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Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon to count the Leviim from the family of Kehos who are the right age to work. Like we learned, this family is in charge of the keilim of the Mishkan, like the Shulchan and the Menorah. The Torah tells us that someone who is older than 30 and younger than 50 is strong enough to carry these special parts of the Mishkan.

Here’s how they do their job:

When Hashem lets the Yidden know it’s time to travel by making the cloud go up, the Kohanim get the parts of the Mishkan ready to carry. They have special covers for each part of the Mishkan, and do it in this order:

- They take down the Paroches and cover the Aron with it. Then they put on another 2 covers on top of the Paroches, and put the poles of the Aron on their shoulders.

- They cover the Shulchan and put its tools and the Lechem Hapanim on top. They cover the tools and Lechem Hapanim with another cover, and then put a third cover over it all. Then they put the poles inside to carry it with.

- They cover the Menorah and all of its tools, put them in a special bag, and hang the bag on a pole. (The Menorah doesn’t have any poles to be carried with.)

- They cover the Mizbeiach Haketores, and put its poles inside.

- They take all of the tools for the Ketores and put them in a bag, cover the bag, and then hang it on a pole.

- They empty out the ashes from the big copper Mizbeiach. They cover the fire with a copper pot, so that the fire from Shomayim won’t burn the cover, and then cover the Mizbeiach with a special purple cover. They put the tools on top, and then put a second cover and put in the poles to carry it.

Only after the kohanim from Kehos have finished covering each part of the Mishkan do the Leviim from Kehos come to carry them. They aren’t allowed to touch these holy pieces of the Mishkan, they can only touch their poles and their covers.

Elazar (Aharon’s son) has his own special job:

- He has to carry the oil for the Menorah
- He has to carry the Ketores
- He makes sure the Korban Mincha is brought every day
- He has to carry the Shemen Hamishcha (oil we use to make something ready for a job in the Mishkan)
- He also makes sure that the family of Kehos does their job carrying these pieces of the Mishkan right.

Hashem tells Moshe to make sure that the kohanim are very careful that no Leviim touch parts of the Mishkan they aren’t allowed to! They should only let the Leviim come in when these things are all wrapped up so that they don’t touch them by mistake.



29 - 34

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Hashem Oz Le’amo Yitein” — “Hashem will give strength to the Yidden.”

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that the posuk is telling us that when Hashem gave us the Torah, He was giving us a very big present!

During the day, we see things which make us have taavos and want things that aren’t good for our neshama. When Hashem gave us the Torah, He gave us “Oz,” strength for our neshama! With this strength, our neshamos can control the taavos and act the way Hashem wants us to.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Hakdama

The Alter Rebbe is telling us why he made this section of Tanya.

In the first section of Tanya, we learn that in order to serve Hashem properly, we need to have Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem. Here the Alter Rebbe tells us that the foundation for Ahavas Hashem is to have a pure Emunah in Hashem and to understand Achdus Hashem as best as we can.

First the Alter Rebbe tells us which kind of Ahavas Hashem is a mitzvah to have, and which kind is a “present” from Hashem, but not a mitzvah.

Loving Hashem which comes through hisbonenus is the Ahavas Hashem that we have a mitzvah to do. We think in general how Hashem is our chayus, and we love Hashem for giving us life! We also think specifically about how Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, brought us close to Him, and gave us the precious Torah! This happens every day when we daven and learn Torah. This makes us love Hashem and want to serve Hashem properly.

This is exactly what Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden to do when he gave them the mitzvah to love Hashem! The Alter Rebbe shows us from the pesukim that Moshe told the Yidden things they can think about so they will love Hashem and do what Hashem wants.

However, the strong kind of love which comes as a gift from Hashem is not the mitzvah of Ahavas Hashem. It is like the reward the neshama gets in Olam Haba!



Hey Sivan

Today is forty-nine days of the Omer!

On Erev Shavuos in 5557, the Alter Rebbe said a “Torah”:

Before the Yidden got the Torah, Hashem told Moshe how the Yidden should get ready: “Make them holy today and tomorrow, and they should wash their clothes.” Becoming holy today and tomorrow is something we get from Hashem, but cleaning our clothes we need to do ourselves.

That’s all the Alter Rebbe said.

The Tzemach Tzedek explained this Torah:

Hashem told MOSHE to make the Yidden holy. In every generation, we have a Rebbe, our Moshe Rabbeinu, who helps make us holy. They teach us Torah and SHOW us how to be good Yidden and do our shlichus.

That is given to us. But to really BE the way we should be, WE need to “wash our clothes.” What are clothes? Like we learned in Tanya, the Levushim are what we think, say, and do. We need to make these clean ourselves, to act the way Hashem wants.

The Rebbeim teach us what we need to do, but it’s up to us to actually follow the horaos and do it!



Mitzvas Asei #106

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #106) is about the tumah of a Zavah, a woman with a certain kind of sickness. She can make other things tomei, like by touching them or moving them. We need to follow the halachos of the Torah that tells us when she becomes a Zavah, and when she makes other things tomei.



