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Parshas Korach - Shlishi with Rashi

Korach’s group didn’t want ANYONE in charge of the Yidden. They brought ketores to the Mishkan to show that they didn’t think kohanim should get any privileges! But Hashem didn’t punish them yet. He first had to tell Moshe something!

Hashem told Moshe and Aharon to move away from the Yidden, since Korach had convinced all the Yidden to agree with him! Hashem was going to punish them all.

Moshe and Aharon asked Hashem to please only punish the people who WANTED to make trouble, and not the people who just got excited later when they heard about it. Hashem agreed.

Hashem told Moshe that all of the Yidden should go away from the tents of Korach, Dasan, and Aviram (the ones who started it)! Moshe went and warned everyone, hoping that Dasan and Aviram would also do teshuvah. Everyone moved away, showing that they realized that Korach was wrong.

But Dasan and Aviram stood by their tents with chutzpah, to show that they thought they were right.

Moshe said, “You will see that these people will die! Then you will know that Hashem asked me to be in charge of the Yidden — I didn’t choose the job myself.”

The ground opened up, and Korach, Dasan, and Aviram — together with all of their families and all of their things — were all sucked into the ground. (Korach’s sons did teshuvah, so Hashem saved them, and let them come out of the ground later.)

All of the Yidden heard them screaming and were very scared! They thought that maybe they would fall into the ground too!

Hashem sent a fire to burn up all the people who brought ketores since they also wanted to make trouble.

Since they had brought the ketores to Hashem, the spoons they used for the ketores were now holy, and had to be used for something in kedusha. So Elazar the Kohen had the copper spoons melted to cover over the Mizbeiach. This would remind the Yidden not to act like Korach and his group!

The next day, the Yidden complained that Moshe and Aharon killed those Yidden by making them bring dangerous ketores!

Again, Hashem sent His cloud to the Mishkan with a new important message…



140 - 144

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Mem to Kuf-Mem-Daled.

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk, “Tikon Tefilasi Ketores Lefanecha” — “I bring my Davening before Hashem like Ketores!”

The Rambam chooses this posuk to put at the beginning of his Sefer about Korbanos.

The Rebbe explains that davening is like ketores! When the Kohen brings the Ketores, nobody else is allowed to be there — it’s just the Kohen bringing the Ketores to Hashem. The same thing is when we daven — it’s private, between us and Hashem!

Also, the word Ketores is like the word “Kesher” (in Aramaic, “Ketar”) — a connection. Davening is one of the ways we make a special connection with Hashem.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Zayin

A basic part of our Emunah is believing that Hashem created the world. At the very beginning of Chumash Bereishis, we learn about the Asara Maamaros, the ten things Hashem said to create the entire world. We show our emunah every week, when we rest on Shabbos, the day Hashem rested from creating the world.

In this section of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is explaining with more details about how Hashem created the world with the words of the Asara Maamaros. This way we can understand it as much as possible! We will have in our sechel whatever we are able to understand, we will imagine what we are not able to understand, and have Emunah for whatever we can’t even imagine. This will help us have Ahavas Hashem more easily!

The Alter Rebbe taught us the words of the Medrash, which the Baal Shem Tov would often say: That Hashem didn’t just create the world a long time ago, but that Maaseh Bereishis happens every second! The Alter Rebbe explains how it can be that Hashem is creating the world from nothing all the time, and why we can’t see it.

Now the Alter Rebbe is teaching us about tzimtzum, the way Hashem’s chayus is hidden in the world. Of course this isn’t Tzimtzum Kipshuto, that Hashem left the world chas veshalom! Hashem is always everywhere, but because of tzimtzum it LOOKS like the world exists on its own.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe shows us how we are able to see, in the things that Hashem creates with the Asara Maamaros, the koach of Hashem which is Ein Sof, without any limit.

The Asara Maamaros make the koach of Hashem work in way that things will have specific sizes and amounts. But even this is an a way of Ein Sof — because these things will grow and more of them will come, however many the world needs, in a way of Ein Sof.



