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Parshas Shemos - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe starts to get involved with the Yidden, but is forced to escape to Midyan. There, he gets married to Tziporah. The Yidden cry out to Hashem when the tzaros in Mitzrayim become very hard. Hashem is now ready to start the process of the Geulah.

In the beginning of the parsha we learn how the Yidden were tricked into slavery, and the Golus of Mitzrayim began. There was a gezeira against the Jewish boys, that they should be thrown into the water. So when Moshe, from the family of Levi, was born, he was hidden in the water in a basket. Basya, Paraoh’s daughter, found him there. Since he wouldn’t nurse from a non-Jewish woman, Basya had Moshe nursed by a Jewish woman (his real mother!) until he was old enough to live in the palace with her.

Moshe came to live in the palace with Basya, who treated him like a son. Basya asked her father Paraoh to put him in charge of the palace, and he did.

At that time, Moshe went out and realized how terribly his fellow Yidden were being treated, and was very hurt by it.

Moshe saw that one of the Mitzriyim was hitting a Yid very hard! Through Ruach Hakodesh, he saw why the Mitzri was hitting this man. This wicked Mitzri woke up the Yid, then snuck into the Yid’s house and took his wife. After the Yid came back from work, he found out what happened, and the Mitzri starting beating him.

Moshe also saw through Ruach Hakodesh that none of the people from this Mitzri’s family would become Yidden. He made sure nobody was looking, and said a certain name of Hashem so the Mitzri would die. Then he buried the Mitzri in the sand.

The next day, Moshe saw two Yidden, Dasan and Aviram, arguing with each other. One of them picked up his hand to hit the other one! Moshe said, “Why are you going to hit him?!” (The Torah calls this person a rasha. From here we learn that if someone even just picks up his hand to hit another person, he is called a rasha.)

These two Yidden had seen what Moshe did the day before. The one who picked up his hand asked, “Who made you in charge of us? Are you going to kill me like you killed the Mitzri?”

When Moshe heard this he was afraid. He was afraid that Paraoh would hear what he did and punish him. He was also afraid that since there were Yidden that were speaking Lashon Hara and Rechilus, maybe they didn’t DESERVE for Hashem to take them out of Mitzrayim. He said, “Now I understand that the Yidden are suffering so much because they need to correct their aveiros before they can have the Geulah.”

Dasan and Aviram did tell Paraoh, and Paraoh wanted to kill Moshe. But Hashem saved Moshe, and he was able to escape.

Moshe escaped to Midyan. While he was living there, he sat by the well. He said to himself, if Yaakov Avinu found his shidduch by the well, maybe I will find my shidduch there too.

Yisro was an important person in Midyan. At first, he used to serve Avodah Zarah, but he decided to stop. Because of this, people stopped treating him like part of the community.

Yisro had seven daughters. They used to come to the well and fill up the troughs for the sheep to drink. But the shepherds would chase them away, because their father wasn’t serving Avodah Zarah anymore.

When Moshe saw what was happening, he saved them and helped them give water to the sheep.

When the girls came home, their father Yisro asked why they came back so early, and they explained that someone from Mitzrayim saved them from the shepherds and helped them give water to the sheep.

Yisro heard that the water came up towards Moshe, and knew that this was something that happened to the children of Yaakov. He realized that this was a Yid, and asked, “So where is this man? Why did you leave him there? He might be a good husband for one of you!”

Moshe agreed to live with Yisro, and promised that he wouldn’t leave unless Yisro gave him permission. Yisro then gave his daughter Tziporah as a wife for Moshe.

Tziporah had a baby boy. Moshe called the baby Gershom, which means “a stranger there,” since Moshe felt like he was a stranger in Midyan.

During the time when Moshe was in Midyan, Paraoh made a terrible decree. Paraoh had a rash on his skin (like tzoraas), and heard that taking a bath in blood would help his rash. He ordered that Jewish children should be killed so he could take a bath in their blood.

