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Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe starts to get involved with the Yidden, but is forced to escape to Midyan. There, he gets married to Tziporah. The Yidden cry out to Hashem when the tzaros in Mitzrayim become very hard. Hashem is now ready to start the process of the Geulah.

In the beginning of the parsha we learn how the Yidden were tricked into slavery, and the Golus of Mitzrayim began. There was a gezeira against the Jewish boys, that they should be thrown into the water. So when Moshe, from the family of Levi, was born, he was hidden in the water in a basket. Basya, Paraoh’s daughter, found him there. Since he wouldn’t nurse from a non-Jewish woman, Basya had Moshe nursed by a Jewish woman (his real mother!) until he was old enough to live in the palace with her.

Moshe came to live in the palace with Basya, who treated him like a son. Basya asked her father Paraoh to put him in charge of the palace, and he did.

At that time, Moshe went out and realized how terribly his fellow Yidden were being treated, and was very hurt by it.

Moshe saw that one of the Mitzriyim was hitting a Yid very hard! Through Ruach Hakodesh, he saw why the Mitzri was hitting this man. This wicked Mitzri woke up the Yid, then snuck into the Yid’s house and took his wife. After the Yid came back from work, he found out what happened, and the Mitzri starting beating him.

Moshe also saw through Ruach Hakodesh that none of the people from this Mitzri’s family would become Yidden. He made sure nobody was looking, and said a certain name of Hashem so the Mitzri would die. Then he buried the Mitzri in the sand.

The next day, Moshe saw two Yidden, Dasan and Aviram, arguing with each other. One of them picked up his hand to hit the other one! Moshe said, “Why are you going to hit him?!” (The Torah calls this person a rasha. From here we learn that if someone even just picks up his hand to hit another person, he is called a rasha.)

These two Yidden had seen what Moshe did the day before. The one who picked up his hand asked, “Who made you in charge of us? Are you going to kill me like you killed the Mitzri?”

When Moshe heard this he was afraid. He was afraid that Paraoh would hear what he did and punish him. He was also afraid that since there were Yidden that were speaking Lashon Hara and Rechilus, maybe they didn’t DESERVE for Hashem to take them out of Mitzrayim. He said, “Now I understand that the Yidden are suffering so much because they need to correct their aveiros before they can have the Geulah.”

Dasan and Aviram did tell Paraoh, and Paraoh wanted to kill Moshe. But Hashem saved Moshe, and he was able to escape.

Moshe escaped to Midyan. While he was living there, he sat by the well. He said to himself, if Yaakov Avinu found his shidduch by the well, maybe I will find my shidduch there too.

Yisro was an important person in Midyan. At first, he used to serve Avodah Zarah, but he decided to stop. Because of this, people stopped treating him like part of the community.

Yisro had seven daughters. They used to come to the well and fill up the troughs for the sheep to drink. But the shepherds would chase them away, because their father wasn’t serving Avodah Zarah anymore.

When Moshe saw what was happening, he saved them and helped them give water to the sheep.

When the girls came home, their father Yisro asked why they came back so early, and they explained that someone from Mitzrayim saved them from the shepherds and helped them give water to the sheep.

Yisro heard that the water came up towards Moshe, and knew that this was something that happened to the children of Yaakov. He realized that this was a Yid, and asked, “So where is this man? Why did you leave him there? He might be a good husband for one of you!”

Moshe agreed to live with Yisro, and promised that he wouldn’t leave unless Yisro gave him permission. Yisro then gave his daughter Tziporah as a wife for Moshe.

Tziporah had a baby boy. Moshe called the baby Gershom, which means “a stranger there,” since Moshe felt like he was a stranger in Midyan.

During the time when Moshe was in Midyan, Paraoh made a terrible decree. Paraoh had a rash on his skin (like tzoraas), and heard that taking a bath in blood would help his rash. He ordered that Jewish children should be killed so he could take a bath in their blood.

This decree made the Yidden all cry out to Hashem to save them. Their cries went up to Hashem, and He remembered the promise he made to the Avos, that He would take the Yidden out. Hashem saw how the Yidden were suffering, and He felt their pain.



83 - 87

Today’s shiur Tehillim is Kapitelach Pey-Gimmel to Pey-Zayin.

In Kapitel Pey-Zayin, there is a posuk that says, “U’LeTzion Yei’amar, Ish Ve’Ish Yulad Ba, Vehu Yechoneneha Elyon.” This means, “About Yerushalayim they will say: This person and this person were born there, and Hashem will set it up so it lasts forever.”

The Gemara tells us that this posuk is talking about the times of Moshiach!

When Moshiach comes, the Navi says that the goyim will bring a present to Hashem. Their present will be that they will help find all of the Yidden scattered around the world, so that they can go back to Yerushalayim!

They will say, “Ish Ve’Ish Yulad Ba!” This person and this person were born in Yerushalayim!

The Gemara explains that even though not all Yidden were born in Yerushalayim, still all Yidden are called from Yerushalayim.

