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Parshas Bamidbar - Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon to count the Leviim from the family of Kehos who are the right age to work. Like we learned, this family is in charge of the keilim of the Mishkan, like the Shulchan and the Menorah. The Torah tells us that someone who is older than 30 and younger than 50 is strong enough to carry these special parts of the Mishkan.

Here’s how they do their job:

When Hashem lets the Yidden know it’s time to travel by making the cloud go up, the Kohanim get the parts of the Mishkan ready to carry. They have special covers for each part of the Mishkan, and do it in this order:

- They take down the Paroches and cover the Aron with it. Then they put on another 2 covers on top of the Paroches, and put the poles of the Aron on their shoulders.

- They cover the Shulchan and put its tools and the Lechem Hapanim on top. They cover the tools and Lechem Hapanim with another cover, and then put a third cover over it all. Then they put the poles inside to carry it with.

- They cover the Menorah and all of its tools, put them in a special bag, and hang the bag on a pole. (The Menorah doesn’t have any poles to be carried with.)

- They cover the Mizbeiach Haketores, and put its poles inside.

- They take all of the tools for the Ketores and put them in a bag, cover the bag, and then hang it on a pole.

- They empty out the ashes from the big copper Mizbeiach. They cover the fire with a copper pot, so that the fire from Shomayim won’t burn the cover, and then cover the Mizbeiach with a special purple cover. They put the tools on top, and then put a second cover and put in the poles to carry it.

Only after the kohanim from Kehos have finished covering each part of the Mishkan do the Leviim from Kehos come to carry them. They aren’t allowed to touch these holy pieces of the Mishkan, they can only touch their poles and their covers.

Elazar (Aharon’s son) has his own special job:

- He has to carry the oil for the Menorah
- He has to carry the Ketores
- He makes sure the Korban Mincha is brought every day
- He has to carry the Shemen Hamishcha (oil we use to make something ready for a job in the Mishkan)
- He also makes sure that the family of Kehos does their job carrying these pieces of the Mishkan right.

Hashem tells Moshe to make sure that the kohanim are very careful that no Leviim touch parts of the Mishkan they aren’t allowed to! They should only let the Leviim come in when these things are all wrapped up so that they don’t touch them by mistake.



140 - 150

Today we are going to finish the whole Sefer Tehillim! Since there are only 29 days in Iyar, we say the Tehillim for day 29 AND day 30.

In Kapitel Kuf-Mem-Zayin, Dovid Hamelech talks about the greatness of Hashem and how He runs the world! At the end, he says “Maggid Devarav LeYaakov, Chukav Umishpatav L’Yisrael.” “Hashem tells over His words to the Yidden, and His mitzvos to Bnei Yisrael.”

The Medrash says about this posuk that people will sometimes tell others to do something, even though THEY don’t do it! Like a person will say “Eat all the food on your plate” — even though he didn’t finish his own chicken.

But Hashem does everything that He tells us to do! That’s why it says HIS words and HIS mitzvos — Hashem does them too!

For example, Hashem puts on Tefillin. The Gemara tells us that in OUR Tefillin, it says how great Hashem is. In HASHEM’S Tefillin, it says how special the Yidden are and how proud Hashem is that we make the world into a comfortable place for Hashem!

(Chassidus talks about this in the Bar Mitzvah Maamar!)



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Beis

We said before that Hashem’s Shechina needs to have something to cover it over in order for it to give chayus to the world. We said that the cover is the Torah. The Torah can be the cover because it talks about Gashmius things that we can understand. But from the Torah being Hashem’s chochma until it talks about Gashmius things, it needs to go through a bunch of steps, called the “Olamos” — the Ruchnius worlds. So the Shechinah, which needs the Torah as a cover, also needs to go with it through these steps.

Yesterday we learned the first step which is the “world” of Beriyah. The Chochmah of Hashem that’s a cover there is the Talmud, the reasons for the halachos.

