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Parshas Shemos - Chamishi with Rashi

Hashem chose Moshe Rabbeinu to be the one to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem appeared to Moshe through a burning bush, and is giving him the details of his shlichus.

In today’s Chumash, we learn how Hashem tells Moshe to go say to the leaders of the Yidden that Hashem will take them out, and then to go speak to Paraoh. Moshe says that the Yidden won’t believe him, so Hashem gives him signs. Still, Hashem has to convince Moshe to go.

Hashem tells Moshe to gather the 70 Zekeinim (elders) of the Yidden, and tell them that Hashem says, “I didn’t forget about My promise! I will take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, and bring them to Eretz Yisroel.”

You do not need to be worried, Hashem tells Moshe. “The Zekeinim will listen to you, because the Yidden know that they will hear about the Geulah with the words ‘Pakod Pokadeti’ — “I remembered you!”

Hashem continues to tell Moshe, “Then, go with them to Paraoh and tell him to let the Yidden go to the desert for three days to bring korbanos.”

But, Hashem says, Paraoh won’t listen to you until I use My “strong arm” to punish them and show them my nisim. When he does let you go in the end, you will take gold and silver, and clothes for the way, to fulfill My promise to Avraham that the Yidden will be very rich when they leave Golus!

Moshe was afraid that the Yidden wouldn’t believe that Hashem really talked to him! So Hashem gave Moshe a sign to show the Yidden: Moshe should throw his sapphire stick on the ground, and it will turn into a snake. When he picks it up, it will turn back into a stick.

Hashem also gave him another sign: He should put his hand into his shirt, and when it comes out, it will be covered with Tzoraas. When he puts it back into his shirt, the Tzoraas will go away.

Hashem gave Moshe specifically these two signs to tell him that he shouldn’t speak Lashon Hara about the Yidden and say they won’t believe him! Lashon Hara is like a snake, and Tzoraas is the punishment for Lashon Hara.

Hashem also gave Moshe a THIRD sign if they still didn’t believe him: Take some water from the Nilus and pour it on the ground, and there it will turn into blood.

Still, Moshe didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to take such an important job, since his brother Aharon was older than him, and a Navi too! He thought that Aharon should get the job. Also, he wasn’t able to speak well, and all of the things Hashem was telling him to do were speaking.

Hashem answered him, “Who gave you the ability to speak when you were in front of Paraoh and had to run away? It was I, Hashem! Now also, I will be with you and show you what to say.”

Moshe continued to tell Hashem that he shouldn’t take the job. He knew with Ruach Hakodesh that he wouldn’t bring the Yidden into Eretz Yisroel in the end anyhow. He told Hashem, “Shelach Na Beyad Tishlach!” Send the person who You will send in the end! “Either send Yehoshua who will bring them into Eretz Yisroel, or send Moshiach who will take them out of the final Golus!”

Hashem wasn’t so happy with Moshe, and told him that because he wasn’t listening right away, Aharon would become a Kohen, and Moshe would become only a Levi.

Hashem also told Moshe not to worry about having a more important job than Aharon — Aharon would come meet him when he went to Mitzrayim, and he would be very happy for Moshe. (Rashi says that because of Aharon’s good feeling in his heart for his younger brother, he was zoche to wear the Choshen on his heart as the Kohen Gadol!)

Moshe could tell Aharon what to say, and Aharon would speak clearly so everyone will understand.

“Now,” said Hashem, “Take your stick so you can do the nisim.”



90 - 96

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik through Tzadik-Vov.

The first kapitel in today’s Tehillim was written by Moshe Rabbeinu. Dovid Hamelech later put it in Tehillim. It starts with the words “Tefillah LeMoshe, Ish HaElokim” — “This is a Tefillah by Moshe Rabbeinu, a person of Hashem.”

Why is Moshe Rabbeinu called a “person of Hashem”?

Hashem is everything and everything is Hashem — but we can’t see Him! Hashem made the world because He wanted Yidden to act in a certain way that will make Hashem happy here.

But if we can’t see Hashem, how do we know how to act? That’s why Hashem gave Yidden a Moshe Rabbeinu, who is “a person of Hashem.” A Moshe Rabbeinu has two parts — one part of him that is “of Hashem” — very close to Hashem so he knows what Hashem wants, but he is also “a person” — so he can teach us what we need to do!

There is ALWAYS a Nasi, like Moshe Rabbeinu, who helps the Yidden do what Hashem wants at that time. Now, of course, the Rebbe is our Moshe Rabbeinu!

The Rebbe told us that we are about to see the Geulah, and we need to learn and teach about it! We need to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus everywhere, and ask Hashem for Moshiach NOW!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Beis

Today’s shiur in Tanya is a very exciting section! It is the beginning of Perek Yud-Beis, where we start to learn about the Beinoni. After all of the introductions of the past Perakim — about the Yetzer Tov, the Yetzer Hara, a Tzadik and a Rasha — we are finally ready to learn about the Beinoni, which is the whole point of the Sefer HaTanya, Sefer Shel Beinonim!

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe starts to teach us about the beinoni:

A beinoni is when someone only lets the Yetzer Tov (Nefesh Elokis) use the body. The Yetzer Tov is the only one who decides what the person should do — to learn Torah, to do mitzvos, and do everything else with the Gashmius’dike things to serve Hashem — L’sheim Shomayim!

