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Parshas Vayakhel - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe told the Yidden that Betzalel (from Shevet Yehudah) and Oholiav (from Shevet Dan) were given special wisdom and talent from Hashem to make things for the Mishkan. It will be their job to be in charge of making the pieces of the Mishkan and all of the keilim. Any other Yidden who had special kochos or talents should help too!

In one day, they already had all they needed for the Mishkan, and Moshe told everyone to stop bringing things!

The Yidden stopped bringing, and they ended up with even more materials than they needed to build the whole Mishkan!



104 - 105

In today’s first Kapitel, Dovid Hamelech tells us about how amazing the world is, and how Hashem made everything just perfect!

The second posuk says, “Oteh Or KaSalma” — “Hashem puts on light, like clothes.”

When someone is wearing clothes, we can only see the clothes, but we know who is wearing them!

And when we see light, like the sun, we can remember that it’s like Hashem’s clothes! Even though we can’t see Hashem, Hashem is there! That will help us have Yiras Shomayim.

There is also a Ruchnius kind of light: When we learn Torah, it gives light to our neshama! And this light is ALSO Hashem’s “clothes” — and it also needs to remind us that Hashem is “wearing” it, and then we’ll learn Torah with Yiras Shomayim.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed

Sometimes a person might be all clogged up in his heart, because his Yetzer Hara is feeling all proud and chutzpadik. One way to make his Yetzer Hara stop being so proud is to think about how he is no better than the biggest rasha he can think of, since he isn’t fighting as hard with HIS Yetzer Hara as he expects the rasha to fight with his.

In fact, not only is he not better than the Kal Shebekalim, he should feel really humble, because he is WORSE!

The Chachomim say that when an Am Ha’aretz (someone who doesn’t know very much Torah) does an aveira, even on purpose, it’s counted like he made a mistake, because he didn’t understand what an aveira really means.

The Kal Shebekalim doesn’t know as much Torah as this person does. The Kal Shebekalim doesn’t know as many halachos as this person does. He doesn’t really understand Avodas Hashem at all!

But we ARE supposed to be working on our Avodas Hashem, and we aren’t working as hard as we think he is supposed to be working. So we have no reason to feel proud!

The Gemara says a story about Elisha ben Avuya (Acher), who was the teacher of R’ Meir. Something happened that made him go off the derech of Torah and mitzvos. Because of this, a Bas Kol came from Shomayim and said that it would be much harder for him to do teshuvah, because he KNEW the greatness of Hashem, and still chose to drop the path of Torah and mitzvos.

This shows us that Hashem expects much more from someone who knows about Torah and Hashem!

IY”H soon we will finish learning about how we can use all of these thoughts, not just to take away false pride, but to bring simcha into our Avodas Hashem!



Chof-Alef Adar Alef

In the Mishnah and in the Gemara, we see the title “chossid” used a lot. For example, it is used about Adam Harishon, who is called a chossid because he recognized what happened as a result of the Cheit Eitz Hadaas, and fasted and did teshuvah for 130 years.

When the Chachomim talk about a chossid, they are talking about someone who is very wise, has very good midos, or both.

But when we talk about “Chossid” in Chassidus, we mean someone who:

1) Is “Makir Mehuso” — someone who knows who he is! (Those who learn Tanya and Chassidus know that we have a constant battle with our Yetzer Hara, and we know why Hashem made us this way. We know the goal of Yidden as a whole, and the special job of our generation!)

2) He knows how he’s doing in learning Torah and doing mitzvos.

3) He is very careful to work on fixing up things he knows he is missing.

4) He has a lot of Kabolas Ol to do what he knows he has to do!



Shiur #179 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #114, Asei #55, Lo Saasei #115, #116

Today we review the mitzvah of yesterday:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #114) We are not allowed to cut the hair of a sheep that is meant for a Korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְלֹא תָגֹז בְּכוֹר צֹאנֶךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros.

We also learn 3 mitzvos about the Korban Pesach, since we are starting those halachos today!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #55) It is a mitzvah for every Yid to bring (or be part of a group that brings) a Korban Pesach on Erev Pesach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וְשָׁחֲטוּ אֹתוֹ כֹּל קְהַל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Pesachim.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #115) We can’t bring the Korban Pesach if we have chometz in our house!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא תִזְבַּח עַל חָמֵץ דַּם זִבְחִי

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Pesachim.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #116) The fat of the korban needs to be burned on the Mizbeiach before the next day. We are not allowed to leave it overnight. If it is left, it becomes nosar and is not allowed to be burned on the Mizbeiach anymore.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא יָלִין חֵלֶב חַגִּי עַד בֹּקֶר



Hilchos Me'ilah - Korban Pesach

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last Perek of Me’ilah — which is also the last perek of the entire Sefer Avodah!

