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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayechi - Shishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, the last shevet gets his bracha, and all of the shevatim are also included in everyone else’s brachos! Yaakov Avinu passes away and is buried in Me’aras Hamachpeilah.

Now Yaakov gives a bracha to the last shevet, Benyamin. His bracha is that he should be like a wolf, who grabs its food. One reason for this bracha is that the mizbeiach of the Beis Hamikdosh will be in Benyamin’s part of Eretz Yisroel. The mizbeiach will “eat” all of the korbanos, like a wolf grabs its food!

Even though it looks like Reuven, Shimon, and Levi didn’t get brachos, really they ALL got brachos. In fact, they all got the same brachos, but each shevet got one special bracha that they got a lot of.

Yaakov knew he was going to pass away. He asked his sons to bury him in Me’aras Hamachpeilah, with the other Avos and Leah Imeinu. Only the Shevatim and their children should help, not any Mitzriyim.

Yaakov told them to carry his Aron the same way the Yidden will camp around the Mishkan. Levi shouldn’t help, because his family will carry the Aron in the Mishkan, and Yosef shouldn’t either because it’s not right for the second to the king to do it. Menasheh and Efrayim will help carry it instead.

Then Yaakov lay down, and his neshama left his body. But the Torah doesn’t say that Yaakov passed away! Since Yaakov’s whole life was to raise his children to go in the way of Hashem, as long as his children are still going in the way of Hashem, his neshama is still alive in this world! It is doing its job through his children who are alive in this world, and living in the way that he taught! 

Yosef saw that his father’s holy Guf had finished its job in the world, and he cried. He went to Paraoh and told him that he made a shvuah to bury Yaakov in Eretz Yisroel. Paraoh really wanted to keep Yaakov’s body in Mitzrayim for an Avodah Zarah, but he knew that he couldn’t tell Yosef to break his promise. If he did, Yosef might break a promise that HE made to Paraoh, and tell everyone that Paraoh didn’t know Lashon Kodesh!

Many people joined Yaakov’s levayah. When the kings of Canaan heard that the Shevatim were coming, they came out to make a war. But when they came, they saw Yosef’s crown on top of Yaakov’s Aron. Instead of fighting, they put their crowns there too, out of respect.

When the Shevatim got to Chevron, they buried Yaakov in Me’aras Hamachpeila, and then they all went back to Mitzrayim.

The shevatim were worried that Yosef wouldn’t be as nice to them anymore after Yaakov passed away. They weren’t sure he forgave them yet for selling him. They told Yosef that Yaakov asked him to forgive them. Even though it wasn’t really true, they said it so there would be shalom in the family.

Yosef answered that Hashem WANTED his brothers to sell him, so he could take care of them! They shouldn’t be worried, Hashem doesn’t want any of them to be hurt.

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TEHILLIM

69 - 71

Today’s kapitelach are Samach-Tes, Ayin, and Ayin-Alef.

One of the pesukim in Kapitel Samech-Tes is “Va’ani Sefilosi Lecha Hashem Eis Ratzon.” We say this posuk every day in (can you guess?) Mah Tovu.

There is another place we say this posuk as well — before we take the Torah out on Shabbos at Mincha time. The posuk means that when we daven it’s a very special time. The reason why we say it by Mincha on Shabbos is because that’s ALSO a very special time, the most special time of the whole Shabbos!

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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Tes

Now we know where the nefashos are in our bodies, but how does it work if they are both in one body, and they both want different things?

The Alter Rebbe says that the body is like a city which two kings are fighting over. Each one wants to be in charge, so everyone will say that THEY are the king and everyone needs to listen to whatever they say!

The two kings are the two nefashos. The Nefesh Elokis wants to be the only one in charge, so that the whole body will listen to it and only do mitzvos and good things — and that even the Nefesh Habehamis should listen to it! 

The Nefesh Habehamis wants the same thing! He wants to be the only one in charge of the body, so the body will only listen to it, and only do things that are comfortable and fun!

So they are always fighting.

Can you think of some things that your nefashos fight about?

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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Gimmel Teves

When we act the way Chassidus teaches, sometimes we don’t even need to work very hard to bring Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit!

If you put a lantern outside in the dark, people will gather around, because they like to be around light. If you are a “lantern” shining with Torah and Chassidus, people will want to come closer to you too! They will want to become closer to Yiddishkeit when they see how you act.

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #187 - Mitzvas Asei #70

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #70) is to bring a korban called an Asham Talui if a person isn’t sure if he did an aveira that would need him to bring a Korban Chatas.

This sofek (doubt) is called in the words of the Chachomim, “Lo Hoda,” not known.

We learn this mitzvah from two pesukim in Parshas Vayikra:

וְאִם נֶפֶשׁ כִּי תֶחֱטָא וְעָשְׂתָה אַחַת מִכָּל מִצְוֹת ה׳ אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵעָשֶׂינָה וְלֹא יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם וְנָשָׂא עֲו‍ֹנוֹ: וְהֵבִיא אַיִל תָּמִים מִן הַצֹּאן בְּעֶרְכְּךָ לְאָשָׁם אֶל הַכֹּהֵן וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו הַכֹּהֵן עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר שָׁגָג וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע

The details are explained in Mesechta Kerisus.

