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Parshas Ki Seitzei - Shishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is reviewing and explaining the mitzvos with the Yidden so that all of the 613 mitzvos will be clear for the Yidden going into Eretz Yisroel, and for all generations!

People that don’t have to take any part in a war: In last week’s parsha, we learned about the announcement of the Mashuach Milchama, the kohen who tells certain people not to fight in the war — like someone who got engaged, or bought a house and didn’t move in yet. But even though those people don’t fight, they still need to help the army in other ways.

But there are other people that should not help with the war at all! Someone who is in his first year of marriage needs to spend time with his new wife and make her happy. Someone who bought a new house and is still in his first year of living there, or planted a new vineyard and this is the first year he can eat the fruits, also shouldn’t take part in the war.

Not taking keilim needed to make food as a Mashkon: Sometimes a person borrows money, but cannot pay it back. The Beis Din can take some of his things as a Mashkon, to make sure the person will pay back the loan. But the Beis Din CANNOT take keilim used to make food with as a Mashkon.

Kidnaping: If someone kidnapped another person and uses him as a slave, after being warned not to, he is chayav misa in Beis Din.

Keep the halachos of Tzoraas: We learned the details of this mitzvah in Chumash Vayikra. Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden to be very careful with Tzoraas, and not to try to take off the signs of Tzoraas — they should show them to the kohen. If they don’t want to get Tzoraas, they should not speak Lashon Hara! They can remember this from the story of Miriam, when she said Lashon Hara and got Tzoraas.

Taking a Mashkon: If someone borrows something from you, you might want him to give you something as a Mashkon, to show that he really will give back what he borrowed. But you can’t go into his house to take a Mashkon — he needs to bring it out to you.

If he is poor and you take his pajamas as a Mashkon, for example, you need to make sure that he has them back at night when he needs to go to sleep! He will thank you, and even if he doesn’t, Hashem will consider it a zechus that you are helping him give back what he borrowed and STILL making sure he has what he needs when he needs it.



44 - 48

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Daled to Mem-Ches, and we also say Chof-Beis, Chof-Gimmel, and Chof-Daled for Chodesh Elul.

In today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Mem-Vov talks about how when Moshiach comes, Hashem will make no more wars. The world will be quiet and peaceful. “Lechu Chazu Mifalos Hashem Asher Sam Shamos BaAretz” — “Go look at what Hashem did — He made the world empty (of war).”

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that this isn’t just talking about wars with soldiers and guns, it’s talking about fighting with our Yetzer Hara too! Nowadays we always need to fight with our Yetzer Hara to do the right thing, because Hashem wants us to work hard and become better Yidden.

But when Moshiach comes, we will be able to rest from our fighting with the Yetzer Hara, just like we rest on Shabbos from our hard work all week!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Beis

Now we are starting a new letter from the Alter Rebbe. This letter will tell us about two kinds of Tzedakah: Tzedakah that we LIKE to give, and Tzedakah that is HARD for us. We will see how any tzedakah is special, but that the tzedakah that is harder is even more amazing!

First, let’s look at what we say in davening and in bentching: “Oseh Shalom Bimromav” — that Hashem makes Shalom in Shomayim.

What does THAT mean? Why should Hashem need to make Shalom in Shomayim? Who is fighting in Shomayim?!?

The answer is that Shalom is not only for when people are fighting, but also when there are two things that are different, and you need them to be together.

In Shomayim, there are two different kinds of Malochim. There is Malach Michoel, who is the nice and giving malach, and Malach Gavriel, who is the strict malach. They are both doing what Hashem wants, but they are doing two opposite things!

Hashem makes shalom with them both! He reminds them that they are not really opposite, they are really the same! They are both malachim of Hashem, and they are both doing exactly what Hashem wants. When they see how they are both the same, they are happy to be together.

When Hashem makes shalom between them, it is like giving Tzedakah — it is helping them in a very special way.

IY”H tomorrow we will learn what this has to do with OUR giving tzedakah!



Ches Elul

One of the important things we do in Chodesh Elul is to look for ways to have more zechus, so that when we are judged on Rosh Hashana, Hashem will give us a Shana Tova. That’s one of the reasons we check our Tefillin and Mezuzos in Elul!

Today’s Hayom Yom tells us about a special zechus that helped the Tzemach Tzedek in a very hard time:

In Tof-Reish-Gimmel, there was a big gathering of Rabbonim in Petersburg. The Maskilim wanted to force all of the Rabbonim and all of the Yiddishe kinderlach, that they should have to learn all sorts of things that aren’t Torah.

Of course the Tzemach Tzedek fought very hard to make sure this wouldn’t happen — and in the end, he won!

The Tzemach Tzedek said that there were 3 special things he did that gave him the zechus to win. One of them was that he spent 32,000 hours (about 3 hours EVERY DAY for 30 years!) learning and understanding the Alter Rebbe’s maamorim. Later, the Tzemach Tzedek printed these maamorim in Torah Ohr and Likutei Torah.