Perek Ches: We learn about people who are working using Hekdesh, like farmers, builders, or Kohanim. We learn that even these people also need to be careful with Me’ilah!

The Rambam finishes by reminding us that we need to do mitzvos carefully, even if they are chukimmitzvos we don’t understand!

With that halacha, we finished the eighth Sefer in Rambam! Now we are going to start the NINTH sefer, called Sefer Korbanos. This sefer will talk about specific Korbanos.

The first set of halachos is about the Korban Pesach. In 10 perakim, the Rambam will teach us about the 16 mitzvos connected to the Korban Pesach! Only four of them are Mitzvos Asei, things we need to do. All the rest are Lo Saasei — things we have to be careful NOT to do. We will IY”H learn them all in Sefer Hamitzvos.

Perek Alef: In this perek, we learn the answers to the questions “What? Where? When? How?” about the Korban Pesach. (The Rambam usually doesn’t teach us the details of the WHY, which is explained in other places in Torah.)

Perek Beis: Now we learn WHO — who brings the Korban Pesach, and about eating it together as a group.



Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Tes-Vov

If the kohen had a thought that he is bringing a different korban (like if he thought he was bringing an Olah when he was bringing a Shelamim), the korban is still kosher to bring on the Mizbeiach, but the owners have to bring a new korban. But for a Korban Chatas and a Korban Pesach, these kinds of thoughts would actually make it posul, and it can’t even be brought on the Mizbeiach.



Chassidishe Parsha

We’re learning about the Mishkan now in Chumash, but it’s not the first time! We just learned about the Mishkan before.

If we look at both places where we talk about the Mishkan, we will see one very big difference — the order.

In Parshas Terumah and Tetzaveh, we first learn about: 1) the keilim of the Mishkan building, like the Menorah and the Shulchan, then 2) the covers (Yeriyos) of the Mishkan, and finally about 3) keeping Shabbos.

In Parshas Vayakhel, we first learn about: 1) keeping Shabbos, then we learn about 2) the Yeriyos of the Mishkan, and finally we learn about 3) the keilim that went inside.

But that’s exactly backwards! Why?

The Alter Rebbe teaches us in Torah Ohr that each of these three things mean something different in Ruchnius:

1. Keeping Shabbos means the extra neshama, the Neshama Yeseira (Yechidah) that we get on Shabbos — especially during the special tefillos of Shabbos!

2. The Mishkan building, the walls and curtains, are like the mitzvos that we do.

3. The keilim of the Mishkan mean the Torah that we learn.

The first time we learned about the Mishkan, we learned about it the way Hashem sees it. But in Parshas Vayakhel, we are learning about the Mishkan the way WE need to do it!

In our Avodas Hashem, we need to use the second order — first Shabbos, then the Yeriyos, then the keilim.

First we need to start with Shabbos, the Neshama Yeseira. We need to use it to have chayus in our Torah and mitzvos. Through our davening, we carry this chayus all week! Then we bring this koach down through doing mitzvos, which are Makif (like the covers of the Mishkan), and finally this will give us koach in our learning and understanding Torah in a way of Pnimius — like our keilim!


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Shir Shel Yom

Davening accomplishes many things. One of the reasons we daven is instead of bringing the Korban Tomid, the korban that was brought two times every day.

In the Beis Hamikdash, after bringing the Korban Tomid in the morning, the Leviim would sing the Shir Shel Yom. This is a kapitel Tehillim that is connected to that day of the week.

We also say the Shir Shel Yom, the way they did in the Beis Hamikdash, after Shemoneh Esrei, our “Korban Tomid”!



Davening First Thing

As soon as it is time for davening, starting from Alos Hashachar, we are not allowed to do anything that is not part of preparing for davening or davening itself.

In Shulchan Aruch, there are a few examples given: We are not allowed to go to a friend’s house to greet him, because we are giving kavod to someone else before we show kavod to Hashem! We can’t take care of any personal needs so that we won’t get busy with anything aside for davening. We aren’t allowed to eat and drink unless we need it because we are sick or to have kavana in davening.

Starting from the morning, the very first thing we do is to get ready for davening, and then daven right away!

See Shulchan Aruch siman 89

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



Feeling the Emes

The Medrash Tehillim says that when Moshiach comes, if a person will try to pull off a fig from a tree on Shabbos (which is one of the Lamed-Tes Melachos), the tree will cry out, “It’s Shabbos today! You can’t do it!”

Then, the world won’t feel separate from Hashem. The Emes, that it was created to fulfill the Ratzon of Hashem, will be so obvious that the world won’t let anything be done against Hashem’s Ratzon!

See Sefer Hasichos 5752, p. 31, ha’ara 42

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