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Parshas Bamidbar - Shishi with Rashi

Hashem tells Moshe to count all of the bechorim, the firstborns of the other Shevatim, who are at least 1 month old. He should make sure that there is someone from Shevet Levi working in the Mishkan instead of each bechor.

Hashem also tells Moshe that instead of the Yidden bringing their firstborn donkeys to Hashem, they should “trade” those donkeys for a lamb that will be given to Shevet Levi.

Now Moshe counted the firstborns, and found 22,273 bechorim.

We learned yesterday that there were 22,300 Leviim, but only 22,000 of them could work in the Mishkan instead of a bechor. That’s because 300 of the Leviim were bechorim themselves! That left 273 bechorim who didn’t have a Levi working instead of them.

So what should the extra 273 bechorim do? They should pay Shevet Levi 5 shekels (20 gera), the same amount that Yosef (who was Rachel’s bechor) was sold for.

How did Moshe decide WHICH bechorim need to pay? He made a goral (a lottery), with 22,273 pieces of paper, for the 22,273 bechorim. 22,000 of those papers said “Levi”, and 273 pieces of paper said “5 shekel.” Every bechor picked one piece of paper. If his paper said “Levi,” then someone from Shevet Levi would be working instead of him. If his paper said “5 shekel,” he needed to pay 5 shekel to Shevet Levi.



135 - 139

In today’s Tehillim we have Kapitel Kuf-Lamed-Vov (136), which has 26 pesukim. That’s the same number of generations from Adam Harishon until Matan Torah! The 4-letter name of Hashem (Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay) has a Gematriya of 26, too!

We say this kapitel before Baruch She’amar on Shabbos and Yom Tov. If you look in the Siddur, it has the letters of Hashem’s name in the right place — after the first 10 pesukim there is the letter Yud, after the next 5 pesukim the letter Hey, then 6 pesukim later Vov, and after the last 5 pesukim there is another Hey.

Each of the pesukim end with the words “Ki Le’olam Chasdo” — Hashem does all of the things it says in the pesukim “because Hashem’s kindness is forever.”

The fourth posuk is “Le’oseh Niflaos Gedolos Levado” — Hashem does nissim Himself. What is this posuk telling us? Of course Hashem doesn’t need any help! The Chachomim tell us that these are nissim that we don’t even KNOW about — Hashem does nissim that only HE knows about, and is always watching over and protecting us!

(We also say this posuk before Hakafos on Simchas Torah!)



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Beis

Yesterday we learned that the Chayus which Hashem gives to the world comes through the Shechinah.

We learned before many of the names of the Shechinah, and today the Alter Rebbe tells us one more: “Dvar Hashem” or “Ruach Piv” — meaning the words of Hashem.

When someone says something, they show somebody something that they were thinking, that was hidden inside them. When they say it, the other person sees what they were thinking!

The Shechinah is the way Hashem makes the world, which lets us see Hashem!

Like we said yesterday, the Shechinah by itself is too strong for the world, so it has to be covered over by the Chochmah of Hashem, Torah. Since the Torah has a lot to do with Gashmius, things we can hear and see and feel and touch, we can handle it!

Now the Alter Rebbe tells us that there are a lot of steps before the Chochmah of Hashem, the Torah, can connect to Gashmius. Today we learn about the first “stop,” Beriyah. Many malachim and neshamos are created there, and the part of the Torah that is the reasons for the mitzvos, called “Talmud”, also come from there.



Chof-Ches Iyar

Today is forty-three days of the Omer!

After the Mitteler Rebbe passed away, the Tzemach Tzedek didn’t want to become Rebbe. For a year and a half, the Tzemach Tzedek said maamorim and had Yechidus with Chassidim. He said that he was doing it only to help people, and not as a Rebbe.

Because of the story in today’s Hayom Yom, the Tzemach Tzedek agreed to become Rebbe:

During the Shloshim (the first 30 days) after the Alter Rebbe passed away, the Alter Rebbe came to the Tzemach Tzedek, like in a dream. The Alter Rebbe told him a maamar that started with the words “Al Shloshah Devarim” (from the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos).

Then the Alter Rebbe told him what the Chachomim say about the posukIsha Ki Sazria,” that a father has a special connection with his daughter, and a mother has a special connection with her son.

The Alter Rebbe said: A father has a special connection with his daughter — that’s your mother (Rebbetzin Devorah Leah). A mother has a special connection with her son — that’s you (the Tzemach Tzedek).

This dream happened right after the histalkus of the Alter Rebbe, but for many years, the Tzemach Tzedek did not know the reason for the dream. Only after the histalkus of the Mitteler Rebbe did the purpose of this dream become clear.

A year and a half after the histalkus of the Mitteler Rebbe, on Erev Shavuos, a group of chassidim came to the Tzemach Tzedek to ask him to become Rebbe. One of them, a Chossid by the name of Reb Peretz Chernigover, asked if he could share a proof that the Tzemach Tzedek should take the Nesius. After he was given permission to speak, Reb Peretz said that the Tzemach Tzedek has a very strong connection to the Alter Rebbe: His mother was the Alter Rebbe’s daughter, and like the Chachomim say, there is a special connection between a father and his daughter, and a mother to her son.

This reminded the Tzemach Tzedek of his dream.

Then the Tzemach Tzedek again saw the Alter Rebbe, who told him that he should take the Nesius, and he should say over the maamar “Al Shlosha Devarim.” And that’s how the Tzemach Tzedek agreed to take the Nesius and become the Rebbe!