Shiur #50 - Mitzvas Asei #165, Lo Saasei #329, Asei #164, Lo Saasei #196

Today we learn FOUR mitzvos about Yom Kippur!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #165) We need to rest from doing melacha on Yom Kippur.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Acharei: שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן הִיא לָכֶם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #329) We are not allowed to work on Yom Kippur. The dinim of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Beitzah, Megillah, and other places.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וְכָל מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #164) We need to do things that aren’t comfortable for our body on Yom Kippur — the inuyim (no eating or drinking, no baths, no shmearing creams, no leather shoes, and married people have to act differently).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Acharei: תְּעַנּוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #196) We are not allowed to eat on Yom Kippur. The dinim of this mitzvah are explained in the end of Mesechta Yoma.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: כִּי כָל הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא תְעֻנֶּה וְגוֹ׳ וְנִכְרְתָה



Hilchos Shevisas Asor

In today’s Rambam, we learn all three perakim of “Shevisas Asor” — resting on the tenth day of Tishrei, which is Yom Kippur!

One thing the Rambam says is that a kid that isn’t nine years old yet shouldn’t fast on Yom Kippur because it might bring to a sakana. After turning nine, kids can practice by fasting for an hour longer than they are used to waiting before they eat.

Even kids shouldn’t wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur, even though they are allowed to eat and drink.



Hilchos Teshuvah - Perek Beis

The Rambam teaches us that a person knows he did true teshuvah if he is in the same situation as before, and still doesn’t do the aveira again.

We also learn that if someone asks us for forgiveness for something he did to us, we should forgive him!

The Rambam tells us that even though Hashem accepts our teshuvah ALL the time, in the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, ending with Yom Kippur, Hashem accepts our teshuvah right away!



Chodesh Elul

We learned in Hayom Yom that for important things we sometimes need a special zechus! In Elul, we try to do things that will bring us extra zechus, so that when we are judged on Rosh Hashana, Hashem will give us a sweet and happy year!

One thing we do in Elul for that special zechus is to check our Tefillin and Mezuzos, to make sure they are still kosher. According to the din, they don’t need to be checked more than two times in seven years, but the Rebbe told us to follow what is brought in halacha to check them every year. Not only should we do that ourselves, but we should encourage others to check theirs as well!

Besides for bringing Mezuzos to the sofer to make sure that they are kosher, we need to make sure that they are on right! We need to make sure we have Mezuzos on all of the rooms that need them (even some big closets!), that they are hung up at the right height, and they are on the right side of the door. (Here are some of those halachos: When you bring your mezuzos to the sofer, it is a good time to also ask and make sure you are hanging your mezuzos up correctly!

The month of Elul is also a time to check our other mitzvos, to make sure we are doing them properly too!

See Shevach Hamoadim Kitzur Hilchos Elul


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Mizmorei Shabbos

Really the Chachomim had many other kapitelach of praise to Hashem that they wanted to put in davening. But that would have made the davening much longer! Since working during the week is a very important part of serving Hashem, these kapitelach are not part of davening on a weekday, to give us more time to work.

But on Shabbos, when we have more time to spend on davening and learning, we add 12 kapitelach of Tehillim, along with Ho’aderes Veha’emunah, before Boruch She’amar. This way, we say the many praises of Hashem!

The meforshim explain why these kapitelach specifically were chosen. There are reasons in Niglah and in Kabbalah.



L'Kavod Shabbos

To have a special Shabbos, we need to prepare before! We need to go shopping, cook, clean, set up, learn, and more!

In Shulchan Aruch it says that we should make sure that all of these things we do are with the kavana that they are L’Kavod Shabbos.

Everything we buy, we should SAY that it is L’Kavod Shabbos! And everything we do, we should THINK that it is L’Kavod Shabbos!

One of the differences between buying and doing is that when you buy, there is at least one other person there, that you are buying from. When you SAY that it is L’Kavod Shabbos, not only do you know about it, but the other person will also think about Shabbos!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Reish-Nun, 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



Kimei Tzeischa Me'eretz Mitzrayim

The Navi Micha saw in his nevuos the time before Moshiach comes. Seeing all of the troubles the Yidden would go through made Micha cry out to Hashem. He asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden the way Hashem took care of the Yidden in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu!

Hashem answered Micha, “I heard what you asked, and I will do it!”

כִּימֵי צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אַרְאֶנּוּ נִפְלָאוֹת

Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim — Just like in the time of coming out of Mitzrayim, when I made tremendous nisim

Arenu Niflaos — I will show you wonders in the time of the Geulah!

Based on this posuk, we learn many thing about the Geulah! Since we know so much about the Geulah from Mitzrayim, both in Gashmius and in Ruchnius, this teaches us so much about how things will be when Moshiach comes! We can find these explanations in maamarim throughout Chassidus, and especially in the Rebbe’s Torah!


The Rebbe points out that Micha only got this beautiful promise after he asked Hashem for it! We see from here that we need to ask Hashem for the Geulah, and that when we do, Hashem will answer us and make it happen!

See Micha perek Zayin posuk Tes-Vov, and Sefer Hasichos 5751 chelek Beis p. 474 and ha’ara 54 (Hebrew)

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