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CHUMASH

Parshas Tetzaveh - Revi'i with Rashi

Now that we know how to make the Bigdei Kehunah (clothes for the Kohanim), Hashem tells Moshe how to make the Kohanim ready to do the Avodah, during the Chanukas Hamishkan, after the Mishkan will be built:

Moshe should take three korbanos — 1 bull and 2 rams, and make 3 different kinds of matzah: 10 Lechem Matzos, where the dough is boiled, then baked, and then fried; 10 Challos Matzos, where the dough is mixed with oil; and 10 Rekikei Matzos, where they are smeared with oil in the shape of a Kof AFTER they are baked. Put all of the matzos into a basket, and bring them and the korbanos to the Chatzer of the Mishkan.

Aharon and his sons, the other kohanim, should go into the Mikvah, and then Moshe should dress Aharon in the clothes of the Kohen Gadol.

Then Moshe should get the things for the Mishkan ready to be used by putting Shemen Hamishcha (a special kind of oil) on them. He should also put Shemen Hamishcha on Aharon, with a matching Kof-shape like on the matzah!

Then Moshe should dress the rest of the kohanim, making them and their children kohanim forever.

After that, Moshe should prepare the korbanos and bring them on the Mizbeiach.

IY”H in the next two days of Chumash we will learn the rest of the instructions of how to prepare the Mishkan and the Kohanim in these days of preparation, called the Shivas Yemei Hamiluim.

 
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TEHILLIM

44 - 48

Before Kapitel Mem-Ches (like for most kapitelach) there are a few words that tell us what the Kapitel is about.

The words before this kapitel tell us that it is about when Moshiach will come — how beautiful Yerushalayim will be, and how we will bring the korbanos and see all of the things the Neviim told us will happen when Moshiach comes.

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Alef

In today’s Tanya, we finish Perek Lamed-Alef, which is the end of the hisbonenus of how we can reach simcha after merirus, how we come to feel a real happiness after knowing all of the negative things about ourselves.

Yesterday we learned that we should think to ourselves that even though our guf is low, our neshama is the main thing, and by davening and learning Torah we can connect our neshama back with Hashem the way it was before it came into a body. This makes us very happy, so that our Avodas Hashem will be with true simcha!

Today the Alter Rebbe adds something we can think about to make our simcha even STRONGER!

We can think to ourselves: Did we choose to have such a low guf that will try to shlep us away from being connected to Hashem?

Of course not! Hashem is the One Wo GAVE us this guf.

And why did Hashem do this?

Because Hashem wants us to bring our guf (and the world around us) closer to Hashem too!

When we learn the halachos of Torah and do mitzvos using our guf (and things from the world), we are not only connecting our neshama to Hashem, we are bringing our guf (and the world around us) up with the neshama too!

That will bring us a stronger simcha because we will realize that not only does it bring joy for our neshama, but for our guf as well, because it is doing what Hashem created it for!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Ches Adar

Since the Hayom Yom was written in a year where there were TWO Adars (a Shana Me’uberes), and this year there is only ONE Adar (a Shana Peshuta) we learn TWO Hayom Yoms every day!

Ches Adar Alef

When the Alter Rebbe needed a melamed to teach his son, the Mitteler Rebbe, when was still a young boy, he chose one of the talmidim of the Maggid.

The Alter Rebbe told him, “We’ll make a deal! I have a mitzvah to teach my son, and you have a mitzvah to earn money for your family. Let us switch mitzvos: You will learn with my son, and I will pay you so you can take care of your family.”

Then the Alter Rebbe told the Melamed how he should teach: “You need to start with Alef.” And the Alter Rebbe told him what an Alef is.

An alef is a dot on top, and a dot underneath — that’s an Alef.

Then he explained what this means:

A child needs to know that the Alef of Torah is the Yud on top — Hashem, the Yud underneath — the Yid, and the line of Emunah which connects them.

Another version of what the Alter Rebbe told him: A Yud above is the neshama, a Yud underneath is the body, and a line of Yiras Shomayim connects them.

Ches Adar Sheini

We learned in Tanya that this world is called Tachtonim, the lowest part, because Hashem is most hidden here. This can make the world confusing, and many times it looks like things aren’t going right.

When this happens, it can make a person upset! Many times, this will make us groan or sigh. In Yiddish, this is called a krechtz, or an anacha in Hebrew.

Groaning about the fact that something needs to change is an important part of avodah, like we learn in a different Hayom Yom. (Do you know where?) But there is something MUCH more important to do!

The Rebbe Rashab writes a letter to a Yid who was upset about something that wasn’t going right, and was krechtzing about it. The Rebbe Rashab tells him that it is better to do one peulah, one action, than to groan a thousand times!

No matter what happens to us, and no matter how we feel, Hashem is always there. Torah and mitzvos have a tremendous koach, and they never change! So when we stop krechtzing and work on doing what we’re supposed to, Hashem will definitely help us.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #212 - Mitzvas Asei #102, #103

Today we learn about two kinds of Tzoraas:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #102) When there is Tzoraas on clothes we need to follow the halachos of how they become Tomei, and how they can become Tahor!

2) (Mitzvas Asei #103) When there is Tzoraas on a house we need to follow the halachos on how it becomes Tomei, and how to make it tahor.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Tumas Tzoraas

In Rambam, we learn about today’s second mitzvah.

Perek Yud-Daled: The Rambam teaches us about what kinds of houses can get Tzoraas, and what it looks like.

Perek Tes-Vov: This perek teaches us the halachos of how the kohen decides that the house is Tomei, and how to make it Tahor again.

Perek Tes-Zayin: We learn how people or things can become Tomei from a house with tzoraas.

