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Parshas Vayeishev - Sheini with Rashi

In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned that Yosef told the brothers his dreams, and how the brothers were jealous of him that he wanted to rule over them.

Yosef’s brothers decided to go take care of the sheep in Shechem. The main reason why they went there was to talk about Yosef and decide what to do with him.

Yaakov knew through Ruach Hakodesh that it was important for Yosef to go to his brothers. Hashem wanted this to happen because the Yidden had to go down to Mitzrayim and become slaves before Hashem could give them the Torah and Eretz Yisroel! So he told Yosef to go see how the brothers were doing.

Yosef knew that his brothers were upset at him, but listened to what his father told him anyway, and hurried to Shechem.

The malach Gavriel (dressed up like a person) saw Yosef, and asked him what he was looking for. Yosef told him he was looking for his brothers. Gavriel told him, “You’re calling them brothers, but they’re not acting like brothers! They are talking about going to Dosan (which means judging) — they want to find a reason why you deserve to die!” But Yosef still did what his father said and went.

The brothers saw Yosef coming and decided to do what they were planning. Shimon said to Levi, “Look, the dreamer is coming! Let’s kill him and throw him into a hole in the ground and we can say that an animal ate him.”

But the Torah tells us what was answered in Shomayim: “Let’s see what will happen — your plans or Yosef’s dreams!”

Reuven knew that if they did that it would be his fault, because he’s the oldest. So he saved Yosef by saying that maybe he doesn’t deserve to die: Maybe the brothers are wrong, or maybe Yosef did some things that are so good that the not good ones don’t count! But Shimon and Levi didn’t want to just let him go! So Reuven thought of an idea for them: Throw Yosef into a hole in the ground in the desert, and he will die by himself (chas veshalom!). Really, Reuven secretly planned to go save Yosef when they left.

The Rebbe brought a very interesting Medrash about this: The Medrash says that if Reuven would have known that what he decided to do would be written in the Torah for everyone to see forever, he would have made sure to act very differently and save Yosef right away!

The Rebbe learns from there that we should publicize the peulos that we do, and write a report to the Rebbe about them. When we know that other people will see what we are doing, we will be inspired to do the right thing in a completely different way!



104 - 105

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Daled and Kuf-Hey.

The first kapitel from today’s Tehillim is Borchi Nafshi, one of the special pieces we say on Rosh Chodesh in davening.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel is explained in Hayom Yom: “Yeitzei Adam Lefa’alo, Vela’avodaso Adei Arev.” It means that a person goes out to do his work all day, until it is night.

In Ruchnius, it means that a neshama comes into the world to do its work — a special avodah, which it can only do here in this world.

This posuk also shows us the way the neshamah has an aliyah and grows, through doing its avodah here: A neshama comes into the world, and when it comes back up to Shomayim, it gets to work at the same thing it worked at in the world — if the neshama learned Torah here, it can learn Torah in Shomayim too! And if it did its avodah in the right way, the neshama goes higher and higher in Shomayim, very close to Hashem!



Hakdomas Hamelaket

Chassidim wondered: How can a sefer be instead of personal advice that Chassidim were getting in Yechidus?

When the Alter Rebbe first became Rebbe, there was enough time to take every chossid into Yechidus and help each of them with their Avodas Hashem. But as more and more Chassidim came, there wasn’t enough time to spend with each of them anymore. The Alter Rebbe also saw that Chassidim would sometimes forget what they were told in yechidus, and needed to be told again.

So the Alter Rebbe put together the eitzos he gave Chassidim in yechidus, and wrote the Tanya. This sefer includes all of the eitzos, and if Chassidim follow what it says, together with having bitachon in Hashem, it will help them find answers for anything that is bothering them in their Avodas Hashem.

Since the Chassidim who are learning the Tanya already have been in yechidus and feel a strong connection to the Alter Rebbe, the eitzos in this sefer will be able to help them. If they can’t find answers to their questions in the Tanya, they should know that really the answers ARE there! They should go to the “Gedolim Shebe’iro,” the greater Chassidim, who will help them see how the Alter Rebbe answers their questions.

