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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
~ by Rabbi Aryeh & Esther Kaltmann ~


לזכות רחל בת ראשא ראזע לרפואה שלימה וקרובה
~ by the Duchman Family ~


מוקדש לחיזוק ההתקשרות לכ״ק נשיא דורנו
ע"י ולזכות הרה"ת ר' לייביש משה וזוגתו מרת רינה ילדיהם קיילא באשא, בנציון דוד, אליהו איסר, רבקה שיינדל אלטא שיחיו גולדהירש


Those who make Chitas for the month of Menachem Av possible:


לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ מרדכי בן הר׳ פינחס מענטליק
ולזכות הרה״ח זאב יחזקאל הכהן בן מינדל שי׳ לבריאות הנכונה

The Kirstein Family
May we hearken the coming of our Moshiach speedily and soon!


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Parshas Devarim - Rishon with Rashi

We are now starting the fifth book of the Torah, Chumash Devarim! This Chumash is different than the other four Chumashim! It is called “Mishneh Torah,” which means to review the Torah, since Moshe Rabbeinu is reviewing the mitzvos the Yidden learned and reminding them about what happened in the Midbar.

This whole sefer is like one long farbrengen with the Yidden, inspiring them to do what Hashem wants from them when they come into Eretz Yisroel. Even though Moshe Rabbeinu himself won’t be able to go in, he wants to make sure that the Yidden are ready for the new challenges of living in Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu first reminds the Yidden about the mistakes they made in the Midbar, so the Yidden won’t make them again.

The Torah tells us where Moshe said this — between Paran and Tofel and Lavan and Chatzeiros and Di-Zahav. These look like names of places — but really they are hinting to the aveiros the Yidden did in the Midbar. Instead of embarrassing them by saying the aveiros clearly in the Chumash, they are only hinted to in these “names.”

For example, two of the places the posuk says are “Tofel and Lavan.” But there really ARE no places with these names! These places hint to us about how the Yidden “Taflu” — made silly complaints about the Mahn, which was “Lavan” — white.

Then Moshe reviews how when they stood at Har Sinai, Hashem told them to go to Eretz Yisroel! But because of the things they did, only now, 40 years later, are the Yidden ready to go into Eretz Yisroel. (If the Yidden hadn’t sent the Meraglim, they would have been able to go in right away, and wouldn’t even have needed to fight with the goyim there.)

Moshe also reviews with the Yidden how the system of judges started.

Moshe realized that he can’t be the only judge over the Yidden. Hashem expects the leaders to make sure that every Yid behaves properly, and punishes the leaders if they don’t. Moshe Rabbeinu realized that he would not be able to do the whole job himself — he needed to have more judges to help EACH of the Yidden do what Hashem wants.

Still, Moshe is happy that there were so many Yidden that they can’t be judged by just one person. Moshe Rabbeinu gives the Yidden a bracha that there should be many more Yidden!



10 - 17

Today’s kapitelach are Yud until Yud-Zayin.

In one of today's Kapitelach, there is a very interesting posuk: “Hashem Tzadik Yivchan.” Hashem tests a tzadik.

This means that Hashem only tests a person if he's like a tzadik — if he has the kochos to do the right thing and pass the test!

So why does Hashem test us if He already KNOWS we can pass?

Hashem knows we have kochos hiding inside of us, but it’s not enough to just HAVE kochos, we have to USE them for Hashem! By testing us, we need to use those kochos to pass the test, and then we’re using all of our kochos for Hashem!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Yud-Beis

Even a Yid who did an aveira and then does Teshuvah needs to always be besimcha!

When he’s doing the part of teshuvah where he thinks about the aveiros he did (Teshuva Tata’ah) he needs to be happy because he knows that Hashem for sure forgives him! And when he’s doing mitzvos with a new special chayus (Teshuva Ila’ah) then for sure he needs to be besimcha that he is able to become so close to Hashem through Torah, mitzvos, and Avodas HaTefillah!

When something uncomfortable happens (yisurim) because of a person’s aveiros, the Alter Rebbe tells us today that he needs to be happy! Why?

When a Yid does an aveira, the neshama becomes “dirty.” Just like with our clothes, no one wants to go around with dirty ones — we put them in the washing machine to get clean! The same is true with our neshamos: Since aveiros can make them dirty, we need to make them clean. Scrubbing something dirty from our skin might be uncomfortable. The same way, taking away the aveiros can also be not comfortable.

There are two choices of when to do the “washing” and the “scrubbing” of our neshama: Here, in Olam Hazeh, or in Olam HaBa. If Hashem makes a person feel uncomfortable because his neshama is getting clean in THIS world, he needs to be very happy! Because THIS world is a world of Chesed, kindness. So the kind of cleaning HERE is much easier (no matter how hard it seems) than the kind of washing and cleaning in Olam HaBa!

