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Sheini with Rashi

Moshe tells the Yidden about choosing a Yiddishe King when they come into Eretz Yisroel.

When you come into Eretz Yisroel, and you’re settled safe and sound
You’ll say “We want to have a KING like everyone else around!”

A Jewish king needs to be special, there are mitzvos he must do
(Along with ALL the mitzvos kept by every single Jew).

A king needs a lot of horses, but TOO many is not okay —
The best horses are in Mitzrayim, and we need to stay away!

He can’t marry too many wives, no more than eighteen
Or he’ll be too busy to be king — taking care of each queen!

He can’t get too much money, more than he needs for everything.
— And if he follows these rules, Hashem will let him stay the King!

He also has an extra mitzva, to remind him of his role
He has to carry around with him a special Torah scroll!

He needs to always learn the mitzvos, and remember them
He’s there to help the Yidden, he’s just a servant of Hashem!



10 - 17, 4 - 6

Today’s kapitelach Tehillim are Yud through Yud-Zayin. (Don’t forget to also say Daled, Hey, and Vov for Chodesh Elul!)

Kapitel Yud-Alef in Tehillim talks about how Hashem brings tzaros to a Tzadik, but really it’s all for his good.

The last posuk says, “Tzadik Hashem Tzedakos Ahev” — Hashem loves giving tzedakah.

When Hashem gave us the Torah, we were able to feel Hashem in the world and help the whole world to know Hashem. That’s the best kind of tzedakah there could be!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud

With all Gashmius things, we need to have the right amount! Too much food is no good, and too little food isn’t good either!

Since mitzvos are in Gashmius, they need to be done just right so we can get chayus from them. That’s why the Shofar has to be made a certain way, and a Lulav has to be a certain size. A Sukkah can’t be too small, and it can’t be too tall!

Tzedakah is also a mitzvah that has a “size!” Tzedakah is a very important mitzvah that brings Chayus to the whole world — it’s one of the mitzvos that the whole world exists because of! (“Al Shlosha Devarim Ha’olam Omeid”) We give a “chomeish” (1/5th of our money) to Tzedakah if we want to do the mitzvah in the best way, or maaser (1/10th of our money) for the basic mitzvah. That is the “size” of the mitzvah of Tzedakah.

Doing the mitzvah with the proper size brings the right amount of chayus of Hashem into the world!

IY”H tomorrow we will see ANOTHER kind of tzedakah that brings a different and stronger chayus of Hashem into the world!



Beis Elul

Every Yid has a treasure of good midos hiding inside. Our job is to inspire ourselves and others to want these kochos to shine!

Imagine that someone you respect tells you that there is a treasure buried in your backyard. He is SURE that it is there, he’s just not sure how deep it is buried. Maybe it is right near the top, or maybe it is very deep down.

Would you go out and start digging?

Every Yid is called an Eretz Cheifetz, a land with treasures buried inside! The treasures in each Yid are the Yiras Shomayim, Ahavas Hashem, and good midos. In some Yidden, they are right there! In other Yidden, they might be harder to find — but they are there FOR SURE.

In the mashal of a buried treasure, we see that some people will go and dig for a few minutes, and then give up and go back inside, while another person will keep on digging until he finds the treasure!

Why? Because that person has patience and is willing to keep trying!

This is true also with the nimshal of a Yid:

If we have patience and keep trying, we will find the first treasure inside of ourselves and other Yidden — the Ratzon that we WANT to be a better Yid. Once we have that first treasure, all of the other treasures will come too, because NOTHING stands in the way of Ratzon! Once someone WANTS to become better, NOTHING can stand in his way!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #317, Asei #178

In today’s Rambam, we are finishing the set of halachos called Sanhedrin, and starting to learn Hilchos Eidus, which is all about witnesses. So today, we will have one mitzvah from Hilchos Sanhedrin, and one mitzvah about Eidus.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #317) We aren’t allowed to curse another Yid.

The posuk we learn this mitzvah from is “You should not curse a person who is deaf.” The Rambam explains why:

When someone gets angry, he wants to take revenge — to hurt the other person the way he feels that he was hurt, to make things “fair.” Depending on how angry he is, he might think it is fair to destroy the other person’s things, or even to hurt him very badly! Then he will calm down and not be angry anymore.

If the other person did something small, he might only be a little angry. He will feel better after he screams at the other person, or even only curses him quietly, so the other person can’t hear.

We might think that there is nothing wrong with this! Why should it matter if we curse someone when he can’t hear, and it won’t hurt his feelings?

That’s why the Torah says “don’t curse a person who is deaf.” We might think, why should it matter if we curse someone who is deaf and can’t hear?

The Torah teaches us that the reason why not to curse another person is not only that the other person will hear and feel bad, but because WE shouldn’t be cursing other people! We are not allowed to let ourselves get angry and take revenge on another person.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #178) If a person knows about something that Beis Din is judging, he needs to come be a witness, an Eid.



