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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayeishev - Sheini with Rashi

In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned that Yosef told the brothers his dreams, and how the brothers were jealous of him that he wanted to rule over them.

Yosef’s brothers decided to go take care of the sheep in Shechem. The main reason why they went there was to talk about Yosef and decide what to do with him.

Yaakov knew through Ruach Hakodesh that it was important for Yosef to go to his brothers. Hashem wanted this to happen because the Yidden had to go down to Mitzrayim and become slaves before Hashem could give them the Torah and Eretz Yisroel! So he told Yosef to go see how the brothers were doing.

Yosef knew that his brothers were upset at him, but listened to what his father told him anyway, and hurried to Shechem.

The malach Gavriel (dressed up like a person) saw Yosef, and asked him what he was looking for. Yosef told him he was looking for his brothers. Gavriel told him, “You’re calling them brothers, but they’re not acting like brothers! They are talking about going to Dosan (which means judging) — they want to find a reason why you deserve to die!” But Yosef still did what his father said and went.

The brothers saw Yosef coming and decided to do what they were planning. Shimon said to Levi, “Look, the dreamer is coming! Let’s kill him and throw him into a hole in the ground and we can say that an animal ate him.”

But the Torah tells us what was answered in Shomayim: “Let’s see what will happen — your plans or Yosef’s dreams!”

Reuven knew that if they did that it would be his fault, because he’s the oldest. So he saved Yosef by saying that maybe he doesn’t deserve to die: Maybe the brothers are wrong, or maybe Yosef did some things that are so good that the not good ones don’t count! But Shimon and Levi didn’t want to just let him go! So Reuven thought of an idea for them: Throw Yosef into a hole in the ground in the desert, and he will die by himself (chas veshalom!). Really, Reuven secretly planned to go save Yosef when they left.

The Rebbe brought a very interesting Medrash about this: The Medrash says that if Reuven would have known that what he decided to do would be written in the Torah for everyone to see forever, he would have made sure to act very differently and save Yosef right away!

The Rebbe learns from there that we should publicize the peulos that we do, and write a report to the Rebbe about them. When we know that other people will see what we are doing, we will be inspired to do the right thing in a completely different way!

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TEHILLIM

88 - 89

Today’s shiur of Tehillim are kapitelach Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Asher Cherfu Oivecha Hashem, Asher Cherfu Ikvos Meshichecha.” “Your enemies have disgraced You, Hashem; they have disgraced the footsteps of the one You anointed.”

Many years ago, the Rebbe Rashab started the Yeshivah of Tomchei Temimim. The Rebbe Rashab farbrenged with the bochurim, explaining what their avodah was as Temimim. Three years after Tomchei Temimim was started, the Rebbe Rashab said a very famous sicha that starts with the words “Kol Hayotzei Lemilchemes Beis Dovid.”

In this sicha, he told the Temimim that there are two types of people that the Temimim need to overcome, because they are dangerous for the Yidden. They are both hinted to in this posuk!

1) Asher Cherfu Oivecha Hashem — Those that don’t want other people to believe in Hashem or keep Torah and mitzvos. They make fun of them, and say that Yidden don’t need it chas veshalom.

2) Asher Cherfu Ikvos Meshichecha — Yidden who DO keep Torah and mitzvos, but say that you don’t need to talk about Moshiach or get excited that Moshiach is coming.

The Yeshiva bochurim have to fight a war with these two kinds of people. And how do they fight it? Not with mussar or arguments, but with teaching Chassidus and strengthening the emunah that Moshiach is about to come!

Many years later, in a farbrengen with Chassidim, the Rebbe said that this sicha that the Rebbe Rashab said is now important for every Yid! We need to know that whenever we meet another Yid, we might think that it was for one reason or another. But the real reason is so we can share a few words of Chassidus and share the excitement that Moshiach is coming very soon!

See sicha of Chof Cheshvan, Tof-Shin-Mem-Hey (video excerpt)

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TANYA

Kuntres Acharon Siman Tes

Mazel Tov! Today we are learning the very last piece of Tanya! We are making a siyum on the whole sefer!

In this letter, the Alter Rebbe gives certain takanos in davening and learning.

One thing is about being careful with kavana when we daven. We need to find a good chazan who will daven properly — saying the words clearly, not too fast and not too slow, not too loud and not too quiet.

The Alter Rebbe also asks Chassidim to each take a piece of Gemara to learn, so that together we learn the whole Shas each year and in every city! Everyone should choose one mesechta (book of Gemara) to learn. (This is a minhag we still do today, called Chalukas Hashas. We split it up beginning Yud-Tes Kislev.)