Now we finish the halachos of Tzoraas! The Rambam often finishes a section of halachos with a lesson for us to learn. Here is the lesson from Tumas Tzoraas: Tzoraas comes from speaking Lashon Hara — talking about other people in a not-nice way. The Rambam tells us that this isn’t a Yiddishe way to talk — Yidden talk about Torah, and Hashem gives them brachos because of it!

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Ches

Perek Ches teaches us about not paying extra so we can pay later. That’s also called interest! For example, sometimes when you owe someone money, they will ask for a “late fee” — extra money if you don’t pay on time. A Yid can’t charge another Yid a late fee, because it is like ribbis!

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

This Shabbos, we read Parshas Zachor, one of the four parshios that the Chachomim tell us to read in the weeks around Purim. This section of the Torah talks about the mitzvah to remember what Amalek did to the Yidden, and to destroy Amalek.

We read this before Purim because Haman came from the family of Amalek.

There is also a Ruchnius Amalek that we need to destroy as part of our Avodas Hashem!

When the Torah tells us what Amalek did to us, it says “Asher Karcha Baderech” — “that they happened to meet you on the way.”

The Avodah of a Yid needs to be with varemkeit, warmth. We need to feel our Emunah in Hashem in the mitzvos that we do, and to be dedicated to doing what Hashem wants with Kabolas Ol — whether we understand it or not.

The word “karcha” (met you) has in it the word “kar,” which means cold.

Cold things stay still. Ice cubes don’t move around. But if you put water in a hot place, it will start moving and bubbling and boiling!

In our Avodas Hashem, we also have “cold” and “warm.” A person’s mind thinks. It isn’t excited. It “keeps its cool” and doesn’t show lots of chayus. But a heart feels excitement and enthusiasm! It is warm and alive!

The Ruchnius war of Amalek against a Yid is “karcha,” to make us cold. It wants to make us think about everything in Yiddishkeit, and only to do things that make sense. It tries to make us think about things we see and find an explanation for them, so we won’t realize that it is Hashgacha Protis, Hashem doing it.

That is the war we have with Amalek, to stay warm in our Yiddishkeit! We need to feel our Emunah in Hashem, and make sure that our connection to Hashem isn’t just what we understand, but with Emunah and Kabolas Ol.

 

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TEFILLAH

How Davening Changes Our Day

The Chachomim say that a person who is davening has to have his heart above and his eyes below! (“Hamispalel Tzorich Sheyihiyeh Libo Lemaala Ve’einav Lematah.”)

The Alter Rebbe explains that this means that even when someone feels close and connected to Hashem, they still need to remember the way they are during the rest of the day.

The Rebbe teaches us that practically this means that a person can’t walk away from davening only feeling inspired and Ruchniyus’dik. We ALSO need to use the time of davening to make general hachlatos for the day about how we should act in our “regular” work, like eating and exercise and playing and working.

Then, later in the day, we can think about what we’re doing, and if we’re acting the way we decided we would during davening.

Sichas Tes-Vov Shevat, 5739

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Kriyas Hamegillah

We know that there are 613 mitzvos from the Torah. The Chachomim also added another 7 mitzvos for Yidden to keep. One of these seven mitzvos is reading the Megillah on Purim!

After the neis of Purim, Mordechai wrote the Megillah, and Esther asked that it should become one of the 24 books of Tanach. Her request was accepted, and it became the sefer called Megillas Esther.

The year after the neis, Mordechai and Esther sent out a letter to the Yidden, asking them to keep Purim as a permanent Yom Tov. They should keep it by celebrating with their families and the people of their cities, giving presents of food to each other and money to the poor, eating a seudah together, and remembering the story by reading the Megillah.

The best way to do this mitzvah is to hear the Megillah in a shul with many people (“Berov Am Hadras Melech,” “the beauty of the King is when there are many people”), or at least a minyan. But the mitzvah can be kept by hearing it from a kosher Megillah anywhere. Men and women both have this mitzvah, and children should also be taught to listen. (Very little children who will make noise so other people can’t hear should not be brought to shul.)

The Baal Korei has everybody else in mind, and everyone listening should also have in mind to be yotzei the mitzvah. We need to listen to every word. If we missed hearing a word, you can read it right away (even from a Chumash) and catch up to the Baal Korei.

There are four pesukim we say out loud, before the Baal Korei, to bring more simcha:
- Ish Yehudi (2:1)
- U’Mordechai Yatza (8:15)
- LaYehudim (8:16)
- Ki Mordechai (10:3)

The ten sons of Haman are supposed to be said in one breath. Since the Baal Korei can’t be motzi everyone for holding their breath, only that they should hear the Megillah, everyone should read the 10 sons of Haman in one breath themselves! (We shake our graggers after we say the name of Haman this time, NOT after the Baal Korei reads it again after saying the 10 sons.)

Minhag Chabad is only to make noise by the name of Haman if we also describe him, like “Ho’agagi” or “HaRa.”

It’s our minhag that the Baal Korei raises his voice when he says “Balayla Hahu,” because that’s the main part of the neis.

You will see that we fold the Megillah like a letter (since it is called an Igeres), and don’t read it while it is rolled up. The Baal Korei also shakes the Megillah when he says “this letter” (“Ha’igeres Hazos”) that Mordechai and Esther sent out, to show that this is what they sent out!

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Wanting Moshiach

On Asara B’Teves 5750, a certain man came to the Rebbe for dollars.

While standing by the Rebbe, the man asked for many brachos. He kept asking for more and more things, until the Rebbe finally suggested, “Maybe you should ask for Moshiach to come?”

The man agreed, and answered, “Im Yirtza Hashem.” (“If Hashem wants”)

The Rebbe told him, “Hashem already wants! It’s up to the Yidden to want Moshiach as well!”

From the sefer Zoreia Tzedakos (stories about Dollars), translated in Moshiach Weekly #17

 
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