This decree made the Yidden all cry out to Hashem to save them. Their cries went up to Hashem, and He remembered the promise he made to the Avos, that He would take the Yidden out. Hashem saw how the Yidden were suffering, and He felt their pain.



83 - 87

Today’s shiur Tehillim is Kapitelach Pey-Gimmel to Pey-Zayin.

In Kapitel Pey-Zayin, there is a posuk that says, “U’LeTzion Yei’amar, Ish Ve’Ish Yulad Ba, Vehu Yechoneneha Elyon.” This means, “About Yerushalayim they will say: This person and this person were born there, and Hashem will set it up so it lasts forever.”

The Gemara tells us that this posuk is talking about the times of Moshiach!

When Moshiach comes, the Navi says that the goyim will bring a present to Hashem. Their present will be that they will help find all of the Yidden scattered around the world, so that they can go back to Yerushalayim!

They will say, “Ish Ve’Ish Yulad Ba!” This person and this person were born in Yerushalayim!

The Gemara explains that even though not all Yidden were born in Yerushalayim, still all Yidden are called from Yerushalayim.

There are some Yidden that were actually born in Yerushalayim, and there are other Yidden that hoped to come back to Yerushalayim with Moshiach! Because they wanted to be in Yerushalayim, they are counted as if they were born there too!

That’s why the goyim will say Ish V’Ish, this person AND this person. They are talking about both kinds of Yidden, since we ALL belong in Yerushalayim.

See Gemara Kesubos 75a and Rashi there



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Beis

In today’s Tanya, we learn about how important davening is in the avodah of a beinoni, helping us stay in control of our behavior during the day. We learn how Moach Shalit Al Halev should be used both for things that are Bein Adam LaMakom, and Bein Adam LaChaveiro.

We learned that during davening, we feel more Ruchnius’dik and more aidel. This makes our Nefesh Habehamis become sleepy — but it wakes up after davening.

Even though that Ruchnius’dike feeling and aidelkeit doesn’t stay all day, the Alter Rebbe tells us that it does leave a mark! We still remember how we felt and how we decided to act while we were davening. This helps us stay in control of what we do and what we choose to think about, that they should only be the way Hashem wants, all day!

Being this way isn’t only in mitzvos between us and Hashem, Bein Adam LaMakom. We also need to act this way when it comes to how we think about and act with other people.

As we learned, acting the way Hashem wants us to isn’t only in the things we do, but the things we think. For example, when a taavah comes into our minds, an idea of something that we want but shouldn’t have, we shouldn’t think about it. We should use our koach of Moach Shalit Al Halev to push away the idea!

This is also true in the way we think about other people, Bein Adam LaChaveiro. It is not enough to be in control of the things we do or say to them, we also need to be in control of the feelings that come into our mind.

If someone does something that upsets us or makes us angry, we shouldn’t think about it! We push away the not good thoughts that we have, and remind ourselves that everything comes from Hashem, not from what that other person did! Then we can treat the other person nicely, no matter what he did.

This is just like Yosef HaTzaddik, that even though his brothers sold him, he understood that it was from Hashem, and was nice to them in Mitzrayim!



Yud-Zayin Teves

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, this was Nittel Nacht.

The Rebbe tells us that we don’t learn Torah on Nittel Nacht, because there is a lot of kelipah in the world and we don’t want to give it any chayus.

Some bochurim loved to learn Torah so much that they couldn’t manage to stop during Nittel Nacht. The Rebbe Rashab said that he was not happy with these bochurim.

Our love for learning Torah shouldn’t just be because we love learning, but because it is what HASHEM wants. So on a night where Hashem doesn’t want us to learn, we should be happy NOT to learn! Here is a story about that idea:

Once there were two chassidim who were thrown in jail for doing a mitzvah. They were put into a big room with many other prisoners. In a corner there was a barrel to use as a bathroom. It was the afternoon, and one of the chassidim said that it was time to daven Mincha.

“But you can’t daven here,” said his friend. “That smelly barrel is in the corner, and the Shulchan Aruch teaches us that we can’t daven in a room that smells bad!”

