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Parshas Ki Savo - Shishi with Rashi

Today’s Chumash is the Tochacha.

This Aliyah is the Tochacha, the things that Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden will happen if they don’t keep the Torah. Our Minhag is not to call anyone up to the Torah for this Aliyah — the person who is reading the Torah takes it himself. You will see that it is a very long Aliyah!

One of the reasons Moshe gives for the things that are written in the Tochacha is “Tachas Asher Lo Avadeta Es Hashem Elokecha Besimcha Uvetuv Levav Merov Kol” — because the Yidden didn’t serve Hashem happily when they have all they need.

The Arizal explains that the posuk means that the reason for the Tochacha is because the Yidden don’t serve Hashem with simcha!

The Alter Rebbe explains in Likutei Torah why a person should get a punishment just because they don’t have simcha. He explains that really, nobody is perfect. For the things they do wrong, they could deserve to get punished. But if a person is happy, it brings simcha in Shomayim too — and simcha takes away the not-good things and punishments!

But if a person is not besimcha, then he is treated the way he deserves, which might include punishments for the things he does wrong. From this we see how important it is to serve Hashem with simcha!

See Likutei Torah parshas Tazria, dibur hamaschil Sos Tasis



77 - 78

Today’s kapitelach are Ayin-Zayin and Ayin-Ches. For Elul, we also say kapitelach Mem-Gimmel, Mem-Daled, and Mem-Hey.

Kapitel Ayin-Ches talks about all of the Nissim that Hashem did for the Yidden, from the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim until Dovid Hamelech became the king.

In the first posuk that talks about Dovid Hamelech, it says “Vayivchar BeDovid Avdo, Vayikacheihu Mimichle’os Tzon.” “Hashem chose Dovid, and He took him from the sheep pens.”

Rashi explains how Dovid Hamelech took such special care of the sheep:

When Dovid Hamelech was taking care of the sheep, he noticed that not all of the sheep were getting food to eat! The big strong sheep would run very fast into the field and eat as much as they wanted. Then the older sheep and the baby sheep would come into the field, but there was no more soft grass left! The hard grass was hard for them to eat, so they were hungry.

So Dovid Hamelech built fences to keep the sheep in. He put the strong sheep behind one fence, the baby sheep behind another fence, and the older sheep behind the last fence.

When they went to a new field, Dovid Hamelech first let out the baby sheep. They ran into the field and ate the very soft grass that was easy for their baby teeth to chew. Then Dovid Hamelech let the older sheep come in. There was plenty of softer grass left for them, and they ate until they were full. Finally, Dovid Hamelech let the strong sheep come into the field. Even though most of the grass that was left was very hard and chewy, they were happy to eat it all up.

Hashem saw that Dovid Hamelech is careful to take care of every single sheep in the way they need, and knew that someone who takes good care of even a little sheep will also take care of every single Yid! That’s why Hashem chose Dovid to be the king of the Yidden.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Daled

Many of the letters in Igeres Hakodesh were sent to the Chassidim to get them excited about giving Tzedakah!

There were other great Talmidim of the Maggid, big Tzadikim, who lived in Eretz Yisroel. It was very hard in those days to make money in Eretz Yisroel, and they needed the money that Chassidim sent from other countries. The Alter Rebbe started a special Tzedakah called Colel Chabad (which we still have today!) to collect money for Chassidim there.

When something new starts, everyone gets excited and wants to be a part of it! After a while, though, it isn’t so new and exciting anymore, and people get busy with other things. The same was with Colel Chabad — at first, everyone was giving Tzedakah with a chayus! But then, the donations started slowing down. In this letter, the Alter Rebbe is getting the Chassidim excited again about giving to this special tzedakah.

Eretz Yisroel is a very special place. It gets its chayus DIRECTLY from Hashem! (The rest of the world gets chayus through the chayus that goes into Eretz Yisroel.)

But this chayus isn’t always the same. Every year, a NEW chayus comes into Eretz Yisroel, that was never there before!

Every year on Erev Rosh Hashana, all of the mitzvos we did all year go up to Hashem, and when we daven and blow the Shofar, the new chayus comes into Eretz Yisroel, and from there, to the rest of the world!

Since there is a new chayus in Eretz Yisroel every year, there should also be a new chayus every year in giving tzedakah to Eretz Yisroel!



Tes-Vov Elul

Today is a very special day!

The Lubavitcher Yeshiva, Tomchei Tmimim was started by the Rebbe Rashab, just two days after the Frierdiker Rebbe’s chasuna! It was Sunday, Tes-Vov Elul in the year Tof-Reish-Nun-Zayin.

The bochurim started learning Niglah and Chassidus on Wednesday, Chai Elul, only a few days later.

