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Parshas Tetzaveh - Revi'i with Rashi

Now that we know how to make the special clothes for the Kohanim, Hashem tells Moshe how to make the Kohanim ready to do the Avodah, during the Chanukas Hamishkan, after the Mishkan is built:

Moshe should take 1 bull and 2 rams for korbanos, and make 3 different kinds of matzah: 10 where the dough is boiled, then baked, and then fried; 10 where the dough is mixed with oil; and 10 where they are smeared with oil in the shape of a Kof AFTER they are baked. Put all of the matzos into a basket, and bring them and the korbanos to the Chatzer of the Mishkan.

Aharon and the other kohanim should go into the Mikvah, and then Moshe should dress Aharon in the clothes of the Kohen Gadol.

Then Moshe should get the things for the Mishkan ready to be used by putting Shemen Hamishcha (a special kind of oil) on them. He should also put Shemen Hamishcha on Aharon, with a matching Kof-shape like on the matzah!

Then Moshe should dress the rest of the kohanim, making them kohanim forever.

Moshe should bring the animals as korbanos for the kohanim, and burn them on the Mizbeiach.



44 - 48

Before Kapitel Mem-Ches (like for most kapitelach) there are a few words that tell us what the Kapitel is about. These words tell us that the Kapitel is about when Moshiach will come — how beautiful Yerushalayim will be, and how we will bring the Korbonos and see all of the things the Neviim told us will happen when he comes.

One posuk says “Yismach Har Tzion” — “Yerushalayim will be happy” — it will celebrate that Moshiach came!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Ches

Today’s Tanya is very long. You may have noticed that since Yud-Tes Kislev, every Wednesday, we learn a whole perek (or a big part of it), and during the rest of the week we only learn much smaller sections. If you look in the shiurim of Tanya in Hayom Yom, you will see that the first year of Chitas, which was also a Shana Me’uberes, this long day was on Shabbos. The Frierdiker Rebbe set up that on every day of the week we learn a few lines of Tanya, and on Shabbos we learn a long section. We keep the same Moreh Shiur every year, and so this year, we learn the long section on Wednesday.

When we’re in the middle of davening or learning or trying to do what Hashem wants, we sometimes get distracted by other thoughts.

That might make us feel frustrated — see, our Avodas Hashem is worthless, because we keep getting distracted!

But the Alter Rebbe tells us that we shouldn’t feel frustrated, we should be happy!

We need to remember that our Yetzer Hara and our Yetzer Tov don’t take turns. They are both fighting the whole time! It’s not like playing jump rope where only one person can jump at a time, it’s like playing soccer where there are two teams that are fighting for the ball the whole time!

So when we are doing something very good and connected to Hashem, the Yetzer Hara gets scared and needs to fight back harder! That’s why the Yetzer Hara tries to distract us specifically when we are doing something good.

So instead of being frustrated and upset, we should realize that those distractions are a sign that we are doing really well, and the Yetzer Hara is getting scared! We should be excited to work even harder, since we are winning the fight against the Yetzer Hara! We should ignore those distractions just like we would try to ignore loud noises that we can’t stop in the middle of davening.

But what if those thoughts are really bothering us and we can’t concentrate on our Avodas Hashem, no matter how hard we try? Then we should remember that we are not fighting by ourselves. We should make ourselves humble before Hashem, and ask Hashem to help us ignore those thoughts — for His sake, and for the sake of our neshama, which is a part of Hashem inside of us. And then certainly Hashem will help us!

In a letter of the Rebbe, the Rebbe says that this is not just in davening, but in ALL areas of kedusha! Whenever kedusha is strong and successful, that’s when the kelipah in the world will fight hard to try not to let the kedusha win! When we see that happen, it shouldn’t make us disappointed. Instead, it should be a sign for us that we’re having hatzlacha, and give us chayus to work harder for kedusha!



Ches Adar Alef

When the Alter Rebbe needed a melamed to teach the Mitteler Rebbe, he chose one of the talmidim of the Maggid.

