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Parshas Noach - Shvi'i with Rashi

Even though Noach’s children and grandchildren were supposed to go and move all over the world to fill it up with people again after the Mabul, they decided to all live together. They wanted to show Hashem that they had Achdus.

Nimrod, who liked to fight against Hashem, convinced them that Hashem was being selfish, and not sharing the Shomayim with them. So they have to build a big tower to show Hashem that they can go up to Shomayim too. He also convinced them that the Mabul was a normal thing that would happen again, and they needed to have a high enough building so they would be safe.

The people all looked for a place that would be good. There weren’t any rocks there, so instead they made bricks to build a city and a tall tower.

Hashem looked at the tower, and saw that when they all live together, they all make trouble together! But because of their Achdus, Hashem didn’t kill them. Instead, He made each group speak different languages so they couldn’t talk to each other anymore. Now, all the people moved away to different parts of the world, and they stopped building the city. This place was called Bavel, because Hashem made them all mixed up there, and they couldn’t talk to each other!

Now the Torah tells us about the generations from Noach until Avraham! We don’t hear so much about Avraham when he was a young boy — we know those stories from the Medrash.

The Torah tells us about the family of Avraham, and hints to the story about Avraham in the fiery furnace. We learn that Avraham got married to Sarai, also called Yiskah. At the end of the parsha, Avraham moved away from Ur Kasdim and goes to Charan, on his way to Eretz Yisroel. His father, Terach, moved with him because he did Teshuvah and started to believe in Hashem, but was embarrassed that other people would see. Terach passed away in Charan.



18 - 22

In today’s Tehillim, we have a very important kapitel: Kapitel Chof! This kapitel has special kochos to help someone. The Frierdiker Rebbe said we should say this every day.

Usually, we say it in davening — but not on a day when we don’t say Tachanun!

The Frierdiker Rebbe said that this kapitel is so important that if we don’t say it IN davening, we should say it AFTER davening!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Hey

Now that the Alter Rebbe finished explaining the vort of the Baal Shem Tov (about a goy bothering a Yid in the middle of davening), he explains why some people didn’t want to accept this vort.

Like we learned, if you are in the middle of davening, and a Goy tries to confuse you and there’s nothing you can do about it, you need to think about how the Shechinah is in Golus in the words of that person, and Hashem is sending you a message to daven harder and with more kavana.

Even though some people learned Kabbalah, they didn’t think it made sense to say that the holy Shechinah can be in the words of a goy that is bothering a Yid. So they laughed at Chassidus. But every one of us knows that Hashem is everywhere, all the time. This is an emunah that every Yid has!

Together with the emunah, the Alter Rebbe also explains that Hashem CHOSE to put himself in Golus there, even in a goy who is bothering a Yid. Of course, we don’t understand why, but it is not surprising that a person is not able to understand the ways of Hashem.

This was only one example to understand things the Baal Shem Tov taught. If anyone has any other questions, the Alter Rebbe says not to laugh, but to send somebody and he will try to explain it to them so there will be no more questions on the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings.



Gimmel Mar-Cheshvan

Today’s Hayom Yom is a continuation from yesterday. We learned that the Alter Rebbe said to Chassidim that we need to live with the parsha of the week. We should think about it during that week, and find lessons in the way we should live.

If we “live with the time,” then during the week we will feel like the mood of what’s happening in the Chumash. That’s why the first two weeks in the Chumash aren’t the most completely happy weeks.

In Bereishis, even though it’s happy and exciting when we think about how Hashem makes the world and is with us every moment, it’s a little sad to think about how people can act in a way that will make a Mabul happen.

And in Parshas Noach, even though the end is so exciting when we think about Avraham Avinu being born, still it is sad when we think about the world being destroyed through a Mabul.

But Parshas Lech Lecha is the first week that we are thinking only happy and exciting things from the WHOLE parsha! We are thinking about Avraham Avinu and his Mesiras Nefesh. We know that because of him, each Yid has that koach inside of his Neshama! We learn from the example that Avraham Avinu showed us — every day of the week!



Shiur #118 - Mitzvas Asei #145, Lo Saasei #110

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn two mitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #145) We learn about if a person says that something is Cherem. That means it is set aside for Hashem. Usually, it goes to the kohanim, unless he said “Cherem LaHashem,” which would go to the Beis Hamikdash. We learn many halachos about this in today’s Rambam!

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #110) Something that is the kind of cherem that needs to be given to a kohen is not allowed to be sold. It needs to be given the kohen the way it is. (The kohen can decide to sell it later if he wants, because it belongs to him.)



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

Perek Hey: We finish learning the halachos about giving a field as a donation to the Beis Hamikdash. We also learn the halachos of donating a house, or an animal that can’t be a korban (like a non-kosher animal or one with a mum). An animal that IS good for a korban is sold to people who need to bring a korban, and the money goes to Bedek Habayis (maintenance of the Beis Hamikdash).

Perek Vov: Now we start learning the halachos of Charomim (things that are cherem). We learn the halachos of today’s mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos. We also learn what happens if someone gives something that wasn’t his, or promises to give something that isn’t there yet (like a fruit that didn’t grow yet), or if someone gives by mistake.

