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Parshas Vayigash - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn how Yaakov Avinu starts traveling down to Mitzrayim.

Yaakov said, “I am so happy! Yosef is alive! Let me go see him before I pass away!”

Yaakov thought he might pass away in Mitzrayim, so he prepared a place to be buried in Me’aras Hamachpeilah before going. He paid Eisav with big piles of gold and silver that he earned from Lavan, so that Eisav would not fight over this place.

Yaakov packed up everything and took the whole family out of Chevron. They stopped at Be’er Sheva and Yaakov gave a korban to Hashem.

Be’er Sheva was the last city he stopped in before leaving Eretz Yisroel, and Yaakov was worried about leaving this holy land.

Hashem came to him in a dream and said in a loving way, “Yaakov! Yaakov!” Yaakov said, “Here I am.”

Hashem said, “Don’t be afraid to go to Mitzrayim, because that’s where you will really become a big nation. I will come down with you to Mitzrayim, and make sure that you are buried in Eretz Yisroel.”

Yaakov and his wives and children went down to Mitzrayim in the wagons. They brought all of the animals and the things that they had from Canaan. All of Yaakov’s children and grandchildren came.



44 - 48

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Daled to Mem-Ches.

Kapitel Mem-Daled in Tehillim is the words of a Yid who cries out because of this bitter Golus. He asks Hashem to take us out of Golus for the sake of His holy Name which is with us in Golus.

In one of the pesukim, Dovid Hamelech gives a mashal for Golus. Golus is like a person sleeping, since the chayus of Hashem is in the world in a way that doesn’t seem to be awake and active.

We ask Hashem, “Urah, Lomo Sishan Hashem?” We ask Hashem to “wake up,” meaning to end this Golus which is like a person sleeping, and then we will be able to see Hashem’s chayus in its full glory in this world.

We can make this happen sooner through the Mesiras Nefesh of Yidden to keep Torah and mitzvos in the time of Golus!



Likutei Amarim Perek Ches

We already learned what our guf and Yetzer Hara want to do in maaseh, like eating and getting married to people we shouldn’t. Now we learn what our guf and Yetzer Hara want to do in Machshava and Dibur, thinking and speaking. This way we will know what to be careful about!

The Alter Rebbe also tells us the punishments for each of these things, so we realize how dangerous they are and be very careful. Later in Tanya we will learn more ways of acting in a way of kedusha by making our neshama stronger, without needing to think so much about the punishments.

We learn about four things our guf and Yetzer Hara like to think and talk about:

1) Devarim Beteilim: We sometimes like to talk about interesting things. But everything we say needs to be to help us do what Hashem wants. If a person talks for no good reason, it can make the Neshama become tomei. (This is one of the reasons why we said in yesterday’s Hayom Yom that a person should say words of Torah baal peh as much as he can — because this can keep us from saying Devorim Beteilim.) The neshama will need to get cleaned through Kaf Hakela after the neshama leaves the guf.

2) Diburim Asurim: Sometimes we feel like we want to say something not nice about another person. But it is asur for a Yid to say Lashon Hara! Kaf Hakela is not enough to clean the neshama off from saying things that are asur. The neshama of a person who did this needs be cleaned off in Gehennom.

3) Bittul Torah: Wasting time we could use for learning Torah when we are supposed to be learning is called Bittul Torah. We learn how the neshama is cleaned from this aveira.

4) Chochmos Ha’umos: If a person uses their mind to understand things that are NOT from Torah for no good reason, they are making their sechel tomei!

It is even more than saying Devarim Beteilim, because when a person says Devorim Beteilim, he’s shlepping down only the MIDOS of his Nefesh Elokis into kelipah. But learning things that aren’t Torah for no good reason brings the SECHEL (which is higher than midos) into kelipah!

In Russia, there were times when the government tried to make decrees that the Jewish children need to learn Limudei Chol (secular studies) in the schools, and the Rebbeim fought with mesiras nefesh against it.

In some places, they need to learn Limudei Chol for certain reasons. In those places, the Rebbe wanted it to be clear that the MAIN thing is learning the Torah, and the Limudei Chol should be only as much as needed, and should be used to help us in kedusha.

