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Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Yaakov begins to give the bracha to Efrayim and Menasheh.

Yaakov couldn’t see so well anymore because of his old age, so Yosef brought his sons in and brought them close to Yaakov. Yaakov hugged and kissed them! He said to Yosef, “I didn’t even think I would be able to see YOU, and Hashem even showed me now your children!”

After Yaakov kissed them, Yosef had his sons move away a little, and bowed to the ground before his father. Yosef then put Efrayim and Menasheh in the proper place to be bentched by Yaakov. He put Menasheh, who was older, near Yaakov’s right hand, and Efrayim near Yaakov’s left hand. This way, the older son would receive a bracha from Yaakov’s right hand.

But Yaakov purposely switched his hands, and put his right hand on Efrayim!

Yaakov bentched Yosef about the children. “May Hashem, Who Avraham and Yitzchak followed, and Who has always taken care of me and sent me a malach to take care of me, give these boys a bracha. They should be known with my name and the names of the Avos, and they should have many children like fish do, without being afraid of an Ayin Hara.”

The Rebbe tells us another reason why Yaakov bentched them that they should be like fish. Fish can’t be separated from the water, where they get their chayus. Yaakov was giving a bracha for Menashe and Efrayim that they should also be one with the source of their chayus, Hashem. By always being connected to Hashem’s Ratzon and avodah, they will always be a good keili to get brachos from Hashem. (Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Hey p. 11)



49 - 54

Kapitel Mem-Tes is a lesson to everyone, especially about the “small” aveiros that people think aren’t a big deal.

One of the pesukim in this kapitel says “...Avon Akeivai Yesubeini” — “the aveiros of my heels surround me.” Dovid Hamelech is saying that a person should not only be worried that he’s not keeping the “big” mitzvos that are written in the Torah or taught by the Chachomim. He needs to think about the “small” mitzvos, which he might not be keeping as carefully.

The Rebbe teaches that when we say this posuk in Tehillim, we are referring to the Chassidishe minhagim — like saying Chitas or having Ahavas Yisroel for a Yid you never met. Even though we are careful about keeping Shabbos and davening, we might not be as careful with our “small” mitzvos. We need to make sure that we are keeping ALL of our mitzvos properly!



Likutei Amarim Perek Zayin

We learned that there are two kinds of Gashmius that our Nefesh Habehamis knows about and uses: There are things from the Shalosh Kelios Hatmeios, things that Hashem created but doesn’t want us to use (if we used them it would be an aveira chas veshalom); and Kelipas Noga is something Hashem made which isn’t an aveira, and we can choose to use it for kedusha — for Hashem, or for kelipah — for ourselves.

Now let’s go back and talk about the treats we were talking about in yesterday’s Tanya, which are from Kelipas Noga and can be either brought up to kedusha or brought down to the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios:

What happens if a person loves ice cream, and every time he passes by a freezer, he goes and eats some more? Well, then the chayus from that ice cream goes into the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios. Uh oh!

But the good news is that since it was Kelipas Noga before, if the person decides to do teshuva for just thinking about ice cream all the time, and start davening and learning Torah and doing mitzvos with the chayus from the ice cream, he can bring the Kelipas Noga back up to kedusha! (Even though he did teshuvah, the time when it was Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios leaves a mark on the neshama. This mark needs to be cleaned off later.)

But non-kosher food, because it was never Kelipas Noga, can’t go up to kedusha, even if someone did teshuva! Things that are non-kosher are called “asur, which also means tied-up — because they are tied to kelipah, and can almost never become kedusha. The only way it can become kedusha is to wait until after Moshiach comes, or to do such a high level of kedusha, called “Teshuvah MeAhava Rabbah” that even aveiros can become like mitzvos!

Regular teshuvah is not able to take this chayus out of the kelipos, so we need to be very careful with anything that is not kosher.



Tes Teves

Our minhag in Aleinu is that we say “Sheheim Mishtachavim Lahevel Velarik” — that the goyim bow down to things that are really nothing. (Others have a minhag to say that they bow to nothing and DAVEN to Avodah Zarah that can’t help, but that’s not our minhag.) We also say Aleinu this way when we say it in the middle of Musaf on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Our minhag is to spit after we say these words, because when a person talks, it brings saliva into your mouth. We don’t want to swallow saliva that came from saying these words, so we spit it out.



Mitzvas Asei #7

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn that if we need to make a promise, we are ONLY allowed to promise in Hashem’s name. We are not allowed to make a promise on a malach or something else Hashem MADE.

