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Parshas Matos-Masei - Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn about the Arei Miklat, and the end of the story of the Bnos Tzelofchad. This is the last section of the whole Chumash Bamidbar!

Ir Miklat: We said in Friday’s Chumash that Moshe needs to set aside 6 cities for an Ir Miklat. Now we learn the mitzvah about how they are used.

When the Yidden live in Eretz Yisroel, if someone chas veshalom kills another person by mistake, because he wasn’t careful, he needs to run into an Ir Miklat. If he doesn’t run away to the Ir Miklat, someone from the family of the person he killed could kill him. (That person is called the Go’el HaDam.)

There need to be six of these cities — 3 on each side of the Yarden.

The Ir Miklat only helps a person if he killed by mistake, not on purpose! The Torah explains how the Beis Din decides if someone did it by mistake or not.

Once a person runs to the Ir Miklat, he is safe — the Goel HaDam is not allowed to kill him, unless he leaves the Ir Miklat. The person needs to stay in the Ir Miklat until the Kohen Gadol passes away.

Nobody is allowed to pay money instead of going to the Ir Miklat. Following this mitzvah will make sure that Hashem will be able to be with the Yidden!

Marrying among Shevatim: One of the families of Menasheh (Tzelofchad’s shevet) came to Moshe and asked, “If Tzelofchad’s daughters marry someone from a different shevet, then that part of Eretz Yisroel won’t be part of Shevet Menashe’s chelek anymore — it will belong to their sons from a different shevet! Is that fair?”

Moshe told them that Tzelofchad’s daughters, and anyone else from this first generation in Eretz Yisroel, are only allowed to marry someone in their own Shevet.

So Machlah, Tirtzah, Choglah, Milkah, and No’a all got married to men from Shevet Menasheh!

These are the mitzvos that Moshe taught the Yidden when they were near the Yarden, opposite from Yericho.

Chazak Chazak Venis’chazek!

Mazel Tov! We have now finished Sefer Bamidbar, the fourth book of the Torah!



119 (second half)

Today’s Tehillim is the second half of the longest kapitel in the whole Tehillim! In Aramaic, this kapitel is called Tamnya Api — the eight faces, because there are 8 pesukim that start with each letter of the Alef-Beis! Today we are saying the pesukim starting with Mem, all the way until Sof.

One of the pesukim is “Taan Leshoni Imrasecha” — “My tongue repeats Your words.”

Chassidus explains on this posuk that when a Yid learns Torah, Hashem learns Torah with him!


The words of the Torah we are learning were not made up by Moshe Rabbeinu, the Tannaim, Amoraim or Tzadikim. These are words of Hashem that they said! When we say these words, we are repeating those same words, and Hashem is saying them with us!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Yud

Before we learn today’s Tanya, let’s review what we learned before: Sometimes a Yid could chas veshalom do an aveira. For all aveiros, no matter what kind, a person needs to decide that he won’t again do something that is not what Hashem wants! By giving tzedakah (and fasting a little if he can), he will become reconnected to Hashem, just like before.

We explained that when a Yid does an aveira, his neshama gets chayus from Tumah. When he does Teshuvah, his neshama goes back to only getting chayus from Kedusha!

The Alter Rebbe taught us some ways to make sure our Teshuvah lasts, and that we won’t ever do an aveira again! That is Teshuvah Tata’ah.

Finally, when a person learns MORE Torah and does MORE mitzvos than before, with MORE chayus, then he is also doing Teshuvah Ila’ah! This kind of Teshuvah is a kapara from some aveiros that even Teshuvah Tata’ah can’t forgive.

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us that davening with a special kavana and chayus is ALSO part of Teshuvah Ila’ah! We should daven with an extra-special kavana (especially in Shema and Pesukei DeZimra) along with learning Torah and doing mitzvos with extra chayus. This way, we serve Hashem with the special chayus of Teshuvah Ila’ah in all three things — Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim!



Chof-Vov Tammuz

Sometimes we could think that the most important thing is to learn Torah — because we learn Hashem’s Torah and we understand new things! But when we daven, we don’t learn anything new!

So some people used to think that it wasn’t worth spending time on davening — just say the words and go learn Torah!

Today the Rebbe tells us how special davening really is.

When a Yid learns Torah, he is learning and understanding something. His feeling is like someone who is learning from his teacher.

But davening has something that is more special. When a Yid davens, he is thinking about Hashem in a way that is HIGHER than anything he can understand! And he feels close to Hashem more than a student to his teacher — he feels like a child talking to his Tatty.



Shiur #9 - Mitzvas Asei #207, Lo Saasei #302, Asei #205, Lo Saasei #303

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 4 mitzvos about Ahavas Yisroel:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #207) We have an extra mitzvah to love a Ger Tzedek, someone who became a Yid.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: וַאֲהַבְתֶּם אֶת הַגֵּר

These next three mitzvos all come from the same posuk — that we shouldn’t hate someone, instead we should tell them that they did something wrong, but we can’t embarrass them when we do it!

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #302) We are not allowed to hate someone. If someone did something that makes us upset, we can’t be angry at them inside, instead we need to talk to them about it so we can become friends again.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #205) We need to say something if we see that someone did or wants to do an aveira.

We shouldn’t say, “I will mind my own business. I’m not doing an aveira; if he is doing an aveira it is between him and Hashem!” This is against the Torah.

We need to make sure we don’t do aveiros ourselves, and we are ALSO responsible to help make sure others don’t do aveiros either, as much as possible.

Included in this mitzvah is also if someone did something to hurt us, we shouldn’t just be angry inside, we should let them know that we were hurt.

There are many details and conditions of how to do this mitzvah; like to make sure that we do it in a way that doesn’t embarrass the other person.

