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Rishon with Rashi

Today Hashem tells Moshe to count the Leviim from the family of Gershon who are the right age to carry parts of the Mishkan. Only Leviim who are older than 30 and younger than 50 are strong enough to do this job.

The Torah tells us again what the family of Gershon has to carry:

The curtains for the Mishkan! There are a bunch:
- The 3 covers on top of the Mishkan
- The curtain that hangs at the front of the Mishkan (like a door)
- The curtains of the Chatzer (courtyard) of the Mishkan (like a fence around)
- The curtain that was like a door for the Chatzer
- And the ropes to hold down the bottom 2 covers of the Mishkan.

It is the job of Isamar, Aharon’s son, to make sure that these Leviim know how do their job right.



35 - 38

The first maamar the Rebbe said, Bosi Legani, explains a posuk from today’s Tehillim: “Tzadikim Yirshu Aretz Veyishkenu La’ad Aleha.” “Tzadikim get ‘aretz’ (Gan Eden), because they make Hashem rest (Veyishkenu) in the world.”

We know from the 12 Pesukim that this is a job for ALL Yidden — “Ve’amcha Kulam Tzadikim, Leolam Yirshu Aretz” — ALL Yidden are Tzadikim who will get this kind of reward!

In the maamar, the Rebbe tells us that this is OUR special shlichus too — to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world, and to get ready for the Geulah!



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Hakdama

Now the Alter Rebbe finally tells us why he made this part of Tanya, and answers the question we had before — why even though a person changes, the Chinuch he had when he was young still stays the same. (“Chanoch Lenaar... Gam Ki Yazkin Lo Yasur Mimena.”)

A Yid is constantly growing. The way Hashem made it is that to start doing more, we have to stop doing something the way we did it before. That’s when you step back so you can run farther or jump higher.

When we want to love Hashem on a higher level, we lose some of the Ahava we had before so we can learn a new way to love Hashem stronger. But we need to ALWAYS love Hashem, so what kind of love do we never stop having, even when we’re getting ready to have a stronger love?

That’s the love for Hashem that we get when we first start our Avodas Hashem, and that’s the Ahava we just learned about in the last two days.

So that’s the answer to our question — “Gam Ki Yazkin” — even when we’re older and stop loving Hashem in one way, we always have this kind of Ahavas Hashem that we got in the beginning of our Chinuch.

But, the Alter Rebbe tells us, even before we can LOVE Hashem, we need to have something even deeper than that! This is something that gets the rest of our Avodas Hashem started. This is EMUNAH, believing in Hashem. No matter what happens, we always have this Emunah so we will always be connected to Hashem.

This is what we are going to learn in this part of Tanya — how to have a very strong Emunah that will be the foundation of our Avodas Hashem forever.



Vov Sivan

When we read the Aseres Hadibros, everyone should stand up and face the Torah.

It’s not our minhag to say “Akdamos,” a special poem about Matan Torah that is written in Aramaic and is said in some shuls before Kriyas HaTorah.

The Baal Shem Tov passed away on Wednesday, the first day of Shavuos, in the year Tof-Kuf-Chof. His ohel is in Mezibuzh.

The Alter Rebbe wanted us to know that the Baal Shem Tov was like the sun and moon — he lit up the world with Chassidus. He connected it to the day of the week the Baal Shem Tov passed away:

Right after the Alter Rebbe came out of prison, he said “On the fourth day (Wednesday), the lights of the world were taken away.”

On the fourth day of Hashem making the world, “Nitlu Hameoros” — Hashem hung up the lights of the world in the sky. “Nitlu” spelled differently means “taken away.” Also on Wednesday, Hashem took away the Baal Shem Tov, who lit up the world with Chassidus.



Mitzvas Asei #104

Today’s mitzvah is about the Tumah of Zav. Yesterday we learned about the Tumah of a Zavah, a woman who gets a certain kind of sickness. Today we learn about the Zav — a man who has a certain kind of sickness. This mitzvah is to keep all of the halachos of how he becomes a Zav, and how he makes other things tomei.



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about when Keilim can become Tomei.

Perek Chof-Alef explains when a long string or chain or rope is counted as part of a keili or not. Based on the halachos in today’s Rambam, if a balloon would become tomei, the string of the balloon would be tomei too.

Perek Chof-Beis explains when clothes or cloth can become tomei. One of the halachos is that a bandage, even if it is made out of cloth, can’t become tomei. That’s because it’s not counted as a keili.

