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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayakhel - Rishon with Rashi

When Moshe Rabbeinu came down from Har Sinai for the third time, he told the Yidden that Hashem forgives them! This was on Yom Kippur. The next day, Moshe gathered the Yidden together and started to tell them about building the Mishkan.

First, Moshe reminds the Yidden about keeping Shabbos. Moshe knew that the Yidden would be very excited about building the Mishkan, so he wanted to make sure they know that keeping Shabbos is more important, and they may not do any melacha on Shabbos!

Then Moshe asked the Yidden to give the materials that will be needed to build the Mishkan, like gold and silver and copper and Shitim wood. The people that have the special chochmah from Hashem should use these things to make the Mishkan and all of its keilim.

 
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TEHILLIM

90 - 96

In today’s Tehillim, we have the kapitel that the Leviim would sing in the Beis Hamikdash on Shabbos — the Shir Shel Yom for Shabbos.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel speaks about how everybody thanks Hashem on Shabbos. Chassidus explains on the words “Tov Lehodos LaHashem” (it is good to praise Hashem) that it’s the goodness of Hashem that makes people praise him. Of course Hashem is always good, but on Shabbos we can FEEL it, so that’s why especially on Shabbos His goodness makes us want to thank and praise Hashem!

The Chachomim say that on the first day of Creation, Hashem was alone in the world. Even today, on the first day of every week, it is clearer to feel that there is nothing besides for Hashem. The kedusha of Shabbos, the closest day, helps us to feel this too.

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed

Because every Yid is not only made up of a neshama, but also a Guf and a Yetzer Hara, we need to regularly inspire ourselves to do what we are supposed to. On way we can do this (as we learned earlier in Tanya), is by thinking about the fact that deep down in our neshama, every Yid WANTS to do the Ratzon of Hashem. Every Yid would even be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh to be a Yid!

But if the heart is stuffed up, it may not be interested in thinking about this. We can open the heart back up by thinking thoughts of teshuvah that make us feel humble.

We might be very satisfied with our behavior, which makes us feel like we don’t need to fight so hard with our Yetzer Hara to do better. But think about a person who we are SURE is not behaving properly, and think about how hard he would have to fight with his Yetzer Hara to change the way he is acting. Are WE fighting as hard with OUR Yetzer Hara?

Even though HE needs to fight with his Yetzer Hara not to do an aveira, and we might need to fight with our Yetzer Hara to do mitzvos better, that’s not an excuse! They are BOTH mitzvos of Hashem, the way Hashem wants us to act. There’s no difference if it’s stopping ourselves from an aveira, or trying to do mitzvos properly! We expect this person to work so hard on doing what Hashem wants — are WE working that hard on OUR Avodas Hashem?

If a person has timtum, and is too comfortable with his Avodas Hashem, it is a good time to fulfill what the Chachomim teach us, to be humble from another person! This will stop the Yetzer Hara from clogging up his heart. Now he’ll realize that he needs to do more, and he’ll be ready to have zerizus and effort in his shlichus!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Tes Adar Alef

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Frierdiker Rebbe is writing a letter to the hanhala of the Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim, that he is upset that he sees that the bochurim don’t know Nach (among other things they need to know, like Lashon Kodesh, Kriyah with Trop, Divrei Yemei Yisroel, and proper writing skills). The Frierdiker Rebbe asks the Yeshiva to make a plan in their next meeting for how they can correct the problem.

The Frierdiker Rebbe describes how even the average Chassidim were boki in Nach:

All of the Chassidim used to know Tanach very well!

Tanach are all of the seforim of the Torah, Neviim, and Kesuvim. Neviim includes all of the stories of what happened with the Yidden starting from the time of Yehoshua, until the beginning of the second Beis Hamikdash, and Kesuvim are seforim written by the Gedolei Yisrael of those times, like Tehillim and Mishlei. There are 24 seforim in Tanach. How many of their names do you know?

Here’s the seder they used to have in reviewing Nach: After davening Shacharis, they would learn some Mishnayos, and then when they put away their Tallis and Tefillin, they would say parts of Tanach, so that they finished the whole Tanach every three months! (That means they finished a whole sefer every 3 or 4 days!)

