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Parshas Vayeishev - Shlishi with Rashi

The brothers throw Yosef into a pit, and sell him to merchants passing by. They show their father Yosef’s coat dipped in goat blood, and Yaakov mourns 22 years for Yosef.

Yesterday we learned that the brothers decided that they would throw Yosef into a pit in the ground.

When Yosef came to his brothers in Shechem, they grabbed him right away! They took off his shirt and the special coat (the Kesones Pasim) he got from his father. Then Shimon took him and threw him into the pit. There was no water in there, but it was full of dangerous snakes and scorpions!

Then they sat down to eat.

While they were eating, they saw a group of men from Yishmael coming on camels! Their camels had spices that they were going to sell in Mitzrayim.

Why does the Torah need to tell us what the men of Yishmael were carrying? Rashi says that it is to show us how Hashem treats a Tzadik! Usually, people from Yishmael sold smelly oil and tar, but Hashem made them bring spices so the bad smell wouldn’t bother Yosef.

Yehuda said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing Yosef and hiding what we did? Let’s not kill him, because he is our brother. Let’s sell him to these Yishmael people, and we will make money from it.” The brothers agreed. 

In the meantime, another group of people came by also, from Midyan. The brothers pulled Yosef out of the pit and sold him to the Yishmaelim for 20 pieces of silver. The Yishmaelim then sold him right away to the Midyanim, who brought Yosef with them to go to Mitzrayim.

The next day, Reuven went back to the pit to save Yosef.

Why did Reuven go to the pit? Didn’t he know that they already sold Yosef? Rashi explains that Reuven had left before they sold Yosef, so he didn’t know. Either he left to fast and do teshuvah for not respecting his father by moving his bed, or because it was his turn to take care of Yaakov.

Reuven saw that Yosef wasn’t inside the pit! He was very sad, and tore his clothes like a person does if someone passes away. He went to his brothers and said, “Yosef is gone! I wish there was somewhere to run away to — I don’t want to see how upset our father Yaakov will be.”

The brothers shechted a goat and dipped Yosef’s Kesones Pasim inside the blood, since goat blood looks just like blood from a person. They wanted Yaakov to think that an animal killed Yosef.

The brothers didn’t want to show Yaakov the coat themselves, so they sent other people with the bloody coat. The messengers asked Yaakov, “We found this, do you know if this is your son’s coat?”

Yaakov recognized it, and said, “This is my son’s coat. Yosef was eaten by a wild animal!” All of Yaakov’s sons and daughters tried to make Yaakov feel better, but they weren’t able to take away his pain.

Hashem makes a person forget the pain after a person passes away so they can feel better, but since Yosef was still alive, he didn’t ever forget. That’s why he never felt better.

Yaakov would continue to mourn for Yosef for 22 years — until meeting Yosef in Mitzrayim, as we will learn later in Parshas Vayigash. (Hashem did this to Yaakov so he could make up for not having Kibbud Av Va’em for HIS parents for 22 years when he went to marry Rachel.)

When a person is sad, they can’t have Ruach Hakodesh, so Yaakov didn’t have Ruach Hakodesh for those 22 years!

Yitzchak, though, did know through Ruach Hakodesh that Yosef was still alive. But since he saw that Yaakov didn’t know, he understood that Hashem didn’t want him to know, and he didn’t tell him. But since he saw that Yaakov was so sad, he cried also.

When the Midyanim came to Mitzrayim, they sold Yosef to Potifar, who was the officer in charge of slaughtering animals for the king’s meat.



90 - 96

Today’s kapitelach in Tehillim are Tzadik through Tzadik-Vov.

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Tzadik-Daled, there is a posukAshrei Hagever Asher Teyasrenu Kah, UmiToras’cha Selamdenu.” “Fortunate is the man who Hashem makes him suffer, and You teach him from Your Torah.”

Why is he fortunate?

Sometimes feeling uncomfortable can be good for us!

If a baby never got uncomfortable about just being able to crawl, would he ever learn how to walk or run? Really we are very fortunate when we start being uncomfortable about being how we are — this helps us to try to find ways to grow and become better!

