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Chamishi with Rashi

Hashem promises to never make a Mabul again to destroy the whole world. Hashem shows a rainbow as a sign of this promise.

Even though Hashem told Noach not to worry, he was still afraid to have more children! So Hashem made a PROMISE with Noach and with everyone and every animal, never to destroy the world again. He gave Noach a sign to see that He will never do it again: A rainbow!

If Hashem sees that people need to do teshuvah, Hashem might send a storm somewhere in the world to show that there are people that DESERVE to get a Mabul. But a rainbow will shine through the clouds and Hashem will have Rachmonus and not destroy everyone.

Hashem showed Noach the rainbow so he would know what the sign looks like.

Why did Hashem choose a rainbow? A rainbow in the sky is made of light shining into a cloud with water in a certain way, that splits up the light into all of the colors. Before the Mabul, the world wasn’t able to make a rainbow — the sun couldn’t shine through the clouds, because they were too thick! But the Mabul made the world more aidel, and the clouds became more aidel too, to let the sun shine through to make rainbows. The more aidel world after the Mabul is also a world where we can do Teshuvah, which was harder to do before the Mabul! Now that it’s easier to do Teshuvah, we won’t ever NEED another Mabul!



10 - 17

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Yud through Yud-Zayin.

Before Dovid Hamelech became king, he was forced to run away from his enemies.

Some people said to him then that he must have done aveiros, because he was suffering so much! In Kapitel Yud-Alef, Dovid Hamelech says that this is not true — this was a test, not a punishment. “Hashem Tzadik Yivchan,” Hashem tests a tzadik!

In fact, a test is sometimes what SHOWS that someone is a tzadik!

Rashi says on this posuk that we can see an example of this from how linen is made. For the threads to be very soft, the stalks of flax need to be beaten. But if the flax is not good quality, it can’t be hit as hard, because the stalks will break. The same thing is with a person: Only a tzadik, who is strong, can have these kinds of hard tests from Hashem!

Dovid Hamelech said that the same was true here: Hashem knows the truth, that he didn’t do the aveiros people were blaming him for, and the reason he was being chased was because it was a test from Hashem.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Hey

Today the Alter Rebbe finishes explaining the vort of the Baal Shem Tov that we’ve been learning over the last few days, about what to do if someone is bothering you during davening.

But first we review about what to do if anything at all is bothering you, from someone or something else that can make you angry, so that we will see what the vort of the Baal Shem Tov is talking about.

There are three KINDS of things that can make a person angry:

1. Something happened that you don’t like. For that we learned before what the Chachomim say, that we need to make our emunah stronger so that we remember that it is B’Hashgacha Protis. Hashem made it happen and we should think about that — not about the cause, the person who did it.

2. Someone said or did something that is an aveira and you can stop it. Then it’s Hashgacha Protis but you need to say or do something to stop it. The Alter Rebbe tells us a story from the Torah where Moshe became angry to stop Yidden from doing something they shouldn’t have been doing.

3. Someone is doing something wrong but there isn’t anything you can do about it. For example, you are doing Mivtzoyim at a fair, and you stop to daven Mincha. All of a sudden, a band starts playing loud goyishe music. This is the type of case the Baal Shem Tov’s vort is talking about! You know it’s Hashgacha Protis, but even though you can’t stop the music, there is still something you need to do!

You need to think about what we learned earlier, that Hashem’s Shechinah is in Golus in the people singing the goyishe music. Hashem is making you hear it because He wants you to concentrate harder on the davening. Then you will have used out this opportunity Hashem sent to you in the right way!



Beis Mar-Cheshvan

The Rebbe Rashab once said in a sicha the following story:

A little while after the Alter Rebbe became Rebbe, he said to the chassidim, “Men Badarf Leben Mit Der Tzeit!” — “we need to live with the time!” Chassidim wondered what this could mean. The Alter Rebbe’s brother, R’ Yehuda Leib (called the Maharil) was told what this meant and the older chassidim found out from him.

The “time” that the Alter Rebbe was talking about was the parsha of the week. And “living with the time” means that we shouldn’t just LEARN the parsha every day (like we do in Chitas), but we need to LIVE with it. We should be thinking about it all the time, and learning lessons for what to do now from the parsha of the week and the Chumash of each day!

In later years, the Rebbe taught that we should also “Live with the times” with the other shiurim of Chitas that we learn every day, and especially the shiur in Rambam!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #322

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #322) comes from a posuk that says “Don’t burn a fire on Shabbos.”

The Chachomim ask a very important question: “Isn’t lighting a fire one of the melachos? Hashem already told us not to do the melachos! Hashem doesn’t give us the same mitzvah twice, unless He is teaching us something new. So why does Hashem tell us not to light a fire?”

The Chachomim explain that Hashem is telling us not to punish a person on Shabbos, even if he deserves Sereifah, a kind of punishment with burning. The Beis Din learns from here not to have ANY court cases on Shabbos.



Hilchos Shabbos

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel, and Yud-Daled, we learn about three of the melachos: Not to light a fire, not to put out a fire, and not to carry on Shabbos.

