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Parshas Vayeilech - Revi'i with Rashi

Now Moshe Rabbeinu tells us about the mitzvah of Hakhel!

After every Shemitah year, it will be Hakhel! During Sukkos, when all of the Yidden come to the Beis Hamikdash, the king will go onto a special bimah in the Beis Hamikdash, and read parts of Chumash Devarim to all the Yidden!

ALL of the Yidden will come to hear it — the men, women, AND children!

Why Chumash Devarim? Because it will help the Yidden have Yiras Shomayim, and do what Hashem wants, so that they will be able to stay in Eretz Yisroel! This way, even the Yidden who didn’t hear this “farbrengen” from Moshe Rabbeinu will hear it during Hakhel, and know how Hashem wants them to live.



18 - 22

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Yud-Ches until Chof-Beis. The three kapitelach we say until Yom Kippur are Tzadik-Daled, Tzadik-Hey, and Tzadik-Vov.

In Kapitel Yud-Tes, there is a posuk that talks about Torah: “Toras Hashem Temimah, Meshivas Nafesh.” “The Torah of Hashem is complete, it makes the neshama feel good.”

The Alter Rebbe uses this posuk to show why he was so happy to hear that the Chassidim learned the whole Shas (Mishnayos and Gemara) in many places over the year. When the Torah is complete, by finishing a part of Torah, it makes the Neshama happy!

Chassidim STILL have this minhag to learn the whole Shas over a year — it’s called Chalukas HaShas. Each chossid takes one Gemara to learn over the year, so that together, we finish learning the whole thing! Do you know which Mesechta YOUR Tatty is learning?



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

If you learn the maamarim of the Alter Rebbe, you will see one question over and over: “Why did Hashem take a neshama that is so close to Hashem, and send it into a world where Hashem is so hidden?”

In every maamar, there is another answer, but you see the same question again in the next maamar! Why? Because this is something that should always bother us, and we always need to think about the reason why our neshamos are in the world.

In this Igeres Hakodesh, which was written just a few days before the Alter Rebbe finished his shlichus in this world and his neshama went back to Hashem, the Alter Rebbe answers this question. This time, it is explained in a NEW way!

The Alter Rebbe teaches us how Hashem created the world — about all the Ruchniyus’dike “worlds” with malachim. Still, there is nothing greater than how Hashem made Gashmius, and for a Yid to do a mitzvah with it! When we learn this, we will feel how special it is for us to have a chance to do a mitzvah and help other people do mitzvos as well.



Gimmel Tishrei

The Rebbe tells us special minhagim for a Shabbos which is Motzei Rosh Hashana and Shabbos Shuva.

Once, in a yechidus that the Tzemach Tzedek had with the Alter Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe told him a story that happened by his Rebbe — the Maggid of Mezritch.

It was parshas Ki Savo, before Rosh Hashana, and the Talmidim were sitting together. The Maggid said a maamar to them, explaining what Teshuvah is according to chassidus.

All of the Talmidim got very excited from the Torah which they heard. But one talmid, R’ Zushe Me’Anipoli, said that the kind of teshuva that the Maggid was talking about is too high of a madreiga for him right now. So he came up with a way to do Teshuvah that he felt he COULD do now.

R’ Zushe split up doing Teshuvah into five parts — and each part starts with one of the letters of the word “Teshuvah!” We will learn all of them IY”H in the next five days of the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.



Shiur #58 - Mitzvas Asei #169

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #169) of taking a Lulav and Esrog to shake on Sukkos!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה׳ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים

The mitzvah from the Torah is that everywhere in the world we should shake the Lulav and Esrog on the first day of Sukkos, and only in the Beis Hamikdash (“Lifnei Hashem”) for all seven days of Sukkos (“Shivas Yamim”).

Only after the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash, because of the takana of R’ Yochanan ben Zakai, do we shake the Lulav and Esrog on all seven days of Sukkos, “Zecher L’Mikdash.” When Moshiach comes it will go back to the way it was before this takana.

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Gemara, Mesechta Sukkah.



Hilchos Shofar V'Sukah V'Lulav

In today’s Rambam, we are finishing Hilchos Shofar V’Sukah V’Lulav.

Perek Vov: After learning about the walls of the sukkah and the sechach, in this perek, we learn the halachos of actually sitting in the sukkah. For example, we learn that you are allowed to eat certain snacks outside of the sukkah, but someone who is careful not to even drink water outside of the sukkahHarei Zeh Meshubach, he is doing something very good and should be praised.

Perek Zayin: We learn about the Daled Minim, the Lulav, Esrog, Hadassim, and Aravos. We learn how to tie them together, how to hold them, and how to shake them. The Rambam says that a child who knows how to shake the lulav has a Mitzvah DeRabbanan to shake the Lulav, because of Chinuch.

