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Parshas Re'eh - Rishon with Rashi

In the period of time before Zayin Adar, the day of Moshe Rabbeinu’s histalkus, Moshe Rabbeinu is continuing to speak to the Yidden, so that they will be ready to go into Eretz Yisroel!

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden that they are about to go into Eretz Yisroel!

When the Yidden come into Eretz Yisroel, it won’t be as easy to keep Torah and mitzvos as it is in the Midbar. There will be many other nations around them, who serve Avodah Zarah and want the Yidden to copy them.

So right when they come into Eretz Yisroel, the Yidden will have a big rally to give them koach to do the right thing! This rally will take place on two mountains, Har Grizim and Har Eival. Moshe tells them where these mountains are.

The Yidden will split up, half on each mountain. The Leviim will stand between the mountains, and speak to the Yidden.

First the Leviim will turn to Har Grizim, and call out a very special bracha from Hashem — together with what the Yidden need to do to earn this bracha. All of the Yidden will answer: Amen.

Then the Leviim will turn to the other mountain, and do the opposite. They will call out a scary punishment from Hashem, and what aveiros would bring this kind of punishment. Again, the Yidden will answer, “Amen.”

Hearing that Hashem will give the Yidden such good things for doing mitzvos, and such scary punishments for doing aveiros, will give the Yidden koach to ONLY do mitzvos in Eretz Yisroel!

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden that they will see many nisim when they cross the Yarden. Those nisim will be a sign that they will be able to conquer Eretz Yisroel!

When the Yidden first come into Eretz Yisroel, there will be a lot of Avodah Zarah there, from the nations that used to live there. The Yidden should get rid of the Avodah Zarah that is easy to find right away. Even though there is more of it, they can wait until after Eretz Yisroel is completely conquered before they carefully look and get rid of ALL of the Avodah Zarah.

During these 14 years of conquering and splitting up Eretz Yisroel, the Mishkan won’t have a certain city where it will need to stay. During this time, the Yidden are allowed to set up a Mizbeiach anywhere to bring the kinds of korbanos that they CHOOSE to bring, Nedarim and Nedavos. (All of the other korbanos that they NEED to bring will still have to be brought only in the Mishkan.)

After those 14 years, the Mishkan will be properly set up, in Shilo. Then EVERYONE’S korbanos will ONLY be brought in the same place — in the Mishkan.

In tomorrow’s Chumash, we will see that Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden something that will happen much later, that the Yidden will build a proper home for Hashem: The Beis Hamikdash!



108 - 112

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Ches to Kuf-Yud-Beis.

In Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Alef, the pesukim have every letter of the Alef-Beis! The first half of the posuk has one letter, and the second half has the next letter. (The last two pesukim have 3 parts, with 3 letters.)

Dovid Hamelech says: “Koach Maasav Higid Le’Amo, Lases Lahem Nachalas Goyim.” (Do you see how the first part of the posuk starts with Chof, and the second half starts with Lamed?) “Hashem told Yidden the great things He did, so He could give them a land that the Goyim lived in.”

What does this mean?

The first Rashi in Chumash tells us that Hashem made the Torah start with — not mitzvos — but the story of how Hashem made the world. This way, if the Goyim get mad that we took Eretz Yisroel, we will tell them that HASHEM made Eretz Yisroel, and Hashem let the Goyim live there, but then He wanted the Yidden to have it, and so He gave it to us!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Zayin

In today’s Tanya we learn what it means when we say “Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu!”

We learned that the chayus of Hashem comes into the world through each of the many mitzvos and halachos of the Torah. We also learned that the neshamos of Yidden are split up into as many parts as there are halachos! The chayus of Hashem comes through the Torah to each neshama.

Yesterday we said that Adam Harishon included all of the neshamos. Today we see that Yaakov Avinu fixed up the Cheit Eitz Hadaas of Adam Harishon. So he also became like Adam Harishon, and the neshamos of all of the Yidden afterwards come from Yaakov Avinu! (Yidden are called Bnei Yisrael, the children of Yaakov!)

Just like Yaakov Avinu includes ALL of the neshamos, he also includes the whole Torah in his neshama!

Each of our own neshamos are a little piece (a chelek) of the neshama of Yaakov Avinu, and there is a little chelek of Torah that gives chayus to our neshama.

When can we feel OUR chayus of Hashem through our chelek of Torah?

During davening!

That’s what it means when we say “Ashreinu, Mah Tov Chelkeinu!” “We are so fortunate, our chelek is so good!” We are talking about our chelek of Torah and mitzvos which connects us to Hashem, that we can feel during davening!

IY”H tomorrow we will learn about the next part, “Umah No’im Goraleinu.”



Chof-Gimmel Menachem Av

Today we are going to learn something about how special our neshama is!

The Alter Rebbe teaches us in Tanya that our neshama is a “Chelek Eloka Mimaal Mamosh!” — “A part of Hashem from above — Mamosh!”

What does “mamosh” mean?

It means FOR REAL! Like you can touch it!

But that seems like two opposites! We said it’s from Hashem above, so it’s very Ruchnius’dik, and we’re also saying that it’s Mamosh — it’s like Gashmius!

