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Shlishi with Rashi

Yosef tells his brothers to go quickly and bring the whole family to Mitzrayim where there is food, and they can all be together. Paraoh and Yosef send presents. At first Yaakov doesn’t believe that Yosef is alive, but they tell him what Yosef says and he gets his Ruach Hakodesh back!

Yosef said, “So now you understand that it was HASHEM Who sent me here! He made me into the highest officer in Mitzrayim.

“It’s very dangerous for our father to be crying about me for so long, he needs to see right away that I am still alive! I should really go to him (because of Kibbud Av Va’eim), but I can’t because I have to take care of all of the people in Mitzrayim. So go home quickly and tell our father that I said, ‘Hashem made me in charge of the whole Mitzrayim! Come down to Mitzrayim. You can live in Goshen with all of your families and all of your animals and all of your things, so you will be near me. I will take care of you for the whole time the hunger lasts.’”

Yosef knew his brothers might not believe he would do such a nice thing: “You can see that I am your brother, and you can hear that I am talking in Lashon Kodesh. Don’t think I’m angry at you and that I want to trick you to hurt you. Just like I wouldn’t be upset at Benyamin — he wasn’t even there when you sold me — I’m not angry at you! Just like Benyamin knows I’m not trying to hurt him, you should know that too.

“You also see that I get a lot of kavod here, so you know that I really can take care of all of you.

“Tell our father about all of this, and so he knows it’s really me, remind him that we were learning the part of Torah about the Eglah Arufah when I was sold. But please go quickly and bring him here!”

Yosef cried on Benyamin’s shoulder, because he saw through Ruach Hakodesh that the first and second Beis Hamikdash (which are in Benyamin’s part of Eretz Yisrael) would be destroyed. Benyamin cried on Yosef’s shoulder because he saw through Ruach Hakodesh that the Mishkan in Shilo, which was in Yosef’s part of Eretz Yisrael, would be destroyed.

Yosef then kissed all of his brothers and cried on their shoulders, and after they saw that he forgave them, they weren’t so embarrassed anymore and talked to him.

Paraoh heard that Yosef’s brothers were in Mitzrayim! Paraoh and the officers were very happy, and Paraoh gave them ten donkeys with grain as a present. He said that they should bring their families and come to Goshen, the best and “richest” part of Mitzrayim. (He said a nevuah without realizing it, that the Yidden would take all of the riches of Mitzrayim when they left!) He sent wagons for the families, and told them not to worry about their things — they can get the nicest things in Mitzrayim.

Yosef gave each of his brothers new clothes, and he gave Benyamin FIVE sets of clothes and also 300 silver pieces!

Since Paraoh was sending Yaakov a present of 10 donkeys with grain, Yosef sent an even better present! HE sent 10 boy donkeys with fancy food (old wine and split beans), and 10 girl donkeys with grain. He also sent bread and things to eat with it for the trip back to Mitzrayim.

Yosef told his brothers to go, and be careful not to learn hard parts of Torah, because then they might not pay attention to the road and they could get lost! And even though they should go quickly, they should be careful. (That’s also good advice — brought in Shulchan Aruch — for all of us when we go places!) He also told them not to argue about whose fault it was for selling him.

The Shevatim went up to Canaan, and told Yaakov that Yosef was alive. At first Yaakov didn’t believe them, but after they told him everything that Yosef said, and also when he saw the wagons (since Agalah, wagon is like Eglah, calf — the Eglah Arufah that they last learned about) he believed them — and Yaakov’s Ruach Hakodesh came back!



18 - 22

Today’s kapitelach are Yud-Ches through Chof-Beis.

Dovid Hamelech wrote the Sefer Tehillim with Ruach Hakodesh, for all of the Yidden. He gives us words to praise Hashem, to ask Him to help us when we need Him, and words to ask for forgiveness when we want to do teshuvah. Each kapitel has a message!

In the Tehillim called Ohel Yosef Yitzchok, before most kapitelach there are a few sentences explaining the message of that kapitel.

