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Parshas Toldos - Shishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Yaakov gets the brachos, and needs to run away when Eisav finds out.

Yaakov’s brachos: Yitzchak Avinu thought that Yaakov was really Eisav! He gave him ten brachos!

Some of the brachos are that he should have rain, so his food will grow well. He should rule other nations and other nations should not rule over him! People who curse him should be cursed, and people who give him brachos should get brachos too. We read these brachos at the beginning of Veyitein Lecha, that we say on Motzei Shabbos!

Eisav’s brachos: After getting the brachos, Yaakov left. Just then, Eisav came back with the food he prepared. He told Yitzchak to come eat, so he could get the brachos.

“Who are you?” Yitzchak asked.

“I am your oldest son, Eisav,” he answered.

When Yitzchak heard this, he was very confused. He also saw Gehennom opening in front of Eisav, and he started to shake! “So who brought me food before? I gave the brachos to him already! But I see he deserved the brachos, so he will keep them.”

Eisav was very upset! He screamed, “Give me a bracha too!”

“But I already gave your brachos to Yaakov — he came in a tricky way and I thought it was you.”

“So that’s why you called him Yaakov!” Eisav cried. “Yaakov can mean to trap — and he already trapped me twice! First, he took away the bechorah from me (the zechus and responsibility of being the oldest), and now he also took my bracha!”

Now Yitzchak saw that this wasn’t a mistake at all! Eisav sold his bechorah, so Yaakov really DID deserve to get the brachos for the oldest! He told Eisav that Yaakov had a bracha now to rule over him, but Eisav still cried that he wanted a bracha too.

Yitzchak gave Eisav a bracha that he would have rain so his plants will grow, even if he didn’t deserve it. And if he would see Yaakov’s children (the Yidden) doing aveiros, he would be allowed to rule over them until they do Teshuvah.

Yaakov runs away: Eisav was very angry at Yaakov! Because of Yaakov, he got a less special bracha! Eisav wanted to kill Yaakov, but he decided to wait until Yitzchak passed away, so he wouldn’t make his father upset.

Rivkah knew about Eisav’s plan through Ruach Hakodesh, and warned Yaakov to run away. She told him to go to Lavan’s house in Charan, and stay there until Eisav isn’t angry anymore. “I will send you a message when you can come home,” she told him. “Don’t try to fight Eisav, because then his children will try to kill you.”

Rivkah wanted Yaakov to have even more brachos. She told Yitzchak that she was worried that Yaakov would marry a Chiti girl like Eisav. So Yitzchak gave Yaakov a bracha to go find a wife from Rivkah’s family in Padan Aram, and that many children should come from him. He gave him many of the brachos that Hashem gave to Avraham Avinu, and a bracha that Eretz Yisrael will belong to HIS children, not Eisav’s!



23 - 28

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel to Chof-Ches.

In Kapitel Chof-Hey it says “Zechor Rachamecha Hashem Vachasadech Ki Me’olam Heimah” — “Hashem should remember His mercy and His kindness, because they are forever.”

The Mitteler Rebbe explains (in a maamar about Chanukah!) that the word “meiolam” (forever) also means “from the world.”

Which world?

When Hashem made the world, he made a special light that we can’t see today, because it is hidden until Moshiach will come. Because Yidden needed special kochos in the time of Chanukah, Hashem took this light and made it shine for Yidden in order to help them to do Teshuvah, come closer to Hashem, and win over their enemies who wanted to destroy them!

How did the Yidden deserve to use this light? The Mesiras Nefesh Yidden would have for Torah and mitzvos made Hashem want to shine the light of Moshiach in the world!

That’s what it means, “Hashem should remember His goodness and kindness from the world — that Hashem should make the special light which shined from the beginning of the Creation of the world, to help Yidden overcome the hardships of Golus.



Kuntres Acharon Siman Daled

The Alter Rebbe teaches that DOING a mitzvah is very special! Even if a person is able to THINK about how great Hashem is, and that makes him FEEL very close to Hashem and love Him very much, or to be afraid to do things that aren’t what Hashem wants, it’s not the same as DOING a mitzvah.

