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Sheini with Rashi

Moshe is giving brachos to the Shevatim on the day he will pass away:

Levi: Aharon, who was the most famous Levi, was such a Tzadik! The Kohanim, who come from Aharon, will teach the Yidden Torah, and bring Ketores and Korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash.

If anyone tries to fight because they want to be Kohanim, Hashem should help the Kohanim win.

And if the Kohanim need to fight for Yiddishkeit, Hashem should help them! (This happened in the story of Chanukah — the family of Matisyahu Kohen Gadol won over the Greeks who wanted to stop the Yidden from doing mitzvos.)

Since Moshe talked about the Beis Hamikdash, now he gives the brachos to Benyamin who had the Beis Hamikdash in his part of Eretz Yisroel, and in tomorrow’s Chumash to Yosef, who had the Mishkan in his part of Eretz Yisrael.

(Even though Yosef should really be next, because he is older, Moshe gives the bracha to Benyamin first since the Beis Hamikdash — which is more important than the Mishkan — is in HIS part of Eretz Yisroel.)

Benyamin: The Shechinah will be in his part of Eretz Yisroel, as soon as the Beis Hamikdash is built! Once it is built, the Shechinah will never leave there.



77 - 78

In Kapitel Ayin-Ches, which is in today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Vayakem Eidus BeYaakov” — “Hashem set up the Torah in Yaakov.”

Chassidus explains that there is a special koach for learning Torah that comes from Yaakov Avinu. (He learned the Torah even before Matan Torah!) Yaakov had this koach even more than all of the other Avos!

We get OUR chayus in Torah from Yaakov Avinu!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Beis

In this next letter — Siman Chof-Beis — the Alter Rebbe is telling Chassidim that it isn’t right for them to come and ask for brachos and eitzos for Gashmiyus things from the Rebbe. They should come to the Rebbe only to learn Torah and get eitzos how to serve Hashem better, and act the way a Yid and Chossid should.

In the Torah, we find that only Neviim gave eitzos for Gashmiyus things — like once Shaul came to Shmuel Hanavi to ask for help to find donkeys that his father lost. But that was only because he was a Navi! For chachomim, like a Rebbe, that isn’t appropriate. We don’t find in any Gemara that people came to the Chachomim for any Gashmius things — only to learn Torah and get eitzos how to serve Hashem.

Still, at a Farbrengen, the Friediker Rebbe once said that Chassidim should ask for Gashmius in Yechidus. The Friediker Rebbe said that what it says in this Igeres has a deeper meaning, and can’t just be understood the way it looks. (From the book “From my Father’s Shabbos Table, by Rabbi Yehudah Chitrik)



Tes-Vov Tishrei

Remember: If you let someone else use your Lulav and Esrog on Sukkos, especially on the first day, you should tell them that it’s a “Matana Al Menas Lehachazir” — that it’s a present that they will have to give back afterwards. This is important because you need to make a bracha on YOUR Lulav and Esrog.

The Rebbe Rashab said that we should say the bracha Shehecheyanu when we’re holding the Lulav and Esrog separately, and hold them together at the end of the bracha.

In Hoshanos, there are certain pesukim we don’t say — only on Hoshana Rabah.

During the day, we say the bracha Leishev Basukkah during Kiddush, and we don’t wait until saying Hamotzi. (We say a Leishev Basukah over wine, not just over Hamotzi and Mezonos.)

How do we know how we act during Birchas Kohanim? Because the Tzemach Tzedek used to go under the Alter Rebbe’s Tallis and saw how he did it. (We learned exactly how on the second day of Shavuos!)



Mitzvas Asei #5

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #5) is the same as before — that every Yid needs to daven every single day.



Hilchos Tefillah

Perek Ches: In this perek, we learn all about davening with a minyan! The Rambam tells us how important it is to daven with a minyan if we can, because Hashem always listens to the Tefillah of a minyan.

Perek Tes: The Rambam teaches us HOW to daven with a minyan. We learn which parts the chazan says out loud, and which parts to say quietly by ourselves. We need to answer to Kedusha and Kaddish!

