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Parshas Vayikra - Rishon with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn how Hashem would speak to Moshe Rabbeinu after the Mishkan was built. Hashem starts to tell Moshe about korbanos that Yidden can bring. The first section is about an animal which is entirely given to Hashem as a present.

Every time Hashem would speak to Moshe, Hashem would first call out to him in a loving way, a “Kriah Shel Chibah.” That’s why the Torah first says “Vayikra El Moshe,” that Hashem called out to Moshe in a loving way. Only after that Hashem told Moshe what to tell the Yidden.

When Hashem would speak to Moshe Rabbeinu, it was from between the Keruvim on the Aron. Even though there was a very powerful voice inside the Mishkan, none of the Yidden (or even Aharon Hakohen) could hear anything outside!

Hashem would tell Moshe to teach the words of Hashem to the Yidden. Moshe should also tell the Yidden how special they are, that Hashem only speaks to him because of the Yidden!

In between each section, Hashem would give Moshe some time to think about what he just learned, before Hashem would teach him the next section. Rashi tells us that we should learn from here that if Hashem gave Moshe time to think between each inyan, certainly regular people that are learning from each other should give some time to think about the things which are being learned!

Hashem told Moshe to teach the Yidden about a korban that is given as a gift to Hashem — nedavah. The first kind is called a Korban Olah, which is given completely to Hashem.

Korban Olah:

Here are the details of the Korban Olah, as Hashem told them to Moshe:

A Korban Olah has to be from a kosher male (boy) animal, the kind that is kept on a farm (a beheimah) — not a wild animal (a chaya). It has to belong to the person bringing the korban, it needs to be perfectly healthy — with no mum, and can’t have been used for an aveira. A person has to want to bring the korban!

The animal should be brought to the entrance of the Ohel Moed at a time when the Mishkan is standing. The person should lean his hands on the animal’s head (called Semicha), and his korban will help him come close to Hashem again even after if he missed an opportunity to do a mitzvah.

A male cow can be shechted anywhere in the Chatzer of the Mishkan, but a sheep or goat should be shechted only on the north side of the Mizbeiach.

After the animal is shechted, the kohen should sprinkle the blood on all sides of the Mizbeiach. How is this done? By sprinkling towards two opposite corners, so it goes on all of the sides.

Then the skin of the animal should be taken off, and the meat should be cut into certain pieces.

The pieces of meat and the head of the korban should be put on the wood of the Mizbeiach, and the inside pieces which are dirty should be washed. Then these pieces should also be put on the Mizbeiach to be burned as a Korban Olah as a nachas ruach to Hashem.



119 (second half)

Today’s Tehillim is very special! We are finishing the LONGEST kapitel in the whole Tehillim, kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes! This kapitel is so long that we don’t even say the whole thing in one day — it is split up between Yom Chof-Hey and Yom Chof-Vov!

One of the pesukim in today’s half is, “Sas Anochi Al Imrosecha Kemotzei Shalal Rav” — “I am so happy with Your words (the Torah), like someone who finds a huge treasure!”

The Rebbe’s father, Horav Hakadosh R’ Levi Yitzchak, explains this posuk: He shows us that the first letters of the words “Kemotzei Shalal Rav” are “Kosher!”

What is the connection?

The Rebbe explained in a rally for kids that this teaches us an important lesson in fighting with our Yetzer Hara: A person might think that it’s not such a big deal if I don’t overcome my Yetzer Hara’s desire for a teeny little candy that isn’t kosher. But the truth is not so. If we don’t listen to our Yetzer Hara and we don’t eat that little candy, it’s like a huge treasure! Even though we only won over our Yetzer Hara in something that seems small, it is really a very big deal.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Zayin

All of the neshamos of Yidden need to work together to make the world a place where we can see Hashem when Moshiach comes.

That’s the whole reason why a neshama comes into the world! A neshama doesn’t need anything to make it better — it’s better for a neshama in Shomayim!

The only reason why a neshama is born in a body in the world is so it can make the world a comfortable place for Hashem.



Chof-Vov Adar

The year the Hayom Yom was first made for, it was a Shana Me’uberes (a leap year) and there were two Adars. This year there is only one Adar (a Shana Peshuta), so we need to learn the Hayom Yom for BOTH Adars!

