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Parshas Pinchas - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn about how Eretz Yisroel is divided. The Leviim are counted, and the daughters of Tzelofchad ask for a part of Eretz Yisroel.

Eretz Yisroel is divided: Hashem tells Moshe how to divide up Eretz Yisroel:

Each of the people that Moshe and Elazar just counted will get a place in Eretz Yisroel.

The land will be divided fairly so each family that goes into Eretz Yisroel will have the same amount of place to grow things.

Then Eretz Yisroel will be divided into 12 parts, each with the right amount of sections for the number of people that are in the Shevet.

The names of the Shevatim will be written down on pieces of parchment, and the names of these 12 parts of Eretz Yisroel will be written down on different pieces of parchment. All of these pieces of parchment will be mixed together in a box.

Elazar will put on the special clothing of a Kohen Gadol, so he can get Ruach Hakodesh. Each of the Nesiim will come up, one by one. First, Elazar will say with Ruach Hakodesh which part of Eretz Yisroel will go to this Shevet, and then the Nasi will pick out two pieces of parchment. It will be a Neis — they will pick out the parchment with the name of THEIR Shevet, and ALSO the one with the part of Eretz Yisroel that Elazar just said! And even more, the parchment will TALK, and say that this part of Eretz Yisroel goes to this Shevet!

All of these nisim will help the Yidden to know that Hashem is deciding where each person’s piece of Eretz Yisroel is.

The Leviim are counted: Moshe and Elazar count the Leviim. All of the Leviim are counted, starting from babies just one month old! (With the other shevatim, only men older than 20 years old were counted. Only men over age 20 would get a part of Eretz Yisroel, and the main reason for this counting was to divide up Eretz Yisroel fairly. But the Leviim weren’t counted for this reason. Shevet Levi didn’t get a piece of Eretz Yisroel for each person. So Hashem told Moshe and Elazar to count ALL of them!)

If we look at the numbers, we see that the amounts of the other Shevatim were less than the ones who came out of Mitzrayim. But there are more Leviim now than there were before! That’s because almost everyone who came out of Mitzrayim passed away in the Midbar, except the Leviim, Kalev and Yehoshua, and the women.

The daughters of Tzelofchad: After learning how Eretz Yisroel will be divided, Tzelofchad’s five daughters (Machla, Noa, Choglah, Milkah, and Tirtzah) came to Moshe, very upset. They loved Eretz Yisroel and wanted a part too, but since their father didn’t have any boys, no one from their family would be getting a piece of Eretz Yisroel.

Tzelofchad passed away because of a different aveira, not because he didn’t want to go to Eretz Yisroel. So it’s not fair that his family shouldn’t get any part of it! His daughters asked that they should get a piece of Eretz Yisroel to share.

Moshe had forgotten the halacha, and had to ask Hashem.

IY”H tomorrow we will learn what Hashem says should be done!



77 - 78

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Ayin-Zayin to Ayin-Ches.

Kapitel Ayin-Ches talks about all of the Nissim that Hashem did for the Yidden, from the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim until Dovid Hamelech became the king.

In the first posuk that talks about Dovid Hamelech, it says “Vayivchar BeDovid Avdo, Vayikacheihu Mimichle’os Tzon.” “Hashem chose Dovid, and He took him from the sheep pens.” (This is also a Chassidishe Niggun!)

Rashi explains how Dovid Hamelech took such special care of the sheep:

While Dovid Hamelech was taking care of the sheep, he noticed that not all of the sheep were getting food to eat! The big strong sheep would run very fast into the field and eat as much as they wanted. Then the older sheep and the baby sheep would come into the field, but there was no more soft grass left! The hard grass was hard for them to eat, so they were hungry.

So Dovid Hamelech built fences for the sheep. He put the strong sheep behind one fence, the baby sheep behind another fence, and the older sheep behind the last fence.

When it was time for them to go out to the field to eat, Dovid Hamelech first let out the baby sheep. They ran into the field and ate the very soft grass that was easy for their baby teeth to chew. Then Dovid Hamelech let the older sheep come in. There was plenty of softer grass left for them, and they ate until they were full. Finally, Dovid Hamelech let the strong sheep come out into the field. Even though most of the grass that was left was very hard and chewy, their teeth were strong and they were happy to eat it all up.

Hashem saw how Dovid Hamelech was careful to take care of every single sheep with exactly what it needs! Hashem knew that someone who takes good care of even a little sheep will also take good care of every single Yid! That’s why Hashem chose Dovid to be the king of the Yidden.