Today, we are learning about the next step, the “world” of Yetzirah. There, the cover for the Shechinah is the part of Torah called Mishnah, which is just the halachos by themselves, where the reasons are hiding.

When this Chochmah of Hashem goes into the Shechinah of Olam HaYetzirah, all of the neshamos and malachim of Yetzirah are created.

Then the Shechinah goes to the next steps, together with the Chochmah of Hashem, until it is able to give chayus to this world through the Torah that we have.



Chof-Tes Iyar

Today is forty-four days of the Omer!

The neshamos of Tzadikim become closer to Hashem three times a day — during the times of davening. (This includes also after the neshama leaves this world!)

What do the neshamos daven about?

The Rebbe tells us today that they daven to Hashem for Chassidim who are connected to them, who do what they told them to, and learn their Torah.

The tzadik davens that the Chassidim should be helped by Hashem in Gashmius and Ruchnius!



Shiur #292 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #219, Asei #245

Today we learn the last perek about workers, and we’ll start a new set of halachos — the halachos of borrowing.

We have two mitzvos today in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #219) You can’t stop an animal from eating while it’s working.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תַחְסֹם שׁוֹר בְּדִישׁוֹ

Even though the posuk only talks about a cow which is plowing a field, the mitzvah is for any animal and for any kind of work.

The dinim of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Bava Metziah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #245) If someone borrows something, he needs to follow the halachos of a borrower, a shoel.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְכִי יִשְׁאַל אִישׁ מֵעִם רֵעֵהוּ

The halachos are explained in Perek Ches of Mesechta Bava Metziah, and Perek Ches of Mesechta Shevuos.



Hilchos Sechirus - She'eilah Upikadon

In Perek Yud-Gimmel, we learn more about today’s mitzvos: When an animal is working, we need to let it eat whatever it’s working on. We can’t cover its mouth, or scare it so it won’t eat. But if it’s working on something that will make the animal sick, we can cover the animal’s mouth — because this mitzvah is there to make the animal feel good. Eating something that will make it sick WON’T make the animal feel good, so we are allowed to stop it from eating!

We also start learning halachos about borrowing, Hilchos She’eilah Upikadon:

Perek Alef talks about your responsibilities if you borrow something. One halacha is that if you ask your friend, “Can I borrow your pencil to do my homework?” — then you can’t use the pencil for anything else.

If the pencil breaks while you’re doing your homework, you don’t need to get him a new pencil, but if it breaks while you are carrying it home, you DO need to get him a new pencil.

In Perek Beis we learn that when the owner is working together with the person who borrowed something from him, it’s not counted as borrowing according to halacha. So if you are working on a poster with your friend, and you borrow your friend’s markers since you forgot to bring yours, you don’t have to pay him back even if you stepped on one of the markers and broke it.

If a husband and wife borrow something from each other, it is ALWAYS counted like they are working together! So if your Mommy borrowed Tatty’s hammer and broke it, she doesn’t have to buy him a new one.



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Ches

In Perek Ches of today’s Rambam, we learn that the witness can be more important than what is written in a shtar! An example for this is someone who has a signature on a shtar that says a person owes money to his friend. In Beis Din, he can’t seem to remember anything about it. If nobody else can prove that it is true, then since the Eid doesn’t remember, the shtar is worthless.



Sefiras Haomer

This whole week we are working on our midah of Malchus!

The Rebbe teaches us that when we say Malchus, what words do we think of? Melech Hamoshiach! Talking about our sefirah of Malchus reminds us about Moshiach. And when we are reminded about Moshiach, of course that makes us want to work hard to BRING Moshiach! So this whole week we work very hard to bring Moshiach now.

Today we are working on our Gevurah Shebemalchus. From what the Rebbe tells us, we can understand a little bit more about this sefirah:

We learned before in Pirkei Avos that a gibor (a strong person) is someone who is stronger than his Yetzer Hara. When we are working on our gevurah, we are working on being a gibor over OUR Yetzer Hara!