Perek Ches: We learn about what makes the Daled Minim posul, and the special simcha we have on Sukkos — including the Simchas Beis Hashoeivah!

The Rambam finishes this set of halachos with a halacha the Rebbe would quote often, about how important it is to have simcha in Avodas Hashem! We can learn from Dovid Hamelech, who didn’t think about his own kavod and danced in front of Hashem at the time that the Aron was coming back to where it belonged. We should also never feel embarrassed to show our simcha in Avodas Hashem!



Hilchos Nizkei Mamon - Perek Yud-Beis

Before, we learned about damage that comes from an animal eating from someone else’s field, and the kind of damage from an animal hurting people or animals or breaking things. In today’s Rambam, we learn about damage that comes from somebody’s hole in the ground.

This perek of Rambam teaches us that if someone dug a hole, and an animal fell in, they need to pay back the animal’s owner.



Tzom Gedaliah

Tzom Gedaliah is one of the four times a year we fast because of the Beis Hamikdash being destroyed.

After the Churban, Nevuchadnetzar let a man named Gedaliah be the governor of the Jews in Mitzpah. He was a good ruler, and helped the Yidden start to farm the land so they would be able to live. He listened to the Navi Yirmiyahu and kept all of the mitzvos. Many Yidden who had run away came to Mitzpah, and it looked like the Yidden would slowly be able to grow again, and then hopefully come back to Yerushalayim!

But a man named Yishmael, who came from a family of Jewish kings, was jealous. He decided to kill Gedaliah. People tried to warn Gedaliah what Yishmael wanted to do, but he thought it was just Lashon Hara and he ignored the warning. On Rosh Hashana, Yishmael ben Netanya came and killed Gedaliah and many of the Yidden who were with him.

Now the Yidden who were left were very afraid! Nevuchadnetzar would be furious that his governor was killed! Now there was no chance of rebuilding the Jewish nation in Eretz Yisroel.

Even though Yirmiyahu warned them not to, the Yidden ran away to Mitzrayim. And just like he warned them, soon they were killed by the Egyptians.

We don’t fast on Rosh Hashana, so we fast the day after Rosh Hashana.

The Rebbe tells us that we have to learn from Tzom Gedaliah to have more Ahavas Yisroel. The other fasts are because of things the Goyim did, but this was from a Yid who was jealous! We need to make sure to have a lot of Ahavas Yisroel and be careful that if we are jealous, it only brings us to learn from the other person’s good things and try to be like him — not chas veshalom to hurt anyone in any way.


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Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

In Shmoneh Esrei during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we add FIVE pieces:

1) Zachreinu
2) Mi Chamocha
3) Uchesov
4) Uvesefer
5) Oseh HA’shalom

We also make two changes:

1) Hamelech Hakadosh (instead of “HaKeil Hakadosh”)

2) Hamelech Hamishpot (instead of “Melech Ohev Tzedakah Umishpat”) during the week

We say the long Avinu Malkeinu after Shemoneh Esrei, except on Shabbos and in Mincha Erev Shabbos.



Tzom Gedaliah

Yidden have a minhag to give extra tzedakah on a fast day, like today. Some people have a minhag to give the amount of money they would have spent on food to tzedakah before Mincha. (This is in addition to adding in giving tzedakah because of the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.)

The Rebbe encouraged us to also follow an old minhag to say “Divrei Kibushin” after Mincha on a fast day. Divrei Kibushin are words that inspire us to do teshuvah! Either someone can speak or farbreng about doing more and better in our Avodas Hashem, or we can say a Kapitel Tehillim about Teshuvah, or at least we should read or think about things that inspire us to come closer to Hashem.

See Halachos U’Minhagei Chabad, p. 35-36

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



Moshiach Minyan

In the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, it brings the halacha that we don’t count people with numbers. Instead, to see if we have enough men for a minyan, we count by saying a posuk with 10 words, the posuk of “Hoshia Es Amecha.”

Why does the Kitzur choose this posuk? In a sefer about Halacha and Minhag from Rashi, called Sefer Hapardes, it says to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha” which also has 10 words.

In fact, it would make more sense to count with the posukVa’ani Berov Chasdecha,” since that posuk speaks about coming to daven to Hashem!

The Rebbe explains that it is because as we get closer to Moshiach, the Golus gets darker. Whenever we have a chance, we remind ourselves that Hashem will save us and bring the Geulah — “Hoshia Es Amecha!”

See Vayakhel-Pekudei Mem-Gimmel, Migolah L’Geulah p. 87

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