The Alter Rebbe said “we’ll make a deal! I have a mitzvah to teach my son, and you have a mitzvah to earn money for your family. You will learn with my son, and I’ll pay you so you can take care of your family.”

The Alter Rebbe told the Melamed how to teach: “You need to start with Alef.” And the Alter Rebbe told him what an Alef is.

An alef is a dot on top, and a dot underneath — that’s an Alef.

A child needs to know that the Alef of Torah is the Yud on top — Hashem, the Yud underneath — the Yid, and the line of Emunah which connects them.

Another meaning: A Yud above is the neshama, a Yud underneath is the body, and a line of Yiras Shomayim is what’s in the middle.

During a Purim farbrengen in the early years of the Rebbe’s nesius, the Rebbe told this story. The Rebbe repeated the Alter Rebbe’s words with the same niggun the Alter Rebbe used: http://kidschitas.s3.amazonaws.com/Alef.m4a



Mitzvas Asei #28, #25, #40, #41, #27, #42

Today we learn SIX mitzvos about the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #28) The kohanim need to bring the Ketores to Hashem two times every day!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in this week’s parsha, Parshas Tetzaveh! וְהִקְטִיר עָלָיו אַהֲרֹן קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר

The halachos of the ketores are explained in the beginning of Mesechta Kerisus, and in a few places in Mesechta Tamid.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #25) The kohanim have to light the Menorah every day in the Beis Hamikdash.

This mitzvah also comes from a posuk in Parshas Tetzaveh: בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד מִחוּץ לַפָּרֹכֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל הָעֵדֻת יַעֲרֹךְ אֹתוֹ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Ches of Mesechta Menachos, in the first Perek of Mesechta Yoma, and in a few places in Mesechta Tamid.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #40) The Kohen Gadol brings a special Korban Mincha (flour korban) to Hashem, two times every day, called the “Chavitei Kohen Gadol.”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: זֶה קָרְבַּן אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ לַה׳

The halachos are explained in perakim Vov and Tes of Mesechta Menachos, and in many places in Mesechta Yoma and Mesechta Tamid.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #41) On Shabbos, we bring an EXTRA korban (“Musaf”) of two lambs!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas. We say this posuk at the end of davening on Shabbos! וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים

The way this mitzvah is done is explained in Perek Beis of Mesechta Yoma and Mesechta Tamid.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #27) We put Lechem Hapanim on the Shulchan every Shabbos, together with Levonah (a spice). Then the Kohanim can eat last week’s Lechem Hapanim!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Terumah: וְנָתַתָּ עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן לֶחֶם פָּנִים לְפָנַי תָּמִיד

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Yud-Alef of Mesechta Menachos.

6) (Mitzvas Asei #42) On Rosh Chodesh, we need to bring a special korban too!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Pinchas: וּבְרָאשֵׁי חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וְגוֹ׳



Hilchos Temidin U'Musafin

In today's Rambam, we learn about many of the mitzvos in today’s Sefer Hamitzvos!

Perek Gimmel: This perek teaches us about how we bring the Ketores, how we light the Menorah, and the Chavitin of the Kohen Gadol.

Perek Daled: Now we learn about how the kohanim took turns to do the Avodah! They did a lottery called the Payis to decide who would get the zechus of doing the Avodah: The Kohanim would stand around in a circle, and hold out one or two fingers. The person in charge would decide a number, and which kohen to start from. Then he would count the fingers, and when he reached the number he decided, that kohen would get to do the Avodah!

Perek Hey: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us all about the Lechem Hapanim.



Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Beis

The blood of a korban needs to be sprinkled on the Mizbeiach in a certain way. If it is done wrong, it can make the Korban posul.



