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Shlishi with Rashi

The brothers throw Yosef into a pit, and sell him to merchants passing by. They show their father Yosef’s coat dipped in goat blood, and Yaakov mourns 22 years for Yosef.

Yesterday we learned that the brothers decided to throw Yosef into a hole in the ground instead of killing him, even though they thought he deserved it.

When Yosef came to his brothers in Shechem, they grabbed him right away! They took away his shirt and the special coat he got from his father. Then Shimon threw him into the hole. There was no water in the hole, but it was full of dangerous animals — snakes and scorpions!

Yosef cried that they should take him out, but they didn’t listen. Instead, they sat down to eat. Reuven was fasting, though, because he was still doing teshuvah for moving his father’s bed. He went home because it was his turn to take care of his father Yaakov.

While the rest of the brothers were eating, they saw a group of men from Yishmael coming on camels! Their camels had spices that they were going to sell in Mitzrayim. (Usually, people from Yishmael sold smelly oil and tar, but Hashem made them bring spices so Yosef wouldn’t have to smell yucky things!)

Yehuda said, “Why should we kill Yosef and have to pretend we didn’t do it? Let’s sell him to these Yishmael people.” The brothers agreed. 

In the meantime, another group of people came by also, from Midyan. The brothers pulled Yosef out of the hole and sold him to the Yishmaelim for 20 pieces of silver. The Yishmaelim then sold him right away to the Midyanim, who brought Yosef to Mitzrayim.

The next day, Reuven went back to the hole to save Yosef, but he saw that Yosef wasn’t inside! He was very very sad, and tore his clothes like a person does if R”L someone passes away. He went to his brothers and said “Yosef is gone! I wish there was somewhere to run away to — I don’t want to see how upset our father Yaakov will be. Also, he will think that it’s my fault.”

The brothers shechted a goat and dipped Yosef’s coat inside the blood, since goat blood looks just like blood from a person. They wanted Yaakov to think that an animal killed Yosef.

The brothers agreed not to tell anyone what really happened, unless they ALL wanted to tell, and unless they saw a sign from Hashem.

The brothers didn’t want to show Yaakov the coat themselves, so they sent someone else with the bloody coat. The man asked Yaakov, “Your sons found this coat, do you know whose it is?”

Yaakov knew it was Yosef’s coat, and cried. “Yosef was killed by a wild animal!” Yaakov mourned for Yosef for 22 years — until he met Yosef in Mitzrayim! (Hashem did this to Yaakov so he could make up for not having Kibbud Av Va’em for HIS parents for 22 years when he went to marry Rachel.) All of the Shevatim and the girls tried to make Yaakov feel better, but he stayed sad.

Hashem makes a person forget the pain after a person passes away so they can feel better, but since Yosef was still alive, he didn’t ever forget. That’s why he never felt better. Yaakov was also upset because he knew that it was his avodah to have 12 Shevatim, and if he did, he wouldn’t have anything left to fix in Gehennom after he passed away. Since he thought Yosef had been killed, he didn’t have 12 Shevatim anymore, and that would mean that he would need to fix things up by going into Gehennom.

When a person is sad, they can’t have Ruach Hakodesh, so Yaakov didn’t have Ruach Hakodesh for 22 years!

YITZCHAK knew through Ruach Hakodesh that Yosef was still alive. But since he saw that Yaakov didn’t know, he understood that Hashem didn’t want him to know, and he didn’t tell him. But since he saw that Yaakov was so sad, he cried also.

Meanwhile, the Midyanim sold Yosef to Potifar, who worked in the government of Mitzrayim.



90 - 96

Today’s kapitelach in Tehillim are Tzadik through Tzadik-Vov.

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Tzadik-Daled, there is a posukAshrei Hagever Asher Teyasrenu Kah, UmiToras’cha Selamdenu.” “A person is fortunate if Hashem makes him suffer, and You teach him from Your Torah.”

