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Parshas Eikev - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is reminding the Yidden about the things that happened during the last forty years of traveling in the midbar. They are getting ready to go into Eretz Yisroel with Yehoshua!

“You are about to go into the special land of Eretz Yisroel! Don’t make a mistake and think that Hashem is taking out the goyim and letting you go in because you are tzadikim and you deserve it!”

Moshe Rabbeinu doesn’t want the Yidden to have gaava (to think about themselves and how important and special they are), because then they will be busy thinking about themselves, and won’t be able to to think about Hashem and doing what Hashem wants!

“Remember that right after Matan Torah, you decided to make the Eigel — and remember what happened to everyone who helped!

“Remember all the times when you complained about food and water instead of having bitachon that Hashem will take care of whatever you need!

“Remember how you complained that you didn’t want to go into Eretz Yisroel after the Meraglim came back!

“So why are you going into Eretz Yisroel, if you don’t deserve it? Because the goyim are acting in ways that make Hashem upset, and He doesn’t want them to live there anymore. It is also because of the Mesiras Nefesh the Avos had to act the way Hashem wants, and Hashem’s promise to them that their children would get Eretz Yisroel.

“Don’t think that you can act however you want and still stay in Eretz Yisroel — you need to make sure to live the way Hashem tells you, in order to deserve to stay!”



90 - 96

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik to Tzadik-Vov.

The first kapitel in today’s Tehillim was written by Moshe Rabbeinu. Dovid Hamelech later put it in Tehillim. It starts with the words “Tefillah LeMoshe, Ish HaElokim.” “This is a Tefillah by Moshe Rabbeinu, a person of Hashem.”

Why is Moshe Rabbeinu called “a person of Hashem”?

Hashem is everything and everything is Hashem — but we can’t see that! Hashem made the world because Hashem wants Yidden to act according to Torah and mitzvos and make a Dira Betachtonim.

But if we can’t see Hashem, how do we know how to act? That’s why Hashem gives Yidden a Moshe Rabbeinu, who is “a person of Hashem.” A Moshe Rabbeinu has two parts — one part of him that is “of Hashem” — very close to Hashem so he knows what Hashem wants, but he is also “a person” — so he can teach us what we need to do!

There is always a Nasi, like Moshe Rabbeinu, who helps the Yidden do what Hashem wants at that time. Now, of course, the Rebbe is our Moshe Rabbeinu!

The Rebbe told us that we are about to see the Geulah, and we need to learn and teach about it! We need to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus and ask Hashem to bring Moshiach NOW!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Hey

We are learning about how tzedakah “makes Hashem’s name.”

Hashem’s name is written with a Yud and a Hey. Each of these letters does something different:

The Yud of Hashem’s name gives chayus to Olam Haba, which is more ruchniyus’dik, and the Hey gives chayus to Olam Hazeh (here!), where Hashem is more hidden and we can’t feel the chayus as much.

In the beginning, there were no Yidden, and Hashem gave His chayus WITHOUT anyone doing anything! But after Adam HaRishon was created, and especially after the Yidden became Hashem’s nation, Hashem needs US to do mitzvos so He will give chayus to the world.

In tomorrow’s Tanya we will see which mitzvah especially has this koach for Hashem to give chayus to the Hey, so that Olam Hazeh will be able to exist:

The mitzvah of tzedakah!

Because when we give chayus to another person by giving tzedakah, Hashem ALSO gives tzedakah — He gives chayus to the world!



Yud-Tes Menachem Av

Today we learn the seder of someone who puts on four pairs of Tefillin.

Why would someone have FOUR pairs of Tefillin?

Four different Chachomim explained the halacha of which order to put the parshios (the pieces of parchment) in the compartments inside the Tefillin. Each gave a different order, and they each bring a different kind of Ruchnius koach to the person who wears them.

The halacha in Shulchan Aruch is according to Rashi, but some people have a minhag to wear the other kinds too. Our minhag is to wear two pairs of Tefillin — Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam. Still, some special people have a minhag to wear ALL FOUR kinds of Tefillin!

