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Parshas Matos-Masei - Chamishi with Rashi

Today in Chumash we are learning instructions Hashem gave Moshe Rabbeinu about when the Yidden come into Eretz Yisroel, and about the borders of the land.

Get rid of Avodah Zarah: Hashem tells Moshe to make sure the Yidden know to get rid of all Avodah Zarah in Eretz Yisroel! Any idols need to be knocked down, and any Goyim who want to serve Avodah Zarah have to be sent out of Eretz Yisroel. If not, Hashem will treat the Yidden the way they should have treated the Goyim, chas veshalom...

The borders of Eretz Yisroel: Now Hashem tells Moshe which parts of the land are considered Eretz Yisroel. It is very important to know these things, because there are mitzvos that are only kept in Eretz Yisroel!



113 - 118

The kapitelach in today’s Tehillim are the ones used in Hallel! We also have the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s kapitelach!

One of the pesukim is “Rom Al Kol Goyim Hashem,” which means that “Hashem is higher than the nations.”

Chassidus explains that the posuk also tells us what the Goyim say: They think that Hashem is high, but that Hashem is too great to deal with the world after creating it. They think Hashem leaves it to the forces of nature to make the world keep running.

Of course, Yidden know that Hashem didn’t just create the world, but Hashem creates the world every second and takes care of every single little thing with Hashgacha Protis.



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Ches

What we learned until now is called Teshuvah Tata’ah, the lower level of Teshuvah.

Now once Hashem “blew away the clouds” of our aveiros with Teshuvah Tata’ah, we are ready for the higher level of Teshuvah, Teshuvah Ila’ah.

What is that?

The neshama becomes connected to Hashem in a much higher way from this Teshuvah.

We said before that our neshama comes from a very strong chayus of Hashem. This chayus is like when a person blows — it takes a lot of chayus, and it comes from very deep inside! Our neshama has a chayus that is very strong, from very close to Hashem.

But there is something even closer than that! When someone blows, they blow the air outside of themselves, so it can go further away. But imagine the air that a person is ABOUT to blow: That is coming from very deep inside, with the same strong chayus, but it doesn’t go further away from the person at all! That is a mashal for how close a person is to Hashem when he does Teshuvah Ila’ah.

Because the Yid was separated from Hashem before, now he feels an EXTRA chayus inside of himself to learn Torah and do mitzvos.

Did you ever lose a toy that you really liked? It probably made you very sad! But what happens when you find it again? You are SO excited, and you like it even MORE now, you take better care of it and you play with it more than you ever did before!

This extra chayus which is in the Teshuvah Ila’ah is what makes a Baal Teshuvah so special — in a way even more special than Tzadikim!

The Rebbe would eat the Seudos of Yom Tov in the Frierdiker Rebbe’s home while Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, the Frierdiker Rebbe’s Rebbetzin, was still alive. The Rebbe’s brother-in-law the Rashag would be there, and other chassidim too.

Around the time of one Yom Tov, the Rebbe had been speaking at farbrengens about how a Yid doesn’t have to do TWO steps, first Teshuvah Tata’ah and then Teshuvah Ila’ah, but we can go RIGHT to Teshuvah Ila’ah.

The Rashag asked the Rebbe about this, and the Rebbe said that this is a special hora’ah for our time. We have the koach now to go STRAIGHT to the second level of Teshuvah! We don’t even have to think about how sad we are about what happened from the aveira, we can right away feel that we want to become closer to Hashem by learning Torah and doing mitzvos with an extra special chayus!

In the next two perakim we will learn more about how to do Teshuvah Ila’ah in the three areas of Avodas Hashem: Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim.



Chof-Daled Tammuz

There is a level of chossid called a Pnimi. Here the Rebbe shares a quote from the Tzemach Tzedek about how a Pnimi acts:

A Pnimi doesn’t ask for brachos to make his avodah easier. He doesn’t want any shortcuts! He is ready to do Avodah, and is ready that it should be hard!



Shiur #7 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #63, #65, Asei #172

Today we learn 3 mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #63) We are not allowed to make a Chillul Hashem. The Rambam tells us 3 kinds of times when a person needs to keep this mitzvah:

- A person must give up his life Al Kiddush Hashem for ANY mitzvah or minhag if someone is trying to wipe out Torah and Yiddishkeit, called a Shaas HaShmad. If he doesn’t, that is a Chillul Hashem.

- If a person does an aveira for no reason, just to show Hashem he doesn’t care, that is called a Chillul Hashem.

- A Talmid Chochom or respected Jew can’t do anything that doesn’t look right, even if it isn’t an aveira.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי

The details are explained in Mesechta Pesachim perek Yud-Alef, and the end of Mesechta Yoma.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #65) We are not allowed to destroy any part of the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash. This mitzvah also teaches us not to erase Hashem’s name.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן לַה׳ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם

The details are explained in Mesechta Shevuos perek Daled.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #172) We need to listen to a Navi, even if he tells us to not keep a mitzvah for a certain amount of time. (If he tells us to never keep a certain mitzvah again, we don’t listen to him.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: אֵלָיו תִּשְׁמָעוּן

The details are explained in End of Mesechta Sanhedrin (Perek Yud).



