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Rishon with Rashi

We are now starting to learn the last parsha of the Torah. It is the last day of Moshe Rabbeinu’s life — Zayin Adar. Now that he finished farbrenging with the Yidden about how they should act in Eretz Yisroel, he is going to ask Hashem for brachos for each of the Shevatim.

Moshe Rabbeinu first says how much the Yidden deserve brachos! Even though Hashem asked ALL of the people in the world if they wanted the Torah, only the Yidden wanted it. Hashem gave them the Torah on Har Sinai, like a Chasunah!

Hashem loves the Yidden so much, and they love Hashem too! By Matan Torah, Hashem held Har Sinai over the Yidden and said that if they don’t agree to keep the Torah, He will crush them with the mountain! The Yidden didn’t try to run away, they all came closer under the mountain, because they WANTED to have to keep the Torah.

The Yidden were ready to go wherever Hashem wanted in the Midbar.

They will also keep the Torah even when things are hard in Golus and it looks like Hashem is nicer to the Goyim! They will say, “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe...” — “the Torah is like a present that belongs forever to the ‘family’ of Yidden, and we will keep it forever!”

Reuven: Moshe asked Hashem to forgive Reuven for moving Yaakov’s bed. He should be able to go into Olam Haba, and his Shevet should stay a Shevet.

Yehudah: Moshe asked the same bracha for Yehudah: Yehudah promised Yaakov that if he didn’t bring Benyamin back with him, he will lose his part of Olam Haba. Even though he DID bring Benyamin back, a promise of a Tzadik is still a promise!

But when Yehudah told the truth about doing something wrong with Tamar, it made Reuven realize that he should do Teshuvah too. Since Hashem will forgive Reuven, He should of course forgive Yehudah, who made Reuven do Teshuvah! (And right when Moshe Rabbeinu said this, Yehudah WAS let into Olam Haba!)

Shimon: Moshe didn’t give Shevet Shimon its own bracha, because Zimri was from Shimon, and many Yidden passed away in Shittim because of Shevet Shimon. Still, he hinted to Shimon in his bracha to Yehudah, by using the word “Shema” — like “Shimon.”



72 - 76

In Kapitel Ayin-Gimmel, Dovid Hamelech says “Beheimos Hayisi Imach” — “I am like an animal with You,” and in the next posukVa’ani Tomid Imach” — “I am always with You.”

The Alter Rebbe explains that when we believe in Hashem without thinking so much or needing to understand everything, like an animal who doesn’t think, we can be close to Hashem all the time. This is Emunah — believing in Hashem even without understanding it.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Alef

The Alter Rebbe is writing this letter to Chassidim who have been giving Tzedakah to the Tzadikim and Chassidim who lived in Eretz Yisroel. Some of them were giving every week, and others were giving once a month.

Especially in the times of the Alter Rebbe, nobody had a lot of money. That’s why, in so many letters, the Alter Rebbe was always telling Chassidim to give Tzedakah, even though it’s hard!

First of all, we need to keep giving Tzedakah ON TIME. We need to use the midah of Zerizus, doing the mitzvah right away and not pushing it off! This is for two reasons:

1) It is a big part of the mitzvah — Avraham Avinu got a reward from the Akeida mainly because of his zerizus!

2) When we give Tzedakah, we are saved from many not good things that could chas veshalom happen to us, and we FOR SURE can’t push that off!

Now we will learn why we need to keep on giving every week or month.

The Rambam says that when a person gives $300 or $400 one time a year to Tzedakah, he gave a lot of Tzedakah. But if he gives $1 every day, he also gets used to giving! This makes him a more aidel person and a better Yid.

Even more, the Gemara says that Tzedakah is special because it brings the Geulah closer! This is especially if we give Tzedakah A LOT of times.

During Golus, the Shechinah is in Golus too! Every time we do a mitzvah, a little bit comes out of Golus. If we give Tzedakah MANY times, we take out part of the Shechinah every time, and that brings the Geulah faster!

That’s why Chassidim should be excited to give Tzedakah every week or month to Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel, and do it with zerizus!



Yud-Daled Tishrei

Our Minhagim: We only use 2 Aravos, but we can use many extra Hadassim! (The Rebbe used to use 36!)

Here’s how we tie the Lulav and Esrog: We use five rings — two just on the Lulav, hiding a little bit from the Hadassim and Aravos, and 3 close together (within one tefach — about 3 inches) around the 3 minim.