At first, the Yeshiva didn’t have any name. A year later, on Simchas Torah after hakafos, in the year Tof-Reish-Nun-Tes, the Rebbe Rashab announced:

The Yeshiva which was made is called Tomchei Temimim, and the Talmidim who learn in the Yeshiva and act the way they are supposed to are called temimim!



Shiur #57 - Mitzvas Asei #168

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn one mitzvah about Sukkos (Mitzvas Asei #168): We need to live in the Sukkah on Sukkos.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Emor: בַּסֻּכֹּת תֵּשְׁבוּ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים

This posuk means, “You should live in a sukkah for seven days.” Can you guess which mesechta in Mishnayos and Gemara talk about this mitzvah? You got it, Mesechta Sukkah!

This is one of the mitzvos that women do not need to keep.

The Rambam organizes all of these halachos in Perek Daled, Hey, and Vov of the section of halachos we are learning now.



Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav

Perek Gimmel: In this perek we finish learning the halachos of the shofar. We learn how to blow the shofar, including about the three kinds of sounds, Tekiyah, Shevarim, and Teruah.

Perek Daled: We start learning the halachos of a sukkah. We learn the smallest and biggest size a sukkah can be, and the many different shapes it can have! Did you know that a round sukkah is kosher?

Perek Hey: This perek teaches us the halachos about sechach, the most important part of the sukkah. We learn what kosher sechach is, and what happens if non-kosher sechach got mixed into it!

One halacha in this perek is that you need to put on the sechach yourself. So if you see a haystack and you make a hole in it so you can crawl inside so that the sechach is already there, that’s not a kosher sukkah!



Hilchos Teshuvah - Perek Tes

If the real reward is feeling Hashem, why does the Torah promise us Gashmius rewards too? The Rambam explains that it is because the Gashmius helps us to do even MORE mitzvos! For example, if we have money, we can spend more time learning Torah, and can give more tzedakah.

The Rambam tells us that this is why we should want Moshiach — so we can learn Torah and do mitzvos without anything stopping us!



Chassidishe Yom Tov

During the Sheva Brachos of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s chasuna, the Rebbe Rashab accepted the suggestion of his son, the Frierdiker Rebbe, to make a new yeshiva! There, the bochurim would have a Seder to learn Chassidus, like the Seder of learning Gemara, and they would put time and effort into davening, which would add chayus in their learning and Avodas Hashem.

Later, the Rebbe Rashab named this YeshivahTomchei Temimim” (Tomim means “complete” — that he has everything), and gave the bochurim the name “Temimim”!

This Yeshiva, which was run by the Frierdiker Rebbe, was very hard.

Why? Because until then, you went to Yeshiva, learned Gemara, and put all of your kochos into it. Here, though, there was SO MUCH for the bochurim to do! They had to learn Nigleh AND Chassidus AND daven with Avodah AND be mekarev other Yidden. Each bochur had to follow the Seder and do exactly what the hanhala of the Yeshiva told him. How could a bochur do all of that?

It's because he became a Tamim!

What is a Tamim?

The Rebbe Rashab explained that a Tomim is Hanachas Atzmuso. This means that he is someone who doesn’t have his own plans and goals. He doesn’t want to be famous, or become a Rosh Yeshiva. He doesn’t even want to become a Boki BeShas — to learn the whole Gemara.

So what DOES a Tamim want? Just to act the way the Rebbeim, who set up the Yeshiva, want him to! That makes it possible for him to have chayus in EVERY part of the Yeshiva, and then everything he does will have great hatzlacha!

By being very strict about keeping the seder (schedule) that the Rebbeim set up, a Tomim has the TIME to do everything. Because he doesn’t have his own idea of what he wants to become, and is ready to do whatever the Rebbe wants, he can have the CHAYUS to do every kind of avodah that the Yeshiva expects him to!

Each of us are a chossid and shliach of the Rebbe. The Rebbe expects us to be successful at so many things — even things that sometimes seem to be opposites! We need to be good Yidden, to learn plenty of Torah and have Yiras Shomayim. We need to take good care of our families, making sure they have everything they need. We need to work hard to help other Yidden come closer to Yiddishkeit. We need to make a Kiddush Hashem for all people. Can we really do it all?

When we realize that the most important thing is to fulfill the Rebbe’s mission of getting ready for the Geulah, we really can do it all! By following the Rebbe’s instructions and keeping seder, we will have time and chayus for everything, and have hatzlacha in our mission!

See Likutei Sichos vol. 14, hosafos Tes Vov – Chai Elul


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On Shacharis of Rosh Hashana, we start with the regular Shabbos and Yom Tov davening. Then, in Pesukei Dezimra, we say something different.

Right before Yishtabach, there is a line that says, “Hamelech Hayosheiv Al Kisei Ram Venisa.” We are praising “the King Who sits on the high and uplifted throne” on the holy day of Shabbos and Yom Tov.

