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CHUMASH

Parshas Lech Lecha - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn what happened when Avram and Sarai were in Mitzrayim.

When Avram came to Mitzrayim, Sarai was hiding in a big box. The officers at the border of Mitzrayim told him he has to open the box so they can see what is inside. When they saw Sarai, they decided that she was so beautiful, she should get married to Paraoh — so they took her away to Paraoh’s palace.

Sarai said that she was Avram’s sister, like Avram had asked her too. The Egyptians gave Avram a lot of presents, to make him happy to let his sister be Paraoh’s wife.

Sarai didn’t want to be married to the goyishe king Paraoh, of course! Hashem made everyone in Paraoh’s palace get a very bad rash that hurt a lot. This way he wouldn’t be able to even touch Sarai! Paraoh STILL tried, but Hashem gave Sarai a malach that she could ask to hit Paraoh any time he tried to come too close to her.

Paraoh realized that Sarai must be married to Avram, since all of these things were happening.

He called Avram to come, and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me you were married to her? Why did you say she is your sister? Now you got me in trouble with Hashem!

“Go out of Mitzrayim, since people here aren’t good people and will try to steal Sarai since she is so beautiful.”

Paraoh sent guards to go with Avram when he went out of Mitzrayim. He also sent his daughter, Hagar, to be a servant to Sarai. He decided that it was better for her to even be a servant in the house of a Tzadeikes who Hashem loves, than to be a princess!

Avram went back on his way to Eretz Yisroel, on the same road as before. (He felt that it was mentchlich to stay in the same places he did before, and he wanted to pass by the same places to pay back anyone he owed money to.) He went back to Beis-Keil, where he first brought a korban to Hashem, and davened there again.

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TEHILLIM

29 - 34

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Tes to Lamed-Daled.

The Frierdiker Rebbe once told this story:

Once when the Mitteler Rebbe was 7 or 8, he davened for a longer time than usual — he davenedBaArichus.” After he finished davening, someone asked him what took him so long! The Mitteler Rebbe answered that he stopped to think about something that is says in davening, and that made it take a long time.

Which part? It was a posuk from today’s TehillimKapitel Lamed (posuk gimmel)! We say this kapitel every day before Boruch She’amar.

Hashem Elokai, Shivati Eilecha Vatirpa’eini” — “I cried out to You, Hashem, and You made me feel better!”

The Mitteler Rebbe was thinking about the word “Vatirpa’eini” (“and You healed me”). He was thinking how that word is like the word “rifyon” — making something weaker; so the posuk could mean “I cried out to You, Hashem, and You made my Yetzer Hara not as strong!” He was thinking about how Hashem helps us win over our Yetzer Hara!

Very soon, when Moshiach comes, Hashem will take away our Yetzer Hara completely! We will have won the fight with the Yetzer Hara!

Until then, Hashem helps us make it weaker so we will act the way Hashem wants us to.

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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Vov

In this Igeres Hakodesh, the Alter Rebbe is explaining a Raya Mehemna (a part of the Zohar) in Parshas Naso, which tells us what is special about learning Pnimius HaTorah, and the difference between our learning in the time of Golus and the time of Geulah.

A person who learns this Zohar might at first think that the Zohar is saying that when Moshiach will come, we will not learn Niglah anymore — we will only learn Pnimius HaTorah.

The Alter Rebbe shows us that this can’t be at all what the Zohar means! Here are two reasons why:

1) In the Gemara, many times it says “Teiku” — that we don’t understand certain halachos, but Eliyahu Hanavi will explain them when Moshiach comes! If Eliyahu Hanavi is explaining them, of course we will learn them!

2) The things we learn about in these halachos are things we will still be doing when Moshiach comes! We will still be eating fleishigs, and will need to know all of the halachos about shechting meat.

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HAYOM YOM

Hey Mar-Cheshvan

Way back in the olden days, there was no such thing as street signs or GPS. If someone didn’t know the way, they would have to ask other people or use the sun to know which direction they were going in. But what did they do at night?

The stars in the sky might look like one big pile of dots, but really if you look carefully, you can see that they are constellations — patterns or groups of stars that you can find in the sky every night! People used to use the constellations like a compass to figure out which way they were going. So even on a very dark night, with no street signs, a person could look up at the sky and see which direction they should go and wouldn’t get lost.

The world can sometimes be a very dark and confusing place. People get busy with things that aren’t important and don’t realize what they should be doing.

Yidden are compared to stars! Each one of us has the koach to shine as a Dugma Chaya. Our good example shows other people the way they should act and how to follow the path of Torah and mitzvos.

Yidden are like stars that help others not get lost in the darkness of Golus.

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #120 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #216

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the mitzvah of Kilai HaKerem — not planting vegetables or grain in a vineyard, where grapes grow. Outside of Eretz Yisroel, it is asur from a gezeirah of the ChachomimMiderabanan.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תִזְרַע כַּרְמְךָ כִּלְאָיִם

The details are explained in Mesechta Kilayim. We start learning the halachos in Perek Hey of today’s Rambam!

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Kela'im

In Rambam, we learn more about Kilayim.

Perek Gimmel: We aren’t allowed to plant different kinds of plants together. Does that mean we can’t plant purple carrots next to orange carrots? No! That’s okay because they are both carrots. In this perek, we learn what “different kinds” means. We also learn how close to each other they need to be in order to be called growing “together.” If it’s easy to see that they aren’t being planted together, like if there is a mechitzah, or they are in different fields, that’s not called kilayim.

