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Parshas Shemos - Shishi with Rashi

Hashem decided that it was time for the suffering of the Yidden to end! He chose Moshe Rabbeinu to do the important shlichus of taking the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem spoke to Moshe from a burning bush, convincing him to take on this achrayus.

Moshe finally accepted Hashem’s shlichus!

Moshe had promised Yisro not to leave without permission, so before he went to Mitzrayim, he asked Yisro’s permission to go to Mitzrayim. Yisro agreed.

Moshe was afraid that Dasan and Aviram (who had told on him to Paraoh, making him run away to Midyan) might try to get him killed, but Hashem told him that they were now poor and they wouldn’t be dangerous to him.

Moshe put his family onto a special donkey. This donkey was used by Avraham to go to the Akeida. This same donkey will be used again when Moshiach will be revealed!

Hashem told Moshe that he will have special signs to use in front of Paraoh, but he should know that Paraoh won’t listen. Moshe should tell Paraoh that he needs to listen or else he will be punished!

Moshe and Tziporah had a baby boy, Eliezer, right before going. Moshe knew that he couldn’t give him a bris right away, because it’s not safe to go on a big trip right after a bris. But when they were close to Mitzrayim, instead of giving a bris right away, Moshe first set up a place to sleep. Hashem was not happy! He sent a malach that looked like a snake to swallow up Moshe! Tziporah understood that this was because of the bris, and so she took a sharp stone and made a bris on Eliezer right away, and Hashem sent the malach away.

Hashem told Aharon to go meet Moshe in the desert, and he met him at Har Sinai. Moshe told Aharon why he was coming to Mitzrayim, and they went together. Aharon didn’t think Tziporah and the children should come to Mitzrayim, so Moshe sent them back to Midyan.

Moshe and Aharon gathered the leaders of the Yidden. Aharon told over what Moshe said, and they did the special signs before the Yidden. Even though the Golus was so hard, the Yidden believed right away that Hashem was going to take them out of Golus, and they bowed down to thank Hashem!



113 - 118

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Yud-Gimmel through Kuf-Yud-Ches.

Today’s Tehillim is all parts of Hallel! Hallel is the special tefillah we say to Hashem to thank Him for all of His nissim. We say Hallel on Yom Tov, and on Rosh Chodesh.

One of the pesukim in today’s Tehillim, which is also the Rebbe’s kapitel this year, is “Zeh Hashaar LaHashem, Tzadikim Yavo’u Vo.” “This is the gate to Hashem, Tzadikim go in this way.”

Chassidus teaches that the gate we are talking about is Yiras Shomayim — being afraid to Chas Veshalom do something that is not the way Hashem wants things to be. We make sure to act the way Hashem tells us in His Torah, and especially in the Shulchan Aruch!

We learn about Yiras Shomayim in one of the 12 Pesukim. Do you know which one?

You guessed it! Vehinei Hashem Nitzav Alav (which is from Tanya!). It means that a Yid should think how Hashem is watching over him. Even though Hashem is everywhere, he should think about how Hashem is looking at HIM personally, and making sure he is serving Hashem properly the way he should, and as good as he can!



Likutei Amarim Perek Tes-Vov

In today’s Tanya, we learn more about someone who serves Hashem (avado) and someone who “doesn’t serve Hashem” (lo avado).

The Alter Rebbe explains that the difference is that an “Avado” does more than he is used to! In the times of the Gemara, where everybody reviewed what they learned 100 times, an Avado, someone who works to serve Hashem, would learn it 101 times! It’s only one extra time, but since he’s not used to it, he has to work hard to do it! He really needs to fight his Yetzer Hara.

A beinoni should try to be someone who SERVES Hashem (Avado), working hard to win over his Yetzer Hara!



Chof-Daled Teves

Today is the Yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe passed away Motzei Shabbos Parshas Shemos, in a little village called Pyena. The Alter Rebbe’s ohel is in Haditch.

The Rebbe Maharash once asked the Tzemach Tzedek, “When the Alter Rebbe wanted Chassidim to follow the minhagim of Chassidus (Darkei HaChassidus), what did he expect to happen? And what did he want to happen from the Chassidus that he taught?”

The Tzemach Tzedek answered:

Living the way of Chassidus means that all Chassidim should be like one family! The Alter Rebbe wanted to see that all Chassidim love each other, the way the Torah teaches. We should have a set of hanhagos that will keep us together. (For example, that all chassidim learn the same shiurim of Chitas and Rambam, we farbreng together, and do mivtzoyim.)

