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Parshas Vayikra - Shlishi with Rashi

In Chumash today, Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu more about the Mincha korban — the korban made of flour, that poor people can give, since flour doesn’t cost as much as an animal or a bird!

In yesterday’s Chumash, Hashem told Moshe about three kinds of Korban Mincha — one that is just plain flour, one that is baked, and one that is fried. All of these kinds of Korban Mincha need to have flour, oil, spices, and salt!

Hashem taught Moshe Rabbeinu about another kind of Korban Mincha, called the Minchas Marcheshes. It should be cooked in a pot with a lot of oil, deep fried!

The fifth and last kind of Korban Mincha is called Minchas Bikurim (or “Minchas Ha’omer”). Just like Bikurim are the FIRST of the fruits that grow, Minchas Bikurim is also from the FIRST barley that grows. The flour for this Mincha should not be ground very well, it should still have big pieces of barley.

For every Korban Mincha, the kohen should take part of it to burn on the Mizbeiach, and the rest he should keep to eat himself. It still has a lot of kedusha, and that’s why it’s only for the kohen to eat!

Hashem told Moshe to be very careful not to make a Korban Mincha chometz’dik! Only the “Shtei Halechemkorban we bring on Shavuos was made of chometz.

Hashem told Moshe that the Yidden should not put anything in ANY kind of korban to make it sweet, like honey or juice. Only the Bikurim had dates with honey inside of them.

Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu that EVERY korban (not just a Korban Mincha) needs to have salt!

Rashi tells us that Hashem was keeping a promise! When Hashem made the world, He separated the water into water over the sky, and water on the earth, in the oceans and seas. The salty water that was on the earth complained to Hashem, it didn’t want to be on the bottom! Hashem promised that it would be rewarded for being the lower water: Salt from the sea would be brought with all of the Korbanos, and once a year water would be poured on the Mizbeiach! That’s why the posuk calls this “Bris Melach,” the promise of salt, because it is the promise that Hashem gave during the creation of the world, that the salt will be used for korbanos.



29 - 34

Near the end of the farbrengen of Purim, Tof-Shin-Chai, the Rebbe told the following story, which he heard from the Frierdiker Rebbe:

The Alter Rebbe once came to the place which had the most Yidden that were against Chassidus. The Alter Rebbe went up onto the Bimah, and said a posuk from today’s Tehillim, in a special niggun: “Taamu U’reu Ki Tov Hashem, farzucht vet ir zehn az der Aibishter iz gut.” (You can hear the Rebbe saying it with the same niggun!) “Taste, try to learn some Chassidus, and you will see that learning about Hashem is good!”

Tens of Talmidei Chachomim in the shul did follow the Alter Rebbe to “taste” the Chassidus. They later became part of those that spread Chassidus to others!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Hey

There is a posuk from Shlomo Hamelech, in Koheles that says, “Hachochom Einav Berosho.” “A chochom has his eyes in his head.”

The Zohar asks, “Where else would he have eyes?!” It explains that since the Shechinah rests in a person’s head, “Hachochom Einav Berosho” means that a person has his eyes (meaning he cares about) the Shechinah!

Did your mother ever ask you to “keep an eye on your baby sister?” That means to keep checking on the baby and care about what happens to her! “Einav Berosho,” to have our eyes in our head, means the same thing — to watch over the Shechinah that is there. The only way the Shechinah will stay there is if we are careful to do mitzvos to keep it there.

The Shechinah which is in our head is compared to an oil candle: An oil candle has three parts, a wick, oil, and flame. The body of a Yid is like the wick, the mitzvos are like the oil, and the Shechinah that shines on it is the flame.

The Zohar is telling us that if we are a chochom, we will make sure the light of the Shechinah is lit well. We do this by making sure we have plenty of mitzvos and Maasim Tovim, which are the oil that will keep the Shechinah shining in us always!

Based on this Zohar, the Alter Rebbe will explain two things to us:

1) We will be able to understand how special it is to ACT like a Yid (not just to FEEL like a Yid). We will see how acting like a Yid and DOING the mitzvos is the most important thing.

2) How to appreciate our life as trying to be beinonim, even though it means that we might not be able to destroy the Yetzer Hara completely until Moshiach comes. We will learn that through mitzvos and Maasim Tovim, we are really doing the main shlichus that the neshama came into the guf to do!



Hey Adar Sheini

A bochur asked the Frierdiker Rebbe in a letter, that since there is so much to learn, maybe he should only focus on learning one thing. The Frierdiker Rebbe explained to him that not only do we need to learn all of these things, but each one helps the other be the way they should be!

