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Parshas Matos-Masei - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn what happened after the war with Midyan.

Moshe Rabbeinu is upset with the Yidden: The soldiers didn’t take anything from Midyan, but some other people tried! So Moshe, Elazar, and the Nesiim came out to them.

Moshe was very angry that the Yidden left the women and children alive! The women were the ones who made the Yidden do aveiros, and could make the Yidden do aveiros. He told the soldiers to kill all the young boys, and all of the women that were old enough to get married.

Becoming tahor and halachos of kashrus: Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden who were tamei to use the Parah Adumah to make themselves tahor again. But he was so upset about what happened, he made a mistake: He thought that since the Parah Adumah can make things tahor from touching a dead body, that it can also make things kosher without kashering them.

So Elazar the Kohen Gadol reviewed the halachos with the Yidden — that the Parah Adumah can make a person tahor, along with anything else that touched (or was in the same house as) a dead body.

But that’s not enough if it’s something a Goy used for food! Elazar taught them about kashering pots by putting them in fire, and about toiveling dishes a Goy used.

He also reminded them about going to the mikvah before going back into the Mishkan.

Splitting up the spoils: Now Hashem told Moshe that everything that the soldiers brought back should be split up. All of the animals and people should be shared — half for the soldiers, and half for all the Yidden — and the money and pots and other things should go to the soldiers.

The soldiers should pay a tax for Hashem from the animals and people — one out of every 500. Moshe gave this tax (which ended up being 675 sheep, 72 cows, 61 donkeys, and 32 people) to Elazar, like Hashem told Moshe.

The Yidden also had to pay a tax from what they got — 1 out of every 50. Moshe gave this tax to the Leviim.

After this, the officers in charge of the soldiers came to Moshe. They wanted to give Hashem a present, to thank Hashem that none of the Jewish soldiers were killed, and as a kapara for any thoughts about marrying the women of Midyan. They gave a present of all of the gold women’s jewelry they got from Midyan. This turned out to be 16,750 shekels of gold. Moshe and Elazar brought it into the Mishkan.



104 - 105

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Daled and Kuf-Hey.

In kapitel Kuf-Daled (104), there is a posukMoh Rabu Maasecha Hashem!” How great are the works of Hashem!

There are many maamorim in Chassidus that explain this posuk. There is a maamar from the Rebbe Rashab that starts with this posuk and explains it — and there is a story behind it!

Once the Rebbe Rashab was learning with the Poltaver Rav, R’ Yaakov Mordechai Bezpalov. The Frierdiker Rebbe was 3 or 4 years old, and his bed was in the room where they were learning.

R’ Yaakov Mordechai looked over at the sleeping boy, and said that his shining face showed the kedusha that he had!

When the Rebbe Rashab heard that, he felt that he wanted to kiss his son. But he stopped himself, and instead wrote a maamar called Moh Rabu Maasecha Hashem. When the Frierdiker Rebbe got older, the Rebbe Rashab gave him the maamar, and told him, “this is a Chassidisher kush!” Years later, he told him the story.



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Zayin

There are two ways to make sure our Teshuvah will last. One way is to have Rachmanus on the neshama — to think about how hard it is for the neshama to be in the world, and that will make sure we treat it nicely. The second way is to have a Leiv Nishbar — to take away the gaavah of the Yetzer Hara! Today and tomorrow the Alter Rebbe will tell us HOW:

A person needs to take some time every day to think about what happens when he does an aveira:

No Yid wants to stay in Golus, and of course none of us would dream of doing something that will make the Golus last for longer!

But guess what? If a person does an aveira, it brings Hashem and his neshama INTO Golus!

A Yid needs to farbreng with himself, thinking in his mind: “Everyone is working so hard to bring the Geulah — and here I go and do something that could chas veshalom keep myself and Yidden in Golus LONGER! What a chutzpa!”

When we think about this, we will make sure that we won’t EVER do anything that will keep us in Golus even one extra second.



Chof-Alef Tammuz

There is a part of the Ruchnius’dike Beis Hamikdash in every Yid, the Pintele Yid. This can never be destroyed.

The Rebbe tells us a halacha we need to know during the Three Weeks: We don’t say Shehecheyanu during the whole Three Weeks, even on Shabbos!


During the Three Weeks, we are remembering the Beis Hamikdash, and that because of our aveiros, we don’t have it now. Of course we know that Moshiach is coming very soon and that the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.

But there is more good news — even in the time that we don’t have the Beis Hamikdash, we still have the Kosel HaMaaravi, and Hashem’s Shechinah is there all the time!

