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Shvi'i with Rashi

Rivkah asked Yitzchak to give Yaakov more brachos, and he did.

After giving Yaakov a bracha to find a wife, Yitzchak sent him off to Padan Aram, to the house of Lavan, his uncle (Rivkah’s brother). Yitzchak sent him with presents for his wife, like Avraham did when he sent Eliezer.

When Esav saw that Yitzchak had sent Yaakov to get married and told him not to marry a girl from Canaan, he realized that Yitzchak felt that the Canaani girls were resha’im. To show how he was better than Yaakov, he went and got engaged Machalas, Yishmael’s daughter. He wanted to show that HE didn’t need his father to even tell him to, and that HE married someone from Avraham’s family, not just a cousin.

(Yishmael passed away before they got married, so everyone called her “Achos Nevayos” — the sister of Nevayos, because she took care of the chasuna instead of her father. But he didn’t get rid of his Canaani wives, because this chasunah too was just to trick people.)



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Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Yud through Yud-Zayin.

Tehillim tidbits from the Rebbeim of Chassidus:

Baal Shem Tov: In Kapitel Yud, it says “Rasha Kegova Apo Bal Yidrosh” — “A Rasha, because of his gaavah and chutzpah, doesn’t think about how Hashem will punish people who deserve it.”

The Baal Shem Tov tells us that this posuk shows us why it is important to be humble to learn Torah properly: A person who is humble will learn from the Chachomim to understand better the way Hashem wants us to live. But a person with gaavah, “Bal Yidrosh” — he thinks he doesn’t need to hear from anyone else to understand better (“Yidrosh” can also mean to learn), he thinks he is smart enough on his own and doesn’t need to learn more.

See Keser Shem Tov siman Kuf-Mem-Tes

Maggid: In Kapitel Tes-Vov, there is a posuk that starts with the words, “Lo Ragal Al Leshono” — “he doesn’t speak Lashon Hara.” This kapitel is talking about the special things a tzadik has in order to go up to Gan Eden.

Because the tzadik is careful with how he speaks, something special happens!

When a person says Lashon Hara, those words go up to Shomayim. Later, when he speaks words of Torah, the Yetzer Hara tries to push away those words because of the words of Lashon Hara that he said. But because a tzadik DOESN’T have Lashon Hara, his words of Torah and Tefillah go straight up to Hashem!



Kuntres Acharon

It says in Kabbalah that learning Torah, doing mitzvos, and davening make sparks of Ruchnius that are hiding in Gashmius go up to kedusha. In today’s Tanya we see how davening is extra-special! Davening brings the koach of Ein Sof of Hashem into the world to make a change in the world because of what we asked in our Tefillah!

Hashem made the world work in a natural way. The way the world works can make someone get sick chas veshalom, or to chas veshalom not have parnasa, or have a problem in the family. Only the koach that Hashem uses to make the world can change those things — because Hashem MADE it, Hashem can CHANGE it!

Guess what? We bring THIS koach of Hashem in the world when we daven! When we daven, we can ask Hashem to change something in the way the world works!

Chana, the mother of Shmuel Hanavi, didn’t have children for many years. Penina would try to make her feel bad that she wasn’t special. She was very hurt and davened hard to Hashem. That caused Hashem to make a CHANGE in the nature of the world and she had a child — Shmuel Hanavi.

Everything that Hashem does in the world needs to come through the Avodah of a Yid.

What do we need to do so we can deserve to have this special koach when we daven? We need to do just what Hashem does! Hashem’s strongest koach is used to make a change in the world, and WE need to use OUR strongest koach to serve Hashem! When we give all of our chayus to do what Hashem wants — Bechol Me’odecha — Hashem acts the same way, and uses the strongest koach of Ein Sof to change things in the world so Yidden will have all the good things we need.



Beis Kislev

The Gemara tells about an Amora called R’ Elazar. He used to be careful to give tzedakah before he davened.

In a maamar, the Rebbe Maharash explained why: Davening needs to be done with chayus. But we need Hashem’s help to get chayus! When we help ANOTHER Yid to have chayus, by giving tzedakah or helping him in another way, Hashem gives US a lot of chayus for our davening to be very special! (The Rebbe Maharash showed with his hands that the chayus is VERY much!)

The Rebbe Rashab was very careful to do this. Before davening, he would LOOK for a poor person to give Tzedakah to!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355) that a person is not allowed to do things that show he is married to a woman without first doing the mitzvah of Kiddushin, getting married according to Torah.



Hilchos Ishus

We learned that Kiddushin (getting married according to Torah) can be by the man giving something to the woman.

Perek Hey: In this perek, we learn about what a person can use to do Kiddushin.

One halacha is that we can’t use something asur for Kiddushin, like something stolen, or like Basar B’Chalav, milk and meat mixed together.