There are some Yidden that were actually born in Yerushalayim, and there are other Yidden that hoped to come back to Yerushalayim with Moshiach! Because they wanted to be in Yerushalayim, they are counted as if they were born there too!

That’s why the goyim will say Ish V’Ish, this person AND this person. They are talking about both kinds of Yidden, since we ALL belong in Yerushalayim.

See Gemara Kesubos 75a and Rashi there



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us more about a Tzadik Gamur. Tzadikim Gemurim have a special name: Bnei Aliyah (people on a high level). They have this name for two reasons:

1) They turned their Yetzer Hara into a Yetzer Tov, so now they have no Yetzer Hara at all.

2) The mitzvos that they do are not for themselves — they are for Hashem! They don’t do mitzvos only to connect their own neshamos to Hashem, they do them to make a Dira Betachtonim, to make the world comfortable for Hashem!

The Alter Rebbe says that based on the Gemara, this avodah of a Tzadik Gamur is called a chossid! (The Gemara says, “Aizehu Chossid? Hamis’chased Im Kono.” Who is a chossid? Someone who does chesed with His Creator — he does his mitzvos to make a Dira Betachtonim.) A Tzadik Gamur can do this in the best way because he changed his Yetzer Hara into a Yetzer Tov, and that brings the Shechinah down into the world!

There is an expression from the Rebbeim that says, “Omek Chossid Rebbe” — the deepest part of a chossid is the Rebbe. Every chossid is a shliach of the Rebbe, and “Shlucho Shel Adam Kamoso” — a person’s shliach is like himself! So we also need to try to find how we can do this avodah, at least in a small way. That’s the shlichus that the Rebbe gave each of us, to bring Moshiach! Every mitzvah we do shouldn’t be just for what we will get from it, but so that we can make a Dira Betachtonim for Hashem and take the Shechinah and all of the Yidden out of Golus!



Yud-Zayin Teves

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, this was Nittel Nacht.

The Rebbe tells us that we don’t learn Torah on Nittel Nacht, because there is a lot of kelipah in the world and we don’t want to give it any chayus.

Some bochurim loved to learn Torah so much that they couldn’t manage to stop during Nittel Nacht. The Rebbe Rashab said that he was not happy with these bochurim.

Our love for learning Torah shouldn’t just be because we love learning, but because it is what HASHEM wants. So on a night where Hashem doesn’t want us to learn, we should be happy NOT to learn! Here is a story about that idea:

Once there were two chassidim who were thrown in jail for doing a mitzvah. They were put into a big room with many other prisoners. In a corner there was a barrel to use as a bathroom. It was the afternoon, and one of the chassidim said that it was time to daven Mincha.

“But you can’t daven here,” said his friend. “That smelly barrel is in the corner, and the Shulchan Aruch teaches us that we can’t daven in a room that smells bad!”

The other chossid was very sad. “It’s bad enough that we were thrown in jail, and now we can’t even daven Mincha!”

“Don’t be sad,” the other chossid told him. “The same Hashem Who tells us to daven Mincha every day also tells us NOT to daven if we are stuck in such a place. So today we are serving Hashem by NOT davening!”

This made both of the chassidim so happy that they jumped up and started singing and dancing around the smelly barrel! They were celebrating that they could serve Hashem in the jail!

When the jail guards heard the singing, they ran into the room to see what was happening. “It’s those Jews over there,” the other prisoners told the guards. “They were pointing at the barrel, and now they are dancing around it!”

The guards were very angry. “They like the barrel? That’s it, we’re taking it away!”

The guards took away the barrel, and both chassidim were STILL able to serve Hashem — this time by davening Mincha!



Mitzvas Asei #93, #114

We learn one last mitzvah about a Nazir:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #93) When a person finishes his time of being a Nazir, he has to shave off his hair and bring korbanos.

The Rambam learns this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Naso: בְּיוֹם מְלֹאת יְמֵי נִזְרוֹ

We also learn one mitzvah from the next set of halachos:

2) (Mitzvas Asei #114) If a person promises to give Hashem as much money as a certain person is worth, he needs to follow what it says in the Torah about how much money to give.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: אִישׁ כִּי יַפְלִא נֶדֶר בְּעֶרְכְּךָ נְפָשֹׁת וגו׳



Hilchos Nezirus - Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we finish learning about the Nazir:

Perek Tes: At the end of a person’s Nezirus, he has to bring certain korbanos. The money he uses to pay for them, and the animals that he brings, get a special kedusha! So if he paid too much money in the Beis Hamikdash for his korbanos, the money has kedusha and he can’t just get change back!

Perek Yud: This is the last perek about the halachos of a Nazir. We learn that there are three times a Nazir needs to shave his hair:

1) At the end of his NezirusTiglachas Tahara
2) If he became tomei in the middle, he shaves all of his hair when he becomes tahorTiglachas Tumah
3) When a person becomes tamei from Tzoraas

The Rambam tells us what happens if he has all three, or if he might have them — how does he need to shave his hair?