We learn today what a person should daven or learn when wearing each pair of tefillin.



Shiur #15 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #11, #12, #14, Asei #185, Lo Saasei #25, #22, #48, #50, #51, #30, #33, #31, #32

Today we learn even MORE mitzvos about not serving Avodah Zarah, and only serving Hashem!

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #11) We are not allowed to build a monument for people to come and daven around — even to daven to Hashem — because this kind of thing is usually used for Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְלֹא תָקִים לְךָ מַצֵּבָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא ה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #12) People used to choose certain stones to lean on when they bowed to Avodah Zarah. We are not allowed to choose a stone to bow on, even to use to bow to Hashem!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Behar: וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת עָלֶיהָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Megillah.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #13) We are not allowed to plant a tree near the Mizbeiach, or anywhere near the Beis Hamikdash, because that was what was done in places of Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא תִטַּע לְךָ אֲשֵׁרָה כָּל עֵץ אֵצֶל מִזְבַּח ה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Tamid.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #185) We need to destroy everything in Eretz Yisroel that has to do with Avodah Zarah! That means all of the idols, mizbechos, and temples.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: אַבֵּד תְּאַבְּדוּן אֶת כָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #25) We are not allowed to use any part of an idol for something that helps us, like burning a tree used for Avodah Zarah so that our house will be warm.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: וְלֹא תָבִיא תוֹעֵבָה אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Avodah Zarah perek Gimmel.

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #22) We are not allowed to use the gold or silver that was put on an idol to make it look nice.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: לֹא תַחְמֹד כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב עֲלֵיהֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Avodah Zarah perek Gimmel.

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #48) We are not allowed to let goyim live in Eretz Yisroel unless they stop worshiping Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: לֹא תִכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית

8) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #50) We are not allowed to be nice to someone who worships idols.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: וְלֹא תְחָנֵּם

9) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #51) We are not allowed to let anyone who serves Avodah Zarah to live or stay in Eretz Yisroel, because people might learn from them.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ בְּאַרְצְךָ פֶּן יַחֲטִיאוּ אֹתְךָ לִי

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin and Avodah Zarah.

10) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #30) We are not allowed to copy things that people who worship Avodah Zarah do, even if those things have nothing to with Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְלֹא תֵלְכוּ בְּחֻקֹּת הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מְשַׁלֵּחַ מִפְּנֵיכֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos perek Vov and Tosefta Shabbos.

11) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #33) We aren’t allowed to decide things based on “good signs” or “bad signs” — like to decide that something that happened was a “bad sign” and now you shouldn’t go on the trip.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ מְעוֹנֵן וּמְנַחֵשׁ

The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos perek Zayin and Tosefta Shabbos

12) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #31) We are not allowed to do things to predict the future.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ קֹסֵם קְסָמִים

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin, Tosefta Shabbos, and Sifri.

13) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #32) We are not allowed to decide which days are good for things based on astrology (deciding things based on the stars). We also are not allowed to make magic tricks in a way that people think we’re using real magic.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ מְעוֹנֵן



Hilchos Avodas Kochavim

Perek Zayin: We need to destroy Avodah Zarah things. The Rambam teaches us what kinds of things are counted as Avodah Zarah. For example, if a cow was used for a korban to Avodah Zarah, we can’t even use its skin for anything else.

In Perek Ches, we learn about when things change to become Avodah Zarah. If someone davened to a mountain, the mountain isn’t counted as Avodah Zarah, but if he took a rock from that mountain it could be.

In Perek Tes, we learn about doing business and about our dealings with goyim when they are celebrating their Avodah Zarah days.



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Ches

This perek teaches us the difference between metal and wood — a keili that is tomei when it is made out of wood can be tahor when it’s made out of metal!

