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Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim - Chamishi with Rashi

Today we learn MORE mitzvos!

- A Beis Din needs to be fair — not to make a person win or lose a court case just because of how much money they have!
- Rechilus — don’t go around talking about other people.
- If you can save somebody’s life, you have to!
- Don’t hate someone, even just inside your heart.
- If you see someone doing something wrong, you should tell him — but not in a way that will make him embarrassed.
- Nekamah — don’t take revenge against someone — like if someone did something not nice to you, don’t do it back to him.
- Netirah — don’t stay angry at someone — if he did something wrong before, don’t say “I’m nice, not like you!”
- Ve’ahavta Le’reiacha Kamocha! (Rashi says on this posuk, “Rabbi Akiva says — ‘zeh klal gadol baTorah!’” Rabbi Akiva says that this is a big rule for the whole Torah!)
- Don’t have different kinds of animals marry each other — they need to stay married to their own kind.
- Don’t plant a field with lots of plants mixed together — the same kinds of plants should be grouped together, not all mixed up.
- Don’t wear Shatnez — clothes made with wool and linen together.
- We learn what the Beis Din does if a maid who was engaged married someone else before she became free.
- Orlah — we don’t eat fruit from a tree before it grew for 3 years
- Neta Reva’i — the fourth year, the fruit is for Hashem and needs to be eaten in Yerushalayim like Maaser Sheini. Then Hashem promises that in the fifth year, much more fruit will grow, to make up for the years when we kept the mitzvah and didn’t eat the fruit!
- We are not allowed to eat from a Korban before the blood was sprinkled on the Mizbeiach.
- We need to soak and salt meat before eating it (so there is no blood).
- Goyim will sometimes decide to do things or not do things because something “lucky” or “unlucky” happens. Yidden are not allowed to do this — we don’t believe in “luck,” everything is from Hashem!
- We are not allowed to cut the peyos of a boy or a man.
- A man can’t cut his beard.
- A yid can’t hurt himself when someone passes away, the way some goyim do.
- We can’t get a tattoo.
- A girl shouldn’t behave like she’s married before she gets married. If this happens, Eretz Yisroel will stop giving its fruits.
- Keep Shabbos!
- Treat the Beis Hamikdash with kavod.
- Don’t go to sorcery (people who know about the future from the koach of Tumah).
- Stand up in front of an old person (to show kavod) and show kavod by not sitting in his set place or contradicting what he says.



35 - 38

In Kapitel Lamed-Zayin (37), Dovid Hamelech says, “MeiHashem Mitzadei Gever Konanu” — “Hashem decides where each person goes,” “Vedarko Yechpatz” — “and He wants His way.”

Chassidus teaches that these two things are connected: Because Hashem wants His way, meaning for something to be done there in Hashem’s way of Torah and mitzvos, THAT’S why He decides where each person goes. Hashem puts each of us into the place where we are, to do our special shlichus there.

So when we end up somewhere, it is Hashgacha Protis. We need to remember that we’re there because Hashem has a shlichus for us to do there, and we should make sure to do it right!

A certain melamed from Cherson once came to the Rebbe Rashab for Yechidus.

The Rebbe Rashab asked him if his community has a regular shiur in Chassidus during the week and on Shabbos. The melamed said that the balebatim are Chassidim and Yerei Shomayim, but they don’t really like learning Chassidus, so they only learn on Shabbos, not during the week.

The Rebbe Rashab said to him: “Why did Hashem take you from where you lived before, near Vilna, to the city you live now, in Cherson? If it was so that you would have talmidim to teach, Hashem could have found you talmidim near where you lived before! Did you think about the fact that “MeiHashem Mitzadei Gever Konanu,” that Hashem brought you there for a specific reason?”

The Rebbe Rashab was telling this tomim that the reason he lives in his city is not just for his parnasa, but to bring the local people a chayus in learning Chassidus!

We are also in the place we live for a specific reason. We are there to share the light of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus with the people around us!

See Igros Kodesh of the Frierdiker Rebbe, chelek Daled p. 341 (parts of this letter are quoted in many Hayom Yoms)



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Daled

Our mitzvos can become more aidel and Ruchnius’dik by waking up our Ahava Mesuteres, the special love for Hashem which we all have as part of our neshama. Still, we need to try to feel Ahavas Olam, which is a kind of love we create by learning and thinking a lot of Chassidus, which teaches us about the greatness of Hashem. We also daven with avodah, so that we will feel it!