And Chassidus is chayus! It brings light and chayus into everything, making everything clear so we can see what it really is and know what to do with it. We can even understand what our Yetzer Hara is, and the not-good midos that we have in ourselves, so we know how to fix them! The Alter Rebbe wanted the Chassidus to bring chayus and light into every part of a Chossid’s life.



Shiur #183 - Mitzvas Asei #54, Lo Saasei #156, #229, Asei #16, #79

Today we learn many mitzvos about being happy on Yom Tov!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #54) There are three mitzvos connected with the Shalosh Regalim. Two of them we learned yesterday (the Olas Re’iyah and the Korban Chagigah), and today we learn the third mitzvah: We need to be happy with Hashem on the Yomim Tovim! In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, this mitzvah was kept by bringing Shalmei Simcha, a korban which we are able to eat from. Eating meat makes a person happy!

Nowadays, there are other ways we do this mitzvah of being happy on Yom Tov. Each person needs to get the things that make them happy! Some of the things the Rambam tells us about are for men to drink wine, for women to get new clothes, and for kids to get treats.

This mitzvah also includes making sure that poor, sad, or lonely people, and gerim, are also able to be happy on Yom Tov!

The Simchas Beis Hashoeiva that was done in the Beis Hamikdash was also part of this mitzvah of simcha.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְּחַגֶּךָ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #156) We can’t come to the Beis Hamikdash without presents (korbanos) for Hashem!

(This is the Mitzvas Lo Saasei for the mitzvos of the Shalosh Regalim, which are the korbanos we bring when we go to the Beis Hamikdash on these Yomim Tovim.)

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא יֵרָאוּ פָנַי רֵיקָם

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Chagigah.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #229) We are not allowed to forget about the Leviim — we need to give them their presents, and make sure that they have what they need to be happy on Yom Tov!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲזֹב אֶת הַלֵּוִי

4) (Mitzvas Asei #16) This is the mitzvah of Hakhel! On the second day of Sukkos in the year after Shemitah, all of the Yidden need to come together and be inspired by seeing and hearing the king read from Chumash Devarim! Even though Hakhel has a specific time, which usually means that women don’t need to keep it, this mitzvah is an exception, and it is for EVERYONE — men, women, and children!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Vayeilech: הַקְהֵל אֶת הָעָם הָאֲנָשִׁים וְהַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף

We also learn one mitzvah from the next set of halachos, Hilchos Bechoros:

5) (Mitzvas Asei #79) Firstborns (bechor) are special for Hashem. This mitzvah is to separate our firstborn animals and say that they are holy to Hashem. This is true for kosher animals, and also for donkeys, even though they are not kosher.

Kosher animals are given to the kohanim. The kohen brings part of the animal on the Mizbeiach and can keep the rest. A firstborn donkey is redeemed, like we learned in Shiur #142.

This mitzvah is only kept inside of Eretz Yisroel when we have a Beis Hamikdash. Outside of Eretz Yisroel, and everywhere nowadays, we do not give the animal to a kohen — we wait until it gets a mum, and then we allowed to use it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: קַדֶּשׁ לִי כָל בְּכוֹר פֶּטֶר כָּל רֶחֶם בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros.



Hilchos Chagigah - Bechoros

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about the special Korbanos of Yom Tov!

Perek Beis: We learn the rest of the halachos of the korbanos everyone needed to bring when they went up to Yerushalayim for Yom Tov!

The Rambam explains the reason for today’s mitzvah not to forget about the Leviim when we come to Yerushalayim. Since the Leviim don’t have a place in Eretz Yisroel, and they don’t even get the gifts that the kohanim do, we need to make sure that they will also be happy on Yom Tov!

Perek Gimmel: We learn about the mitzvah of Hakhel! The Rambam tells us exactly what happened in the Beis Hamikdash in a Hakhel year, and how the king would inspire all of the Yidden to strengthen their Yiddishkeit!

Then we start a new set of halachos, about the Bechor, the firstborn!

Perek Alef: In this perek, we start learning about how a firstborn animal has a special kedusha.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Hey

Now the Rambam starts to tell us what the halachos are when there is no Sanhedrin. We don’t decide based on eidim anymore, but we follow a calendar. We learn about the second day of Yom Tov, which we keep nowadays because of a gezeira of the Chachomim.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is Chof-Daled Teves, the Yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe.

A yartzeit isn’t just a day to remember someone who passed away, it is a very special day in Ruchnius! When a person is in the world, he does a lot of mitzvos and makes a difference to other people. On the yartzeit, all of these special things get an extra koach from Hashem, and bring the person’s neshama and all of his mitzvos up to a higher level in Gan Eden! Since this world matches what happens in ruchnius, all of the things they did also get an extra koach right here in this Gashmius world!

