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Parshas Tzav - Shlishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the special “thank You” present we give when Hashem saves us from dangerous things, called a Korban Todah! After a person takes a trip across the ocean or through the desert, or comes out of jail or has a Refuah Sheleimah from being very sick, he needs to give Hashem a present! He brings an animal for a Korban Shelamim, and 40 Mincha korbanos — 30 made into 3 kinds of matzah with oil, and 10 made into bread — which is chometz. (That’s why we don’t say Mizmor L’sodah, a paragraph about this korban, on Pesach, since the Korban Todah has chometz!)

The meat of this korban can be shared with anyone who is tahor, but eating it while a person is tomei is a big aveira.

When we bring a korban, there are certain parts of the animal that are always burned on the Mizbeiach. For example, certain pieces of fat, called Cheilev, need to be burned on the Mizbeiach. These parts are always asur for us to eat, from ANY animal — even an animal that is not being brought as a korban. We also never eat the blood of any animals.

When a person brings a Korban Shelamim, part of the animal is burned on the Mizbeiach, part of it is given to the kohanim, and part of it he brings home to eat. The person and the kohen hold the parts for Hashem and the kohanim together and wave them, similar to the way we wave a Lulav and Esrog.

Now the Torah has finished teaching us about six kinds of korbanos!
1) Korban Olah - the korban that is ALL burned on the Mizbeiach
2) Korban Mincha - a korban of flour and oil
3) Korban Chatas - a korban brought if a person did an aveira by mistake
4) Korban Asham - for an aveira a person did on purpose
5) Miluim - the korbanos the kohanim will bring when they first become kohanim
6) Shelamim - a korban brought for a happy reason (a Korban Todah is one kind of Shelamim)



35 - 38

In Kapitel Lamed-Vov (36) in today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech says “Divrei Fiv Aven Umirmah, Chadal Lehaskil Leheitiv” “the words of his mouth are bad and tricky, he doesn’t find a reason to do better.” This is talking about the Yetzer Hara, who tries to stop us from doing the right thing.

The Maggid of Mezritch explains that the Yetzer Hara doesn’t tell a person not to learn Torah. It doesn’t mind if we learn complicated parts of Gemara — then everyone will be so impressed at how smart we are! The Yetzer Hara will try to stop a person from learning Chassidus or Halacha, parts of Torah that teach us how to BE better Yidden (“Lehaskil Leheitiv” — understanding in order to do better)!

The Yetzer Hara doesn’t want us to learn things that will help us act like better Yidden.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Ches

Now we’re going to learn about two different types of kavana, that are compared to the chayus that’s in an animal, and the chayus in a person.

Did you ever look out the window and see an animal running? Either it’s running to get food, or it’s running away from another animal.

But it’s not running away because it makes sense to run away from something bigger, it runs away because Hashem made it feel scared of bigger animals! And it’s not running after food because it knows how important it is to eat properly, it runs after food because Hashem made animals like to eat.

But a person is different!

When we have Kibud Av Va’eim, or eat healthy food, it’s not something that we did automatically from when we were born. We learned how important it is to act this way, and we decided to do the right thing. A person uses his sechel to decide how to act.

The difference between animals and people is a good mashal for the two kinds of kavana we can have when we do mitzvos.

The first kind is the kavana we were born with. We were all born with a hidden love for Hashem that is a part of us. So we don’t have to think deeply to get ourselves to love Hashem. As soon as we remind ourselves that we are ready to have Mesiras Nefesh for Hashem, we will be ready to do any mitzvah.

This kavana is compared to an animal, which also does things automatically — just because that’s the way Hashem made it. We do mitzvos just because that’s what our neshama wants!

Then there is a second kind of kavana. This kavana comes from thinking about how great Hashem is. Then we feel Ahava and Yirah to Hashem, and decide that we should do the mitzvah. This kind of kavana is compared to a person, who does things with sechel.



Vov Nisan

While the Friediker Rebbe was in Latvia, he received a letter from an American Rav. This Rav wrote that he WANTS to do something for Yidden in America, but he feels like he can’t! He gave reasons why the Yidden can’t change, and wrote about how Rabbonim are giving up and saying it’s impossible to do anything in America.

(In those days, it was very hard to keep Shabbos. Most stores were only closed on Sunday. Most of the Jews in America were from Russia or Poland, and wanted to act like modern Americans, and not like “old-fashioned” Europeans.)

The Friediker Rebbe wrote to this Rav:

To have hatzlacha, you need to stop thinking so much about the problem. Instead, you need to do your avodah with a proper plan and without compromises.

The Torah teaches us to do this in a pleasant way, that usually we need to be friendly and kind when we bring someone close to mitzvos. Still, it is sometimes the right thing to take someone aside and tell him what he needs to fix.

When we will work in this way, we will for sure have hatzlacha, especially in helping Yidden keep the most important parts of Yiddishkeit, Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpacha.

When there is a very big problem, sometimes we feel like giving up. Instead of trying to figure out reasons why it’s happening, we should instead act the way Torah teaches, and we will for sure be successful.