When the Rebbe Rashab learned this with the Frierdiker Rebbe (when he was 11), he explained that the reason why he says both of these things is because that this is the whole point of the neshama! Even though it’s SO Ruchnius’dik, it’s still able to do its Shlichus and make the Gashmius holy!

Some people think that being a Yid is using the neshama just for learning and davening. But Chassidus teaches us how the neshama of a Yid needs to and is able to serve Hashem with EVERYTHING we do — even eating and drinking and playing!



Shiur #49 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos we review another mitzvah about Shabbos (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321): On Shabbos we can’t go more than 2,000 amos (about 1 kilometer, or over a half mile) outside of the city — that’s called Techum Shabbos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Beshalach: אַל יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי

This means, “No person should leave his place on the seventh day.”

The Gemara says that this means not to go more than 2,000 amos outside of the city. The Mechilta (a midrash on the Chumash) also teaches that this posuk is talking about not going out of the Techum Shabbos.

The Gemara in Mesechta Eiruvin teaches us the halachos about this mitzvah, and tells us that if someone does go outside of the Techum Shabbos, they get Malkos.

We are doing this mitzvah again, since the Rambam is about Eiruvin, which is Miderabanan — it doesn’t have a mitzvah from the Torah of its own. So during this set of halachos, we are reviewing some of the mitzvos of Shabbos.



Hilchos Eiruvin

In Perek Vov, Zayin, and Ches, we learn about an Eruv Techumin. This means that if a person puts some food in a place which is outside of the Techum Shabbos before Shabbos starts, it is counted as if he is there, and it makes his Techum Shabbos only start from 2,000 amos past that place. There are many halachos connected to this, explaining how and when a person can make such an eruv.

To help understand this, the Rambam teaches us how to find out where the Techum Shabbos ends. It needs to be measured from where the city ends. The houses in a city have to be close together. If the houses are too far apart, it might not be counted as a city. In some small towns, the houses are so far apart that a person isn’t allowed to even go more than 2000 amos past his own house!

Now we finish the halachos about Eiruvin, and tomorrow we will IY”H start to learn about the Yomim Tovim!



Hilchos Terumos - Perek Yud-Gimmel

Today we start to learn about what happens if Terumah gets mixed up with regular food.

One thing we learn is that it doesn’t become botul unless there is 100 times as much regular food! (For milk and meat, if there’s 60 times as much it is enough.) So, for example, if one Terumah apple gets mixed up in a box of 100 other apples, we can take one apple and give it to the kohen, and the rest is all fine to eat.

If there is less, then the food is called “Medumah” and only a kohen can eat it.



Tanya Baal Peh

R’ Mendel Futerfas A”H was a well-known mashpia.

Once, R’ Mendel asked a respected chossid what had happened in his yechidus. The chossid answered that he had asked how he can be mekushar to the Rebbe.

The Rebbe told this man that he should learn Tanya Baal Peh and review it when he is walking in the street. “This way,” the Rebbe told him, “you will be mekushar to me, because I also review Tanya when I am walking in the street.”

See Sefer R’ Mendel, p. 108; Osios Eisan introduction, p. 23

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Ana B'Koach

Another reason why we say Ana B’koach here in davening is to ask Hashem for Moshiach!

After we spoke about all of the daily korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash, we say to Hashem that we miss the Beis Hamikdash, where we can do the avodah the way it should be done.

In the words of Ana B’koach, we are asking Hashem to take us out of Golus and bring us into Geulah!

There is a beautiful translation of this tefillah into Yiddish, which shows how every line is asking Hashem to bring Moshiach! See Hakriyah Vehakedusha, Tamuz Tof-Shin-Alef.



Kavod for Sefer Torah

One of the ways we show our kavod for the Sefer Torah is to be melaveh, to escort the Sefer Torah.

If the Torah passes by a person (like if he is sitting on the end seat) on its way to the Aron Kodesh, he should join in and go along with it until it reaches the Aron Kodesh. If it didn’t pass by him, a person should still follow it with his eyes, by looking at the Sefer Torah until it reaches where it belongs.

In a very big shul (like 770), a person shouldn’t push to join the line of people going with Sefer Torah. There are so many people there, you will probably end up squishing someone or pushing them. That wouldn’t be kavod for the Sefer Torah at all!

But if someone is in a smaller shul and the Torah passes by him, he should join along with the Torah and bring it to the place it belongs.

See Shulchan Aruch siman 149, and Piskei Teshuvos vol. 2, p. 208

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



Fifteen Neviim About Moshiach

In one of the nevuos of the Navi Hoshea, Hashem says that He bought the Yidden with 15 silver coins.

The Metzudas Dovid explains that this is talking about Hashem’s promise about the Geulah! Hashem sent His promise about Moshiach to the Yidden through fifteen Neviim who clearly speak about the Geulah:

1) Dovid Hamelech (in many kapitelach of Tehillim)
2) Yeshaya
3) Yirmiyah
4) Yechezkel
5) Hosheia
6) Yoel
7) Amos
8) Ovadiah
9) Micha
10) Chavakuk
11) Tzefania
12) Daniel
13) Chagi
14) Zechariah
15) Malachi

See Hosheia perek Gimmel posuk Beis with Metzudas Dovid

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