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Parshas Beshalach - Shvi'i with Rashi

We are learning about the travels of the Yidden after Kriyas Yam Suf, on their way to receive the Torah.

The Yidden traveled to another place, and there was no water there. The Yidden (except for Shevet Levi) complained AGAIN! Moshe got very frustrated with the Yidden.

Hashem told Moshe to hit a rock with his stick, and water would come out. Moshe did, and the water came out of the rock!

Since Hashem saw that the Yidden didn’t believe that He was taking care of them all the time, Hashem let the people of Amalek have the chutzpah to fight against the Yidden! Most of the Yidden were inside of Hashem’s clouds, so they were safe, but a few Yidden who did aveiros were outside.

Moshe told Hoshea (who would later become Yehoshua) that they need to fight against Amalek, even though most of the Yidden are safe. Hoshea picked soldiers to fight, and Moshe (with Aharon and Chur) went up onto a hill to daven. Whenever Moshe picked up his hands to remind the Yidden to daven to Hashem, the Yidden were winning! When they forgot to daven to Hashem, Amalek was winning.

Since Moshe should have fought himself, Hashem didn’t give Moshe koach to hold up his hands for so long. So Aharon and Chur gave Moshe a stone to sit on, and held his hands up. Moshe didn’t let the sun set until the Yidden won the war!

Hashem told Moshe not to kill all of the Amalek people yet. He should write down in the Torah that we should remember what Amalek did — and that when the Yidden come to Eretz Yisroel, they should wipe out the nation of Amalek!



69 - 71

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Tes, Ayin, and Ayin-Alef.

One of the pesukim at the end of kapitel Samech-Tes (69) is “Ki Elokim Yoshia Tziyon,” “Hashem will save Yerushalayim!” The Medrash tells us a story about this posuk:

One time there was a king who had sheep which were watched by a shepherd. One day, the king got upset and sent the sheep away, took apart the fence, and took away the shepherd. Later on, he decided to bring back the sheep. So he rebuilt the pen for the sheep, but didn’t call back the shepherd. So the shepherd went to the king and said, “You built the pen and brought back the sheep — but what about me?”

Dovid Hamelech was saying that he is like the shepherd taking care of the Yidden who are in Golus. He is so busy helping Yidden and making sure that Hashem brings them back, that he doesn’t have enough time to take care of himself!

That’s why the next kapitel starts with the words “Lamenatzeiach LeDovid Lehazkir” — “A song for Dovid to REMEMBER.” Dovid Hamelech asked Hashem to please remember him too! So Hashem gave him a special bracha to have extra hatzlacha in his own needs.

The same thing is true for anyone who takes care of other Yidden, like Mommies and Tatties and Shluchim — Hashem gives them a special koach that they should have hatzlacha to have everything they need for themselves!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe is telling us in short what Achdus Hashem (the oneness of Hashem) means.

Understanding Achdus Hashem will help us understand how every MITZVAH is a CONNECTION with Achdus Hashem, and every AVEIRA is chas veshalom a SEPARATION from it. Then we will not let the Ruach Shtus from our Nefesh Habehamis convince us that there is anything too small or not worth it when it comes to doing what Hashem wants!

We say in davening, “Ata Hu Ad Shelo Nivra Ha’olam, Ata Hu Mishenivra Ha’olam” — Hashem is the same now that He created the world, just as He was before He created it. That is part of the Emunah Peshutah (simple Emunah) that every Yid has.

The Alter Rebbe will explain this emunah and make it part of our Chabad, part of our understanding. When it’s not just emunah, but we understand it also, it will change the way we feel and behave, and the Ruach Shtus won’t be able to trick us!

We could ask, how is it possible that Hashem is the same as He was before He created the world? The world is so big, so important and complicated — how can you say that Hashem didn’t change at all from it?

We learned before that “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu” (the Shomayim was made through the word of Hashem). This mashal of a word will help us understand! Because just like one word that a person says makes absolutely no difference to who he is, the world, which is just the “word of Hashem,” doesn’t make any change to Hashem! The world isn’t so big after all — it’s like nothing next to Hashem.

Now let’s take a closer look at this mashal to understand it better, how one word of a person makes no change to who the person is.

