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Parshas Ki Seitzei - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the Yidden more mitzvos, teaching how to act in a caring way to other people:

- If someone does work for you, pay right away, especially if he is poor, because he might need the money you’re supposed to give him! He worked hard and may have even endangered his life for the money. If you don’t pay him right away, it is an aveira.

- Close relatives can’t be witnesses (eidim) for each other in court.

- The Beis Din has to be extra careful with the way they treat an orphan or a ger, making sure that they are treated fairly.

- An almanah (a woman whose husband R”L passed away) also needs extra sensitivity. If she borrowed money, even if she didn’t pay back, you can’t take a Mashkon from her. Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and gave us mitzvos to keep. We need to keep them even if they are hard, like this one, where someone might lose money!

- When you are cutting your wheat from the field, or picking olives and grapes, and you forget something by mistake you need to leave it for a poor person and not take it for yourself.

- The Beis Din needs to make sure to make a proper Din Torah to say who is right and who is wrong.

- Then we learn the mitzvah of the court giving malkos to a person who deserved that punishment in court for an aveira he has done.

- You are not allowed to cover the mouth of an animal when it is working in the field! (People used to cover the mouth of an animal, called muzzling, to keep it from eating the food in the field.)

- Then we learn the mitzvah of yibum and chalitzah. If someone passed away without children, his wife needs to get married to the brother of her husband so they can name a child after him. That’s called Yibum. If that’s not possible or they don’t want to, then chalitzah is done.

- If someone does something very embarrassing to someone else when they were fighting, he must pay. A person doesn’t just have to pay for hurting someone else, but also for embarrassing him.

- When you do business it needs to be honest and then Hashem will be happy and give you long life.

- Remember, and never forget, what Amalek did to us when we left Mitzrayim. We need to wipe out their name. This mitzvah will be finished when Moshiach comes!



49 - 54

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Mem-Tes to Nun-Daled. For Chodesh Elul we also say kapitelach Chof-Hey, Chof-Vov, and Chof-Zayin.

Kapitel Nun-Alef is the kapitel which Yidden have used throughout the years to learn how to do teshuvah. This kapitel is what Dovid Hamelech said to Hashem when he heard from the Navi that he had done an aveira. It is part of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah (and in Tikun Chatzos), which is the time when we do teshuvah for everything we’ve done during the day.

One of the things that Dovid Hamelech says in this kapitel is “Vechatosi Negdi Somid.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this means that “I always know about my aveira.” Even if a person did teshuvah properly, and is sure that Hashem forgave him 100% (as the Alter Rebbe teaches us in Igeres Hateshuvah), you still have to know that you once did an aveira.

Why is that a good thing? Wouldn’t that just make you feel sad?

No! We don’t think about this ALL the time. But at times when we notice something someone else did wrong, and we might think that we’re much better than them, we remind ourselves that we did aveiros too! This will help us not to feel gaava, that we are not more special than another person. It can also help us be happy even when hard things happen, or to stay calm even when things happen that might make us angry, because we realize that they could have been a kapara for our aveira!

See Tanya, Igeres HaTeshuvah, end of perek Yud-Alef



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Beis

In this Igeres Hakodesh, the Alter Rebbe is encouraging Yidden to give tzedakah, even when it is hard!

We said that in Shomayim, there are Malochim that are different than each other — and even opposites, like Michoel and Gavriel! One is strict, and one is kind.

When Hashem shows them a greater light than before, they are able to see that really they are BOTH doing what Hashem wants! Then they are able to make shalom.

When a Yid does something in this world, Hashem does something in a matching way.

When we give tzedakah, we are giving another person something he didn’t have before. So when we do that, Hashem also gives “tzedakah” to the malochim, and shows them this great light so they will make shalom!

And not only does Hashem make shalom in Shomayim, Hashem also makes shalom between the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Hara! Hashem takes away the part of the Yetzer Hara that isn’t good so it will only help do what Hashem wants!

This shalom will be complete when Moshiach comes. Then, the world will be full of the knowledge of Hashem, and every person and creation will unite to serve Hashem, and not need to fight anymore!

We can also get a taste of Geulah now, during davening. By giving tzedakah before we daven, and davening with kavanah, it will bring shalom between our Yetzer Tov and our Yetzer Hara! This will be a taste of the shalom the whole world will have when Moshiach comes!