A chossid needs to learn Niglah (like Gemara and Shulchan Aruch) because like the Mishna says, “Lo Am Ha’aretz Chossid” — an Am Ha’aretz, an ignorant person, cannot be a chossid. From there we see that it is important to learn Niglah, so we won’t be an Am Ha’aretz!

And a chossid needs to learn Chassidus, which shows his connection with Hashem. Like it says in Zohar, “Eizehu Chossid? Hamis’chased Im Kono,” that a chossid is someone who acts in a way of Chassidus with Hashem. This means that he does mitzvos in a beautiful way, behidur — and to do this, we need to learn Chassidus!

And both of these together bring us to behave like better Yidden, through davening and doing mitzvos behidur, which is the purpose of our learning!



Shiur #193 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #106, Asei #87

Today we start a new set of halachos in Rambam, called Hilchos Temurah. Today we learn two mitzvos about Temurah, which means “switching.”

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #106) Let’s say that a person chose one of his sheep to be a korban. Then he changes his mind — he wants to keep that sheep at home, and bring a DIFFERENT one for a korban. This mitzvah tells us NO! We can’t do that. Once you decide that an animal will be a korban, it becomes holy, and you are not allowed to switch it for a different one!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא יָמִיר אֹתוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Temurah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #87) If someone tries to change which animal he is bringing for a korban, BOTH of them become holy and BOTH of them need to be brought as korbanos!

We learn this mitzvah from another part of the same posuk: וְהָיָה הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה קֹּדֶשׁ



Hilchos Temurah

In today’s Rambam, we learn about Temurah, switching.

Perek Alef: The Rambam tells us that we are not allowed to switch one animal for another once it was already set aside as a korban. If somebody does this, he gets punished with malkos. Still the animal he switched it for becomes holy (so now he has TWO holy animals!). The Rambam tells us what kind of people this applies to, and for which korbanos.

Perek Beis: The Rambam explains what kind of words a person might use to make a Temurah, and when it is counted that the aveira was done.

Perek Gimmel: Once someone made a Temurah, what is done with this animal? In this perek, the Rambam teaches what to do with this animal depending on what it was switched for.



Hilchos Me'ilah - Perek Hey

One of the halachos in this perek is if it is called me’ilah when a person uses a korban brought by a goy. (Of course you can NEVER take something that doesn’t belong to you! But here we are talking about a separate aveira that needs an extra special kind of teshuva, for taking something from the Beis Hamikdash.)



Chassidishe Parsha

Sometimes we feel very ruchnius’dik and inspired! Maybe we went to a good farbrengen or shiur and now everything makes sense and feels good. Maybe we were just in 770 or by the Ohel and we feel inspired to be better chassidim. Or maybe it’s Shabbos or Yom Tov, or even just a good davening during the week, and we feel ready to be our best for Hashem.

But then, a few days later, we wake up and nothing is going right. Everything we were planning on doing got ruined and we are frustrated. We feel like we just shouldn’t have bothered waking up that morning! THEN how will we feel inspired to act the way we should?

In Likutei Torah this week, the Alter Rebbe tells us the secret of what to do!

When we are feeling excited and inspired we should make a hachlata of something we can do — and do it! When what we FEEL turns into what we DO and we decide that we’ll keep doing it no matter how we feel, then even when we wake up and everything is going wrong, we’ll still be able to act the way we decided to!

That’s what the posuk means, “Adam Ki Yakriv Mikem Korban LaHashem Min HaBeheima...” “If we want to come close to Hashem, it should be from the beheima.” The Alter Rebbe tells us that the “Mikem” (from you) is the Nefesh Elokis, and the beheima is the Nefesh Habehamis.

The posuk is telling us that it’s not enough for the neshama to feel close to Hashem. We need to also make our Nefesh Habehamis become close to Hashem! When we do a mitzvah, we are using our Nefesh Habehamis to come close to Hashem, and then it won’t fight with us — it will help us be ready to do what Hashem wants all the time!

See Likutei Torah Vayikra “Adam Ki Yakriv,” translated in “Transforming the Inner Self” (Chassidic Heritage Series)


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Kavei & Ein Keilokeinu

The paragraphs of Kavei and Ein Keilokeinu are full of praises to Hashem! The Chachomim tell us that not only that, but saying them is like reviewing our davening a second time, which makes Hashem surely accept our tefillos!

How do these paragraphs review our davening?

