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Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn the story of the Akeidah, and how Avraham Avinu finds out about a shidduch for Yitzchak.

The Akeida: The Satan tried to get Hashem angry at Avraham since he hadn’t given a Korban from the time he moved to Chevron. Hashem said that it wasn’t true — everything Avraham did was for Hashem, and he would even give up his son for Hashem!

Yishmael had done some teshuvah and moved back to Chevron to be closer to Avraham. But he thought HE deserved to be Hashem’s shliach after Avraham passed away. He boasted that he had a bris even though it hurt. Yitzchak answered that he would even give up his whole body to Hashem!

After hearing what the Satan and Yitzchak said, Hashem gave Avraham this exact test.

He told Avraham to take Yitzchak to Har Hamoriah, where the Beis Hamikdash would be built. He should prepare him to be a korban for Hashem.

Avraham woke up early in the morning. He woke up early, and saddled his own donkey to carry the wood and tools instead of asking a servant to help. He chopped the wood himself, and took along Eliezer (his servant), Yishmael, and Yitzchak.

Even though it usually took one day to travel to Har Hamoriah, Avraham only reached Har Hamoriah on the third day. He saw a cloud over the mountain and realized that this was the mountain Hashem wanted him to go to.

Avraham told Eliezer and Yishmael to stay with the donkey, and he and Yitzchak would go daven and come back to them. (He didn’t even realize but he said a nevuah, that Yitzchak would come back too!)

Avraham had Yitzchak carry the wood, while he carried the fire and the knife. Both of them were ready to do whatever Hashem wanted, even though Yitzchak didn’t know yet that he was going to become a korban.

Yitzchak then asked Avraham where the animal for the Korban was. Avraham told him that if Hashem doesn’t send something else, Yitzchak would be the korban. Yitzchak was still happy to walk with his father to do what Hashem wanted.

When they came to the right place, Avraham built a mizbeiach and arranged the wood on it. He tied up Yitzchak and put him onto the mizbeiach. Avraham took the knife, ready to shecht his son. The malachim all cried when they saw, and some tears fell into Yitzchak’s eyes (later making him not able to see very well).

A malach called out and said “Avraham! Avraham! Do not shecht your son!” Avraham thought he should still give Yitzchak a small cut, but the malach said “No, do nothing!” Avraham was sad, because he thought this meant that he failed Hashem’s test.

Hashem said, “I didn’t WANT you to bring Yitzchak as a korban at all, it was just a test — and you were ready to do it, you passed the test!”

But Avraham didn’t just want to pass the test, he wanted Hashem to promise him brachos. He knew that for that, he had to give a Korban. So he looked around and saw a ram running to him! Hashem set aside this ram since creating the world, just for this reason! But the Satan was upset that Avraham had passed the test, so he made the ram’s horns get stuck in a bush. Avraham helped the ram free and brought it as a korban. Since he brought the ram as a korban as if it was Yitzchok, Yitzchok also became holy like a korban.

Avraham called this place “Hashem Yireh,” which means that Hashem sees. Avraham davened to Hashem, asking that Hashem should see this place as the one where the Shechinah will rest, and korbanos will be brought in the future.

After the korban, the malach called out again: “Since you were ready to give your only son as a korban, your children will become as many as the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea, and take over Eretz Yisroel!”


Avraham went back to live in Be’er Sheva. He realized that now was a good time for Yitzchak to get married. He was going to see if Aner, Eshkol or Mamrei had any daughters that would be good for Yitzchak. Hashem told Avraham that his nephew Besuel had a baby Rivka who deserved to be a wife for Yitzchak, so he stopped looking.



88 - 89

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

One of the things it talks about in Kapitel Pey-Tes is how Hashem gave the special job to be the Yiddishe kings to Dovid Hamelech and his children. “Zaro Le’olam Yihiyeh” — “his children will be forever.”

Now we don’t have any Yiddishe king, so what happens to Hashem’s promise?

Moshiach comes from Dovid Hamelech, so Hashem’s promise to Dovid Hamelech really does go forever! We will see that our king Moshiach comes from the family of Dovid!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Ches

We are learning what the Alter Rebbe wrote to R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, to comfort him after his son passed away.

All of the Torah learning and davening that the tzadik does during his lifetime brings down a big chayus of Hashem in Ruchnius, but it is hidden. When the tzadik passes away, all of his accomplishments during his lifetime come together and make a very strong chayus from Hashem, but this time it shines in the world!

This chayus is so strong and special that it makes Hashem forgive the Yidden for even big aveiros, and even if they were done on purpose!

That’s why the Torah talks about how Miriam the tzadeikes passed away, right next to the place where the Torah teaches about the Parah Adumah. Because the Parah Adumah ALSO forgives the Yidden for such big aveiros!



Yud-Ches Mar-Cheshvan

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe tells us some corrections in the Torah Ohr, from the notes of the Rebbe Rashab.

