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10 - 17

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Yud through Yud-Zayin.

In one of the pesukim in today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech says, “Shivisi Hashem Lenegdi Somid” — “I always place Hashem before me.”

In the first se’if of Shulchan Aruch, the Ramo brings this posuk. He explains that this is a “Klal Gadol BaTorah,” a basic inyan in Torah. A Yid should always remember that Hashem is in front of him, which will help him have Yiras Shomayim and act the way Hashem wants him to!

The Shulchan Aruch is a sefer that was written to make it clear for a Yid to know the halachos of how to live. That’s why it is called “Shulchan Aruch,” meaning a set table. When the table is already set, you just need to come and sit down, because everything is ready! In the Shulchan Aruch, R’ Yosef Caro, also known as the Mechaber because he put this sefer together, set out all of the halachos in a clear way, so that Yidden would not be confused what they should do.

But the Mechaber was a Sefardi, and there are some differences in halacha for Ashkenazim. There are also many minhagim kept by Ashkenazi Yidden, and some of them became halacha.

R’ Moshe Isserlis, known as the Ramo, lived in Krakow, Poland. He saw that the Shulchan Aruch was not enough on its own for Ashkenazi Yidden. He wrote a pirush on the Shulchan Aruch, which was called “Mapas Hashulchan,” “the tablecloth.” This pirush showed Yidden what to do whenever there was a difference in halacha between Ashnekazim and Sefardim. It made it possible for every Yid to follow the Shulchan Aruch, together with their minhagim! It brought tremendous achdus among Yidden.



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Tes

In today’s Tanya, we are learning more about the inyan of the Ahava Mesuteres, the “hidden” love for Hashem that every single Yid has, which is passed down from the Avos.

The Ahava Mesuteres is part of our neshama. The posuk says about the neshama of at Yid that “Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam” — the neshama is like a candle of Hashem.

A Yid is like the fire on a candle. You can see that a flame ALWAYS wants to go up. It looks like it wants to jump off the candle and fly up to Shomayim! Of course, if the flame could let go, it wouldn’t be able to burn anymore down here, and Shomayim is the source of the light, so it wouldn’t be noticed there. But still, that’s what the fire wants!

A Yid’s neshama is like that, too. Our neshama always wants to go up to Hashem, even though next to Hashem, the neshama would not be noticed as anything special! It doesn’t make sense, but this is what the neshama wants.

As we learned yesterday, the Ahava Mesuteres comes from Chochma part of the Neshama. In the Chochma of the neshama, Hashem is the most revealed. That’s why it gives us this natural desire to connect to Hashem, even if it will mean that the neshama will not be noticed as anything special on its own.



Beis Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about the maamarDer Frumer Va’eira.”

The Alter Rebbe used to say a certain maamar every 3 years, on Parshas Va’eira. Each time, it was said almost exactly the same. The Chassidim would call it “Der Frumer Va’eira” — because it made them want to do teshuvah and become more frum.

The Tzemach Tzedek (who heard these maamarim from the Alter Rebbe) said that every time it was something new!

The Rebbe Maharash explained that even though the words were the same, since the Alter Rebbe was teaching it, every time he said the maamar it was something new.



Shiur #176 - Mitzvas Asei #49, #118

Today we learn the same mitzvah as yesterday again: (Mitzvas Asei #49) This is a mitzvah with a lot of details — we need to do the WHOLE Avodah of Yom Kippur, exactly like it says in the Torah!

We also learn a new mitzvah (from the new section in Rambam, Hilchos Me’ilah):

(Mitzvas Asei #118) If someone ate from a korban or Terumah, he needs to return the amount that he ate, plus an extra fifth.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר חָטָא מִן הַקֹּדֶשׁ יְשַׁלֵּם וְאֶת חֲמִישִׁתוֹ יוֹסֵף עָלָיו

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Me’ilah and Mesechta Terumos.



Hilchos Avodas Yom HaKipurim - Me'ilah

In today's Rambam, we learn more about the special Avodah of Yom Kippur. Then we start a NEW section in Rambam, about Me’ilah — what to do if we use something that was set aside for Hashem, which is not allowed.

Perek Daled: Now the Rambam tells us the seder of the day of Yom Kippur.

Perek Hey: We learn what happens if the Avodah was done in the wrong order, or if something wasn’t done exactly like it says in the Torah.