Perek Zayin: we learn many halachos about pediyah — redeeming, meaning buying back something that was donated to the Beis Hamikdash.

One interesting thing that we see in these halachos is that the Beis Hamikdash always gets the best of any deal! This way, any donation to the Beis Hamikdash is used as much as it can be.



Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Tes

In this perek the Rambam describes the clothes of the Kohen Gadol. We learn about the golden tzitz, which had letters sticking out. The me’il looked similar to a long pair of tzitzis!



The Purpose of the Mabul

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Noach, we learn about the Mabul Hashem sent on the world. The Torah calls the boiling water that covered the earth the “Mei Mabul,” the waters of the flood.

In this week’s Haftorah, though, from the Navi Yeshaya, we also hear about the Mabul. Hashem spoke to the Navi, and told him something about the Mabul in his nevuah. There, Hashem doesn’t call the water “Mei Mabul,” the water is called “Mei Noach,” the waters of Noach.

This seems strange! The name Noach means pleasant, so calling the water “Mei Noach” is like saying that the Mabul was pleasant!

Why does Hashem call the MabulMei Noach” when speaking to the Navi?

The Rebbe tells us that when Hashem speaks to a Navi, Hashem is telling the Navi a secret, like the posuk says, “Gila Sodo El Avadav HaNeviim.” Hashem tells Neviim the secret that is behind what is happening, so that the Navi should see things the way they are inside, the pnimius.

When Hashem told Yeshaya about the Mabul, Hashem called it Mei Noach, pleasant water. Because the real reason for the Mabul WAS pleasant, and this is what Hashem wanted the Navi to know.

In Torah Ohr, the Alter Rebbe explains that Hashem didn’t need to send a flood if He wanted to destroy the world, Hashem could have just stopped creating it! Hashem sent a flood for a different reason: To make the world TAHOR. Just like a keili goes into a mikvah with 40 se’ah of water to become tahor, Hashem covered the earth with water for 40 days to make it tahor!

That is what Hashem was telling the Navi, that the “secret” of the Mabul, its real purpose, was to make the world tahor — and that is Mei Noach, something pleasant!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof, Parshas Noach, p. 286

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Growing Our Bitachon Through Davening

It is very important to have a true bitachon in Hashem! It brings tremendous brachos, keeps us from getting distracted by worries, and helps us stay focused on what Hashem wants us to do.

But having bitachon is not always easy. When hard things happen, it is hard to be calm and keep doing what we know we should be doing. How do we make our bitachon stronger?

When we UNDERSTAND why it makes sense to trust in Hashem, and THINK about those reasons, we will also start to FEEL it. We will start to naturally trust in Hashem, no matter what is going on.

One of the reasons the Chovos Halevavos brings to explain why it makes so much sense to trust in Hashem, is that no detail is too small for Hashem.

Other people may care about us and try to help us. But they aren’t able to remember and think about every single detail of what we need.

But Hashem runs the whole world with Hashgacha Protis — with attention to every detail! We may not always see it, but we know that it is true.

We can think about this in davening, especially in Pesukei Dezimra. This will help our davening make our bitachon stronger!

One of the places we can think about it is when we say, “Moneh Mispar LaKochavim, Lechulam Sheimos Yikra,” “Hashem counts every single star, and calls it by name.”

There are billions and billions of stars, and they all pretty much look alike. But Hashem cares about every single star, and calls it its own name! This can help us realize that in our own lives, nothing is too small for Hashem to care about it! We can trust in Hashem because He knows about everything, and cares about even the smallest detail.



Buying from an Expensive Yid

When we have a choice, we are supposed to buy from a Yid.

But what if it’s harder to shop there?

The Chachomim say that even if it is a little farther to go to the Yid’s store, or if it’s less comfortable there, it’s still worth it to go out of our way to buy from a Yid. Even if the Yid’s store is a little more expensive, we should still buy from him.

If it’s much more expensive (everyone can decide for himself what “much more expensive” means), then it is fine to go to the cheaper store, even if it’s not owned by a Yid.

(This is only for a regular person buying — a businessman who is buying wholesale is allowed to just go to the cheapest place.)

See a nice summary of these halachos with sources on Torah.org

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



Moshiach Mabul

In the Teiva, the animals lived in a Moshiach kind of way! Even animals that usually fight each other and try to eat each other lived next to each other peacefully.

But not only was it like the times of Moshiach INSIDE of the Teiva, it was like the times of Moshiach OUTSIDE of the Teiva too!

How? Outside of the Teiva there was a Mabul covering the whole world!

The Rebbe tells us that when Moshiach comes, the world will also be flooded! But not with regular water, with Torah which is also compared to water.

As the Navi says, “Umala Ha’aretz Deia Es Hashem, Kamayim Layam Mechasim!” The whole world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem, like waters cover the earth!

Even though the Mabul didn’t last very long, that time was a Nesinas Koach, something that helps us later! The fact that we already had this inyan once makes it easier for us to bring it again, but this time in a way that will last forever!

By doing our shlichus in our part of the world, we will bring Moshiach, when the world will be flooded with the knowledge of Hashem!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Lamed, sicha Parshas Noach alef, Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Nun parshas Noach

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