The Torah tells us of a person named Iyov who had a very hard life. The Ramban tells us in his introduction to Sefer Iyov that all of the hard things in Iyov’s entire life don’t even compare to how hard it is for a neshama to get clean in Olam Haba for one hour!

That’s why the Alter Rebbe tells we should be happy if we have yisurim, uncomfortable things that happen to us in Olam Hazeh, because it is a very good thing for our neshama.

Mazel Tov! We now finished the third Sefer of Tanya! In this section we learned how a Yid does teshuvah according to halacha, and the two kinds of teshuvah in Ruchnius — Teshuvah Tata’ah and Teshuvah Ila’ah, which we can understand in our mind and heart, and give us a chayus in the mitzvah of teshuvah.

We learned that in all parts of teshuvah a Yid needs to be besimcha!

The Rebbe would quote the words of the Rambam many times, that when Yidden do Teshuvah, Moshiach will come right away. Now that we finished learning Igeres HaTeshuvah, may we be zocheh to see this fulfilled right away!

Since the Rebbe told us that we need to make siyumim during the Nine Days, Chitas is helping us to make a siyum on a sefer in Tanya — right in the beginning of the Nine Days!



Beis Menachem Av

Today we learn about our minhag of putting on tefillin to get ready for the Bar Mitzvah.

Our minhag is that a Bar Mitzvah boy practices putting on Tefillin for two months BEFORE his Bar Mitzvah. At first he just gets used to putting them on right, then in a few weeks when he is comfortable putting them on, he starts to say a bracha.



Shiur #28 - Mitzvas Asei #15, #18

Today we learn two mitzvos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #15) We need to put a mezuzah on the doorpost of our house.

One of places we learn this mitzvah from is a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan, in Shema: וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל מְזֻזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Menachos perek Gimmel.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #18) Every person needs to write a Sefer Torah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayeilech: כִּתְבוּ לָכֶם אֶת הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת

This means that Hashem says you should write down this song. Even though the posuk is talking about the song in the next parsha, Parshas Haazinu, the Chachomim learn that since you can’t just write one parsha of the Torah, we learn from here that we need to write the ENTIRE Sefer Torah!

In today’s Rambam, we will see some of the details of how we keep this mitzvah nowadays.

The details are explained in Mesechta Menachos perek Gimmel, and the beginning of Mesechta Bava Basra and Mesechta Shabbos.



Hilchos Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah

Perek Hey: In today’s Rambam, we learn how to write a kosher Mezuzah and put it on the door. There are many halachos of how to do this right! One halacha is that we don’t say a bracha when we WRITE the mezuzah, but only when we put it up — because the mitzvah is putting it up.

In Perek Vov, we learn what kinds of places don’t need a mezuzah. A house has to have 10 conditions to need a mezuzah! For example, a house with no roof does not need a mezuzah.

Perek Zayin: Then, we start to learn about a Sefer Torah. It is a mitzvah for every Yid to write his own Sefer Torah. The Rambam tells us one way to do this mitzvah, by checking at least one letter of the Torah to make sure it’s not posul. The Rebbe tells us another way, by everyone buying a letter in the Sefer Torah, which is one of the mivtzoyim! (Do you and all of your friends have a letter in the Sefer Torah? You can sign up at KidsTorah.org to get one now! Adults can sign up to get a letter at Chabad.org/409282)



Hilchos Matnos Aniyim - Perek Beis

Pe’ah means leaving the corner of our fields for the poor. There are five conditions a field needs to have to be chayav in the mitzvah of Pe’ah:

1) It has to be a field of food (not like flax or cotton)

2) It has to grow from the ground (not like mushrooms)

3) It has to be guarded (to show that it belongs to someone) — not hefker

4) It has to all become ripe at the same time (not like figs, that all get ripe at different times)

5) It has to be something that can be stored for a long time, or dried and then stored (not like most vegetables)



Weakening the Golus

In Musaf of the Yom Tov davening, we say “Mipnei Chato’einu Golinu Me’artzeinu” — we went into Golus because of our aveiros. This shows us that there is something that makes the Golus happen. This is called a siba, a cause. Our aveiros are the siba that brings the Golus.

Hashem made the world in a way that one thing can make another thing happen, called Siba Umesuvav (cause and effect). If we take away the siba, the mesuvav goes away too!

How does that work?

Well, imagine that you are standing near the wall, when someone accidentally steps on your toe. Ouch! That hurts!

Their standing on you is the siba, and your toe hurting is the mesuvav. If they take away the siba, by moving their foot off of your toe, the mesuvav will also go away — your toe will stop hurting. And even if they just take their foot off a little bit, your toe won’t hurt as much!