A beinoni doesn’t let their Yetzer Hara (Nefesh Habehamis) have even one chance to use the body to think or say or do any aveiros or to be involved in anything that is not for the purpose of serving Hashem. That’s why it says about a beinoni that he never did any aveiros — because he never let his Yetzer Hara have even once chance!

The Rebbe explains that it doesn’t mean that if we did an aveira we can never be a beinoni. It means that the way we are now, it’s impossible for us to do an aveira! We want to do what Hashem wants so much, that it feels now like we could never do an aveira.



Yud-Tes Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about the Chumash part of Chitas and where it comes from!

Chassidim have a minhag that started from the Alter Rebbe, that every day we learn part of Chumash with Rashi. The Rebbeim also kept this minhag!



Shiur #193 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #106, Asei #87

Today we start a new set of halachos in Rambam, called Hilchos Temurah. Today we learn two mitzvos about Temurah, which means “switching.”

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #106) Let’s say that a person chose one of his sheep to be a korban. Then he changes his mind — he wants to keep that sheep at home, and bring a DIFFERENT one for a korban. This mitzvah tells us NO! We can’t do that. Once you decide that an animal will be a korban, it becomes holy, and you are not allowed to switch it for a different one!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא יָמִיר אֹתוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Temurah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #87) If someone DOES try to change which animal he is bringing for a korban, BOTH of them become holy and BOTH of them need to be brought as korbanos!

We learn this mitzvah from another part of the same posuk: וְהָיָה הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה קֹּדֶשׁ



Hilchos Temurah

In today’s Rambam, we learn about Temurah, switching.

Perek Alef: The Rambam tells us that we are not allowed to switch one animal for another once it was already set aside as a korban. If somebody does this, he gets punished with malkos. Still the animal he switched it for becomes holy (so now he has TWO holy animals!). The Rambam tells us what kind of people this applies to, and for which korbanos.

Perek Beis: The Rambam explains what kind of words a person might use to make a Temurah, and when it is counted that the aveira was done.

Perek Gimmel: Once someone made a Temurah, what is done with this animal? In this perek, the Rambam teaches what to do with this animal depending on what it was switched for.



Hilchos Me'ilah - Perek Hey

In this perek we finish learning about which kinds of things are counted as me’ilah, specifically things that were given as a donation to the Beis Hamikdash. One of the halachos in this perek is if it is called me’ilah when a person uses a korban brought by a goy. (Of course we can NEVER take something that doesn’t belong to us! But here we are talking about a separate aveira that needs an extra special kind of teshuva, for taking something from the Beis Hamikdash.)

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Proud Soldiers in Tzivos Hashem

One time, there was a little girl who went with her father to 770. He had just bought her a little present, a Tzivos Hashem pin! He wanted her to put it on when they went to 770. The little girl was embarrassed to wear it, and refused to put it on! Finally, after lots of begging, she agreed to put on the pin… but only on her skirt, not on her shirt.

Soon, the Rebbe came into 770! He saw the little girl, and smiled. He made a sign with his hand to show her that she shouldn’t be embarrassed to wear a Tzivos Hashem pin!

As soon as the Rebbe walked past, lots of Chassidim rushed over to make sure that the little girl’s Tatty would move the pin onto the top of her shirt.

Now, that little girl is a VERY proud shlucha, helping Yidden do more and more mitzvos and bring Moshiach closer!

Are YOU proud to be a soldier in Tzivos Hashem?

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Modeh Ani

When children are very young, we start teaching them to say Modeh Ani as soon as they wake up. And even for children that are too young to talk, it is a minhag that mothers say Modeh Ani FOR them!

See sicha of Parshas Vayeishev, 5749



Nittel Nacht

The year the Hayom Yom was written, Nittel Nacht was the night of Yud-Zayin Teves.

But Nittel Nacht is on a different day every year, because it goes according to the goyishe calendar. It is also different in other countries, because it goes according to when it is celebrated where you live.

In America, this year Nittel Nacht will be on Friday night.

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 tomorrow (Friday), starting from Shkiyah, we don’t learn any Torah (including Chitas), until Chatzos. Make sure to finish your shiurim before Shkiyah!

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!

See Sefer Hasichos 5750, p. 192

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



Chumash With Rashi

We learned in today’s Hayom Yom that the Alter Rebbe asked us to learn Chumash with Rashi every day.

But why just Rashi? There are so many important explanations on the Chumash! There is Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Kli Yakar, Or Hachayim, and many more!

The Rebbe gives us three reasons:

1) It’s in Shulchan Aruch! In Shulchan Aruch, it says that when we are Maavir Sedra before Shabbos, the best way to review the parsha is with Rashi. (If we already learned Chitas, we don’t have to do it with Rashi again!)

2) It has secrets of Torah! We learned in another Hayom Yom that Rashi is “Yeina Shel Torah” — the wine (hidden secrets) of Torah.

3) It gets us ready for the Geulah! Rashi explains peshat, the basic meaning of the Torah. Rashi wants us understand the Peshuto Shel Mikra, the peshat of every word of Torah.

And what about the hidden secrets? They’re all hidden inside the peshat! In many sichos, the Rebbe showed us how to find some of the secrets inside of Rashi.

When Moshiach comes, the hidden secrets of the Torah won’t be hidden anymore — we’ll be able to see them in the “basic” parts of life, the regular things we do! So learning Rashi and the Torah secrets inside helps us get ready for Moshiach, when we will be able to see the secrets of Torah in everything!

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