An Ahava that we learn how to feel OURSELVES is better than one that we just get by waking up what is already inside of us!

Also, the Zohar says that the world was created so we can know Hashem. By learning Chassidus, where we learn about the greatness of Hashem, we are fulfilling the reason for the creation of the world!



Vov Iyar

Today is twenty-one days of the Omer!

The Chachomim say that before you say goodbye to a friend, you should tell him a halacha.

Our Rebbeim explained the Chassidishe meaning of “Halacha”:

The word halacha is like “hiluch”, going. Neshamos are also called “mehalchim”, “going,” getting closer to Hashem. This is even more special than malachim, who are called “omdim”, “standing”, because they can’t get as close to Hashem as a Neshama can.

How does a neshama accomplish even more than a malach? By the mitzvos it does, especially the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel! This makes the neshama go closer to Hashem.

Before we say goodbye to a friend, we should say a piece of Torah, that is “halacha” like the word “hiluch”, “going”— something that will help him GO (hiluch) closer to Hashem like only a neshama can!



Shiur #269 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #253

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #253) is that we’re not allowed to cheat a Ger, to sell him something for too much money or buy something from him for too little.

Of course, we can’t cheat ANYONE! But the Torah adds an extra aveira, so that we will be extra-careful with a Ger. Since the Ger had to leave behind so much of what he was used to in order to become a Yid, we need to be even more careful not to hurt him in any way.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה



Hilchos Mechirah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how to buy and sell things according to the Torah!

In Perek Yud-Tes, we learn about selling something that might get ruined. We are also not allowed to sell someone a house that is being argued about in Beis Din, because then the person who bought it will have to go to Beis Din! Another halacha is that if we sell something with a warranty, by promising to pay for anything that happens to it, we still don’t need to pay if there was an earthquake and it got ruined, because that’s something that we wouldn’t expect to happen!

Perek Chof: This perek teaches us what we do if people argue about if they sold or bought something. Who needs to prove that it belongs to them? The halacha is, “Hamotzi MeChaveiro, Alav Haraya.” The one that has it now doesn’t need to prove anything — the other person, who wants to take it away from them, needs to prove that it is theirs.

In Perek Chof-Alef the Rambam teaches us that we are not allowed to sell something that is a surprise. The person we are selling to needs to know exactly what he is getting! If we don’t know what we are getting, it is like gambling, because we might be getting a very good deal or wasting all of our money!

Since sometimes people mean different things with the same words, the Rambam gives rules to know exactly what a person is selling. For example, if a person sells something like “a piece of land to build a house on,” what does that mean? Does it mean a piece of land big enough to build a mansion, or a piece of land just big enough for a little sukkah? The Rambam tells us that the words “land to build a house” mean a piece of land that is a certain size. If the seller doesn’t say anything different, the person who buys it is able to use that amount of space.



Hilchos Sanhedrin - Perek Yud-Alef

Perek Yud-Alef talks about the differences between judging cases about money (Dinei Mamonos), and judging cases where someone would be punished by being killed (Dinei Nefashos). We try NOT to have someone killed by Beis Din. One of the ways we see this is that even someone who is not a judge can give a reason why NOT to punish someone, but only the judges can give a reason to say why he is guilty!



Ahavas Yisroel

The Hayom Yom, which was the first published sefer of the Rebbe, is a collection of pieces of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s sichos, maamarim, and letters, arranged so we can learn something connected to each day of the year. It was a calendar made in the year Tof-Shin-Gimmel, but Chassidim took on the minhag to learn it every year, which the Rebbe encouraged.

For the next year, the Rebbe also began to gather more pisgamim from the Frierdiker Rebbe’s Torah, but in the end did not set it up for a year. It was printed after Gimmel Tammuz, in a booklet called Hayom Yom Chelek Sheini, and later also in Reshimas Hayoman.

Here are one of the pisgamim from Hayom Yom Chelek Sheini:

The Baal Shem Tov said that when a Yid gives a krechtz (groan) because of the tzaar of another Yid, it stops any malachim in Shomayim that are trying to say not-good things against the Yidden.

And when a Yid is happy for the good that someone else has and gives him a bracha, Hashem accepts it like the tefilos of R’ Yishmael Kohen Gadol in the Kodesh Hakodoshim on Yom Kippur!

See Toras Menachem Reshimas Hayoman, p. 472


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Selach Lanu

The Chachomim set up the words of davening to help us express ourselves properly when we stand before Hashem three times a day.

