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Parshas Chukas - Shvi'i with Rashi

Today we learn about how the Yidden captured the lands of Sichon and Og, the kings of the Emori.

Hashem already killed many of the Emori who wanted to hurt the Yidden, but there are still 2 kings of the Emori — Sichon and Og. Hashem had told Moshe to fight Sichon, but first Moshe asked their permission to go through to Eretz Yisroel.

But Sichon said NO! He wanted to fight.

The Emorim were very strong, and it would be hard to fight them in their cities. So Hashem gave Sichon an idea to all go into the desert to fight the Yidden! There, the Yidden fought and fought! Hashem made the sun not go down so the Yidden could finish the war. The Yidden won, and now all of the Emori land belonged to them.

The Shevatim of Reuven and Gad decided to live there, in the land of the Emori which would now be part of Eretz Yisroel!

Really, the land where Sichon lived used to belong to Moav, but Sichon hired a non-Jewish navi, Bilaam, to curse the city so he could win it.

Moshe sent men to go be spies and look at a place called Yazer, that wasn’t part of Sichon’s land. These spies wanted to do teshuvah for the Meraglim, so they didn’t just spy. They actually fought and even won over Yazer right away, and sent away the Emorim who lived there!

Now the Yidden went to fight against Og and take the rest of the land of the Emorim. At first Moshe was afraid because Og had helped Avraham, maybe he deserved to win! But Hashem told Moshe not to worry.

Og picked up a mountain that was as big as the entire place where the Yidden were camped! He wanted to kill them all at once. Because he wanted to do this, he lost all of his zechus. Hashem made ants make a big hole in the mountain, and it got stuck on his head! Then Moshe took a big axe, jumped very high, and hit Og in his ankle. Og fell down, and died from the mountain. Now the Yidden killed the rest of Og’s sons and took over the rest of the land of the Emorim.

Now the Yidden were right across the Yarden river from Yericho, a city in Eretz Yisroel!



55- 59

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Nun-Hey to Nun-Tes.

In the end of today’s first kapitel is the very special niggun Padah Veshalom, which we sing on the Geulah of the Rebbeim.

This Shabbos gives bracha to the coming week, which also has in it Yud-Beis Tammuz, the Chag HaGeulah of the Frierdiker Rebbe.

In times of trouble, the Rebbeim would not only say the Tehillim the way it is divided up for the month (the Tehillim of Chitas), but they would also say the Tehillim the way it is divided up for the days of the week. The way it is divided up for the week, Kapitel Nun-Hey is in the Tehillim for Yom Shlishi, Tuesday.

Because Yud-Beis Tammuz of that year was Tuesday, the Frierdiker Rebbe said this kapitel about Geulah on the day of his Geulah!



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Yud-Beis

Today we are finishing the second chelek of TanyaShaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah!

The Alter Rebbe called it this because it speaks about Yichud Hashem — how Hashem is one. Even though we see so many different things in the world, EVERYTHING is all really part of ONE HASHEM!

Goyim might believe in Avodah Zarah. They think very foolish things, that different things had to be made by different creators. But we Yidden have a MITZVAH to know all the time that Hashem is one. To do this mitzvah, we need to learn about it — and that’s what the Alter Rebbe is helping us do in Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah.

The Alter Rebbe explained to us that even though Hashem has Ratzon, Sechel, Midos and Malchus, they are all one with Hashem.

We learned what the Rambam said — that this is something that we cannot understand. It’s like the moshol of light inside the sun — all of these things together are ONE with Hashem. We can see that Hashem is one because Hashem’s midos work TOGETHER with each other when they create the world.

We need to use our Koach of Emunah for this, because it’s not something that can really be explained.

We also saw how the whole world is botul to Hashem, and in two ways: Yichuda Ila’ah and Yichuda Tata’ah.

Now we can use our minds to think about the Yichud of Hashem, and use our Emunah for the things our mind can’t understand!

Finally, the Alter Rebbe finishes today, telling us that the Asara Maamaros Hashem used to create the world have the parts of the world that need a lot of chayus — like people, animals, plants, and the sun and moon. We can see these things written clearly in the Torah (in Parshas Bereishis). Other things, like rocks and sand, don’t have so much chayus. Hashem makes these things too with the osiyos in the Asara Maamaros, but not in a clear way — by putting together the letters in different ways. This way, they don’t get as much chayus.

Do you understand? In case you don’t, the Alter Rebbe gives us a mashal so we understand how the chayus is less:

It’s like the light we have in the world. During the day, we have a lot of light! We get it straight from the sun that shines on us. At night we get much less light because we don’t get the light straight from the sun — it is reflected off the moon.

When something is created STRAIGHT from Hashem’s words in the Asara Maamaros, it can have a lot of chayus, like light from the sun! But when it comes from the letters organized into different words, the chayus is much less, like the light from the moon.

But at the end, EVERYTHING is part of the chayus of our Aibishter, Who is only ONE!

Mazel Tov! We have finished learning the second chelek of Tanya with the help of Hashem!

A great talmid of the Alter Rebbe, named R’ Aharon of Strashele, writes that the Alter Rebbe did not finish Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah — there was more left to explain. The rest of the explanation about Achdus Hashem can be found in the maamarim of the other Rebbeim .



Yud Tammuz

Today we learn about the shlichus each of us have wherever we are!

Not too long after the Alter Rebbe became Rebbe, he said a Torah:

It says in Tehillim, “MeiHashem Mitzadei Gever Konanu,” “Hashem sets up a person’s feet (puts them in the right place).” The Alter Rebbe explains that it means that wherever a Yid goes, he is a shliach of Hashem — Hashem sent him there!

