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Sheini with Rashi

Paraoh made a decree that baby boys should be thrown into the Nilus. Miriam convinced her parents, Amram and Yocheved, to have another baby. They had a baby boy, and realized he was very special! Yocheved hid baby Moshe in a basket in the Nilus, and Paraoh’s daughter Basya found him and took him to the palace.

Paraoh saw that Shifra and Puah weren’t killing the baby boys, and he asked them why they weren’t listening! Shifra and Puah explained that really the Yiddishe women didn’t need midwives, they had the babies by themselves.

Because of their Mesiras Nefesh, Hashem gave them a big reward — Dovid Hamelech came from Miriam’s family, and Yocheved’s children became Kohanim and Leviim (through Moshe and Aharon).

Since they weren’t doing what he wanted, Paraoh had to think of a new plan. He decided to build houses for Mitzriyim in Goshen, where the Yidden lived. These Mitzriyim would be spies and find out who had a baby boy, so they could throw them in the Nilus.

Amram, who was the leader of the Yidden at that time, thought that maybe they shouldn’t have children anymore, since Paraoh was going to kill the babies anyway. He even got divorced from Yocheved, and the rest of the Yidden copied him. But Miriam told her father that our job is to have children — what happens afterwards is Hashem’s decision. Also, Paraoh was only killing baby boys, but by not having any children, there would be no baby girls either! Miriam said a nevuah, that her parents would have a baby who would take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim!

Amram realized that Miriam was right, and he got married to Yocheved again. The other Yidden got married again also. On Zayin Adar, Amram and Yocheved had a baby boy! He was born early, so the Mitzriyim didn’t think to check right away to see if he was born.

When Moshe was born, the house became full of light! Yocheved and Amram realized that this could be the baby who would later take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim! They were able to hide him for three months, until the Mitzri spies would come and check if a baby boy was born.

Paraoh’s magicians told him that the baby who would take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim was born! They weren’t sure if the baby was a Yid or a Mitzri, but they saw in the stars that he would die because of water. So Paraoh made a new decree that ALL baby boys would have to be thrown into the Nilus, but all girls should grow up like Mitzri girls.

Yocheved took a basket and made it waterproof (smelly pitch outside, but clay inside, so Moshe wouldn’t need to smell the pitch). She put the baby in the basket, and hid it in the reeds by the side of the Nilus. (She didn’t put the basket in the water, because the water was the Avodah Zarah of the Mitzriyim.) Miriam hid nearby to see what would happen.

(After Paraoh’s magicians told Paraoh that the baby was in the water, Paraoh canceled the decree.)

Paraoh’s daughter, Basya, didn’t want to worship Avodah Zarah anymore, so she decided to use the Nilus as a mikvah to become tahor and daven only to Hashem. Then Moshe’s basket floated into the water.

Basya saw the basket and wanted to see what was inside. Her helpers told her it was probably a Jewish baby, so she shouldn’t look. Basya tried to grab the basket anyway, and Hashem made her arm long enough to reach the baby!

Basya saw right away that this was a special baby. He was crying, and Basya felt bad. She saw that he had a bris and was a Jewish baby, but wanted to take care of him anyway.

Basya tried to get the Mitzri women to nurse the baby, but he wouldn’t eat from a person who wasn’t Jewish. So Miriam, who was still watching, asked if she should go get a Jewish woman to feed the baby. Basya agreed, and Miriam ran home very quickly to get her mother! 

Basya asked Yocheved if she could pay her to nurse the baby. Of course Yocheved agreed! Yocheved gave lots of excuses why the baby needed to stay with her, and kept him home until he was about 12, teaching him about being a good Yid. Then she had to bring him to Basya, who treated him like a son. Basya called him Moshe, which means “taking out,” because she took him out of the water — Ki Min Hamayim Meshisihu.



79 - 82

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Ayin-Tes to Pey-Beis.

In Kapitel Pey (80) Dovid Hamelech says, “Gefen Mimitzrayim Tasia, Tegaresh Goyim Vati’ta’eha” — “You took a vine out of Mitzrayim, You pushed out the goyim and planted it.” This is talking about the Yidden, who are compared to a vine. Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and “planted” us in Eretz Yisroel.