Hashem made a person with an unlimited koach to speak. If a person wanted to, he could talk all day without stopping, from morning to night! So a single word that a person says is like nothing compared to what he is able to say.

But don’t think that the koach of SPEAKING is so powerful and important either! Remember that a person can only say something he thought of first, and a person thinks a lot more than he speaks! Even if someone is talking all day long, he is still thinking way more than that, because thought is much faster and more powerful.

And don’t think that the koach of THINKING is so special and powerful either! Before a person is even able to think about something, he first has to WANT it with his midos, and even before that, he needs to KNOW about it (sechel)! That knowing and wanting doesn’t even have words, and the amount of things you can know about and want are unlimited!

For example, imagine going into the biggest library in the world, and pulling out just one book. Open that book and look at one word. Is that word important at all compared to everything you can learn from all of the books in the library?

Or imagine asking for a treat. Is that word important compared to all of the delicious kinds of foods that there are in the world that you can find out about and want?

So to go back to our one word: It’s like nothing compared to the koach of speaking. And our koach of speaking is like nothing compared to our koach of thinking. And our koach of thinking is also like nothing compared to our koach of midos or sechel!

We understand that one word of a PERSON is like nothing compared to what the person is able to know and want, and who he is. So we can understand that since the world is like a single word of Hashem, it is like nothing compared to Who Hashem is!

This gives us words to understand our emunah that Hashem is the same as He was before the world was created.

Besides the world not being important compared to Hashem, we will see starting in tomorrow’s Tanya that the world is still a part of Hashem! The world is not able to change Hashem at all.



Yud-Gimmel Shevat

Today is the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah, the Friediker Rebbe’s mother. The year the Hayom Yom was written, it was her first yartzeit. So if you look inside, before today’s Hayom Yom there is a halacha about the first yartzeit.


When the Rebbe Maharash was a little boy, he knew the whole Nach (the books of the Torah after the Chumash, like Navi and Tehillim) baal peh! The Tzemach Tzedek would sometimes test him, and the Rebbe Maharash would ask questions about things he learned.

One time, when he was 7 years old, the Rebbe Maharash asked the Tzemach Tzedek about a certain posuk, where it says that Hashem made a person straight, “yashar.” The meforshim explain that it means that Hashem did a chesed to make people walk standing up.

The Tzemach Tzedek explained why this is such a big chesed: Because an animal has all four feet on the ground, so it doesn’t look up at the sky.

But a person, who stands, DOES look up and can see Shomayim.

Why was the Tzemach Tzedek telling this to him? The Friediker Rebbe explains this in a letter. The posuk says that a person is born like a wild animal. Animals don’t care about acting the way Hashem wants, just what they want. But when the child’s parents and teachers show him how to act, he starts to live the way a Yid should and be a mentch.

The Tzemach Tzedek was telling the Rebbe Maharash that we need to remember the chesed that Hashem does for us that we are “Yashar Holech” — that we are able to walk on two feet like a person. We don’t just have to look down at the Gashmius like an animal and think only about what we want or need, we can look up to Shomayim and think about how Hashem wants us to act!



Shiur #216 - Mitzvas Asei #104

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #104) is that a man who has a certain kind of tumah that comes from the body which is called Zav, becomes Tomei. This mitzvah includes all of the dinim of how he becomes a Zav and also how he makes others tomei.



Hilchos Metamei Mishkav U'Moshav

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the kind of people who have a body Tumah, how they make other things Tomei, and who is trusted to be careful with this tumah:

Perek Yud: We learn about who we say is PROBABLY tomei, and who is PROBABLY Tahor: A Yid who doesn’t know so much Torah (an Am Ha’aretz) is probably Tomei, since he probably didn’t know all of the halachos, and might not have realized that he became tomei. But if a person wants to, he can become a “Chaver” — a person who is careful about staying tahor.

Perek Yud-Alef: There are some times when we trust an Am Ha’aretz, and believe him when he says that something is Tahor.

During the Shalosh Regalim, we say that EVERY Yid is like a Chaver! Everyone becomes tahor to go to the Beis Hamikdash, so we trust them that they and the things that they touched are tahor!

Perek Yud-Beis: The Rambam tells us the halachos of what happens if an Am Ha’aretz watches something tahor for another person — do we say that those things probably became tomei?



