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Parshas Shemos - Shishi with Rashi

Hashem decided that it was time for the suffering of the Yidden to end! He chose Moshe Rabbeinu to do the important shlichus of taking the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem spoke to Moshe from a burning bush, convincing him to take on this achrayus.

Moshe finally accepted Hashem’s shlichus!

Moshe had promised Yisro not to leave without permission, so before he went to Mitzrayim, he asked Yisro’s permission to go to Mitzrayim. Yisro agreed.

Moshe was afraid that Dasan and Aviram (who had told on him to Paraoh, making him run away to Midyan) might try to get him killed, but Hashem told him that they were now poor and they wouldn’t be dangerous to him.

Moshe put his family onto a special donkey. This donkey was used by Avraham to go to the Akeida. This same donkey will be used again when Moshiach will be revealed!

Hashem told Moshe that he will have special signs to use in front of Paraoh, but he should know that Paraoh won’t listen. Moshe should tell Paraoh that he needs to listen or else he will be punished!

Moshe and Tziporah had a baby boy, Eliezer, right before going. Moshe knew that he couldn’t give him a bris right away, because it’s not safe to go on a big trip right after a bris. But when they were close to Mitzrayim, instead of giving a bris right away, Moshe first set up a place to sleep. Hashem was not happy! He sent a malach that looked like a snake to swallow up Moshe! Tziporah understood that this was because of the bris, and so she took a sharp stone and made a bris on Eliezer right away, and Hashem sent the malach away.

Hashem told Aharon to go meet Moshe in the desert, and he met him at Har Sinai. Moshe told Aharon why he was coming to Mitzrayim, and they went together. Aharon didn’t think Tziporah and the children should come to Mitzrayim, so Moshe sent them back to Midyan.

Moshe and Aharon gathered the leaders of the Yidden. Aharon told over what Moshe said, and they did the special signs before the Yidden. Even though the Golus was so hard, the Yidden believed right away that Hashem was going to take them out of Golus, and they bowed down to thank Hashem!



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Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin through Kuf-Gimmel.

In one of today’s kapitelach, we have a posuk that says “Horiu LaHashem Kol Ha’aretz” — “the whole world should sing to Hashem!”

It is brought in Chassidus that the words “Horiu LaHashem Kol Ha’aretz” are the Roshei Teivos of (the first letters spell the word) Halacha!

When we follow Halacha, the way the Aibershter wants things to be, that’s like the world is singing to Hashem!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Beis

In today’s Tanya, we continue to learn about the Beinoni.

What is a beinoni?

The word beinoni means “in the middle,” because the beinoni is right between a tzadik and a rasha. In a way the beinoni is just like a tzadik, because he makes sure that only the Nefesh Elokis is allowed to control what the body does! But the way the person really feels inside isn’t like a tzadik at all. In fact, a beinoni feels inside like a rasha! The Nefesh Habehamis has a lot to say! It constantly makes the beinoni feel that it wants or needs things (taavos), and makes him aware of feelings that can lead him to think, speak, or do something against what Hashem wants, not according to the Torah.

The beinoni will never LISTEN to what the Nefesh Habehamis is saying if it is against the Torah. He will never do — or even think — anything that would let the Nefesh Habehamis have control of his body. He can’t ever do an aveira!

There is even a way for the beinoni to make his love for Hashem much stronger, almost like a tzadik! It can become so strong that the Nefesh Habehamis will become overwhelmed and fall “asleep,” and it won’t even be able to come up with any of these feelings! This can only happen during special times, like the time of davening, when a powerful koach called Mochin Degadlus shines in Shomayim. The beinoni is able to use Shema (with the brachos before, which are a preparation for it) to make his love for Hashem strong enough to put the Nefesh Habehamis to sleep.

When the special koach of davening goes away, though, then the Nefesh Habehamis wakes up again, and again he can feel inside like a rasha.

So the beinoni is in the middle. He feels like a rasha, but acts like a tzadik. He is always fighting with the feelings of his Yetzer Hara inside, to keep his Nefesh Elokis in control of his body. In his behavior, he always wins and acts like a tzadik.

In the next few perakim, the Alter Rebbe will tell us that this level of Beinoni is not only for special people — it is a level that every many and woman should try to become.



Chof Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn how important it is to have a good friend to discuss how to be a better Yid!

When the Mitteler Rebbe was 16, the Alter Rebbe put him in charge of guiding the younger Chassidim. One of the things that the Mitteler Rebbe started was the inyan of having a good chaver (friend). A good friend also helps a person find what kinds of things they should be asking their mashpia, and helps him follow what the mashpia says. Here the Mitteler Rebbe explains to someone in Yechidus why a good chaver is so helpful in serving Hashem!

The Mitteler Rebbe said to someone in Yechidus:

When two Yidden talk about Avodas Hashem together, their neshamos help each other! So inside each of them, it’s like there are TWO Nefesh Elokis (or Yetzer Tovs) working to overcome their Nefesh Hativis (or Yetzer Hara)!

We are learning in Tanya about ways to help our Nefesh Elokis outsmart the Nefesh Habehamis. Here in Hayom Yom, we learn another way to do it — to join with another Yid!

