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Parshas Vaeira - Shishi with Rashi

Paraoh ignored the warning, and Hashem made the makah of Arov. Paraoh still didn’t let the Yidden go, and Hashem had to send two more makosDever and Shechin. Paraoh’s magicians realized it was a neis from Hashem, but Paraoh was still stubborn.

Makas Arov (wild animals) continued:

We started to learn yesterday about the fourth makah, Makas Arov.

Paraoh didn’t listen to Moshe’s warning, so Hashem had to send the wild animals, the makah of Arov. They went all over Mitzrayim and hurt people and broke things — but they didn’t go into Goshen, where the Yidden lived.

Paraoh was very scared and he was almost ready to let the Yidden go bring korbanos to Hashem in the Midbar like Moshe and Aharon told him to. But once Moshe davened for the wild animals to disappear, he changed his mind again and wouldn’t let the Yidden go.

5: Makas Dever (animal epidemic)

Hashem told Moshe to warn Paraoh that if he doesn’t free the Yidden, there would be another makah — that all the animals outside would get sick and die.

Paraoh ignored the warning, but some Mitzriyim knew by now that they should listen! So they brought their animals inside, so they would be safe from this makah. All of the other animals died — except any animals belonging to Yidden.

Paraoh asked if any of the Yidden’s animals died, and his servants told him that they didn’t. Paraoh STILL decided not to listen to Hashem and let the Yidden go!

6: Makas Shechin (boils)

Moshe and Aharon warned Paraoh that if he didn’t listen to Hashem, he would get another makah, but again Paraoh didn’t want to hear. So Hashem told Moshe and Aharon to each take two handfuls of ashes from an oven, and then have MOSHE hold all of the ashes in one fist. It was a neis that Moshe was able to hold four handfuls in just one fist!

Moshe threw it up to the sky while Paraoh was watching, and it was enough to turn into dust that would spread over the whole Mitzrayim. As it landed on whoever was outside (people or animals), it made a rash that hurt them a lot.

Even though it looked like it might be a magic trick to throw up ashes, what happened now was too big of a neis for it to be magic! Paraoh’s magicians had to admit that it was only Hashem who could do it.

But since Paraoh was still not letting the Yidden go, Hashem hardened Paraoh’s heart.

7: Makas Barad (hail)

Moshe and Aharon didn’t WARN Paraoh this time, they just TOLD him that the next makah was coming. They told Paraoh that Hashem could have killed him in one of the other makos, but he is staying alive so he will have to admit in the end that Hashem is in charge.



120 - 134

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Chof to Kuf-Lamed-Daled, the 15 Shir Hamaalos!

In the Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchok, before each kapitel there is a short paragraph telling us the message of that kapitel.

In the paragraph before Kapitel Kuf-Chof, the first kapitel of Tehillim for today, it says that in this kapitel, Dovid Hamelech tells people who speak Lashon Hara how terrible this aveira is, that it is even more dangerous than weapons.

In Parshas Shemos, we learned that Moshe Rabbeinu was also very upset about Lashon Hara. When he heard that Yidden were speaking Lashon Hara, he was afraid that it could Chas Veshalom keep them from getting the Geulah!

Why was Moshe so scared about Lashon Hara? The Yidden might have been doing much bigger aveiros than that!

The Rebbe explains that the Geulah from Mitzrayim was meant to bring the Yidden together to become one nation — Hashem’s nation. Instead of being just a big group of separate people, now they would become Am Yisroel!

But Lashon Hara, saying not-nice things about others, makes people feel unhappy with each other. They don’t want to be together anymore. Instead of being together as one, they feel like separate people who aren’t connected to each other.

That’s why Moshe was so worried about the Yidden speaking Lashon Hara — how could they have the Geulah and become one nation if they didn’t want to be together?

In this kapitel also, Dovid Hamelech warns people who speak Lashon Hara how dangerous it is. We can learn from this kapitel to be careful to only say nice things about each other!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Lamed-Alef p. 8



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Daled

The Alter Rebbe teaches that every Yid should try to be a Beinoni. But why only a beinoni? Shouldn’t we try to be a tzadik? Wouldn’t that be even better?

Every Yid has the koach to choose how to behave, like a Beinoni, but the koach to be a tzadik is NOT something that Hashem gave to every Yid.

Every one of us is able to be in control of how we act, and we can even decide how we want to think. We can stop ourselves from doing things we shouldn’t do, from saying things we shouldn’t say, and even from thinking about things that aren’t good for us! We can daven properly and learn Chassidus so we will have Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem to help us do what we should.

But the strong Ahavas Hashem that a tzadik has isn’t something that we can make ourselves feel. It is a present from Hashem that He gives to tzadikim, called “Ahava BeTaanugim.”

That’s why the Gemara says that Hashem makes certain people who are BORN able to become tzadikim, but EVERY one of us can become a beinoni!