If a fire starts on Shabbos, we are not allowed to put it out ourselves unless it will be dangerous. For a small fire that isn’t dangerous, we are allowed to do something so the fire will burn out by itself, like by pouring water or juice AROUND the fire or putting plastic cups of water right next to the fire so it will put itself out.

Of course, for even a medium sized fire, or one that we think MIGHT be dangerous, we need to call the fire department RIGHT AWAY, even on Shabbos, because Hashem says that saving a person’s life is even more important than not doing a melacha!

The melacha called hotza’ah (we usually call it “carrying”) has a lot of details! We learn about the four different reshuyos: Reshus Hayochid, Reshus Horabim, Karmelis, and Mekom Petur.



Hilchos Terumos - Perek Hey

Today we learn about what part of the food to use for Terumah. We are supposed to take from the BEST of our fields for Terumah! But if there are no kohanim around, it is better to take food that won’t get rotten before we can bring it to the kohen — like raisins, even if the grapes are better.



Chassidishe Parsha

Once at a farbrengen, the Rebbe spoke about how important it is to learn the Chassidishe parsha every week, the maamarim in Torah Ohr and Likutei Torah. The Rebbe said that this is not only for adults, but for kids too! Some people have a minhag to share a part of the Chassidishe Parsha even to children who are under Bar or Bas Mitzvah!

The Mabul happened in the times of Noach, but there is something that is like the Mabul in everyone’s life: The things we worry about. When someone is worried, it “floods” his head. Many people worry how Hashem will give them everything they need, like parnasa or health.

But there is a posuk in Shir Hashirim that teaches us that all of these worries can’t take away a person’s connection and love for Hashem. Not only that, they can make a person feel even CLOSER to Hashem!

All the things people worry about are Gashmius things, that have a strong chayus from Hashem hiding inside of them. When we use these things, WE get the chayus that was inside them! The extra chayus we can get from the Gashmius will make us even CLOSER to Hashem! When we use this chayus to help us daven and learn Torah, the chayus inside the Gashmius comes out, and becomes part of us.

So a person should never think that because he thinks about Gashmius all week, he can’t think about Hashem when he davens. The opposite is true: BECAUSE a person thinks about Gashmius all week, he got so much extra chayus that when he davens like a Chossid should on Shabbos, he will get to use all of that chayus to become so much closer to Hashem!

See Torah Ohr Parshas Noach


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Making Bitachon Stronger Through Davening

Having bitachon makes our connection with Hashem strong. The Rebbe reminded many people in letters that having stronger bitachon opens up a path for more brachos to come from Hashem!

Sometimes it can be hard to feel our bitachon.

Something that can help is to learn and think about how much having bitachon in Hashem makes sense! When we understand it, we will then start to feel that way too.

When we fly in an airplane, we trust the pilot of the plane. We know that the pilot proved that he is able to fly such a big plane safely and land it in the right place. We can trust him since he is able to do it!

Knowing that someone is ABLE to take care of something helps us trust him.

But people are just people. We trust the pilot to fly our plane, but that doesn’t mean we will trust him as our dentist! We can trust him to do specific things, but we can’t trust him in EVERYTHING.

Bitachon in Hashem is different!

We CAN trust in Hashem for everything. Hashem is able to do anything!

When we think about this, our bitachon in Hashem will be stronger!

One place to think about this is in davening. In the praises of Hashem in Pesukei Dezimra, we speak about how Hashem has the koach to make anything happen. For example, the paragraph “Halelu Es Hashem Min HaShomayim” speaks about how all of the creations praise Hashem and that Hashem is in control of everything in the world.



The Face of the Shechinah

In the Zohar Chadash for Parshas Lech Lecha, it says something very beautiful: When the Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai) would go to see kinderlach learning Torah, he would say that he was going to see the face of the Shechinah!

This isn’t just a nice saying. The sefer Kav Hayashar says that a melamed of Jewish children needs to keep this in mind. He should remember that the Shechinah is with them when they are learning, and he should be careful to do his work properly! He should also make sure that the room where he is teaching is clean and kavodik (respectful) for the Shechinah!

Poskim say that a classroom where children learn Torah has halachos similar to a shul or Beis Medrash, that it needs to be kept clean and treated with respect!

See Piskei Teshuvos vol. 2, p. 224

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




There are two reasons why Hashem brings rainbows.

The first one is what we learned in today’s Chumash, to show that Hashem will never bring another Mabul to destroy the world. Rainbows that come from this reason are not a happy sign — they are a sign that people really need to do teshuvah, and Hashem needs to have Rachmanus on them so they won’t be punished.

The Zohar also tells us another, much happier, reason why Hashem sends rainbows: The Zohar says that when it’s time for the Yidden to come out of Golus, a rainbow with bright colors will appear in the sky. When you see that rainbow, you should hope for Moshiach!

See Zohar parshas Noach 72b and Sefer Hasichos 5752 p. 66 ha’arah 100

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