The Alter Rebbe says that those who are part of Chalukas Hashas should say Kapitel Kuf-Yud Tes every week.

The Alter Rebbe also gives a hora’ah about teshuvah: Since it is hard to fast as part of teshuvah, the Alter Rebbe gives another way to do teshuvah — to know the halachos of Shabbos very well! It says in Torah that someone who knows Hilchos Shabbos well is forgiven for all of his aveiros!

We should also be careful to only say Shabbosdik and Torah’dik things on Shabbos, which is a deeper way of resting on Shabbos properly.

The last word of the entire sefer of Tanya is “chulu,” which means “etc.” That means that there is more that should be said about it. The Rebbe tells us that this hints to us that there is always more for us to understand in Tanya, so we need to go back to the beginning and learn the Tanya again!

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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Ches Kislev

Today’s Hayom Yom is also a siyum on the entire sefer of Hayom Yom!

The Rebbe brings that we don’t say Tachanun in Mincha today, because it is Erev Yud-Tes Kislev.

Why does a Yid do a mitzvah? There could be many reasons!

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn what the Tzemach Tzedek writes about a special kind of love for Hashem that will make a Yid want to do mitzvos: A Yid can think about how everything that Hashem created — the Gashmius world and EVEN Gan Eden and Olam Haba (where the neshama can feel Hashem!) is only created from the letters of Hashem’s name, and is not the etzem of Hashem.

When a person thinks about that, he realizes that he doesn’t want anything else that Hashem created, he just wants Hashem Himself! And how does he get Hashem Himself? By doing a mitzvah.

That is a very high level of Ahavas Hashem, called the ahava of “Imcha Lo Chafatzti!”

The Alter Rebbe himself served Hashem this way. Many times, when the Alter Rebbe was in dveikus, feeling very excited when thinking about Hashem, he would say, “I want nothing! I don’t want Your Gan Eden, I don’t want Your Olam Haba, I only want You!”

The Rebbe told us many times that even though this is what the Alter Rebbe did, and nobody can say that our Avodas Hashem is just like his, all of us can do it too, at least in some little way.

At the end of the Hayom Yom, the Frierdiker Rebbe added (in some Hayom Yoms, you can see it in the Frierdiker Rebbe’s handwriting!):

Gut Yom Tov! Leshana Tova Belimud Hachassidus Uvedarkei Hachassidus Tikoseivu Veseichaseimu! You should be written and sealed for a good year in learning Chassidus and acting the way it teaches!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #162 - Mitzvas Asei #66, Lo Saasei #147, Asei #67, Lo Saasei #102, #103, #138

Today’s we learn six mitzvos about Korbanos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #66) When we bring a Korban Shelamim, we need to follow all of the rules of how to bring it!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְאִם זֶבַח שְׁלָמִים קָרְבָּנוֹ

The halachos of the four mitzvos with types of Korbanos (Olah, Chatas, Asham, Shelamim) are explained in Mesechta Zevachim, along with the halachos of all the mitzvos about how to bring them right.

2)(Mitzvas Lo Saasei #147) We can’t eat the Korbanos called Kodshim Kalim (like the Korban Todah and Korban Shelamim) before their blood is sprinkled on the Mizbeiach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: לֹא תוּכַל לֶאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְנִדְבֹתֶיךָ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #67) When we bring a Korban Mincha (flour and oil) we need to follow the rules. There are many different types of Korban Mincha, and the mitzvah is to do each one of them the way it is described in the Torah. There is a whole Mesechta in Gemara explaining these halachos, called Mesechta Menachos. (We start to learn the halachos of this mitzvah in the last perek of today’s Rambam.)

וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי תַקְרִיב קָרְבַּן מִנְחָה לַה׳ וְגוֹ׳ וְאִם מִנְחָה עַל הַמַּחֲבַת קָרְבָּנֶךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְאִם מִנְחַת מַרְחֶשֶׁת קָרְבָּנֶךָ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #102) We CAN’T mix olive oil into the Korban Mincha of someone who did an aveira, called a Minchas Chotei.

We learn this mitzvah from Parshas Vayikra: לֹא יָשִׂים עָלֶיהָ שֶׁמֶן

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #103) We CAN’T mix levonah (a kind of spice) into a Minchas Chotei, a Korban Mincha for someone who did an aveira.

We learn this mitzvah from the next words in the same posuk: וְלֹא יִתֵּן עָלֶיהָ לְבֹנָה

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #138) When a Kohen (or a Kohen Gadol) brings a Korban Mincha, the whole thing needs to be burned. None of it can be eaten!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: וְכָל מִנְחַת כֹּהֵן כָּלִיל תִּהְיֶה לֹא תֵאָכֵל

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos

In today’s Rambam, we learn about eating Korbanos, and start learning about the Korban Mincha.

