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CHUMASH

Chamishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn the names of Yaakov’s family who are going to live in Mitzrayim.

The Torah tells us the names of all of Yaakov’s children who came down to Mitzrayim. If you count everyone, you’ll find 66 people. When you also count Yosef and his two children, and Yocheved (who was born on the way into Mitzrayim) that makes 70 people. All of them believed in one Hashem, that is why they are called nefesh, a group with one soul.

By going into Golus, Yaakov’s family was going to start helping the 70 nations of goyim to become better. Once Yaakov had 70 people in his family, he was ready to start this new avodah.

 
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TEHILLIM

29 - 34

Today’s kapitelach are Chof-Tes through Lamed-Daled.

In Kapitel Lamed-Daled, one of the pesukim starts with the words, “Sur MeRa Ve’asei Tov!”

Once at a farbrengen, the Rebbe taught an explanation from the Baal Shem Tov on this posuk:

Sur Me’Ra: When a person has the Yetzer Hara to do something not good because he wants kavod or he has a taavah, he has to turn away from the thing that he shouldn’t be doing.

Ve’Asei Tov: Then he should use that energy to do something good!

For example, let’s say that Shmerel is angry at Berel. He wants to jump up and tell his whole bunk how awful Berel is! First, he should do Sur Me’Ra and stop himself from saying something not nice. Then he should do Asei Tov, and use that koach to tell the bunk a story about the Rebbe instead!

See farbrengen Yud-Beis Tammuz 5743, second sicha

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Vov

The name of the Tanya, as we know, is Sefer Shel Beinonim. It shows a Yid that he CAN serve Hashem properly and be a beinoni!

To learn how to serve Hashem, you first need to understand what your neshama is. First we said that every Yid has two nefashos: The nefesh habehamis (which is made of four yesodos — like water and earth), and the Nefesh Elokis (which we said has ten kochos — ten Neshama-tools, and 3 levushim to use those tools). We also know the Nefesh Habehamis as the Yetzer Hara, and the Nefesh Elokis as the Yetzer Tov.

Now the Alter Rebbe will go back to the first nefesh, and explain that this nefesh ALSO has ten tools and three levushim

(This makes sense, since there is a posuk that “Zeh Le’umas Zeh Asa Elokim” — everything in kedusha has a matching thing in kelipah, so we will have to choose to do what Hashem wants, and Hashem will give us a reward. If there is nothing hard about doing kedusha, there will be no reason to get a reward! If you look around the world, you will see a lot of things that give us a lot of help in kedusha — but can also be used for very strong kelipah. Also inside each of us, if there is a koach in kedusha, you will find a matching one in kelipah.)

Just like the Nefesh Elokis has sechel and midos, the Nefesh Habehamis also has sechel and midos. The Nefesh Habehamis does not think about the greatness of Hashem, and is not interested in understanding the Aibershter’s Torah. It doesn’t want to be connected to Hashem and is not excited about doing mitzvos. The Nefesh Habehamis is only interested in thinking about what is good for itself and gets excited about Gashmius. Its midos are selfish and follow its sechel, which thinks about Gashmius and the importance of the things it wants for itself.

For example, when a person is young, he is excited about toys. If someone takes them away, he gets angry! When he gets older, he wants a nice house and a lot of money. If someone threatens to take it away from him, he will get angry and upset. When a person is even older, he might just want people to respect him. If someone is not giving him kavod, he will be very bothered!

This is because the midos of the Nefesh Habehamis follow its sechel, and whatever a person thinks is important at that time is what he will feel strongly about.

The Nefesh Elokis shows its sechel and midos through the levushim, by thinking, speaking, and doing what Hashem wants. It thinks words of Torah, says nice things to friends, and does mitzvos.

The Nefesh Habehamis also shows it sechel and midos through the levushim. ANYTHING that the person thinks, speaks or does that is not done specifically to serve Hashem, comes from the kochos of the Nefesh Habehamis.

We will learn later that our mission is to train the Nefesh Habehamis to understand that it is GOOD for it to use its kochos to serve Hashem! That’s what it means to love Hashem “Bechol Levavcha,” with the two parts of our heart, our Nefesh Elokis AND our Nefesh Habehamis.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Hey Teves

There is an argument in the Gemara which is greater: Talmud or Maaseh — studying or doing. The Gemara concludes that “Gadol Talmud,” Talmud is greater, “Shemeivi Lidei Maaseh” — because it brings a person to do things.

But that is only nowadays. When Moshiach comes, then the main thing will be the Maaseh, doing the mitzvos! The Talmud will be there to teach us how special the mitzvos are.

Talmud uses a person’s mind. A person needs to think hard to understand the meaning of the words of Torah. Maaseh uses the heart. A person needs to use his feelings of sincerity to do the mitzvos even when he doesn’t want to, and to do them properly.

When Moshiach will come, we will see how special it is to believe in Hashem and to do the mitzvos with sincerity. We will appreciate how everybody believes with pure emunah in Hashem and His mitzvos.

Studying and learning (Talmud), even with the highest level of understanding, has a limit. But belief (hoda’ah), which brings a person to have Kabolas Ol to what Hashem wants, is a feeling that has no limit.