What is this shlichus? To do a mitzvah!

A mitzvah like saying a bracha, or davening (mitzvos we do just for Hashem), or a mitzvah like having Ahavas Yisroel, or teaching another Yid (mitzvos Hashem wants us to do with other people)!

Malachim also have a shlichus, like we learned in Chumash Bereishis (with Avraham and Sedom and Amorah) — but the shlichus of a Yid is MORE special, because our shlichus is according to what the Torah teaches us!



Shiur #316 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #310, Asei #224, Lo Saasei #300

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 3 mitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #310) We can’t let a witch live (a witch is someone who uses the koach of tumah to make magic).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: מְכַשֵּׁפָה לֹא תְחַיֶּה

2) (Mitzvas Asei #224) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of giving malkos (lashes) — one of the punishments a Beis Din gives for certain aveiros.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְהִפִּילוֹ הַשֹּׁפֵט וְהִכָּהוּ לְפָנָיו

The details are explained in Mesechta Makos.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #300) The Beis Din can’t hit someone during Malkos more than he’s supposed to be hit. Part of this mitzvah is never to hit another Yid, or even just pick up our hand as if we were going to hit him!

We also learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כְּדֵי רִשְׁעָתוֹ בְּמִסְפָּר אַרְבָּעִים יַכֶּנּוּ לֹא יֹסִיף



Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how the Sanhedrin judges.

In Perek Yud, one of the things we learn is that every judge has to have his OWN opinion. Because of that, we don’t ask the oldest or greatest judge to say his opinion first, because then the other judges might not want to say something different.

Perek Yud-Alef talks about the differences between judging cases about money (Dinei Mamonos), and judging cases where someone would be punished by being killed (Dinei Nefashos). We try NOT to have someone killed by Beis Din. One of the ways we see this is that even someone who is not a judge can give a reason why NOT to punish someone, but only the judges can give a reason to say why he is guilty!

Perek Yud-Beis explains how the Sanhedrin can pasken that someone deserves to be killed. The judges first need to make sure that there were witnesses who saw it happen, and that the person was warned first that he is not allowed to do the aveira.



Hilchos Shaar Avos Hatumah - Perek Vov

This perek teaches us about how Avodah Zarah is an Av Hatumah and can make other things tomei.



Yud-Beis Tammuz

The special Yom Tov of Yud-Beis Tammuz is coming up. On this day, the Frierdiker Rebbe was freed from jail.

Chassidus teaches us that after a time when Hashem’s kindness is hiding and a person doesn’t see it, Hashem’s kindness will be MUCH more clear afterwards. Every year, on Yud-Beis Tammuz, a new light of Hashem shines in the world!

If the Rebbe doesn’t have the hiding of Hashem, why do we say that there will be more bracha afterwards?

A Rebbe is like the Moshe Rabbeinu of his time. The main thing Moshe Rabbeinu cared about was taking care of the Yidden and bringing them close to Hashem. For the Rebbeim also, the main thing is how the Yidden feel.

Even if for the Frierdiker Rebbe himself Hashem wasn’t hiding in jail, for the Chassidim it did feel that way. Since that was the way the Yidden felt, that was what was most important to the Frierdiker Rebbe. And after he came out of jail, it was a much brighter light of Hashem that was shining, for the Frierdiker Rebbe also!

See Kuntres Yud-Beis Yud-Gimmel Tammuz 5751


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Lamenatzeiach Bevo

Dovid Hamelech was the king of Yidden. But he wasn’t only in charge of ruling and guiding the people in his own time; Dovid Hamelech still guides Yidden today through his sefer Tehillim!

The Gemara tells us that at one point in Dovid Hamelech’s life, Hashem made something happen to him so that he would feel a need to do teshuvah. This way, he could show Yidden how to do teshuvah properly.

After this happened, Dovid Hamelech wrote kapitel Nun-Alef of Tehillim. This perek speaks all about teshuvah, and many of the things we know about doing teshuvah come from here!

Since Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah is a time for making a Cheshbon Hanefesh, after saying Vidui we say this kapitel. It helps us to do teshuvah.



Learning Torah Before Sleep

One of the inyonim of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah is that we should go to sleep with words of Torah. Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah has many pesukim from Tehillim and other parts of Torah.

(That’s also why we finish off the last paragraph of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah with the posuk of “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe!”)

The Rebbe would tell people that what you go to sleep thinking about is very important. In letters to people who had bad dreams or were afraid at night, the Rebbe would write that they should learn a few lines of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s sichos or zichronos (Memoirs) before going to sleep. The words of the Frierdiker Rebbe, speaking about the history of Chassidus and Chabad, will help a person go to sleep with good thoughts, and sleep peacefully!

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



Dancing With Joy!

Even though most of Yirmiyah’s nevuos are very sad ones about the Churban, the Navi also tells us many wonderful things about the Geulah! Here is one nevuah, where Hashem tells Yirmiyah how we will celebrate when Moshiach comes!

אָז תִּשְׂמַח בְּתוּלָה בְּמָחוֹל וּבַחֻרִים וּזְקֵנִים יַחְדָּו וְהָפַכְתִּי אֶבְלָם לְשָׂשׂוֹן וְנִחַמְתִּים וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים מִיגוֹנָם

Az Tismach Besulah Bemachol — Then the young girls will dance happily

Uvachurim Uzekeinim Yachdav — The bochurim will dance, and the older men will come join in with them!

Vehafachti Evlam Lesason — Hashem says, I will change their sadness to joy

Venichamtim Vesimachtim Miyegonim — And I will make their happiness much greater than any suffering they had before!

See Yirmiyah perek Lamed-Alef posuk Yud-Beis

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