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Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim - Revi'i with Rashi

We learned yesterday that a Yid’s marriage is very holy!

The Torah says that the goyim in Eretz Yisroel were not acting in a very holy way. This bothered Hashem so much, that they were pushed out of Eretz Yisroel! Now that the Yidden are about to go into Eretz Yisroel, they need to be extra careful that they are not acting the way the goyim were. They need to act differently, since they are Hashem’s special nation!

- Two men can’t get married to each other.
- People can’t get married to animals.

If someone does these aveiros, even if the Beis Din can’t punish them, Hashem gives them a kind of kareis, cutting off their chayus from Hashem so they will pass away young, without having children.

Keeping these mitzvos shows that we understand that Hashem is in charge of the world, and knows what is good for us. We understand that He will punish us if we chas veshalom do these aveiros, and we understand that Hashem will reward us for acting the way He asks us to!

Now Hashem tells Moshe to tell the Yidden something very important:

Kedoshim Tiheyu Ki Kadosh Ani” — Hashem says, “I am holy, so you should be holy too!”

We learn many mitzvos now, and are reminded of some we learned before:

- Kibud Av Va’em
- Keep Shabbos
- Don’t worship idols — only serve Hashem!
- When we bring a korban, we need to remember the halachos of bringing it (that we need to eat it that day), and why we’re bringing it!
- Pe’ah — we need to leave a corner of the field for poor people to take what grows there
- Leket — when we’re harvesting our fields, we need to leave pieces that fall on the floor, for poor people to come take
- Olelos — we can’t pick up small bunches of grapes that fall when we’re picking them — we need to leave them for the poor
- We can’t steal
- We can’t say not-true things to a Beis Din
- We can’t make a not-true promise in Hashem’s name
- We need to pay our workers on time
- We can’t curse people
- Lifnei Iver — we shouldn’t tell someone to do something that isn’t good for him



29 - 34

In the last perek of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech tells us “Sur Me’Ra, Va’asei Tov, Bakeish Shalom Verodfeihu” — “stay away from bad, and do good, and try to make shalom.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains that in every gashmius’dike thing in this world, there’s a part which is good and a part which is bad. The part that’s bad is the selfish feelings (taava) that a person has for the thing. The good part is the chayus of Hashem that we get from the Gashmius.

This is what the Tehillim is saying: Stay away from the selfish part, and look for the GOOD part, the chayus from Hashem!

Then, we have to make shalom between the Gashmiyus and the Ruchnius (the chayus of Hashem). This way, you’ll feel Hashem’s chayus even when you’re using the Gashmius.



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Daled

In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is teaching us how every Yid is able, with the koach of Moach Shalit Al Halev, to win over his Yetzer Hara and make his mitzvos more pure and Ruchnius’dik!

First we learned how to win over the Yetzer Hara by bringing out the koach of Mesiras Nefesh we have inside of ourselves.

Now we are learning how to use our mind to think about our connection with Hashem, which will help us have Yiras Hashem and Ahavas Hashem to make our mitzvos more aidel and Ruchnius’dik.

First we learned what to think so we will have Yiras Hashem. Then we learned two ways of thinking to help us feel Ahavas Hashem, that can work for everyone!

If we think about these two things, we can feel our ahava for Hashem:

1) To love Hashem because He is our neshama and our chayus

2) To love Hashem because He is our true Tatte.

These two kinds of love for Hashem really also have Yiras Hashem together with them:

1) We are afraid to do an aveira which will separate us from our true chayus

2) We are afraid to do an aveira which will take us away from our true Tatte, Hashem.

When we remind ourselves about this, we wake up the love for Hashem we have inside of ourselves. This makes our mitzvos more Ruchnius’dik, and able to go up to Olam HaYetzirah, the olam of feeling!

But if we think even more about how we love Hashem in this way, and how we are afraid to become separate from Hashem chas veshalom, then we are using our own minds, not just the love that’s hidden inside of us. Since it comes from our understanding, our mitzvos can go even HIGHER! They go up to the olam of Beriyah, the olam of understanding!

In fact, this ahava also includes Ahava Rabbah, a level of ahava which connects our mitzvos even with the world of Atzilus!



Hey Iyar

Today is twenty days of the Omer!

Why do you think a neshama comes into the world? Why is a baby born, with a neshama, to live for 70 or 80 years?

It is because the neshama has a special shlichus to do here.

What is this shlichus?

Here’s what the Alter Rebbe heard from R’ Mordechai (one of the Baal Shem Tov’s talmidim), who heard the following from the Baal Shem Tov:

The neshama’s special shlichus in the world is to help another Yid in what he needs: In Gashmius — like to make sure they are happy or have food, and especially in Ruchnius — to help another Yid be closer to Hashem.

Of course that doesn’t mean that all of the other Torah and mitzvos a Yid does don’t count! They are all there to help make this Shlichus complete.



Shiur #268 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #251

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #251) is the same one as yesterday’s! This mitzvah is that we are not allowed to hurt other people with our words (ona’as devarim). We aren’t allowed to say mean things, or things that will make someone embarrassed or feel bad.

For example, we aren’t allowed to remind a Baal Teshuvah about the aveiros he did, or tell someone who is sick that it must be a punishment for something he did. We also can’t ask questions to a storekeeper to make him think that we are going to buy something if we aren’t really planning on buying it.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Behar: וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקֶיךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Daled of Bava Metzia.



