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CHUMASH

Parshas Korach - Chamishi with Rashi

Now Hashem wanted to stop the Yidden from complaining that Aharon was chosen to be the Kohen Gadol.

This is what Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu to do:

Tell each of the Nesiim to bring a stick, and write their name on it. Aharon should write his name for Shevet Levi.

Moshe should put the sticks in front of the Aron, and Hashem will make one of the sticks grow flowers! When the Yidden see which Shevet’s stick that was, everyone will know who Hashem chooses.

Moshe did this, and the next day, he saw that Aharon’s stick grew flowers and then almonds! Moshe showed all of the Yidden these sticks, and they all realized that AHARON was the one Hashem wanted to be Kohen Gadol.

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TEHILLIM

145 - 150

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh, so today we finish the whole sefer Tehillim for this month!

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim is very special! It starts with the words “Tehillah LeDovid,” which is the third posuk of Ashrei. We say Ashrei three times every day in davening! (Twice in Shacharis and once in Mincha.) Ashrei goes in the order of the Alef-Beis — one posuk for each letter (except for Nun).

The posuk that starts with Zayin is “Zecher Rav Tuvcha Yabiu,” “They will tell over to the next generation what they remember about Hashem’s great goodness.”

There is a long maamar of the Alter Rebbe in his “Siddur Im Dach” (Siddur with maamorim of Chassidus) that explains this posuk. (This is one of the early maamarim that the Mitteler Rebbe chazered at the beginning of his Nesius, as mentioned in the Hayom Yom of Lamed Av.)

When the Rebbe said the posukZecher Rav Tuvcha” in davening, he would say the word Zecher twice (like we do when we lein the part of the Torah that talks about remembering Amalek) — “Zeicher Zecher” — once with a tzeirei and once with a segol.

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TANYA

Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Tes

There is a mitzvah for us to “know” Hashem. Obviously, this can’t mean that we need to understand Hashem! Of course we can’t understand Hashem, because Hashem CREATED our sechel (our mind), and our sechel is certainly not strong enough to understand our Creator!

The mitzvah of knowing Hashem is to be able to see the world the way Hashem wants us to see it. The world looks like it exists on its own, but really the world’s existence is only the chayus of Hashem in it!

Even this is really too hard for us to understand. But by realizing the differences between the way we are able to know something and the way things really are as Hashem knows them, it helps us come closer to picturing it the way it really is.

In this part of Tanya, we are learning the differences between the way we might think things are, based on OUR sechel, and the way Hashem sees them — the way they really are.

One of the things the Alter Rebbe told us before is that Chochmah is the highest level by a person. But by Hashem, it isn’t that way at all! Chochmah to Hashem is the way Maaseh (the lowest level) is to a person!

The only reason why we call Hashem a “Chochom” is because Chochmah COMES FROM Hashem.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe teaches us HOW Chochmah comes from Hashem, the way it is explained in Kabbalah.

Hashem’s Chochmah and also Hashem’s midos (the ten Sefiros), once they are created, are what makes the world exist, and are the way the world really is, the way Hashem creates it!

The Zohar says, “Ihu Vegarmohi Chad,” that once they are created, Hashem and His sefiros are one.

The way Hashem and the sefiros are one, just like Hashem Himself, is above our understanding. The Zohar calls it Raza D’Mheimenusa, which means the secret of Emunah. It is higher than our sechel, and we need to use our Emunah.

Still, it takes our sechel to understand that we need Emunah to know that the world is one with Hashem!

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HAYOM YOM

Lamed Sivan

Today we learn about our minhag for Haavaras Hasedra, about the difference between Gashmius and Ruchnius and why they are opposites, and about the midah of being Sameiach Bechelko, happy with what we have.

There is a halacha that every week we need to do something called “Haavaras Hasedra,” or “Shnayim Mikra Ve’Echad Targum.” We need to lein every posuk of that week’s parsha two times, and once in Targum (translation). The Chachomim chose Targum Onkelos, which translates the Chumash into Aramaic.

Some have a minhag to lein the whole parsha two times, and then to read through the whole Targum Onkelos. But that’s not Minhag Chabad. Our minhag is to lein each posuk twice, and then Targum Onkelos, before going on to the next posuk. We also lein the Haftorah of the Parsha, and also the haftorah we read in shul if they’re different (like if it’s Rosh Chodesh and we need to lein a special Rosh Chodesh Haftorah).

Today the Rebbe teaches us that Ruchnius and Gashmius are opposites. Something that is GOOD in Gashmius, might NOT be good in Ruchnius.

One example for this is the midah of “Sameach BeChelko” — being happy with what we have. If we are happy with our Gashmius, that’s great! We won’t be spending our time looking for Gashmius, and instead we will be able to use all of our energy for the real important things.

But to be “Sameach BeChelko” in Ruchnius can be terrible! A person should never feel like he has enough Torah, Yiras Shomayim, Hiskashrus, or Ahavas Yisroel. Even someone who did many special things needs to always feel like he has to do even better.

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #336 - Mitzvas Asei #173, Lo Saasei #362, #364, #363, #365

We are now on the last set of halachos in Rambam! These perakim talk about the mitzvos of kings, and later we will learn about the greatest king of all, Moshiach!