The Rambam also teaches us that something that makes a person beautiful, like jewelry, can become tomei. But jewelry made for an animal, or a decoration made for another keili, doesn’t become tomei. The kavana we have, meaning what we planned to use the keili for, makes a big difference!



Leben Mit Der Tzeit

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Eikev, Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden about the Midbar that they traveled through.

The Rebbe tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t only talking about the Midbar that the Yidden went through on their way to Eretz Yisroel. He was also hinting to the long Golus that the Yidden are going through now! This last Golus before Moshiach comes is compared to a desert.

The way Moshe Rabbeinu tells us about the Midbar also teaches us what this Golus is all about, and shows us how we can fight the Golus and bring the Geulah!

The first thing Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden about the Midbar is that it was a Midbar Gadol V’Norah — a great and mighty desert. This shows us the first problem that Golus can give us: To make us think that the parts of the Golus are special and important. Really, a Midbar isn’t so great and special — it’s just a Midbar! Even though many parts of Golus SEEM so important, like being rich or famous — it’s just a Golus!

This also shows us the first way to FIGHT the Golus: By being a proud Jew! Don’t look at the Golus as so important, because there is nothing more special than being a Jew and keeping Torah and mitzvos!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Beis, Parshas Eikev (p. 371)


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In Korbanos in the morning, we say the pesukim that talk about the Korban Tomid and the Ketores, and the halachos about how the Ketores is made. When we do this, Hashem counts it as if we are actually bringing the Korban Tomid and the Ketores!

After finishing (and saying the pesukim that Kabbalah teaches we should say after the Ketores), we say a posuk from Malachi: “Ve’arva LaHashem Minchas Yehuda Viyerushalayim, Kimei Olam Ucheshanim Kadmoniyos.” “The korbanos of the Yidden should be sweet to Hashem, like days of old and previous times.”

This posuk is part of a Nevuah about the Geulah! The Navi says that Hashem will give us the Beis Hamikdash and accept our korbanos with all of the nisim we had during the first Beis Hamikdash.

We are asking Hashem that not only should it be counted as we are bringing the Tomid and the Ketores, but that we should actually be able to bring them for Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi!



Buying Seforim

There is a mitzvah in the Torah that every person should write a Sefer Torah. Nowadays, we fulfill this mitzvah by buying a letter in the Sefer Torah and by buying seforim.

Did you know that there are halachos about which seforim to buy first?

The most important seforim to buy are the ones you need for learning. So before having a nice set of seforim to put on your shelf, you should first make sure you have the ones that you will need for learning.

Of course we need a Chitas and a Rambam, and basic seforim like a Tanach. But after that, which seforim of learning should we get?

The Alter Rebbe tells us in Hilchos Talmud Torah that the first parts of Torah to learn are the ones that teach us how to behave as a Yid, both halacha seforim that teach us what to do and seforim of Mussar and Chassidus which give us the right hashkafa and Yiras Shomayim.

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman Chof-Ches, se’if Beis, and the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Talmud Torah perek Beis

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



Kibbutz Galuyos

After the days of Shlomo Hamelech, the Yidden split into two groups, each with their own king. Unfortunately, they never got back together, and the group under the Malchei Yisrael was sent into Golus and lost.

But as we see in the words of the Neviim, when Moshiach comes, all of the Yidden will be gathered together again under one king!

The Navi Hoshea also says this in one of his nevuos:

וְנִקְבְּצוּ בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יַחְדָּו וְשָׂמוּ לָהֶם רֹאשׁ אֶחָד וְעָלוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ כִּי גָדוֹל יוֹם יִזְרְעֶאל

Venikbetzu Bnei Yehudah Uvenei Yisrael Yachdav — The Yidden of Yehudah and the Yidden of Yisrael will be gathered together

Vesamu Lahem Rosh Echad — And they will make themselves one leader

Ve’alu Min Ha’aretz — And they will go up from the land of Golus to Eretz Yisroel

Ki Gadol Yom Yizre’el — Because the day of Kibbutz Galuyos will be great!

See Hoshea perek Beis posuk Beis

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