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Parshas Vayeishev - Chamishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about the hatzlacha that Yosef had in the house of Potifar.

Yosef was sold to a person called Potifar, who worked for Paraoh.

Hashem helped Yosef and he had a lot of hatzlacha in the things he was doing. Potifar served Avodah Zarah and didn’t know anything about Hashem, but when he saw that Yosef mentioned Hashem all the time, he understood that Yosef had hatzlacha because of his connection with Hashem. Potifar was very happy with Yosef, and made him in charge of the whole house. Once Yosef was in charge, Hashem gave lots of brachos to all of Potifar’s things.

After some years of working in Potifar’s house, Yosef started feeling proud of himself. He started thinking about how he looked, what he ate, and if his hair was nice. Hashem wasn’t happy with Yosef, since his father Yaakov was crying, and he was spending time doing foolish things!

So Hashem made Yosef learn a lesson: That if you try very hard to show other people how beautiful you are, you might also get people looking at you that you DON’T want…



104 - 105

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Daled and Kuf-Hey.

The first kapitel from today’s Tehillim is Borchi Nafshi, one of the special pieces we say on Rosh Chodesh in davening.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel is explained in Hayom Yom: “Yeitzei Adam Lefa’alo, Vela’avodaso Adei Arev.” It means that a person goes out to do his work all day, until it is night.

In Ruchnius, it means that a neshama comes into the world to do its work — a special avodah, which it can only do here in this world.

This posuk also shows us the way the neshamah has an aliyah and grows, through doing its avodah here: A neshama comes into the world, and when it comes back up to Shomayim, it gets to work at the same thing it worked at in the world — if the neshama learned Torah here, it can learn Torah in Shomayim too! And if it did its avodah in the right way, the neshama goes higher and higher in Shomayim, very close to Hashem!



Likutei Amarim Hakdamas Hamelaket

Chassidim wondered: How can a sefer be instead of personal advice that Chassidim were getting in Yechidus?

When the Alter Rebbe first became Rebbe, there was enough time to take every chossid into Yechidus and help each of them with their Avodas Hashem. But as more and more Chassidim came, there wasn’t enough time to spend with each of them anymore. The Alter Rebbe also saw that Chassidim would sometimes forget what they were told in yechidus, and needed to be told again.

So the Alter Rebbe put together the eitzos he gave Chassidim in yechidus, and wrote the Tanya. This sefer includes all of the eitzos, and if Chassidim follow what it says, together with having bitachon in Hashem, it will help them find answers for anything that is bothering them in their Avodas Hashem.

Since the Chassidim who are learning the Tanya already have been in yechidus and feel a strong connection to the Alter Rebbe, the eitzos in this sefer will be able to help them. If they can’t find answers to their questions in the Tanya, they should know that really the answers ARE there! They should go to the “Gedolim Shebe’iro,” the greater Chassidim, who will help them see how the Alter Rebbe answers their questions.

The Alter Rebbe uses very strong words to warn these older Chassidim to help. He tells them not to be humble and pretend they don’t know the answers. If someone doesn’t help someone when he can, the Torah speaks about a terrible punishment! But if someone does share what he knows, Hashem promises to make BOTH people smarter — both the one giving the information, and the one who he gives it to!

The Alter Rebbe finishes with a bracha, that we should be zoche to the time of the Geulah, when we will ALL know Hashem, and we won’t have to learn from other people!

The Rebbe Rashab said that learning Tanya is like having a yechidus with the Alter Rebbe. From this we understand that ANY Yid who learns Tanya can be helped by the eitzos inside, like the Alter Rebbe says here!


At first, the Tanya was given out in small booklets, but people who copied them made mistakes. Some misnagdim even put in mistakes on purpose to try to keep people away from Chassidus. So the Alter Rebbe had to have the Tanya published as a sefer.

The Alter Rebbe warns people to follow the halachos of Hasagas Gevul, and not to reprint the Tanya without permission from the first publishers, which would hurt their parnasa.



Chof-Alef Kislev

Today’s Hayom Yom comes from a very special farbrengen of the Frierdiker Rebbe. It was a Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in the year Tof-Reish-Pey-Tes, which was also part of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s Sheva Brachos!

The Frierdiker Rebbe said then that his father, the Rebbe Rashab, wants him to give this message over to Chassidim. He is not going to repeat it later, make sure to listen to it now and make it a part of you:

Everyone needs to learn Mishnayos Baal Peh, as much as you are able to! When you’re walking outside, you should review the Mishnayos that you know, and with this, we will go to greet Moshiach!