Perek Yud: We learn some of the halachos about if we make mistakes in davening. If someone makes a mistake and davens the weekday Shmoneh Esrei instead of the Shabbos Shmoneh Esrei, he needs to go back and start from the beginning! But if he forgets Ve’al Hanisim, he does NOT have to go back.



Hilchos Kilayim - Perek Ches

Today we finish learning about Kilai HaKerem, not growing any other kind of plant together with grapes.

There are two ways to grow grapes: Letting the vines grow on the ground, or draping the vines over a wall, a fence, or an arch. Letting them grow on the ground is the regular way we grow grapes. When the vines are hanging over something else, called Aris, there are different halachos.

We also learn that the halachos are a little different outside of Eretz Yisroel.




There is a minhag to speak about our special guests on Sukkos, the Ushpizin.

When the Ushpizin come to our Sukkah each day of Sukkos, they bring with them a special koach!

Today’s Ushpizin are Avraham Avinu and the Baal Shem Tov. From their special avodah, we get the koach to bring the Geulah:

Avraham Avinu was the first person to recognize that Hashem is in charge of the world. During his time, nobody else knew! It was hidden, but Avraham Avinu figured it out.

We have the same problem in Golus! It is hard to recognize that Hashem is in charge of the world. But with the koach of Avraham, we can bring the Geulah, where EVERYONE will know and understand that Hashem is in charge!

To take a world like we have it today, and make everyone realize that the Aibershter is in charge of the world, will take a neis. We get the koach to make that neis from the Baal Shem Tov! We know from many stories about the Baal Shem Tov that things were done with a “Baal Shemsker Hanhaga,” in a way of nissim, not in a way of teva. So with the koach of the Baal Shem Tov, we will make the nissim we need to bring the Geulah!

See sicha of first day of Sukkos, 5752


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Amidah for Shalosh Regalim, Part 2

After saying that Hashem chose us specifically, we speak about what Hashem gave us!

Hashem gave us a very special present of the Yomim Tovim. We thank Hashem for the Yom Tov we are in — now, the Yom Tov of Sukkos! We add what is special about that Yom Tov. For Sukkos, it is special that it is Zman Simchaseinu, the time that we rejoice with Hashem, and like all Yomim Tovim, it reminds us of Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

Just like Hashem remembered us in the time of Yetziyas Mitzrayim, we ask Hashem to remember us again, in the paragraph of Yaaleh Veyavo. We ask Hashem to remember all of the Yidden, to remember Yerushalayim, and bring us the Geulah!



Lulav & Esrog for Children

In order to do the mitzvah of taking the Daled Minim together, they have to be YOURS. The Chachomim tell us that this is hinted to in the posuk about this mitzvah, which says “Ulekachtem LACHEM” — “and you should take FOR YOURSELF.” This is especially important on the first day of Sukkos.

Of course, not everybody has their own set of Daled Minim! So how can everyone do the mitzvah with their own set?

The halacha is that when we give our Lulav and Esrog to someone else to use, we give it as a “Matana Al Menas Lehach’zir,” a present that needs to be returned. That means that it belongs to the other person completely while he is using it, but then he needs to give it back to you.

With a child, though, we have a problem! According to halacha, a child is able to TAKE something, so that it belongs to him, but is not able to GIVE something fully. So if you give your Lulav and Esrog to a child, it might not belong to you completely afterwards!

So either the adults can all bentch Lulav and Esrog first, or that the person who owns the Lulav and Esrog should hold it together with the child while they are doing the mitzvah, so that you aren’t giving it TO the child.

This way, all of the adults are able to do the mitzvah with a set of Daled Minim that belong to them!

See also Shevach Hamoadim, Hilchos Daled Minim

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



The Light of Moshiach

It is written in Seforim that in the 5500 from the Creation of the world, 500 years before the year 6000, the lights of Geulah will start to shine in the world.

Very close to that year, on Chai Elul 5494 (about 5 years from 5500) is when the Baal Shem Tov was first revealed, and his teachings started to shine throughout the world. The teachings of the Baal Shem Tov are a spark of the light of Moshiach!

Migdal Oz p. 492; Otzar Pisgomei Chabad vol. 2, p. 422

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