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Parshas Beshalach - Shvi'i with Rashi

We are learning about the travels of the Yidden after Kriyas Yam Suf, on their way to receive the Torah.

The Yidden traveled to another place, and there was no water there. The Yidden (except for Shevet Levi) complained AGAIN! Moshe got very frustrated with the Yidden.

Hashem told Moshe to hit a rock with his stick, and water would come out. Moshe did, and the water came out of the rock!

Since Hashem saw that the Yidden didn’t believe that He was taking care of them all the time, Hashem let the people of Amalek have the chutzpah to fight against the Yidden! Most of the Yidden were inside of Hashem’s clouds, so they were safe, but a few Yidden who did aveiros were outside.

Moshe told Hoshea (who would later become Yehoshua) that they need to fight against Amalek, even though most of the Yidden are safe. Hoshea picked soldiers to fight, and Moshe (with Aharon and Chur) went up onto a hill to daven. Whenever Moshe picked up his hands to remind the Yidden to daven to Hashem, the Yidden were winning! When they forgot to daven to Hashem, Amalek was winning.

Since Moshe should have fought himself, Hashem didn’t give Moshe koach to hold up his hands for so long. So Aharon and Chur gave Moshe a stone to sit on, and held his hands up. Moshe didn’t let the sun set until the Yidden won the war!

Hashem told Moshe not to kill all of the Amalek people yet. He should write down in the Torah that we should remember what Amalek did — and that when the Yidden come to Eretz Yisroel, they should wipe out the nation of Amalek!



83 - 87

Every single kapitel in today’s Tehillim has a special niggun which was made in honor of the Rebbe’s Yom Huledes! Can you find the niggun in each one?

In Kapitel Pey-Daled, the niggun is “Yeilchu Mechayil El Choyil, Yeiro’eh El Elokim BeTzion.” This means that people who trust in Hashem go from strength to strength, and they will go before Hashem in Yerushalayim.

The Rebbe tells us that Yeilchu Meichayil El Choyil, when we are always doing better than before, brings Yeiro’eh El Elokim Betzion, that we will be able to go to the Beis Hamikdosh! When we keep trying to do better, every single day and every single hour, we will bring Moshiach!

Chassidus says that there is a new chayus from Hashem that comes into the world, not just every day, but every hour! When that chayus comes, we get more opportunities to grow in Yiddishkeit! We need to make sure to use that new energy to do more!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Hey

On the Shaar Blatt (title page) of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us that in Tanya we will learn what it means that “Ki Karov Eilecha HaDavar Me’od, Beficha Uvilvavcha Laasoso” — that it is really possible for every Yid not only to DO mitzvos, but to do them with a feeling of Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem — a love and fear of Hashem!

The best way to do this is by learning Chassidus, thinking deeply about what we learned, davening with it, and creating a feeling of love and fear of Hashem which will inspire us to do the mitzvos!

But not everyone can understand these things well enough and think about them in a way that will make them feel Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem! So the Alter Rebbe is giving us another way to serve Hashem with our heart that EVERY Yid can do ALWAYS.

The Alter Rebbe taught us that every Yid is born with a teva (nature) that is part of the Yid’s neshama, and we don’t need to work to create it: That we love Hashem so much that we are even ready to give up our life to be always connected to Hashem! If a Yid feels that he is losing his connection to Hashem (like if Chas Veshalom he is being forced to become a Goy) then he would do anything to stop it, even if it means to lose his life, just so his neshama will always stay connected to Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe shows us that really, EVERY mitzvah is a connection to Hashem, just like that, and doing an aveira can Chas Veshalom make a person lose his connection to Hashem and to Yiddishkeit in the same way!

So how is it possible for a person to ever do an aveira? That’s because of a Ruach Shtus — a foolish thought that can come into a person’s head from the Yetzer Hara. The Yetzer Hara makes people forget about their hidden love for Hashem, and even if they do remember, it tries to convince them that doing an aveira doesn’t matter! It says that they are still connected to Hashem just like without the aveira.

So if we can just remind ourselves of our hidden love for Hashem, and we know that ANY aveira separates a Yid from Hashem, we will not let ourselves be convinced by the foolish thought of the Yetzer Hara! We don’t want to lose our connection to Hashem and Yiddishkeit even for a small aveira, and even for a short time!

It might feel very hard to hold ourselves back from doing something we REALLY want to do. But when we remember that our hidden love for Hashem would make us even give up our LIVES to stay connected to Hashem, then of course we should be able to overcome a taavah, which is a lot easier!