Chassidim need to learn Chassidus at least three times a week — Monday, Thursday, and Shabbos. A tomim, who learned in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, needs to learn Chassidus for an hour every day.



Shiur #136 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #150, #151

Today we learn two more mitzvos about Maaser Sheini:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #150) It is asur for a person to eat Maaser Sheini when he is Tamei, or when the food is Tamei. If he was tamei, he needs to become Tahor. If the food was tamei, he needs to sell the food and buy different food with that money.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Savo: וְלֹא בִעַרְתִּי מִמֶּנּוּ בְּטָמֵא

The details are explained in the end of Mesechta Makos.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #151) An Onen, someone who has a close relative who passed away and wasn’t buried yet, is not allowed to eat from Maaser Sheini. (An onen is also not allowed to eat from any Korbanos.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Savo: לֹא אָכַלְתִּי בְאֹנִי מִמֶּנּוּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Pesachim perek Ches, and Mesechta Zevachim perek Beis.



Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about Maaser Sheini.

Perek Beis: Maaser Sheini is specifically eaten in Yerushalayim. Once it is brought into Yerushalayim, we are not allowed to take it out, or trade it for money or other food (unless it became tamei).

Perek Gimmel: We need to treat Maaser Sheini with respect — for example, we are not allowed to make it tamei.

Perek Daled: If we live far away from Yerushalayim, the food might not be good by the time we get there! We learn how to trade the food for money, and then use the money to buy food in Yerushalayim later.



Hilchos Mechirah - Perek Chof-Ches

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about buying and selling the Torah way. Buying and selling need to be very exact so that we stay far away from cheating!

In Perek Chof-Ches, we learn about the size of a field when we are selling it. Do rocks in the field count for part of the measurement?



Mivtza Chanukah

Chanukah is coming up next week! Here are some things the Rebbe told us to do for Chanukah Mivtzoyim:

1) Make sure there is a Menorah lit in every Jewish home — especially our friends and neighbors!

2) Every boy in the family lights their own menorah — just like all the girls bentch licht for Shabbos!

3) Tell kids who didn’t learn in a Jewish school about the neis of Chanukah!

4) Make sure that all Jewish children get Chanukah gelt! Kids should give to their friends too!

5) Kids should give extra tzedakah on Chanukah, and double on Erev Shabbos!

6) On Chanukah, learn parts of Torah that talk about Chanukah!

See Shevach Hamoadim, Hilchos Chanukah


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The Second Paragraph of Shema - Shimon

The first parsha of Shema is connected to Reuven. This is when we see (“Re’u”) Hashem’s Hashgacha Protis.

When we realize how Hashem is taking care of every detail of the world, we are inspired to want to live the way Hashem asks us to in the Torah.

The second parsha in Shema represents the times when we KNOW Hashem is there, but we don’t see it. It isn’t easy to want to do what Hashem tells us. So we need to tell ourselves what it says in this paragraph: When we follow what Hashem asks, we get brachos; and if we chas veshalom go away from the path of Torah and mitzvos, it won’t be good for us.

This is the avodah of Shimon, which means “to hear.” It is a time when the neshama only “hears” about Hashem, but can’t see it. But even then, there is a way to live the way a Yid needs to, by telling ourselves what it says in the second paragraph of Shema.

Maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos chelek Chof p. 348



A Beautiful Menorah

Before Chanukah, people go to buy menorahs or make them for arts and crafts.

It is important to make sure that however beautiful we want our menorah to look, that it is kosher!

The neiros of the menorah need to be all in a straight line. They can’t be in a curved line, a half circle, or in a zigzag. That way, even when you see the menorah from far away, you can tell that they are separate lights, not that they are all part of a bigger flame.

See Sefer Halachos Uminhagei Chabad

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



Little Mitzvos, Big Kochos!

We know that our one mitzvah has the power to bring the Geulah! That is what the Rambam paskens in Hilchos Teshuvah.

But wait — how is this possible? How can just one little person, with their one little mitzvah, make a HUGE difference for the whole world? One thing compared to the whole world is less than one drop of water in the ocean!

The Rebbe teaches that when we do a mitzvah with the kavana to bring Moshiach, we are using the piece of Moshiach that is inside of ourselves! With the Moshiach koach, the mitzvah we are doing is full of tremendous koach — it can change the world and bring the Geulah!

Sefer Hasichos 5747, vol. 1, p. 240 ha’ara 123

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