The Alter Rebbe uses very strong words to warn these older Chassidim to help. He tells them not to pretend to be humble and say they don’t know the answers. If someone doesn’t help someone when he can, the Torah speaks about a terrible punishment! But if someone does share what he knows, Hashem promises to make BOTH people smarter — both the one giving the information, and the one who he gives it to!

The Alter Rebbe finishes with a bracha, that we should be zoche to the time of the Geulah, when we will ALL know Hashem, and we won’t have to learn from each other!

The Rebbe Rashab said that learning Tanya is like having a yechidus with the Alter Rebbe. From this we understand that ANY Yid who learns Tanya can be helped by the eitzos inside, like the Alter Rebbe says here!


At first, the Tanya was given out in small booklets, but people who copied them made mistakes. Some misnagdim even put in mistakes on purpose to try to keep people away from Chassidus. So the Alter Rebbe had to have the Tanya published as a sefer.

The Alter Rebbe warns people to follow the halachos of Hasagas Gevul, and not to reprint the Tanya without permission from the first publishers, which would hurt their parnasa.



Chof-Alef Kislev

Today’s Hayom Yom comes from a very special farbrengen of the Frierdiker Rebbe. It was a Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in the year Tof-Reish-Pey-Tes, which was also part of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s Sheva Brachos!

The Frierdiker Rebbe said then that his father, the Rebbe Rashab, wants him to give this message over to Chassidim. He is not going to repeat it later, make sure to listen to it now and make it a part of you:

Everyone needs to learn Mishnayos Baal Peh, as much as you are able to! When you’re walking outside, you should review the Mishnayos that you know, and with this, we will go to greet Moshiach!

Chassidim need to learn Chassidus at least three times a week — Monday, Thursday, and Shabbos. A tomim, who learned in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, needs to learn Chassidus for an hour every day.



Shiur #151 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #85, #82, Asei #34, Lo Saasei #86

Today we learn 4 mitzvos about the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #85) We are not allowed to make Ketores the way it was made in the Beis Hamikdash for any other reason. We can’t make Ketores-smelling perfume, or Ketores-scented air freshener!

In fact, the family of kohanim that made the Ketores, Avtinas, wouldn’t let ANY of their girls wear perfume, so that nobody would think they used the ingredients of the Ketores.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Sisa: בְּמַתְכֻּנְתָּהּ לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם

The details are explained in Beginning of Mesechta Krisus.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #82) We are not allowed to bring any korbanos on the Mizbeiach HaZahav (Mizbeiach Haketores) — it is only for the Ketores brought by the kohen.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tetzaveh: לֹא תַעֲלוּ עָלָיו קְטֹרֶת זָרָה וְעֹלָה וּמִנְחָה וְנֵסֶךְ לֹא תִסְּכוּ עָלָיו

3) (Mitzvas Asei #34) When the Aron is moved, it needs to be carried by hand by the kohanim, and not put it on a wagon!

In the Midbar, this was a mitzvah for the WHOLE Shevet Levi, but that is just because there were so few kohanim! Later, though, this became a special mitzvah only for kohanim.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Naso: כִּי עֲבֹדַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ עֲלֵהֶם בַּכָּתֵף יִשָּׂאוּ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #86) We are not allowed to take the poles out of the Aron, even when we aren’t carrying it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Terumah: בְּטַבְּעֹת הָאָרֹן יִהְיוּ הַבַּדִּים לֹא יָסֻרוּ מִמֶּנּוּ



Hilchos Klei HaMikdash

In today’s Rambam, we learn about the Avodah of the Leviim, the Kohanim, and the Kohen Gadol.

Perek Gimmel: The Leviim were split into two groups: One group did the opening and closing of the gates of the Beis Hamikdash (Sho’arim), and one did the singing (Meshorerim). Any of the Leviim could help guard the Beis Hamikdash at night.

The Leviim needed to train for five years before they could work in the Beis Hamikdash. In the times of the Mishkan they could only work until they were 50. When they did the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash, though, they could sing for as long as their voices were still good! And even afterwards, they could still work, by opening and closing the doors of the Beis Hamikdash.

Perek Daled: The kohanim also had important jobs! We learn about how they were chosen for the special Avodah of Korbanos, and how all Yidden need to give them special Kavod. That’s why they get the first aliyah and other special things — even nowadays!

