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Parshas Vezos Habracha - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe is asking Hashem for certain brachos for the Shevatim on the day he will pass away. Now he gives the bracha to Yosef:

Yosef: Moshe gives Shevet Yosef TEN brachos! The first eight brachos are for their part of Eretz Yisroel, that it should grow the best food. In fact, Yosef’s portion of Eretz Yisroel was the best for growing things of the entire land!

The last two brachos are for the great tzadikim who will come from Shevet Yosef, who will win over the goyim who live in Eretz Yisroel and conquer the land. This will happen first through Yehoshua (who comes from Efrayim) and for Gideon (who comes from Menashe) who will have tremendous hatzlacha in fighting the enemies of the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel in later times.



60 - 65

In Kapitel Samach, the first of today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Lemaan Yeichaltzun Yedidecha, Hoshia Yemincha Va’aneini.” (We also say it by the end of Shmoneh Esrei.)

The pesukim before this one talk about how Hashem sometimes makes a person have a hard time. We see in this posuk that there is a very good reason for this! The posuk means, “Hashem does this so that He can save them, and will help with His right hand and answer.”

Really the whole time Hashem wants to save the person, but he wants them to first show their bitachon. By showing that they believe in Hashem ALL the time, they will DESERVE their brachos.

Even though sometimes things are hard, it is because Hashem wants us to deserve more brachos!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

We are learning about the special koach of Hashem that is in Gashmius. Today we learn about the special koach in one part of gashmiyus:

Dirt has a very special koach! If you put a seed inside the ground, it will make a beautiful plant or tree from it! It is almost like making something from nothing, because the seed has to get rotten before anything can even grow! The koach that makes this happen is always in the ground. Sometimes it even makes things grow WITHOUT seeds, like some kinds of mushrooms!

Dirt is the lowest kind of Gashmiyus. Why does it have the greatest koach of Hashem? We explained before — Hashem put his HIGHEST chayus in Gashmius because it is the lowest thing. The same thing is also when Hashem made the different kinds of Gashmius — Hashem needs to put his strongest chayus in the LOWEST part of Gashmius, the dirt! It has the koach to make things almost from nothing!



Yud-Alef Tishrei

On Yom Kippur, we had the highest level of davening we had all year! Today we learn something the Alter Rebbe taught about the inyan of davening.

On Motzaei Yom Kippur in the year Tof-Kuf-Nun-Vov, the Alter Rebbe said a short maamar. This is what it was about:

In Kabbalah and Chassidus, we learn about many different kavanos a person can have when he davens.

The most simple kavana, though, is the plain Emunah that a Yid has in Hashem. It means that we know that when we daven we are standing before Hashem. We know that Hashem is listening to what we are asking Him, and will give us the things that we need.



Shiur #82 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356, #216

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we again learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356) that if a husband and wife decide that they can’t be married anymore, they can change their minds unless the woman gets married to someone else in between. Once she gets married to another person, she can never get married to her first husband again.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא יוּכַל בַּעְלָהּ הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שִׁלְּחָהּ לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Yevamos in many places.

We also learn another mitzvah today (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #216): If a man passes away before he had children, his brother needs to marry the man’s wife (unless he does Chalitzah, which we’ll learn about later IY”H). This is called Yibum.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: יְבָמָהּ יָבֹא עָלֶיהָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Gemara, Mesechta Yevamos.



Hilchos Girushin - Yibum V'Chalitzah

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last perek of Hilchos Geirushin, and the first two perakim of Yibum V’Chalitzah.

In the last perek of Hilchos Gerushin, we learn about an agunah — a woman who THINKS her husband passed away, but we’re not sure. Like if a man was on a ship that sunk, we don’t know for sure what happened to him — maybe he was able to swim to an island somewhere.

An agunah is not allowed to get married to anyone else. Of course this is very sad for her.

In the time of the Tzemach Tzedek, there were unfortunately many agunos. The Tzemach Tzedek used to work very hard to find a way in halacha for agunos to be able to get married again! We see this through many answers in the seforim of halacha that the Tzemach Tzedek wrote.



