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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayikra - Shvi'i with Rashi

In yesterday’s Chumash, Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu that for certain aveiros, a person brings a Korban Chatas based on what he can afford — a Korban Oleh Veyored. This could be a sheep or goat, or just two birds.

What should someone do if he did one of these kinds of aveiros, but doesn’t even have enough money to buy two birds for a Korban Chatas?

Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu that this kind of person can bring a flour korban (Mincha) instead! But this Korban Mincha is not like the Korban Mincha that a person brings as a present (Nedava) — there will be NO oil and NO spice on the flour, because it is for an aveira.

The kohen burns part of the flour on the Mizbeiach, and the rest is for the kohen to eat in the Beis Hamikdash.

For more serious aveiros, a person needs to bring a different kind of korban, called a Korban Asham. There are many types of Korban Asham. We learn about three today:

1) Asham Me’ilos — A person brings this kind of korban if he did me’ilah — having hana’ah from korbanos that he was not allowed to eat. He also needs to pay back what he took, plus an extra fifth. This money is given to the kohen. Then, when he brings the korban, he will be forgiven for this aveira.

2) Asham Talui — This kind of Asham is brought if a person isn’t sure he did a serious aveira that is punished by Kareis. Let’s say a person ate a piece of fat, but he isn’t sure if the fat he ate was cheilev (which is asur), or a kind of fat which is fine to eat. He brings an Asham Talui, in case he ate the cheilev.

3) Asham Gezeilos — A person brings this korban if he made a not true promise about money in Beis Din, like saying that he didn’t owe money, when really he did. He also needs to pay back the money, plus an extra fifth. Then, when he brings the korban, Hashem will forgive him for this aveira.

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TEHILLIM

39 - 43

In Perek Mem (40) of today’s Tehillim, there’s a posuk that says “Ashrei Hagever Asher Sam Hashem Mivtacho!” “Happy is a person who has bitachon in Hashem!” The posuk says later that this person doesn’t turn to anything else for help!

The Medrash tells us that this posuk is talking about Yosef Hatzadik, who always trusted in Hashem. But once, his bitachon wasn’t perfect — he asked the Sar Hamashkim to remember him, instead of only trusting in Hashem.

The Rebbe explains to us that even though a Yid usually needs to “make a keili in Teva” (do something in Gashmius so that Hashem’s bracha has “where to go”), Hashem wanted Yosef to have even a stronger level of bitachon! Yosef had a very special neshama. Because of that, his connection to Hashem should have been SO strong that he shouldn’t even need to worry about having a keili in Teva!

Even though we aren’t expected to have a bitachon as strong as Yosef Hatzadik, we can learn from this how important it is to have the bitachon that IS expected from us!

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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Tes

Yesterday we learned about two kinds of kavana: The first kind is the kavana from the natural Ahava that a Yid has to be connected to Hashem through Torah and mitzvos. We just have to wake up this feeling, because it is already a part of us! That is compared to an animal, who acts the way it naturally feels. The second kind of kavana comes through hisbonenus, thinking deeply about Hashem until we feel Ahava and Yirah. This is compared to a person, who has sechel!

You might be feeling very down.
Your face might have a sad big frown.
Because it isn’t wonderful
That your kavana is compared to an animal.

But don’t worry, do you know who
Has this kind of kavana too?
MALOCHIM also feel this way
When they serve Hashem each day!

(That’s why in the Torah’s words
Malochim are called animals or birds.
When we say Hashem’s “Chayos,” that’s what we mean
And they looked like animals when the Merkava was seen.)

Malochim have great chayus in the Avodah they do
And feel Hashem so strongly too!
And we can feel it just like them
When we also serve Hashem.

This shows us that the kavana of bringing out the natural love for Hashem is also very special, and is compared to the level of Malochim, who are also compared to animals. This is the level that a beinoni is able to have always.

We also see from here that if this kavana is so special, we can just imagine how much greater it is to serve Hashem with the higher level of kavana, the one that is compared to a person! That is the kavana that tzadikim have always, and a beinoni can have at certain special times.

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HAYOM YOM

Zayin Nisan

Our nusach of “Vayehi Binso’a Ha’aron”, in the tefillah that is said when the Torah is being brought to the bimah on Shabbos and Yom Tov, we say the words “Vechirtzon Kol Amcha Beis Yisroel.”

The Rebbe tells us something today about the last names of the Rebbeim:

The Alter Rebbe’s last name was Baruchovitch. (His father’s name was Boruch!)

The Mitteler Rebbe chose a different last name — Shneuri. (After his father, the Alter Rebbe.)

The Tzemach Tzedek changed his last name too — but he didn’t choose the name of his father. The Tzemach Tzedek also chose a last name that has to do with the Alter Rebbe, Schneerson, and this became the last name of all of the Rebbeim until today!

On Yud Shevat 5711, the Rebbe officially accepted the Nesius of the Dor Hashvi’i. In that farbrengen, the Rebbe told us that we are the seventh generation from the Alter Rebbe. Even though seven is special, it is only special because it is the seventh from #1, starting from the Alter Rebbe! The Rebbe explained then the avodah of being a chossid in the seventh generation: We need to live with the Mesirus Nefesh which we were taught by the Alter Rebbe, the first generation — to do what Hashem tells us even when it is hard, and to dedicate ourselves to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus wherever we can!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #254 - Mitzvas Asei #194

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #194) is that a thief needs to give back whatever he stole, together with an extra chomeish (fifth)! (If the thing he stole changed, he needs to pay what it was worth to the person he stole it from.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת־הַגְּזֵלָה אֲשֶׁר גָּזָל

Because of this mitzvah, the aveira of stealing is called a “Lav Shenitak L’Asei”, meaning that the Mitzvas Lo Saasei can be “fixed up” by doing a Mitzvas Asei – in this case, the Lo Saasei of stealing can be fixed up by giving back what was stolen plus an extra fifth.