The Friediker Rebbe said a maamar on this posuk, which the Rebbe later explained (http://chabad.org/1878854). The Chachomim say that we only dig up a vine to plant it somewhere where it will grow even better! Similarly, Hashem only puts a Yid in a new place because there he can have even more hatzlacha.

That’s how it was when Hashem took the Yidden out of Mitzrayim and brought them to Eretz Yisroel, and that’s also how it is whenever Hashem puts us with Hashgacha Protis in a new place! It is so we will have hatzlacha in bringing Yiddishkeit to our new place, like a vine that makes wine that brings happiness to everyone around!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud

There are many different levels that a Tzadik She’aino Gamur (an incomplete tzadik) can be on. It all depends how strong his love for Hashem is! The stronger the love for Hashem, the more the Ra that is left over inside of him becomes insignificant and “botul” to the Tov. (That’s what it means, “Tzadik V’Ra Lo,” that the Ra is botul to the tov inside of him.) The Yetzer Hara can be very VERY small, but as long as there is a teeny drop of Yetzer Hara, he is still a Tzadik She’aino Gamur.

The Gemara says that there are 18,000 tzadikim that come before Hashem every day. This is talking about a Tzadik She’aino Gamur, and there are many of them.

A Tzadik Gamur is someone who has no Yetzer Hara left AT ALL. The Gemara calls these kind of tzadikimBnei Aliyah,” and there are very few.

In the introduction to the Zohar, there is a story of how R’ Chiya wanted to come into the chamber of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai in Gan Eden. A Bas Kol said that only someone who transformed darkness into light (who changed even their Yetzer Hara into good — a Tzadik Gamur) can come into this chamber.



Tes-Zayin Teves

It can be hard for a neshama to feel ruchnius. The world is full of so much kelipah and narishkeit!

In a Yechidus, the Tzemach Tzedek told a chossid named Reb Hendel about 3 different parts of Torah that can help his neshama:

1) When the neshama wants to feel more connected to Hashem, learn Zohar, because Zohar makes the neshama feel elevated! (Chassidus works too — it explains many parts of the Zohar.)

2) When the neshama wants to get excited about Hashem and His mitzvos, learn Midrash, because it wakes up the heart!

3) When the neshama feels like it got “dirty” from the kelipah in the world, say Tehillim with tears, and that will wash and clean the grobkeit of the guf.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #205, #206, #208, #207

Today we learn more mitzvos about what a Nazir is not allowed to eat:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #205) A Nazir may not eat grape seeds.

We learn this from a mitzvah in Parshas Naso: מֵחַרְצַנִּים וְעַד זָג לֹא יֹאכֵל

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #206) A Nazir isn’t allowed to eat grape peels.

We learn this mitzvah from the same posuk in Parshas Naso: וְעַד זָג לֹא יֹאכֵל

We also learn 2 mitzvos about what a Nazir is not allowed to do:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #208) He is not allowed to become tamei. He can’t go on purpose into the same house as a person who passed away (Tumas Ohel).

This mitzvah is learned from another posuk in Parshas Naso: עַל נֶפֶשׁ מֵת לֹא יָבֹא

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #207) He is not allowed to make himself tamei from a person who passed away (Tumas Meis).

We learn this mitzvah from the next posuk in Parshas Naso: לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ וגו׳ לֹא יִטַּמָּא



Hilchos Nezirus

In Rambam, we learn more halachos about what happens if a Nazir does something that is asur, and how his being a Nazir ends.

Perek Vov: If a Nazir does certain things he wasn’t supposed to, he messed up his time of Nezirus and needs to start again!

For example, If he drinks wine, he did something wrong, but he still stays a Nazir. If he cuts some of his hair, his Nezirus goes on “pause” for 30 days, and then he can count from where he left off. But if he becomes Tamei from Tumas Meis, he needs to shave his hair and bring the korbanos, and then start being a Nazir again from the beginning.

Perek Zayin: There are some times when a Nazir SHOULD do things that a Nazir usually is not allowed to do. Like if he got Tzoraas while he was a Nazir, he has a MITZVAH to cut his hair!

Perek Ches: We learn about the things the Nazir does to finish off his time of being a Nazir, like shaving his hair and bringing certain korbanos.



Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Vov

Really, when someone brings a korban, he needs to be there to see it. But how can ALL the Yidden be there to see the korbanos that are brought for all the Yidden, like the Korban Tomid, which is brought every day as a Korban Tzibur for all of the Yidden?

A group of Yidden who had Yiras Shomayim were chosen as the Anshei Maamad, to watch when those korbanos were brought on behalf of the rest of the Yidden. This perek tells us how these Maamados worked.



Stopping Paraoh's Gezeira

In today’s Chumash, Sheini of Parshas Shemos, Paraoh decrees that the baby boys should be thrown into the Nilus, and that the girls should live.

It seems strange that it should be DECREED that the girls should live. How is that part of the wicked gezeira?

Paraoh didn’t want to just let the girls live, he wanted the girls to be raised to live like Mitzriyim.

So his gezeira had two parts — to kill the guf of the baby boys, and to kill the neshama of the baby girls.

There is a Ruchnius’dike Paraoh in every generation. Just like Paraoh in Mitzrayim, it doesn’t just want to hurt Yidden begashmius, but also wants to hurt our Ruchnius! We need to stop this decree also. One of the ways we do this is by making sure all Yiddishe kinderlach get a proper chinuch!

See Likutei Sichos chelek alef p. 111


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Modeh Ani

The Frierdiker Rebbe once told this story at a farbrengen:

“When I was a very young child, right when I started to speak, my father (the Rebbe Rashab) told me, ‘If there’s anything you want to ask, you should ask me.’ Even though I had someone else taking care of me, my father said that I should ask any questions to him.

“When I was taught how to say Modeh Ani, I was told to put one hand next to the other and bow my head. This is the way I should say Modeh Ani.

“When I got a little older, but while I was still a child, I asked my father why we needed to say Modeh Ani like this. Why do we need to put one hand next to the other and bow the head?

“He answered me, ‘Really we should do this without asking why. But I did tell you that you should ask me if you have any questions.’

“He called in R’ Yosef Mordechai the meshares (assistant), an 80-year old man. He asked him, ‘How do you say Modeh Ani in the morning?’

“R’ Yosef Mordechai answered, ‘I put my hands next to each other and bow my head.’ “My father continued, ‘Why do you do it this way?’

“R’ Yosef Mordechai answered, ‘I don’t know. When I was a young child, this is what I was taught.’

“‘You see?’ my father told me. ‘He does it because this is what his father taught him, and so it goes back all the way until Moshe Rabbeinu and Avraham Avinu, who was the first Yid. We need to do what we are told without asking why.’

“I answered, ‘But I am still small!’

“My father told me, ‘All Yidden are really small. When we get older, we start to realize that we are really small.’”


The way we say Modeh Ani is by putting our hands together and bowing our head.

Story from Sefer Hasichos 5710



Nittel Nacht

There is a minhag not to learn Torah on Nittel Nacht, because there is a lot of kelipah in the world and we don’t want to give it any chayus. So tonight (Monday night), starting from Shkiyah, we don’t learn any Torah (including Chitas), until Chatzos. Make sure to finish your shiurim before Shkiyah!

Nittel Nacht goes according to the goyishe calendar. In tomorrow’s Hayom Yom, Yud-Zayin Teves, we will see Nittel Nacht mentioned. The year the Hayom Yom was written, Nittel Nacht was also the night of Yud-Zayin Teves.

Some bochurim loved to learn Torah so much that they couldn’t manage to stop during Nittel Nacht. The Rebbe Rashab said that he was not happy with these bochurim.

But there are plenty of good things that need to be taken care of that AREN’T learning Torah, and we shouldn’t waste the time!

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



Why Do We Want Moshiach?

Do we want Moshiach because then candy will grow on trees? Or because the weather will always be nice?

Even though there will be many fun and exciting things that will happen when Moshiach comes, the Rambam tells us that the Chachomim and Neviim didn’t want Moshiach for these kinds of reasons.

They didn’t want Moshiach because then the Yidden will be in charge, or so that the Goyim will respect the Yidden. They weren’t excited about Moshiach because then we can eat and drink and be happy.

Why did they want Moshiach?

Because then we will be able to learn Torah and its wisdom without anything bothering us!

See Rambam Hilchos Melachim Perek Yud-Beis, halacha Daled

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