Moshe Rabbeinu was also a shepherd who took care of every single sheep, and he took care of every single Yid very carefully throughout all of his years of leading the Yidden.

Hashem makes sure that every Nasi who leads the Yidden will take care of each of them! Our Rebbe, our Nasi, also takes care of every single Yid, making sure that each of us have exactly what we need.

(Here’s a video clip that shows this: http://chabad.org/929769 )



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Daled

We need to learn about how special a Yid’s neshama is, so that we will understand what happens when he does an aveira (Chas Veshalom) and how he can do teshuvah.

Like we said, a Yid’s neshama is different than a malach because we have a very strong chayus from Hashem, and Hashem’s name of Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay is inside of every Yiddishe neshama.

What do those letters mean?

The four letters of Hashem’s name are the 10 Sefiros Hashem used to make the world. Hashem made two kinds of worlds: Hidden worlds that are very Ruchnius’dik and can’t be seen (similar to the world inside the ocean — there are fish and plants and even rivers and mountains underneath, but we can’t see them!), and a world we CAN see (similar to dry land, with animals and mountains that we CAN see).

The first two letters of Hashem’s name made the HIDDEN Ruchnius worlds, and the second two letters made the Gashmius world we CAN see.

In tomorrow’s Tanya we will IY”H see that the four letters of Hashem’s Name, which are the ten Sefiros, are also the ten kochos in the neshama of a Yid, which has the name of Hashem inside of it.

We will see later that an aveira stops the name of Hashem from being able to shine in a Yid’s body, and through teshuvah it can shine again!



Tes-Vov Tammuz

The Rebbe Rashab writes in a maamar that Ruchnius can sometimes make our Gashmius body feel full! We can enjoy Ruchnius so much that it’s even better than food!

R’ Nachum of Chernobyl loved answering Amen Yehei Shmei Rabbah (in Kaddish) so much, that it made him fat!

Someone once came to the Rebbetzin in her home after a farbrengen with the Rebbe that ended very late. When the Rebbetzin asked him if he wants to eat something, he answered that he is not hungry. The Rebbetzin replied, “That’s not surprising — a farbrengen zetikt ohn, a farbrengen makes you feel full.”



Shiur #337 - Mitzvas Asei #187, Lo Saasei #49, Asei #188, #189, Lo Saasei #59

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 5 mitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #187) We have to kill the 7 nations that lived in Eretz Yisroel, because they are the main source of Avodah Zarah. We don’t have to kill them if they agree to leave or keep Sheva Mitzvos.

Hashem gave us this mitzvah so we don’t learn from them to serve Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: כִּי הַחֲרֵם תַּחֲרִימֵם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #49) We can’t leave any of those 7 nations alive. (This is the Lo Saasei of the mitzvah before.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא תְחַיֶּה כָּל נְשָׁמָה

3) (Mitzvas Asei #188) We need to wipe out Amalek.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: תִּמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר (זֶכֶר) עֲמָלֵק

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Sotah perek Ches.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #189) We need to remember what Amalek did to the Yidden. This way we won’t stop hating Amalek very much over time. By speaking about the terrible things that Amalek did to the Yidden, we will always hate them very much. (We do this mitzvah every day by saying what Amalek did to us, in the Sheish Zechiros at the end of davening.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: זָכוֹר אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #59) We can’t forget Amalek. (This is the Lo Saasei of the mitzvah before. The Asei is to speak about Amalek, and the Lo Saasei is not to forget in our hearts.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תִּשְׁכָּח



Hilchos Melachim

In Perek Daled, we learn about what rights a Jewish king has. He is allowed to make taxes, hire whoever he wants to work for him, and choose officers. In halacha Yud, the Rambam reminds us that the king has to make these decisions Lesheim Shomayim, to do the job Hashem wants him to do!

In Perek Hey, we learn about Milchemes Mitzvah — a war that is a mitzvah! One of the wars is with Amalek, of course! Another war that is a mitzvah is a war to take back parts of Eretz Yisroel.

The Rambam teaches us how special Eretz Yisroel is. There is a lot of kedusha there, and we are not allowed to leave Eretz Yisroel unless we have a very good reason, like learning Torah or getting married. The Rambam tells us that the Chachomim used to kiss the ground of Eretz Yisroel because they loved it so much!

Perek Vov teaches us about how to fight wars for the Jewish people. Before we fight, we always have to first ask the people if they want to make shalom and keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. If we surround their cities, we should leave a way out so they can escape, and that way we can take over the city without fighting them.