Hilchos Bechoros - Perek Zayin

Here’s how we figure out which animal is maaser: We put all the baby sheep into one place, and put the mother sheep outside. We let them go out one at a time to their mothers, counting them as they go. Every tenth one we mark with paint, and that one will be a present for Hashem.

icon of clock


When We Need to Fight

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Beshalach, we learned about two people who tried to hurt the Yidden. At the beginning of the parsha we have Paraoh, and at the end of the parsha Amalek attacks the Yidden.

When the Mitzriyim were chasing them, Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden that Hashem will fight for them. The Yidden didn’t need to do anything. But with Amalek, the Yidden needed to fight themselves!

Why? What’s the difference?

Paraoh wanted the Yidden to come back to Mitzrayim and be slaves. He wanted to hurt the Yidden begashmius. When it comes to Gashmius, Hashem will do the fighting..

But Amalek’s main point was to get the Yidden to do aveiros, to hurt their Ruchnius. Amalek didn’t want the Yidden to receive the Torah! And when it comes to protecting our Ruchnius, we need to go out ourselves and fight. We get the koach from Moshe Rabbeinu who led the war then, but we need to put in the effort ourselves!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, parshas Beshalach

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Birchas Hamazon

The Gemara says that the first bracha of Birchas Hamazon was set up by Moshe Rabbeinu, at the time when the Yidden had the mahn to eat. After they ate, they said this bracha in thanks to Hashem.

If this bracha is about the mahn, why is it the first and main bracha of our bentching today?

Nowadays we don’t have mahn, bread from Shomayim. We have bread from the earth, like in the time of Yehoshua, when the Yidden came into Eretz Yisroel. So shouldn’t the second bracha, which speaks about the earth, be the main bracha of bentching?

The Rebbe explains that all of our food today IS like mahn!

The Rebbe Maharash said that parnasa in these days is like mahn. When the mahn fell, and the Yidden gathered it, it was always just the right amount! Even if they had picked up TONS of mahn, when they got home they found that they had exactly as much as they needed.

Our parnasa works like that too! If we add up how much money we think we need, and how much we are actually supposed to get, it doesn’t work out. But in the end, Hashem makes it all work, and we have whatever we need!

So all of the food we have, which we were able to get with the parnasa Hashem gave us, is really like mahn! And we thank Hashem for it using the same bracha that Moshe Rabbeinu set up for the mahn the Yidden had in the Midbar.

See Farbrengen Yud Shevat Tof-Shin-Mem-Alef, sicha 5



The Kos of Kiddush

Let’s review what we learned about the kos of Kiddush that the Alter Rebbe brings in the halachos of Kiddush:

- It needs to be shaleim, it shouldn’t be broken or cracked.

- Shetifah and Hadacha — the kos should be washed or wiped out inside and outside

- The kos should be full, and according to our minhag overflowing

- The wine shouldn’t been pogum, it shouldn’t have been drank from

- We use both of our hands to pick up the kos, by passing it from our right hand to our left hand, and then lower it into our right hand which is cupped like a bowl

- We pick the kos up one tefach, and according to our minhag three tefachim higher than the table so everyone can see it

- When we say the bracha, we should look at the kos to keep our attention on the kos

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef se’if Yud-Ches

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




The Rebbe’s takana of learning Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos is a very special way to get ready for Moshiach! Why?

When we get ready for a birthday party, we prepare for what is going to happen at the party. We make sure to figure out the rules for the games we will play, which hachlata we make, and decide how we will set the table and when we’ll say the pesukim.

The Rambam says in the halachos about Moshiach that in the times of Moshiach, we are going to be able to do ALL of the mitzvos just like we used to when the Beis Hamikdash was standing, exactly the way Hashem wants!

What is the best way to get ready for that? By doing something that is similar to what is going to happen! Since when Moshiach comes we will be able to do all of the mitzvos in the best way, we need to learn and know now about all of the mitzvos and halachos so we’ll know what Hashem wants. There is only one sefer that teaches us EVERYTHING we need to know (including the halachos about the Beis Hamikdash and bringing korbanos): The Rambam!

So what’s a better way to get ready for Moshiach? Let’s make sure to learn Rambam every day!

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