The other chossid was very sad. “It’s bad enough that we were thrown in jail, and now we can’t even daven Mincha!”

“Don’t be sad,” the other chossid told him. “The same Hashem Who tells us to daven Mincha every day also tells us NOT to daven if we are stuck in such a place. So today we are serving Hashem by NOT davening!”

This made both of the chassidim so happy that they jumped up and started singing and dancing around the smelly barrel! They were celebrating that they could serve Hashem in the jail!

When the jail guards heard the singing, they ran into the room to see what was happening. “It’s those Jews over there,” the other prisoners told the guards. “They were pointing at the barrel, and now they are dancing around it!”

The guards were very angry. “They like the barrel? That’s it, we’re taking it away!”

The guards took away the barrel, and both chassidim were STILL able to serve Hashem — this time by davening Mincha!



Shiur #162 - Mitzvas Asei #66, Lo Saasei #147, Asei #67, Lo Saasei #102, #103, #138

Today’s we learn six mitzvos about Korbanos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #66) When we bring a Korban Shelamim, we need to follow all of the rules of how to bring it!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְאִם זֶבַח שְׁלָמִים קָרְבָּנוֹ

The halachos of the four mitzvos with types of Korbanos (Olah, Chatas, Asham, Shelamim) are explained in Mesechta Zevachim, along with the halachos of all the mitzvos about how to bring them right.

2)(Mitzvas Lo Saasei #147) We can’t eat the Korbanos called Kodshim Kalim (like the Korban Todah and Korban Shelamim) before their blood is sprinkled on the Mizbeiach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: לֹא תוּכַל לֶאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְנִדְבֹתֶיךָ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #67) When we bring a Korban Mincha (flour and oil) we need to follow the rules. There are many different types of Korban Mincha, and the mitzvah is to do each one of them the way it is described in the Torah. There is a whole Mesechta in Gemara explaining these halachos, called Mesechta Menachos. (We start to learn the halachos of this mitzvah in the last perek of today’s Rambam.)

וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי תַקְרִיב קָרְבַּן מִנְחָה לַה׳ וְגוֹ׳ וְאִם מִנְחָה עַל הַמַּחֲבַת קָרְבָּנֶךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְאִם מִנְחַת מַרְחֶשֶׁת קָרְבָּנֶךָ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #102) We CAN’T mix olive oil into the Korban Mincha of someone who did an aveira, called a Minchas Chotei.

We learn this mitzvah from Parshas Vayikra: לֹא יָשִׂים עָלֶיהָ שֶׁמֶן

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #103) We CAN’T mix levonah (a kind of spice) into a Minchas Chotei, a Korban Mincha for someone who did an aveira.

We learn this mitzvah from the next words in the same posuk: וְלֹא יִתֵּן עָלֶיהָ לְבֹנָה

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #138) When a Kohen (or a Kohen Gadol) brings a Korban Mincha, the whole thing needs to be burned. None of it can be eaten!

We learn this mitzvah fro ma posuk in Parshas Tzav: וְכָל מִנְחַת כֹּהֵן כָּלִיל תִּהְיֶה לֹא תֵאָכֵל



Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos

In today’s Rambam, we learn about eating Korbanos, and start learning about the Korban Mincha.

Perek Yud: We learn about eating the Korban Chatas, the Korban Asham, and the Mincha: We learn when and where and who can eat them!

Perek Yud-Alef: This perek teaches us about Korbanos that we are NOT allowed to eat.

Perek Yud-Beis: The Rambam teaches us some general rules about the Korban Mincha.



Hilchos Shecheinim - Perek Yud-Beis

We learn more halachos about being neighbors.

Perek Yud-Beis teaches us the halachos of Ben Hametzer: If someone wants to sell a field, they first need to offer it to their next-door neighbor, because it will be the easiest for him to use it.

Did you know that the malochim argued that they are the “Ben Hametzer” when Hashem wanted to give the Torah to the Yidden? They said that the Torah is from Shomayim, and they are from Shomayim. So THEY are the “next-door neighbors” to the Torah, and Hashem has to offer it to them first! Moshe had to explain to them that the Torah really belongs to the Yidden who live in this world!