The details of this mitzvah are explained in the last perakim of Mesechta Bava Kama.

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Gezeilah VaAveidah

In today’s Rambam, we learn about Hashovas Aveida.

Perek Yud-Gimmel teaches us about how we find the owner of something we found. Outside of Yerushalayim there used to be a big rock that people would stand on and announce what they found!

There’s a halacha that in a certain case, if we find something and can’t find out who it belongs to, we should watch it until Eliyahu Hanavi comes with Moshiach, and he will tell us what to do with it!

Perek Yud-Daled tells us that while we’re waiting to give something back, we need to take care of it so it doesn’t get ruined. For example, if we find something made of wood, we should make sure to use it so it doesn’t get rotten.

Perek Tes-Vov teaches us about when we DON’T need to give something back — if the owner gave hope that he will ever find it again (yiush). For example, if someone loses something in the sea, or in the sand on the beach, they don’t really expect to ever find it again.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Naarah Besulah - Perek Beis

If a man forces a girl to marry him, without Chuppah or Kiddushin, he has to pay a fine. The Rambam tells us how much it should be.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Yud-Alef Nissan

A Rebbe is a Neshma Klolis. That means that the Rebbe’s neshama has inside of it all of the neshamos of the other Yidden! So the birthday of a Rebbe is also in some way a birthday of every Yid.

What’s special about your birthday? Is it that you are older now?

If that was the main point, we should call it something that shows that you’re becoming older, like an “older-day” or “end-of-year-day.” Instead, we call it Yom Huledes — BIRTHday, meaning that it has something to do with how special it is that we were born!

It says in Nach, in the Sefer Iyov, that people are born to work hard (“Adam L’Amal Yulad”). What kind of work? The Gemara says that there are three kinds of hard work — working hard to do a job (Amal Melacha), working hard to talk (Amal Sicha), or working hard to learn Torah (Amal Torah).

A job (Amal Melacha) means what we do to make money or to take care of our homes, which can be very hard. Talking (Amal Sicha) means davening which we do every day in the right way — that’s not easy! Torah (Amal Torah) is the koach we use to learn and understand the Chochma of Hashem.

Even though the Gemara says that the main thing is the work of Torah, we really need all of them! We need to serve Hashem through a job — including the mitzvos we do with the money we earned or the home we took care of — through davening, and by learning Torah.

That’s why it’s called a “birth” day. On our birthdays, we think about the reason of our birth. We decide that this year, we will do even better in all of these types of work which Hashem brought our neshama in the world to do!

See farbrengen Yud-Alef Nissan, 5743

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TEFILLAH

Tachanun

Don’t forget the Nasi! Today’s Nasi is the seventh Nasi (Shevet Efrayim).

~

After Shemoneh Esrei every day, we say Tachanun. When we say Tachanun, we ask Hashem to forgive us for things we did wrong. We do ask for Hashem’s forgiveness in one of the brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, but only in brief. After Shemoneh Esrei, we ask with much more detail.

If it is important to ask Hashem to forgive us, how come we skip it on certain days, like the whole Chodesh Nissan?

The Rebbe explains that the days we don’t say Tachanun are special days. The koach of these days brings Hashem’s forgiveness by itself! This is like what it says about Yom Kippur, “Itzumo Shel Yom Mechaper,” the day of Yom Kippur itself brings forgiveness.

On the days we don’t say Tachanun, it’s not that Tachanun is not important, it’s that what usually happens because of Tachanun happens by itself! We don’t need to say Tachanun because the koach of the special day makes it that we don’t need to actually say Tachanun at all.

To protect the kedusha of these days, we don’t say Tachanun, and let the special koach of the day accomplish what Tachanun would.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Daled, p. 401–402

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

The Story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim

One of the main mitzvos of Pesach is to tell over the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim. We do this mitzvah at the seder.

First the kids ask questions, so that they will be more excited to hear about Yetziyas Mitzrayim, since it is answering them! According to our minhag, the youngest children ask first.

In Shulchan Aruch, it teaches us that it is very important to UNDERSTAND the answer. We need to understand that Pesach is special because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and made us His special nation, so He could give us the Torah and mitzvos to keep.

The halacha is that we need to explain to everyone, especially the children, as much as they are able to understand. We say the story as it is told in the Haggadah out loud, with simcha and great kavana! Even after the Seder, we still learn more about the halachos of Pesach and Yetziyas Mitzrayim. (For many years, after the seder, the Rebbe would come out and say sichos and maamarim about Pesach and the Haggadah.)

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

Kimei Tzeischa Me'Eretz Mitzrayim (5)

Hashem promised the Navi Micha that things would be good for the Yidden at the time of the Geulah — “Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos!” “Like the days you went out of Mitzrayim, I will show you wonders!”

We usually explain this posuk to mean that the Geulah Ha’asida (the final Geulah) will have nissim that are like the ones we had at the time of Yetziyas Mitzrayim!

That is true, and something wonderful, but Chassidus explains that it ALSO means something more!

Based on what is written in the Zohar, Chassidus explains that the nissim of the time of Geulah will be more special than we can imagine! Even compared to the tremendous nissim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim, these nissim will still seem incredible! That means that however you imagine the nissim of the Geulah, they are still going to be much better than that!

In many maamarim, the Rebbe explains the deeper meaning of both of these peirushim, and how they will both happen.

See the maamarim of Kimei Tzeischa in Sefer Hamaamarim Melukat

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