Hilchos Mechirah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how to do business the Torah way!

Perek Tes-Zayin teaches us about when we can return something and get our money back! One halacha is that if we buy a cow and the person who sold it didn’t tell us that it had no teeth, so it dies from not eating anything, we can give back the dead cow and get all of our money back.

Perek Yud-Zayin explains when the Torah says a sale wasn’t fair, and we can give back what we bought and get our money back. When we sell something, we need to make sure to tell the truth about what it is and how good it is!

In Perek Yud-Ches the Rambam teaches us about not tricking people when we sell something. We can’t paint an old car to make it look new, or put fancy apples on the top of a bag of rotten ones so someone will buy it. But we ARE allowed to give out balloons or candies to kids who come to our store so they will want to come back!



Hilchos Sanhedrin - Perek Yud

In Perek Yud, one of the things we learn is that every judge has to have his OWN opinion. Because of that, we don’t ask the oldest or greatest judge to say his opinion first, because then the other judges might not want to say something different.



Sefiras Haomer

During Sefiras Haomer, we work on our midos — they way we think and the way we behave. One of the things we work on is Nahagu Kavod Zeh Bozeh, to have respect for each other. The Gemara says that during this period of time, the talmidim of Rabbi Akiva passed away because they didn’t have the level of respect for each other that was expected for talmidim like them. Here is something which the Rebbe explains that helps us have kavod for each other, even though we are so different:

If you look around at trees in a forest, you will see that no two trees are exactly alike.

If you look around at people, you will see the same thing — we all look very different.

Guess what? We all ARE different inside, too! People don’t all think the same way. Some people think faster or slower, come up with different ideas, or get worried about different things. One person might think that seeing something is funny, and another person might think it is scary!

Can you think of some things that you think about differently than your friend or sibling?

Hashem made us that way, on purpose! Hashem WANTS that “Ein Deiyoseihem Shavos,” that people shouldn’t think the same way. Every person has a different shlichus, and they understand things according to what they need for this shlichus. Hashem also wants us to share our different ideas with each other, and that will help us understand the Torah and mitzvos even better!

Since that’s the way Hashem wants it, there are two things we need to know:

1) We shouldn’t feel like we need to think the same as everyone else! Hashem created us in a way that we each have our own way of understanding things.

2) On the other hand, we shouldn’t think that we are always right! Even if we feel very strongly about something, we should still respect another person’s opinion. Just like Hashem created us to think strongly in our own way, Hashem also created the other person in a way that he thinks strongly in his own way, which he needs for HIS shlichus!

Even more, there may be something we can learn in our own shlichus from hearing what someone else has to say!

Only when we all work together in our own different ways of understanding will we be able to finish the main shlichus of all Yidden, to bring the Geulah!


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When the Anshei Kneses Hagedolah saw that many people didn’t know how to daven properly anymore, they set up a seder for davening so that everyone would speak to Hashem with the right kavod. The main part of the davening that they put together was Shemoneh Esrei. This is 18 (and later 19) brachos where we ask Hashem for everything we need.

The first three brachos are praise for Hashem, the middle 12 ask for the needs we have, and the last three again praise and thank Hashem.

The second bracha of Shemoneh Esrei that asks for our needs is “Hashiveinu Avinu.” In this bracha we ask Hashem to help us do teshuvah and show us the proper way to learn Torah and do mitzvos.

This bracha is one of the times in Shemoneh Esrei where we talk to Hashem as our Father. Just like a father has the achrayus to teach his children how to behave, we ask Hashem to show us how to act, so we can do our shlichus in the world properly.



Tiltul Muktza

Even though we can’t move muktza, it is not asur to touch it if it is something that usually doesn’t move. The isur of muktza is only Tiltul Muktza, moving something that is muktza.

For example, a car is definitely muktza. But it won’t move just by touching it, because it is so heavy. So it isn’t a problem to touch it on Shabbos.

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



Rushing to the Beis Hamikdash

According to the Rebbe’s hora’ah to learn Inyonei Geulah U’Moshiach from Torah Shebichsav, Torah Shebaal Peh, and other parts of Torah, we are learning some of the inyonim of Geulah from the Neviim:

The Navi Yeshaya said a lot of nevuos about Moshiach!

The Navi told his generation (Perek Beis) how foolish it would be to try to copy the goyim. Soon Moshiach will come, and the goyim will all be running to serve Hashem! It makes no sense to follow the goyim, when even they will soon see that the truth is in the Torah.

וְהָיָה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים נָכוֹן יִהְיֶה הַר בֵּית ה׳ בְּרֹאשׁ הֶהָרִים וְנִשָּׂא מִגְּבָעוֹת וְנָהֲרוּ אֵלָיו כָּל הַגּוֹיִם

Vehaya Ba’acharis Hayamim — This nevuah will happen in the end of the days of Golus

Nachon Yihiyeh Har Beis Hashem Berosh Heharim — The house of Hashem, the Beis Hamikdash, will be in its place on the top of the most important mountain

Venisa Mig’vaos — Which will have more nisim done on it than were done on any other mountain or hill, including Har Sinai!

Venaharu Eilav Kol Hagoyim — And all of the nations will be rushing towards it, to serve Hashem there too.

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