We can find a hint in these paragraphs to the main part of Shemoneh Esrei, the 12 brachos where we ask Hashem for our needs:

- We say the word “Boruch” FOUR times (Boruch Elokeinu, Boruch Adoneinu…)

- We say the word “Ata” FOUR times (Ata Hu Elokeinu, Ata Hu Adoneinu…)

- We say the word “Hashem” FOUR times (Kavei El HASHEM, Vekavei El HASHEM…)

That makes 12 times altogether, where we say “Boruch,” “Ata,” or “Hashem,” like the beginning of those 12 brachos in Shemoneh Esrei!

If you look at the first letters of Ein Keilokeinu, you will see that we are also hinting to the end of the brachos: “Ein Keilokeinu” starts with ALEF. “Mi Cheilokeinu” starts with MEM. And “Nodeh Leilokeinu” starts with NUN! That spells “Amen,” which we answer to every bracha!

See Shaar Hakolel, perek Yud-Alef, os Lamed



Seudas Purim

After the neis of Purim, Mordechai Hatzadik wrote up a takana for all of the Yidden, which he sent out, that every year the Yidden should celebrate the miracle that Hashem made. The instructions were, “Laasos Osam Yemei Mishteh VeSimcha, Umishloach Manos Ish Le’rei’eihu, Umatanos La’evyonim.” “To make them days of feasting and joy, and sending gifts of food to a friend, and gifts to the poor.”

Today we will learn about the mitzvah of feasting — the Purim seudah!

It’s a mitzvah to eat and drink and be happy on Purim! This includes having some kind of celebration on Purim night after the Megillah, but the main mitzvah is having a seudah during the day.

We light candles at this meal to show our simcha. In fact, the simcha of Purim is greater than any other Yom Tov!

Since we are busy during the day with hearing the Megillah, giving Shalach Manos and Matanos La’evyonim (and mivtzoyim!), the seudah is made later on in the day. Still, you can do the mitzvah by having a seudah anytime during the day! If we have the meal later in the day, we daven Mincha first.

It’s appropriate to learn a little bit of Torah before the seudah, as the Chachomim explain the posuk from the Megillah, “Layehudim Haysa Orah Vesimcha...” “The Yidden had light and joy,” that light (orah) is talking about Torah, and Simcha refers to the meal. We should try to have our orah by learning something, and then have our simcha at the seudah!

It is our minhag to eat kreplach during the meal on Purim. (Did you know that there is a maamar from the Alter Rebbe that explains kreplach?) It reminds us that the neis of Purim was hidden, like the kreplach filling! (It is also a minhag to eat hamentashen on Purim, which also reminds us of this!)

The Chachomim said that a person needs to drink wine on Purim, “Ad D’lo Yada Bein Arur Haman U’boruch Mordechai.” This is done at the Purim seudah, and we will IY”H learn more about it tomorrow!

As long as we haven’t davened Maariv yet, we say Ve’al Hanisim in bentching from this seudah, even if it ends very late!

The Rebbe encouraged making big farbrengens on Purim to strengthen Ahavas Yisroel and bring to good hachlatos, including preparations for Mivtza Pesach, since Purim is exactly 30 days before Pesach.

After everyone finishes their seudah at home, they can be a part of these farbrengens!

See Shevach Hamoadim and Halachos Uminhagei Chabad - Purim

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



The War With Amalek Today

We started learning yesterday about the war with Amalek that will need to happen right before Moshiach comes. We learned that this Amalek is similar to the one that came at the end of the time that the Yidden were in the Midbar, when Amalek dressed up like Kenaanim (a different nation) and didn’t look like Amalek.

In the sicha, the Rebbe explains how the Ruchnius Amalek comes to us today, based on what we know about Amalek in that time.

Amalek comes to us dressed up like a goy, and says: “I am not mixing into your Torah and Yiddishkeit. But when it’s time to do business, you will be out in OUR world. So you need to do it like a goy! Do you want to have enough money for your expenses, to keep Shabbos, to give tzedakah, and to give your children a Torah chinuch? The only way it is possible is to do things the way we goyim do.

“Don’t worry about the halachos the Torah gives for doing business, like Hasagas Gevul — not taking away business from another person, or Ribbis, taking interest. Don’t worry about how you speak, Avak Lashon Hara.

“And of course, if you want to be a successful businessman, you won’t be able to take time to learn Torah! You will need to forget about how Hashem runs the world and how everything happens according to Hashem’s plan, Hashgacha Protis. You need to know that your success in business is only based on how hard you work!”

That’s the Amalek we are fighting against!

We need to remember that the Torah is called “Toras Chayim,” the Torah of life. The Torah was given to us to LIVE with — to be Yidden here in the world. Only when a Yid’s neshama is growing through his connection to Torah and mitzvos, will the guf be able to be successful in the world also.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, Parshas Zachor (p. 208 ff)

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