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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayigash - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Yosef prepares his brothers to go home and bring their father and entire family back with them to Mitzrayim! Yaakov’s Ruach Hakodesh comes back when he finds out that Yosef is alive!

Yosef just told his brothers who he really is! He told his brothers not to be embarrassed, because this happened for a reason — so that everyone should be taken care of during the hunger.

Yosef said, “So now you understand that it was HASHEM Who sent me here! He made me into the highest officer in Mitzrayim.

“It’s very dangerous for our father to be crying about me for so long, he needs to see right away that I am still alive! I should really go to him (because of Kibbud Av Va’eim), but I can’t because I have to take care of all of the people in Mitzrayim. So go home quickly and tell our father that I said, ‘Hashem made me in charge of the whole Mitzrayim! Come down to Mitzrayim. You can live in Goshen with all of your families and all of your animals and all of your things, so you will be near me. I will take care of you for the whole time the hunger lasts.’”

Yosef knew his brothers might not believe he would do such a nice thing: “You can see that I am your brother, and you can hear that I am talking in Lashon Kodesh. Don’t think I’m angry at you and that I want to trick you to hurt you. Just like I wouldn’t be upset at Benyamin — he wasn’t even there when you sold me — I’m not angry at you! Just like Benyamin knows I’m not trying to hurt him, you should know that too.

“You also see that I get a lot of kavod here, so you know that I really can take care of all of you.

“Tell our father about all of this, and so he knows it’s really me, remind him that we were learning the part of Torah about the Eglah Arufah when I was sold. But please go quickly and bring him here!”

Yosef cried on Benyamin’s shoulder, because he saw through Ruach Hakodesh that the first and second Beis Hamikdash (which are in Benyamin’s part of Eretz Yisrael) would be destroyed. Benyamin cried on Yosef’s shoulder because he saw through Ruach Hakodesh that the Mishkan in Shilo, which was in Yosef’s part of Eretz Yisrael, would be destroyed.

Yosef then kissed all of his brothers and cried on their shoulders, and after they saw that he forgave them, they weren’t so embarrassed anymore and talked to him.

Paraoh heard that Yosef’s brothers were in Mitzrayim! Paraoh and the officers were very happy, and Paraoh gave them ten donkeys with grain as a present. He said that they should bring their families, and Goshen, the best and “richest” part of Mitzrayim, would be theirs. (He said a nevuah without realizing it, that the Yidden would take all of the riches of Mitzrayim when they left!) He sent wagons for the families, and told them not to worry about their things — they can get the nicest things in Mitzrayim.

Yosef gave each of his brothers new clothes, and he gave Benyamin FIVE sets of clothes and also 300 silver pieces!

Since Paraoh was sending Yaakov a present of 10 donkeys with grain, Yosef sent an even better present! HE sent 10 boy donkeys with fancy food (old wine and split beans), and 10 girl donkeys with grain. He also sent bread and things to eat with it for the trip back to Mitzrayim.

Yosef told his brothers to go, and be careful not to learn hard parts of Torah on the way, because then they might not pay attention to the road and they could get lost! And even though they should go quickly, they should be careful. (That’s also good advice — brought in Shulchan Aruch — for all of us when we go places!) He also told them not to argue about whose fault it was for selling him.

The Shevatim went up to Canaan, and told Yaakov that Yosef was alive. At first Yaakov didn’t believe them, but after they told him everything that Yosef said, and also when he saw the wagons (since Agalah, wagon is like Eglah, calf — the Eglah Arufah that they last learned about) he believed them — and Yaakov’s Ruach Hakodesh came back!

 
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TEHILLIM

18 - 22

Today’s kapitelach are Yud-Ches through Chof-Beis.

Dovid Hamelech wrote the Sefer Tehillim with Ruach Hakodesh, for all of the Yidden. He gives us words to praise Hashem, to ask Him to help us when we need Him, and words to ask for forgiveness when we want to do teshuvah. Each kapitel has a message!