In today’s Tanya we also learn how the Ahava Mesuteres (hidden love) has a Yirah inside of it — a fear of becoming separated or distant from Hashem chas veshalom. That’s how we can serve Hashem “bilvavcha,” with Ahava and YIRAS Hashem. The Alter Rebbe also gives us an answer to our Yetzer Hara when it says, “It’s not so bad to do an aveira, because I can do teshuvah right afterwards!” When you learn today’s Tanya inside, you will know what to answer the Yetzer Hara’s foolish thought!



Yud-Zayin Shevat

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, it was Shabbos Shirah like this year, so the Rebbe tells us some of the minhagim of the day.

One minhag is that during the reading of Az Yashir we stand. The Rebbe also tells us the haftorah according to our minhag, and that it’s a minhag to eat shvartze kasha (buckwheat).

Now the Rebbe tells us a story about the FIRST maamar in Likutei Torah, which we start to learn in Parshas Beshalach! (Even though we are still learning Torah Ohr until Parshas Vayakhel, there is one maamar at the beginning of Likutei Torah on Parshas Beshalach. This is a story about that maamar.)

The maamar that starts with the words “Re’u Ki Hashem,” which is printed in the beginning of Likutei Torah, was said over by the Tzemach Tzedek one year in Parshas Beshalach. Afterwards, he told the Rebbe Maharash the whole history of the Maamar:

The Alter Rebbe once heard a certain maamar on Parshas Beshalach from the Maggid of Mezritch. Afterwards, the Maggid called the Alter Rebbe in and told him that he heard this maamar from the Baal Shem Tov three times — once while the Baal Shem Tov was alive, again the year after he passed away (with an additional explanation), and that he just heard it again right before saying it now (nine years after the Baal Shem Tov’s histalkus)!

Thirty-six years later, the Alter Rebbe said this maamar himself, beginning it with the words “Re’u Ki Hashem.”

Then he called in the Tzemach Tzedek and told him this story.

Fifty-six years later, the Tzemach Tzedek said this maamar (the way it’s printed in Likutei Torah), and then told the Rebbe Maharash the story.

Then he told him: “Today, the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid, and the Alter Rebbe came to me, and each one said the maamar in their own way.” A few hours later, the Tzemach Tzedek called the Rebbe Maharash in again, and told him his own explanation on the maamar.

One of the things it says in the maamar is how much pleasure a neshama has in Gan Eden. Imagine having the most delicious foods, the biggest house, the prettiest view, the nicest music, the fanciest clothes, and the funniest book — and imagine having all of that, together with any other pleasure you ever wanted — for a thousand years! All of that isn’t as much as one moment of how good the neshama feels in Gan Eden. And that pleasure in Gan Eden is created by the neshama itself, through the mitzvos it does in this world!

If we’re busy doing mitzvos during the week, then when Shabbos comes, we can have a tiny little taste of that Ruchniusdike pleasure through the mitzvos we did during the week, the same way that on Shabbos we can enjoy the delicious food and clean house and beautiful clothes that we prepared during the week.



Shiur #205 - Mitzvas Asei #108

Today's mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #108) is about Mei Nidah — the water that is mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah. There are some kinds of things that it makes tamei, and other things that it makes tahor! (For example, it makes someone who gets sprinkled with it, tahor; but someone who touches it when they are not sprinkling it on someone becomes tomei!) The mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos.

At the end of this mitzvah, the Rambam tells us the source of all of the mitzvos of Tumah and Tahara in the Torah (Parshas Shemini, Tazria, Metzora, and Chukas) and where they are explained in Mishnayos (Seder Taharos), and which mesechtos explain which mitzvos.



Hilchos Parah Adumah

In today’s Rambam, we learn halachos of the Mei Nidah:

Perek Ches: We learn about BRINGING water to mix with ashes of the Parah Adumah. We are not allowed to make a hefsek, to do something else along the way, or while carrying the water. We ARE allowed to do things we need to do in order to bring the water, like making a path to walk on. If someone does something that was NOT needed for the water before he mixes the water with the ashes, the water is posul and can’t be used.

Perek Tes: In this perek we learn about MIXING the water with the ashes — we learn how to do it, and things that can make it posul.

Perek Yud: The Rambam teaches us about USING the water of the Parah Adumah (haza’ah) — how we sprinkle it, and who is allowed to sprinkle it.

We learn that one person can sprinkle even on hundreds of people, and as long as they each get at least a drop of water sprinkled on them, they are all tahor!



