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Parshas Korach - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn about a big sickness that causes Yidden to die, and how Aharon Hakohen uses the ketores to stop the plague.

Hashem saw that the Yidden were complaining about what happened to Korach. It seemed that all of the Yidden agreed with Korach.

Hashem said that Moshe and Aharon should move away, and Hashem will punish ALL of the Yidden. The Yidden started to pass away from a terrible sickness! Moshe and Aharon didn’t know what to do! What could they tell Hashem so He wouldn’t be upset with the Yidden?

Suddenly Moshe remembered that the Malach Hamoves told him (when he was up on Har Sinai) that Ketores can stop this kind of sickness. Moshe quickly asked Hashem if he could use it, and Hashem agreed. So Moshe told Aharon to go run and get Ketores and fire from the Mizbeiach to save the Yidden.

Aharon got the Ketores, and ran into the crowd of Yidden — and the sickness stopped.

At first, the Malach Hamoves was upset that Aharon wasn’t letting him do the job Hashem gave him! But Hashem gave instructions to the Malach Hamaves that people should stop dying from the sickness.

Before this happened, people thought that the ketores was just dangerous. Nadav and Avihu died when they brought it, and the 250 people who listened to Korach did too. But now the Yidden could all see that the Ketores wasn’t dangerous — in fact it saved them! They understood that it is the AVEIROS that are dangerous!



10 - 17

Today’s kapitelach are kapitel Yud to Yud-Zayin.

Kapitel Yud-Gimmel in Tehillim is a tefillah for the long Golus. In the paragraph before this kapitel, it says that a person in a time of tzaar should say this kapitel.

The last posuk is full of bitachon that Hashem will help us and save us from this Golus!

Va’ani Bechasdecha Votachti — I trust in Your kindness, Hashem

Yagel Libi Biyeshuasecha — My heart will be happy because of You saving me

Ashira LaHashem Ki Gomal Alai — I will sing to Hashem because Hashem has given me kindness!



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Yud

In today’s Tanya we learn an example of how Hashem made the world using all of the different sefiros.

Today in Tanya, we learn about how Hashem made the world using ALL of His holy Sefiros! Since Hashem is one, everything Hashem does uses all of the Sefiros together.

The Alter Rebbe gives us some examples of how parts of the world were made with ALL of the Sefiros. For example, on the first day of Briyas HaOlam, Hashem’s Chesed was very strong! Hashem said “Yehi Ohr” and made light, mainly using His Chesed! But Hashem’s Chesed also has Gevurah, which made the light a Gashmius’dike light that can be used in this world. (Chesed has no limits, but Gevurah gives it limits.)

On the second day, Hashem’s Gevurah was shining strong! Hashem said “Yehi Rakia” and made the sky to split the world into Gashmius water and Ruchnius water. Separating something shows Hashem’s Gevurah. But this also shows Hashem’s Chesed, since Hashem needed to split the water so we could have a place to live!

PEOPLE can have Midos separately, but Hashem’s Midos are ALL together. So Hashem’s Chesed isn’t just Chesed, and Hashem’s Gevurah isn’t just Gevurah! We call it “Chesed” when Chesed is the strongest, but with Hashem they are all one.



Beis Tammuz

Today we learn in Hayom Yom that Ahavas Yisroel gives us the zechus we need to have our tefillos answered!

In our Siddur, at the beginning of davening (after morning Brachos), it says “Nachon Lomar Kodem HaTefillah: Hareini Mekabel Alai Mitzvas Asei Shel VeAhavta LeReiacha Kamocha.” That means — It is the right thing to say this before davening: “I am ready to do the Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel!”

Why did the Alter Rebbe put this in his siddur?

Because having Ahavas Yisroel is like opening up a “door” for our davening to be able to go inside. When we have Ahavas Yisroel, our davening will be able to go straight up to Hashem — and Hashem will listen to our Tefillos.



Shiur #324 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #288

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #288) is that ONE eid (witness) is not enough — the Beis Din needs to have TWO eidim in order to punish someone. (One eid is enough for the Beis Din to have someone make a shevuah (a strong and special kind of Torah promise), but is not enough of a proof for someone to be punished).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יָקוּם עֵד אֶחָד בְּאִישׁ לְכָל עָו‍ֹן וּלְכָל חַטָּאת



Hilchos Eidus

One of the things we learn in Perek Ches is that an eid has to actually REMEMBER what he saw. It is not enough for him to say something he saw in his diary, unless it reminded him and now he does remember. Otherwise, it is like him being an eid based on something his friend told him, which is not true eidus.

In Perek Tes we learn about who is not allowed to be an eid. There are ten kinds of people that can’t be an eid, for example, someone who is related to the person who had to come to Beis Din. A rasha also can’t be an eid, as the Rambam explains in detail in the next perek.

In Perek Yud we start to learn the halachos of tomorrow’s mitzvah, that the Beis Din can’t accept the eidus of a rasha. What is a rasha? Someone who does an aveira that deserves to be given malkos for. A rasha is also a person who steals or wastes his life on games and gambling.



Hilchos Aveilus - Perek Yud-Alef

In today’s Rambam, we learn that there are certain things we do after a person passes away, like saying Mishnayos or lighting a yartzeit licht.

Usually, only someone in the family does these things, but for a Nasi or a Rebbe, EVERYONE should do these things, because the Rebbe is like the Tatty for all Yidden.



What is a Hilula?

The yartzeit of a tzadik, especially of a Rebbe, is called a “hilula”. Why is it called that?

In Aramaic, the word “hilula” means a chasunah. We use a chasunah as a mashal to understand what happens on the yartzeit of a tzadik.

