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Parshas Balak - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Bilaam asks Hashem again if he can go to Balak. Hashem tells him he can go — but he will have to do what Hashem wants.

When Bilaam got up in the morning, he told Balak’s messengers that he wouldn’t come, because Hashem won’t let. But he didn’t tell the truth — he said that Hashem wouldn’t let because the messengers weren’t important enough. He wanted them to think that he is very special to Hashem!

Balak sent more messengers, very important people. He promised to pay a lot of money. Bilaam told the messengers that really Balak should give him ALL his money, because he would have had to use that money to pay his army. This way he doesn’t have to fight!

Still, now he had to tell the truth — he couldn’t curse the Yidden unless Hashem let. He told the messengers to stay over, and he would try to ask Hashem again.

Hashem told Bilaam that he could go if he wanted to, but he would have to do whatever Hashem tells him!



66 - 68

Today’s kapitelach are Samach-Vov to Samach-Ches, and all of these kapitelach talk about Moshiach!

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Samach-Vov, is the way we will thank Hashem when He brings all the Yidden to Eretz Yisroel.

The first posuk starts with the words, “Lamenatzeiach, Shir Mizmor” — meaning that this kapitel is a song, “Horiu L’Elokim Kol Ha’aretz” — the whole world will blow (trumpets) for Hashem! When Moshiach will come, all of the nations of the world will believe in Hashem!

To make this happen very soon, we need to prepare! We need to make sure that the Goyim know about the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, so they will be ready to believe in Hashem.



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Alef

Yesterday, we learned about the three kinds of aveiros a person needs to do teshuvah for. Today, the Alter Rebbe teaches us HOW to do teshuvah:

The mitzvah of teshuvah is not very complicated. A person just needs to make a strong HACHLATA that he won’t act that way again.

This hachlata is not only about the specific aveira he did. Since when a person does an aveira, he becomes separated from Hashem, it’s not enough to just say that he won’t do THIS aveira again, his hachlata needs to be that he will do EVERYTHING that Hashem wants — all of the mitzvos! This way he will become reconnected to Hashem and his teshuva will be complete.

There are also extra things like giving tzedakah or fasting which can help, but they are not part of the MITZVAH of doing teshuvah — as we will IY”H see later.



Yud-Beis Tammuz

We don’t say Tachanun today, because it is the Chag Hageulah of the Frierdiker Rebbe.

Two special things happened on Yud-Beis Tammuz:

Today is the birthday of the Frierdiker Rebbe. It is also the day the Frierdiker Rebbe was told that he is free from jail! He was sent to jail, and then to a faraway place called Kostrama, for spreading Yiddishkeit. But on Yud-Beis Tammuz, the Russian government told him he could go!

The Frierdiker Rebbe sent a letter telling Chassidim to farbreng in honor of this special day. At this farbrengen, they should work together to make sure that they are learning the shiurim in Torah they should be learning. The Frierdiker Rebbe gives all of the Chassidim a bracha that Hashem should bentch them in Gashmius and Ruchnius!



Shiur #318 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #279, #277, #275, #278, #273

Today we learn 5 mitzvos for a judge to keep, five things they shouldn’t do when they are judging someone:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #279) Not to have rachmanos on someone who hurt or killed someone else and needs to pay a knas — judge him according to the halacha, and don’t say “he can’t afford it,” or “he made a mistake.”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְלֹא תָחוֹס עֵינֶךָ נֶפֶשׁ בְּנֶפֶשׁ עַיִן בְּעַיִן שֵׁן בְּשֵׁן יָד בְּיָד רֶגֶל בְּרָגֶל

The Torah also repeats this mitzvah in the same parsha: לֹא תָחוֹס עֵינְךָ עָלָיו וּבִעַרְתָּ דַם הַנָּקִי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #277) Don’t judge in a way that a poor person wins if he doesn’t really deserve it. Don’t use this as a way to give tzedakah to the poor person! Tzedakah is a separate thing, but the judgment has to be correct and fair.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְדָל לֹא תֶהְדַּר בְּרִיבוֹ

The Torah repeats this mitzvah in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תִשָּׂא פְנֵי דָל

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #275) Don’t be nicer to any of the people in Beis Din, even if they’re more important — treat them all the same. Don’t say “he’s a rich or respected person, how can I make him lose?”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְלֹא תֶהְדַּר פְּנֵי גָדוֹל

The details of this mitzvah are explained in many places in Mesechta Sanhedrin and Mesechta Shevuos.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #278) Don’t judge against someone just because you know he’s a rasha — judge each case by itself, and see if the halacha says he should be punished.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא תַטֶּה מִשְׁפַּט אֶבְיֹנְךָ בְּרִיבוֹ

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #273) Don’t do anything different than the Torah says when you pasken. The Torah tells us how make someone innocent or guilty, and the judge has to follow each of those halachos exactly.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ עָוֶל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט



Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn about malkos — where the Beis Din whips someone to punish him for certain aveiros.

In Perek Tes-Zayin, we learn about how malkos are given. We learn that the person who gives malkos should be very smart, but not very strong — because the halacha is that he has to hit as hard as he can, and we don’t want to hurt the person more than we need to.

