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Parshas Vayeira - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn how the malochim come to save Lot and his family before Sodom is destroyed.

The malachim who were sent to destroy Sodom had walked very slowly to give Avraham a chance to daven to save the cities. It was already night when they came to Sodom.

The people of Sodom chose Lot to be the judge that day, so he was sitting in his place at the gate of the city. When he saw the malachim, he invited them to sneak into his house so nobody would see, and they could rest and then leave early in the morning before people woke up.

The malachim said that they didn’t need to come to his house, they could sleep outside. But Lot, who had learned about Hachnosas Orchim from Avraham, begged them so much that they finally agreed to be his guests. Since it was Pesach, and Lot did some of the mitzvos, he made them matzah to eat.

The malachim asked Lot about the people of Sodom. Lot agreed they were not good people, but he made excuses for them.

Even before they went to bed, many wicked people of Sodom surrounded the house. Nobody tried to stop them, even though they knew they were going to do something mean.

They told Lot to send out the guests, and they would do something very not nice to them.

Lot wanted to take care of his guests, and would not agree. He offered to send out his daughters instead.

But the people told Lot they don’t want his daughters, they want the guests! They tried to break down the door and take them by force! The malachim pulled Lot inside, and made the wicked people blind so they couldn’t find the way into the house.

The malachim told Lot: “Now you can’t make excuses for them anymore! You see how bad they are! Tell us who else is in your family. They all need get out of here, because Hashem sent us to destroy the city!”

Lot told his sons-in-law to come, but they didn’t want to — they thought he was joking.

By now it was almost morning, the time for the cities to be destroyed. The malachim told Lot to at least take his daughters, or else he would be stuck in the city when it was destroyed!

Lot wanted to save his things, and he wasn’t ready to leave right away. The malachim grabbed his hands and his wife and two daughters, and pulled them outside the city. Then the malach in charge of them told them to run for their lives, and not to look — because they really deserved to be punished too. “Go run to Avraham!”

Lot didn’t want to run to Avraham, because he knew that next to Avraham, he looks very bad. So he asked if he could run to a different city, Bela, which was not as bad as the others. (Even though this was one of the 5 cities that were supposed to be destroyed, we will see that Hashem agreed not to destroy it as a favor to Lot.)



79 - 82

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Ayin-Tes through Pey-Beis.

When these kapitelach were the Rebbe’s kapitelach for his Yom Huledes, there was a niggun made up for each one! Do you know them all?

In Kapitel Pey, Dovid Hamelech starts asking Hashem that “Roei Yisroel Haazina, Noheg Katzon Yosef.” “The Shepherd of Yidden, listen, the One who takes care of Yosef like sheep.”

In this posuk, Yidden are called with TWO names: Yisroel and Yosef.

We know Yidden are called Bnei Yisroel, because we are all children of Yaakov Avinu, who is also called Yisroel. But why are all Yidden called with the name Yosef, if he was only one of the Shevatim?

The reason is because in the time when there was no food in Eretz Yisroel, Yosef was the one who fed all the Yidden. Since he gave all the Yidden chayus, we are all called by his name!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Zayin

After the histalkus of a tzadik or a Rebbe, a part of the neshama of the Rebbe can come inside of each one of the Chassidim! If a chossid works hard to learn the Rebbe’s Torah and follow the Rebbe’s horaos, he gets this special koach.

With the extra koach from the tzadik’s neshama, it is easier to live the way the Rebbe taught! With this koach, the chassidim can really understand the things the Rebbe said, because part of the Rebbe becomes a part of them in a way of Pnimius!

Besides for that, there’s ANOTHER special koach that the Chassidim get after the histalkus of a Rebbe: A part of the neshama of the Tzadik that comes in a way of Makif, and doesn’t become a part of us in a way we can understand. This koach brings in thoughts that help us do teshuvah and do mitzvos in a more beautiful way.



Tes-Zayin Mar-Cheshvan

A person has a koach in their neshama called machshava, which means thinking. This koach is ALWAYS working — a person is ALWAYS thinking! But where does this koach find things to think about? From the koach of the neshama called sechel, things a person knows or learns.

So if a person knows or learns good things, things about Torah and Yiddishkeit and Ahavas Yisroel, that’s what he’ll be thinking about! But if what a person knows is just about Gashmius, or just what he sees and hears about in the street, then THAT’S what he will think about.

So we need to make sure to learn Torah every day. This will fill up our sechel with good things, and keep our machshava busy thinking about them!



Shiur #117 - Mitzvas Asei #115, #116, #117

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn about three of the many kinds of presents a person can give to the Beis Hamikdash. The mitzvah is to follow the halachos if we give these kinds of presents.

We learn all of these mitzvos from pesukim in Parshas Bechukosai:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #115) If someone gives a non-kosher animal (like a horse), or an animal that has a mum and can’t be brought as a korban, he needs to follow the halachos of how it can be given as a present.

The words of the Torah we learn this from are: וְהֶעֱמִיד אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱרִיךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָהּ

We learn the details of this mitzvah in Mesechta Temurah and Me’ilah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #116) If someone promises to give a house to the Beis Hamikdash he has to follow the halachos of how this present is given.

We learn this from the words: וְאִישׁ כִּי יַקְדִּשׁ אֶת בֵּיתוֹ קֹדֶשׁ לַה׳ וְהֶעֱרִיכוֹ הַכֹּהֵן

The Gemara explains the details of this mitzvah and the next one in Mesechta Erkim.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #117) If someone promises to give a field to the Beis Hamikdash he has to keep the halachos of how to give it as a present.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: וְאִם מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳ וְאִם אֶת שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳

We learn the halachos about this mitzvah in today’s Rambam; we will IY”H learn about houses and animals in tomorrow’s Rambam.