Since the accomplishments of a tzadik make a difference to everyone in the world, we ALL get extra kochos from the things he worked on, on the day of his yartzeit.

What is the most important thing that the Alter Rebbe did in the world? The Alter Rebbe was a special neshama, and gave us Chassidus Chabad, to prepare the world for Moshiach!

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learned what the Alter Rebbe wanted us to DO with Chassidus: To fix up all of our not good midos so we will always act the way Hashem wants us to! The Alter Rebbe also gave us Darkei Hachassidus, so that we will live together like one Torah’dike family.

The Rebbe explains in a sicha that we need Darkei Hachassidus to be able to use Chassidus properly! Like we saw in Tanya, sometimes a person’s Yetzer Hara can become so strong in a certain aveira that we don’t have the koach to fight it anymore by ourselves.

So when that happens, we need Darkei Hachassidus — we need our friends to help us fight our Yetzer Hara. With our achdus, we can help each other, so we will all be acting the way Hashem wants!

Today, on Chof-Daled Teves, we have an extra koach for this! We should use this special day to farbreng with our friends, to help each other fix up our middos and make sure our behavior is the way the Rebbe and Toras Hachassidus expects from us. Then we will be a keili for Hashem’s brachos, and bring the Geulah for all of the Yidden!

See sicha Parshas Shemos Tof-Shin-Chof


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Tachanun on the Yartzeit of a Tzadik

There are some groups of Chassidim who have a minhag not to say Tachanun on the yartzeit of a tzadik. But the Chabad minhag is that we DO say Tachanun on the days of the yartzeit of the Rebbeim.

The Frierdiker Rebbe once told over something the Tzemach Tzedek said about this, that helps us to understand why!

The Tzemach Tzedek said that we ask Hashem for things when it’s an Eis Ratzon, a time when Hashem is especially likely to give us what we are asking for. In Tachanun, we ask Hashem to forgive our aveiros and take away any not good things that might come because of them. What better day could there be to ask for these things, than the yartzeit of a Tzadik?

See farbrengen of Vayechi 5730



Chof-Daled Teves

The Rebbe tells us four ways we should celebrate Chof-Daled Teves:

1) Limud HaTorah:
- Learn extra Niglah and Chassidus.
- Learn at least one perek of Mishnayos that starts with a letter in the Alter Rebbe’s name.
- Learn a se’if of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch.
- Learn a perek of the Alter Rebbe’s sefer of Tanya.
- Learn something from the Alter Rebbe’s maamarim, especially from the Torah Ohr of this week.

2) Tefillah:
- Daven with more avodah from our siddur, which is the Alter Rebbe’s nusach.
- Use the maamarim of Tefillah from the Alter Rebbe’s siddur, starting with the maamar in the introduction, “Hakol Kol Yaakov.”

3) Gemilus Chassadim:
- Give extra tzedakah.
- We should especially try to give to one of the Alter Rebbe’s mosdos, or a mosad that continues the Alter Rebbe’s work.

4) Farbrengen:
- Make a freiliche Chassidishe farbrengen for Chof-Daled Teves!
- Those who are at the farbrengen should make good hachlatos in Torah and mitzvos.

If you can’t do these things today, try to make up for them in the following days.

From Halachos Uminhagei Chabad, Likutei Sichos vol. 21 p. 296

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




The Chachomim tell us, “Gedolah Tzedakah Shemekareves Es HaGeulah.” “Great is tzedakah, which brings the Geulah closer.”

Why do the Chachomim say this only about the mitzvah of tzedakah, and not about other mitzvos? Don’t ALL mitzvos bring Moshiach?

The way to bring the Geulah is to take all of the pieces of kedusha that are hiding in Gashmius’dike things, and bring them to Hashem. We do this by using all of the Gashmius’dike things the way Hashem wants us to use them! When all of the Yidden take their part of Gashmius and use it for kedusha, that brings the Geulah!

Tzedakah does this better than any other mitzvah! With all other mitzvos, we only bring up the kedusha which is in that specific part of our body, or hidden in that specific Gashmius thing we used for the mitzvah. For example, we use our hand to shake the lulav and esrog, or our nose to smell besamim on Motzei Shabbos.

But in order to earn the money to give tzedakah, we need to use MANY of our kochos, and MANY Gashmius’dike things from the world — and ALL of them become elevated to kedusha when we take from our hard-earned money and give it to tzedakah! That is why the mitzvah of tzedakah brings the Geulah closer, more than any other mitzvah!

See Tanya Perek Lamed-Zayin

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