Perek Yud-Zayin teaches us how many malkos to give. We try to figure out how many a person can handle, and only give that many. Because of the way malkos are given (1 on the front, then one on the back on each shoulder), we only give a number that we can divide by 3, like 9 or 12 or 18. If a person can only handle 11, we round down to 9, not up to 12!

Perek Yud-Ches tells us about the kinds of aveiros that make a person deserve malkos. These aveiros are all from the Torah, but a Beis Din can give Makas Mardus, another kind of malkos, for doing an aveira Miderabanan.



Hilchos Shaar Avos Hatumah - Perek Ches

The Rambam explains about how hands are tomei, and that we need to make them tahor before eating from a korban. If a person didn’t make their hands tahor first (by washing them or dipping them in a Mikvah), they make the food they touched tomei, and someone who eats the food can also become tomei.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

As we learned in Hayom Yom, today is the day that the Frierdiker Rebbe was freed from jail, where he was put for his work in spreading Yiddishkeit. Every year, the Rebbe would have a farbrengen in honor of this special Chassidishe Yom Tov. He would encourage Chassidim to take on hachlatos to strengthen Yiddishkeit too, in a way of Mesiras Nefesh like the Frierdiker Rebbe showed us!

In the year Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches, the Rebbe said in a sicha that Yud-Beis Tammuz is a special Yom Tov for children! Why? The main gezeira from the Russian government was against learning Torah and teaching Yiddishkeit to small children. The Frierdiker Rebbe put everything in danger to make sure that Yiddishkeit for children was the way it should be!

Since the Frierdiker Rebbe had Mesiras Nefesh for children, it gives a special koach to kids to make sure their Yiddishkeit is strong! This is especially true with the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel, which can sometimes be harder for children.

On Yud-Beis Tammuz 5748 (Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches), the Rebbe said that he has a new idea! Everyone, even kids, should write down three special things in Yiddishkeit or Chassidus that they did over the past year!

It’s good for everyone to do this, because even if someone can’t find three things, they’ll make sure to have them for next year!

Can YOU think of three things you did over the past year that would make the Rebbe proud?

1) _______________________

2) _______________________

3) _______________________


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Gad Gedud

At the end of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, we say many pesukim that are connected to the reasons for saying Shema at night. Some pesukim are about asking Hashem for protection; that we should sleep well and get up well. Other pesukim speak about how we give our neshama to Hashem at night, and ask Hashem to take care of it and return it to us in the morning. We repeat some of these pesukim three times, like other important pesukim in davening.

Towards the end of these pesukim, we ask Hashem to bring us the Geulah, and then all of the kelipos will be taken away from the world.



Kriyas Shema She'al Hamitah

Every night, we say Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah before we go to sleep.

According to halacha, we are allowed to say it once we are already in bed, lying down with pajamas.

Still, it is better to be sitting up or standing when we say Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah.

It is our minhag to say Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah when we are still wearing our clothes! Men should wear a hat and jacket, and a married man should even wear his gartel.

By being dressed and standing up, we show that the avodah of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah is very important.

See Piskei Teshuvos vol. 2, p. 991 and Shemiras Mitzvas Hayom p 304

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



The Sound of a Chosson and Kallah

The Navi Yirmiyah lived in a very hard time. The Yidden were not behaving the way they should have, and Hashem sent the Navi to warn the Yidden to do teshuvah. If they don’t, the Navi warned, there will be a terrible Churban and the goyim will come and capture Yerushalayim.

Most of the Yidden enjoyed the way they were acting. They didn’t want to hear what Yirmiyah had to say. Instead, they listened to the false neviim, who told them that Hashem would protect them no matter what, and everything would be fine. The king, Tzidkiyahu, was so upset at the way Yirmiyah was speaking, that he put Yirmiyah in prison!

While the Navi was in prison, he had many nevuos about the Churban and about what would happen afterwards, including about the Geulah!

One of these nevuos is one we know very well, from the Sheva Brachos we say for a chosson and kallah:

כֹּה אָמַר ה׳ עוֹד יִשָּׁמַע בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם אֹמְרִים חָרֵב הוּא מֵאֵין אָדָם וּמֵאֵין בְּהֵמָה בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחֻצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַנְשַׁמּוֹת מֵאֵין אָדָם וּמֵאֵין יוֹשֵׁב וּמֵאֵין בְּהֵמָה

קוֹל שָׂשׂוֹן וְקוֹל שִׂמְחָה קוֹל חָתָן וְקוֹל כַּלָּה קוֹל אֹמְרִים הוֹדוּ אֶת ה׳ צְבָאוֹת כִּי טוֹב ה׳ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ מְבִאִים תּוֹדָה בֵּית ה׳ כִּי אָשִׁיב אֶת שְׁבוּת הָאָרֶץ כְּבָרִאשֹׁנָה אָמַר ה׳

Ko Amar Hashem — Hashem says: You will still later hear, in this very place that Yidden are saying is destroyed and empty, in the cities of Yehuda and Yerushalayim, where now no person or animals can live;

Kol Sason — The sound of happiness and the sound of joy, the voice of a chosson and the voice of a kallah, the sound of people saying, “Praise Hashem because He is good, because Hashem’s chesed is forever,” bringing korbanos to thank Hashem! “Because I will bring the Yidden who were captured back home,” says Hashem.

See Yirmiya perek Lamed-Gimmel, pesukim Yud and Yud-Alef

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