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Parshas Vayeira - Rishon with Rashi

Hashem appears to Avraham Avinu after his bris milah. Malochim tell Avraham and Sarah that they will have a baby next Pesach!

On the third day after Avraham’s bris, Hashem came to Avraham to do Bikur Cholim. Avraham was waiting outside, looking for guests, but no travelers were passing by! Hashem had made it too hot for people to travel, so that Avraham would have a chance to rest.

When Hashem appeared to him, Avraham tried to stand up out of kavod, even though he was in pain from the bris milah. Hashem told him he doesn’t need to stand up!

Hashem saw that Avraham was sad that he had no guests to do Hachnosas Orchim. Even though Hashem was going to send the malochim to Avraham later, He sent them now so Avraham wouldn’t be sad.

Avraham saw three men (who were really malochim in disguise) standing outside. They saw that Avraham was uncomfortable from his bris, and they didn’t want to bother him by coming over. But Avraham wanted to do Hachnosas Orchim! He asked Hashem to wait, and ran out to invite them into his tent.

Avraham thought that these were men who bowed to dirt like Avodah Zarah. So before inviting them into his tent, he asked them to wash their feet. He then told them he would bring them food.

The first malach gave Avraham a Refuah Sheleima, and now he was able to go quickly without being in pain! Avraham ran to Sarah and told her to make bread for the guests.

Avraham then ran to where the animals were kept, and picked out three baby cows. He told Yishmael (who he was trying to teach about Hachnosas Orchim) to make a special spicy cow tongue for each guest, and Yishmael did.

Avraham served the food as soon as it was ready. He brought them cream and milk, then when the tongue was ready he brought it to them, standing there like a waiter to make sure they had everything they needed. The malochim pretended to eat, like good guests.

Politely, they asked Sarah how Avraham was doing. Then they asked Avraham how Sarah was doing.

The second malach said, “I have a message for Sarah: Next year today, Sarah will have a baby boy!” Sarah was listening by the door. Sarah couldn’t believe that it could be true — she was old, and she felt like an old lady. She couldn’t believe that she would become young again and have a baby! She laughed out loud, and said “Could I really become like a young woman again?! And Avraham is too old too!”

As she said this, she did become like a young woman again!

Hashem said to Avraham, “why did Sarah laugh? Is there a neis that is too hard for me? You will see that next year at this time I will visit you again, and Sarah will have a baby that day.”



66 - 68

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

In Kapitel Samech-Vov, it says “Hofach Yam LaYabasha” — Hashem made the water into dry land, during Kriyas Yam Suf.

Chassidus explains that this is like what will happen when Moshiach comes.

Usually, there is water that covers over the sea. During Kriyas Yam Suf, Hashem made it into dry land — and we could see everything that used to be hiding inside the sea!

Also when Moshiach comes, we’ll be able to see things that are hidden. The whole entire world will be able to see that Hashem creates it, and understand that we need to act the way Hashem tells us to!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Zayin

A tzadik is more alive after his histalkus through the chayus his neshama gives to his Chassidim, and his tefillos for them in Shomayim!

The Zohar says that a tzadik is alive even more after his histalkus — “Ishtakach Bechulhu Almin Yatir Mibechayohi.” At that time, more chayus comes from his neshama to all of his Chassidim. Since this gets them to do more mitzvos and to serve Hashem with more chayus, the tzadik becomes more alive in this world through the mitzvos that they do!

But this isn’t only in Ruchnius things! After a tzadik’s histalkus, the brachos and help that a tzadik gives his chassidim in Gashmius things become stronger too! Like the Zohar says, if not for the tzadik’s davening in Shomayim, the world wouldn’t be able to exist for one moment.

This letter is the only one in the whole Tanya that has an additional explanation called a biur, which we will IY”H start to learn tomorrow!



Yud-Beis Mar-Cheshvan

We learned in a different Hayom Yom that the Alter Rebbe at first said very short pieces of Torah. In today’s Hayom Yom, these short pieces are called “verter.”

One of the Alter Rebbe’s short “verter” is on the posukShema Yisroel”:

Shema Yisrael — a Yid feels that
Havayeh Elokeinu — our koach (Elokeinu can also mean “our strength”) comes from the level of Hashem that is called Havayah, which is higher than nature, and that
Havayeh EchadHavayah is One.

(What the Alter Rebbe said here in just a few words was later explained much more in his other Chassidus, including what we learned in Tanya, in Shaar Hayichud Ve’haEmunah!)



Shiur #97 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #179, #180, #188

Today we learn a few more mitzvos about eating Kosher:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #179) We aren’t allowed to eat any kind of bugs (sheretz).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shemini: אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #180) We are not allowed to eat an animal that died without a proper shechitah. This is called a Neveilah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: לֹא תֹאכְלוּ כָל נְבֵלָה

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #188) We are not allowed to eat an animal that the Beis Din paskened that it needs to be killed. This is called a Shor Haniskal, and we can’t eat its meat even if it was shechted properly. (For example, if an animal killed a person, the Beis Din paskens that it needs to be killed.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא יֵאָכֵל אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ



Hilchos Maachalos Asuros

Perek Ches: We learn about the part of an animal called Gid Hanasheh, which we aren’t allowed to eat. We learn that we are allowed to sell non-kosher animals to goyim.

