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Shlishi with Rashi

Yaakov was hurt fighting with the malach, so Hashem makes the sun rise early to help him feel better. Yaakov meets Eisav, who is so impressed with the kavod Yaakov shows him that he changes his mind and doesn’t fight! He hugs and kisses his brother instead.

Yaakov names the place where he fought with a malach: Yaakov called that place by the Yabok River by a name “Peniel”, because it means “Hashem’s face,” since he saw Hashem face to face (through a malach) and stayed alive!

Yaakov’s hip: Hashem made the sun come up early so it would help Yaakov’s hip feel better. (He didn’t have a refuah sheleima, though, for another year and a half.) That’s why we don’t eat a certain part of an animal, called the “Gid HaNosheh (sciatic nerve)” — because that’s the part of Yaakov’s hip that Eisav’s malach moved out of place.

Yaakov sees Eisav coming: Now Yaakov looked up and saw Eisav coming, with 400 people! So he went and set up his family in a way that if Eisav attacked them, the shevatim and Imahos would be in the back.

Yaakov went ahead in case Eisav would start to fight. He bowed down seven times as he came closer.

Eisav changes his mind about fighting: Eisav was so impressed that Yaakov honored him so much that he changed his mind about fighting with him, and ran over to him to hug him and kiss him.

Then Eisav looked up and saw Yaakov’s wives and children. “Who are these people?” he asked.

Yaakov answered, “These are the wives and children Hashem gave to me with His chesed!”



66 - 68

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Vov, Samach-Zayin, and Samach-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Boruch Hashem Yom Yom” — “blessed is Hashem, Who gives us so much chesed every day!” Why does it say “Yom” (day) twice?

Each one is for one of the ways we serve Hashem every day! The first “yom” is the kedusha things, like doing mitzvos and learning Torah. The second “yom” is the regular things we do, like eating and sleeping and playing. Those things can also be used for Hashem!

In the Gemara, we see that Hillel Hazakein used to say that this posuk teaches us bitachon: If we find a fancy or special food, we don’t have to save it for Shabbos — we can use it today! Hashem will for sure give us new brachos tomorrow, with something else special for Shabbos.

The Maggid teaches us that this posuk tells us another reason we don’t have to save it for Shabbos: A person might think that nice food can only be used on Shabbos, when eating is a mitzvah. But we learn from this posuk that “Boruch Hashem YOM YOM” — BOTH ways of serving Hashem are special! We can also use a nice food on a regular day in a way that will make Hashem happy.



Kuntres Acharon

In today’s Tanya, we finish this long pilpul to understand why doing a mitzvah or learning halachos is more special than just having kavana.

One of things that we learn is that malochim are called with the name of Hashem when they are doing a shlichus (a mission) for Hashem! When Torah is being learned in this world, WE become Hashem’s shluchim to bring Torah into the world — we are also called with the name of Hashem! So the halachos we learn have all of the koach of Hashem to make the world a heilige place!

But there is a difference between neshamos and malochim: Malochim can come very close to Hashem, but only neshamos can bring the light of Hashem in the world!

Learning Torah in a way of pilpul (which we just did for the last few days) is a special present we got from Hashem when we got the second luchos! With just the first luchos, we would only be able to learn about the mitzvos. With the second luchos, Hashem gave us an opportunity to reach a much deeper part of Torah by working hard to try to understand something in Torah, in a way of pilpul!



Yud-Beis Kislev

The bracha that a Tatty says when his son has a Bar Mitzvah is called Baruch Shepetarani. We say it without Hashem’s name, and only say it when we read the Torah, but it doesn’t have to be only on Shabbos.

We learn from the Baal Shem Tov: If you hear someone saying something not nice about another person, you should feel very sad, even if you don’t know who they are talking about! Because either they are saying something true, and then it’s very sad that a person is not so good, or it’s NOT true, and then it’s very sad to hear that a person would say something not true and not nice!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356) that if a husband and wife decide that they can’t be married anymore, they can change their minds unless the woman gets married to someone else in between. Once she gets married to another person, she can never get married to her first husband again.



Hilchos Girushin

We are learning more halachos about a get in today’s Rambam. One halacha says that a person shouldn’t get married to someone that he wants to give a get to later. When we get married, we should try to stay married forever.



Hilchos Bikurim - Perek Hey

Now we start to learn about Hafroshas Challah. Even though really this mitzvah only needs to be kept in Eretz Yisroel, we do it nowadays all over the world, so we won’t forget about the mitzvah!



Yud-Beis Kislev

In Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Gimmel, on Yud-Beis Kislev (today!) something very special happened:

It was late at night, and the Frierdiker Rebbe had a dream. In the dream, his father, the Rebbe Rashab came to him and said, “Why are you feeling sad? It’s shining bright in your house at night!”

The Frierdiker Rebbe woke up, and saw the moon shining through his window. But he understood that that wasn’t what the Rebbe Rashab was talking about! So he got up and walked around the house to see what was making his house so bright.

When he came to the library, he saw the Rebbe sitting and learning.

The Frierdiker Rebbe later called the Rebbe and told him about this dream!

One of the lessons we can learn from this is that it’s not just enough to learn Torah, but we need to learn Torah in a way that it will light up the world! How do we do this? When we learn the Rebbe’s Torah and do our shlichus to teach other Yidden too, we can be sure that the Torah we learn will shine!

See Reshimos Choveres Samach-Tes


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Kriyas Shema

Do you know how many parts there are in a man’s guf? The Torah teaches us that there are 248!

One of the things we do to keep the whole guf healthy is to say the words of Kriyas Shema. There are 245 words, one word for each part of the body!

But wait — we just said that there are 248 parts of the body, and there are only 245 words in Shema!

Because of this, we have a minhag that the Chazan says the words “Hashem Elokeichem Emes” again out loud. By doing this, it is counted that EVERYONE had three more words, so we have one holy word of Shema for every part of the guf!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Kriyas Shema 61:3



Kriyas Shema

To get 248 words of Shema, matching up to the 248 parts of a man’s guf, the Chazan says the last three words of Shema out loud.

But when someone is davening without a minyan, how does he get the extra words?

There are many opinions brought in Shulchan Aruch, but in the Siddur the Alter Rebbe paskens what we should do: We repeat the words “Ani Hashem Elokeichem” at the end of Shema, before saying the word “Emes.” (So we would say, “Ani Hashem Elokeichem, Ani Hashem Elokeichem Emes.”)

We don’t only do this in Shacharis, we also do this in Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, and every other time Kriyas Shema is said — except for putting on the Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam.

See Igros Kodesh chelek Tes-Zayin, p. 294, Letter #6069

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



Eisav is Ready!

In the Torah Ohr (the Chassidishe Parsha) for this week, we learn the deeper reason why Yaakov sent messengers to Eisav. Yaakov knew that he had done his part to get ready for the Geulah, and now he was hoping to use Eisav’s kochos to bring the Geulah right away.

But when the messengers came back and said that Eisav wanted to fight, Yaakov saw that Eisav wasn’t ready yet. It would take time until Eisav would be ready for the Geulah.

In the last sicha we were zoche to hear from the Rebbe, Parshas Vayishlach 5752, the Rebbe spoke about this maamar. The Rebbe said that now Eisav IS ready! All the avodah that Yidden have done throughout the generations, especially after Yud-Tes Kislev when Chassidus was revealed to Yidden, has finished the job! Now we are just doing the last steps so that we will be able to see the Geulah in the world!

See farbrengen Parshas Vayishlach Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis

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