Even in a time of war, we shouldn’t ruin things for no reason (Bal Tashchis). A war for the Yidden is a holy thing — we fight even on Shabbos!



Hilchos Melachim - Perek Yud

In Perek Yud, we learn more halachos about non-Jews. The last halacha is that we should do Bikur Cholim for goyim who are sick, bury them if they pass away, and give them tzedakah if they need it, for the sake of shalom.



Ahavas Yisroel

Here’s a story with a lesson about Ahavas Yisroel, that the Rebbe told over at a farbrengen.

One time, when the Rebbe Rashab was still a little boy, he was playing a game with his older brother, the Raz”a (R’ Zalman Aharon). They were playing a game of Rebbe and chossid, something they were used to seeing at home!

The Rebbe Rashab pretended that he was a chossid coming into Yechidus. “Rebbe,” he said. “I need a tikun! What should I do?”

“What did you do wrong?” asked the Raz”a, who was pretending to be the Rebbe.

“I cracked nuts on Shabbos,” answered the Rebbe Rashab, “and I only found out afterwards that the Alter Rebbe says we aren’t allowed to do that on Shabbos.”

The Raz”a told him, “your tikun is to be careful to daven and say brachos only from a siddur, and not by heart!”

The Rebbe Rashab didn’t agree to do this as a tikun!

When his mother (Rebbetzin Rivka) asked why, the Rebbe Rashab answered that it wouldn’t help — because his brother is not a Rebbe. When a Rebbe helps a Yid, he sighs before he answers, because it bothers him too! Since the Raz”a didn’t sigh, his advice won’t help either.

The lesson we learn from this story is not just for a Rebbe, but for each of us! Before we give advice to another person who is going through a hard time, we should try to feel their pain, and it should bother us too.


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Tikun Chatzos

The Gemara and the Zohar teach us that there are certain times of night when Hashem cries over the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash. The Zohar says that a person should cry together with Hashem over the Beis Hamikdash. Then, he will also deserve to celebrate together with Hashem when the Beis Hamikdash is rebuilt! This is what we do in Tikun Chatzos.

How does this help?

The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya that our aveiros send the last Hey of Hashem’s name into Golus. This is called Golus HaShechinah.

During Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah and Tikun Chatzos, we make a Cheshbon Hanefesh. We do teshuvah for our aveiros, so that the letters of Hashem’s name can come out of Golus and make Hashem’s name in our neshama whole again. When we do teshuvah, it takes the Shechinah out of Golus, which will bring the Geulah for all of the Yidden, and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash!

The Alter Rebbe says that even if someone can’t do Tikun Chatzos every night, he should try to do it at least once a week, before Shabbos (on Thursday night).



Tikun Chatzos Nowadays

Shortly after the Rebbe became Nosi, someone asked the Rebbe a question: “If it says in Tanya that we should say Tikun Chatzos at least once a week, why aren’t people doing it?”

The Rebbe answered that Tikun Chatzos is only for special people. The rest of us fulfill the inyan of Tikun Chatzos by learning Chassidus, especially on Thursday night!

In a maamar (Margela Bepumei 5746), the Rebbe tells us that since we are so close to the Geulah, now our main learning of Chassidus should be not so much to think about the Golus our aveiros caused. Instead, we should make a Cheshbon Hanefesh to help us come to do teshuvah in a way of simcha, to have more chayus in learning Torah and davening and living the way a Yid should!

This will help us bring a Geulah for ourselves, and for all the Yidden!

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



What the World Will Be Like

The Rambam tells us what the world will be like when Moshiach comes!

In the beginning of the last halacha, the siyum of the Rambam which we will be finishing in a few days, the Rambam says:

וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַזְמַן לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁם לֹא רָעָב וְלֹא מִלְחָמָה וְלֹא קִנְאָה וְתַחַרוּת שֶׁהַטוֹבָה תִּהְיֶה מוּשְׁפַּעַת הַרְבֵּה וְכָל הַמַעַדַנִים מְצוּיִין כְּעָפָר

Uve’oso Hazman — And in that time (the days of Moshiach)

Lo Yihiyeh Sham — There will not be in the world

Lo Raav Velo Milchama — No hunger and no war

Velo Kina Vesacharus — And no jealousy or competition

Shehatova Tihiyeh Mushpaas Harbei — Because there will be plenty of good

Vechol Hamaadanim Metzuyin Ke’afar — And there will be as many enjoyable things as the dust!

See Rambam Hilchos Melachim perek Yud-Beis halacha Hey

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