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Parshas Vayeilech - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is having his last farbrengen with the Yidden before he passes away. He is telling them what will happen as they enter Eretz Yisroel.

“Do you remember what happened to Sichon and Og, the Emori kings? Hashem helped you win against them very easily, even though they were so strong! Hashem will do the same thing to the Goyim in Eretz Yisroel.

“Don’t be afraid! Hashem is going with You!”



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Today we start the Tehillim again from the beginning! We say kapitelach Alef to Tes. The three kapitelach we say are Pey-Ches, Pey-Tes, and Tzadik.

Many times when Yidden were in trouble, the Rebbe would speak about a posuk from one of today’s kapitelach: “Mipi Olelim Veyonkim Yisadeta Oz” — “from the mouths of children and babies You get koach to destroy the enemies.” The Rebbe explained that the koach of the Torah and mitzvos of children is what gives us koach to destroy all of our enemies!

From this posuk we learn that when even a very small child or a baby says words of Torah or does a mitzvah, it is able to protect Yidden everywhere!

This is why chinuch of small children is so important, because it helps keep all Yidden safe!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

This letter of the Alter Rebbe is very special. It was written only a few days before the Alter Rebbe passed away.

This letter teaches us how precious gashmiyus is — it is even much more precious than ruchniyus! It will show us how special our mitzvos are, since they are done with gashmiyus things.

We will see that for there to be Gashmius, it needs the HIGHEST koach of Hashem that there could be, and that’s what makes it so special!



Alef Tishrei

Our Minhagim for Rosh Hashana:

- When we bentch licht, we say “Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Hazikaron,” and Shehecheyanu.

There are some minhagim that the Rebbe writes in today’s Hayom Yom that we already have in our Siddur.

- At Tashlich, boys should shake out the corners of their Tzitzis.

- When we eat the apple dipped in honey, we do it in this order:
1) Make a bracha on the apple
2) Say the Yehi Ratzon
3) Eat the apple!

- Even though it’s our Minhag to eat the head of a lamb (or a fish!) as a siman for a Shana Tova, we don’t say a special Yehi Ratzon for it — just for the apple.



Shiur #56 - Mitzvas Asei #157, Nusach HaHagadah, Mitzvas Asei #170

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn one last mitzvah about Pesach, say the Rambam’s nusach of the Haggadah, and then learn one of the mitzvos of Rosh Hashana:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #157) We need to tell over the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim (in this mitzvah, the Rambam puts the words of the Haggadah that we need to say to fulfill this mitzvah.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא

The details are explained in the ened of Mesechta Pesachim.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #170) We need to hear the Shofar on Rosh Hashana.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas: יוֹם תְּרוּעָה יִהְיֶה לָכֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Rosh Hashana.



Hilchos Chomeitz U'Matzah - Nusach HaHagadah - Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav

In today’s Rambam, we learn how to run a Seder properly. We learn about all the steps of the Seder, and the Mah Nishtana, and the whole Haggadah!

We also learn about the mitzvah of blowing the shofar. The Rambam tells us that we don’t blow the Shofar on Shabbos, so that nobody will carry it outside on Shabbos by mistake.

Chassidus tells us that the REAL reason why we don’t blow the Shofar on Shabbos is that when Rosh Hashana is on Shabbos, the koach of Shabbos is so strong that we don’t NEED to hear the Shofar to get the koach we usually get from hearing the Shofar. The day of Shabbos itself does what the shofar usually does!



Hilchos Nizkei Mamon - Perek Yud

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about what to do if an animal causes damage.

This perek teaches us that an animal who kills a person needs to be killed. If the animal was mu’ad (we could expect that it would do it) then the owner also needs to pay a fine.



Rosh Hashana

R’ Shlomo Chaim Kesselman was a mashpia in Tomchei Tmimim. He once said something (that we think he heard from the Friediker Rebbe):

When we blow the Shofar, the Baal Tokeia stops between each set of Tekiyos. In the Machzor, it says that he should be “Misvadeh Belachash” (say Vidui quietly). R’ Shlomo Chaim Kesselman said that this means that we should picture the Rebbe’s face (Tziyur Pnei HoRav).

There is also a letter that the Baal Shem Tov sent to his talmid, the Maggid, that says something like this! In the letter, it says that before Tekiyas Shofar, the Maggid should think about the Baal Shem Tov, and his teacher, Achiyah Hashiloni, and then he will have hatzlacha and the Shofar blowing will bring lots of brachos for the Yidden!