The first three and last three brachos of Shemoneh Esrei praise and thank Hashem. In the middle 13 brachos, we ask for our needs. These 13 brachos are divided into two sections: The first half ask Hashem to help us have a Geulah Protis, and the second half ask Hashem to give us a Geulah Klolis.

The Geulah Klolis is when all Yidden are taken out of this Golus. The Geulah Protis is when we are free of the Golus inside of us — all of the things that stop us from doing our Avodas Hashem properly. Problems with health, parnasa, and our own Yetzer Haras make it hard for us to serve Hashem. In the first half of these middle brachos, we ask Hashem to free us from them.

The first of these brachos is Ata Chonen, where we ask Hashem to give us sechel. It’s very easy to get distracted by things around us, and get confused about what we are supposed to be doing. We ask Hashem to give us sechel to know what to do and how to do it!

The next bracha is Hashiveinu Avinu, that Hashem should give us the koach to actually DO what we know is the right thing!

After that comes the bracha of Selach Lanu. We ask Hashem to forgive us for our past aveiros. Once we prepared for davening properly, and asked Hashem to help us serve Him, we are on a higher level than before! We ask Hashem to help make sure that what we did in the past won’t stop us from doing the right thing now. We ask Hashem to free us from the bad habits we got into, so we can have a fresh start today.




On Shabbos, we are not allowed to move things that are muktza.

The Chachomim explain that this is talking about moving things in a normal way, with our hands. But moving something in an unusual way is called Tiltul Kil’achar Yad, which IS mutar. For example, we are allowed to push away muktza with the back of our hand, move it by kicking it out of the way, pushing with our elbow, head, or stomach, or pulling with our mouth.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Shin-Ches

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



Ki Mitzion Teitzei Sorah

In the farbrengen of Parshas Tazria-Metzora Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef, the Rebbe told us that the Derech Yeshara, the straight path to bringing Moshiach, is through doing the avodah of today’s Sefira, Malchus Shebetiferes.

What is that avodah?

One way to show Tiferes is by learning Torah, and Malchus in Tiferes is learning Torah about Malchus — about the Malchus of Moshiach! So Malchus Shebetiferes is learning Inyonei Moshiach U’Geulah! This is the Derech Yeshara to bringing Moshiach!

Learning Inyonei Geulah is important EVERY day, and especially on the sefira of Malchus Shebetiferes!

Today we will learn something else about Moshiach from the Navi Yeshaya:

The Navi Yeshaya (Perek Beis, posuk Gimmel) continues his nevuah about how the world will look at Yidden and Torah when Moshiach comes. He tells the Yidden that it makes no sense to copy the goyim, since soon even they will realize that the truth is in the Torah! When we realize that, we will act the way the Torah teaches, knowing that soon everyone else will be doing it too.

וְהָלְכוּ עַמִּים רַבִּים וְאָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַעֲלֶה אֶל הַר ה׳ אֶל בֵּית אֱלֹקֵי יַעֲקֹב וְיֹרֵנוּ מִדְּרָכָיו וְנֵלְכָה בְּאֹרְחֹתָיו כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה וּדְבַר ה׳ מִירוּשָׁלִָם

Vehalchu Amim Rabim — Many nations will go

Ve’amru — and they will say:

Lechu Venaaleh El Har Hashem, El Beis Elokei Yaakov — “Let’s go up to Hashem’s mountain, to the home of Hashem, the Beis Hamikdash,

Veyoreinu Midrachav, Veneilcha Be’orchosav — Let Hashem teach us His ways, and we will follow what Hashem says.”

Ki Mitziyon Teitzei Sorah — They will come there, because the Torah will be taught from Tzion (Yerushalayim)

Udvar Hashem MiYerushalayim — And the word of Hashem will come from Yerushalayim!

The end of this posuk is the last posuk we say from all of the pesukim on Simchas Torah, in Ata Horeisa. At the farbrengen of Simchas Torah Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis, the Rebbe explained this posuk based on what we know from Chumash and Rashi. The word “Ki,” because, can also mean “Kaasher,” when.

In the 17 pesukim of Hakafos we speak about Hashem’s praises and many special things. This last posuk is telling us WHEN we will be able to see all of these special things! All of the things we say in Ata Horeisa will be fulfilled Ki, when, Mitziyon Teitzei Sorah, the time when this nevuah will be fulfilled, the time of the Geulah!

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