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Parshas Bo - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem sends the Arbeh, the locusts, who eat up everything in Mitzrayim. Paraoh says he will let the Yidden go — but then changes his mind when the locusts are gone. Hashem has to send the next makah, Choshech. The whole Mitzrayim is darker than night — but the Yidden can see.

8: Makas Arbeh (locusts), continued

Moshe had warned Paraoh, but Paraoh didn’t want to let all the Yidden go.

So Hashem told Moshe to pick up his arm, and the locusts would come. Hashem made a wind blow all day and night, and the next morning, millions of locusts came and ate all of the grass, the trees, and all of the plants.

Paraoh quickly called Moshe and Aharon and said “I’m sorry! I did the wrong thing! Please forgive me and get rid of these locusts!”

Moshe davened to Hashem and a wind blew the locusts all into the water.

But again Paraoh got stubborn and wouldn’t let the Yidden go.

9: Makas Choshech (darkness)

Moshe warned Paraoh about the next makah, darkness, but Paraoh didn’t listen. When Moshe picked up his arm like Hashem said, Mitzrayim got very dark. It was a kind of dark that it didn’t help to light a candle or a fire!

During this time, Hashem made that all of the Yidden who didn’t want the Geulah would pass away. Hashem didn’t want the Mitzriyim to see that there were Yidden dying, so He did it during the makah of Choshech. (This Geulah will be different — when Moshiach comes, EVERY Yid will come out!)

Then, the darkness got very thick — so dark you could FEEL it! The Mitzriyim couldn’t even move. But for the Yidden, it was light!

The Yidden knew that they were supposed to leave Mitzrayim with a lot of riches. So now, when the Mitzriyim couldn’t stop them, they looked around in the Mitzriyim’s houses to see where they kept all of their gold and jewelry — but they didn’t take any.

The last Golus and Geulah are the same in many ways as the first Geulah from Mitzrayim. The Rebbe would say that just like at the end of the Golus in Mitzrayim, when it was dark around but it was light for the Yidden, the same is true today! Even though the Yidden were still in Golus, and the darkness of the Golus was very strong, there was “Ohr Bemoshvosam,” it was light for the Yidden. The same can be for us: Even though the darkness of the Golus is so great, by us staying strong in the path of Torah and Yiddishkeit, we can also have “Ohr Bemoshvosam,” even in Golus we can live with the light of Torah!



29 - 34

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Tes through Lamed-Daled.

In the last perek of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech tells us “Sur Me’Ra, Va’asei Tov, Bakeish Shalom Verodfeihu” — “turn away from bad, and do good, and work hard to make shalom.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains that in every gashmius’dike thing in this world, there’s a part that’s good and a part which is bad. The Gashmius on its own (without being used for a holy purpose) is bad. The good is the chayus of Hashem which gives life to this gashmius’dike thing.

The posuk is telling us about the way we should look at Gashmius. A person who is using Gashmius needs to be a “Sur Me’Ra” — someone who turns away from bad. We shouldn’t want the pleasure that we get from the gashmius. Instead we should be “Asei Tov” — choose to want to be helped by the chayus of Hashem that is inside.

Then, when we aren’t using the gashmius for selfish reasons, we should try to make shalom with the chayus of Hashem and the gashmius thing. How do we do that? By using the gashmius for the reasons Hashem wants it to be used — for doing mitzvos and for having koach to be able to serve Hashem!

Hayom Yom Hey Menachem Av, Sefer Hamaamarim of the Friediker Rebbe, Yiddish, page 75



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe teaches us that we can use a special koach that is built into every Yid’s neshama to win over our Nefesh Habehamis all the time!

The Nefesh Habehamis can only get us to do an aveira by giving us a Ruach Shtus — a foolish thought. It tricks us by convincing us that our aveira is not a big deal. But the Nefesh Habehamis is only able to convince us with this foolish thought most of the time. One thing it can NEVER convince us is that separating from Hashem is not a big deal. Every single Yid realizes that losing their connection to Hashem and to Yiddishkeit is a very big deal, and would be ready to even give up their life not to be separated from Hashem chas veshalom and to remain a Yid!

That is the koach of the Ahava Mesuteres, a very powerful love for Hashem that is part of every Yid’s neshama.

So if we can just realize that really EVERY aveira separates us from Hashem, then no Ruach Shtus will ever be able to convince us that it isn’t a big deal!

The Alter Rebbe shows us where we see that really every mitzvah is like believing in Hashem, and every aveira is like serving Avodah Zarah and becoming separate from Hashem.

There are two main mitzvos that are about being connected and never being separated from Hashem. They are the first two of the Aseres Hadibros, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” and “Lo Yihiyeh Lecha Elokim Acheirim.”

The Gemara teaches us that all of the Mitzvos Asei come from the first dibur, and all of the Mitzvos Lo Saasei come from the second dibur. That’s why we heard only the first two of the Aseres Hadibros directly from Hashem — because they include ALL of the mitzvos! So by hearing just these two mitzvos from Hashem, we are really hearing the entire Torah which is included in them, straight from Hashem.

We also see from this Gemara that every mitzvah connects us to Hashem, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha,” and every aveira separates us — “Lo Yihiyeh.”

To understand WHY aveiros separate us from Hashem, the Alter Rebbe needs to first teach us at least a little bit about Achdus Hashem, understanding how Hashem is everything and nothing changes Him.

The posuk says, “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” that Hashem created the world with “speech.” Over the next few days, the Alter Rebbe is going to show us how Hashem doesn’t change after the world was created, by explaining the mashal of dibur and what dibur means lemaalah.