At the end of this perek, the Rambam tells us that a person who becomes a Nazir for the right reason is very special to Hashem!

We now start a new set of Halachos — Hilchos Erkin VaCharamin — when a person promises to make a donation to Hashem (to help pay for keeping the Beis Hamikdash running). We learn how to find out how much a person is worth, or a field, or other kinds of things. This is also a kind of Neder (promise) — which is what this Sefer of Rambam (Hafla’ah) is all about! This is a kind of promise called Nidrei Hekdesh.

Perek Alef: The Rambam discusses the kinds of people who can make a neder to give a donation to Hashem, to be used in the Beis Hamikdash. Goyim are allowed to give certain donations.

There is also another kind of neder where we figure out how much someone is worth depending on how much people would pay for him as a slave.



Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Zayin

In the Beis Hamikdash, there were 15 officers in charge of different things — like the Ketores, locking the gates, or taking care of sick kohanim. Each officer had a lot of helpers. The Rambam explains the job of each of these officers.



Using Our Body the Way Hashem Wants

In today’s Chumash, Shlishi, we learned that Moshe Rabbeinu was not happy to see a Yid picking up his hand to hit another Yid. Moshe told him, “Lama Sakeh Reiacha?” “Why are you hitting your friend?” The posuk calls this person a rasha!

We learn from here that a person who even just picks up his hand to hit someone, even if he doesn’t really hit, is already called a Rasha.

Why? What’s so bad about picking up your hand, especially if the other person doesn’t even see? Why does that make someone a Rasha?

There are two kinds of mitzvos: Mitzvos that have to do with the way we act with other people (Bein Adam LaChaveiro), and mitzvos that are just between us and Hashem (Bein Adam LaMakom).

It’s true that picking up your hand when the other person doesn’t see doesn’t hurt him. It is not a problem Bein Adam Lachaveiro. But it still is a problem Bein Adam LaMakom, between us and Hashem!

Why did Hashem give us a body?

Hashem wants us to use every part of our body in a Torah way. Hashem gave us our hand to be used for chesed, like giving tzedakah, and doing other mitzvos. When a person lifts up his hand to hurt another person, he started using his hand for the opposite of why Hashem gave it to him!

Doing something that is against the way Hashem wants is an aveira. That’s why someone who even just picks up his hand to hit another person is called a rasha.

We need to make sure to use every part of our body only the way Hashem wants it to be used!

See Dvar Malchus Shemos 5778, from Likutei Sichos vol. 31. p. 5


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Modeh Ani

The first words that should come out of our mouths in the morning should be “Modeh Ani Lefanecha,” thanking Hashem for giving us back our neshama.

We say this even before washing Negel Vasser, while our hands are still tomei! No tumah in the world can stop the Modeh Ani of a Yid.

In Lashon Kodesh, a word can be different based on whether a boy or girl are saying it. The word “Modeh” is the way a boy would say “thank,” and “Modah” is the way a girl would say it. Someone asked the Rebbe if we should teach girls to say “Modah Ani” instead of “Modeh Ani,” since it makes sense according to dikduk. The Rebbe answered, “keminhag hamakom” — it depends on the minhag in that place. For most of us, since we don’t have a different minhag where we are, girls say Modeh Ani just like boys do.

When we say Modeh Ani, we pause between the words “Bechemla” (with mercy) and “Raba Emunasecha” (great is Your faithfulness.) The words “Raba” and “Emunasecha” should stay together, since they come from a posuk, “Chadashim Labekarim Raba Emunasecha.” We don’t say “Bechemla Raba,” with great mercy.

Based on the audio Halacha series of Rabbi Farkash



Netilas Yodayim

Before we eat any amount of bread, even just a little bit, we need to do Netilas Yodayim, wash our hands.

But we only make the bracha Al Netilas Yodayim if we plan to eat at least a kebeitzah of bread. A kebeitzah means the size of an egg, which the Chachomim teach is the size of two olives — kezayis. The way we measure nowadays, this is about two ounces, which is usually the size of one or two slices of bread.

Seder Netilas Yodayim L’seudah, se’if Yud-Ches

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



Asking for the Geulah

In today’s Chumash, Shlishi of Parshas Shemos, we learned about a terrible thing that happened to the Yidden in Mitzrayim. The Yidden were so upset that they all cried out to Hashem!

The posuk tells us that Hashem listened to their cry, and remembered the promise He made to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Hashem started making the Geulah happen right away, telling Moshe Rabbeinu to take the Yidden out of Golus.

The Rebbe tells us that we see from here that Yetziyas Mitzrayim only happened after the Yidden cried out to Hashem, asking for the Geulah. This teaches us that now, in this Golus too, we need to cry out to Hashem to take us out of Golus! We can be sure that Hashem will keep His promise again, and bring us the Geulah right away!

See sicha Parshas Shemos Tof-Shin-Mem-Gimmel, Dvar Malchus Shemos p. 54

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