Why is he fortunate? Because Hashem is showing him that he can be better than he is right now! How can he become better? He can try to figure out what he needs to fix, so now he can grow!

If a baby never got uncomfortable about just being able to crawl, would he ever learn how to walk or run? Really we are very fortunate when we start being uncomfortable about being how we are — this helps us to work hard to be much better and do much more!

But what should we do if we can’t figure out what to fix, but we STILL feel like something is wrong? The answer to this is in the end of the posuk: “UmiTorascha Selamdenu” — We should learn Torah! The Torah is the chochmah of Hashem, and just like Hashem has no limits (Ein Sof), the Torah has no limits! When we learn it, we will always find MORE things we could be doing, and find another part of our life that we can make better than before. Then we will feel very happy that Hashem gave us this chance to grow and to bring the Geulah!

From a sicha of the Rebbe



Likutei Amarim Shaar Blatt - Haskamos

Gut Yom Tov! Today we are going to start learning the Sefer HaTanya again.

Because this year is a Shana Me’uberes, a leap year with a different number of months, the Frierdiker Rebbe set up the Tanya schedule differently. You will see that for six days the pieces of Tanya we learn will be very short, and then there will be a long piece — many times a whole perek! For the first year that the Frierdiker Rebbe set up the schedule, the long day was always on Shabbos!

In the sichos of the Rebbeim it says that the neshama of the Alter Rebbe was a “Neshama Chadasha,” a new neshama that would show Yidden a new way to serve Hashem! This new way, Chassidus Chabad, was explained more and more by each of the Rebbeim. Now our Rebbe told us that it’s our job to make sure that this message reaches everywhere!

We will be learning what message this is, from the Tanya.

Before we actually start learning, we look at the Shaar Blatt, the cover page. On this page, the Alter Rebbe explains what the Tanya is all about!

Before Moshe Rabbeinu passed away, he told the Yidden, “Ki Karov Eilecha Hadavar Me’od, Beficha Uvilvavcha Laasoso.” It is close to you — it is very realistic for you to keep the Torah, using your mouth (beficha) and heart (uvilvavcha) to do it (laasoso)!

Are you more excited about davening, or more excited for dessert? The posuk says that the Torah is close “bilvavcha,” in your heart, that you’ll love it and be scared to miss a mitzvah! Do you feel that way?

The Alter Rebbe will show us in Tanya what bilvavcha means for someone who is not a tzadik, and how he can use it to live in a Torah way all the time!

We will learn two ways how to do this — a long way and a short way. The “long way” is to have hisbonenus about Hashem, which will make us WANT to be connected to Hashem by acting the way a Yid should. The “short way” is to wake up our koach of Mesiras Nefesh that every Yid has hiding inside. We can use this Mesiras Nefesh to help us win over the Yetzer Hara whenever we need it to!


There are two haskamos written by other students of the Maggid, R’ Yehuda Leib Hakohen, and R’ Meshulam Zusya MeiAnipoli. They wrote how special this sefer is, and how important it is to print it. They also wanted to make sure that nobody prints it themselves to take away parnasa from the ones who first printed the Tanya. These letters are both dated Erev Chai Elul, which is the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe, in the year Tof-Kuf-Nun-Vov, which is a year that hints to the Geulah!



Yud-Tes Kislev

Chabad Minhag: The chazzan doesn’t wear a tallis when he’s davening mincha or maariv, not even on Shabbos or Yom Tov or Rosh Hashana.

Today is the Yartzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch (he passed away on Tuesday, Parshas Vayeishev 5533). His ohel is in Anipoli.

Today, the Alter Rebbe came out of (his first) jail, on Tuesday, Parshas Vayeishev 5559 (26 years after the Maggid passed away), close to shkiah.

The Alter Rebbe wrote in a letter: “On the third day of the week, when Hashem says twice “it was good” when Hashem made the world, on the yartzeit of the Maggid, I was reading Padah Beshalom — that Hashem set me free — in Tehillim, and they let me out of jail!” (The Alter Rebbe was saying the Tehillim the way it’s split up for the days of the week.)