Chof-Tes Sivan

The avodah of a Yid is to get used to looking at the world the way Chassidus teaches, and seeing Hashem’s chayus in everything!

When we do something lots and lots of times, it becomes like a part of us. Like if we get used to saying Modeh Ani RIGHT when we wake up, we don’t even need to think about it anymore! It becomes part of us.

Did you know that when a person THINKS about something a lot, that can become a part of him too?

It is the job of a Chossid not just to get used to washing Negel Vasser and saying brachos, but also to get used to THINKING like a Chossid!

How does a Chossid think? Other people look around the world and see trees, cars, tables, or houses. But a Chossid needs to see that all of these things are being created by Hashem RIGHT NOW, and that all these things are really Hashem’s chayus!

That’s Hashgacha Protis — that Hashem makes each and every thing in the world just this way, and gives it new chayus every moment!

We need to get used to thinking this way when we look around at the world.



Shiur #303 - Mitzvas Asei #246

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the same mitzvah again (Mitzvas Asei #246) — a Beis Din needs to judge cases about money according to the halachos the Torah teaches.



Hilchos To'ein Venit'an

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about how a Beis Din should decide when people come with an argument about money.

In Perek Daled, we learn that the Beis Din can only force the person to make a shevuah if they know exactly how much they disagree about. So if one person says, “You borrowed a wallet full of coins,” and the other person says, “you only gave me 10 coins,” then he doesn’t have to make a shevuah, since we don’t know how many coins were in the wallet. But if one person says, “You borrowed this bag of grain filled to the top,” and the other person says, “it was only filled to this line when you gave it to me,” then he DOES have to make a shevuah, since that is like a measurement.

Perek Hey tells us when we don’t need to make a shevuah according to Torah, but the Chachomim tell us that we should make another kind of shevuah, called a “Shevuas Heses.” One example for this is an argument about a field. So if one person says, “you sold me two fields!” and the other person says, “I only sold you one,” he needs to make a Shevuas Heses. Also, for servants, “IOU notes,” or hekdesh, there is no shevuah from the Torah — only a Shevuas Heses.

Perek Vov: In this perek, the Rambam talks about how the Beis Din makes sure that people are telling the truth in Beis Din.

Some of the halachos talk about what happens if it seems like the person is a liar. If a person is a liar in Beis Din, he can’t make a shevuah (a very strong promise) which would make him potur from paying. Instead, he just has to pay. But a person is only considered a liar by the Beis Din if he says something in front of them, and then someone else brings two witnesses who say that they saw the opposite.



Hilchos Metamei Mishkav U'Moshav - Perek Ches

The Rambam explains what happens if one of these people move something, in lots of different ways. For example, do the things become Tomei if he moved it with a stick he is holding under his chin?



Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

When the Beis Hamikdash stood, Hashem had a very special place to rest. The posuk says that Hashem promised, “Vehayu Einai Velibi Sham Kol Hayamim,” that His eyes and heart will always be in the Beis Hamikdash. Because of Hashem’s special attention there, the Beis Hamikdash is the best place to daven and to have our tefillos answered.

But then came the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash. Even though there is still kedusha in the place where the Beis Hamikdash used to stand, it is a more hidden kind.

But there still is a place where we can reach the level of kedusha of the Beis Hamikdash before the Churban!

Chassidus teaches that the neshamos of great tzadikim, like Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, have a connection to the level of kedusha in the Beis Hamikdash before the Churban! That means that the closest way we can reach Hashem is near the neshama of a great tzadik.

So if a person wants to daven the way the Yidden davened in the Beis Hamikdash, the best way is to daven at the Ohel of the Rebbe. It is the closest we can get to the kedusha of the Beis Hamikdash, until it is rebuilt very soon!

See Sicha Yud Shevat 5714


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Ribono Shel Olam Hareini Mochel

In the Zohar for Parshas Mikeitz, there is a very interesting story:

The Tanna Rabbi Abba would sit by the entrance to the city of Lod.