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Shegagos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the korbanos a person brings if he did an aveira by mistake.

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn many halachos about a person bringing a Korban Chatas for a serious aveira they did by mistake. One halacha is that the Korban Chatas is only a forgiveness for someone who trusts that it will be a kapara. If someone does not believe that it will be a kapara for him, his korban is not counted, and he needs to bring another one after doing teshuvah.

Perek Daled: If a person does many aveiros that all need a Korban Chatas, we learn when he can bring one Korban for them all, and when he needs to bring many separate korbanos.

Perek Hey: This perek teaches us special halachos if someone married someone they weren’t supposed to, and didn’t realize it was an aveira which has the punishment of Kareis.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Avodas Yom HaKipurim - Perek Daled

Now the Rambam tells us the seder of the day of Yom Kippur.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Giving Tzedakah Like a Chossid

There is a story told about the Baal Shem Tov, that he used to give a lot of tzedakah — more than he could afford.

In Usha (one of the places where there was a big yeshiva), there was a takana made that you shouldn’t be mevazvez (spend) more than 1/5th of your wealth on tzedakah.

The Baal Shem Tov was asked, how can you give more than the amount the Chachomim told you to?

The Baal Shem Tov answered, “Mevazvez comes from the word ‘biza,’ the spoils of a war. With a person who has to fight with himself to give, he shouldn’t give more than a chomeish, 1/5th.

“But if someone enjoys giving, why is tzedakah different than any other pleasure, where a person can spend as much as he wants or needs?”

The Rebbe adds to this story, that this is even more true when we remember Hashem’s promise, that we can test Him with tzedakah. This will bring even more simcha and taanug into our giving, and we can give as much tzedakah as we want!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, p. 169

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TEFILLAH

Baruch Sheim

The words of Shema come from the Torah. But in the Torah, it says, “Shema Yisroel... Hashem Echod. Ve’ahavta Eis Hashem Elokecha.” Why do we add “Baruch Sheim” after the first line of Shema?

Before Yaakov Avinu was nistalek, he wanted to tell his children when Moshiach would come. But the Shechinah left him, because Hashem didn’t want him to tell them. Yaakov Avinu was worried that maybe the Shechinah left because some of his children didn’t believe in Hashem properly!

All of his children answered, “Shema Yisroel, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echod!” “Listen our father Yisroel, we all believe that Hashem is our Aibershter, and Hashem is only One!”

Yaakov Avinu was so happy to hear this! He praised Hashem, saying, “Boruch Sheim Kevod Malchuso Le’olam Va’ed!” “May Hashem’s holy Name be blessed forever!”

Because of this, it became a minhag for Yidden to add the praise of Yaakov Avinu after we say Shema.

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Netilas Yodayim

After we wash our hands well, so that the water covers our entire hands, we lift our hands up, as high as our heart, and make the bracha. (By Netilas Yodayim in the morning, we lift our hands up as high as our peyos.) Afterwards, we do “shifshuf,” which we will learn about tomorrow IY”H.

See Seder Netilas Yodayim L’Seudah se’if daled

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

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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Chazak, Chazak, Venischazek!

This week is also called Shabbos Chazak!

Why?

Because this week, Parshas Vayechi, we finish a whole sefer of Chumash, Chumash Bereishis! In shul, when we finish leining the parsha, we all say, “Chazak, Chazak, Venis’chazek!” “Be strong, be strong, and you will be made strong!”

Learning a part of Torah, especially a whole Chumash, gives us strength and koach to go on, because of the lessons we learned from it.

The Torah isn’t just stories about things that happened a long time ago. The Torah is “nitzchis,” it is forever — the things we learn about in Torah are always happening in a Ruchnius’dike way!

When we learn Torah, we also need to listen to the Ruchnius message of what the Torah is telling us, to give us koach in our lives today.

Now that we are finishing Chumash Bereishis, we should take time to think about the koach we got from this sefer:

Throughout Chumash Bereishis, we see that Hashem is making promises — Hashem promises the Avos, starting from the Bris Bein Habesarim to Avraham Avinu, that the Yidden will get Eretz Yisroel. We see the promises and brachos given to the Shevatim, and the promise Yosef Hatzadik gives the Yidden, that Hashem will not forget them and will take them out of the Golus of Mitzrayim.

These promises were not just for then, they are promises to us today also! Now we are also in Golus, but Hashem’s promise did not change! Hashem promises that He will take us out of Golus and bring us back to Eretz Yisroel.

This is even more important to think about now, since the Rebbe tells us how close we are to the Geulah! Even though things might be hard, Hashem promises to remember us and take us out of Golus to the Geulah Sheleimah!

Based on farbrengen Parshas Vayechi 5747

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