In the Tehillim called Ohel Yosef Yitzchok, before most kapitelach there are a few sentences explaining the message of that kapitel.

In the first kapitel of today’s Tehillim, we are given words to say when a neis happens to us! We praise Hashem, and remember the many nissim that Hashem did from the time He created the world. We ask that the One who did all of the nissim should continue to make nissim for Yidden!

Dovid Hamelech said this kapitel towards the end of his life, thanking Hashem for being saved from so many different troubles. He was saved from many enemies, and from Shaul who was chasing him.

The message of the next kapitel, Kapitel Yud-Tes, is how to see the greatness of Hashem. When we look at the Shomayim, and when we look at the Torah, we are looking at the wonders of Hashem. Like one of the pesukim says, “Hashomayim Mesaprim Kevod Keil.” (“The sky tells about Hashem’s kavod.”) Seeing the incredible things Hashem created helps us to speak about Hashem’s glory and honor.

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Vov

We are learning about the two nefashos which control our mind and heart and the way we behave. We learned about the Nefesh Elokis. Now we are learning about the Nefesh Habehamis.

The Alter Rebbe says that the Nefesh Habehamis isn’t only used for Aveiros, but ANYTHING that’s not specifically kedusha is automatically coming from the Nefesh Habehamis.

The Alter Rebbe explains why: Kedusha is something which is especially for Hashem. If it’s something we’re doing for ourselves, even if it’s not an aveira, it’s not kedusha. Anything that’s not kedusha is called kelipah, and is done using the Nefesh Habehamis.

But not all Kelipah is the same! There is some kelipah that can NEVER be a part of Kedusha. It can never be used by the Nefesh Elokis. There are actually 3 of these (we learn their names from the Navi Yechezkel), and they’re called the Shalosh Kelipos Hatemeios.

In the end of today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe talks about what kinds of things get their chayus from these kelipos. There are things that Hashem CREATED that get chayus through these kelipos. They are goyim who don’t keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, non-kosher animals, and non-kosher food. Then there are kinds of things that weren’t CREATED with chayus from these kelipos, but if it is used for an aveira, it gets its chayus from these kinds of kelipah.

In tomorrow’s Tanya, we’re going to learn about the OTHER kind of Kelipah, that even though it’s kelipah, it can be used for and become a part of Kedusha.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Gimmel Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe brings two corrections which the Rebbe Rashab noted in the Torah Ohr of Parshas Mikeitz, where most of the maamarim of Chanukah are printed.

One of the corrections is an extra word that was printed by mistake. It was in the part talking about how happy the neshama is in Gan Eden, and that it’s worth it to even have hard things so we’ll get it.

Another mistake was where it says that the lights of Chanukah are connected to Moshiach:

The Moshiach’dik light of the Menorah shines out to the whole world, which is why we are supposed to make sure that the Chanukah lighting is public. The Alter Rebbe brings a posuk that talks about the greatness of Moshiach, and explains the Ruchnius level where Moshiach comes from. There is also a correction there in a letter that was printed, where an Alef was put in instead of a Samach.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #148 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #79, #80

Today we learn two mitzvos about the Mizbeiach:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #79) We are not allowed to make the Mizbeiach out of stones that were cut with iron.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא תִבְנֶה אֶתְהֶן גָּזִית כִּי חַרְבְּךָ הֵנַפְתָּ עָלֶיהָ וַתְּחַלֲלֶהָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Midos perek Gimmel.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #80) We are not allowed to go up to the Mizbeiach with steps, only with a ramp.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: וְלֹא תַעֲלֶה בְמַעֲלֹת עַל מִזְבְּחִי וְגוֹ׳

The details are explained in Mesechta Midos perek Gimmel.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Beis HaBechirah

In today's Rambam, we learn about parts of the Beis Hamikdash!

Perek Beis: This perek teaches us about the Mizbeiach.

Perek Gimmel: We learn about the Menorah, the Shulchan, the Mizbeiach HaZahav, and the Kiyor.