Shiur #291 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #267, #268

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn another two mitzvos about eating while you’re working:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #267) A worker can’t stop working to nosh on what he’s picking. Only after he finishes filling a basket and brings it to where it belongs can he take some grapes to eat on his way back to the field. This way he is not wasting time from work, and he’s only eating after his part of the work is done.

Even though we said yesterday that a worker can eat while he is working, he needs to make sure that he is eating only with these conditions!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְחֶרְמֵשׁ לֹא תָנִיף עַל קָמַת רֵעֶךָ

The halachos are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Bava Metziah.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #268) A worker can eat as much as he wants, but he can’t put any away for later. The food is just meant for him while he is working.

This mitzvah also comes from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְאָכַלְתָּ עֲנָבִים כְּנַפְשְׁךָ שָׂבְעֶךָ וְאֶל כֶּלְיְךָ לֹא תִתֵּן



Hilchos Sechirus

In today’s Rambam we learn more halachos about hiring workers.

In Perek Yud of today’s Rambam, we learn about when a worker is called a shomer, guarding something! If you pay a carpenter to fix your bookshelf, he is a shomer sachar, a paid guard. If it gets broken, he has to pay for it. But if he calls you and tells you to come pick it up because it is done, he is like a shomer chinam (an unpaid guard), and doesn’t have to pay for it unless he did something not responsible.

In Perek Yud-Alef, we learn about paying workers on time. We only need to pay once the work was done and we received it. So if someone ordered a piece of furniture, it is not counted as paying late until after he picked it up.

Perek Yud-Beis is about the mitzvos we learned in Sefer Hamitzvos today! One halacha is that these mitzvos are only with things that grow. So a person working in an ice cream store doesn’t have a mitzvah to be able to eat ice cream. (The ice cream store owner could let him eat anyway, though!)



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Zayin

With a shtar for a loan, we don’t make the eidim come to Beis Din But how do we know that the eidim really signed the shtar? This perek teaches us how to make sure that the eidim really did sign the shtar.



Sefiras Haomer

This week, we are working on the last Sefira, the sefira of Malchus.

Chassidus tells us that Malchus is DOING. All of the other sefiros are things that we feel or know, and this sefira is actually DOING them. Malchus gets us to say or do things because of the things we know and the feelings that we have.

The Chachomim teach us in Pirkei Avos that Hamaaseh Hu Ha’ikar, the main thing is DOING.

Sometimes when we learn and daven or go to a farbrengen, we get excited about becoming better! It is very good to have that feeling, but the main thing is to DO things because of our excitement. One inyan in the sefira of Malchus is the koach of the neshama that makes sure that what we are thinking and feeling actually changes the things we say or do!


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Asei Lemaan Shemecha

At the end of Shemoneh Esrei, we add the personal tefillah of one of the Amoraim, the paragraph of Elokai Netzor.

At the end of this paragraph, we say: “Asei Lemaan Shemecha, Asei Lemaan Yeminecha, Asei Lemaan Torasecha, Asei Lemaan Kedushasecha!” “Do it for the sake of Your name, do it for the sake of Your right hand, do it for the sake of Your Torah, do it for the sake of Your kedusha!” We ask Hashem not to answer our tefillos for OUR sake, but for Hashem’s sake!

The Gemara tells us that a person who says these words every day will have the zechus of greeting the Shechinah.

This is also an appropriate place to daven for any specific things we didn’t already ask for in other parts of Shemoneh Esrei.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Chof-Beis, se’if beis and Kuf-Yud-Tes, se’if alef



Mitzvos Tmidiyos

There are mitzvos that we do by giving,
and mitzvos we do by smelling.
There are mitzvos we do by walking,
and mitzvos that we do by telling.

There are also six mitzvos that we do by thinking — and they are mitzvos to do ALL THE TIME!

These mitzvos are called the Mitzvos Temidiyos, the “all-the-time” mitzvos. They have to do with the way we think and feel and how we look at the world.

Usually, the best place to learn how to do mitzvos right is in Shulchan Aruch. But to do these mitzvos right, we need to learn Chassidus!

The six mitzvos are:

1) To believe in Hashem
2) Not to believe in anything aside for Hashem
3) To know about the oneness of Hashem
4) To love Hashem
5) To have Yiras Shomayim
6) Not to follow taavos and thoughts that separate us from Hashem.

Over the next few days, as a preparation for Matan Torah, we will IY”H go over these mitzvos.

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



Ve'Atem Teluktu Le'achad Echad

The Navi Yeshaya said many nevuos about the Geulah. He is sometimes called, “HaNavi HaGeulah!”

Here is one nevuah about Kibbutz Galuyos, how the Yidden will all be gathered to Yerushalayim when Moshiach comes.

וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יַחְבֹּט ה׳ מִשִּׁבֹּלֶת הַנָּהָר עַד נַחַל מִצְרָיִם וְאַתֶּם תְּלֻקְּטוּ לְאַחַד אֶחָד בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

Vehaya Bayom Hahu — This will happen on that day:

Yachbot Hashem — Hashem will separate the Yidden from the goyim, the way we beat a stalk of wheat to separate the wheat kernels from the stalk

Mishiboles Hanahar Ad Nachal Mitzrayim — From those lost in Ashur to those lost in Mitzrayim.

Ve’atem Teluktu Le’achad Echad Bnei Yisrael— And you, the Bnei Yisrael, will be gathered one by one!

See Yeshaya perek Chof-Zayin posuk Yud-Beis

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