Hilchos Megillah V'Chanukah - Perek Gimmel

Now we start learning the halachos of Chanukah. In this perek, we learn the halachos of Hallel.



Taking Care of the Guf

There are so many special things that will happen in the time of the Geulah! Each of those special things will happen because of something we did during Golus.

Taking care of our guf to make sure that it is healthy to serve Hashem properly also brings the special way the guf will be Le’asid Lavo!

How will the guf be Le’asid Lavo?

Let’s first learn more about the guf:

What is the main part of ourselves? Our guf, or our neshama?

Our neshama, of course! It is what gives us chayus! A body without a neshama cannot live.

But at one point after Moshiach comes, L’asid Lavo, things will change! Really, the guf of a Yid comes from an even HIGHER source than the neshama, closer to Hashem! At that point in time Le’asid Lavo, the guf will be the MAIN thing. It won’t even need the chayus of the neshama anymore! Instead, the neshama will get chayus from the guf!

That’s why the Chachomim say that at a certain time Le’asid Lavo, the guf won’t need food or drink anymore to stay alive, because the guf will have such strong chayus that it won’t need to get it from anywhere else! In fact, the guf will be a source of chayus for the neshama!

Everything in the time of Moshiach happens because of something we did in Golus. So what is it that we do that will make this happen?

We need to take care of our guf now, since we know how special it will become! We need to be careful to be healthy, and not do anything that can hurt our body. When we do this, remembering that it is a mitzvah, it will help us be ready for the time when we will be able to see how special the guf of a Yid really is!

The Rambam says that for a Yid, it is not correct to take care of ourselves just because we want to be healthy. The reason to take care of ourselves is so that we can serve Hashem with a healthy body!

Keeping this in mind not only makes taking care of ourselves into something of kedusha, but it is also preparing ourselves for the special way the guf of a Yid will be when Moshiach comes!

See Toras Menachem Hisvaaduyos, Parshas Beshalach 5714, os zayin

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Birchas Hamazon

We are learning about the pesukim at the end of bentching.

The first of these pesukim is “Magdil Yeshuos Malko.” We say this posuk right after the Horachaman asking Hashem to bring us the days of Moshiach!

There are actually two ways to say this posuk: During the week we say “Magdil Yeshuos Malko,” and on Shabbos we say “Migdol Yeshuos Malko.”

Magdil” means that it should BECOME great, and “Migdol” means a tower, which is already great!

The shira of Dovid Hamelech that his posuk comes from is written twice in Nach. In Tehillim it is written with the word “Magdil,” and in Shmuel Beis it is written with the word “Migdol.”

During the week, which is compared to Golus, we ask Hashem to make the kingdom of Dovid Hamelech great — Magdil Yeshuos Malko. But on Shabbos and Yom Tov, which are a taste of when Moshiach comes, we say Migdol, because then the melucha of Dovid Hamelech will already be great!



More Ho'adamah Fruits, and Shehecheyanu

Yesterday we learned that there are some fruits that have a different bracha.

Just because something is a fruit doesn’t mean that it is Ha’eitz! There are some fruits that grow on trees or plants that are not considered fruit trees according to halacha. These fruits get the bracha of Ho’adamah!

Here are some examples:

- Papaya
- Pineapple
- Passion fruit
- Banana

Some of these are unusual fruits that people often buy… to make a Shehecheyanu on! But they are Ha’adamah! Can we still make a Shehecheyanu on them?

The answer is yes!

The Alter Rebbe holds that you can make a Shehecheyanu on a new fruit OR vegetable, not only on a fruit that is Borei Pri Ho’eitz!

See Seder Birchas Hanehenin Perek Vov and Perek Yud-Alef, Seder Birchos Hanehenin Hamevuar by Rabbi Chaim Pruss

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



Shabbos Shira

This week’s parsha is Parshas Beshalach. We call this Shabbos “Shabbos Shira” because the Yidden sang Az Yashir, a special song to Hashem.

The Medrash Mechilta tells us that there are actually TEN songs that the Yidden sing to Hashem!

One of them is in this week’s haftorah, the shira that Devorah Haneviah sang after winning the war. Another one is the song that Dovid Hamelech sang after he was saved, finishing with the posukMagdil (or Migdol) Yeshuos Malko.”

The tenth song will be sung by the Yidden when Moshiach comes! We speak about this in Kabolas Shabbos, saying that then we will sing a new song, “Shiru LaHashem Shir Chadash.”

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