Perek Alef: In the first perek of Hilchos Me’ilah, the Rambam explains what me’ilah is: using something that was set aside for Hashem, which we are not allowed to do. One of the things the Rambam talks about is using the wool of an animal that is hekdesh, and when this is considered Me’ilah.



Hilchos Avodim - Perek Beis

In Perek Beis, we learn about how a Jewish slave is sold, and when they go free. When the Beis Din sells a person, they sell them for 6 years, and they go free in the seventh year. But if a Yovel year comes, they go free right away, even if they are supposed to be slaves for longer.



Being Busy With Our Shlichus

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learned about the maamar of the Alter Rebbe called the “Frumer Va’eira.”

The Rebbe spoke about the Frumer Va’eira in a sicha of Parshas Va’eira Tof-Shin-Yud-Beis. The Rebbe said that since the maamar was only printed once, and it had some mistakes, he would chazer it for the chassidim. The Rebbe said the maamar, and cried a lot while saying it.

One of the main points of the “Frumer Va’eira” is that our neshama needs to use EVERY SINGLE opportunity it has to connect to Hashem through Torah and mitzvos. When we realize how important this is, it will lead us to dedicate ourselves to every opportunity Hashem gives us. It will also help us do a proper teshuvah so that Hashem will “fill in” any chance we may have missed. (This maamar was recently translated, and is also available online in English.)

A month later the Rebbe spoke more about this inyan in a very famous maamar, called “Lo Sihiyeh Meshakeilah.” In the middle of saying this maamar, the Rebbe put his head down on the table and cried for a long time. The Rebbe spoke about how busy we need to be with our shlichus, and treasure every moment.

(Here is a link to the maamar Lo Sihiyeh Meshakeilah online, in Hebrew and English.)


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Birchos HaTorah

The first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is to say Birchos Hashachar. We thank Hashem for the things we might take for granted, but are really a daily gift from Hashem!

Hashem gives us back our neshama, gives us new chayus, and gives us a healthy body. We are able to wake up and get out of bed, walk around, get dressed and put on shoes, and do so many special mitzvos! We ask Hashem to bring us hatzlacha so our day goes the way Hashem wants it to, and with only good things.

Then we say some very important brachos, the Birchos HaTorah. In these brachos, we show how happy and thankful we are that Hashem gave us the Torah!

The Chachomim say that Eretz Yisroel was destroyed because even though the Yidden learned a lot of Torah, they didn’t make a bracha on it first, to show that they knew Who gives us the Torah. They learned Torah because it is very interesting, but didn’t appreciate that it is Hashem’s Chochma, a very special gift from Hashem.

Because they weren’t careful with the kedusha of the Torah, the Torah didn’t protect them, and Eretz Yisroel was destroyed. But when we say a bracha first, reminding ourselves Who gave us the Torah, we will be zoche to the bracha we ask for in Birchos HaTorah, that the Torah will stay with us and our children forever!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 47



No Words of Torah Before Birchos HaTorah

We are not allowed to say any words of Torah before we say the Birchos HaTorah that are in Birchos Hashachar. We don’t say pesukim from Torah Shebichsav, and we are also not allowed to learn from Torah Shebaal Peh, or speak about ideas from Torah. (We are allowed to THINK words of Torah, though, before saying the Birchos HaTorah.)

Even though some parts of Birchos Hashachar come from the Gemara, we are allowed to say them before the Birchos HaTorah. That is because we are saying them as a tefillah, and not as words of Torah.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 47

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



Being Strong in Our Yiddishkeit

The Navi Micha says: Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim, Arenu Niflaos! At the time of the Geulah, Hashem promises to show us nisim like He did in the times of Yetziyas Mitzrayim!

This teaches us that Yetziyas Mitzrayim is very connected to the Geulah — it is like a mashal that helps us understand how the Geulah will be!

For example, one of the things the Yidden did that helped them deserve the Geulah was the Korban Pesach. The Yidden took the Avodah Zarah of Mitzrayim, and went to do what Hashem asked them to. They ignored whatever the Mitzriyim said, and did the mitzvah proudly.

This is also how we can deserve the Geulah: By being strong and proud with our Yiddishkeit, not worrying what other people say, Hashem will see that we are ready to do whatever He asks us to! Then we will be ready to have Moshiach now!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef parshas Bo

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