Every Yid also has a “Beis Hamikdash” inside of his neshama, where Hashem rests. If a person doesn’t act the way he should, it could also get destroyed, chas veshalom

But even then, there is a part of his own “Beis Hamikdash,” like the Kosel Hamaaravi, that can never be destroyed. There is a part of Hashem, the pintele yid, that is ALWAYS inside of a Yid and will never leave.




In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the last few rules about what we count as one of the 613 mitzvos:

10) Things you need to do before you can do the mitzvah aren’t counted as separate mitzvos (like squeezing the olive oil for the menorah).

11) If a mitzvah has a lot of parts, we still count it as only one mitzvah (like lulav and esrog).

12) If doing the mitzvah has a lot of steps, we still count it as only one mitzvah (like building the Mishkan).

13) Even if we need to do the mitzvah for many days, it is still counted as one mitzvah (like sitting in the sukkah for seven days is only one mitzvah).

14) We don’t count the punishment for each aveira as its own mitzvah.



Minyan Hamitzvos

In today’s Rambam, the Rambam tells us the list of mitzvos again, but shows us where we’ll learn them in the 14 books of the Rambam. These 14 seforim include 83 sections that teach us different sets of halachos.

Here are the seforim:

1) Mada — “to know.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos that are important for a Yid to know FIRST, so he will do all of the other mitzvos.We need to know that Hashem is one, and that we can’t serve Avodah Zarah.

2) Ahava — “love.” This sefer has the mitzvos we need to do all of the time, like loving Hashem. It also has the mitzvos that help us love Hashem, like saying Shema.

3) Zmanim — “times.” This sefer teaches us mitzvos that we do on special days, like Shabbos and Yom Tov.

4) Nashim — “women.” In this sefer, we learn the mitzvos that have to do with marriage and divorce.

5) Kedusha — “holy.” Hashem gave us certain mitzvos that show us how a Yid is different than other nations. In this sefer, we learn about who we can’t get married to, and what we can’t eat. For a Yid, getting married is holy, and we can only marry who the Torah says we can. A goy can eat any food that he wants, but a Yid can only eat kosher.

6) Hafla’ah — “separation.” This sefer has the mitzvos about when a person separates HIMSELF from something, by making a promise that he won’t use it.

7) Zeraim — “plants.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos that have to do with planting, like Shemitah and Yovel, and the terumah and maaser we have to give from things that grow.

8) Avodah — “work.” In this sefer of the Rambam, we learn about the work we do for Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash. We learn the mitzvos of building the Beis Hamikdash, and the korbanos that ALL of the Yidden bring to Hashem, like the Korban Tomid that we bring every day!

9) Korbanos — “sacrifices.” This sefer has the mitzvos about the korbanos Yidden have to bring by themselves, like the Korban Pesach that every Yid has to be part of, and the korbanos a person brings if he does an aveira.

10) Tahara — “purity.” In this sefer, the Rambam will teach us all of the mitzvos that have to do with tumah and tahara.

11) Nezikin — “damages.” In this sefer we have all of the mitzvos about if one person hurts another person or ruins his things.

12) Kinyan — “acquiring.” In this sefer we learn how property can belong to a person, like if he buys it. It also has the halachos about neighbors and partners.

13) Mishpatim — “judgments.” This sefer has the mitzvos about when two people argue about something in Beis Din, like halachos about a person who watches something for his friend, or lends him money.

14) Shoftim — “judges.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos for a Sanhedrin, like when a person is punished for doing an aveira. We also learn about a king, and the wars he fights — ending off with the halachos about Moshiach!



Mitzvos Asei

In today’s Rambam, we start reviewing the list of the Mitzvos Asei!



Guarding the Beis Hamikdash

In the halachos of the Beis Hamikdash, the Rambam writes that there is a mitzvah to guard the Beis Hamikdash. We don’t guard it because we are afraid of robbers or enemies, we guard it to show honor for the Shechinah that rests in the Beis Hamikdash!

Even after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the kedusha stays. In the seferMishkenos Laavir Yaakov”, it says that because of this kedusha, nowadays we should still keep the mitzvah of guarding the place of the Beis Hamikdash!

We don’t actually keep this mitzvah anymore, because it would be dangerous with all of the goyim that are there now.

Still, b’ruchniyus we do have a Beis Hamikdash to guard! The Shechinah rests inside our homes, and inside the Cheder Tzivos Hashem of every child. We need to guard our Beis Hamikdash and make sure it is kavodik for the Shechinah to rest there. We need to make sure that our Chumash, our Siddur, and our pushka are in the right place, neat, and ready to be used!