Tes Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom we see that if learning Chassidus is important to us, even if it is hard, we will be able to understand it!

Sometimes Mommies and Tatties wonder how kids come up with such smart ideas of how to get things they want! Even grownups, who use their minds so much more and already learned so much, can’t think of these things by themselves!

If something is very important to you, even if you didn’t exercise your mind so much — you’ll still be able to understand it!

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn something from the Rebbe Maharash. He explains that Hisbonenus, thinking very deeply about inyonim in Chassidus, might seem like it’s TOO hard for us to do! But really, if it’s important to us, we WILL be able to understand it very well.

We can learn this from the halachos about a maidservant. The Gemara tells us all kinds of things she might say so that she can go free, and what we should answer her. But those reasons she might give are very complicated! How can she come up with such smart ideas, if she never learned Torah?

Because she wants to go free so much, she will even be able to come up with ideas that are on the level of the Tannaim and Amoraim, who have a very deep understanding in Torah!



Shiur #51 - Mitzvas Asei #159, Lo Saasei #323, Asei #160, Lo Saasei #324

Now we start to learn the halachos about resting — on Yom Tov! In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn four mitzvos about resting on Pesach:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #159) The first day of Pesach is Yom Tov, and we need to rest from doing melacha. (Outside of Eretz Yisroel, we rest on the first TWO days of Pesach!)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וּבַיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ

The details are explained in Mesechta Beitzah (Yom Tov).

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #323) We are not allowed to work on the first day of Pesach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: כָּל מְלָאכָה לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה בָהֶם

3) (Mitzvas Asei #160) The seventh (last) day of Pesach is Yom Tov, and we need to rest from doing melacha. (Outside of Eretz Yisroel, Shvi’i Shel Pesach AND Acharon Shel Pesach are Yom Tov.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #324) We are not allowed to work on Shvi’i Shel Pesach, the seventh day of Pesach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: כָּל מְלָאכָה לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה בָהֶם



Hilchos Shevisas Yom Tov

In Perakim Alef, Beis and Gimmel of this new set of halachos, we start to learn about resting on Yom Tov:

On Yom Tov, we are only allowed to do the kinds of melacha we need for making food. But even those melachos, we are only allowed to do to actually make food!

There are only two melachos that we can do for other reasons: We are allowed to carry things outside even for other reasons, and we are allowed to light a fire for other reasons (like to be warm).

But the Chachomim warn us not to leave all of the work for Yom Tov, because then we will be working the whole time and not able to enjoy Yom Tov! So we are allowed to cook on Yom Tov so the food will be fresh, but we should not grind wheat on Yom Tov, because we could do that before Yom Tov. Since it wouldn’t make the food taste better to do it later, we shouldn’t push it off until Yom Tov.



Hilchos Teshuvah - Perek Gimmel

In this perek, the Rambam tells us how people and the world are judged.

Hashem measures mitzvos and aveiros on a kind of “scale” to see which side is heavier!

If someone has more mitzvos than aveiros, they are called a “tzadik.” If someone has more aveiros than mitzvos, they are called a “rasha.” If someone has the same amount of both, they are called a “beinoni!”

We are judged for the year based on these scales. Since we don’t know where the scale is up to, during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah we add in extra mitzvos and Maasim Tovim to make sure we are judged for a good year!



Chassidishe Parsha - Parshas Ki Seitzei

In this week’s parsha we learn mitzvos that we keep when Yidden have to fight in a war. The posuk starts with the words “Ki Seitzei Lamilchama Al Oivecha” — “When you go out to war ON your enemy.” It doesn’t say to fight WITH the enemy, but to go ON TOP OF the enemy! When a Yid goes to war the way Hashem wants, he is already on top — he is for sure going to win!

How can we be so sure we will win?

The Alter Rebbe tells us the answer by explaining something in the Megillah!

Esther Hamalka told Mordechai that it was very dangerous for her to go into the King’s inside room, because he hadn’t called her for 30 days. She asked Mordechai that everyone should daven and fast, and said that she would go ask the King to save the Yidden — even though it was Mesiras Nefesh for her.

But why didn’t she do what Haman did, when he made the decree? He went to the outside room, and asked the servants to tell Achashveirosh that he was there!