We also learn how the Mishmaros were set up — which groups of Kohanim worked on which days — and how EVERYONE could work during the Yomim Tovim. We learn about choosing a Kohen Gadol, and who will replace him after he passes away. We also learn how there are eight levels of Kohanim, to make sure everything works smoothly. The higher levels of kohanim are in charge of the lower levels.

Perek Hey: We give special kavod to the Kohen Gadol. He needs to act in a kavodike way so that people treat him properly. We learn that when the Kohen Gadol starts his avodah, he brings a special korban.



Hilchos Shevisas Yom Tov - Perek Beis

In today’s Rambam, we learn about when things are considered nolad (born on Yom Tov) or muktza and can’t be used on Yom Tov. Even though we can cook on Yom Tov, we can only cook things we planned on cooking. So if a chick was born on Yom Tov, it is muktza because we didn’t plan on using it as food.



Mivtza Chanukah

Chanukah is coming up next week! Here are some things the Rebbe told us to do for Chanukah Mivtzoyim:

1) Make sure there is a Menorah lit in every Jewish home — especially our friends and neighbors!

2) Every boy in the family lights their own menorah — just like all the girls bentch licht for Shabbos!

3) Tell kids who didn’t learn in a Jewish school about the neis of Chanukah!

4) Make sure that all Jewish children get Chanukah gelt! Kids should give to their friends too!

5) Kids should give extra tzedakah on Chanukah, and double on Erev Shabbos!

6) On Chanukah, learn parts of Torah that talk about Chanukah!

See Shevach Hamoadim, Hilchos Chanukah


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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Yogaati

The posuk Yogaati tells us that we need to try hard, and then we can be sure that we will have hatzlacha!

Yogaati Velo Motzosi, Al Taamin — If someone says, I tried hard and I didn’t find what I was looking for, and I didn’t have hatzlacha, don’t believe them!

Lo Yogaati Umotzosi, Al Taamin — If someone says, I didn’t try hard at all, and I was able to do it right away, don’t believe them either.

Yogaati Umotzosi, Taamin — If someone says, I tried hard and it worked, then believe them!

The Mishna says that with things in Torah and Yiddishkeit, if someone says that they tried hard and they didn’t have hatzlacha, we shouldn’t believe them!

In a sicha to the girls of Camp Emunah, the Rebbe says that another meaning of the word Taamin is that the Torah believes in you! The Torah is sure that YOU CAN DO IT! Every Yid is built to have hatzlacha, and if we try, we WILL be able to have that hatzlacha!

See Der Rebbe Redt Tzu Kinder p. 297, sicha Vov Elul Tof-Shin-Lamed-Tes



A Beautiful Menorah

Before Chanukah, people go to buy menorahs or make them for arts and crafts.

It is important to make sure that however beautiful we want our menorah to look, that it is kosher!

The neiros of the menorah need to be all in a straight line. They can’t be in a curved line, a half circle, or in a zigzag. That way, even when you see the menorah from far away, you can tell that they are separate lights, not that they are all part of a bigger flame.

See Sefer Halachos Uminhagei Chabad

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



Getting Excited for Moshiach!

In this week’s Chumash, Rishon of Parshas Vayeishev, we learn that when Yaakov Avinu heard Yosef’s dreams, he hoped that they would come true — “Ve’aviv Shamar Es Hadavar.”

But why was Yaakov hoping that these dreams would come true? At the time when the Shevatim would bow to Yosef, it would be in Mitzrayim, at the beginning of a long Golus! Why was Yaakov waiting for this Golus to start?

The Rebbe explains that Yaakov was already thinking about the Geulah! The first part of the Geulah is “Moshiach ben Yosef,” there has to be Malchus from the family of Yosef before we can have the final Moshiach, Moshiach ben Dovid. The Shaloh says that the Malchus of Yosef in Mitzrayim WAS the inyan of Moshiach ben Yosef. So by Yosef’s dream coming true, we were taking a very important step so that Moshiach would be able to come!

See Likutei Sichos Chelek 35 p. 161; Hamaor Shebetorah 474

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