of our treasure, the Torah, we need to look at another Yid in a way of Kol Yisroel, seeing how special they are, and then act in a way of Ve’ahavta, treating them in a caring way!



Kibud Av Va'em

Part of the mitzvah of Kibud Av Va’eim is not to wake up our parents when they are sleeping. We can’t wake them up even when we will miss out on something by letting them sleep!

BUT, if our PARENT will miss out on something by sleeping, we ARE allowed to wake them up! Since we know it will make them happy to be woken up, we can do it.

We are also allowed to wake up our parents so they don’t miss doing a mitzvah — because that shows kavod for Hashem, which everyone needs to have!

Shmiras Mitzvas Hayom p. 270

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



Moshiach's Job

The Rambam tells us that in the TIME of Moshiach, all of the mitzvos will be kept like they used to be!

That helps us understand what we learned yesterday, about the things Moshiach will need to DO.

1) Moshiach will bring back Malchus Beis Dovid, because Moshiach will be a king from the family of Dovid Hamelech, so we will have a Jewish king the way it used to be. We understand why it’s so important, because many mitzvos can only be kept when we have a Jewish king!

2) That’s also why Moshiach will need to build the Beis Hamikdash: So we can keep all of the mitzvos that have to do with the korbanos and the Avodah.

3) Moshiach will also bring back all of the Yidden to Eretz Yisroel. This needs to happen because only when all Yidden live there can we keep the mitzvos of Shemitah and Yovel!

When Moshiach comes, we will be able to keep ALL of the mitzvos and halachos that the Rambam teaches us in all 14 books of the Rambam! This is part of having Emunah and waiting excitedly for Moshiach to come: Knowing that soon not only will we LEARN about the mitzvos, but we will be able to KEEP them all too!

See Rambam Hilchos Melachim Perek Yud-Alef, Likutei Sichos Chelek Yud-Ches p. 277

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