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Parshas Terumah - Sheini with Rashi

Yesterday we learned about the Aron. Today we learn about the cover of the Aron (the Kapores) and the Shulchan.

Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu to make the cover for the Aron, called the Kapores. The Kapores should be made out of a thick piece of gold.

On the Kapores, there should be Keruvim, that look like malochim with the face of little children. They will be facing each other and have their wings spread over the Kapores. But Moshe shouldn’t make the two keruvim and then attach them to the Kapores — instead he should use one piece of gold and make the whole Kapores with the Keruvim from that piece.

Hashem will speak to Moshe from between the two Keruvim, telling him everything that needs to be told to the Yidden!

Hashem also tells Moshe to make the Shulchan, a special table for the Mishkan. It should be made of wood and covered with gold! It will have shelves to hold 12 loaves of Lechem Hapanim.

The Lechem Hapanim is a kind of bread with a shape that looks a little bit like both sides are looking at each other! Even though the Lechem Hapanim is called bread, it will be made the way we make matzah, so it isn’t chometz.

Hashem tells Moshe never to leave the Shulchan empty — every week a fresh batch of Lechem Hapanim should be put on the Shulchan.



140 - 144

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk, “Tikon Tefilasi Ketores Lefanecha” — “I bring my davening before Hashem like Ketores!”

(The Rambam chooses this posuk to put at the beginning of his sefer about korbanos.)

The Rebbe teaches us that when the kohen brings the ketores, nobody else is allowed to be there — it’s just the kohen bringing the ketores to Hashem. The same thing is when we daven — it’s private, between us and Hashem!

Also, the word ketores is like the word “Kesher” (in Aramaic, “Ketar”) — a connection. Davening is one of the ways we make a special connection with Hashem.



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Hey

You might think that losing a chance to do a mitzvah is not such a big deal. After all, I’ll have plenty more chances tomorrow!

But really, every mitzvah is a connection with Hashem which lasts FOREVER.

How can that be?

A person can only be in one place, and in one time. If I’m in New York, I’m not in California. If it is my 10th birthday, it can’t be my 9th birthday at the same time.

But Ruchnius isn’t stuck in one place at a time. It is HIGHER than times and places! So something in Ruchnius can be everywhere, all the time!

When we do a mitzvah, we are connecting Gashmius and Ruchnius. So even though we are doing the mitzvah in a certain time and a certain place, the koach of that mitzvah is everywhere, forever.

So we shouldn’t think that a chance to do a mitzvah is just for right now. The koach of this mitzvah will last forever — and we don’t want to miss that!

Our mitzvos in Golus are put into a “storage box” which Hashem is holding, that will be opened up when Moshiach comes. The mitzvos we do in Golus bring the reward of the Geulah!



Chof-Tes Shevat

The Alter Rebbe teaches something very special about Rashi:

What Rashi teaches in Chumash is like the “wine of Torah!” Just like wine can make a person say secrets, when we learn Rashi, the wine of Torah, it makes the “secrets” in ourself come out too — the Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem that are hidden inside of us!

What Rashi teaches in Gemara makes the wisdom that hides in ourselves become revealed!

In the Rebbe’s Rashi sichos, the Rebbe would first explain in detail how to understand the peshat of Rashi. Then, based on this Hayom Yom, the Rebbe would add lessons in Avodas Hashem that bring us to Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem — the “Yeina Shel Torah.”



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #94, #95, #96, #97, Asei #86

Today we learn five mitzvos that have to do with a mum on animals, which we are not allowed to bring as a korban on the Mizbeiach.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #94) We are not allowed to burn parts of an animal with a mum on the Mizbeiach. (Yesterday we learned separate mitzvos for not setting it aside as a korban, not shechting it, and not sprinkling the blood of an animal with a mum. Today we learn a fourth mitzvah, not to burn parts of an animal with a mum on the mizbeiach.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וְאִשֶּׁה לֹא תִתְּנוּ מֵהֶם

The halachos about an animal with a mum are explained in Perek Vov of Mesechta Bechoros. The details about not bringing these animals on the mizbeiach are in different parts of Mesechta Zevachim and Temurah.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #95) Even if an animal has a mum that will go away (called “Mum Oveir”), we can’t bring it as a Korban until it is all better.

This mitzvah is in a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא תִזְבַּח לַה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ שׁוֹר וָשֶׂה אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בוֹ מוּם

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #96) If a goy wants to be closer to Hashem, he can bring a korban. If the animal he brings has a mum, we are not allowed to accept it as a korban.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Emor: וּמִיַּד בֶּן נֵכָר לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ אֶת לֶחֶם אֱלֹקֵיכֶם מִכָּל אֵלֶּה

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #97) If we have an animal that we decided will be a korban, we need to be very careful not to make a mum on it, because then we can’t bring it as a korban.