Perek Vov: The Rambam tells us halachos about conditions that are made at the time of Kiddushin. There are four things that need to happen when a condition is made:

1) The condition has to say what happens both if the condition is met, and if the condition is not met.
2) First he has to say the positive — if it happens, there is Kiddushin, and if not, there is not Kiddushin.
3) The condition has to be said before the action — say the condition before giving the ring or shtar.
4) The condition has to be something that is possible. If the condition is impossible, they are married right away, because it must have been a joke!

For example, the chosson might say, “I am giving you this ring to marry you, if my father agrees — if he doesn’t, we won’t be married.” This is the right way to make a condition, and the halacha is that if his father agrees, they are married.

Perek Zayin: This perek teaches us more conditions and tricky cases where we might not be sure if someone is really married. In the end of the perek, we learn that once the Kiddushin happened, even if they change their minds right away, they are still married!



Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i - Perek Vov

We learn what happens when Maaser Sheini, or money from being podeh Maaser Sheini, gets mixed up with other food or money, and other sfeikos about Maaser Sheini.

One interesting halacha is about a son whose father passed away, and he is not sure where the Maaser Sheini of his father is. If he has a dream that it is in a certain place, then even if he finds the food there like he heard in the dream, it’s not considered maaser. Words in dreams don’t count in halacha.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is a Chassidishe Yom Tov!

In about a month we will celebrate Hey Teves, the day when we celebrate Didan Notzach, when even goyim in court recognized what a Rebbe is, and that the seforim that were argued about belong to the Rebbe and to Chassidim. But even though this was decided on Hey Teves, the seforim which were taken from the Rebbe’s library were not brought back until today, Beis Kislev.

When the seforim came back to 770, the Rebbe and Chassidim were very happy!

The Rebbe saw some bochurim standing outside during seder (the time of learning in Yeshiva) waiting for the seforim to come back, and reminded them that Didan Notzach means that we should learn from the seforim and live the way a chossid should!

The Rebbe asked to print some of these seforim, so EVERYONE can learn from them!


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In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us about the mitzvah of Kriyas Shema. Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden that when they will go into Eretz Yisroel, they will need to say Kriyas Shema two times every day, so that they will be mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim and be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh for Hashem.

But wait — why did Moshe Rabbeinu tell them this? He already promised the Yidden that Hashem will make the other nations afraid of them! They won’t NEED to have Mesiras Nefesh. They won’t have to give up their lives for Hashem if goyim try to force them to do certain aveiros. So why do the Yidden need to remind themselves about having Mesiras Nefesh two times a day?

The Alter Rebbe explains that the Yetzer Hara tries to keep a Yid from doing mitzvos, by telling him that the mitzvah will be hard or uncomfortable. But when someone is ready to even have Mesiras Nefesh, that won’t scare him away from doing the mitzvah! It doesn’t matter if it’s not easy or he isn’t in the mood to do the mitzvah, he is ready to do whatever Hashem wants — no matter what!

That’s why the Yidden need to say Shema every day. They need to remind themselves that they are ready to even have Mesiras Nefesh to do what Hashem tells us to. This way, they will be able to ignore their Yetzer Hara and do every mitzvah in Eretz Yisroel!

The same is with every Yid, in every generation. When we say Shema, we give ourselves the koach to win over our Yetzer Hara and keep every mitzvah — no matter what!

See Tanya Perek Chof-Hey



Saying Shema with Kavana

Shema is supposed to help us realize that nothing exists aside for Hashem. That will help us be ready to do all of His mitzvos, no matter what!

In order to feel this, we need to have kavana when we say Shema.

We make sure to say Shema out loud, not just in a whisper, because that helps us have kavana.

We also close our eyes and cover them with our right hand when we say the first line of Shema. This helps keep us from getting distracted by the things around us. We are able to think about what the words mean, and that the words should bring us to have Kabolas Ol and Mesiras Nefesh.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Samach Alef Se’if Hey

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



Halacha When Moshiach Comes

There are some halachos that are about things that are not possible to happen, like the halachos of an Ir Hanidachas. They tell us to stay away from something not good, but those things can never happen.

If these halachos are impossible nowadays, then they DEFINITELY will be impossible when Moshiach comes, and there won’t be any not good things in the world anymore!

Still, the halachos of Torah stay FOREVER, including when Moshiach comes.

One of the reasons is because every halacha has a source in Ruchnius. Even if it’s not practical to KEEP the halacha, the halacha still has a meaning in Ruchnius that we connect to when we learn it.

So even when Moshiach comes, all of the halachos the Torah will stay forever!

See Kuntres Halachos Shel Torah Shebaal Peh She’ainan Beteilin Le’olam, printed in Sefer Hasichos 5752, p. 32, ha’ara 49

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