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Parshas Toldos - Sheini with Rashi

There was a hunger, but Yitzchak was not allowed to leave Eretz Yisroel. Instead Hashem told him to go to Gerar, which would later become part of Eretz Yisrael.

Yitzchak went to live in Gerar. Because he was afraid that the people there weren’t good people, he did what his father Avraham did, and told the people of Gerar that Rivkah was his sister.

Avimelech, king of Gerar, didn’t take Rivkah to his palace, so Yitzchak stopped worrying about it, and didn’t keep it such a secret that they were really married.

When Avimelech found out that they were married, he got very angry! “Why didn’t you tell me that you were married? I might have tried to marry her, and then we would be in trouble!” Avimelech warned everyone in Gerar not to bother Yitzchak or Rivkah.

Yitzchak planted grain, hoping to be able to give some to tzedakah. And even though it was a year of hunger without rain and Gerar wasn’t such a great place to plant things, Hashem made a neis and it grew 100 times as much as he expected! Then, when he counted the grain to give maaser, Hashem made another neis, and it grew to be 100 times more than that!



140 - 150

In one of today’s Kapitelach is a posuk we all know very well, because we say it every day at the end of davening! “Ach Tzadikim Yodu Lishmecha!”

In Tof-Shin-Mem-Daled (5744/1984), the Rebbe asked that EVERYONE, not only chassidim, should say this posuk after davening, and also to say Hareini before davening, to bring shalom in the world.



Kuntres Acharon Siman Gimmel

We learned in an earlier part of Tanya that it is important to have kavanah when we daven. A davening without kavanah is like a guf (body) without a neshama!

But what if we are not able to have kavana in every part of davening every day?

The Alter Rebbe tells us that Hashem makes a special deal with us! If we have kavana at least in one little piece of davening every day, Hashem will put all those little pieces together. That way, after a year, we will have davened every part with kavana, and Hashem will count it as if we had that kavana every single day of the year!

Many chassidim would make a “kneitch” in their Siddur, folding down a corner to remember which part of davening they had kavana in, to make sure they would daven each part with kavana at least once!



Chof-Tes Mar-Cheshvan

The year the Hayom Yom was written, today was Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev! The Rebbe reminds us to say the whole Tehillim before davening, and that today is a day for farbrengen.

The Frierdiker Rebbe made a takana that we should say the day’s kapitelach of Tehillim every day with a minyan after davening, and to say the whole Tehillim on Shabbos Mevorchim. Today we learn about saying Tehillim.

Saying Tehillim is very special — so special that we really cant even KNOW what it accomplishes and how much nachas Hashem has from it!

But one thing we do know: By saying Tehillim, Hashem will bentch us with health and good parnasa and nachas from our families, and that it will bring good things in Gashmiyus and Ruchniyus for all Yidden!



Shiur #130 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #137

Today’s mitzvah is that certain women are not allowed to eat Terumah or parts of a Korban Shelamim that are given to a kohen (the chazeh and the shok).

This includes two kinds of women:

1) A Chalalah. This means someone who got married to a kohen when she wasn’t allowed to, or their daughter.

2) A Bas Kohen (daughter of a kohen) who married someone who is NOT a kohen. While she is married, she is not allowed to eat terumah OR korbanos, since her husband is not a kohen.

If her husband passes away or she receives a get, and she does not have children, she can eat Terumah again if she goes back to live with her father who is a kohen. Still, she is not allowed to eat from these korbanos.



Hilchos Terumos

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last three perakim about Terumah, perakim Yud-Gimmel, Yud-Daled, and Tes-Vov.

These perakim talk about what happens if Terumah gets mixed up with regular food.

One thing we learn is that it doesn’t become botul (not counted) unless there is 100 times as much regular food! (For milk and meat, if there’s 60 times as much it is enough.) So, for example, if one Terumah apple gets mixed up in a box of 100 other apples, we can take one apple and give it to the kohen, and the rest is all fine to eat.

If there is less, then the food is called “Medumah” and only a kohen can eat it.

The last halacha in today’s Rambam teaches us about the special bracha on Terumah. First the kohen makes the regular bracha on food, and then he says the bracha “...Asher Kidishanu Bikdushaso Shel Aharon Vetzivanu Le’echol Terumah!”



Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Chof-Beis

In today’s Rambam, we learn about not doing a sh’vus. A sh’vus is something which the Chachomim said is asur either because it is LIKE the way we do a melacha, or because it is something that might make someone forget and actually DO the melacha. Many of the things we don’t do on Shabbos are because of sh’vus.

Today we learn about the sh’vus for more of the melachos.



Saying Tehillim

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about saying Tehillim. Do you know what Tehillim can accomplish?

In the back of our Tehillim, Ohel Yosef Yitzchok, there are many letters printed, with some stories that teach us how special saying Tehillim is. Here is one of those stories:

In the time of the Baal Shem Tov, there was once a gezeira that Chas Veshalom something not good would happen to a Yiddishe town. The Baal Shem Tov’s neshama went to Shomayim and saw that there was nothing that could be done to change the gezeira. But right before his Neshama came back, he saw a very great light in one place in Gan Eden. When he asked what it was, he was told that that light is from a Yid in a village that says Tehillim five times every day while he works.

The Baal Shem Tov traveled to the Yid and asked him: If he knew that with his Olam Haba he could save a Yiddishe village, would he do it? He answered, “If I have such an Olam Haba, for sure I would” — and the gezeira was changed. This is one story of very many that show us how precious saying Tehillim is to Hashem.


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Vehinei Hashem

Some people think that taking a few minutes before davening to think about how great Hashem is, and how small we are next to Him, is a very special bonus avodah we can do.

But that’s not true! It IS a special avodah, but it isn’t a bonus — we need to! It is a halacha in Shulchan Aruch that before we daven, we need to think about these things. It’s PART of davening!

Here’s why: The chachomim tell us that during Shmoneh Esrei, we need to stand “like a servant before his master.” The only way a person can feel like a servant is by thinking about Hashem and realizing that He is our Master, and we are only servants! Our whole life is to serve Hashem by doing the jobs (the mitzvos) He asked us to do.

The Alter Rebbe tells us an easy way to do this (in Likutei Amarim, perek Mem-Alef): Think about all of the great things in the world Hashem made — hurricanes, thunder, huge waterfalls, tall mountains, oceans and everything inside... and about the amazing ruchnius Hashem made: Tzadikim, the secrets of Torah, Gan Eden...

Now think about how ALL of that was made so that YOU could do your job! Hashem is looking at YOU and wants you to do your best to do it!

This is the message of the posuk Vehinei of the Yud-Beis Pesukim.

(Of course this is true all the time, not just during davening! But especially when we daven, we need to make sure to think about it, because davening is the start of our day.)

Based on a sicha of Lamed Tishrei, 5742



Dump Your Negel Vasser!

When we wake up in the morning, we have a Ruach Ra, a kind of tumah, on our hands.

The only way to take off this kind of tumah is to pour water on one hand and then the other, three times. This is washing Negel Vasser.

Now that Ruach Ra is in the water we used for Negel Vasser!

We need to be careful not to use this water for anything, or to leave it around. We don’t want anyone to get this tumah, because it can be dangerous.

That’s why it is very important to dump out our Negel Vasser right away, so that the tumah doesn’t stay in our house!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Daled, se’if Tes

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



Bringing Moshiach

In the Mishna, it talks about remembering Yetziyas Mitzrayim. It says, “Kol Yemei Chayecha Lehovi Limos Hamoshiach,” “All the days of your life, including the days of Moshiach.” Even when Moshiach comes, we will need to talk about Yetziyas Mitzrayim in davening.

The Frierdiker Rebbe tells us a deeper meaning:

The Mishna didn’t say “Lerabos Yemos Hamoshiach,” which is usually how you would say “including the days of Moshiach” in the language of the Mishnah. Instead the Mishnah uses the words, “Lehovi Liyemos Hamoshiach,” which also means, “to BRING the days of Moshiach.”

According to this, the Mishnah has two lessons for us:

1) “Kol Yemei Chayecha,” everything during your life, “Lehovi Liyemos Hamoshiach,” brings us to think about the times of Moshiach. Whatever we see or use makes us think, how will we use this when Moshiach comes?

2) “Kol Yemei Chayecha,” all of the days of your life ARE “Lehovi Liyemos Hamoshiach.” Our whole lives, we have one main goal: To bring Moshiach!

See Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Gimmel p. 73, Migolah L’geulah p. 128

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