In this section of Kuntres Acharon, the Alter Rebbe explains why!



Daled Kislev

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about how chassidim wash Mayim Acharonim before bentching: We pour water over our fingertips, then pass our fingers over our lips while they are still wet.



Shiur #134 - Mitzvas Asei #127

(Mitzvas Asei #127) Today we again review the same mitzvahMaaser Rishon, to take 1/10th of the food that we grow in our fields, and give it to the Leviim.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Korach: כִּי אֶת מַעְשַׂר בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָרִימוּ לַה׳ תְּרוּמָה

The details are explained in Mesechta Maasros.



Hilchos Maaser

In today’s Rambam, we learn many halachos about demai — food that we’re not sure if maaser was separated from it.

Perek Yud: This perek teaches us about what kind of person can be trusted if they say they took maaser, so that their food won’t be demai. We also learn about what happens when someone we CAN trust gives demai to another person.

Perek Yud-Alef: We learn about selling demai.

Perek Yud-Beis: This perek has halachos about when we CAN trust an Am Ha’aretz. For example, even a simple Yid by nature will tell the truth on Shabbos. They are also afraid of eating dimua, food that has Terumas Maaser or Terumah mixed in. So if anyone, even an Am Ha’aretz, says about food on Shabbos that maaser was taken from it, or they tell us that something is not dimua, they can be trusted.



Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Chof-Vov

The Rambam gives examples of keilim and what kind of muktza they are. We learn when it is asur to move them, and when we are allowed to use them for something which is allowed on Shabbos.



Ahavas Yisroel

We will learn a vort from the Baal Shem Tov about Ahavas Yisroel:

It says in the posuk that when Hashem created Adam Harishon, Hashem said, “It is not good for a person to be alone. I will make him an Eizer Kenegdo, a helper.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains, if a person was alone, he could make a mistake and think that he is perfect. So Hashem helps him by giving him another person. By seeing the chisaron in the other person, he will know that he also has a similar chisaron in himself.

See Keser Shem Tov siman 302, Chasidim Ein Mishpacha gilyon vov


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Birchos Kriyas Shema

Shema Yisroel…” When we say these words, we are saying that we understand that there is nothing aside for Hashem — Hashem is One! So we are ready to do whatever Hashem wants, and not let anything stop us!

But it’s not just enough to say the words. We need to really mean it!

The Chachomim helped us by giving us two brachos before Shema. They help us get ready to say Shema properly and mean what we say!

First, we say the bracha of Yotzer Ohr, about how Hashem created the world and about the malochim. Then, we say the bracha of Ahavas Olam, about how Hashem loves the Yidden, and we ask Hashem to help us learn Torah and do mitzvos.

How do those brachos help us have Kabolas Ol? We will see IY”H in the next shiur!

See Tanya Perek Mem-Tes



Ahavas Yisroel

Most people do some many good things, but also some not-so-good things. It is a mitzvah to talk about the good things they do. It helps them to keep doing those things, and to want to do even more! It also makes Hashem happy to hear that Yidden are saying nice things about each other. When Hashem has nachas, He wants to give us more brachos!

To make sure that what we say ends up being good, there are halachos about saying nice things about others.

One halacha is that we should be careful that what we say won’t make other people say NOT nice things!

If we are with people who don’t like the person we want to praise, we shouldn’t say anything. By us saying something nice, those other people will want to start saying mean things about him.

Even if everyone we are talking to likes that person, we should be careful not to say too much. If we praise someone too much, people will usually start explaining why that person isn’t perfect, and will say not nice things about him.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 156 se’if Yud-Beis

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



A Sign of the Geulah

The Rebbe points out something amazing about nowadays:

Throughout all of the years of Yidden being in Golus, many countries had rules that made it hard to be a Yid, and especially to teach Yiddishkeit to others.

For the first time ever, almost everywhere in the world, Yidden are free to practice Yiddishkeit and share Yiddishkeit, without anyone stopping us!

Now it is just up to us, to use this special time to do as much as we can!

This is a very important preparation for the Geulah, when Moshiach will unite the world to know Hashem!

See sicha Parshas Vayigash, Sefer Hasichos 5752 p. 224

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