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Parshas Matos-Masei - Shlishi with Rashi

The Shevatim of Gad and Reuven make a deal with Moshe that they can live in the land of the Emori, across the Yarden.

Some Shevatim want to live on the other side of the Yarden: The Shevatim of Reuven and Gad loved the mahn! They were happy to eat a food that was so ruchnius’dik. Even though the other Shevatim sometimes shechted their animals to eat meat, these Shevatim never did. So they had a LOT of animals left, more than the other Shevatim.

They saw that the land of the Emori, that they had captured, had lots of fields where animals could eat. They knew that this land would be part of Eretz Yisroel later, and they thought it would make sense to live there right away — then maybe it would become part of Eretz Yisroel sooner!

So they asked Moshe if they could stay on the other side of the Yarden, instead of going into Eretz Yisroel.

A compromise: Moshe was worried: Is it right for all of the Yidden to fight, and Reuven and Gad will just stay in their houses? Maybe the other Yidden will think that Reuven and Gad are afraid to fight, and they will get scared too. When the Meraglim scared the Yidden, the Yidden had to stay in the Midbar for 40 years! Will Hashem make the Yidden stay in the Midbar now for even LONGER?

Reuven and Gad told Moshe not to worry. They will build pens for their sheep and cities for their families, and then they will go fight FIRST, in front of all of the Yidden! The soldiers of Reuven and Gad won’t go home until ALL of the Yidden have their places to live. (That’s what they later did! It took 7 years to fight, and then 7 years to divide up Eretz Yisroel, so Reuven and Gad came home 14 years later.)



106 - 107

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Kuf-Vov and Kuf-Zayin.

Kapitel Kuf-Zayin starts with the words “Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov, Ki LeOlam Chasdo!” “Thank Hashem because He is good, His kindness is forever!”

The first word is “Hodu,” which means to thank. But it also means something else! Hodu also means to “admit.”

What are we admitting to?

The Tzemach Tzedek explains that we know that Hashem is creating the world EVERY SECOND and is here inside us EVERY MOMENT. But we don’t see it! But we need to admit that it’s true anyway.

When Moshiach comes, we won’t have to admit it anymore — we will all be able to SEE it!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Zayin

We are learning that when a Yid does an aveira, the neshama becomes separated from Hashem, and Hashem together with the Yid who did the aveira are chas veshalom in Golus. When a person thinks about this, it will help him never want to do an aveira again!

In today’s shiur in Tanya we learn that this is true even for “small” aveiros, which can separate the neshama from Hashem just like a big aveira that has the punishment of Kareis.


Imagine that it’s a sunny day. The sun is shining and the sky is blue.

But what if the weather changes, and a big thunderstorm starts? Then the sky gets dark. Big, thick clouds block the sun, and we can’t see that it is shining. That is what a BIG aveira is like, an aveira that is a Chiyuv Kareis. The big aveira blocks the light of the neshama from shining in the body.

Sometimes though, it is a sunny day, and for a few minutes the sun hides behind a small cloud. It is still very light, but we can’t see the sun as clearly. That is like a SMALL aveira. This small aveira blocks the light of the neshama a little bit from shining in the body.

If there are LOTS of small clouds, though, like on a very cloudy day, then the sky can get very dark too.

The same thing is with aveiros! A lot of small aveiros can make someone feel separate from Hashem, just like a big aveira can.

For example, if a person gets angry or says Lashon Hara or ignores a chance to give tzedakah or learn Torah, those things each on their own might not block so much of Hashem’s chayus in the neshama from shining in the body. But when a Yid does a lot of them chas veshalom, Hashem’s chayus can be blocked from him the way it is if a BIG aveira was done.

Because of this, the teshuvah for small aveiros that were done many times needs to be as strong as the teshuvah for a big aveira which is a chiyuv Kareis.



Chof-Beis Tammuz

Today the Rebbe tells us how the Darkei Hachassidus affect us!

The Rebbe Rashab said:

1) A Chassidishe Vort (a saying) makes the head clear and the heart pure!

When we hear a Chassidishe vort it makes us feel like a Chossid! It takes away shmutz from our minds and makes us feel more aidel.

2) Chassidishe behavior (acting the way Chassidus teaches) makes our house bright — making it a lichtige house!

3) A Chassidishe Niggun is very special! It makes our bitachon in Hashem strong, and we KNOW that everything will be good! It brings simcha, and keeps the whole family safe from the darkness of the world.



Shiur #5 - Mitzvas Asei #1, Lo Saasei #1, Asei #2

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the very first 3 mitzvos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #1) We need to know that there is an Aibershter, Hashem, Who is the Creator of everything that exists!

We learn this from the first of the Aseres Hadibros in Parshas Yisro: אָנֹכִי ה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #1) We are not allowed to think that anything else can be like Hashem.

We learn this mitzvah from the second of the Aseres Hadibros in Parshas Yisro: לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹקִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנַי

3) (Mitzvas Asei #2) We need to know that Hashem, Who makes everything exist, is ONE. We say this in Shema every day, and knowing this and thinking about it is also called being Mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim.

We learn this from where Shema is said in the Torah, in Parshas Vaeschanan: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹקֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah

Now we’re going to learn the first halachos in the whole Rambam!

In Perek Alef, the Rambam teaches us the first, most important thing we need to know before we learn anything else in the whole Torah: To know that there is only one Hashem, that He created everything, that He controls everything, and that nothing could exist without Hashem. We can’t see Hashem, but we know that He is always there!

