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Parshas Ki Savo - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu gives the Yidden instructions for the day they cross the Yardein and go into Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu, together with the Zekeinim, tell the Yidden that they need to be careful to keep the Torah!

Yidden need to “guard” the Mitzvos, by learning about them and making sure they won’t forget!

Since this is so important, the Yidden will need to do something that will remind them about this important job, right when they come to Eretz Yisroel.

When the Yidden cross the Yarden, they will take 12 stones out of the river. They will take these stones to Har Grizim and Har Eival, where the Kohanim will remind the Yidden what happens if they chas veshalom don’t keep the Torah.

The Yidden will build a Mizbeiach with these big stones, by covering them with a kind of cement so they will stick together. It will have to be built this way because we aren’t allowed to use any metal to cut rocks to build a Mizbeiach. Instead, the rocks will need to be stuck together to fit.

They will write words of Torah on these stones, translated into 70 languages! Then they will bring Korbanos to Hashem on this Mizbeiach.

Now Moshe and the kohanim remind the Yidden:

Listen carefully! See how much Hashem wants you to always be close to him.

Usually, when a person starts something new they are excited! But later on, they get a little bit bored and they aren’t so careful about it anymore. But Hashem wants Yidden to feel like (and act like!) they are promising Hashem to be His nation for the very first time, every day!

So keep all of the mitzvos Hashem asks you to do.



69 - 71

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Samach-Tes, Ayin, and Ayin-Alef. We also say three kapitelach for Elul: Lamed-Zayin, Lamed-Ches, and Lamed-Tes.

In today’s Tehillim, we say a posukYemalei Fi Tehilasecha.” “My mouth should be full of Your praises.”

The Gemara says that we learn from here that when we say a bracha, our mouth needs to be FULL of the bracha. That’s why we shouldn’t say a bracha with food in our mouth — our mouth should be full of Hashem’s bracha, not full of food!

In today’s shiur Tehillim, there are niggunim in EVERY kapitel! Can you find them? Do you know how to sing them all?



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Gimmel

Yesterday we said that there are two kinds of Yidden — some that are more serious and strict with themselves, and others that are more freilich and ready to give EVERYTHING, in their Avodas Hashem.

There are two examples for these two types:

1. Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel: Beis Shamai was usually very strict, and Beis Hillel would find a way to be patient with the most annoying people, and not as strict when he paskened Halacha.

2. Yitzchak and Avraham: Yitzchak was very strict with himself. He was always working to become better . He used his midah of gevurah. Avraham was kind (Chesed) and had a lot of Hachnosas Orchim — even to people who didn't believe in Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe tells us that in kedushah, these two midos are not by themselves! Chesed has Gevurah and Gevurah has Chesed! (We also know this from Sefiras Ha’omer, where we see that every midah has all the other midos inside of it too!)

Since they are all connected, we see that sometimes even Beis Hillel was MORE strict than Beis Shamai! And sometimes, Beis Shamai was LESS strict than Beis Hillel!

Avraham Avinu, whose Avodah was Chesed, was also able to show a lot of Gevurah, like when he brought Yitzchak to be a Korban.

The same is with EVERY Yid’s neshama — everyone has both midos of Chesed and Gevurah, and there is a time to use each one.

So if everyone has Chesed AND Gevurah, why do we say that there is a difference, and that there are different ways in Avodas Hashem?

Beis Shamai was USUALLY strict, and the Chesed was hiding. Beis Hillel was USUALLY kind, and the Gevurah was hiding. The same thing is with Avraham and Yitzchak! Each of them had BOTH midos, but one of them was usually hiding.

So each of us have both midos, but our Avodah is usually in one way.

In tomorrow’s Tanya, we will see that the Alter Rebbe uses this explanation to encourage even those Chassidim who are usually more strict, that they should use the Chesed inside of them and give tzedakah without a limit to the chossid who is collecting for Colel Chabad!



Yud-Gimmel Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn what happens to a chossid the first time he goes into Yechidus.

We all know what a bris is.

A baby boy is born with an extra piece of skin called the Orlah, which needs to be taken off. This is the mitzvah of Bris Milah! Once a baby has a Bris Milah, his body becomes connected to Hashem.

There is also a Ruchnius’dike kind of Bris Milah!

We are born with ways of thinking that come from the Yetzer Hara. These ideas can cover over our Neshama, like an extra piece of skin, and make it harder for us to be connected to Hashem!

The Chossid R’ Chanoch Hendel said that all Chassidim knew that when a Chossid goes into Yechidus, he gets a “bris milah” for his Neshama! Once a chossid goes into Yechidus for the first time, that “Orlah,” the grobkeit and way of thinking of the Yetzer Hara, are taken away, and he can now think and feel like a Chossid!

It only takes one time for a Chossid to go to the Rebbe, and it changes him forever!



Shiur #55 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #200, #201, Asei #158

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 3 more mitzvos about Pesach:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #200) We shouldn’t leave any chometz in our house on Pesach that we will be able to find on Pesach. This is the isur of “Bal Yera’eh,” that chometz should not be seen.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה לְךָ חָמֵץ וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה לְךָ שְׂאֹר בְּכָל גְּבֻלֶךָ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #201) We can’t have any chometz in our house on Pesach, even if we don’t see it or it belongs to another Yid. (Nowadays, we close our chometz away and sell it to a goy, which is the only way to keep chometz in our homes on Pesach.) This is the isur of “Bal Yematzeh” — that chometz shouldn’t be found.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: שִׁבְעַת יָמִים שְׂאֹר לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְּבָתֵּיכֶם

The Gemara Pesachim explains what the exact difference is between these two mitzvos of Bal Yera’eh and Bal Yematzeh.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #158) It is a mitzvah to eat Matzah on the first night of Pesach. It is only a mitzvah from the Torah on the seder night(s), and the rest of Pesach there is no chiyuv to eat it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: בָּעֶרֶב תֹּאכְלוּ מַצֹּת

The details are explained in Mesechta Pesachim.