One day, he saw a traveler approaching the city. The man seemed very tired from a long journey. He stopped to rest on the mountainside, sitting down on a large stone that was part of a pile of boulders. The man rested his head on a rock and fell asleep.

Rabbi Abba was watching the traveler from his seat, far away. Suddenly, he saw a long poisonous snake approaching the man! He was too far away to kill the snake, or even to warn the man in time.

Just before the snake struck the sleeping traveler, a heavy branch snapped sharply off a nearby tree. It landed right on the snake, killing it, before it reached the sleeping man.

At the loud crash, the traveler woke up. He saw the snake crushed on the ground at his feet, and realized that he had just been saved. He gathered his belongings, and started on his way again.

As he walked away, there was a low rumble. The pile of boulders he had just been resting on collapsed! The rocks fell on top of each other, and tumbled down the mountain, destroying everything in their path.

Rabbi Abba was amazed! Two open miracles had just happened to save this man’s life. He ran towards the traveler and spoke to him excitedly, “I just personally saw Hashem save you twice! Please tell me what you did to deserve this, so that I can learn from your behavior.”

The traveler answered, “My whole life I have been careful never to remain upset at another person. If someone did something to hurt me, I tried to approach him and make peace. If I couldn’t speak to him, I would not go to sleep before fully forgiving him in my mind. I was careful to never again even feel upset about that incident. I would always try to do favors for this person, so he would realize that I am not at all upset at him.”

Rabbi Abba cried, and proclaimed, “This man’s deeds are greater than those of Yosef Hatzadik! With Yosef, his brothers did not treat him right, but they were his brothers! It was natural for him to have pity on them. But this man followed the path of Yosef, even with those who were not his brothers! He therefore deserved that Hashem made this double miracle for him.”

This is another story that teaches us how important it is to do what we say in the paragraph of Ribono Shel Olam before we go to sleep, to forgive anyone who may have done something to hurt us.



Lo Sisna Es Achicha Bilvavecha

If someone did something to hurt us, we might feel very upset. But we are not allowed to keep this feeling inside! If we stay upset and keep thinking about how hurt we are, that is the Mitzvas Lo Saasei of “Lo Sisna Es Achicha Bilvavecha,” “You shouldn’t hate another person in your heart.”

Instead, if someone hurts us, we should go to the other person and ask them to explain why they did it, or give them a chance to apologize to us.

But we need to be careful when we do this mitzvah! When we go to the other person, we need to find a time to talk to them privately, calmly, and gently. We need to be very careful not to hurt them by embarrassing them!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov, se’if ches

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



Ve'ameich Kulam Tzadikim

Today we will learn a posuk about the Geulah that we all know — but we might not have known that it is about the Geulah!

וְעַמֵּךְ כֻּלָּם צַדִּיקִים לְעוֹלָם יִירְשׁוּ אָרֶץ נֵצֶר מַטָּעַי מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַי לְהִתְפָּאֵר

Hashem says through the Navi Yeshaya, about the time of the Geulah:

Ve’ameich Kulam Tzadikim — All of the Yidden will be tzadikim!

Le’olam Yirshu Aretz — They will inherit Eretz Yisroel forever, and never go into Golus again!

Neitzer Mata’ai — The Yidden are like a branch that grew from what I planted

Maasei Yadai — They are the work of My hands

Lehispa’er — Which I am very proud of!

There are many more explanations of this posuk. The most famous one comes from the Mishna in Sanhedrin, which we say at the beginning of each perek of Pirkei Avos. The Rebbe chose it to be one of the Twelve Pesukim and Maamarei Chazal that all of us should learn by heart!

Kol Yisrael Yeish Lahem Chelek Le’olam Haba!” This posuk from Yeshaya teaches us that every Yid has a place in Olam Haba!

See Yeshaya perek Samach posuk Chof-Alef

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