Esther Hamalka knew that this was something important in Ruchnius too. The palace of the king is like where Hashem, the King of the whole world, is hiding. The outside room is like the chayus that Hashem gives to the WHOLE world — Goyim AND Yidden. That’s why a Goy could make a decree on the Yidden there!

The INSIDE room is like the Chayus of Hashem that is special for Torah and mitzvos. There, nobody can have any way to hurt a Yid! Esther knew that to take away the decree, she would have to go to the inside room — even if it meant Mesiras Nefesh!

The same is true when Yidden go to war. We need to go ON TOP of the enemy. We need to be connected to Hashem’s inside room — the chayus Hashem gives in Torah and mitzvos. Then, when we go to war with Mesiras Nefesh to fight for what Hashem wants, to fight our Yetzer Hara and the Goyishkeit in the world, and to bring Moshiach now, we are sure to win!

See Likutei Torah Parshas Ki Seitzei, p. 37a — Biur Ki Seitzei


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Pesukei Dezimra

Before we daven and ask Hashem for our needs, we prepare words of praise to Hashem, and speak about His greatness. When the Chachomim set up the davening, they chose the last six kapitelach of Tehillim to be the main part of Pesukei Dezimra, where we praise Hashem. These kapitelach speak about Hashem’s kavod in a very organized way.

Where do we learn that we need to praise Hashem properly before asking Him for what we need?

We learn this from Moshe Rabbeinu, when he begged Hashem to be able to go into Eretz Yisroel. In Parshas Va’eschanan, Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden how he davened. First he praised Hashem and the miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim, “Ata Hachilosa…”, and only afterwards did he ask “E’ebra Na,” that he should be allowed to go into Eretz Yisroel.



The Order of Brachos

There are many halachos about how to say brachos properly, and which ones to say. There is also a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar, a way to do the mitzvah in the BEST way, by also saying the brachos in the right order.

We learned before that a siman to remember the order of brachos is “MaGA AiSh” — first Mezonos, then HaGafen, HaAitz, HaAdamah, and finally Shehakol.

If there are many foods that are same bracha, we choose the most important food to make the bracha on. A food that is shaleim, whole (not cut up or broken) is the most important. If all of the foods are the same (either all shaleim or all cut up), we decide which food is most important to US — choviv. This is a food that we like most or want to eat more now! If we like them all the same, we can just pick any one to make the bracha on.

But if we have fruits of Eretz Yisroel, we shouldn’t just choose any one, we should pick the most important one according to Torah!

How do we know which one this is?

We look at the posuk in the Torah about the Shiva Minim! In the posuk, “Eretz Chita Se’orah Gefen Te’einah Verimon, Eretz Zayis Shemen Udevash,” we speak about the seven special crops of Eretz Yisroel. The order that they are said in the posuk shows us which ones are most important! The most important fruits come right after saying the word “Eretz,” the land of Eretz Yisroel, either the first “Eretz” or the second “Eretz.”

If we choose to follow this order, because we like them all the same, we make a bracha on the first of the fruits that we have in this list: Olives (Zayis), then dates (Devash Temarim), grapes or raisins (Gefen), figs (Te’einah), and then pomegranates (Rimon).

See Seder Birchos Hanehenin Perek Yud

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



Everyone Will Serve Hashem

The Navi Tzefaniah lived in the times of the first Beis Hamikdash. He warned the Yidden of his time about the Churban, but also said some very famous nevuos about the Geulah! Here is one:

כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם ה׳ לְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד

Ki Az Ehepoch El Amim — Because then I will change all the nations

Safa Verura — To all speak a pure language, Lashon Kodesh.

Once they all speak the same language, it will make it easier to unite in being dedicated to the same belief.

Likro Chulam Besheim Hashem — That all of them should call in the name of Hashem,

Le’avdo Shechem Echad — They will all agree to serve Hashem!

In Hilchos Melachim, the Rambam speaks about how we know who is Moshiach. The Rambam uses this posuk to show that one of the things Moshiach will do is to bring the whole world to serve Hashem!

The Rambam teaches that the reason that there are different religions for the goyim is to get the goyim ready to serve Hashem when Moshiach comes!

Each of the religions have things that are based on Yiddishkeit. This will make it easier for the goyim to understand what Moshiach teaches them, and they will be ready to do what Hashem wants!

See Tzefaniah perek Gimmel posuk Tes, Hilchos Melachim Perek Yud-Alef halacha Daled

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