But on Rosh Hashana, we aren’t just talking about something that Hashem sometimes does. We say, “Hamelech YOSHEIV,” “the King IS sitting” on His throne!

During the year, we talk about how Hashem is the kind of King Who sits on a high throne in Shomayim. That is very special. But on Rosh Hashana, Hashem’s Malchus (the koach of Hashem as King) is very strong and easy to see. So on Rosh Hashana we say that Hashem IS sitting on His throne! It is happening RIGHT NOW, just look!

In our Machzor, there is a story about one of the Maggid’s great talmidim, R’ Aharon of Karlin. One Rosh Hashana, when he started to say the word “Hamelech,” he fainted.

After they woke him up, the Chassidim around him asked what happened. R’ Aharon answered that he had been thinking about a story in the Gemara:

Before the time of the Churban, R’ Yochanan ben Zakai managed to sneak out of Yerushalayim to ask the enemy to let the Yidden survive. R’ Yochanan knew that Hashem would only let the emperor himself destroy Yerushalayim, not a regular general. He realized that the general now leading the siege against Yerushalayim would need to become the emperor. So when he spoke to the general, he called him, “the Emperor.”

The general was very angry at R’ Yochanan! He said, “You just called me the emperor, when I am not the real emperor! You deserve to die for not respecting the emperor!

“And if I really am the emperor, you also deserve to be killed! Why didn’t you come earlier to speak with me?” (A few minutes later, the emperor got a message that indeed, the king had died, and he was the new emperor.)

R’ Aharon of Karlin explained that he was thinking about what the general had told R’ Yochanan ben Zakai. “If I am the emperor, why didn’t you come earlier?” If Hashem is the King, why didn’t I come to Him earlier?

R’ Aharon of Karlin was asking — we are preparing ourselves and coming before Hashem on Rosh Hashana, but where were we the rest of the year? Are we ALWAYS acting in a way that shows that we know Hashem is our King?

In our Machzor, this finishes off by saying: If R’ Aharon of Karlin, such a great tzadik, felt this way, how should the rest of us feel?

We need to make sure that coming close to Hashem on Rosh Hashana should make a difference for our whole year!



Maos Chitim

It is brought in halacha that 30 days before a Yom Tov, we start to learn about the Yom Tov so there is enough time to prepare.

On Yud-Daled Elul, 30 days before Sukkos, we should start thinking about Sukkos!

There is a minhag that before Pesach, money is given out in each city to help people buy matzah and wine and food for Pesach. That’s because on Pesach we can’t work, but the things we need are very expensive! This is called Maos Chitim (“flour money”).

The truth is that other Yomim Tovim are also days off of work where we need to pay for extra things. The Yomim Tovim of Tishrei have things we need to buy, and it is extra days off work.

The Rebbe asked that we should keep this minhag of helping other people buy the things they need for Yom Tov for these Yomim Tovim too. We should do it now, 30 days before Yom Tov, so there will be plenty of time for everyone to buy what they need, and be able to have the right kind of simcha for Yom Tov!

We also need to make sure that people have enough for Rosh Hashana, which we are about two weeks before — especially since the Navi Nechemya says about Rosh Hashana, “Veshilchu Manos Le’ein Nachon Lo,” that we should send food to those who don’t have their own.

If your city has its own Maos Chitim fund, that is a very important place to give to.

Here are some other places you can give online:

- Colel Chabad (Eretz Yisroel) -
- Chevra Simchas Shabbos V’Yom Tov (Crown Heights) -
- The Shluchim Fund (Shluchim worldwide) -
- Adopt a Family (Anash and Shluchim in Eretz Yisroel) -

See Halachos Uminhagei Chabad, Yud-Daled Elul

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



Yerushalayim Will Always Be Special!

In the posuk before, the Navi Zechariah is told that when Moshiach comes, Yerushalayim will become a city without walls! It will grow and spread out as more Yidden come to live there!

But the Yidden might think that the wall around Yerushalayim is what keeps it safe, or that it shows that Yerushalayim is a special city.

The Yidden don’t need to worry that Yerushalayim won’t be safe, or that it won’t be a special place to live anymore:

אֲנִי אֶהְיֶה לָּהּ נְאֻם ה׳ חוֹמַת אֵשׁ סָבִיב וּלְכָבוֹד אֶהְיֶה בְתוֹכָהּ

Ani Eheyeh Lah — I will be for Yerushalayim

Ne’um Hashem — says Hashem

Chomas Eish Saviv — like a wall of fire around it! (This will keep it safe.)

Ulechavod Eheyeh Vesocha — And My Shechinah will rest inside of it! (This will be a kavod for Yerushalayim and show that it is always special.)

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