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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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L’ilui Nishmas
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Parshas Naso - Revi'i with Rashi

Today’s Chumash is very long! We learn about the Sotah, the Nazir, and Birchas Kohanim.


A husband might tell his wife not to spend time with a certain man, because he is worried that she wants to get married to him instead. If people saw her go into a room privately with him anyway, she is called a Sotah. We need to do what it says in the Torah to prove and see if she did an aveira or not.

The Sotah has to bring a korban, but only using barley flour, like we use to feed animals. We don’t put any oil or spices on it, because that would make the korban look beautiful and remind us of light (from the oil) and the Imahos (from the spices), and the way she acted isn’t beautiful and not like the Imahos at all!

Part of getting the Sotah ready to be tested is embarrassing her. We hope that she will tell the truth if she did something wrong.

The Kohen also makes her promise that she is telling the truth, and that she knows that if she isn’t, the bitter water she drinks will make her die.

The Kohen writes the promise, with Hashem’s name, on a piece of parchment and erases it in the bitter water. When the Sotah drinks it, if she wasn’t telling the truth, she will get very sick and die very quickly. But if she really didn’t do an aveira, then Hashem forgives her for acting in a way that didn’t look right, and she gets brachos for children.


Now the Torah tells us about a Nazir. A Nazir is a person (a man or a woman) who promises Hashem not to drink any wine so they will have more Kedusha. A Nazir can’t eat any grapes or drink any kind of wine or grape juice. They are also not allowed to cut their hair. They can promise to be a Nazir for however long they want, but at least 30 days.

The whole time a person is a Nazir, they aren’t allowed to become Tamei from a person who passes away — even someone from their family. They can’t go to a cemetery or a Levayah.

What happens if they become Tamei by mistake? They need to become tahor from the Parah Adumah, and then they need to cut off all the hair from their head, bring a korban of two birds, and then start counting the days of being a Nazir again from the beginning.

At the end of their time being a Nazir, they have to bring a Korban — a boy lamb, a girl lamb, and a ram, 10 matzos mixed with oil and 10 matzos brushed with oil, and the flour and wine like we always bring with the animals.

After the korbanos are brought, the Nazir has to shave off his hair inside the Beis Hamikdash, and burn it in the fire where the Korban is being cooked.

After all of the Korbanos are brought properly, the Nazir is allowed to drink wine again.


Now we go back to what was happening on the first day that the Mishkan was put up:

Hashem wanted to give the Yidden more brachos. He said that these brachos will come through the KohanimBirchas Kohanim. The way this bracha is said is the way we speak to one person, not to a group, because the brachos are meant for each Yid that is there.

Yevarechecha Hashem Veyishmerecha — Hashem should give you brachos with parnasa, and that the parnasa should go to good things.

Ya’er Hashem Panav Eilecha Vichuneka — Hashem should like you and have other people like you too.

Yisa Hashem Panav Eilecha Veyaseim Lecha Shalom — Hashem should not pay attention to your mistakes and give you shalom.

When the Kohanim give this bracha, they should say Hashem’s name — Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay! Hashem will give the brachos to the Yidden, and also to the Kohanim who give them the bracha.



44 - 48

In today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Mem-Vov talks about how when Moshiach comes, Hashem will make that there will be no more wars. The world will be quiet and peaceful. “Lechu Chazu Mifalos Hashem Asher Sam Shamos BaAretz” — “Go look at what Hashem did — He made the world empty (of war).”

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that this isn’t just talking about wars with soldiers and guns, it’s talking about fighting with our Yetzer Hara too! Nowadays we always need to fight with our Yetzer Hara to do the right thing, because Hashem wants us to work hard and become better Yidden. Then Hashem will be able to reward us for our hard work.