Perek Yud: We learn about eating the Korban Chatas, the Korban Asham, and the Mincha: We learn when and where and who can eat them!

Perek Yud-Alef: This perek teaches us about Korbanos that we are NOT allowed to eat.

Perek Yud-Beis: The Rambam teaches us some general rules about the Korban Mincha.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Temidin U'Musafin - Perek Ches

In this perek, the Rambam teaches us about the two Chometz’dike loaves of bread we bring on Shavuos.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Yud-Tes Kislev

In the beginning of the Hayom Yom, before the first day of Yud-Tes-Kislev, there is a part of a letter from the Rebbe Rashab. We start learning Hayom Yom from this letter!

In it, the Rebbe Rashab writes that Yud-Tes Kislev is the Rosh Hashana for Chassidus.

Here are some of the reasons why:

1) On Rosh Hashana, the world is judged. Hashem decides how much bracha each person will get, and how much chayus the world will get.

On Yud-Tes-Kislev, the world is also judged! Hashem decides how much Chassidus each person will get, and how much chayus it will bring in their Avodas Hashem.

2) On Rosh Hashana, Adam Harishon was born, and the important work of making the world into a Dira Betachtonim could start.

On Yud-Tes-Kislev, it was decided in Shomayim that Chassidus could be shared with everyone! Now, the important work of getting the world ready for Moshiach through Pnimius HaTorah, the teachings of Chassidus, is able to happen.

3) On Rosh Hashana, it is a special time to accept Hashem as our King, Kabolas Ol Malchus Shomayim. We decide that we will make sure that everything in our life is done the way Hashem wants.

On Yud-Tes-Kislev, it is a special time to accept that we will live the way Chassidus teaches. We decide that we are ready to do what Hashem wants us to, with the right kavana, the way Chassidus teaches.

~

On Rosh Hashana, right after Maariv, we wish each other Leshana Tova Tikoseiv Veseichaseim, that we should be written down for a good year. On Yud-Tes Kislev, we wish each other that Hashem should help that we should have hatzlacha in learning Chassidus and acting like a chossid. And the more we bentch others, the more Hashem will bentch us to have the same!

Over Yom Tov, make sure to wish others “Leshana Tova Belimud Hachassidus Uvedarkei Hachassidus!”

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TEFILLAH

How Davening Changes Our Day

The Chachomim say that a person who is davening has to have his heart above and his eyes below! (“Hamispalel Tzorich Sheyihiyeh Libo Lemaala Ve’einav Lematah.”)

The Alter Rebbe explains that this means that even when someone feels close and connected to Hashem, he still needs to remember the way he is during the rest of the day.

The Rebbe teaches us that practically this means that a person can’t walk away from davening only feeling inspired and Ruchniyus’dik. We ALSO need to use the time of davening to make general hachlatos for the day about how we should act in our “regular” work, like eating and exercise and playing and working.

Then, later in the day, we can think about what we’re doing, and if we’re acting the way we decided we would during davening.

Sichas Tes-Vov Shevat, 5739

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bentching Gomel

The bracha that a person says when Hashem saves him from a dangerous situation is called Birchas Hagomel.

This bracha is said during Kriyas HaTorah. There are four times when a person needs to bentch Gomel:

1) If someone was saved from a serious illness
2) Someone who comes out of prison
3) Someone who crossed the ocean
4) Someone who crossed the desert

If a person has to bentch Gomel, there are other things he should do as well!

The Rebbe told someone in a letter (Zos Chanukah 5727) that in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, it says that right away, even before bentching Gomel, they should say the parsha of the Korban Todah. (As long as it is during the day, since the Korban Todah could only be brought during the daytime.)

Someone who has to bentch Gomel should also give tzedakah to help the community. The Rebbe says that though people haven’t always done this, it is a good idea to start this minhag!

As the Alter Rebbe wrote in a letter when he came out of prison, when Hashem does a chesed to a person, it should make the person feel humble — and he can show that he is humble when he does chesed to others.

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

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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

What Will the World Be Like?

Nowadays when we do a mitzvah, we need to remember to do it, remember the halachos, overcome our Yetzer Hara, and ignore what the world says about it.

When Moshiach comes, it will be much easier, it will come naturally! Everything in the world will remind us to do the mitzvos right, there will be no Yetzer Hara, and the goyim will help us to serve Hashem!

Migolah L’Geulah p. 223

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