Perek Daled: This perek has the measurements of the Heichal! It also tells us that when Shlomo Hamelech built the first Beis Hamikdash, he knew it would be destroyed. He had tunnels made underground to hide the Aron. Before the Churban, the king Yoshiyahu ordered that the Aron be hidden underground. We will take it out again for the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi!

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Zechiya U'Matana - Perek Yud

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about a present from a person who is very sick (a “Shechiv MeRa”).

Perek Yud explains what we do when the Shechiv Mera says that money belongs to another person, or if another person says that the Shechiv Mera owed him money.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

This week’s parsha is called Vayigash. At the beginning of the parsha, Yehudah approaches (Vayigash) Yosef, and speaks to him for a long time, in a very strong way, telling him not to take Binyomin away from his father Yaakov. The Medrash says that Yehudah was ready to do whatever it would take — even to fight.

In the first year after Yud Shevat, in a farbrengen with Chassidim, the Rebbe said that parents need to take a lesson from how Yehudah acted. They need to learn from Yehudah to feel the responsibility for every single child, and make sure that no matter how hard it is, they make sure that each child will be happy to go in the Derech HaTorah.

The Rebbe said this to parents, but kids can also learn from this! It is so important that EACH person is happy to go in the way of Torah. We can be part of making sure that we, our brothers and sisters, and our friends are happy to be connected to Yiddishkeit. We should show them how happy we are by acting in the way of Torah, and that will make them want to do the same!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, Parshas Vayigash

 

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TEFILLAH

Modeh Ani

Modeh Ani are the words we use to start each day, thanking Hashem for giving us back our neshama.

But it’s not the way Yidden ALWAYS used to start their day!

In the Gemara, it says that right after waking up, we should say Elokai Neshama to thank Hashem for giving back our neshama!

The Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah explained that in the times of the Gemara, Yidden were holier. They didn’t wake up with tumah like we do, and were able to thank Hashem with a bracha and say Hashem’s name right away in the morning.

The first sefer where we see Modeh Ani written is the sefer Seder Hayom, written by R’ Moshe ben Machir of Tzfas. He lived at the same time as the Arizal! In his sefer, he says that, first thing in the morning, we thank Hashem with the short tefillah of Modeh Ani, which doesn’t have Hashem’s name in it.

After we wash Negel Vasser and start getting ready to daven, we can say Hashem’s name. We thank Hashem again with the longer bracha of Elokai Neshama, which has Hashem’s name in it.

See Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras Hachassidus os yud

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Washing Negel Vasser

Before we start saying morning brachos, we wash our hands and say the brachaAl Netilas Yodayim.”

Even though we washed before getting out of bed, it isn’t so easy to wash properly in bed. This second time we wash we need to be very careful to wash our hands the way halacha teaches!

The Chachomim teach us that to take away tumah from our hands, we need to wash in a certain way, called “besirugin.” This means to take turns washing each hand once until both of our hands are washed three times. We pour water over the right hand, then the left, again on the right, again on the left, then one last time on the right and one last time on the left.

We also need to make sure that we wash off the WHOLE tumah. Since the tumah reaches to the wrist (where our hand meets our arm), we need to make sure the water we pour goes all the way to our wrist.

This way, we will take away the tumah, which is one of the reasons we wash our hands in the morning.

See Piskei Hasiddur, Seder Hanetilah

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

Non-Kosher Things When Moshiach Comes

In today’s Tanya, we learned that non-kosher things get their chayus from the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios, the lowest level of kelipah.

When Moshiach comes, and Hashem will take away the tumah from the world, will these things all disappear?

The answer is no! Kelipah itself can’t give chayus. Hidden inside of kelipah there is a spark of kedusha, and that is what gives chayus!

So when the tumah leaves the world, these things won’t get their chayus through kelipah anymore — their chayus will come straight from the kedusha!

See Igros Kodesh vol. 3 p. 152, Tanya Hashalem Perek Vov

 
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