We will see that Hashem makes the world in a way that it won’t recognize Achdus Hashem, and it will feel separate, which is the idea of Avodah Zarah. When a Yid doesn’t do what Hashem wants, he is separating from Achdus Hashem and connecting to the Avodah Zarah of the world. When we realize that, we will never ever allow it to happen!



Hey Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how important it is to use our koach of speaking to always say words of Torah!

In a maamar that starts with the words “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” the Friediker Rebbe explains what it means that Hashem created the world with dibur. Then, the Friediker Rebbe says that the reason why Hashem created the world with dibur is so a Yid should use his dibur to strengthen the world that Hashem created with dibur!

In the second half of that maamar, the Friediker Rebbe mentions what happens to the neshama after it finishes its job in this world. If a person wasted his time and talked a lot of narishkeit, the neshama needs a special cleaning called Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela. Today’s Hayom Yom is the last few lines of that maamar:

A person needs to say many words of Torah, (like to say Tehillim or review Mishnayos) whenever and wherever he can! This way it will strengthen the world (because this is why Hashem created it), it will save him from needing Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela, and his neshama will be able to appreciate Elokus.



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 DOES try 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 Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Tes-Vov

Today we finish learning how to calculate exactly where the moon is at any time.



Yud Shevat

The last maamar that the Frierdiker Rebbe gave out to learn before his histalkus on Yud Shevat was the maamar Bosi Legani, which has twenty se’ifim.

Every year on Yud Shevat, the Rebbe would say a maamar based on one se’if of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s maamar. Since then, every year we continue this pattern, learning the Rebbe’s explanations on one se’if, in order.

This year, we learn the Rebbe’s maamorim on the eleventh se’if, which were said in Tof-Shin-Chof-Alef and Tof-Shin-Mem-Alef.

Here is one of the inyonim in this se’if of Bosi Legani:

The maamar Bosi Legani teaches us how to get done what our neshama came into this world for, to make the world a Dira Betachtonim.

Who makes this happen?

This se’if explains that it is Tzivos Hashem, the Yidden who are soldiers in Hashem’s army. The Frierdiker Rebbe uses a mashal of a king fighting a war together with his soldiers and officers.

Imagine a powerful king who decides that he must capture a certain land. He sends his loyal soldiers out to fight the many battles and win over the enemies! Not only does the king WANT to win, he NEEDS to win!

During the war, the king sees that the battles are very hard. The soldiers need a lot of supplies and weapons in order to fight. The king goes into his treasure house and starts pulling out priceless jewelry to use to buy more supplies. These treasures have always been hidden, but the king doesn’t care! He doesn’t try to save them, he tells the generals to use as much as they want to buy plenty of supplies for the soldiers.

Even though it is dangerous, the king even goes out himself to the battle, to make sure that he will really win!

The nimshal is that Hashem is like a king fighting a war, to make sure that the world is the way Hashem planned it to be. The war is fought mainly by Hashem’s soldiers, the Yidden — Tzivos Hashem.

To make sure that we will win, Hashem pulls out the secret treasures of the Torah, the secrets of Chassidus, and tells the leaders of the Yidden to use as much as they want!

Even if a lot of the treasure will be wasted, because we don’t appreciate it all, Hashem is happy to have “Bizbuz Ha’otzros,” to use all of the hidden treasures! It is all worth it in order to win the war and make this world a Dira Betachtonim.

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Birchas Hamazon

We are going to start learning about the meaning of Birchas Hamazon.

Most of the brachos that we make are from the words of the Chachomim, except for two.

One is the bracha which we say before learning Torah, Birchas HaTorah. The other is Birchas Hamazon, which we say after we eat bread and are full. Both of these are straight from the Torah.

In Birchas Hamazon, there are four brachos. The Gemara in Mesechta Brachos tells us about these four brachos, and shows that they are hinted to in the posuk that tells us to say Birchas Hamazon!

IY”H we will learn about all of these brachos: Where they come from, why we say them, and what they mean. We will learn about the kavana we should have when we bentch!




The halacha is that children — boys or girls — who understand the inyan of Shabbos have a mitzvah for Chinuch to make Kiddush or be yotzei Kiddush by hearing it from someone else.

If a child is making his own Kiddush, it is important to know how much wine or grape juice he needs to drink! The halacha is that a person who makes Kiddush needs to drink at least a Melo Lugmav, enough to fill up one cheek. But this isn’t the same size for everyone, it goes by the actual size of your cheek! So a small child, who has a small cheek, doesn’t need to drink much at all when he makes Kiddush.

But even though he doesn’t need to DRINK very much, we still need to make sure that the Kiddush cup is the right size. The smallest size for a kosher Kiddush cup is a Revi’is, and even a child should use at least this size, even if he will only drink a small part of it.

Baed on the audio halacha shiurim of Rabbi Farkash, and see Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Chof-Daled

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



Comparing the Geulah to Yetziyas Mitzrayim

The Navi says, “Kimei Tzeis’cha Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos.” In the time of the Geulah, Hashem will show us nisim like when we came out of Mitzrayim.

From here we learn that the Geulah from Mitzrayim is an example for the Geulah of Moshiach!

Here is one way that they are the same:

It says about Yetziyas Mitzrayim that it came in the zechus of the women — Bizchus Noshim Tzidkonios Nigalu Avoseinu. Moshiach will also come in the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios (righteous women) of our times!

That is why the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe were very careful to make sure that women have a very good Chinuch. Especially compared to the Rebbeim in other generations, they gave so much of their time and kochos for this! There were special letters, sichos and horaos just for the women, to help make sure that the Noshim of our times will be Noshim Tzidkonios, who will bring Moshiach in their zechus.

See Sefer Hasichos Nun-Beis p. 300

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