The Torah teaches us that the Golus is just a mesuvav, it only is there because something is making it happen. If we take away the siba that is making the Golus happen, the Golus will go away!

So especially now, during the Nine Days, when we think about the Golus and the Churban, we should work very hard on taking away the siba for the Golus!

What is the siba for the Golus? Our aveiros, especially Sinas Chinam, hating other people for no reason.

When we take away this siba as much as we can, by doing extra mitzvos and having Ahavas Yisroel, that takes away at least part of the Golus! We might not see it clearly right away, but the Golus starts to get weaker, until we finally have the Geulah Sheleimah!

See Igros Kodesh chelek Chof-Gimmel, Three Weeks

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Birchas Kohanim and Eilu Devarim

After we say the Birchos HaTorah, thanking Hashem for this special gift, we actually SAY words of Torah!

First we say a part of Torah Shebichsav, and then a piece of Torah Shebaal Peh. From Torah Shebichsav we say Birchas Kohanim, which comes from Parshas Naso, and for Torah Shebaal Peh we say the Mishnah of Eilu Devarim which comes from Mesechta Pe’ah.

One of the reasons why Birchas Kohanim was chosen is because it is a good preparation for davening. In Shemoneh Esrei, the main part of tefillah, we are going to ask Hashem for many brachos. Birchas Kohanim is a general bracha which includes all of these brachos that we are about to ask for.

The Mishnah of Eilu Devarim seems to have been chosen because it mentions many mitzvos that we do on a regular basis. It includes mitzvos that are Bein Adam Lamakom (mitzvos we do directly with Hashem) and mitzvos Bein Adam Lachaveiro (mitzvos that help other people), and we see the brachos from these mitzvos even in Olam Hazeh!

This is the end of Birchos Hashachar. We have thanked Hashem for the wonderful things He gives us every day, and prepared for the connection our neshama will make with Hashem during davening.

See also Likutei Sichos 39, p. 376



The Nine Days

Let’s review some of the halachos of the Nine Days.

Here are some of the things we aren’t allowed to do:

- We don’t eat fleishigs — even things that are cooked with fleishigs, like the soup part of chicken soup.

- We don’t take baths or showers (unless we are dirty!)

- We don’t cut our nails or our hair.

- We don’t wear “fresh” clothes that are nice and just washed.

- We don’t go swimming or boating.

We don’t do these things to remind us how sad we are that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed and we are in Golus.

- Finishing a part of Torah brings simcha. The Rebbe tells us to make a siyum every day of the Nine Days, to have simcha in a way that we ARE allowed according to Shulchan Aruch!

We will learn later that some of these halachos are different on Erev Shabbos, and that on Shabbos itself, we don’t do the halachos connected to mourning.

But when Moshiach comes, these will be very HAPPY days — Yehafchu Yamim Eileh Lesason Ulesimcha!

Here is a detailed guide with the halachos of the Nine Days, by Rabbi Lesches from Melbourne, Australia: Link

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



Why Moshiach is Called Dovid Hamelech

Yechezkel Hanavi said a nevuah that all of Bnei Yisrael will become reunited under one king again when Moshiach comes! For many generations, since after Shlomo Hamelech was king, the Yidden were split up into two separate kingdoms. But when Moshiach comes, we will all again be ruled by just one Jewish king.

The posuk (as we learned yesterday) says, “Ve’avdi Dovid Melech Aleihem,” that Dovid Hamelech will rule over them. This is talking about Moshiach, who will be king over ALL of the Yidden.

Why is Moshiach called Dovid, though?

The Frierdiker Rebbe explains in a maamar that the name Dovid is a name of bittul and being humble. We see this in Tehillim, where Dovid Hamelech, even though he was the king, calls himself a poor man (oni v’evyon)!

Moshiach will also have this inyan of Dovid, of being humble. Moshiach will teach the greatest leaders of the Yidden, like the Avos and Moshe Rabbeinu! At the same time, he will teach the simplest Yidden Torah too.

The Rebbe explains in a maamar that in order to have the special inyan of Moshiach’s bittul which we will have when Moshiach comes, we need to do something differently now! Everything that happens when Moshiach will come is from what we do now during Golus.

So how do we get this? By spreading Yiddishkeit and Chassidus in a humble way. Even though when we teach other people, Hashem makes us smarter, and our heart becomes more pure, that shouldn’t be the reason why we teach. We shouldn’t be thinking about what WE will be getting from spreading Yiddishkeit, we should think about how it will help the person we are teaching! Being humble in that way will make us deserve to have Moshiach, with his tremendous bittul.

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