Chof-Vov Adar Alef

Today’s Hayom Yom is similar to the “mission statement” the Rebbe said at the farbrengen where he said the first maamar, on Yud Shevat Tof-Shin-Yud-Alef:

There are three tools, Klei Shareis, that we need to use to go out and bring Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit. They are our love for Hashem, our love for the Torah, and our love for another Yid.

Someone who had the zechus to learn about Hashem and His Torah, and loves them, needs to also love another Yid and inspire him to also do mitzvos and learn Torah.

Deep down, every Yid wants to be connected to Hashem! So if we put in the effort, we have a promise that we will have hatzlacha.

The Rebbe taught us how to make our own love of Hashem and Torah stronger, and also how to share it with other Yidden with Ahavas Yisroel. Shlichus, Mivtzoyim, and the lessons in the Rebbe’s sichos help us to do our job properly and help every Yid come closer to Yiddishkeit!

Chof-Vov Adar Sheini

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe inspires women to do their special job of Akeres Habayis!

Hashem gave women three main parts of Yiddishkeit to take care of: Chinuch, Kashrus, and Shabbos.

The Torah praises a woman who takes care of her home in a way of Torah! The posuk says, “Chochmas Noshim Bonsah Beisah,” “the wisdom of a woman builds her home.”



Shiur #230 - Mitzvas Asei #107

Since there are no mitzvos about the tumah of keilim specifically, which we’re learning about in Rambam, we are reviewing some of the mitzvos we learned before about tumah and tahara, since keilim become tomei from these kinds of tumah.

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #107) is one we just learned a few weeks ago! When a neshama leaves a body, the body becomes Tomei. Someone who touches, carries, or is in the same house as the body gets some of this Tumah too, called Tumas Meis. There are many halachos about how this tumah is passed on. Today’s mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos!



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we are learning about how Keilim (containers or utensils) become tomei:

In Perek Gimmel we learn about wooden keilim that aren’t supposed to be moved, like a big dresser. They can’t become tomei.

Perek Daled explains the halachos of wooden keilim that are not containers. We also learn the halachos of keilim that are part wood and part metal.

Perek Hey explains when a keili becomes called a keili and can become tomei: It needs to be finished enough to use. So once a person finishes making a bowl, even if he didn’t decorate it yet, it can still become tomei.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Chof-Vov

Perek Chof-Vov has more halachos about a guarantor. We learn about when the guarantor has to pay the money, and about times when the borrower has to pay back the guarantor!



Chassidishe Parsha

In this week’s Chassidishe Parsha a there is a famous maamar of the Alter Rebbe, that teaches us how to use a time of hisorerus, inspiration.

There are times when we daven, when we feel very close to Hashem and feel excited about our connection to Yiddishkeit! Then all of a sudden, that inspiration is gone, and davening feels boring and hard.

In the maamar that starts “Adam Ki Yakriv,” the Alter Rebbe tells us the secret of what to do, and why it needs to be done!

When we are feeling inspired, we should make a hachlata of something we can do — and start doing it! When what we FEEL turns into what we DO, and we decide that we’ll keep doing it no matter how we feel, then even when we wake up and everything is going wrong, we’ll still be able to act the way we decided to!

Why do we need that hachlata, and the inspiration is not enough?

That feeling of hisorerus came from Hashem. It isn’t really the level where we are usually holding. But by doing something, we make it part of who we are! That way, even if we don’t feel it anymore, we are already a kind of person that does those good things.

That’s what the posuk means, “Adam Ki Yakriv Mikem Korban LaHashem Min HaBeheima...” “If an adam wants to come close to Hashem, it should be from the beheima.” The Alter Rebbe tells us that the adam is the Nefesh Elokis, and the beheima is the Nefesh Habehamis.

The feeling of hisorerus comes to the Nefesh Elokis. But if we get our Nefesh Habehamis involved in doing these good things, then even in other times, our Nefesh Habehamis will continue helping us get closer to Hashem!

