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Parshas Pinchas - Rishon with Rashi

Hashem shows the Yidden that Pinchas did the right thing, and makes him a kohen! He tells Moshe that they will have to attack Midyan. He also tells Moshe to count the Yidden and that soon they will go into Eretz Yisroel!

Some of the Yidden were upset that Pinchas killed Zimri. They made fun of him and said he was like his grandfather, Yisro, who used to be mean to the animals he shechted for Avodah Zarah. They said that he wasn’t trying to do the right thing, he was just being mean like his grandfather. They said that Zimri was trying to do the right thing by marrying Kozbi, so that Moshe wouldn’t be upset at the whole shevet Shimon for doing an aveira by marrying the daughters of Moav.

To show that this is not true, this parsha starts by saying “Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon Hakohen” — saying that Pinchas comes from Aharon. That is who Pinchas was acting like! Aharon always tried to make peace between people, and Pinchas killed Zimri to bring peace between the Yidden and Hashem!

Hashem also made Pinchas a kohen, to show how happy He is with him! (Even though Pinchas came from the family of Aharon, he wasn’t a kohen before. He was born BEFORE Hashem said that Aharon and his sons will be kohanim, and a baby only becomes a kohen if his father is a kohen when he is born.)

But Zimri WASN’T trying to bring peace! Zimri’s name is “Zimri ben Salu Nesi Veis Av L’Shimoni.” The Torah tells us that his shevet is from Shimon, who killed the people of Shechem without rachmanus. The Torah is showing us that Zimri was NOT doing what he did to bring peace.

Hashem told Moshe that soon he will have to attack Midyan for what they did. Many of the girls who made the Yidden do aveiros were from Midyan, including Kozbi who was the daughter of one of the kings of Midyan.

It wasn’t time yet to attack Moav, though, even though most of the girls were from Moav, because Moav made trouble because they were scared of the Yidden. (Midyan didn’t have any reason to make trouble — they just did it because hated the Yidden.) Another reason not to attack Moav now was because Rus would later come from Moav.

Now Hashem told Moshe to count the Yidden again, to show how He loved them and took care of them the whole time in the Midbar. Soon they will be going into Eretz Yisroel, and we will see how many Yidden will be going into Eretz Yisroel.



69 - 71

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Tes to Ayin-Alef.

In today’s Tehillim, we say a posukYemalei Fi Tehilasecha.” “My mouth should be full of Your praises.”

The Gemara says that we learn from here that when we say a bracha, our mouth needs to be FULL of the bracha. That’s why the halacha is that we shouldn’t say a bracha with food in our mouth — our mouth should be full of Hashem’s bracha, not full of food!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Daled

In the first three perakim of Igeres HaTeshuvah, the Alter Rebbe told us what the mitzvah of Teshuvah is, and how to become close again to Hashem if someone did an aveira Chas Veshalom.

Chassidus teaches us about the NESHAMA, the deeper meaning (pnimiyus) of Torah and mitzvos. Now, the Alter Rebbe will start to explain to us the pnimiyus of this special mitzvah of Teshuvah.

We will understand what happens to the neshama when a Yid does an aveira and how that is fixed with teshuvah. We will also learn what we should think about to make sure we never allow ourselves to do an aveira.

The Zohar says that the word Teshuvah is really TWO words: Tashuv (return), and the letter Hey — bring back the Hey!

What Hey is this talking about?

Hashem’s name has four letters: a Yud and a Hey and a Vov and a Hey — there are two Heys.

Every Yid’s neshama — which is part of Hashem — has the name of Hashem in it. When we act the way Hashem wants, Hashem’s name in us is whole! But if someone does an aveira, the Heys get separated from Hashem’s name and go into Golus and kelipah, which brought the Yid to do an aveira.

Teshuvah brings back the Hey into the neshama, making Hashem’s chayus shine completely and the name of Hashem complete.

There are TWO Heys in Hashem’s name, and there are TWO kinds of Teshuvah! One kind of Teshuvah is called Teshuvah Tata’ah, the LOWER kind of Teshuvah, which brings back the last Hey. There is also Teshuvah Ila’ah, the HIGHER kind of Teshuvah, bringing back the first Hey.

Some aveiros are so big that only the higher kind of Teshuvah will help. (We will IY”H learn more about this later in Igeres HaTeshuvah.)

Now the Alter Rebbe asks a question:

There are some kinds of aveiros where Hashem punishes the person who did them with Kareis. The chachomim explain that Kareis, which means that the person becomes separate from Hashem, means that the person will also pass away at an early age. But nowadays, we see that many people who do these aveiros live for a long time anyhow! Why?

When we learn the answer to this question, we will understand what happens to a Yid’s neshama when a person does an aveira, the difference between nowadays and the time of the Beis Hamikdash, and how special it is when a Yid does teshuvah!



Yud-Gimmel Tammuz

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about today’s Chag Hageulah!

Today is the day that the Frierdiker Rebbe was given the papers from the Russian government letting him go free, and was actually able to leave! (He heard about the Geulah on Yud-Beis Tammuz, but it wasn’t a regular day of work for the goyim. He had to wait until the next day to actually go free.)

The Frierdiker Rebbe was in jail from Tes-Vov Sivan at 2:15 in the morning, and he was let free from Kostroma on Yud-Gimmel Tammuz, at 12:30 in the afternoon.