See Sichas Shabbos Parshas Shemini 5750


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Al Netilas Yodayim

After washing our hands for the second time in the morning, we say the bracha of Al Netilas Yodayim. In this bracha, we bentch Hashem for making us holy with the mitzvah the Chachomim gave us, of washing our hands.

The bracha finishes with the words “Al Netilas Yodayim,” “about the washing of the hands.”

Actually, there is a better word for “washing” in Lashon Kodesh, “Rechitzah.” One of the reasons why the word “Netilah” was chosen is because in Aramaic, it also means “to elevate (in kedusha).” (The words “Vatisa’eini Ruach,” “and a wind lifted me up” are translated as “Unetaltani Rucha.”) This washing of the hands is like the kohen who washes his hands to make himself holy to serve in the Beis Hamikdash! We too wash our hands to make ourselves holy to serve Hashem throughout the day.



Preparing for Birchos Hashachar

We say Modeh Ani right away when we wake up, to remind ourselves that Hashem is watching us. When we remember that, we will wake up with zerizus to serve Him!

We still need to prepare ourselves before we continue with saying the Birchos Hashachar.

First, we wash Negel Vasser by our bed, using the water we prepared the night before. The reason for this is to take away the Ruach Ra which comes onto a person at night. The Zohar is very strict about this, and we don’t touch the openings of our body or walk four amos before we take off this Ruach Ra.

We need to make sure that we have a clean body (Guf Naki) and a clean mouth (Peh Naki). We use the bathroom and wash out our mouths before we continue.

It is best to get dressed also before saying Birchos Hashachar. In some of the brachos, we will be praising Hashem for things that have to do with being dressed. Lechatchila, it is best to say these brachos when we already did those things.

Then, we wash our hands again and say the bracha. We can’t make the bracha until we wash our hands with a clean body and a clean mouth.

There is also another reason for washing this negel vasser: We are washing our hands like a kohen, who washes his hands and feet from the kiyor before starting his Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash. Just as the kohen washes his hands to do his avodah with kedusha and tahara, we wash our hands to start our day’s avodah with kedusha as well.

(Going to the mikvah also brings kedusha and tahara to a person. This is why many men go to the mikvah in the morning before davening. Because it isn’t always easy to get to a mikvah, the Chachomim didn’t make it a chiyuv. Still, it is an important minhag of Chassidim!)

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



Chanukas Hamizbeiach

While the Yidden were in Golus after the first Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Navi Yechezkel got a very special nevuah from Hashem.

In this nevuah, Yechezkel saw the third Beis Hamikdash! A malach showed him the sizes of all of the parts of the Beis Hamikdash, so he would know how to build it!

Hashem also told Yechezkel about the Chanukas Hamizbeiach of the third Beis Hamikdash. The Navi was told that the Chanukas Hamizbeiach would be after the time of Techiyas Hameisim, and Yechezkel himself (who was a kohen) would be in charge of showing the kohanim what to do, together with Aharon Hakohen!

In this posuk, we see that Hashem promises Yechezkel that he will have Techiyas Hameisim and have the special zechus of being in charge of the Chanukas Hamizbeiach:

וְנָתַתָּה אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם אֲשֶׁר הֵם מִזֶּרַע צָדוֹק הַקְּרֹבִים אֵלַי נְאֻם ה׳ אֶלֹקִים לְשָׁרְתֵנִי פַּר בֶּן בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת

Venasata — You, Yechezkel, will be the one to give

El Hakohanim Haleviim — to the kohanim from Shevet Levi

Asher Heim Mizera Tzadok — who come from Tzadok, the first Kohen Gadol in the first Beis Hamikdash

Hakrovim Eilai, Ne’um Hashem Elokim, Lesharseini — who Hashem says are close to Me, to serve Me;

Par Ben Bakar Lechatas — you will give them a young bull for a korban Chatas.

During the Three Weeks, we learn about the Beis Hamikdash, so it will be like we are actually building it! One of the things we learn is the pesukim in Yechezkel about the Third Beis Hamikdash. Even though the meforshim say that many things are not explained completely in Yechezkel’s nevuah, by learning it the best way we can, we are doing our part! When Moshiach comes, Yechezkel will be there to teach us exactly how to build it! Then, the Beis Hamikdash from Shomayim will come down into the Beis Hamikdash that the Yidden built, and make it a Beis Hamikdash that will last forever!

See Yechezkel perek Mem-Gimmel posuk Yud-Tes

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