Many times, our Yetzer Hara tells us something completely ridiculous, like “don’t tell the truth. You’ll get in trouble,” or “don’t share with your friend — it’s all just for you.” When we remember how much we want to bring Moshiach, and that we are part of Tzivos Hashem that will make it happen, that will help us be a gibor and not listen. Instead, we will do another mitzvah… and bring Moshiach NOW!


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Name Pesukim

At the end of Shemoneh Esrei, we say the posuk of Yihiyu Leratzon, asking that our words be wanted by Hashem. Then we say the paragraph of Elokai, Netzor, the personal added tefillah from one of the Amoraim. After we finish this tefillah, we again say Yihiyu Leratzon.

We have a minhag to add something before this second Yihiyu Leratzon:

At the end of Shemoneh Esrei, we say a posuk from Tanach that has the same first and last letters as our name! For example, someone with a name of Avraham would say a posuk that starts with an Alef and ends with a Mem. If we have two names, we say a posuk for each one.

This posuk is important for the neshama when it goes up to Shomayim.

Chassidim have a minhag not only to say a posuk for our own name, but to also say the pesukim of the Rebbe’s name! It is important for the neshama, when it goes up to Shomayim, to show that it is connected to the Rebbe.

Here are the Rebbe’s pesukim which we add:

מְאוֹר עֵינַיִם יְשַׂמַּח לֵב שְׁמוּעָה טוֹבָה תְּדַשֶּׁן עָצֶם
(from Mishlei)

מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל
(from Chumash)

If you’re not sure which posuk to say for your name, here is a list of every single posuk in the whole Tanach that matches up to the letters of your name! http://www.toratemetfreeware.com/online/f_00720.html

See Sefer Haminhagim p. 12



Mitzvas Ha'amanas Elokus

There are six mitzvos that a person needs to keep ALL THE TIME. Every time a person thinks about them, he is doing a mitzvah!

The first of these mitzvos is the mitzvah to believe in Hashem.

Every Yid naturally believes in Hashem. It’s part of our neshama! We feel in our heart, without even thinking, that there is an Aibershter Who created the world and takes care of every part of it.

But this is not enough. We have a mitzvah to THINK about it, so that our mind can also be part of our belief in Hashem.

The Rambam (in the first perek of Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah) explains what we need to know and think about, so that we will bring our Emunah in Hashem into our sechel too.

Chassidus explains in many places how to bring our Emunah into our Sechel, so that our sechel can think about it too! For example, there is a whole section in Tanya called “Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah” (which we are about to start learning on Shavuos). There is also a long maamar from the Tzemach Tzedek, called “Ha’amanas Elokus” in Derech Mitzvosecha which explains this mitzvah and how we can understand this Emunah in our sechel.

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



The Great Shofar

The Navi Yeshaya speaks about Kibbutz Galuyos, that a great shofar will be blown and all of the Yidden will be reunited again in Yerushalayim!

וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִתָּקַע בְּשׁוֹפָר גָּדוֹל וּבָאוּ הָאֹבְדִים בְּאֶרֶץ אַשּׁוּר וְהַנִּדָּחִים בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְהִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַה׳ בְּהַר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם

Vehaya Bayom Hahu — This will happen on the day of the Geulah:

Yitaka Beshofar Gadol — A great shofar will be blown

U’va’u Ha’ovdim Be’Eretz Ashur — And all of the Ten Shevatim that were “lost” in the land of Ashur

Vehanidachim Be’Eretz Mitzrayim — And all of the Yidden that were in Golus in Mitzrayim —

Vehishtachavu LaHashem — They will all come daven and bow to Hashem

Behar Hakodesh Biyerushalayim — On the holy mountain (the Har Habayis, where the Beis Hamikdash stands) in Yerushalayim.

This is one of the pesukim that we say in the Musaf of Rosh Hashana.

See Yeshaya perek Chof-Zayin, posuk Yud-Gimmel

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