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Parshas Devarim - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu continues to remind the Yidden about the things that happened to them in the Midbar, so they will be ready to go into Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu reviews with Shevet Reuven, Gad, and Menasheh the promise they made — that even though they will live in these parts of Eretz Yisroel on the other side of the Yarden, they will first make sure the other Yidden are settled in Eretz Yisroel before they go back to live with their families.

Moshe tells the Yidden not to worry about the war to capture Eretz Yisroel! Look how Hashem helped them before — Hashem will fight for them again!



49 - 54

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Mem-Tes to Nun-Daled.

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Nun-Gimmel, it talks about the churban of the Second Beis Hamikdash. At the end of the kapitel, Dovid Hamelech says how he hopes Hashem will save the Yidden!

This posuk is TWICE in Tehillim! Once in Kapitel Yud-Daled, and once here.

The Medrash says that both times where it says “Mi Yitein,” hoping that Hashem will give the Geulah, also matches with two places in Torah where it says these words “Mi Yitein!”

In one place in the Torah, Hashem says how He hopes the Yidden will all have Yiras Shomayim, and in the other place, Moshe Rabbeinu hopes that all of the Yidden will be neviim. The Medrash says that both of these will come true when Moshiach comes!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Alef

We learned yesterday that there is a special time to strengthen our love and fear of Hashem — the time of davening — specifically Shacharis! Today the Alter Rebbe makes a takanah to make sure our Shacharis is used the way it should be!

One of the things that makes it very hard to daven the way we should is when the Chazan in shul is in a rush to go to work. He will daven very quickly and not take the time to have kavana. So the Alter Rebbe made a takanah that the Chazan in shul for Shacharis during the week should only be someone who DOESN’T have to go to work early, like someone learning in Yeshivah or a Melamed who has more time to daven.

On Shabbos, this won’t be a problem, because EVERYONE has time to daven, and also in Shulchan Aruch it says that on Shabbos we HAVE to take more time to daven! So no matter who the chazan is on Shabbos, everyone should have time to have kavanah and daven properly.

The Alter Rebbe was very strict about this takanah. He said that he will send chassidim to secretly go make sure that everyone is davening for as long as they should be — otherwise they won’t be allowed to hear the Alter Rebbe’s maamorim when they come to see him.



Tes Menachem Av

The Hayom Yom was written for a year when Tisha B’Av was NOT on Shabbos (like it is this year), so we learn many of the minhagim that we keep on the fast of Tisha B’av.

At Mincha on Tisha B’Av, we say Shema (because we put on Tefillin in Mincha, not Shacharis), then finish the end of ShacharisShir Shel Yom, Ein K’Elokeinu — and the things we usually learn right after Shacharis, and then daven Mincha. We don’t say the BrachaShe’asa Li Kol Tzorki” until the next day.

Since Torah makes a Yid happy, on Tisha B’av we aren’t allowed to learn all of the parts of Torah! We learn about the Churban or other sad things.

Every year, the Rebbe Rashab would learn the Medrash on Eichah. It has a lot of stories and explanations from the Chachomim in the times of the Gemara, about the Churban. He would also learn the part of Gemara that tells the story of the Churban, in Mesechta Gittin.

In the morning, after Shacharis, he would say the whole Kinos (poems that the Chachomim wrote, where we cry to Hashem about the Golus — “Ad Mosai!”). Then he would say Eichah.

We lein the Torah and a Haftorah in Shacharis AND Mincha. The Rebbe Rashab would get the Maftir Aliyah (the last part of the Torah reading, and then reading the Haftorah) sometimes in both Shacharis and Mincha.



Mitzvas Asei #1, Lo Saasei #1, Asei #2

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the very first 3 mitzvos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #1) We need to know that there is an Aibershter, Who is the Creator of everything that exists!

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: אָנֹכִי ה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #1) We are not allowed to think that anything else can be like Hashem.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹקִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנַי

3) (Mitzvas Asei #2) We need to know that Hashem, Who makes everything exist, is ONE. We say this in Shema every day, and knowing this and thinking about it is also called being Mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim.

We learn this from where Shema is said in the Torah, in Parshas Vaeschanan: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹקֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah

Now we’re going to learn the first halachos in the whole Rambam!

In Perek Alef, the Rambam teaches us the first, most important thing we need to know before we learn anything else in the whole Torah: To know that there is only one Hashem, that He created everything, that He controls everything, and that nothing could exist without Hashem. We can’t see Hashem, but we know that He is always there!

Perek Beis has the halachos about loving Hashem, and having Yiras Shomayim! We need to think about how special everything Hashem created is. The more we think and learn about Hashem, the more we will love him and want to act the way a Yid should.

Perek Gimmel teaches us about outer space! The Rambam explains how there are different levels in the sky, with the moon, stars, and all of the planets. Did you know that the stars all know Hashem and say praises to Hashem?



Hilchos Tumas Ochalin - Perek Yud-Daled

In this perek we learn about when food becomes wet, but we didn’t want it to get wet. If we are happy that it got wet, it’s counted like we did it on purpose, and the food can now become Tomei.