Parshas Hashavua

Our parsha starts off with “Ve’ata Tetzaveh Es Bnei Yisroel,” that Hashem is telling Moshe to command the Yidden, “Veyikchu Eilecha Shemen Zayis Zach, Kasis Lamaor, Lehaalos Ner Tomid,” the Yidden should bring to Moshe pure olive oil, crushed (kosis) for light, to make the light shine constantly.

The Rebbe explains that this posuk can also mean, “You (Moshe) should connect (tetzaveh) the Yidden with Hashem — by making their Emunah strong. Then they will bring to you (Moshe) something that you didn’t have before, a Ruchnius light that comes from their Emunah! This light comes from them being kosis, crushed from being in Golus. And this will shine constantly.”

Just like Moshe Rabbeinu brought out the Emunah in his generation, we have a Rebbe today who helps bring out the deepest part of OUR neshama!

The Rebbe told all of us that Moshiach is about to come, and that we will soon be able to see Hashem in the world! But right now we don’t see it, and that hurts a Yid very much. That brings out the deepest part of our neshama, to cry out “Ad Mosai” to Hashem, and be ready to do whatever we can to bring Moshiach. That makes brings out the koach of our Emunah and Mesiras Nefesh to want to make this happen, and we feel it in everything we do!

It’s like what happens when we squeeze an olive (kosis), and it “hurts!” The oil comes out — the best part! When we feel “squeezed” (tzubrochen) that we can’t see Hashem in Golus, the best part of our neshama comes out, and it can be felt and seen in every part of our life!

See the Maamar Ve’ata Tetzaveh 5752


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Vehu Rachum

There is a special tefillah of Tachanun that is added on Monday and Thursday, after Nefilas Apayim. It starts with the words “Vehu Rachum.”

There are two explanations why Monday and Thursday are different than other days.

One is that these days are Yemei Din, days of judgment. Monday and Thursday are the days that Beis Din used to get together in many places. The Beis Din down here matches up with the Beis Din Shelemaalah, the Beis Din in Shomayim. Just like the Beis Din down here gets together on Monday and Thursday, these are also days of din in Shomayim.

Since these are days of extra din, we also need extra Rachamim from Hashem! That is why we add these extra tefillos.

Another reason is because Mondays and Thursdays are days of Ratzon, days when Hashem listens to our tefillos more than usual. We see this from Moshe Rabbbeinu, who went up to Har Sinai to receive the second Luchos, which were given B’ratzon, on Thursday. He came down with the Luchos on Monday, which was Yom Kippur. Therefore, Thursday and Monday are good days for Teshuvah.



Kavana in Davening

We should try to have kavana during the whole davening, but there are some parts of davening where we need to be extra careful to have kavana. Here are two of them:

- The first line of Shema
- The very first bracha in Shmoneh Esrei

It used to be that people would have to say Shemoneh Esrei AGAIN if they didn’t say it with kavana, but nowadays we don’t, because we might not have the right kavana then either...

We should get used to having kavana at least in the end of each paragraph of Shmoneh Esrei (like “Baruch Ata Hashem Shomeia Tefillah”). There are 113 words in all of those brachos, and when Chana davened to Hashem to have a baby, she said 113 words! Also, the word “Leiv” (heart) is said 113 times in the Torah — reminding us to daven with our heart!

What kavana should we have? We should try to think of what the words mean. If we can’t think about the meaning of the words, we should at least think about things that make us feel humble and focused on how we are davening to the Aibershter.

See Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Tefillah, siman 98 and 101

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



Wanting Moshiach

On Asara B’Teves 5750, a certain man came to the Rebbe for dollars.

While standing by the Rebbe, the man asked for many brachos. He kept asking for more an more things, until the Rebbe finally suggested, “Maybe you should ask for Moshiach to come?”

The man agreed, and answered, “Im Yirtza Hashem.” (“If Hashem wants”)

The Rebbe told him, “Hashem already wants! It’s up to the Yidden to want Moshiach as well!”

From the sefer Zoreia Tzedakos (stories about Dollars), translated in Moshiach Weekly #17

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