We learn this mitzvah from the same posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #303) It is an aveira to embarrass another Yid.

We learn this mitzvah from the same posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְלֹא תִשָּׂא עָלָיו חֵטְא



Hilchos Deios

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn that a person should make sure that the things they do are so they can do what Hashem wants. Instead of playing outside just because it’s fun, or eating healthy food because we don’t like going to the doctor, or sleeping because we like to — we should do these things because when we take care of ourselves, our neshama has a strong body to use to do lots of mitzvos!

In Perek Daled, the Rambam teaches which foods to eat to stay healthy. The Rambam also says that it is very important to exercise to be healthy. So go run around outside!

In Perek Hey, we learn how to act in a mentchlich, tznius’dike way, different from most of the world. A Yid should always have clean clothes, and not scream when he’s talking!



Mitzvos Lo Saasei

Today we finish reviewing the list of Mitzvos Lo Saasei, the mitzvos about things we should NOT do.



Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av

This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av.

In the times of the Beis Hamikdash this coming month was only called “Av,” not “Menachem Av.” So in Tanach, Mishnayos, and Gemara we see this month just called Av.

Later, though, it became a minhag to add the word Menachem to the name of the month. In fact, in some places, the month is called just “Menachem,” and not even “Menachem Av!”

The word Menachem means to comfort. We call the month Menachem Av to remind us that we are coming to the end of Golus, when Hashem will be Menachem us, comfort us, with the Geulah!

When we bentch the new month on Shabbos Mevorchim before Musaf, we also use the name “Menachem Av.” This has a very special meaning!

The meaning of a bracha is to bring something down into the world that is already in Shomayim.

By bentching Chodesh Menachem Av, we are asking Hashem to bring down the Geulah, which is ready to come in Shomayim! We are asking that this month, Hashem should be Menachem us and make Chodesh Av into Chodesh Menachem Av, a very happy month, a month of Geulah!

See Farbrengen Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches


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Birchos Hashachar

In Biur Tefillah, we are reviewing the brachos we say in the morning, called Birchos Hashachar. We learned that as soon as we wake up, even though we can’t even make a bracha yet, we thank Hashem right away for giving us back our neshama.

We learned about the bracha that we make after we wash our hands, when we are like a kohen, getting ready to serve Hashem during the entire day.

We learned how we thank Hashem for our healthy guf in Asher Yatzar, and how, once we are able to make a bracha, we say a proper bracha with Hashem’s name to thank Hashem for our neshama.

We learned what the words of the bracha mean, that Hashem is with us and gives us the koach to fulfill our shlichus in the world.

That should be enough, right? We said how Hashem is with us, we thanked Hashem for our neshama and our guf — that should be enough to get our day started!

So why do we need the rest of Birchos Hashachar?

In the next part of Birchos Hashachar, we say many detailed brachos about specific things that Hashem gives us every day.

The Chachomim teach us that a Yid should say 100 brachos every day, which will help us love and fear Hashem.

Dovid Hamelech found a hint for this in a posuk: The Torah says, “Mah Hashem Elokecha Shoel Mimecha, Ki Im Leyirah!” “What does Hashem ask from you? Only to fear Hashem!”

The word “mah” (what) is similar to the word “me’ah,” meaning a hundred. Then we can translate the posuk as “A hundred (brachos) is what Hashem is asking from you, so that you will fear Hashem!”

By saying many brachos during the day, we will be reminded about Hashem all the time. That will help us have Ahavas Hashem, and Yiras Shomayim.

The next group of 15 brachos in Birchos Hashachar make it much easier for us to reach 100 brachos throughout the day!



100 Brachos for Women & Children

According to halacha, there is a question if women and children need to say 100 brachos every day. Still, everyone should try to say as many as they can, because it isn’t so hard for anyone to reach 100 brachos!

Every time we say a bracha, we are speaking directly to Hashem! We say “Baruch ATA,” “Blessed are YOU, Hashem!” This reminds us that Hashem is always right here with us. So we should try to say many brachos during the day!

The Rebbe says that we should even help young children, even if they’re too young to understand why, to say many brachos. We can give them nosh and treats so that they will say more brachos to Hashem during the day!

See Shulchan Menachem p. 22

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



Learning About the Third Beis Hamikdash

The Rebbe spoke to us about how important it is to learn about building the Beis Hamikdash, especially during the Three Weeks! The Rebbe told us that we should learn about the Beis Hamikdash the way it is in Torah Shebichsav, Torah Shebaal Peh, and halacha.

In halacha, we have the Rambam’s Hilchos Beis Habechirah, which explains the second Beis Hamikdash in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

In Torah Shebaal Peh, we have Mesechta Midos, a Mishnayos which tells us the sizes of all of the parts of the second Beis Hamikdash.

And in Torah Shebichsav, we have the nevuah of Yechezkel. In this nevuah, Yechezkel saw a malach measuring the Beis Hamikdash, and we see the details in a few perakim of his sefer (perakim Mem to Mem-Gimmel). The meforshim tell us that this is talking about the third Beis Hamikdash!

The Rambam writes about Yechezkel’s nevuah that it is “Aino Mefurash Umevuar” — it isn’t explained properly that we can understand it.

The Radak, one of the meforshim on Yechezkel, says that there are three parts of the Beis Hamikdash that Yechezkel talks about that we really don’t understand at all. He uses the expression of the Gemara, “Asid Eliyahu Ledarsha” — Eliyahu Hanavi will need to come explain, because we won’t be able to figure it out on our own!

But even though we can’t understand it completely, and won’t until Moshiach comes, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn it — as we will IY”H see tomorrow!

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