Perek Chof-Gimmel tells us the rules of how big a piece of cloth needs to be in order to become tomei.



Hilchos Gerushin - Perek Hey

In this perek, we learn how the get has to be delivered. It needs to be given directly to the woman.




The Rebbe said that everyone, even kids, should learn the maamar of the Alter Rebbe called “Bachodesh Hashlishi,” so we will feel the special chayus of this Yom Tov.

Here is one of main things the maamar teaches us:

The Yidden in Mitzrayim were stuck, they had to work so hard and it was hard for them to even have emunah when Moshe told them they are coming out of Mitzrayim!

The guf can sometimes make the neshama feel that it is in Golus. It can make it hard for us to have emunah.

But the Torah is a special koach which helps us not feel like we’re in Golus, so we can have emunah!

To get this koach, we need to learn Torah in a special way: We need to remember that it’s HASHEM’S Torah, like by Matan Torah, when we could SEE that Hashem was giving it to us.

The Yom Tov of Shavuos helps us feel this, so that EVERY time we learn Torah we remember that Hashem is giving it to us!


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Zman Matan Toraseinu

We see many names for this Yom Tov in different parts of Torah. In Parshas Re’eh it is called “Shavuos,” in Parshas Pinchas it is called “Yom Habikurim,” and in Parshas Mishpatim it is called “Chag Hakatzir.” In other parts of Torah, the Chachomim also called it “Atzeres.”

But in davening, we only call Shavuos by one name: “Zman Matan Toraseinu,” the time of the giving of the Torah. This is the most important name!

What was so special about Matan Torah, though? We had the Torah before Matan Torah! The Avos kept the whole Torah before it was given, and there were even Yeshivos, like the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever, to study Torah. Hashem gave us mitzvos to keep before then too!

The difference is in the words “Matan” “Toraseinu.” At Matan Torah, Hashem gave us the Torah as a Matana, a gift. The Avos may have been able to learn Torah, but it wasn’t THEIRS yet. They had the Torah of Hashem, but after Matan Torah, it became “Toraseinu,” OUR Torah, which belongs to every Jew!

At Matan Torah, such an incredible thing happened. Hashem gave us the Torah in way that the Torah became OURS completely. In fact, we decide halacha based on how we understand things here in this world, even if in Shomayim they would understand it differently! It truly becomes OUR Torah.

See the sicha of the second day of Shavuos, 5735



Milchigs on Shavuos

It is a minhag to eat milchigs on the first day of Shavuos.

We do this like the Yidden at Har Sinai, who also ate milchigs on Shavuos.

One of the explanations for why they ate milchigs is that they HAD to! The Yidden shechted meat before, but now, after Matan Torah, they were counted as a nation of Yidden. Since before Matan Torah they were NOT counted as full Yidden, the meat they shechted then wasn’t kosher! So they ate milchigs.

It is a minhag to eat milchigs on Shavuos, but it is a MITZVAH to eat fleishigs on EVERY Yom Tov!

We are very careful about Basar B’chalav, not mixing milchigs and fleishigs. So we first eat our milchigs, then we wait an hour, put out a new tablecloth, and eat a fleishig Yom Tov meal. (Make sure you didn’t eat hard cheese, or you’ll have to wait six hours!)

There are some opinions that are not as strict about waiting the full hour, but especially on Shavuos, it is not the time to be less strict!

Another reason we eat milchigs on Shavuos is to show how special the Yidden are, who are careful about not mixing Basar B’chalav. The malochim, when they came to visit Avraham Avinu, DID eat milchigs and fleishigs together. But Yidden are special — we don’t mix them at all!

So especially on a Yom Tov when we are celebrating how careful we are with Basar B’chalav, we shouldn’t be looking for any excuses to not be as careful with this mitzvah!

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



Achdus Before Geulah

When the Yidden camped around Har Sinai to get the Torah, they camped like one person, with one heart — “Ke’ish Echad, BeLeiv Echad.”

We learned in Tanya that Matan Torah was a taste of the way it will be in the times of the Geulah!

The Rambam tells that we will also have this kind of Achdus before Moshiach comes. One of the jobs of Moshiach is “Veyisaken Es Ha’olam Kulo Laavod Es Hashem Beyachad” — to make the whole world ready to serve Hashem TOGETHER!

Just as we got the Torah with true Achdus, we will have the Geulah with true Achdus!

Migolah L’Geulah p. 312

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