Melech Hamoshiach will help us appreciate how special the koach of emunah and Mesiras Nefesh is, which leads us to do just what Hashem wants with feeling and dedication.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Asei #148

Today we learn the Mitzvas ASEI (what to do) of the mitzvah we learned yesterday (Mitzvas Asei #148) — that we SHOULD send away the mother bird before we take her babies or eggs from her nest.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח אֶת הָאֵם וְאֶת הַבָּנִים תִּקַּח לָךְ

The halachos of how to keep this mitzvah are all explained in the last perek of Mesechta Chullin.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Shechitah

Perek Yud-Beis: In today’s Rambam, we learn the halachos about a mitzvah we learned before: Not to shecht a mother animal and her baby on the same day. This mitzvah is called “Oso Ve’es Bno.”

Perek Yud-Gimmel: In this perek, we learn the halachos about the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKan, sending away the mother bird before taking her babies or eggs from her nest.

Perek Yud-Daled: We learn the halachos of “Kisui HaDam,” covering the blood of an animal after we shecht it.

The Rambam finishes the halachos of Shechitah, and the end of the whole Sefer Kedusha, by teaching us a lesson: We should cover the blood with dirt using our HANDS, not our feet, to show that Hashem’s mitzvah is special to us! By treating the mitzvos with respect, we are giving respect to the One Who commanded the mitzvos — to Hashem!

Now we finished learning the halachos about Shechitah!

Mazel Tov, we have just finished the whole Sefer Kedushah! We are going to start a new sefer, Sefer Hafla’ah!

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Beis Habechirah - Perek Gimmel

Today in Rambam we learn about the Menorah, the Shulchan, the Mizbeiach HaZahav, and the Kiyor!

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Chassidishe Yom Tov

This year is 32 years since Didan Notzach! The Rebbe announced that this day will be a “Yom Segulah Ve’eis Ratzon,” a day that will have special opportunities and kochos in it.

You surely have heard and read the story about Hey Teves many times. But “Hayamim Ha’eileh Nizkarim Ve’naasim,” “these days are retold and they happen again.” When we take time on this day to tell over what happened, the story happens again in Ruchnius. This gives us koach to keep the lessons we learn from Hey Teves!

The Rebbe brought a story from a Medrash about the inyan of Didan Notzach:

In the times of the Gemara, there was a group of Yidden that were living in a certain town. One day, a good Ruach (like a malach) came to an Amora in that town to tell him something: The Ruach used to protect the river near the town, so nothing would happen to the Yidden there. But now there was a bad Ruach that was going to come at a certain time, and wanted to hurt the Yidden!

“So what should I do?” the Amora asked.

The Ruach answered, “Tell all of the people of the town to take the tools they use for building and digging, and come at the time of danger to the river. Start making loud noise and bang with your tools, and shout out ‘Didan Notzach!’”

The Amora followed the advice of the Ruach, and all the people went to the river and banged with their tools, shouting Didan Notzach. After making all this noise, they saw a drop of blood on the water in the river! This was a sign that the bad Ruach had lost its chayus and that the Yidden were now safe.

The Rebbe explains the meaning of this Medrash: The two Ruchos are the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Hara. The Yetzer Hara doesn’t want us to think about the Aibershter, and to follow the horaos of the Nasi HaDor.

When we all go together with chayus and scream at our Yetzer Hara, “Didan Notzach!” “We are going to live the way the Torah teaches us and follow the Rebbe’s horaos!” then the Yetzer Hara will lose all of its koach, and the Yetzer Tov will win — Didan Notzach!

 

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TEFILLAH

Modeh Ani

We say Modeh Ani first thing in the morning to thank Hashem for giving us back our neshama.

The Alter Rebbe teaches that by being careful to say Modeh Ani first thing in the morning, we make sure that the first thing we think about is Hashem! We remember that Hashem is with us, and that helps us get up with zerizus to serve Hashem all day!

So even though in Modeh Ani we thank Hashem for our neshama, it also helps make sure that we can do avodah of the whole day with zerizus and chayus.

See Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras Hachassidus, os Tes

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Hanhagos for Hey Teves

We celebrate each Yom Tov with a special mitzvah. We celebrate Pesach with eating matzah, we celebrate Rosh Hashana by hearing the shofar, and we celebrate Chanukah by lighting the menorah. How do we celebrate Hey Teves?

The Rebbe taught us that on Hey Teves, we need to make sure that the seforim win!

How do we do that? By setting up times to learn Torah, especially learning together with others! We should especially try to add in learning things that help us act the way Hashem wants us to, like learning halachos in Rambam and Shulchan Aruch, and learning Chassidus. We should try to inspire others to do it too!

We also buy seforim to make our libraries bigger. It is VERY important for kids to buy seforim for their Cheder Tzivos Hashem. They should try to buy new seforim of the Rebbeim, and other holy seforim.

See sefer Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p. 124

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Bayis Molei Seforim

One of the reasons we are very excited about Moshiach coming is having the third Beis Hamikdash!

By doing our avodah in Golus in a way of “building the Beis Hamikdash,” we will be doing our part to make it happen!

One of the best ways to do this is by making sure that our homes and our rooms (including children’s rooms) are like a Beis Hamikdash. We should make sure that they are used for Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim. We should make sure our homes are a Bayis Molei Seforim, filled with holy seforim. Even if there is a room WITHOUT seforim, we should make sure that it is filled with the horaos of seforim, that we use it the way the Torah says it should be used!

Sefer Hasichos 5751 chelek alef, Hey Teves, p. 215

 
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