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Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei - Shvi'i with Rashi

We are about to finish not only this parsha, but the entire Chumash Shemos!

Later in the Chumash, we will learn about the Shivas Yemei Hamiluim, the week when the Yidden got the Mishkan ready to use. On Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the Yidden will start using the Mishkan for real.

Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu that he will have to put up the Mishkan all by himself on Rosh Chodesh Nissan! He will have to get everything ready himself! He will have to dress Aharon HaKohen one last time, even though Aharon is now a full Kohen Gadol and is allowed to put on the clothes himself already. Moshe will have to put the main clothes of the Kohanim (the shirt) on by himself too. Then he will have to anoint them (with the Shemen Hamish’cha) so they will be ready to do the avodah!

Moshe was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to lift the walls of the Mishkan himself, because they are very heavy! Hashem told him not to worry, because He will help Moshe!

Moshe did what Hashem told him to during the Shivas Yemei Hamiluim, that started on Chof-Gimmel Adar. Then on Rosh Chodesh, he put up the Mishkan all by himself, just like Hashem told him to!

The Torah tells us exactly how Moshe set up the Mishkan perfectly. (He did only two things differently than usual, since Hashem told him to: He put the Lechem HaPanim on the Shulchan, even though it was Sunday and usually it is put on Shabbos; and he lit the Menorah even though it was morning and usually the Menorah is lit at night.)

Then Hashem put his Shechinah into the Mishkan! A special cloud stayed over the Mishkan (fire at night), and when it moved, the Yidden would know it was time to travel again.

Chazak, Chazak, Venis’chazeik!



119 (first half)

Today’s Tehillim is Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes, the LONGEST kapitel in the whole Tehillim! It is so long that we don’t even say the whole Kapitel today, just the first half.

Dovid Hamelech tells us, “Tov Li Toras Picha Me’Alfei Zahav VaChasef” — “Torah is more precious to me than even very much gold and silver!”

The Rebbe explains to us why it was Dovid Hamelech who told us that Torah is the most precious thing. Dovid Hamelech was the king, and he had a lot of gold and silver. He understood what it’s like to have a lot of money! Still Dovid Hamelech tells us that even when someone has a lot of gold and silver, he needs to know and feel that the Torah is the most precious thing.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Zayin

To bring the Geulah, we need the avodah of all of the Yidden together.

The Chachomim say that the world was created for Yidden to keep the Torah and mitzvos.

The Yidden have 600,000 general neshamos, that the rest of the neshamos come from. So the world is also split up into 600,000 sections, which are divided into smaller parts. Each neshama has “Chelko Ba’olam,” a part of the world that it needs to make into kedusha.

We all have things that we need to use for our Avodas Hashem. What we use for parnasa, or the things that give us simcha or chayus, are all part of our “Chelek Ba’olam,” the part of the world that we need to make into kedusha. Some Yidden might work in ice cream stores, and other Yidden might work with concrete. When all Yidden take care of their part of the world, the whole world will be used for kedusha, and will be ready for the Geulah!



Chof-Hey Adar

The Hayom Yom was written for the year Tof-Shin-Gimmel and Tof-Shin-Daled. That year was a Shana Me’uberes (a leap year) and there were two Adars. This year there is only one Adar, so we learn the Hayom Yoms from BOTH Adars!

Chof-Hey Adar Alef

After we say the Shir Shel Yom (“Hayom Yom ___ BaShabbos, Shebo Hayu HaLeviim Omrim...”) we say a short paragraph that starts “Hoshienu.” We say this paragraph EVERY day — even on Shabbos, Yom Tov, Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur!

Chof-Hey Adar Sheini

The Chossid R’ Mordechai Horodoker told us what was the first thing the Chassidim learned when they came to the Alter Rebbe in Liozna:

Vos men tor nit, tor men nit — un vos men meg, darf men nit!” What we aren’t allowed to do — we aren’t allowed to do! And what we ARE allowed to do — we don’t need it.

There are things that are asur — like non-kosher food, or hitting our friends. We can’t do them!

There are also things that we ARE allowed to do — like eat nosh, or play computer games. But we need to think before each time: Do we need to do them for our Avodas Hashem? Will they help us learn or daven better, or be happier on Shabbos? Or do we not need them? If we don’t need them, we shouldn’t do them!

The Chassidim spent 3 to 4 years making sure that they were careful all the time to do the right thing. Only then did they allow themselves to go into Yechidus with the Alter Rebbe to hear what was their special way of Avodas Hashem!



Shiur #229 - Mitzvas Asei #98

Today’s mitzvah is the same one again (Mitzvas Asei #98) that foods can become tomei. We need to follow all of the halachos about how these foods and drinks become tomei, and how to act when they do.



Hilchos Tumas Ochlin - Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about Tumah of food and drinks:

Perek Tes-Zayin tells us which food is Bechezkas Muchsharim, that we say it probably got wet so it can become tomei.

Then the Rambam tells us that most of the time, it’s fine to make food tomei and eat tomei food! It is only a problem with holy foods, like Korbanos, Terumah, and Maaser Sheini, since we can’t eat those when we are tomei. But some Yidden, called Perushim, would be very careful to ONLY be tahor and eat tahor foods all the time.