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 5 mitzvos — 2 for all of the Yidden, and 3 mitzvos especially for kings!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #173) The Yidden need to choose a king who will lead them. They need to have a lot of kavod for him, even more kavod than they have for a Navi! If the king tells them to do anything that is not against Torah, they NEED to do it. If someone doesn’t listen to the king, he is called a Mored Bemalchus and he deserves to be killed.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Beis, Mesechta Kerisus perek Alef, and Mesechta Sotah perek Zayin.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #362) We are not allowed to choose a Ger for any official jobs, like a judge or a king. For kings, it is even more specific — Hashem says that the kings will come from the family of Dovid Hamelech.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Beis.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #364) A king can’t marry too many women. In those days, people were allowed to have more than one wife, but a king can’t have more than 18. If he gets married to more wives than that, he gets malkos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ נָשִׁים

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Beis.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #363) A king isn’t allowed to collect horses. He is only allowed to have what he needs for the army, and only one horse for himself! He can’t have extra horses to run in front of him for honor or respect.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ סוּסִים

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Beis.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #365) A king shouldn’t have too much money for himself. He shouldn’t have more than he needs to spend for his chariots or his servants. But he IS allowed to collect a lot of money to take care of the needs of Yidden.

The Torah tells us the reasons for these last three mitzvos. But the Torah doesn’t always tell us a reason for mitzvos, since if we would know the reasons, we might skip the mitzvah because we think the reason doesn’t apply to us. But even when we know the reason, we don’t understand the REAL reason — only Hashem does! So no matter what, we should do the mitzvos the way Hashem tells us to, whether we know why or not!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ מְאֹד

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Melachim

In Perek Alef, the Rambam tells us that there are 3 mitzvos the Yidden have to keep when they come into Eretz Yisroel — in order! First, they have to make a Jewish king, then they have to get rid of Amalek, and then they have to build the Beis Hamikdash.

We learn who can be a Jewish king — only a man, who is not a Ger, who never had a job that might make people think he isn’t important.

Perek Beis teaches us about the kavod of a king. Nobody is allowed to use his things, and he needs to always dress beautifully. He should sit on a throne in his palace, and wear a crown.

The king needs to be very humble! He should take care of every Yid, like a shepherd who takes care of every sheep.

In Perek Gimmel, we learn the mitzvos for a king (which we learned in Sefer Hamitzvos). A king also has a special mitzvah to carry a Sefer Torah with him wherever he goes! Even if he can’t hold it (like when he’s sleeping or eating) it needs to be right there near him. He also has to be careful not to do anything that makes him forget about the Sefer Torah or his special job of taking care of the Yidden.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Nedarim - Perek Yud-Beis

We learn about how a father or husband can take away a promise. One interesting halacha is that a father can take away ANY promise, but a husband can only take away a promise that will bother or annoy him or her or make it hard to stay married to his wife. We also learn that he can only take away the promise on the day he hears it — otherwise, the promise stays.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

A few days ago, we learned about the maalah of davening in 770. Now we will also see where the Rebbe explains something very special about davening at the Ohel!

There is a halacha that when we daven, we should face Eretz Yisroel, because Hashem’s Shechinah is there. In Eretz Yisroel, we face Yerushalayim, and in Yerushalayim, we face the Beis Hamikdash, the place where Hashem rests.

This helps that our davening should be accepted by Hashem!

Even though the halacha is always this way, in Eretz Yisroel itself there is still a very big difference between the way it was when the Beis Hamikdash stood and the way it is after the Churban. Even though there is still kedusha there, it is much more hidden.

In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, there were less things that blocked our tefillos from going up to Hashem right away. It was easier to see how our tefillos are answered!

But there still is a place where we can reach the level of kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was before the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed!

Chassidus teaches that the neshamos of great tzadikim, like Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, were not affected by the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash. So being close to the neshama of a great tzadik is able to connect us to the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was before the Churban!

Like Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, the Rebbe is a great tzadik who teaches us Pnimius HaTorah, and is able to connect us to this special level of kedusha. Even more, since the Rebbe is the Nasi Hador, and has a special connection with each Yid of our generation, we can connect to the kedusha by the Rebbe in an even greater way.

That is what is special about davening at the Ohel of the Rebbe! We are connected to the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel the way it was when the Beis Hamikdash stood, and we can see how our tefillah goes right up to Hashem, and how Hashem answers us!

See Sicha Yud Shevat 5714

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TEFILLAH

Hashkiveinu

The second paragraph of Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah is Hashkiveinu.

This paragraph has two parts. In the first part, we ask Hashem that we should go to sleep peacefully and wake up peacefully. We also ask that while we are thinking at night, Hashem should only put in our minds good ideas, and help us do the right things.

In the second half, we ask Hashem to keep us safe from the not-good kochos that are stronger at night.

We don’t say this second half on Shabbos, because we don’t need to. Hashem already gives us extra protection on Shabbos!

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bein Adam Lechaveiro

Treating others nicely
Is a mentchlich thing to do.
But it’s not just about manners —
It’s a mitzvah, too!

There are many halachos that teach us how to act when we are dealing with other people.

Here is one halacha:

Let’s say your friend Avi tells you about a neat trip he went on. You think it’s really interesting, and you want to ask Levi what he thinks. No problem, right?

Actually, there is a problem!

Whenever someone tells us something, the halacha is that we need to treat it as private, unless the other person TELLS us that we are allowed to talk about it. We can’t share what another person told us unless he specifically tells us that it is okay!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Masa Umatan, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov, se’if yud-daled

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

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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

The Small Will Become Great

The Navi Yeshaya tells us something special that will happen at the time of the Geulah! Nowadays there are many people who don’t think they are important, and many families that feel very small. Look what the Navi says will happen when it’s time for the Geulah to come!

הַקָּטֹן יִהְיֶה לָאֶלֶף וְהַצָּעִיר לְגוֹי עָצוּם אֲנִי ה׳ בְּעִתָּהּ אֲחִישֶׁנָּה

Hakaton Yihiyeh La’elef — The smallest family will become a thousand

Vehatza’ir Legoy Atzum — And the smallest person will become a great nation!

Ani Hashem — I am Hashem, Who can do this!

Be’ita Achishena — In the right time, I will speed it up to make it happen!

See Yeshaya perek Samach posuk Chof-Beis

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