Perek Beis has the halachos about loving Hashem, and having Yiras Shomayim! We need to think about how special everything Hashem created is. The more we think and learn about Hashem, the more we will love him and want to act the way a Yid should.

Perek Gimmel teaches us about outer space! The Rambam explains how there are different levels in the sky, with the moon, stars, and all of the planets. Did you know that the stars all know Hashem and say praises to Hashem? By knowing about the wonders of Hashem in creation, it will help us fulfill the mitzvah to love and fear Hashem!



Mitzvos Asei

In today’s Rambam, we continue reviewing the list of the Mitzvos Asei!



Hilchos Beis Habechirah

In the Three Weeks, the Rebbe tells us that we should learn about the Beis Hamikdash, which will weaken the feeling of the Churban which we are remembering during this time.

It will also speed up the building of the Third Beis Hamikdash, which will be rebuilt very soon!

Today we will learn about one of the gates in the second Beis Hamikdash:

At the top of the 15 steps going into the Azara, where the Mizbeiach was, there were two big gates, called Shaar Nikanor. These gates were very unusual — they were the only ones in the whole Beis Hamikdash that weren’t covered with gold, and they were named after a person! Why?

Nikanor was a Yid who loved the Beis Hamikdash so much, that he wanted to do something special for it! He decided to take all of his money and go to Alexandria, in Mitzrayim, where there were coppersmiths who could do the most beautiful work in the world. He paid them a lot of money to make two huge doors for the Beis Hamikdash out of the finest copper that money could buy.

They worked very hard, and made two magnificent doors. Nikanor paid them, and hired a ship to bring the heavy doors to Eretz Yisroel.

On the way, there was a big storm, and the sailors were afraid the ship would sink! “It’s because of these heavy copper doors!” they cried out, and even though Nikanor begged them not to, they threw one of the doors into the sea. At first, the ship seemed to be doing better, but then it started to rock again like it would sink! The sailors wanted to throw the other door into the water too, but this time Nikanor held onto the door tightly! He yelled, “If you throw this one in, you will have to throw me in too!”

The sailors didn’t want to do that, and soon the storm ended and the ship made it to Eretz Yisroel. Nikanor was very sad that he had only one door for the Beis Hamikdash — but then, he saw something shining in the water! The second door didn’t sink, even though it was so heavy! It floated behind the ship, all the way to Eretz Yisroel!

The Chachomim decided not to cover these doors with gold, so that everyone will see the neis that Hashem made!

These doors were so heavy, it took 20 kohanim to open them! They were only opened on Shabbos and Yom Tov and if the king was there. On other days, you would go into the Azara using smaller doors on the sides of Shaar Nikanor.


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Asher Yatzar

The next bracha we say in Birchos Hashachar in the morning is Asher Yatzar. We say it in Birchos Hashachar for two reasons:

1) In the morning, we are like a new creation, a “Beryah Chadasha!” We are starting a new day, a new avodah. We thank Hashem for giving us this amazing guf that we can use to serve Hashem with!

2) The Chachomim teach us to say the bracha of Asher Yatzar after using the bathroom. Since we aren’t allowed to daven if we need to use the bathroom, and a person usually needs to use the bathroom in the morning, we will probably need to say Asher Yatzar at the beginning of Birchos Hashachar anyway.

In the bracha of Asher Yatzar, we speak about the amazing body Hashem gave us, and how incredible it is that it works just right!



Asher Yatzar

Every time we use the bathroom during the day, we say the bracha of Asher Yatzar.

After coming out of the bathroom, we wash our hands and say this bracha, thanking Hashem that our body is working well.

When we say the bracha of Asher Yatzar — just like with any other bracha — we shouldn’t be doing anything else, not even drying our hands. We should be paying attention to what we are saying, and appreciating that our body is working properly.

It is written in seforim that paying attention to the words that we say in this bracha, to thank Hashem for His kindness that our body is working properly, is a segulah for good health.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Pey-Gimmel se’if Yud-Daled

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



Nevuah Will Come Back!

During the time of the second Beis Hamikdash, the Yidden no longer had Neviim. When Moshiach comes, we will again have Nevuah as a regular thing!

וְאֶת רוּחִי אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְעָשִׂיתִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר בְּחֻקַּי תֵּלֵכוּ וּמִשְׁפָּטַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם

Hashem says through the Navi Yechezkel:

Ve’es Ruchi Etein Bekirbechem — I will put back the Ruach of Nevuah inside of you (which you didn’t have during Golus)

Ve’asisi Eis Asher Bechukai Teileichu — And I will make you want to follow in My mitzvos

U’mishpatai Tishmeru Va’asisem — And you will keep My mitzvos and do them!

One of the first things we will need to use nevuah for is building the Beis Hamikdash! We know many halachos from Hilchos Beis Habechirah (which we are learning now, during the Three Weeks), but the third Beis Hamikdash is not the same as the other ones! We can learn many details from the Navi Yechezkel, who was shown the third Beis Hamikdash, but not everything there is clear. Even though the Navi Yechezkel will be there with us, and will able to explain what is not clear, that won’t be enough. We will need nevuah, which Hashem will give back to the Yidden, to help us understand how to build everything right!

Then a Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash will come down from Shomayim and come into the Beis Hamikdash that we built. This will make it a Beis Hamikdash that will last forever!

See Yechezkel perek Lamed-Vov, posuk Chof-Zayin and sicha Parshas Matos-Masei Tof-Shin-Lamed-Tes

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