Hilchos Tefillah, Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah - Perek Hey

In today’s Rambam, we learn how to write a kosher Mezuzah and put it on the door. There are many halachos of how to do this right! One halacha is that we don’t say a bracha when we WRITE the mezuzah, but only when we put it up — because the mitzvah is putting it up.



Gott's Nomen

Today, Motzei Yom Kippur, is called “Besheim Hashem,” “Hashem’s name” (in Yiddish, “Gott’s Nomen”).

There are many reasons given for this. One reason, from the Baal Shem Tov, is that during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah we were saying Hamelech Hakadosh (the holy King) in davening instead of HaKeil Hakadosh (the holy Aibershter). Now we go back to saying the name of Hashem, so we call this day Gott’s Nomen.

Another reason is that the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos are connected to the four letters of Hashem’s name. Since today is the first of these days, the Yud of Hashem’s name, we call today “Gott’s Nomen.”

See Otzar Minhagei Chabad p. 256


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Start Doing Teshuvah!

It was after Yom Kippur. The powerful tefillos were over, and Hashem forgave us all! The Frierdiker Rebbe was wondering, what is the special avodah of these next days? He came to his father, the Rebbe Rashab, and asked.

The Rebbe Rashab answered him, “Yetzt darf men ERSHT teshuvah tohn!” “Now we need to get STARTED on doing teshuvah!”

What was the Rebbe Rashab saying? Didn’t we just do teshuvah during Elul and the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah?

We can understand what the Rebbe Rashab meant based on what the Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr, about why we say Selach Lanu in Shemoneh Esrei.

We might wonder, why are we asking Hashem to forgive us now, in the middle of our private moment with Hashem? Shouldn’t we have done teshuvah before davening?

Even if we did do teshuvah before, we still need to ask again in Shemoneh Esrei. Because all of the davening we did to prepare for Shemoneh Esrei helped us become more aidel, more sensitive to Ruchnius. We start to realize that things we didn’t even notice before may not be the way Hashem’s children should be. So now we ask Hashem to help us to become better.

That’s also what the Rebbe Rashab was saying: After all of our hard work in Elul, the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, and Yom Kippur, we are now much more aidel! Now we really understand how a Yid should be, and need to do teshuvah and start acting that way.

See Igros Kodesh, vol. 5, p. 4



Get to Work!

We may be very tired after all of our hard work davening on Yom Kippur, but we can’t just go and relax now! There’s lots of mitzvos to do!

In the Shulchan Aruch, there is a minhag that the day after Yom Kippur we go to shul extra EARLY to daven right away. (If you aren’t davening in shul, you can still make sure to daven right away in the morning, earlier than usual!)

It is a mitzvah to start building your sukkah right after you come back from shul (or after you daven). That’s because “Mitzvah Haba Leyadcha, Al Tachmitzenah!” If a mitzvah comes to your hand (meaning you can do it right away), Al Tachmitzenah! Don’t let it become chometz’dik! Don’t just let it sit there like a lump of dough rising — do it right away!

Are you helping to build YOUR sukkah and prepare for the mivtzoyim you’ll do there?

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Reish-Chof-Daled and Tof-Reish-Chof-Hey

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



Moshiach'dike Kochos!

The Gemara says that before Moshiach comes, there will be very hard times for Yidden. Every day will be harder than the day before…

Why would the Torah tell us something like that? So that we can get into a bad mood Chas Veshalom? To make us upset or sad?

The Rebbe teaches us that the reason why the Torah tells it to us is because before Moshiach comes there will be new special kochos every day — that we can use to overcome the new challenges every day!

The Torah tells it to us so we will realize that when Hashem gives us kochos, they aren’t just a nice thing to have. Hashem gives them to us because we NEED them to overcome the hardships and bring Moshiach! So we have to be very careful to use all of the kochos Hashem gives us as much as we can!

See farbrengen Shavuos 5738

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