The Alter Rebbe is specifically speaking about hisorerus in a time of davening. But we can also understand from here about any other times of inspiration: Sometimes things happen in the world, to a single person or to many people at once. They can also bring us to a certain feeling of hisorerus — we realize that we want to change and do more in our Yiddishkeit. This feeling comes milmaalah, from Hashem, and we are not prepared for it. So after that thing ends, the feeling will go away.

But by connecting it to a hachlata that we start doing right away, we are able to use the hisorerus that was given to us to grow in our Yiddishkeit and prepare ourselves and the world for the Geulah.

See Likutei Torah, Dibur Hamaschil Adam Ki Yakriv (shiur or book)


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Haggadah Shel Pesach

We learned that the seder as printed in the Haggadah helps us make sure that in an organized way we are able to fulfill all of the mitzvos from the Torah and the Chachomim, along with the minhagim added later.

But it is important to realize that the MAIN mitzvah of the night is telling over the story of Yetziyas MitzrayimHaggadah, telling over. All of the other mitzvos of the night, and all of the minhagim and steps of the seder, help us to understand and relive the idea of coming out of Mitzrayim.

Remembering Yetziyas Mitzrayim is a mitzvah every day of the year, but it is especially important on the night of Pesach, and gives us chayus the rest of the year.

Each of the parts of the seder help us understand and appreciate what happened when Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and made us free!

Here are some of the mitzvos and takanos of the Chachomim:

1) Eating matzah, a mitzvah from the Torah, like the Yidden did when they came out of Mitzrayim.

2) Eating maror. This reminds us of the bitterness of when we were slaves.

3) The takana from the Chachomim of drinking four kosos. One of the things these remind us of is the four expressions of Geulah written in the Torah about Yetziyas Mitzrayim!

4) There is a takana from the Chachomim that when we eat on the night of the seder, it must be done in a way of freedom, so we do it when we are leaning — Haseibah.

5) We need to praise Hashem, Hallel, for taking us out of Mitzrayim and making us free to receive the Torah and serve Hashem!

6) There are certain things that are supposed to be in front of us when we celebrate and relive Yetziyas Mitzrayim, the things that are on the kaarah. They help us remember and appreciate what happened!

7) In the Mishnah it tells us that we need to make sure to talk about Pesach, Matzah and Maror to properly keep the mitzvah of talking about Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

8) We do things Lehatmiha Hatinokos, to make kids wonder and ask questions. The best way to understand Yetziyas Mitzrayim is to ask questions and get answers. That is also why children ask the Mah Nishtana, so they will understand better!

Each one of these things has specific halachos and minhagim of exactly what to do and how to do them, and these are all organized in the Haggadah and throughout the seder, so we are doing all of the mitzvos of the night in the proper way. This way we really relive and appreciate that Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim!




One of the main mitzvos of Pesach is to tell over the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim. We do this mitzvah at the seder.

First the kids ask questions, so that they will be more excited to hear about Yetziyas Mitzrayim, since it is answering their questions! According to our minhag, the youngest children ask first.

In Shulchan Aruch, it teaches us that it is very important to UNDERSTAND the answer. We need to understand that Pesach is special because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and made us His special nation, so He could give us the Torah and mitzvos.

The halacha is that we need to explain to everyone, especially the children, as much as they are able to understand. We say the story as it is told in the Haggadah out loud, with simcha and great kavana! Even after the Seder, we still learn more about the halachos of Pesach and Yetziyas Mitzrayim. (For many years, after the seder, the Rebbe would come out and say sichos and maamarim about Pesach and the Haggadah.)

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



Moshiach Minyan

In the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, it brings the halacha that we don’t count people with numbers. Instead, to see if we have enough men for a minyan, we count by saying a posuk with 10 words, the posuk of “Hoshia Es Amecha.”

Why does the Kitzur choose this posuk? In a sefer about Halacha and Minhag from Rashi, called Sefer Hapardes, it says to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha” which also has 10 words.

In fact, it would make more sense to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha,” since that posuk speaks about coming to daven to Hashem!

The Rebbe explains that it is because as we get closer to Moshiach, the Golus gets darker. Whenever we have a chance, we remind ourselves that Hashem will save us and bring the Geulah — “Hoshia Es Amecha!”

Vayakhel-Pekudei Mem-Gimmel, Migolah L’Geulah p. 87

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