Now we start learning a new set of halachos, about how keilim can become Tomei.

In Perek Alef we learn what kinds of containers can become tomei — ones made of sackcloth, leather, bone, metal, wood, or clay; and clothes also. For keilim made of clay, it has to be a “Klei Kibul” — to have a space inside to hold something (even just one drop). But if it is made of metal, ANY keili can become tomei!

Perek Beis teaches us the dinim of a Klei Kibul.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Chof-Hey

Perek Chof-Hey talks about a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who promises to pay back the money if the borrower can’t pay it back on time. One halacha is that if a person says he will be a guarantor AFTER the loan was already given (like if the lender is screaming at the borrower, and a person who hears says to stop screaming because he is ready to be a guarantor), he doesn’t really become a guarantor — he would first need to make a kinyan. (If he says he will guarantee the loan BEFORE the loan was given, he doesn’t need to make a kinyan.)



Chof-Hey Adar

Today is a very special day! It’s Chof-Hey Adar, the birthday of the Rebbetzin!

The first birthday of the Rebbetzin after her histalkus, the Rebbe said that he will make something special in her honor — to start a campaign that everyone should start celebrating their birthdays!

What does it mean to celebrate a birthday?

It means that we should all keep certain minhagim that will make our birthday a special day for us. These minhagim will remind us that we were born to accomplish a special Shlichus which Hashem needs us to do so that Moshiach can come. When we use our special day in the right way it will help us do our Shlichus even better!

Do you know all ten of the minhagim?

1) Get an Aliyah (if you are a boy over Bar Mitzvah)
2) Give more tzedakah (especially before davening)
3) Daven better (have more kavana to think about how you are davening to Hashem)
4) Learn your new kapitel (It’s the kapitel of the year you are starting, like if you turn five you say kapitel vov because you are starting the sixth year of your life)
5) Learn extra Torah
6) Learn a maamar baal peh (even just a part of it or your Hayom Yom. Then say it over at your farbrengen)
7) Help another Yid learn Torah or do a Mitzvah (like one of the Mivtzoyim)
8) Make a Cheshbon Hanefesh (think about how you acted last year and decide that this year you will be better)
9) Make a hachlata (something new in your Shlichus Hashem gave you)
10) Make a farbrengen! (buy a new fruit to say Shehecheyanu if you can. Thank Hashem that he gave you another year to live in His special world and do your Shlichus to bring the Geulah)


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Haggadah Shel Pesach

What is the Haggadah?

Even in the times of the Beis Hamikdash, the Yidden had many things to do on the first night of Pesach. As we see in Chumash, aside for eating the Korban Pesach, they needed to eat matzah and maror, and tell the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

The Chachomim lader made a takana that we should drink four cups of wine, as brought in the Mishna. The Mishna and Gemara bring a seder, an organized way of making sure we do all of these special mitzvos and speak about the things we are supposed to during the night of Pesach.

A set nusach for the seder started in the times of the geonim, with exactly 15 steps and a specific lashon of what to say and when to say it. This became the Haggadah Shel Pesach. Among different groups of Yidden the nusach is a little bit different, and we follow the nusach that is printed in the Alter Rebbe’s siddur.

Even though it might seem like the seder is just a way to make sure we do all of the mitzvos properly on the night of Pesach, it is more than that! According to Niglah, and especially according to Chassidus, each detail of the seder has a meaning and a reason for it. That’s why we are so careful to do all of the steps of the seder, exactly as we see them in our Haggadah.



Bittul Chometz

After Bedikas Chometz, we say a paragraph called Kol Chamira. It is written in Aramaic, and says that any chometz we didn’t find in our search is like nothing to us. If you don’t understand Aramaic, you should say it in English so that you understand it. (For many tefillos, it is best to say it in the original language. For this one, it is more important to know what you are saying!)

This is called Bittul Chometz, deciding that our chometz is not important to us and doesn’t even belong to us.

The main part of Bittul Chometz isn’t SAYING this paragraph, it’s MEANING it!

We need to think that even if we forgot about some really yummy chometz, like a bag of bissli or pretzels, a brownie bar, or a chocolate covered wafer, we don’t want it anymore! It’s not ours anymore! We don’t care about it! It means nothing to us.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Tof-Lamed-Daled

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



Bring Moshiach Now!

A chossid once wrote to the Rebbe that he had made a hachlata to spread more Chassidus at a certain time.

In the answer to his letter, the Rebbe wrote that he was very happy about this hachlata. There was only one problem: Why was the chossid pushing off his hachlata to spread the Chassidus later?

Moshiach is SO close, and the only thing that Moshiach is waiting for is for us to finish “Lichsheyafutzu Maayanosecha Chutza,” to finish spreading Chassidus.

By spreading Chassidus sooner, we can bring the Geulah faster. And every minute we bring Moshiach faster is a very big deal! One minute of Golus is one minute of terrible pain for Yidden. And one extra minute of Geulah is a minute of more joy and pleasure than anyone can imagine!

See Likutei Sichos chelek 23 p. 450

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