Sometimes people need to make a very serious promise in Beis Din. A person wouldn’t be allowed to promise on the sun, or by the name of a malach. They need to promise using Hashem’s name.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ



Hilchos Shevuos

Perek Yud: We learn more details about Shvuas Ha’Eidus, when someone is asked to be a witness and he promises he doesn’t know. If he really did, he will only get punished if it was his fault that the person lost money.

Perek Yud-Alef: We learn the halachos of how a Shevuah is made, the details of today’s mitzvah. For a Shevuah that the Torah tells us to make, a person has to hold a Sefer Torah!

Perek Yud-Beis: This is the last perek of Hilchos Shevuos! The Rambam says how serious it is for a person to say a Shevuah that isn’t true, and even saying ANYTHING that isn’t true. Parents and teachers need to teach kids to tell the truth all the time without making a Shevuah.

The Rambam also talks about the aveira of saying Hashem’s name without a reason. If someone does say Hashem’s name by mistake, he should say something special about Hashem. (We say Boruch Shem Kevod, bentching Hashem’s great name, so it wasn’t for no reason.)



Hilchos Beis Habechira - Perek Zayin

Today we learn about showing yirah to the Beis Hamikdash, one of the mitzvos of the Torah. We also learn about the 10 levels of Kedusha in Eretz Yisroel — starting with the walled cities of Eretz Yisroel, and all the way up to the Kodesh HaKodoshim as the highest level.



Hey – Yud-Beis Teves

We know the Yom Tov of Hey Teves is when it was decided that all of the seforim belong in 770! But do you know that there are still many seforim from the libraries of the Rebbeim that still didn’t come back? There are seforim from the libraries of the Rebbe Rashab and the Frierdiker Rebbe, with things that the other Rebbeim wrote by hand, and many other seforim and books!

Recently, the Russian government gave permission for many of these to be stored in a Jewish museum in Russia, which IY”H is a step in bringing them back to the Rebbe’s library.

The Rebbe told us that there is a way for us to help get these seforim to go free! There are many seforim in the seforim stores that are where they don’t belong. By us buying them (for ourselves or others) and putting them on the shelves and shtenders and tables in our houses, we can set those seforim free! And when we set THOSE seforim free, Hashem will also help the seforim in Russia to go free!

See sicha Parshas Vayigash 5752


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Torah Tziva

In the beginning of our siddur, there is a page with davening for young children. This is a short davening, with just Modeh Ani, Al Netilas Yodayim, Torah Tziva, the bracha on tzitzis (for boys), and Shema until Uvisharecha.

Why is the posuk Torah Tziva in davening?

The Gemara teaches that when a child starts to learn how to talk, we teach him the pesukim of Torah Tziva and Shema. These two pesukim are the first ones we should make sure kids know!

Of course, the Rebbe put these pesukim first in the Twelve Pesukim, and we see that they are also in the davening for young children!

Why is the posuk of Torah Tziva so important?

This posuk tells us that the Torah, which was commanded to us through Moshe Rabbeinu belongs to every Yid! The posuk says that it is “Morasha Kehillas Yaaakov,” a yerusha for Bnei Yisroel. A yerusha is something you get automatically, just for being! You don’t have to be a certain age, you don’t have to deserve it, or even know how to use it! The Torah is OUR yerusha, it belongs to each of us, no matter how old we are, just because we are Yidden!

The first thing we need to know, at the beginning of our chinuch, is that the Torah, which connects us to Hashem, belongs to every Yid from the day he is born!




In our new books from Hey Teves, make sure to write “LaHashem Ha’aretz Umloah” — the whole world and everything inside belongs to Hashem — before writing your name!

Here is another halacha about seforim:

Seforim have Hashem’s holy Torah inside. We need to treat seforim with kavod.

If we see a sefer upside down, we shouldn’t leave it. We should turn it the right way!

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman Chof- Ches se’if vov

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



Modeh Ani

There are many ways to learn Torah! One of the ways is called “remez,” a hint. Even when Torah is talking about one thing, it can sometimes hint to something else too!

When we learn about Modeh Ani in a way of Remez, we see that it hints to Techiyas Hameisim!


The Gemara teaches us that when a person sleeps, it is a small part (60th) of death. So when Hashem gives us back our neshama, it is a little bit like Techiyas Hameisim, when Hashem will make people who passed away become alive again!

When we learn Modeh Ani this way, it helps us have another kavana in the words: We say, “Shehechezarta Bi Nishmasi,” because You gave me back my neshama, “Raba Emunasecha,” we see that Your emunah is great — we can rely on Hashem to also give back every Yid’s neshama in the time of Techiyas Hameisim!

See Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras Hachassidus, os yud

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