(One year (Tof-Shin-Chof-Hey, 5725), the Rebbe asked the Chassidim to learn the Likkutei Torah or Torah Ohr of the parsha every week, and the Rebbe gave a special Lechaim at the weekly Shabbos farbrengens to the Chassidim who did it!

In Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis, the Rebbe asked again to learn Torah Ohr and Likutei Torah, just like we learn Rambam every day.)



Mitzvas Asei #168

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn one mitzvah about Sukkos (Mitzvas Asei #168): We need to live in the Sukkah on Sukkos. We learn this from the posuk in Parshas Emor, “You should live in a sukkah for seven days.” Can you guess which mesechta in Mishnayos and Gemara talk about this mitzvah? You got it, Mesechta Sukkah!

This is one of the mitzvos that women do not need to keep.

The Rambam organizes all of these halachos in Perek Daled, Hey, and Vov of the section of halachos we are learning now.



Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav

Perek Gimmel: In this perek we finish learning the halachos of the shofar. We learn how to blow the shofar, including about the three kinds of sounds, Tekiyah, Shevarim, and Teruah.

Perek Daled: We start learning the halachos of a sukkah. We learn the smallest and biggest size a sukkah can be, and the many different shapes it can have! Did you know that a round sukkah is kosher?

Perek Hey: This perek teaches us the halachos about sechach, the most important part of the sukkah. We learn what kosher sechach is, and what happens if non-kosher sechach got mixed into it!

One halacha in this perek is that you need to put on the sechach yourself. So if you see a haystack and you make a hole in it so you can crawl inside so that the sechach is already there, that’s not a kosher sukkah!



Hilchos Maaser - Perek Vov

Tevel is food that needs maaser taken from it. We are not allowed to give tevel as a present, or to plant it. We are only allowed to sell tevel if we HAVE to, and even then, only to a Talmid Chochom, so we can be sure maaser will be taken from it!




In today’s Chumash, Shvi’i of Parshas Vayeira, Hashem tested Avraham Avinu with a very hard test: The Akeidah. Hashem told Avraham to bring his son, that he had waited for so long for, as a korban.

Not only did Avraham listen to Hashem and go bring Yitzchak up on the Mizbeiach, he RUSHED to do the mitzvah! He didn’t push it off because he didn’t want to do it, he HURRIED to do what Hashem asked him to!

Because of Avraham’s zerizus, Hashem gave him a lot of reward!

We can learn from Avraham Avinu how special it is to do mitzvos right away! In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us that this is especially true for tzedakah — we should hurry to do it quickly!

In the zechus of this, we will be bentched (like Avraham Avinu was) with tremendous brachos!


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Work on Davening

When the Rebbe came to Paris to bring his mother, Rebbetzin Chana, to America, he saw many Chassidim there.

Later, many of them came to live in America. Many years afterward, the Rebbe spoke to them at a farbrengen:

In Paris, times were very hard. But these Chassidim davened properly, with kavana and with feeling!

But now, the Rebbe sees these same Chassidim during davening and at the farbrengen. They now just daven quickly and without feeling.

The Rebbe asked, how could this be? Now, times are much easier! There aren’t as many big problems bothering us, and we have much more Gashmius that needs to become holy through davening. Now, even MORE, Chassidim should be davening b’Avodah!

See sicha of Vayikra 5742



Parsha Questions

“Who knows what is this week’s parsha?”

For many generations, it has been a Minhag among Yidden for a father to test his children on Shabbos. He should ask them about what they learned during the week, especially about the parsha that they learned about in school and heard being read in shul!

See Sicha Shabbos Hagadol 5749

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



The Alef of Geulah

What is Geulah? In Lashon Hakodesh, the name of something is what gives it chayus and tells us what it is. Geulah is the same letters of “Golah,” which means Golus, together with an alef. Really, it’s not a new world with different things than we had in Golus, it’s all of the same things we live with in Golah — only it has an alef!

So what is the alef?

We learned that the alef is “Aluf” — Hashem, that everything and everyone will recognize Hashem — so nothing bad can happen, and nothing can hide Hashem!

Another explanation for the Alef is from a posuk, “A’alefcha Chochma, A’alefcha Bina.” It means to teach Torah. That shows us that when Moshiach comes, the Alef of Torah will be in everything. All of the things in the world will live according to the Torah! The goyim will all keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, the Yidden will all be acting the way the Torah teaches us, and even the Gashmiyus things in the world will help remind us to keep the mitzvos.

This is why the Rambam says that Moshiach will come from the family of “Dovid AND Shlomo.” We know that Moshiach has to come from the family of Dovid Hamelech, but why is it important that Moshiach come specifically from Shlomo Hamelech?

Shlomo Hamelech was given a special gift from Hashem — a gift of Chochmah. The posuk says that Shlomo Hamelech was the wisest person that ever lived — Vayechkam Mikol HaAdam! So Moshiach, who will bring the Geulah by bringing the Alef of the Chochmah of Torah into the world, must come from Shlomo Hamelech, who had so much Chochmah!

See Sichas Parshas Emor 5751

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