Shabbos Chazon

Once there was a little boy, whose father loved him very much.

One day, the father decided to have a new suit made for his son. He chose fine fabric and polished buttons, and had the tailor work hard to sew a handsome suit.

The son was so grateful and so proud to have such a wonderful suit! He loved to wear it, knowing that it was a special gift from his father, who loved him so much.

But the little boy was not as careful as he should have been. He wore the suit even when he was playing outside with his friends, and soon the beautiful suit was torn and stained.

The little boy showed his father sadly how his suit was ruined and couldn’t be worn anymore.

The father loved his son, and had the tailor make another suit, as fine as the one before.

At first, the little boy wore his suit carefully. But after a while, he forgot again. Soon this suit as well was completely ruined.

The father again went back to the tailor, and had him make the suit again. But this time, he did not give the suit to his son. He hung it in the closet, telling his son that he would only get the suit when he showed that he now knew how to take care of it.

Every year, the father would pull the suit out of the closet, reminding his son to be careful so that he would deserve to have again such a beautiful suit to wear.


This story is a mashal told by R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

We are like the little boy, Hashem is the father, and the handsome suit is our precious Beis Hamikdash. Twice we were not careful with the Beis Hamikdash, and twice it was destroyed. Hashem is ready to give us another one, but we first have to show that we have learned how to take care of it.

Every year, on Shabbos Chazon, Hashem shows us a “chazon” (a vision) of the Third Beis Hamikdash. Our neshama is able to see it, and it is reminded to behave as Hashem wants us to, so that we can merit to have the third Beis Hamikdash very soon!


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Kriyas Shema Ketana

The Shema that we say in the beginning of davening is also known as Kriyas Shema Ketana, the “little” Kriyas Shema.

We say this Shema because of a gezeira that was once made against the Yidden.

After the second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Yidden were sent into Golus. For hundreds of years, the Persian kings who ruled Bavel left the Yidden alone. But at the end of the time of the Amoraim, the kings started to make cruel decrees against Yiddishkeit.

One of these decrees was that the Yidden could not say Shema in shul, so that they wouldn’t strengthen their emunah in Hashem.

When this decree was made, the Chachomim added Shema to Korbanos. This way, the Yidden would say Shema in the morning before coming to shul.

Even though there is Baruch Hashem no such decree nowadays, we still say this Shema. For many people, especially those who daven with a later minyan or daven ba’arichus, saying this Shema in Korbanos helps them make sure to say Kriyas Shema in its proper time.

In Yechidus, the Rebbe told someone that the paragraphs before this Shema (Le’olam Yehei Adam) and after (Ata Hu) are a preparation and a conclusion to this Shema, similar to the brachos before and after Shema which we say later in davening.

See Masechta Shel Tefillah and Mafteiach L’Sichos Kodesh




This Motzei Shabbos, we don’t make Havdalah until after Tisha B’Av.

In shul, we hold up a candle so that everyone can make the bracha Borei Me’orei Ha’eish.

We don’t say “Gut Voch” or say Veyitein Lecha.

Kids who are eating don’t make Havdalah, but an adult who is eating should make Havdalah first. It is best to give the wine to a young child to drink.

For more halachos of Tisha B’Av, see the Halachos of Tisha B’Av on Shabbos by Badatz of Crown Heights, or the Halacha Newsletter by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches from Melbourne, Australia

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



Why the Chachomim Wanted Moshiach

Why should we want Moshiach?

The Rambam tells us the reason why the Chachomim wanted Moshiach:

לֹא נִתְאַווּ הַחַכָמִים וְהַנְבִיאִים יְמוֹת הַמָשִׁיחַ לֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִשְׁלְטוּ עַל כָּל הָעוֹלָם וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִרְדוּ בַּגוֹיִים וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיְנַשְׂאוּ אוֹתָם הָעַמִים וְלֹא כְּדֵי לֶאֶכוֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְלִשְׂמוֹחַ אֶלָא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִהְיוּ פְּנוּיִין בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָכְמָתָה וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָהֶם נוֹגֵשׂ וּמְבַטֵל

Lo Nis’avu Hachachomim Vehaneviim Yemos Hamoshiach — The Chachomim and the Neviim didn’t want Moshiach to come for these reasons:

Lo Kedei Sheyishletu Al Kol Ha’olam — They didn’t want Moshiach so they could be in charge of the whole world,

Velo Kedei Sheyirdu Bagoyim — Or so they could rule over the goyim,

Velo Kedei Sheyenas’u Osam Ha’amim — Or so all of the goyim would realize how special they are,

Velo Kedei Le’echol Velishtos Velismo’ach — Or so they could eat, drink, and be happy.

So why DID they want Moshiach?

Ela Kedei Sheyiheyu Pnuyin BaTorah Vechachmasa — They wanted Moshiach so they would be free to learn Torah and the Chochmah in it

Velo Yihiyeh Lahem Noges Umevatel — Without anything bothering them!

See Rambam, Hilchos Melachim perek Yud-Beis, beginning of halacha daled

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