Mitzvas Asei #5

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #5) is the very same mitzvah again: That a Yid has to serve Hashem through davening.



Hilchos Tefillah

Perek Hey: In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about davening. We learn 8 things a person should try to do (lechatchilah) when they daven Shmoneh Esrei, the main part of davening:

1) We should be standing up
2) We should face the Beis Hamikdash (for most of us, that’s Mizrach)
3) Our body should be clean for davening
4) Our clothes should be neat, and we should wear shoes
5) We should prepare a proper place, for example to always daven in the same place
6) We say Shmoneh Esrei quietly
7) We bow in certain places in Shmoneh Esrei
8) We bow after Shmoneh Esrei when we say Tachanun

Perek Vov: The Rambam teaches us to make sure we don’t miss davening at the right time, by not starting other things at the time of davening (like eating a meal or getting a haircut).

Perek Zayin: We learn the brachos we say at other times of the day, like Kriyas Shema She’al Hamita, and morning brachos.

The Rambam tells us that we should say 100 brachos every day! (If you daven Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv, and wear Tallis and Tefillin, you will already have most of the brachos. If you wash for bread and bentch, then you have even more. So it shouldn’t be too hard to say 100 brachos every weekday!)



Hilchos Kilayim - Perek Zayin

In this perek we learn what is considered a Kerem (vineyard) according to halacha, and what is considered just a single vine, which is less strict than a full Kerem.




Once in the city of Rostov, they couldn’t get very many Esrogim for Sukkos. They only had one or two Esrogim for the whole town!

One person who was lucky enough to have an Esrog, shared it with everyone so that everyone could do the mitzvah. Of course, when a lot of people touch an Esrog, especially if they have wet hands (like if they went to the Mikvah before!) it makes the Esrog turn brown!

Someone came over to that Yid, and asked him why he was letting everyone use his Esrog. “Don’t you know that the mitzvah is to have a beautiful Esrog? Why are you letting everyone use it and turn it brown?”

The Yid answered, “The most beautiful Esrog is one that is used by so many Yidden!”

Many people spend a lot of money on Esrogim, to buy one that is very beautiful. That is very nice, but the REAL beauty of an Esrog is when we bring it on mivtzoyim and help so many Yidden who don’t even know they need a Lulav and Esrog, so that they could do the mitzvah! THAT is when we have a beautiful Esrog!

Are you ready for your mivtzoyim this Sukkos? How many Yidden are you planning on helping this year to do this special mitzvah?


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Amidah for Shalosh Regalim

On the Shalosh Regalim, we don’t say the regular Shemoneh Esrei. There is a special Amidah for the Shalosh Regalim.

The way it is set up is similar to Shabbos. There are three brachos at the beginning mentioning the zechus of the Avos, three brachos at the end thanking and praising Hashem, and one bracha in the middle about the inyan of the Yom Tov.

We start the middle section with Ata Vechartanu. Before speaking about the special Yom Tov, we first speak about how Hashem chose US to give it to! We say that Hashem picked us to be His nation. Hashem loves us and wanted us specifically. Hashem raised us up above the other nations, made us holy with His mitzvos, and gave us the zechus to carry Hashem’s name — to be HASHEM’s nation.



Erev Sukkos

On Erev Sukkos, there is an inyan to give a lot of tzedakah.

The Mitteler Rebbe writes in a maamar, “Tzorich Lefazer Maos L’aniyim B’Erev Sukkos” — “You should generously give money to the poor on Erev Sukkos.”

We also invite plenty of guests so that everybody will have a place to eat on Sukkos.

See Shevach Hamoadim, Kitzur Hilchos Sukkos

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



Talking about Moshiach

When Moshe Rabbeinu was born, Yidden were very happy. Among each other, they spoke about the fact that Amram, the Jewish leader of the time, had a baby boy Moshe!

When Moshe was taken to Paraoh’s palace, the Yidden were very worried. Their holy leader Amram’s son was taken away!

When Moshe ran away from Mitzrayim, Yidden didn’t forget about him. They always remembered him and spoke about him, until Hashem had Rachmonus and listened to what the Yidden were davening for. Then the Geulah came through Moshe Rabbeinu.

The same is true with this last Golus. We need to constantly talk about and think about Moshiach, and he will come!

See Sefer Hasichos Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Tes p. 330

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