When a chosson and kallah get married, it isn’t just a simcha down here. When the chosson and kallah are joined together by the chasunah, they bring down a koach of Hashem which is Ein Sof, with no limits! Now that they are married, even though they are Gashmius’dike people with limits, they can use this koach of Ein Sof to bring children into the world, which will have children and grandchildren of their own — with no limits!

This is also like what happens on the yartzeit of a tzadik. On the day of the tzadik’s yartzeit, all of the things that the tzadik did all of his life go up, together with the neshama of the tzadik, to a much higher level than before! When it goes up so high, it makes a koach of Ein Sof of Hashem to shine!

There is a rule in Torah: Whatever is higher is able to come down to a lower level. So on the yartzeit of a tzadik, this new koach of Ein Sof of Hashem comes down into the Gashmius’dike world. It brings bracha without limits, in Ruchnius and in Gashmius, to everyone who is connected to the tzadik!

That is why the yartzeit of a tzadik is called a hilula. Because just like with a chasunah, it is able to bring down such a special koach of Hashem, a koach of Ein Sof!

Even after Moshiach comes, and the neshama of the tzadik comes back into a Gashmius’dike guf, the day of the hilula will always be this special day which brings bracha to everyone connected to the tzadik!

See (for example) farbrengen Yud Shevat 5718 and 5711


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After saying the paragraphs of Ribono Shel Olam and Hashkiveinu, we say the most important part of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah: Shema!

The Gemara brings a posuk from Tehillim to show why we need to say Shema again before bed: “Romemos Keil Bigronam, VeCherev Pifiyos Beyadam.” “They praise Hashem with their throats, a double-edged sword is in their hands.” The Gemara explains that because they praise the oneness of Hashem with the words of Shema, they have extra protection, like a person with a sharp double-edged sword.

We know that this is talking about the Shema before bed because of the posuk before: “Yaalzu Chasidim Bechavod, Yeranenu Al Mishkevosam.” “Pious Jews celebrate with kavod, they sing while on their beds.” “Singing on their beds” means the Shema that we say when going to sleep.

We see from these pesukim that saying Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah helps protect us!

After we say Shema, we say these pesukim from Tehillim of “Yaalzu” and “Romemos” to remember the power of the Shema.

The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya that the “sword” of Kriyas Shema is very powerful! There are certain aveiros that can give chayus to kelipah. The holy words of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, when they are said while thinking about what the words mean, are able to destroy that chayus!



Minhagei Yom Hilula

Today we are going to learn some of the minhagim that the Rebbe instructed should be done on Yud Shevat, the Yom Hilula of the Frierdiker Rebbe. Based on this, many Chassidim also follow these minhagim on Gimmel Tammuz.

These minhagim help us connect to the special ruchnius chayus of the day.

The Rebbe teaches us that the day of a hilula of a tzadik (especially a Nasi) is a time for tremendous brachos for all the chassidim that are connected to the Rebbe. These minhagim also help us make keilim to accept and benefit from these brachos. We hope that Gimmel Tammuz this year will be a day of big celebration in Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh together with the Rebbe, and then we will keep special minhagim to connect to the immense chayus that this day will always have.

Here are some of the minhagim:

- We light a yartzeit licht. If we can, it is best to light one made out of Shaava (beeswax) — because the word Shaava stands for “Hakitzu Viranenu Shochnei Afar” — “the neshamos that passed away should wake up and be happy!” — a posuk about Techiyas Hameisim. This reminds us that to ask Hashem that there should be Techiyas Hameisim right away, so the Rebbe can take us out of Golus, to the Geulah Sheleimah!

- We write a Pa”n. If we can go to the Ohel, we read our Pa”n there, if not we can put it inside a Sefer of the Rebbe until it is sent or brought to the Ohel. After we write the Pa”n, we close our eyes and try to remember a time we saw the Rebbe (if we had that zechus), or we look at a picture.

- It is the minhag to give tzedakah to one of the Rebbe’s mosdos.

As based on the Rebbe’s letter for Yud Shevat (Hebrew or English)

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



We Need Moshiach!

Needing Moshiach isn’t a new thing. In all of the generations, Yidden have always davened for Moshiach to come, the time when we will be able to learn Torah and do mitzvos properly, the way Hashem wants us to!

Even Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem for Moshiach, when he was taking the Yidden out of Mitzrayim! He said, “Shlach Na Beyad Tishlach,” “Please, Hashem, send the person you will send later — Moshiach — to take the Yidden out of this Golus too!”

In Tehillim, we see many times how Dovid Hamelech hoped and davened for the Geulah.

So think about it: They needed Moshiach in order to keep Torah and mitzvos properly even in the times of Moshe Rabbeinu, in the Midbar, where Hashem took care of everyone’s needs, and they were able to learn Torah all of the time! If they needed Moshiach even then, we most certainly need Moshiach now, when the Golus is so dark!

We are in a long Golus, where we are not able to learn Torah and do mitzvos properly, and there is a lot of darkness and pain. Now we REALLY feel how much we need Moshiach in order to be the way Hashem really wants us to be.

Together, Yidden should call out “Ad Mosai!” We should tell Hashem that this Golus is too long! Hashem doesn’t turn away the tefillos of many Yidden together, and He will bring Moshiach right away!

The Rebbe spoke about this at a farbrengen in Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches. After saying this, the Rebbe cried out “Ad Mosai!” All of the Chassidim answered, “Ad Mosai!”

Then the Rebbe said, “To keep us from being too sad, we should call out Ad Mosai with a niggun.”

The Chassidim started singing Ad Mosai to the tune of a niggun.

See Toras Menachem 5748, vol. 1 p. 460

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