Yud-Tes Kislev is a day we farbreng and make hachlatos to learn Torah and Chassidus, and to have Ahavas Yisroel! We also have a minhag to have everyone choose a Gemara to learn this year from “Chalukas HaShas” — that at least one person will learn each of the mesechtas of Shas! In Lubavitch, though, they had to do this on Chof-Daled Teves (the Alter Rebbe’s yartzeit) since there wasn’t time on Yud-Tes Kislev!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #336, #335, #337, #338, #339

Now we are learning more mitzvos about who people can’t get married to. There is a separate mitzvah for each specific type of person that it’s an aveira to get married to.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #336) A person can’t marry his daughter.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #335) A person can’t marry his daughter’s daughter (his granddaughter).

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #337) A person can’t marry a woman and her daughter.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #338) A person can’t marry his wife’s grandmother (on her father’s side) or her granddaughter (from a son).

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #339) A person can’t marry his wife’s grandmother (on her mother’s side) or granddaughter (from a daughter).



Hilchos Isurei Biah

Today’s Rambam talks about what happens if someone gets married to a person they aren’t allowed to, and about what happens if a woman is tomei.



Hilchos Bikurim - Perek Yud-Beis

Today we finish Hilchos Bikurim!

We learn about the mitzvah of Peter Chamor, redeeming a firstborn donkey. We aren’t allowed to just give the donkey to a kohen, we need to trade it for a sheep or for money, and give THAT to a kohen.



Chassidishe Yom Tov

Yud-Tes Kislev is a farbrengen day!

There are actually THREE good times to make a farbrengen on Yud-Tes Kislev — the night of Yud-Tes Kislev, the night between Yud-Tes and Chof Kislev, and the night following Chof Kislev (Motzaei Chof Kislev).

Each farbrengen should be in a different way:

One time where you farbreng with yourself (spend some time thinking about what Yud-Tes Kislev means and how to make Chassidus a bigger part of your life), one time with your family, and a third one with your community, making hachlatos together to make your whole community a place of Chassidus!

Probably you are going to a big farbrengen, but that’s not enough! The Rebbe wanted there to be farbrengens in EVERY city!

See Sichas Parshas Vayishlach 5752


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Bittul Through Davening

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that every Yid has a bittul to Hashem. This bittul makes a Yid want to live according to Hashem’s Ratzon which we know from the Torah. Still, we don’t always feel this bittul.

We can “wake up” this bittul through davening! By saying Pesukei Dezimra, the brachos of Shema, and especially the parshios of Shema itself and Emes Veyatziv, we wake up our bittul. This way, we will have this strong bittul when we say Shemoneh Esrei.

IY”H, we will learn more about this over the next few days, including how these parts of davening help, and why we need this bittul.

See Torah Ohr Vayechi; maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos vol. 20 p. 347



Fleishige Keilim

If I have a pareve food that was cooked in a fleishige pot, do I become fleishig?

According to halacha, as long as there was no meat or grease from meat in the pot, even if the pot wasn’t so clean, the food won’t make you fleishig. It is fine to have milchigs right after eating from that pot.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman 46, se’if yud

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



What Are YOU Doing?

Right before the beginning of Hayom Yom, the Rebbe put in a part of a letter from the Frierdiker Rebbe.

This letter was written at a time when many of the Yidden were suffering terribly in Golus. The Frierdiker Rebbe writes:

In this time of “Haras Olam,” the world is shaking! It is shaking because of the Chevlei Moshiach, the pain that comes right before Moshiach comes. Hashem set on fire the walls of Golus!

...Now it is the achrayus of every Jew, man and woman, old and young, to ask themselves this question:

What have I already done, and what am I doing now, to make the Chevlei Moshiach easier? What am I doing to be zocheh to the Geulah Sheleimah through Moshiach Tzidkeinu?

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