Still, in tomorrow’s Tanya we will learn that in a certain way, we should try to have something from a tzadik’s Avodah!



Chof-Zayin Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn a vort from the Alter Rebbe:

Hashem has an ongoing deal with Yidden: We need our gashmius’dike things that only Hashem can give us (like health, money, and nachas). Hashem needs us to bring Yiddishkeit, Torah and mitzvos, into the world — ruchnius!

The problem is that we can’t do our ruchnius unless Hashem gives us the gashmius.

So this is the deal: Hashem gives us the gashmius, and then, we use it to do the things Hashem wants, and the gashmius becomes ruchnius. Then a Yid’s Gashmius IS Ruchnius!

Sometimes, though, Hashem gives a person only a little bit of gashmius. Then, it’s HARDER to make Ruchnius, and we might not be able to give Hashem as much! Still, if we are able to at least give Hashem something small (like the Minchas Ani, the korban a poor person would bring to Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash), that will make Hashem very happy.

Then Hashem will give us A LOT of gashmius and we will be able to make from it A LOT of ruchnius.



Shiur #201 - Mitzvas Asei #107

Today’s mitzvah is the same one as yesterday:

(Mitzvas Asei #107) When a neshama leaves a body, the body becomes Tomei. Someone who touches or is in the same house as the body gets some of this Tumah too, called Tumas Meis. Today’s mitzvah is to follow all of the halachos about this tumah!



Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam (Perakim Chof-Alef, Chof-Beis, and Chof-Gimmel) we learn more about how a keili can keep things inside of it from becoming tamei from Tumas Meis.

But only a keili that isn’t tomei itself can keep things inside of it from becoming tamei.

There is a difference, though, between all other keilim and a keili made out of clay:

Other keilim can be used as an Ohel, a tent, to keep things underneath from becoming tamei. But a keili made of clay can’t be used as an Ohel. If it is turned upside down, things underneath or inside of it DO become tamei. Only if it is actually SEALED closed can a clay keili keep things inside of it from becoming tomei.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Perek Hey

In this perek, we learn what to do if the person becomes tomei and can’t bring the korban, and when he needs to bring it on Pesach Sheini.

icon of clock


Story the Rebbe Told Us

One night, when the Rebbe was in Vienna, he went into a shul to daven. While he was there, he put some money into a tzedakah pushka.

A knowledgable young man came over to him, and said, “How can you do such a thing? It says in Kisvei HoArizal not to give tzedakah at night!”

Later the Rebbe told the Frierdiker Rebbe what had happened. The Frierdiker Rebbe said, “That person probably doesn’t give tzedakah during the day either...”

The lesson the Rebbe learns from this is that sometimes when we want to do something good, people can say that we shouldn’t do it since we’re not doing it 100% right. But probably that’s because they aren’t doing enough themselves, not because of the excuses they are giving! So we should never let that stop us, and keep doing more good things, even if people tell us it’s not perfect!

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Birchos Hashachar

Once, in the times of Dovid Hamelech, a terrible thing was happening. One hundred people were passing away every day, and nobody knew why!

Through Ruach Hakodesh, Dovid Hamelech figured out that the Yidden needed to start saying one hundred brachos every day.

To say 100 brachos every day, we need to be making brachos in the morning, afternoon and night. This way we will remember Hashem all the time! It will help us have more Yiras Shomayim and ahava for Hashem.

To help us say one hundred brachos, the Chachomim set up that we should thank Hashem every day for the way Hashem made the world. We enjoy many things about the way the world runs, and we should thank Hashem for them.

We say these brachos in Birchos Hashachar, and IY”H we will learn about them over the next few days.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Mem-Vov, se’if Alef



Looking at the Neiros During Kiddush

The next thing we will be learning in halacha are some of the dinim of Kiddush and Havdalah.

When a person is making Kiddush, he first looks at the Shabbos candles, the neiros.


The Chachomim teach us that there is a certain thing that a person might do which takes away Tof-Kuf (1/500th) of their eyesight. So a person should look at the two Shabbos candles, since the Gematria of “ner” (candle) is 250, and two together is 500. Looking at the 500 of the neiros is a segulah for fixing the 1/500th of a person’s koach of seeing!

But we don’t look at the neiros WHILE we make Kiddush. During the bracha of Kiddush itself, we need to look at the kos of Kiddush. We only look at it right before we make Kiddush.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Yud-Tes

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



Recognizing Hashem

When the Yidden came out of Mitzrayim, besides for Yetzias Mitzrayim, that the Yidden were able to leave Golus, another wonderful thing happened: The Mitzriyim also recognized Hashem and realized that only Hashem runs the world!

But in that Geulah, it only happened through painful Makos.

When Moshiach comes, the Geulah will be in a complete way! The whole world will recognize Hashem — but this time, without Makos, only in a pleasant way!

Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Hey p. 189

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