When we say “Two Yetzer Tovs against one Yetzer Hara,” we are talking about the way it is for EACH of the Yidden talking together. Another person’s Yetzer Tov will be happy to help his friend, and will join with the friend’s Yetzer Tov. But a Yetzer Hara is selfish — it won’t try to help the other person! So each person only has their own Yetzer Hara. When there’s two against one, there is a much bigger chance to be successful!



Shiur #194 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #107, Asei #107

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #107) If we decided that a certain animal will be for a Korban Asham, we can’t change it afterwards and bring it as a Korban Chatas! It has to be the SAME animal for the SAME Korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אֹתוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Temurah.

Now we start a new Sefer of Rambam, and a new set of halachos, about Tumah and Tahara!

2) (Mitzvas Asei #107) The first mitzvah of this Sefer is that if someone gets Tomei with Tumas Meis (the tumah from a body after the neshama leaves it), he needs to follow the halachos about how he becomes tomei and how the tumah gets passed on.

This mitzvah includes all of the halachos of Tumas Meis which are written in Parshas Chukas.



Hilchos Temurah - Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the halachos of Temurah.

Perek Daled: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us what happens if an animal that is supposed to be a Korban or a Temurah has a baby! The Rambam finishes this sefer with a lesson from the halachos of Temurah that will help us in our Avodas Hashem!

Now we have finished Sefer Korbanos! Then we start learning a NEW sefer of Rambam, the 10th sefer, Sefer Tahara! The first set of halachos is Hilchos Tumas Meis, about the kind of tumah that comes from the body of a person who passed away.

Perek Alef: The Rambam explains how a person can get Tumah.

Perek Beis: This perek teaches us what can give Tumas Meis.



Hilchos Me'ilah - Perek Vov

This perek teaches what the person needs to be doing with it for it to be counted as the aveira of me’ilah. If it is something that becomes worth less when it is used, if it becomes worth at least a perutah less, it is called me’ilah.

icon of clock


Chof Teves

Today is the yartzeit of the Rambam.

We all know that the Rambam wrote the Sefer Hamitzvos and the Seforim that we call “Rambam” — the Yad Hachazakah. The Rambam also wrote another very famous sefer, called Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed). In the time of the Rambam, many people had questions about Yiddishkeit, and the sefer Moreh Nevuchim helped them understand how to serve Hashem.

The Rebbe teaches us that there must be a connection between the Rambam and the Alter Rebbe, since their Yartzeits are just a few days apart.

One connection is very easy to see:

The Rambam wrote the Yad Hachazakah which teaches us the halachos of Torah, and the Moreh Nevuchim which teaches how to serve Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe wrote the Shulchan Aruch which teaches us the halachos of Torah, and the Tanya to teach us how to serve Hashem!

The Rebbe tells us that today is a good day to make a farbrengen and to strengthen the learning of Sefer Hamitzvos and Rambam, for ourselves and for others!

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Modeh Ani

When we wake up, before we wash Negel Vasser, we say Modeh Ani.

How soon do we have to say Modeh Ani after we wake up?

In Shulchan Aruch, the Alter Rebbe tells us that we need to say Modeh Animiyad,” right away! We shouldn’t wait at all. Right away when we wake up, we say Modeh Ani.

In other places in halacha, we use a different word, “teikef.” If we do something “teikef,” we can’t wait very long either! But “teikef” is still an amount of time, even though it is a short amount of time. “Miyad” means right away, without waiting at all!

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 1, p. 2



Nittel Nacht

Tonight, Friday night, is Nittel Nacht. (In Hayom Yom, we learned about what this means.)

On Nittel Nacht, we don’t learn Torah. But it’s going to be Shabbos! What should we do?

Of course, we daven Kabolas Shabbos and Maariv just like usual. We make Kiddush like we do every week, and have a beautiful Shabbos seudah.

But usually at a Shabbos meal, we talk about Torah things! We tell over a Dvar Torah or something we learned in school. We ask Parsha questions and talk about what we learn from the Parsha.

Since it is Nittel Nacht, we are not allowed to do those things.

So what CAN we do?

We are allowed to tell and hear stories about Tzadikim on Nittel Nacht.

We are allowed to look at pictures of the Rebbe.

Many people have the minhag to play chess on Nittel Nacht. (If we do play chess or any other game on Shabbos, we need to be careful not to sort out the pieces after the game to put them away, because that would be Borer. We can only set up the game right before we use it.)

For more halachos about Nittel Nacht, many different reasons for it and stories about it, see the Halacha Guide by the Badatz of Crown Heights, and the Halacha Newsletter from Rabbi Lesches in Melbourne.

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




The Rebbe’s takana of learning Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos is a very special way to get ready for Moshiach!


When we have a birthday party coming up, we make sure to prepare the things that will happen at the party! We figure out the rules for the games we will play, which hachlata we make, and decide how we will set the table and when we’ll say the pesukim.

The Rambam says in the halachos about Moshiach that in the times of Moshiach, we are going to be able to do ALL of the mitzvos just like we used to when the Beis Hamikdash was standing, exactly the way Hashem wants!

What is the best way to get ready for that? We can learn and know about all of the mitzvos and halachos so we’ll know what Hashem wants. There is only one sefer that teaches us EVERYTHING we need to know (including the halachos about the Beis Hamikdash and bringing korbanos): The Rambam!

So what’s a better way to get ready for Moshiach? Let’s make sure to learn Rambam every day!

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