But when Moshiach comes, we will rest from our fighting with the Yetzer Hara, just like we rest on Shabbos from our hard work all week! Instead, we will put our energy into becoming better in kedusha itself.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Alef

The Torah uses the mashal of Hashem creating the world by SAYING things — the Asara Maamaros (like “Yehi Or”). We learned from the Baal Shem Tov that these words create the world every single second.

If everything in the world needs to get chayus from Hashem’s words, and Hashem only said TEN things (like “Yehi Or” — let there be light, or “Yehi Rakia” — there should be a sky), how do all of the other things get their chayus? Everything needs to get chayus from Hashem’s words!

The answer is that the chayus can come in a few different ways. It can come from the exact way Hashem says it. The chayus can also come by switching around the letters into a different order, or by changing one letter of the Asara Maamaros for another (like through a Gematria, or letters that sound the same, as explained in Kabbalah). When the letters are switched, it can spell the Hebrew name of another thing in the world, and that’s where THAT thing gets it’s chayus!

(The chayus that comes directly from the specific words of the Asara Maamaros is stronger than the chayus that comes from switched letters, but it is still enough to give each thing its chayus.)

So we see that it’s the letters of the name in Lashon Kodesh that gives each thing its chayus! (So a tree (Eitz) gets its chayus from Ayin and Tzadik, and a rock (Even) gets its chayus from Alef, Beis, and Nun!)

Every person also gets their chayus from their Hebrew name — so if your name is Chaya you get chayus from Ches, Yud, Hey; and if your name is Yosef you get your chayus from Yud, Vov, Samech, Fey!



Ches Sivan

In Shir Hashirim, there are two pesukim that tell us about the world. From one posuk we learn that the world is called “Genuni” (we know about this from Bosi Legani!), and the other posuk calls it “Ginas Egoz.”

Genuni” is a meeting place — where Hashem meets people. This is the way the world was at the beginning.

After Adam Harishon did the Cheit Eitz HaDaas, the world got another name: Ginas Egoz — a nut garden. Nuts (“egoz”) is the Gematria of “Cheit” — an Aveira. (That’s why we don’t eat nuts on Rosh Hashana!) The world is full of chances to do Aveiros, like nuts growing on trees.

Hashem gives us the choice to live in the world in a way of “Genunia Shel Hakadosh Baruch Hu” — a place where we spend time with Hashem, or chas veshalom to choose to live in a way of Ginas Egoz — a world of aveiros. It is our choice.



Shiur #314 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #282, #283, Asei #229, #228

Today we learn 4 mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #282) Usually we listen to whatever MOST of the judges say, but for a Beis Din to punish a person who might be chayav misa, there is a special mitzvah: The number of judges who say that the person is chayav misa have to be at least two more than the amount of judges who say that he isn’t. Unless there are two judges more who say that this person is chayav misa, it is an aveira to punish the person in this way.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא תִהְיֶה אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְרָעֹת

The details are explained in Perek Daled of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #283) This mitzvah is in a case where the Beis Din is deciding if someone is chayav misa or not (Dinei Nefashos): Every judge has to pasken the way he understands things himself, not just agree with other judges. He can’t rely on what another judge says, even if he respects his opinion, or if most of the other judges are saying the same thing. He needs to pasken based on his own understanding.

We learn this from the same posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא תַעֲנֶה עַל רִב לִנְטֹת

The Rambam also tells us other things that the Chachomim learn from this posuk:

1) A judge who paskened that the person was innocent can’t change his mind and say that he is guilty.

2) The first judge to say his opinion should be a judge who thinks that the person is not chayav misa.

3) The Beis Din can’t go back and change the psak if they paskened that the person was not guilty.

4) The first judge to share his opinion should not be the greatest judge.

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Daled of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #229) Beis Din needs to keep the halachos of Sekilah (one of the ways a Beis Din punishes). The Rambam tells us in the specific aveiros when they are punished with Sekilah.