Hilchos Sandhedrin - Eidus

Perek Chof-Hey: In this perek, we learn halachos about how a judge needs to treat his community. (This is probably important for ANY person who works with the community!) The Rambam reminds a judge not to act in a mean way to the people, because even if they are simple and not so ruchnius’dik, they are the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov!

Mr. George Rohr, a big Baal Tzedakah who supports many of the Rebbe’s mosdos, once came to the Rebbe. He wanted to share good news with the Rebbe, so he told the Rebbe about a minyan he organized for Yidden who didn’t have any Jewish background.

“What?!” the Rebbe asked. Mr. Rohr told the Rebbe again. “Go back to them and tell them that they DO have a Jewish background!” the Rebbe said. “They are all children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov!”

Judges also need to be careful not to do things that would make people lose kavod for them, like getting drunk at parties.

We also learn that people need to have kavod for the Beis Din, and come if a Beis Din tells them to. The Beis Din is careful when they call someone, to make sure it is possible for him to come. For example, they don’t call people to come to a case on a Friday, because everyone is busy getting ready for Shabbos.

Perek Chof-Vov: Now the Rambam teaches halachos about the punishment for cursing. Even though there is already a mitzvah not to curse ANYONE, there is a special mitzvah not to curse a judge. Someone who does, gets malkos twice.

The last halacha reminds us how it is asur to go to a non-Jewish court (Arka’us). Yidden take care of their own disagreements in a Beis Din. Only if someone refuses to come to Beis Din are we allowed to take him to court.

Now we start a new set of halachos about witnesses.

Perek Alef: If someone is able to be a witness, he has a mitzvah to be a witness in Beis Din.

We learn the way the judges ask the witnesses questions, in order that we can make sure they are really telling the truth, and that all of the witnesses agree. They first ask seven basic questions, about when and where the thing happened. Then they ask more details, like “Which melacha did he do?”

But the judges should also ask questions that don’t have to do with the specific thing, just to make sure that the person is telling the truth. For example, they will ask what color clothes the person was wearing.



Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Tes

In this perek we learn about Shevuas Ha’eidus, not-true promises made by witnesses in Beis Din.



Chodesh Elul

During the whole month of Elul, we blow the Shofar every day. Why? To wake us up and remind us that we need to act the way Hashem wants us to!

But we don’t just do it once — we do it EVERY day, so we will remember the whole month!

We see that hearing the Shofar more will help us remember more. So the Rebbe tells us it’s a good idea to blow it for other people too during Elul. Not only will it help other Yidden become inspired to do teshuvah, by hearing it again, it will help us also!


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Lesheim Yichud

Before we start Boruch She’amar, at the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra, we say the line “Lesheim Yichud.”

These words say that we are davening in order to bring Yichud, a close connection, to “Kudsha Brich Hu” and the Shechinah.

Kudsha Brich Hu is the level of Hashem that is the source of all of the Torah and mitzvos. The Shechinah is the source of the neshamos of all of the Yidden. By bringing a Yichud to Kudsha Brich Hu and the Shechinah, we are connecting not just ourselves with Hashem through our mitzvos, but all of the Yidden everywhere, through all of the mitzvos we are doing!

Some people say Lesheim Yichud before doing ANY mitzvah, but we say it just once here in davening, and have in mind that it is also for the Avodah of the entire day.



Birchos Hanehenin

If we have a Ha’eitz and a Ha’adamah food in front of us, it is usually better to make the bracha Ha’eitz first, since it is a more specific bracha. But if we LIKE the Ha’adamah food more, or we WANT it more (“Choviv”), we make the bracha on the Ha’adamah food before.

This is a detail in the halachos of “Kadimah Bebrachos,” which brachos are made first, which we will IY”H learn more about later.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Seder Birchos Hanehenin perek Yud

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



Hashem's Melucha

Ovadiah was a ger from the nation of Edom, the nation of Eisav. Even though he was an officer in the palace of the wicked Achav and Izevel, he saved 100 neviim from being killed. Hashem rewarded him by making him a Navi!

Since Ovadiah was from Edom, Hashem gave Ovadiah the zechus of saying the nevuos about the end of the nation of Edom, in the times of the Geulah:

וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת הַר עֵשָׂו וְהָיְתָה לַה׳ הַמְּלוּכָה

Ve’alu Moshi’im Behar TzionMoshiach, who saves the Yidden, will go up together with his officers from the mountain of Yerushalayim

Lishpot Es Har Eisav — They will go to Har Se’ir, the mountain of Eisav, to punish them for the terrible things they did to the Yidden

Vehaysa LaHashem Hamelucha — And then Hashem’s melucha will be complete, since everyone will agree that Hashem is the King of the entire world!

See Ovadiah perek Alef posuk Chof-Alef

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