But what should we do if we can’t figure out what to fix, but we STILL feel like something is wrong? The answer to this is in the end of the posuk: “UmiTorascha Selamdenu” — We should learn Torah! The Torah is the chochmah of Hashem, and just like Hashem has no limits (Ein Sof), the Torah has no limits! When we learn it, we will find also that there is no limit to growing in Yiddishkeit! We can always find another part of our life that we can make better than before. Then we will feel very happy that Hashem gave us this chance to grow!

See farbrengen Motzei Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah 5740 sicha 1



Likutei Amarim Shaar Blatt - Haskamos

Gut Yom Tov! Today we are going to start learning the Sefer HaTanya again from the very beginning.

Because this year is a Shana Me’uberes, a leap year with a different number of months, the Frierdiker Rebbe set up the Tanya schedule differently. You will see that for six days the pieces of Tanya we learn will be very short, and then there will be a long piece — many times a whole perek! For the first year that the Frierdiker Rebbe set up the schedule, the long day was always on Shabbos!

We start with the Shaar Blatt. Usually the title page of a book is not so important, but not here — the Alter Rebbe wrote the Shaar Blatt himself! In the Shaar Blatt the Alter Rebbe gives two names for the Tanya, and tells us what the message of Tanya is.

The first name the Alter Rebbe gives the Tanya is “Likutei Amarim,” which means “a gathering of sayings.” The Alter Rebbe is very humble and says that the Tanya is just a collection of sayings, and that he got these sayings from his Rebbes (the Maggid of Mezritch and R’ Mendel of Horodok) and from Seforim (like the Maharal of Prague).

The second name is “Sefer Shel Beinonim,” the book of Beinonim. We will see later in Tanya that the Tanya is written for people who could work hard and become a beinoni.

The message of Tanya is that every Yid is able to serve Hashem with chayus, using his thinking, his talking, and his doing. And do you know what? The Alter Rebbe says that a posuk — one of the 12 pesukim! — says this message, and he says it in the Shaar Blatt! This is the posuk Ki Karov.

The whole Tanya explains this posuk! That’s why the Rebbe made this one of the pesukim, so from when we are very little we already know in short the whole message of Tanya, which teaches us how to become a chossid.


There are two haskamos written by other students of the Maggid, R’ Yehuda Leib Hakohen, and R’ Meshulam Zusya MeiAnipoli. They wrote how special this sefer is, and how important it is to print it. They also wanted to make sure that nobody prints it themselves to take away parnasa from the ones who first printed the Tanya. These letters are both dated Erev Chai Elul, which is the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe, in the year Tof-Kuf-Nun-Vov, which is a year that hints to the Geulah!



Yud-Tes Kislev

Chabad Minhag: The chazzan doesn’t wear a tallis when he’s davening mincha or maariv, not even on Shabbos or Yom Tov or Rosh Hashana.

Today is the Yartzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch (he passed away on Tuesday, Parshas Vayeishev 5533). His ohel is in Anipoli.

Today, the Alter Rebbe came out of (his first) jail, on Tuesday, Parshas Vayeishev 5559 (26 years after the Maggid passed away), close to shkiah.

The Alter Rebbe wrote in a letter: “On the third day of the week, when Hashem says twice “it was good” when Hashem made the world, on the yartzeit of the Maggid, I was reading Padah Beshalom — that Hashem set me free — in Tehillim, and they let me out of jail!” (The Alter Rebbe was saying the Tehillim the way it’s split up for the days of the week.)

Yud-Tes Kislev is a day we farbreng and make hachlatos to learn Torah and Chassidus, and to have Ahavas Yisroel! We also have a minhag to have everyone choose a Gemara to learn this year from “Chalukas HaShas” — that at least one person will learn each of the mesechtas of Shas! In Lubavitch, though, they had to do this on Chof-Daled Teves (the Alter Rebbe’s yartzeit) since there wasn’t time on Yud-Tes Kislev!