This mitzvah is also learned from a posuk in Parshas Emor: כָּל מוּם לֹא יִהְיֶה בּוֹ

The halachos about these last three mitzvos are also explained in Perek Vov of Mesechta Bechoros.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #86) If an animal that was supposed to be a korban DOES get a mum, what do we do? It is holy, so we can’t use it for just anything, but we can’t bring it as a korban anymore! So we can switch it for a different animal without a mum, and then the kedusha can switch from the first animal to the second animal. Then we can shecht the first animal if we want. This is the mitzvah of Pidyon Kodshim.

This mitzvah is learned from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: רַק בְּכָל אַוַּת נַפְשְׁךָ תִּזְבַּח וְאָכַלְתָּ בָשָׂר כְּבִרְכַּת ה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ

The halachos about this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros and Temurah, and also in some places in Mesechta Chullin, Erchin, and Me’ilah.



Hilchos Isurei Mizbeiach

In today's Rambam, we explain more of the mitzvos we are learning now:

Perek Beis: We learn more about different kinds of mumim in an animal. We also learn about some kinds of mumim that could go away, and the animal would be kosher for a korban!

Perek Gimmel: We learn from the pesukim in Torah about which animals are good for korbanos. Here are some of the things: It has to be at least eight days old, and it can’t be an animal that is half of one kind and half of the other (kilayim)! (Like a half sheep, half goat)

Perek Daled: There are some kinds of animals that even if they have no mum, we shouldn’t bring as a korban. For example, an animal that was used for Avodah Zarah is asur to bring for a korban.



Hilchos Temidin Umusafin - Perek Gimmel

This perek teaches us about how we bring the Ketores, how we light the Menorah, and the Chavitin of the Kohen Gadol.



Ahavas Yisroel

It says in the posuk that when Hashem created Adam Harishon, Hashem said, “It is not good for a person to be alone. I will make him an Eizer Kenegdo, a helper.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains, if a person was alone, he could make a mistake and think that he is perfect. So Hashem helps him by giving him another person. By seeing the chisaron in the other person, he will know that he also has a similar chisaron in himself.

See Keser Shem Tov siman 302, Chasidim Ein Mishpacha gilyon vov


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Seder HaTefillah Part 3

When we start davening, our neshama just came back to us, and we are only really able to connect to our emunah in Hashem. So in the first section of davening (Modeh Ani and Hodu), we admit (hoda’ah) that there is nothing that exists beside for Hashem. We have to admit that it is true, even though we don’t feel it or understand it yet!

The second section of davening is Pesukei Dezimra. We say words of praise to Hashem, talking about how Hashem creates everything and takes care of everything and everyone all the time! By saying these words, and just knowing what the words mean, our hidden love for Hashem gets woken up! Our neshama is now able to spread into our midos too, so we are able to serve Hashem also with our midos.

The third part of davening is Shema and the brachos before and afterwards.

Really, this is a separate mitzvah, to say Kriyas Shema two times a day, in the morning and at night. The Chachomim added two brachos before and one bracha afterwards in Shacharis, and two brachos before and two brachos afterwards in Maariv. This adds up to seven brachos, like what Dovid Hamelech says in Tehillim, “Sheva Bayom Hilalticha” — “I praise You seven times during the day.”

According to Chassidus, this section of davening helps us spread our neshama into our sechel, our mind, also. IY”H later we will learn how.



The Bracha on Rice

What is the bracha on rice?

It’s actually very complicated! There are two reasons why:

1) Rice is a kind of grain, but it’s not one of the 5 mezonos kinds of grain. Still, since it can fill a person up, and you can make kinds of bread from it, it is possible that it should also be mezonos.

2) In the Gemara, there are two kinds of grain talked about, “orez” and “dochen.” They each have different halachos, and we’re not sure if rice is orez or dochen!

So the Alter Rebbe paskens that a Yerei Shomayim should eat rice only in the middle of a seudah that he washed for.

But if we’re eating rice outside of a seudah, then we should make a Shehakol.

(Some people follow a minhag from older Chassidim, even though it isn’t in the Shulchan Aruch, about eating rice outside of a seudah. They eat it together with other foods that have the bracha of Mezonos, Ho’adamah, and Shehakol, which are all of the possible brachos in halacha for rice.)

See Seder Birchos Hanehenin perek Alef, se’if Yud and Yud-Alef, and Birchos Hanehenin Hamevuar p. 33-34

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



Learning About the Mishkan

The Rebbe told us to learn the parts of Chumash that talk about the Mishkan with more explanations from the Gemara and other parts of Torah. By learning and understanding what the Torah says about the Mishkan, which is the foundation for the Beis Hamikdash, it will make Hashem build the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi faster!

One of the pesukim in today’s Chumash says, “Lechem Hapanim Lefonai Tomid” — the Lechem Hapanim should always be on the Shulchan, in front of Hashem.

The Medrash says that the Lechem Hapanim was a kapara that brought the Yidden forgiveness from Hashem.

So what would be their kapara when there is no Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash? What will bring Hashem to forgive the Yidden?

The Medrash answers that Torah is compared to lechem, bread. When Yidden are busy with learning Torah, it will be like putting Lechem Hapanim on the Shulchan in the Mishkan, and bring the Yidden a kapara even in the time of Golus!

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