Even if you can’t learn as much Tanach as the Chassidim used to, can YOU start learning stories from Navi? There are lots of books to make it easier for you! (Here are some ideas: The Family Midrash Says - Navi, Know Navi)

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #177 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #113

Today's mitzvah is that we can’t work with an animal that is supposed to be a korban. So if someone decides that his cow will be a korban, he is not allowed to use it to plow his field while he is waiting to bring it to the Beis Hamikdash!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: לֹא תַעֲבֹד בִּבְכֹר שׁוֹרֶךָ

Even though this posuk is talking about a bechor, the Chachomim learn that the same is true with any other kind of korban.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Me'ilah

In today's Rambam, we are learning more about the halachos of me’ilah. Me’ilah means enjoying for ourselves something that belongs to Hashem. If a person does me’ilah, he needs to pay the worth of what he benefited from plus an extra fifth, and bring a korban.

Perek Beis: In this perek we learn at what point the isur of me’ilah starts for different kinds of korbanos.

Perek Gimmel: This perek teaches us about me’ilah from korbanos that either die or become posul — which is only Miderabanan.

Perek Daled: This perek talks about me’ilah from money that was set aside or something that was promised to be used for a korban.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Yud-Gimmel

What the kohen is thinking about when he shechts the korban is very important! There are certain thoughts that can make the Korban not good.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Knowing Nach

We learned in Hayom Yom that it is important to learn Nach.

The Frierdiker Rebbe learned Nach by heart when he was a child. In fact, the Rebbe Rashab got him a special tutor to learn Nach with him! But there were some parts that the Frierdiker Rebbe didn’t learn by heart: The ones about the churban of the Beis Hamikdash — since they made him too sad. (Do you know which sefer that is?)

Here is one story in Nach, from Sefer Yehoshua:

When the Yidden were fighting the wars to take over the whole Eretz Yisroel, there was one battle in Givon which was very hard. Yehoshua wanted very much to finish the battle that day, so that the enemies wouldn’t have time to rest and fight harder again. So he davened to Hashem, and asked that the sun shouldn’t set.

And Hashem listened! The sun stopped moving in the sky, and didn’t set for many hours — after the Yidden had won the battle.

The day that this neis happened was Gimmel Tammuz.

 

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TEFILLAH

Uva Letzion

The first two pesukim of Uva Letzion are from Sefer Yeshaya, one of the seforim in Nach. They speak about how after the Yidden do teshuvah, the Geulah will come!

The posuk before speaks about the tzaros that will be before Moshiach will come, and then, “Uva Letzion Goel” — Moshiach will come to save the Yidden.

Based on this, the Tzemach Tzedek explains the order of davening after Shemoneh Esrei:

1) First there is Tachanun and Nefilas Apayim, doing teshuvah and giving our neshama to Hashem.

2) Then we have Kapitel Chof, asking Hashem to help us in our times of tzaros.

3) Then comes Uva Letzion Goel, speaking about the Geulah!

Both teshuvah and asking Hashem to save us from our tzaros will happen as a preparation for Moshiach!

See Ohr HaTorah Nach, vol. 2, p. 853

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Teaching Nach to Children

In the first perek of Hilchos Talmud Torah, the Alter Rebbe describes the chiyuv a father has in teaching Torah to his son. Even though the mitzvah of Chinuch for mitzvos is Miderabanan, teaching Torah is Mide’oraisa.

The beginning of Chinuch starts with teaching a child pesukim, even before he is able to read. (We do this by teaching children the 12 pesukim as soon as they are able to talk!) Then, as soon as a child is able to, we make sure he learns the letters and the nekudos, and practices reading the words of Torah inside.

Then, when a child is old enough, usually at about 6 or 7, if the father can’t learn with his son himself, he needs to hire a melamed that will learn with him the entire Tanach and review it with him many times.

This is the beginning of the chiyuv of a father to teach Torah to his son.

See Hilchos Talmud Torah from the Alter Rebbe, with explanations from Horav Ashkenazi A”H

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Moshiach in Nach

When the Rambam is teaching us about Moshiach, he brings pesukim from the Chumash to prove that Moshiach has to come. But the Rambam doesn’t bring any proofs from Nach! Why? Because “Kol Hasefarim Melei’im Bedavar Zeh!” The seforim are all FULL of talking about Moshiach!

For example, the Navi Ovadiah (one of the Trei Asar), who said nevuah about the end of Golus Edom, finishes off his nevuah with the posuk we say every day in davening: “Ve’alu Moshiim Behar Tzion Lishpot Es Har Eisav, Vehaysa LaHashem Hamelucha!” Moshiach and many other tzadikim, the ones who save the Yidden, will go up onto the mountain of Eisav to judge them for everything that they did to the Yidden. At that time, all of the nations will accept the leadership of Moshiach, and Hashem will be recognized as the King of the world!

 
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