Using Our Body the Way Hashem Wants

In today’s Chumash, Shlishi, we learned that Moshe Rabbeinu was not happy to see a Yid picking up his hand to hit another Yid. Moshe told him, “Lama Sakeh Reiacha?” “Why are you hitting your friend?” The posuk calls this person a rasha!

We learn from here that a person who even just picks up his hand to hit someone, even if he doesn’t really hit, is already called a Rasha.

Why? What’s so bad about picking up your hand, especially if the other person doesn’t even see? Why does that make someone a Rasha?

There are two kinds of mitzvos: Mitzvos that have to do with the way we act with other people (Bein Adam LaChaveiro), and mitzvos that are just between us and Hashem (Bein Adam LaMakom).

It’s true that picking up your hand when the other person doesn’t see doesn’t hurt him. It is not a problem Bein Adam Lachaveiro. But it still is a problem Bein Adam LaMakom, between us and Hashem!

Why did Hashem give us a body?

Hashem wants us to use every part of our body in a Torah way. Hashem gave us our hand to be used for chesed, like giving tzedakah, and doing other mitzvos. When a person lifts up his hand to hurt another person, he started using his hand for the opposite of why Hashem gave it to him!

Doing something that is against the way Hashem wants is an aveira. That’s why someone who even just picks up his hand to hit another person is called a rasha.

We need to make sure to use every part of our body only the way Hashem wants it to be used!

See Dvar Malchus Shemos 5778, from Likutei Sichos vol. 31. p. 5


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Modeh Ani

The first words that should come out of our mouths in the morning should be “Modeh Ani Lefanecha,” thanking Hashem for giving us back our neshama.

We say this even before washing Negel Vasser, while our hands are still tomei! No tumah in the world can stop the Modeh Ani of a Yid.

In Lashon Kodesh, a word can be different based on whether a boy or girl are saying it. The word “Modeh” is the way a boy would say “thank,” and “Modah” is the way a girl would say it. Someone asked the Rebbe if we should teach girls to say “Modah Ani” instead of “Modeh Ani,” since it makes sense according to dikduk. The Rebbe answered, “keminhag hamakom” — it depends on the minhag in that place. For most of us, since we don’t have a different minhag where we are, girls say Modeh Ani just like boys do.

When we say Modeh Ani, we pause between the words “Bechemla” (with mercy) and “Raba Emunasecha” (great is Your faithfulness.) The words “Raba” and “Emunasecha” should stay together, since they come from a posuk, “Chadashim Labekarim Raba Emunasecha.” We don’t say “Bechemla Raba,” with great mercy.

Based on the audio Halacha series of Rabbi Farkash



Nittel Nacht

When is Nittel Nacht?

The year the Hayom Yom was written, Nittel Nacht was the night of Yud-Zayin Teves.

But Nittel Nacht is on a different day every year, because it goes according to the goyishe calendar. It is also different in other countries, because it goes according to when it is celebrated where you live.

In America, Nittel Nacht happened this year during Chanukah.

See Sefer Hasichos 5750, p. 192

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



Asking for the Geulah

In today’s Chumash, Shlishi of Parshas Shemos, we learned about a terrible thing that happened to the Yidden in Mitzrayim. The Yidden were so upset that they all cried out to Hashem!

The posuk tells us that Hashem listened to their cry, and remembered the promise He made to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Hashem started making the Geulah happen right away, telling Moshe Rabbeinu to take the Yidden out of Golus.

The Rebbe tells us that we see from here that Yetziyas Mitzrayim only happened after the Yidden cried out to Hashem, asking for the Geulah. This teaches us that now, in this Golus too, we need to cry out to Hashem to take us out of Golus! We can be sure that Hashem will keep His promise again, and bring us the Geulah right away!

See sicha Parshas Shemos Tof-Shin-Mem-Gimmel, Dvar Malchus Shemos p. 54

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