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah

Perek Zayin: In today’s Rambam, we learn about nevuah. A Yid has to believe that there ARE neviim who hear things right from Hashem! A Navi can tell us these things so we know what Hashem wants from us at a certain time.

Perek Ches: We learn the signs of how we know someone is a Navi. One of the ways we know is if he predicts the future. But that is not why we listen to what he says — we listen to him because Moshe Rabbeinu gave us this sign in the Torah! That’s why, even if he does predict the future, there are times we wouldn’t listen to him anyway, like we see in the next perek.

Perek Tes: If a Navi tells us that a mitzvah isn’t important anymore, we know he is not a real Navi! All of the mitzvos of the Torah are FOREVER, and even if sometimes we might need to stop keeping a mitzvah for a short time if a Navi tells us to, no mitzvah ever goes away forever!



Mitzvos Lo Saasei

Today we start reviewing the list of Mitzvos Lo Saasei, the mitzvos about things we should NOT do.



Hilchos Beis Habechirah

The Rebbe told us to learn about the Beis Hamikdash during the Three Weeks, to weaken a little bit the inyan of the Churban, and to speed up the building of the Third Beis Hamikdash!

In the Ezras Noshim of the Beis Hamikdash, there were four rooms, called “Lishkaos”. There was one in each corner of the Ezras Noshim. Here’s what they were called and what they were used for:

1) Lishkas HaShemanim — the Oil Room

In this room, you get wine, oil, and flour for your korbanos. Most korbanos needed these things as a Mincha along with the animal. But you don’t pay in this room! You need to bring a ticket for the kind of Mincha that you need, which you buy in a different place. Then you can pick up the right amounts of flour, wine, and oil.

2) Lishkas HaMetzora’im — the Metzora Room

This is the room where a Metzora (someone who had Tzoraas) would come to become Tahor.

3) Lishkas HaNezirim — the Nazir Room

This is where a Nazir would go to finish his Nezirus. The Korban Shelamim was cooked in here, and the hair of the Nazir was burned in the fire.

4) Lishkas HaEitzim — The Wood Room

This room is where the wood to use to burn on the Mizbeiach was kept. Kohanim who were not able to do avodah (like if they were too old or had a mum) would make sure that there were no worms in any of the wood. It is not appropriate to bring wormy wood on the Mizbeiach.


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Elokai Neshama

The first thing we said in the morning was Modeh Ani, thanking Hashem for returning our neshama. But since we said Modeh Ani before washing Negel Vasser, we weren’t able to say this as a bracha, with Hashem’s name.

Now that we made our body clean (by washing out our mouth and using the bathroom) and washed our hands as a preparation for davening, we are able to say Hashem’s holy name. We said the bracha of Al Netilas Yodayim, and thanked Hashem for our healthy body in Asher Yatzar. Now we are able to properly thank Hashem for giving us a healthy neshama, with the bracha of Elokai Neshama!

In Elokai Neshama, we use different expressions about how our neshama was given to us. Chassidus explains that these correspond to the different olamos (Ruchnius’dike levels, called “worlds”) that the neshama goes through before coming into the Gashmius’dike world.

In this bracha, the Chachomim also remind us about Techiyas Hameisim! We hinted to it in Modeh Ani, with the words “Raba Emunasecha,” saying that Hashem is faithful and will give back our neshama at Techiyas Hameisim. Here, we say it clearly, that Hashem will take away our neshama, but return it again when Moshiach comes. This keeps our emunah in Techiyas Hameisim strong!



Shabbos During the Three Weeks

During the Three Weeks between Shiva Asar B’Tamuz and Tisha B’av, we do certain things to show that we are mourning for the Beis Hamikdash.

On Shabbos, though, it’s a mitzvah to be happy and enjoy Shabbos. The halacha is that on Shabbos, we are not allowed to show any signs of mourning at all!

A Yid once came to the Rebbe’s father, who was the Rav of Yekatrinoslav. He told the Rav that he was an avel, mourning for someone who passed away. Usually he would wear slippers on Shabbos, because they are more comfortable. But slippers are also a sign of mourning, and he wanted to know if he was allowed to wear them this Shabbos. R’ Levi Yitzchak told him not to, so that nobody should even be able to think that signs of mourning are allowed on Shabbos!

So during the Shabbosim of the Three Weeks, we are very careful to enjoy Shabbos, and not to do anything less than usual to show that we are sad about the Churban.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Daled p. 1091

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



Hashem Will Make Us Tahor

Nowadays, we are all tomei. We can’t do anything about most of this tumah, because we don’t have the ashes of the Parah Adumah! But when Moshiach comes, Hashem will make us all tahor!

וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם מִכֹּל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם וּמִכָּל גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם

Vezarakti Aleichem Mayim Tehorim — I will sprinkle on you the water of the Parah Adumah

U’Tehartem — And you will become tahor!

Mikol Tumoseichem Umikol Giluleichem — From all of your tumah and from all of your Avodah Zarah

Ataher Es’chem — I will make you pure.

See Yechezkel perek Lamed-Vov posuk Chof-Hey

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