Perek Tes: We learn many halachos about not eating or cooking milk and meat together (Basar BeChalav). One halacha is that we aren’t allowed to make milchige bread that looks like regular bread, because someone might eat it with fleishigs by mistake.

Perek Yud: All of the non-kosher foods we learned about before are with animals. In this perek we learn about things that grow that are not kosher. Here are some of those things that the Rambam speaks about in this perek:

- Chadash: We are not allowed to eat new grain until we bring the Korban Omer.
- Kilai Hakerem: We are not allowed to grow different plants together or too close to each other.
- Tevel: We are not allowed to eat food before we bring the Terumah and Maaser from it.
- Orlah: We are not allowed to eat from a fruit tree before it grows for at least three years.



Hilchos Rotzeiach - Perek Beis

In today’s Rambam, we learn when the Beis Din punishes someone who killed another person.

This perek teaches us the difference if the murderer did it himself or had another person do it. Of course, even if the Beis Din doesn’t kill someone, Hashem will punish him if he deserves it!




After the histalkus of the Frierdiker Rebbe, there was a chossid who was feeling very alone. He missed seeing the Frierdiker Rebbe.

He wrote a letter to the Rebbe, asking what to do. The Rebbe told him what it says in the Igeres Hakodesh that we’re learning today in Tanya, that the chayus of a tzadik is even STRONGER after he passes away, but we can only feel it if our hiskashrus is strong!

How do we make our hiskashrus strong? By learning the Chassidus that the Rebbe teaches us and following the horaos the Rebbe told us to do. Then we can feel that he is alive even more than before.

See Igros Kodesh chelek Gimmel p. 352 and in many places


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Az Yashir

After Vayevarech Dovid, we say the praise of Hashem from the Torah. This praise is the Shirah, the song that the Yidden sang at Kriyas Yam Suf.

We start with the pesukim of Vayosha, the pesukim that come before Az Yashir in the Torah. These pesukim tell us a little bit about the nissim that happened before the Yidden sang to Hashem.

One of the reasons we say Az Yashir here is to praise Hashem from all parts of Torah. First we praise Hashem from Nach (the parts of Pesukei Dezimra that come from Tehillim, and Vayevarech Dovid, from Divrei HaYamim and Sefer Nechemyah). Then, we praise Hashem in the words of the Torah itself! Even though Chumash should really come before Nach, the Zohar explains that we say Az Yashir later so it is closer to Shema, which is a higher level of davening.

There are also many other reasons for why we say Az Yashir here. One of them is that it has some of the words of praise we will say to Hashem in Yishtabach.

See Mesechta Shel Tefillah



Kiddush Levana

Every mitzvah we do is special and important, and every mitzvah brings us brachos!

Still, there are certain mitzvos that are a segulah — they help bring down a bracha for something specific.

The Rebbe reminds us that Kiddush Levana is a segulah for healthy teeth.

(In a letter to someone who wrote to the Rebbe about a problem with his teeth, the Rebbe told him to keep this segulah, and be careful about Kiddush Levana.)

The Ruzhiner used to ask for this clearly in Kiddush Levana. When he said the words of Kiddush Levana, “Kach Lo Yuchlu Kol Oivai Lingoa Bi Lera’a,” “So too my enemies should not be able to harm me,” he would add, “Velo Yihiyeh Li Ke’eiv Shinayim Le’olam.” “and I should never have a toothache.”

The Rebbe Rashab would put his fingers on his teeth when saying that part of Kiddush Levana, and the Rebbe would too! (You can see this on the videos of the Rebbe saying Kiddush Levana!)

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 2, p. 207

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



Deserving Moshiach

Today, in the beginning of Parshas Vayeira, we learn about how Hashem revealed Himself to Avraham. When the Rebbe Rashab was a little boy, just 4 or 5 years old, he heard this, and was very sad. He came crying to his zaidy, the Tzemach Tzedek. “Why does Hashem reveal Himself to Avraham and not to me?”

The Tzemach Tzedek answered him that when a Yid who is 99 years old is ready to give himself a Bris Milah, he DESERVES that Hashem should reveal Himself to him!

We aren’t Avraham Avinu or the Rebbe Rashab, but there is still something that we can learn from this story: After all the work that Yidden did in the time of Golus, and the Chassidus that the Rebbeim taught us, the world has everything it needs to see Moshiach. But in order to SEE it, we need to DESERVE it! We learn from here two things: That we really need to cry to Hashem that we want to see the Geulah now, and also that when we work hard to use all of these kochos to bring Moshiach, we will deserve to see the Geulah with our own eyes.

See farbrengen Parshas Vayeira 5752

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