Shiur #239 - Mitzvas Asei #109

Today’s mitzvah, (Mitzvas Asei #109) is the same as yesterday’s: That a person or thing can become tahor by following the halachos about going into a Mikvah. This includes the halachos of having a kosher mikvah, the halachos of chatzitzah (that nothing should block the mikvah water from touching every part of the person or keili), and Tvul Yom (that a person who went to the mikvah only becomes tahor when it becomes night).

The mitzvah isn’t that you have to go to the mikvah if you are tomei, but that if you want to become tahor (for example to be able to go into the Beis Hamikdash) then you need to follow this mitzvah to do it properly.



Hilchos Mikvaos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about the Mikvah.

Perek Beis tells us what is counted as a chatzitzah for a person who needs to go to the mikvah. A chatzitzah is something that blocks the water of the Mikvah from touching the whole thing, so it doesn’t become tahor. Something that a person doesn’t mind being stuck to him usually isn’t a chatzitzah, it’s just counted like part of him. A loose necklace isn’t called a chatzitzah, since the water of the Mikvah can still get under it.

Perek Gimmel tells us what things are chatzitzos for things that we put in the mikvah, like keilim and clothes. Blood stains on clothes ARE a chatzitzah — unless they are on the clothes of a butcher, who is used to having blood on his clothes!

Perek Daled explains that a Mikvah can’t be water that a person put there, it has to be water that Hashem put there, like rainwater or water from a spring. As long as there are 40 se’ah of water from rain, though, we can mix in water that a person brought from another place — like from a barrel.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Ches

Usually, the halacha is that we assume that whatever a person has belongs to him. If another person says the opposite, that person would need to prove that it really belongs to him. But for something that is usually rented, the halacha is different. So let’s say that Reuven usually rents out his lawn mower, and people know he does. Now Shimon has it in his house and says that Reuven gave it to him! Reuven is allowed to make a Shevuas Heses (a promise Miderabanan) saying that he didn’t give it to Shimon, and then he can take it back.



Yud-Alef Nissan

When Moshe Rabbeinu was born, the posuk says that his mother saw “Ki Tov Hu,” that he was good. The Gemara explains that the whole house filled up with light when Moshe was born!

Moshe Rabbeinu’s shlichus in the world was to bring light, by teaching Torah which is called light. Moshe Rabbeinu taught Torah to Yidden and the whole world, for all times. On the day he was born, this lichtigkeit was realized in the Gashmius of the world, and the whole shlichus that Moshe was to accomplish was potentially all there at that moment.

That’s what is so special about Moshe Rabbeinu’s birthday on Zayin Adar.

The same is true with the Moshe Rabbeinu of every generation, the Nasi Hador. We celebrate the day when the Rebbe was born, because on that day, the Rebbe’s lichtigkeit and shlichus to bring the Geulah was all there in potential! This day has a very special koach that every chossid (and every Yid) can use to come closer to living the way the Rebbe teaches us!

See Likutei Sichos vol. 2, p. 606


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Asking to Be a Mentch

One of the earliest seforim of the Rebbe is a Haggadah.

In this Haggadah, the Rebbe brings the reasons and sources for why the Haggadah is set up the way it is, and the reasons for the things we do on the night of the seder. These are printed in the Haggadah, together with halachos and Chabad minhagim of the seder!

One of the things the Rebbe writes in the Haggadah is something the Rebbe Rashab told his son, the Frierdiker Rebbe, when the Frierdiker Rebbe was still a child: The Rebbe Rashab told him that during the seder, it is a special time to ask Hashem for Ruchnius’dike things, especially to be a mentch! Even though this is true during the whole seder, it is especially true at the time of Shefoch Chamos’cha, when the door is opened for Eliyahu Hanavi.



Understanding the Haggadah

One of the main mitzvos of Pesach is to tell over the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim. We do this mitzvah at the seder.

First the kids ask questions, so that they will be more excited to hear about Yetziyas Mitzrayim, since it is answering them! According to our minhag, the youngest children ask first.

In Shulchan Aruch, it teaches us that it is very important to UNDERSTAND the answer. We need to understand that Pesach is special because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and made us His special nation, so He could give us the Torah and mitzvos to keep.

The halacha is that we need to explain to everyone, especially the children, as much as they are able to understand. We say the story as it is told in the Haggadah out loud, with simcha and great kavana! Even after the Seder, we still learn more about the halachos of Pesach and Yetziyas Mitzrayim. (For many years, after the seder, the Rebbe would come out and say sichos and maamarim about Pesach and the Haggadah.)

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



Kimei Tzeischa Me'Eretz Mitzrayim (4)

When the Navi Micha asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden who live at the time before the Geulah, Hashem gave him a beautiful promise: “Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos,” “I will show you wonders like the days when you came out of Mitzrayim!”

One of the things that is special about the nissim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim is that they weren’t just nissim for that time. Some of the nissim were nissim FOREVER! Once the Yidden left Mitzrayim and became servants of Hashem instead of servants of Paraoh, it stayed this way FOREVER! Yidden were never again able to become slaves to another nation!

When Hashem takes us out of this Golus, we will also be getting a Geulah FOREVER! It will be a permanent Geulah which will never have Golus afterwards — “Geulah Nitzchis, She’ain Achareha Golus.”

See Likutei Sichos chelek Hey p. 177, ha’ara 32

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