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we are learning more halachos about someone who promises to make a donation to the Beis Hamikdash, as much as someone is worth. We also start learning the halachos about if someone donates a field.

Perek Beis: We learn about someone who says they want to give as much as PART of a person is worth (like his arms), or how much a person weighs. At the end of the perek, we learn halachos of different rooms in the Beis Hamikdash that were used for different kinds of donations.

Perek Gimmel: What if I promised to give as much as my baby brother is worth to the Beis Hamikdash — and didn’t actually give it until my brother was older? Do I give as much as a baby is worth, or how much a kid is worth? The Rambam teaches us that the amount is based on when he made the promise to give, not when the Beis Din wants to take it. We also learn what happens if someone can’t afford to give the donation in the end, or if his present was lost or stolen. Sometimes the Beis Din needs to take his things instead of his money.

Perek Daled: Now we learn the halachos of someone donating his field to the Beis Hamikdash. There are two kinds of fields — a Sedei Achuzah that someone got as a yerusha (like after his parents passed away) or a Sedei Mikna that a person bought or got from hefker.



Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Tes

Today we start to learn the shiur, the amount that a melacha must be done for the person to be chayav.



Tov LaShomayim, Tov LaBriyos

Today is Tuesday, Yom Shlishi.

When Hashem created the world, Yom Shlishi was an extra special day! On all of the other days, Hashem looked at what was created that day and said, “Ki Tov,” that it was good. But on Yom Shlishi, Hashem said “Ki Tov” TWO times!

The Rebbe teaches us that these two times that Hashem said it was tov, good, teach us a lesson we can think about, especially every Yom Shlishi: We should serve Hashem with TWO kinds of good — Tov LaShomayim and Tov LaBriyos.

Something that is Tov LaShomayim, good for Shomayim, is something we do for Hashem, like our learning and davening. Tov LaBriyos, good for creations, is something that helps other people, like giving tzedakah or doing Hachnosas Orchim.

We need to make sure our avodah has BOTH kinds, and we can even have them both together!

How do we have them both together?

Even when we are davening (Tov LaShomayim), we should think about other Yidden (Tov LaBriyos)! We do this right away at the beginning of davening, saying “Hareini Mekabel Alai Mitzvas Asei Shel Ve’ahavta Le’reiacha Kamocha!” And we should daven not just for ourselves, but for other people too!

And when we help another person (Tov LaBriyos), we should do it for Hashem (Tov LaShomayim)! When we are doing it for Hashem, we will help even if it doesn’t feel good. Even if the person is complaining instead of thanking us, we will help them because it is a mitzvah!

This way, we can make sure that our avodah ALL the time is done in a way of Tov LaShomayim AND Tov LaBriyos together.

See Sicha to Nshei Ubnos Chabad, Chof-Ches Iyar Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches


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Kol Yisrael

The posuk Kol Yisrael speaks about how EVERY Yid will be part of Techiyas Hameisim, how every Yid has a part of Olam Haba.

But not every part of Olam Haba is the same!

Our part of Olam Haba will be a reward for the Avodah we do now! It is a very big reward, because it is “L’Olam Yirshu Aretz” — a place in Olam Haba that lasts forever!

The kind of place we get in Olam Haba depends on how we behave now.

When we think about this, we will realize that what we do makes a big difference!

By doing many mitzvos and learning lots of Torah, we will deserve for Hashem to give us a very SPECIAL part in Olam Haba!

See Der Rebbe Redt Tzu Kinder vol. 5, p. 251



Standing Up

There are many different opinions about which parts of Pesukei Dezimra we should stand for.

In Shulchan Aruch it speaks about standing for Vayevarech Dovid, for Az Yashir, and Yishtabach.

Some Yidden have a minhag that only the chazan stands for Yishtabach.

But our minhag is that we stand up starting with Boruch Hashem Le’olam, and stay standing until after Borchu which leads us into the next section of davening, Birchos Kriyas Shema.

See Chikrei Minhagim

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



The Alef of Geulah

The name of something in Lashon Kodesh is more than just a name — it shows us what the thing really is.

If we look at the letters of “Golah” (Golus) and “Geulah,” we will see that they are almost exactly the same! The only difference is that Geulah has one extra letter: An Alef.

That’s because really, Geulah is made up of all of the things of Golus together with an Alef.

What does that mean?

Hashem created the world as an Olam, from the same word as Helem, hidden — a place of hiding. The world was made in a way that Hashem will be hidden, and the creations there can’t see that Hashem is the Creator.

Because of this, even though it’s such a beautiful world, many terrible things can happen. There can be wars, hunger, sickness and jealousy.

But the Alef changes all of this!

What is an Alef?

One of the things “Alef” means is “Aluf,” master.

When Moshiach comes, the Aluf, the Master of the world, won’t be hidden anymore. The Alef will appear! So even though all of the Gashmius of the world will be the same as it was in Golus, everyone and everything will recognize that Hashem is the Master of the world!

When Hashem isn’t hidden anymore at all, and the world is a world of Geulah, none of these things will be able to happen. There will be no more hunger, no more war, and no more jealousy. Everything will be good for everyone!

See farbrengen of Parshas Emor, Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef

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