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe brings a letter that the Frierdiker Rebbe sent out in the year Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Beis, the 5th year after the Frierdiker Rebbe was released from prison. The Frierdiker Rebbe sent out this letter to the Chassidim, together with a maamar, to be part of their farbrengens! He asked that at the farbrengen they should farbreng about doing what Chassidus teaches us, and making times to learn.

He gave the Chassidim many brachos in Gashmius and Ruchnius!



Shiur #335 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #166

Today’s Mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #166) is the same as yesterday — that a kohen is not allowed to become tomei for people who pass away, except for certain people in his family.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: לְנֶפֶשׁ לֹא יִטַּמָּא בְּעַמָּיו



Hilchos Aveil

In today’s Rambam (perakim Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel and Yud-Daled), we finish Hilchos Aveil. We learn that if a person cries when he hears that another Yid passed away, Hashem keeps all of those tears in His treasure box.

In Perek Yud-Daled, we learn many mitzvos that are part of Ahavas Yisroel — like Bikur Cholim, Hachnosas Kallah, and Hachnosas Orchim.

We learn that we should do Bikur Cholim even for a goy, so that there will be shalom.

The Rambam did this too! The Rambam used to work at the palace of the Sultan all day. When he came home, he would be very hungry and tired. But he would see many Yidden and goyim gathered around, waiting for someone to help them. The Rambam would take care of them, giving them medicine and helping them feel better until very late. When he would finally come home, he was all wiped out!

We can learn from the Rambam to help other people even if it is very hard.



Hilchos Melachim - Perek Ches

In Perek Ches, we learn about what to do when we capture a city from the goyim. One of the things is to make sure that the goyim keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach — the seven mitzvos that goyim need to keep.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

The year after the Frierdiker Rebbe came out of jail, Yud-Beis Tammuz was made into a Chassidishe Yom Tov for always!

That year, the Frierdiker Rebbe sent out a maamar for the Chassidim to learn, called “Asara SheYoshvim.”

The Rebbe told us that since the Frierdiker Rebbe sent the maamar for chassidim to learn, it must be important for us to learn it EVERY year! If we can, we should try to get together in a group — because that’s what the title of the maamar means: “Ten people that sit and learn Torah!”

The Rebbe said that this is not just for adults, but also for kids!

Ask your Tatty to tell you something from the maamar! (Here is a link to a shiur in this maamar from Rabbi Paltiel — There is also a maamar from the Rebbe explaining his maamar of the Frierdiker Rebbe, printed in Sefer Hamaamarim Melukat.


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Ribon Ha'olamim

At the end of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, we say a paragraph that starts with the words “Ribon Ha’olamim.”

In this paragraph, we ask Hashem to take good care of our neshama when it goes up to Shomayim during our sleep. We ask Hashem to clean it and give it chayus so that tomorrow we can serve Hashem even better!

Part of this paragraph speaks about waking up in the middle of the night to say Tikun Chatzos. Since it is not our minhag to say this tefillah nowadays, we skip that part.

At the end of Ribon Ha’olamim, we say the posukTorah Tziva Lanu Moshe!” The reason for this is so that we will go to sleep with words of Torah.



Too Tired for Kriyas Shema

Once while in Yechidus, a shliach asked the Rebbe a question that was bothering him. He had a lot of work to do at night, and by the time he was done, he was so exhausted he would sometimes fall asleep without saying Kriyas Shema She’al Hamita at all! What should he do?

The Rebbe answered that before starting the things he thinks he needs to finish at night, he should first say Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, but not Hamapil. This way he can say Kriyas Shema properly.

Then, right before he goes to sleep, he should say the first paragraph of Shema again (from Shema until Uvisharecha) and then Hamapil.

See Hosafos to Sichos Kodesh 5727, p. 496

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



No More Yetzer Hara!

The Navi Yechezkel was one of the Yidden brought into Golus in Bavel. He warned the Yidden to do teshuvah, or else Hashem would destroy the Beis Hamikdash. Unfortunately, the Yidden didn’t listen. When the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, they realized that the Navi Yechezkel was telling the truth, and they felt very sad.

Now Yechezkel tried to make the Yidden feel better. He told them many nevuos about the building of the second Beis Hamikdash, the Geulah, and the third Beis Hamikdash. He wanted them to know that they wouldn’t stay in Golus forever! When Hashem was happy with the way they were acting, they would be brought back to Yerushalayim.

The main reason why we do aveiros isn’t because aveiros are so much fun. It is because our Yetzer Hara tricks us into doing them!

The Navi Yechezkel tells us that when Moshiach comes, Hashem will take away our Yetzer Hara! We will be able to serve Hashem properly all the time:

וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב אֶחָד וְרוּחַ חֲדָשָׁה אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וַהֲסִרֹתִי לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשָׂרָם וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב בָּשָׂר

Venasati Lahem Leiv Echad — Hashem says, I will give them one heart, that believes in Hashem completely

V’Ruach Chadasha Etein Bekirbechem — And I will put inside of them a new ratzon to do only what Hashem says

Vehasirosi Leiv Ha’even Mibesaram — And I will take out their heart of stone (that doesn’t want to do the ratzon of Hashem)

Venasati Lahem Leiv Basar — And I will give them a soft heart (that wants to do what’s right!)

See Yechezkel perek Yud-Alef posuk Yud-Tes

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