In the first kapitel of today’s Tehillim, we are given words to say when a neis happens to us! We praise Hashem, and remember the many nissim that Hashem did from the time He created the world. We ask that the One who did all of the nissim should continue to make nissim for Yidden!

Dovid Hamelech said this kapitel towards the end of his life, thanking Hashem for being saved from so many different troubles. He was saved from many enemies, and from Shaul who was chasing him.

The message of the next kapitel, Kapitel Yud-Tes, is how to see the greatness of Hashem. When we look at the Shomayim, and when we look at the Torah, we are looking at the wonders of Hashem. Like one of the pesukim says, “Hashomayim Mesaprim Kevod Keil.” (“The sky tells about Hashem’s kavod.”) Seeing the incredible things Hashem created helps us to speak about Hashem’s glory and honor.



Likutei Amarim Perek Daled

In today’s Tanya, we will learn how the neshama has such a special way to become one with Hashem, through learning Torah and doing mitzvos! We will see that the STRONGEST way to become one with Hashem is through learning Torah.

We learned that Hashem gave the neshama the Levushim, which it can use for learning Torah and doing mitzvos, which connect a Yid, together with all of his kochos, with Hashem!

This helps us understand the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos, which tells us how important it is to grab every chance to do a mitzvah: The Mishnah says that one chance to do a mitzvah in this world is better than EVERYTHING a neshama can get in Olam Haba!

We now understand this Mishnah, because we know how a mitzvah makes us one with Hashem, and a mitzvah can only be done here, in Olam Hazeh!

But aren’t the mitzvos all in Gashmius? How can we say it’s so close to Hashem?

It’s true that the mitzvos are wearing “clothes” of Gashmius, but that doesn’t make a difference! We can understand why with a mashal:

Let’s say someone wants to hug another person. It doesn’t matter if that person is wearing a shirt, or a coat, or a sweater! The main thing is the hug, it doesn’t matter how many layers that person is wearing. You won’t say, “I just hugged my friend’s sweater!” You know that you hugged your friend!

When we do a mitzvah, it’s like a hug with Hashem! The gashmius things we use to do the mitzvah are like Hashem’s “clothes.” So even though Hashem is “wearing” all of these “clothes,” when we do mitzvos, we are still hugging Hashem!

And not only that, Hashem is hugging us too! (We know this from a posuk, “Viyemincha Techabkeini” — Hashem’s right hand, which Chassidus teaches means Torah, hugs us!) IY”H we will learn more about the special connection we have with Hashem through learning Torah in the next perek!



Gimmel Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe brings two corrections which the Rebbe Rashab noted in the Torah Ohr of Parshas Mikeitz, where most of the maamarim of Chanukah are printed.

One of the corrections is an extra word that was printed by mistake. It was in the part talking about how happy the neshama is in Gan Eden, and that it’s worth it to even have hard things so we’ll get it.

Another mistake was where it says that the lights of Chanukah are connected to Moshiach:

The Moshiach’dik light of the Menorah shines out to the whole world, which is why we are supposed to make sure that the Chanukah lighting is public. The Alter Rebbe brings a posuk that talks about the greatness of Moshiach, and says that Moshiach is the closest to Hashem. By mistake, one wrong letter was printed: Instead of writing א"ס (Ein Sof), which means what’s closest to Hashem, it said א"א (Arich Anpin) which is not as close to Hashem as Moshiach is.



Mitzvas Asei #147

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn (Mitzvas Asei #147) that after a kosher wild animal (chaya) or a bird (oif) is shechted, we need to cover the blood with dirt.



Hilchos Shechitah

In today’s Rambam (Perek Vov, Zayin, and Ches), we learn about different things that make an animal a treifah. If the shochet finds that the animal was hurt or sick after he shechted it, we can’t eat the animal. There are certain parts of the animal that the shochet needs to check, like the lungs (that help the animal breathe). If the animal is missing part of its body, like if one foot is missing, it is a treifah.



Hilchos Beis Habechirah - Perek Alef

Now we start Sefer Avodah, and the halachos of how to build the Beis Hamikdash!