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn about clay keilim and when they can become Tomei.

In Perek Yud-Ches we learn that a clay keili is only tomei if it is a Klei Kibul — it has a place to hold things inside.

Perek Yud-Tes teaches us about when a clay keili is broken — when are the pieces big enough that they are counted as their own keilim?

Perek Chof is about things that are attached to a clay keili, to know when they are counted as a keili by themselves.



Hilchos Gerushin - Perek Daled

Today we learn halachos about how the get is written, what it is written with, what it is written on, and the words of the get.



Chag Hashavuos

The Rebbe would always give people a bracha before Shavuos: “Kabolas HaTorah BeSimcha Ub’pnimius!” These are the words the Rebbe Rashab and the Friediker Rebbe would use.

What is this a bracha for?

The words mean “Receive the Torah with simcha and a pnimius” — what does that mean?

When you are told in camp that you are going on a trip to an amusement park, or your parents tell you that you’re going to your cousins’ house next week, you are very happy and excited about the trip! Because you are happy, you will REALLY enjoy and appreciate the trip when you finally take it!

The same thing is with the Torah. When we are excited and happy that we’re getting the Torah, then when we get the Torah with a new chayus every year, we will FOR SURE appreciate and enjoy everything about the Torah and feel that everything in the Torah is meant for us!

That’s what the bracha means — that we should be excited and happy about the Torah, so that we can make the Torah pnimius — so we feel like it’s ours.

See Igros Kodesh vol. 17, p. 152


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When the Rambam goes through the history of davening in Hilchos Tefillah, he explains that everyone used to just use their own words to daven to Hashem, whenever they wanted to.

Later, the Chachomim established the Shemoneh Esrei, specific words we should say to speak to Hashem. They also re-instituted the way that the Avos davened three times a day.

On some days, though, the Chachomim taught us to daven more often! Some days we daven four times, and some days even FIVE times!

The fifth Tefillah is called Ne’ilah, and it is said close to the end of the day. The Chachomim taught us to say Ne’ilah on a fast day when the Yidden are davening for rain. Nowadays we only say this fifth tefillah on Yom Kippur.

Our davening nowadays is instead of bringing korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash. Our three tefillos each day match up with the korbanos, which were brought in three time periods every day. On special days, like Shabbos and Yom Tov, extra korbanos, called the Korban Musaf, were brought in the Beis Hamikdash. On these days, we say an extra tefillah, called Musaf!

This whole tefillah speaks about the korbanos brought in the Beis Hamikdash on that day. In Musaf, we ask Hashem to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash so we can again bring these korbanos!



Saying Tikun Leil Shavuos

The night before Shavuos, we stay up all night as a preparation for Matan Torah. Every year, we receive the Torah from Hashem anew when we hear the Aseres Hadibros in shul. By staying up, we correct the mistake of the Yidden, who were sleeping the night before Shavuos, when Hashem came to give them the Torah.

The Yidden had a good reason to sleep. They wanted to reach a higher connection to Hashem, which can only be done when sleeping. Still, it wasn’t the right thing. Hashem wanted the preparation to be in this world, while they were awake, even if it wouldn’t be as high of a level.

There are different minhagim about what to do on this night while we stay up. Many people sit and learn Torah all night.

The Rebbe pointed out that the Frierdiker Rebbe explained in many sichos that we should say the words of the Tikun Leil Shavuos. (The Tikun is a sefer which includes the first and last section of every part of Torah.)

Saying Tikun Leil Shavuos is a way to show achdus! Everyone is able to read the words of Torah, even if we can’t all understand them. At Matan Torah, all of the Yidden were together equally, and Shavuos is a special time to have more achdus. By saying Tikun Leil Shavuos, which EVERYONE can be a part of, we unite with all of the Yidden together. That is why it is the Chabad minhag to say Tikun Leil Shavuos when we stay up.

There are many incredible brachos promised to people who stay up during this night to say words of Torah!


Here are links to two Halacha Newsletters, to review the halachos for Shavuos: Badatz of Crown Heights and Rabbi Shmuel Lesches of Melbourne

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



No Jew Will Be Left Behind

In the Haggadah Shel Pesach, we speak about how to answer four kinds of sons. When we answer the Rasha, we tell him that if he was in Mitzrayim, he wouldn’t have come out! He would have passed away with the rest of the Resha’im during Makas Choshech.

But that’s not the way it will work with the Geulah! The Navi Yeshaya tells us that “Yitaka BeShofar Gadol,” a great shofar will be blown, and EVERY Yid will come back, no matter how far away he is!

Why will this Geulah be different? Why will Hashem bring even the Resha’im back to Yerushalayim?

Yetziyas Mitzrayim happened before Matan Torah. In the Aseres Hadibros, Hashem said, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha!” Hashem is the Aibishter of every single Jew! That new connection to Hashem makes it impossible for any Yid to be lost in Golus. EVERY Yid will come back to serve Hashem in Yerushalayim, no matter how far away he is from Yiddishkeit!

See MiGolah L’Geulah p. 196, from Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Alef p. 2

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