Since Rosh Hashana is the head of the year, every minute is extra special! That’s why it’s our minhag to spend every minute we can in saying Tehillim!


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Tekiyas Shofar

When Rosh Hashana begins, something amazing happens. All of the good things that Yidden did all year go up together to Hashem!

Then, through our Tefillos, especially during the blowing of the Shofar, a new chayus comes into the world for the new year. This new chayus comes from the Atzmus (the deepest part) of Hashem — and it is a chayus that never was in the world before!

Bringing down a NEW chayus like this is not something a Yid can ever do on his own. But Hashem gave us the avodah of Rosh Hashana, especially of Tekiyas Shofar, as a keili for Him to bring down this special koach.

How does the shofar blowing do this?

A shofar is the horn of an animal. An animal has much more bittul to Hashem than a person. We try to use davka the horn of a sheep, a very obedient animal. We blow a simple sound, no fancy music or notes. We show that we are crying out to Hashem, turning to Hashem and returning to Hashem, from our pintele Yid. We call to Hashem from the part of our neshama that doesn’t have its own ideas, that just wants to serve Hashem. And what are we calling? We call to Hashem, asking Him to please rule over us as King!

Through this simple call of the shofar, we are crowning Hashem as King and bringing down this new chayus into the world. This chayus brings along with it all of the brachos for all of the Gashmius and Ruchnius things we need in order to serve Hashem on a new level during this coming year.

See Likutei Torah, maamarim for Rosh Hashana



Tekiyas Shofar

Before we blow the shofar, we prepare ourselves for the powerful moment of Tekiyas Shofar. This is really preparing not only for the Shofar, but for the Avodas Hashem of the whole year!

Then we say the kapitelLamenatzeiach” seven times, and pesukim that start with the letters “Kra Satan.” Then we say one more posuk about the koach of the shofar, “Ala Elokim.”

The person blowing the shofar says a special Yehi Ratzon, asking that our shofar blowing should be good. Then he says the brachos aloud, having in mind that everyone should be yotzei the mitzvah of shofar. When we listen to the brachos and answer “Amen,” we should have in mind also that through this we are fulfilling the mitzvah of Shofar.

The main sound of the shofar is the sound that sounds like someone crying. This is either the sound of Shevarim, or Teruah, or Shevarim and Teruah together. We are supposed to blow this sound three times, each time with a Tekiyah before and after it. That’s why we blow so many sounds, to make sure that we are blowing the right sound three times.

In between Tekiyos, in our siddur it tells us to be “Misvadeh Belachash.” This means to do Vidui quietly. We don’t say anything during this time, and we don’t think about our aveiros. We think about how much we want to be close and connected to Hashem.

At the end of Tekiyos, everyone (not just the Chazan) says “Uvechein Yehi Ratzon,” asking Hashem that our Tekiyos should be accepted.

After this main shofar blowing, we also blow another 40 sounds in Musaf and in Kaddish afterwards. Until after these Tekiyos are over, we shouldn’t make any interruption, because these are also part of the mitzvah that we made the bracha for.

(After davening, we blow another 30 sounds to confuse the Satan, for 100 sounds all together.)

See Halachos U’Minhagei Chabad, p. 19

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



Moshiach When We Don't Deserve It

In Tashlich, we say a posuk from Micha, which is a nevuah about the Geulah: “Mi Keil Kamocha, Nosei Avon Ve’over Al Pesha, Le’She’eris Nachalaso; Lo Hechezik Lo’ad Apo, Ki Chofeitz Chesed Hu.” “Who is like You Hashem? He forgives the aveiros and overlooks the sins of those left of His nation. He doesn’t stay angry forever, because He wants chesed.”

(In our Machzor, we see that this posuk hints to the Yud-Gimmel Midos HoRachamim!)

The Meforshim also teach us that this is something important we need to know about the Geulah:

When the Yidden go through the terrible, painful times of Chevlei Moshiach, the hard times close to Moshiach, not everyone will survive. (Many tzadikim say that this already happened, during the second World War.)

The Yidden who live after this time might not be perfect. They may even have many aveiros. So how will Hashem ever bring the Geulah?

We say the answer in this posuk! Hashem will forgive the aveiros, and overlook the sins of those Yidden that are left! Hashem wants Chesed, and this chesed will bring Moshiach even if it doesn’t seem like we deserve it!

See Sichas Parshas Vayechi Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef

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