We learn this from another posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וּסְקַלְתֶּם אֹתָם בָּאֲבָנִים וָמֵתוּ

The details are explained in Perek Vov of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #228) Beis Din needs to keep the halachos of Sereifah (another one of the ways a Beis Din punishes). The Rambam tells us in the specific aveiros when they are punished with Sereifah.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: בָּאֵשׁ יִשְׂרְפוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶתְהֶן

The details are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Sanhedrin.



Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how the Sanhedrin works.

In Perek Daled, we learn about a special kind of Semicha. This Semicha is the way to pass down a special koach of Hashem to judge as part of the Sanhedrin. This koach was passed down from one judge to another, and goes all the way back to Moshe Rabbeinu!

Unfortunately, for certain reasons we don’t have this kind of Semicha nowadays — it was not passed down all the way to our times.

Perek Hey: In this perek we learn what each type of Beis Din is able to pasken on. For example, setting up a king can only be done by a big Sanhedrin of 71 judges, and a case where someone might be chayav misa can only be done by a Beis Din of at least 23 — a small Beis Din of 3 is not allowed to pasken in such a case.

In Perek Vov, we learn what happens if the Beis Din made a mistake. We also learn that if someone is afraid a Beis Din might make a mistake, he can sometimes choose to go to a bigger one.



Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Beis

Today we learn what counts as a promise. One halacha is that if a person makes a promise, they are allowed to change their mind if they do it right away.



Isru Chag

Today is the first day of the seven Yemei Tashlumin of Shavuos. In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, Yidden could use these days to bring Korbanos that they didn’t have a chance to bring on Shavuos.

It is also called “Yom Tavo’ach,” the day of shechting korbanos. In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, many Yidden brought their Olas Re’iyah, the korban that is brought when you come up to the Beis Hamikdash, on Isru Chag! So this became a day of shechting many korbanos.

Now we also have a chance to make up for things we didn’t have a chance to do on Shavuos, like making hachlatos to learn more Torah.

The Rebbe points out that Tashlumin also comes from the word “Shleimus,” complete. Even if we did everything RIGHT on Shavuos, we should still use these days to do even MORE, so that our avodah is complete!

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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Review

Now that we have learned all of the Yud-Beis Pesukim, let’s see how they fit together!

The Yud-Beis Pesukim follow a pattern:

1) Two pesukim from Torah Shebichsav

2) Two Maamorei Chazal from Torah Shebaal Peh

3) Two lines from Chassidus

The Rebbe taught the first six pesukim according to this pattern on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, and then the next six pesukim according to the same pattern on Lag B’omer.

IY”H over the next few days, we will review the Yud-Beis Pesukim, in a different order. First we will go through the four pesukim from Torah Shebichsav, then the four from Torah Shebaal Peh, and finally the four from Chassidus.



Isru Chag

The day after Yom Tov is called Isru Chag. The word “isru” means tied, connected. It is a day that connects the regular weekdays with the Yom Tov that just ended.

On Isru Chag, we bring some of the joy of Yom Tov into a regular day. We eat a little bit more than usual to show that it is special, and we don’t fast.

The Gemara says that someone who eats and drinks more on the day after Yom Tov, connecting it to the Yom Tov, it is like he built a Mizbeiach and brought a korban!

(We hint to this in Hallel: “Isru Chag Ba’avosim Ad Karnos Hamizbeiach.” If you eat “avosim” (fatty food) on Isru Chag, it is like you brought a korban to the corners of the Mizbeiach.)

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Chof-Tes se’if yud-zayin

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 Hidden Chayus

In his nevuos about Moshiach, the Navi Yeshaya said “Velo Yikanef Od Morecha,” “And your Teacher, Hashem, won’t hide from you anymore.”

Like we are starting to learn now in Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah, Hashem gives a chayus to the world the whole time so that it can exist. But this chayus is hidden.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this posuk also means that when Moshiach comes, Hashem won’t hide from us anymore! We will be able to clearly see Hashem’s chayus in the world.

See Tanya Perek Lamed-Vov

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