Perek Daled: What do we need to do if we want to plant two kinds together in the same field? Sometimes they need to be far enough apart that they can’t join into one plant, and sometimes they need to LOOK like they are separate.

Perek Hey: In this perek and the next four perakim, we will learn about Kilei HaKerem. The Torah is very strict about not planting other things together with grapes! Even outside of Eretz Yisroel we need to be careful with this mitzvah. We learn about how long the plant needs to be there, and how much it needs to grow, for it to be asur.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Yud-Alef

There are some times when a kohen is not allowed into the Beis Hamikdash — like when he is drunk, his clothes are torn, or his hair is too long.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Leben Mit Der Tzeit

When we go to school, we learn Alef-Beis, Chumash, and Gemara. When we listen in class and get good marks on our tests, that means we are good students and good chassidim, right? Well, that’s part of it, but it’s not all!

The Rebbe teaches us that a Chossid is someone who doesn’t just daven and learn like a chossid, but someone who talks and plays with their friends like a chossid, who eats and drinks and walks around like a chossid! They speak to other people the way a chossid should, with eidelkeit, and sensitivity to others. Only when we live ALL THE TIME the way Chassidus teaches us, can we really be Chassidim.

The Rebbe tells us how Avraham Avinu, who we live with in this week’s parsha, was the first example of how to live this way!

From a letter of the Rebbe

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LEARNING FROM THE REBBE

Brachos from Kids

In this week’s parsha, Hashem tells Avraham about the good things that will happen to him when he leaves his home and goes where Hashem sends him. One of these things is “Va’avorcha Mevorachecha” — Hashem says that He will bentch those who bentch Avraham!

The Chachomim learn from here that “Kol Hamevarech Misbarech,” any person who gives a bracha to another person gets bentched by Hashem! And the Chachomim add that the bracha of Hashem is much greater than the bracha that the person gave!

At a Chanukah rally in Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches, after the pesukim, one of the children gave the Rebbe a bracha from all of the children at the rally. In the beginning of the first sicha, the Rebbe also began with a bracha, explaining the idea of the posukVa’avorcha Mevorachecha,” that someone who gives a bracha will be bentched by the special bracha of Hashem.

The Rebbe said that this is true with EVERY person who gives a bracha, but it is especially true when CHILDREN give a bracha!

Why?

The Chachomim say that one of the things that keep the world standing is the breath of children, Tinokos Shel Beis Rabban. (“Ein Ha’olam Miskayem Ela B’hevel Pihem Shel Tinokos Shel Beis Rabban.”)

Since the world exists only because of the words of Torah and davening that children say with their breath, we can imagine how much simcha they bring to Hashem! We can understand that when they give a bracha, it has a very special koach!

Therefore, especially when a CHILD uses their words to give a bracha to another person, Hashem gives a special bracha to the child who gave the bracha, a bracha in a much greater way!

See rally Ner Ches D’Chanukah Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches

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TEFILLAH

Strengthening Bitachon Through Davening

What does it mean to have bitachon?

To be SURE and secure, trusting that someone will take care of you.

In order to have bitachon in Hashem, we need to make sure that our Emunah in Hashem is complete. This way we will KNOW that we can trust Hashem.

The Chovos Halevavos tells us seven parts of having proper Emunah, which will help us have proper Bitachon:

1) Hashem has so much Rachmonus! Hashem is the source of all Rachmonus. If someone else has Rachmonus on us, it comes from Hashem’s Rachmonus too.

2) Hashem is good! Hashem is truly good, and Hashem wants us to have good too — even if we’re not perfect.

3) Hashem knows what is good for us! Hashem made us, and Hashem understands us. Hashem knows exactly what we really need!

4) Hashem can do it! Other people might WANT to help us, but only Hashem truly can, no matter what. Nothing can stop Hashem from helping us if Hashem wants to!

5) Hashgacha Protis! Hashem knows about and cares about every single detail of our life. Whatever Hashem does is good for EVERY detail.

6) Hashem is in charge! Nothing and nobody can hurt or help us unless Hashem wants it to!

7) Hashem is the real reason! Everything happens the way it does because that is how Hashem wants it to be! All the things we see and think are the reason are just causes in this world to make them happen.

By thinking about these things when we praise Hashem in Pesukei Dezimra, our emunah and bitachon will be stronger!

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Writing Hashem's Name

Hashem’s name is very holy! We are careful not to say it for no reason.

Even when Hashem’s name is just written, it has a special kedusha. If there is a paper with Hashem’s name on it, we treat it with kavod, and don’t throw it away. It becomes “Shaimos” (meaning “names”).

According to many Acharonim, this isn’t just for Hashem’s name written in Lashon Kodesh. If we write out Hashem’s name in ANY language, that also has kedusha!

Because of this, we are careful not to write Hashem’s name completely, even in English. We write “G-d” so that we don’t have Hashem’s full name written down.

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 5, p. 217

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

Moshiach'dike Davening

When we are davening, we need to think about the basic meaning of what we are saying. In Shemoneh Esrei, we say, “Vesechezenah Eineinu Beshuvcha Letzion,” “Our eyes should see the return to Yerushalayim.” We also say, “Es Tzemach Dovid Avdecha Meheira Satzmiach,” “The plant of Dovid Hamelech (Moshiach, who comes from Dovid) should quickly grow.”

Then, we will ask ourselves a question: “What did I do TODAY to make this happen?”

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof, p. 384, Chassidim Ein Mishpacha, gilyon Chof-Zayin

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