The only time we can learn non-Torah things is for parnasa or to help us understand Torah or to use in our Avodas Hashem. This is why some great tzadikim, like the Rambam and Ramban, were able to learn Goyishe Chochma, because they knew how to use it for Torah and Avodas Hashem.



Ches Teves

Do you know what you’re saying when you daven?

The Tzemach Tzedek made sure that the melamdim (teachers) who taught his grandchildren also made Pirush Hamilos, understanding the words of davening, part of the curriculum. Every month, the children would come to their Zeidy, the Tzemach Tzedek, to get a test on the meaning of davening which they learned with their teachers!



Shiur #167 - Mitzvas Asei #43, #44, #45, #46, #47, #48, #50, #51

Today we learn EIGHT mitzvos, about bringing eight special Yom Tov korbanos! We learn these mitzvos in Parshas Emor and Pinchas, where we learn about the Yomim Tovim.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #43) We bring an extra korban on each day of Pesach!

We learn this mitzvah, called the Musaf Chag Hamatzos, from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם אִשֶּׁה לַה׳ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים

2) (Mitzvas Asei #44) On the second day of Pesach, we bring the Korban Omer, which is made out of flour! This is also called “Minchas Bikurim.” We bring it together with a lamb as a Korban Olah.

We also learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וַהֲבֵאתֶם אֶת עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית קְצִירְכֶם

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Yud of Mesechta Menachos.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #45) 50 days after we bring the Korban Omer, we bring the Atzeres (Shavuos) Korban!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas: וּבְיוֹם הַבִּכּוּרִים בְּהַקְרִיבְכֶם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה לַה׳ וְגוֹ׳ וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם עוֹלָה לְרֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ

4) (Mitzvas Asei #46) On Shavuos, we bring two loaves of Chometz’dik bread, together with certain korbanos that are written in the Torah.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Emor: מִמּוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם תָּבִיאוּ לֶחֶם תְּנוּפָה שְׁתַּיִם

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perakim Daled, Hey, Ches, Yud, and Yud-Alef of Mesechta Menachos.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #47) On Rosh Hashana, we bring an extra korban, the Musaf Rosh Hashana!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas: וּבַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ וְגוֹ׳ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם עֹלָה לְרֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַה׳

6) (Mitzvas Asei #48) We bring an extra korban on Yom Kippur!

This mitzvah also comes from Parshas Pinchas: וּבֶעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְגוֹ׳ וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם עֹלָה לַה׳ רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ

7) (Mitzvas Asei #50) We bring extra korbanos each day of Sukkos!

This mitzvah is also from Parshas Pinchas: וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם עֹלָה אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַה׳

8) (Mitzvas Asei #51) On Shemini Atzeres we bring an extra korban!



Hilchos Temidin U'Musafin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how we bring these Korbanos.

Perek Vov: This perek of Rambam is like reading a story, about how the kohanim wake up in the morning and go do their Avodah!

Perek Zayin: We learn about bringing the special korban for Rosh Chodesh, and the Pesach korbanos and the Korban Omer. We hear how they would cut the barley for the Korban Omer: Erev Pesach, they would tie the barley into bundles while it was still growing, to make it easier to cut. After Yom Tov, everyone would come out to watch! They would ask each of these questions three times out loud to make sure everyone understood what was happening, and everyone would answer together:

- Did the sun set? — YES!
- Is this a sickle? (a special kind of knife to cut plants) — YES!
- Is this a basket? — YES!
- If it was Shabbos: “Is it Shabbos?” — YES!
- Should I cut the barley? — CUT!

They asked each question three times, and each time, everyone would answer out loud.

The Rambam explains why it was done with such a big deal: Because there were Tzedukim who explained the Torah differently, and the Chachomim wanted to make sure that evefryone understood the correct way to follow the words of the Torah.

The Rambam then tells us exactly how the korban was prepared!

Perek Ches: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us about the two Chometz’dike loaves of bread we bring on Shavuos.



Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav - Perek Alef

In this perek, we start to learn about the shofar. We learn about what makes a shofar posul. It doesn’t matter if the sound is high or low or smooth or rough, all sounds from the shofar are kosher!



Hey – Yud-Beis Teves

Just like in the Yomim Tovim on the Jewish calendar the Jewish women had a big part (like in the story of Chanukah, with Yehudis), also in this Yom Tov of Hey Teves, a woman — the Rebbetzin — had a very big part in the nitzachon of Didan Notzach!

A little over a year after Hey Teves, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was nistalek.

In a sicha after the Rebbetzin’s histalkus, the Rebbe spoke about something very special that the Rebbetzin had done. As part of the story of Didan Notzach, the Rebbetzin said about her father, the Frierdiker Rebbe: “My father himself, together with his seforim and all of his things, belong to the Chassidim!”

She was explaining that even after a Rebbe passes away, he continues being the Rebbe, and he and all of his things are still together with the Chassidim! By saying this, the Rebbetzin made it clear to everyone that the Rebbeim of Chassidus continue until Moshiach comes!

The truth is, the Rebbe said, that this is not something new. The Alter Rebbe already told us this, saying that it was heard from his Rebbe the Maggid, in the name of the Baal Shem Tov, that Chassidus will have hatzlacha for all the generations until Moshiach comes!

But there was something new and special about this: This time, it wasn’t just something that Chassidim knew. It was understood even by goyim! In fact, the words of the Rebbetzin were what made them decide that the seforim should stay where they are until today!

Today is also the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the wife of the Tzemach Tzedek — who our Rebbetzin was named after.

See sicha Shabbos Teruma 5748


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Learning Pirush Hamilos

When the Frierdiker Rebbe came to America, there were four mosdos that he set up. One of the mosdos is called Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, which was set up to help in all parts of chinuch. When the Rebbe came to America the next year, the mosad was given over to the Rebbe to take care of.

One of the peulos of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, as written in the back of Hayom Yom, was to make a curriculum for day schools, which had only a half day to learn Jewish subjects. One of the very important subjects, which is actually the first on the list, is davening and Biur Tefillah — understanding the meaning of the davening.

There is a very detailed list of what to learn in Biur Tefillah in each grade, starting from first grade and going to eighth. The younger grades, who are doing a shorter davening, start by learning what they actually say. Then, each year the students learn more of the most important tefillos, until by eighth grade they understand the davening for every day, Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, Yom Tov, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur!

We see from here how important it is for us to understand the meaning of davening!

See Tochnis Limudim, printed in Wolf Bar Mitzvah teshurah



Pirush Hamilos

In the year Tof-Shin-Beis, the Rebbe prepared a list of Chabad minhagim, which were supposed to be printed as part of the siddur. (In the end, they weren’t printed until 65 years later, in a sefer called Hagahos L’Siddur Rabbeinu Hazeken, but most of the minhagim written there are found in different Hayom Yoms.)

At the top of the list of minhagim for davening is today’s Hayom Yom, which speaks about how important it is to understand the meaning of davening!

It is a halacha that a Yid should understand the tefillos, and we see from here the importance it is given as a Chabad minhag. We shouldn’t wait until later to learn it, we teach children from a young age to understand the meaning of the words of davening.

See Hayom Yom Hamevuar, p. 79

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



Hoping for Moshiach

The Chida brings what it says in the Medrash, Yalkut Shimoni, about hoping for Moshiach: It says that in the zechus of our hoping, we will deserve for Moshiach to come!

This helps us understand the bracha of Es Tzemach in Shemoneh Esrei: We ask Hashem to bring Moshiach, “Ki Lishuascha Kivinu Kol Hayom,” because we hope for Moshiach all day.

Based on what it says in the Medrash, we can understand this: We aren’t just telling Hashem that we want Moshiach so much, we are asking Hashem that even if we don’t deserve Moshiach for any other reason, that it should be counted that we deserve to have Moshiach because we hope for Your yeshuah (salvation — Moshiach) all day!

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