The Rambam starts to teach us about the mitzvah to BUILD the Beis Hamikdash — not leaving any wood sticking out, making sure nothing is broken, and not cutting things in the Beis Hamikdash with iron. One very interesting halacha is that EVERYONE needs to help build it — but we don’t stop kids from learning

Torah to build the Beis Hamikdash, because when kids learn Torah it is even MORE important!



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

This week’s parsha is called Vayigash. At the beginning of the parsha, Yehudah approaches (Vayigash) Yosef, and speaks to him for a long time, in a very strong way, telling him not to take Binyomin away from his father Yaakov. The Medrash says that Yehudah was ready to do whatever it would take — even to fight.

In the first year after Yud Shevat, in a farbrengen with Chassidim, the Rebbe said that parents need to take a lesson from how Yehudah acted. They need to learn from Yehudah to feel the responsibility for every single child, and make sure that no matter how hard it is, they make sure that each child will be happy to go in the Derech HaTorah.

The Rebbe said this to parents, but kids can also learn from this! It is so important that EACH person is happy to go in the way of Torah. We can be part of making sure that we, our siblings, and our friends are happy to keep the mitzvos. We should show them how happy we are by acting in the way of Torah, and that will make them want to do the same! (If we see there is a problem, we should let our parents or teachers know so that they will be able to help.)


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Modeh Ani

Modeh Ani are the words we use to start each day, thanking Hashem for giving us back our neshama.

But it’s not the way Yidden ALWAYS used to start their day!

In the Gemara, it says that right after waking up, we should say Elokai Neshama to thank Hashem for giving back our neshama!

The Talmidei Rabi Yonah explained that in the times of the Gemara, Yidden were holier. They didn’t wake up with tumah like we do, and were able to thank Hashem with a bracha and say Hashem’s name right away in the morning.

The first sefer where we see Modeh Ani written is the sefer Seder Hayom, written by R’ Moshe ben Machir of Tzfas. He lived at the same time as the Arizal! In his sefer, he says that first thing in the morning, we thank Hashem with the short tefillah of Modeh Ani, which doesn’t have Hashem’s name in it.

After we wash Negel Vasser and start getting ready to daven, we can say Hashem’s name. We thank Hashem again with the longer bracha of Elokai Neshama, which has Hashem’s name in it.

See Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras Hachassidus os yud



Washing Negel Vasser

Before we start saying morning brachos, we wash our hands and say the brachaAl Netilas Yodayim.”

Even though we washed before getting out of bed, it isn’t so easy to wash properly in bed. This second time we wash we need to be very careful to wash our hands the way halacha teaches!

The Chachomim teach us that to take away tumah from our hands, we need to wash in a certain way, called “besirugin.” This means to take turns washing each hand once until both of our hands are washed three times. We pour water over the right hand, then the left, again on the right, again on the left, then one last time on the right and one last time on the left.

We also need to make sure that we wash off the WHOLE tumah. Since the tumah reaches to the wrist (where our hand meets our arm), we need to make sure the water we pour goes all the way to our wrist.

This way, we will take away the tumah, which is one of the reasons we wash our hands in the morning.

See Piskei Hasiddur, Seder Hanetilah

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



One of the Mitzvos

Believing in Moshiach is a very basic part of Yiddishkeit, and is something that every Yid needs to do.

But if so, why isn’t it one of the 613 mitzvos?

At the beginning of Sefer Hamitzvos, we learned the Rambam’s rules about what makes something counted as one of the 613 mitzvos. One of the rules is that if there is something very general in the Torah, like “be careful to do the mitzvos,” it is not counted as its own mitzvah.

That is why believing in Moshiach isn’t its own mitzvah. Believing and hoping for the Geulah means to believe that there will soon be a time when we will be able to do the WHOLE Torah and mitzvos in the best way.

So believing in Moshiach is very general — it is believing that we can do all the mitzvos properly. Since it is general, it is not counted as one of the 613 mitzvos, even though it is a very important part of every Yid’s life!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Ches, p. 280, ha’ara 63

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