Hilchos Chomeitz U'Matzah

Perek Hey: We learn what makes things chometz, and also about how to kasher keilim to be used on Pesach.

Perek Vov: We learn how to properly keep the mitzvah of eating matzah on the first night of Pesach. One halacha is that once a child is old enough to eat bread, we teach him to eat a kezayis of matzah for chinuch.

Perek Zayin: We learn about the mitzvah of telling over the Yetziyas Mitzrayim on Pesach, leaning (haseiba), drinking four kosos, and the mitzvah of eating maror.



Hilchos Teshuvah - Perek Zayin

In this perek, the Rambam tells us many special things about teshuvah! Here are some of them:

- A person who does Teshuvah is in some ways GREATER than a tzadik!
בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁבַּעַלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה עוֹמְדִים אֵין צַדִיקִים גְמוּרִים יְכוֹלִים לַעֲמוֹד שָׁם

- When all the Yidden do teshuvah, Moshiach will come right away!
יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹשִׂין תְּשׁוּבָה וּמִיַד הֵם נִגְאָלִין



Yud-Gimmel Elul

Today is the Yom HaChasunah of the Frierdiker Rebbe and Rebbetzin Nechama Dina!

The Frierdiker Rebbe was the only son of the Rebbe Rashab and Rebbetzin Shterna Sara. When he was seventeen, it was time to look for a shidduch. A few choices came up, but the Rebbe Rashab said that he wanted his son to get married to someone who was related to the family. They chose Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, who was also a great-granddaughter of the Tzemach Tzedek.

At the time of the Chasunah, the Rebbe Rashab said a very long maamar that starts with the words Samach Tesamach. This maamar talks about Simcha, and how Simcha is stronger than anything! It teaches what a person should think about when he does a mitzvah, so that he will have Simcha Shel Mitzvah!

During the Sheva Brachos, the Rebbe Rashab announced the beginning of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, and made the Frierdiker Rebbe the Menahel Poel, the one who will run the yeshivah!


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Tefillos of Yomim Noraim

We are a little more than two weeks away from Rosh Hashana! Let’s take the time to learn more about the upcoming Yomim Tovim.

It is important to understand the meaning of the special davening of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We add many sections to davening, which speak about the meaning of these holy days. We speak about crowning Hashem as King, how Hashem judges the world, and asking for a good year.

Even though we might already know how to look inside of our Machzor and say the words clearly, it is also important to UNDERSTAND what we are saying.

The Rebbe told Baalei Tefillah (the ones who will be a Chazan) for the Yomim Noraim, that before davening they should first spend time going over the meaning of the tefillos. This is especially important for someone who is being the Shliach Tzibur for a whole shul, but it is also important for everyone!

IY”H over the next two weeks we will look at the general meaning of the tefillos and piyutim (poems) that we say in the Machzor. We will also review some of the halachos of these special days.

See Shevach Hamoadim, Kitzur Hilchos Yomim Noraim siman yud




It is brought in halacha that a Yerei Shomayim should check his tefillin and mezuzos during Elul, and that all of the other mitzvos should also be “checked” and fixed if they need it.

We may be able to understand this halacha better by thinking about another Yom Tov!

About a month before Pesach, our Mommies start getting busy! They make lists and charts and calendars, to make sure that everything is taken care of, so we will have a kosher and happy Pesach.

They make sure all the drawers will get cleaned, the kitchen will get scrubbed, each room of the house will be checked, the car will get vacuumed, the Pesach food will get bought in time, and they will have recipes for everything we need to eat. They make sure we will have all of the pieces of our Seder plate, and not one bit of chometz will be found anywhere! This way we can keep all of the mitzvos of Pesach and feel like we are going out of Mitzrayim.

Preparing for Rosh Hashana is the same thing! A month before Rosh Hashana, we all need to start getting busy. We need to think about each part of our life as a Yid: How we dress, how we act, how we think, and how we feel.

We need to look at all of our mitzvos and make sure they are done right: We make sure our mezuzos are kosher, put up the right way, and are on every door they need to be on. We make sure we are bentching licht on time every week and giving tzedakah before. We make sure we have good Kibud Av Va’em, and that we are treating other people nicely. We make sure that all of our mitzvos are “clean” and just right!

This way, we’ll be ready for Rosh Hashana, when we are making Hashem our King. We tell Hashem that we are ready to use the new chayus from the new year to make our Yiddishkeit much better than ever before!

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



Hashem Will Again Choose Yerushalayim!

Hashem showed the Navi Zechariah a malach who asked why Hashem is not helping the Yidden. Hashem told the malach not to worry, because the second Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt. The malach told Zechariah to tell this to the Yidden!

The malach also told the Navi that even though there will be another Churban, there will also be another Geulah. In the end, there will again be a Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalayim.

עוֹד קְרָא לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר ה׳ צְבָאוֹת עוֹד תְּפוּצֶנָה עָרַי מִטּוֹב וְנִחַם ה׳ עוֹד אֶת צִיּוֹן וּבָחַר עוֹד בִּירוּשָׁלִָם

Od Kra Leimor — And you should say even more!

Ko Amar Hashem Tzeva’os — So says Hashem:

Od Tefutzena Arai Mitov — “My cities will be scattered, and sent away from the good land of Eretz Yisroel.

Venicham Hashem Od Es Tzion — But Hashem will again one day comfort Tzion,

U’vachar Od BiYerushalayim — And again choose Yerushalayim!”

See Zechariah perek Alef posuk Yud-Zayin

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