Shiur #163 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #124, Asei #88, #83, Lo Saasei #155

Today we learn 4 mitzvos about korbanos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #124) Part of the Korban Mincha (which is made of flour and oil) is usually eaten by the kohen. He is not allowed to prepare it in a way that will make it into Chometz.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: לֹא תֵאָפֶה חָמֵץ חֶלְקָם נָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ מֵאִשָּׁי

The details are explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Menachos.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #88) The Kohanim need to eat the rest of the Mincha — the part that isn’t burned on the Mizbeiach.

This mitzvah also comes from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: וְהַנּוֹתֶרֶת מִמֶּנָּה יֹאכְלוּ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו מַצּוֹת תֵּאָכֵל

The details are explained in Mesechta Menachos.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #83) When we promise to bring a korban or a present to Hashem, we need to give it at the next big Yom Tov (Pesach, Shavuos, or Sukkos).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָּׁמָּה וַהֲבֵאתֶם שָׁמָּה עֹלֹתֵיכֶם

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #155) We are not allowed to push off bringing a korban that we promised. If three Regalim (the three main Yomim Tovim) pass by and a person still didn’t bring a korban he promised, he is punished for not keeping this mitzvah.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כִּי תִדֹּר נֶדֶר לַה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ לֹא תְאַחֵר לְשַׁלְּמוֹ

The details are explained in the beginning of Mesechta Rosh Hashana.



Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about bringing the Korbanos:

Perek Yud-Gimmel: We learn about the different kinds of Korban Mincha and how we bring them.

Perek Yud-Daled: This perek teaches us some general rules about when someone promises to bring a korban as a neder or a nedava.

Perek Tes-Vov: This perek continues with more detailed halachos about a nedavah, when someone promises to bring a specific animal to Hashem.



Hilchos Temidin U'Musafin - Perek Tes

We learn about the korbanos of Rosh Hashana. We also learn about the order korbanos need to be brought in.

icon of clock


Chassidishe Yom Tov

Yud-Tes Kislev is a farbrengen day!

There are actually THREE good times to make a farbrengen on Yud-Tes Kislev — the night of Yud-Tes Kislev, the night between Yud-Tes and Chof Kislev, and the night following Chof Kislev (Motzaei Chof Kislev).

Each farbrengen should be in a different way:

One time where you farbreng with yourself (spend some time thinking about what Yud-Tes Kislev means and how to make Chassidus a bigger part of your life), one time with your family, and a third one with your community, making hachlatos together to make your whole community a place of Chassidus!

Probably you are going to a big farbrengen, but that’s not enough! The Rebbe wanted there to be farbrengens in EVERY city!

See Sichas Parshas Vayishlach 5752

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Bittul Through Davening

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that every Yid has a bittul to Hashem. This bittul makes a Yid want to live according to Hashem’s Ratzon which we know from the Torah. Still, we don’t always feel this bittul.

We can “wake up” this bittul through davening! By saying Pesukei Dezimra, the brachos of Shema, and especially the parshios of Shema itself and Emes Veyatziv, we wake up our bittul. This way, we will have this strong bittul when we say Shemoneh Esrei.

IY”H, we will learn more about this over the next few days, including how these parts of davening help, and why we need this bittul.

See Torah Ohr Vayechi; maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos vol. 20 p. 347



Fleishige Keilim

If I have a pareve food that was cooked in a fleishige pot, do I become fleishig?

According to halacha, as long as there was no meat or grease from meat in the pot, even if the pot wasn’t so clean, the food won’t make you fleishig. It is fine to have milchigs right after eating from that pot.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman 46, se’if yud

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



What Are YOU Doing?

Right before the beginning of Hayom Yom, the Rebbe put in a part of a letter from the Frierdiker Rebbe.

This letter was written during the second World War, when millions of Yidden were killed Al Kiddush Hashem. The Frierdiker Rebbe writes:

In this time of “Haras Olam,” the world is shaking! It is shaking because of the Chevlei Moshiach, the pain that comes right before Moshiach comes. Hashem set on fire the walls of Golus!

...Now it is the achrayus of every Jew, man and woman, old and young, to ask themselves this question:

What have I already done, and what am I doing now, to make the Chevlei Moshiach easier? What am I doing to be zocheh to the Geulah Sheleimah through Moshiach Tzidkeinu?

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