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Parshas Naso - Rishon with Rashi

Today Hashem tells Moshe to count the Leviim from the family of Gershon who are the right age to carry parts of the Mishkan. Only Leviim who are older than 30 and younger than 50 are strong enough to do this job.

The Torah tells us again what the family of Gershon has to carry:

The curtains for the Mishkan! There are a lot:
- The 3 covers on top of the Mishkan
- The curtain that hangs at the front of the Mishkan (like a door)
- The curtains of the Chatzer (courtyard) of the Mishkan (like a fence around)
- The curtain that was like a door for the Chatzer
- And the ropes to hold down the bottom 2 covers of the Mishkan.

It is the job of Isamar, Aharon’s son, to make sure that these Leviim know how do their job right.



29 - 34

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Hashem Oz Le’amo Yitein” — “Hashem will give strength to the Yidden.”

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that the posuk is telling us that when Hashem gave us the Torah, He was giving us a very big present!

During the day, we see things which make us have taavos and want things that aren’t good for our neshama. When Hashem gave us the Torah, He gave us “Oz,” strength for our neshama! With this strength, our neshamos can control the taavos and act the way Hashem wants us to.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Hakdama

The Alter Rebbe is telling us why he made this section of Tanya.

In the first section of Tanya, we learn that in order to serve Hashem properly, we need to have Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem. Here the Alter Rebbe tells us that the foundation for Ahavas Hashem is to have a pure Emunah in Hashem and to understand Achdus Hashem as best as we can — that Hashem and everything in Hashem’s creation is all one with Hashem.

First the Alter Rebbe tells us which kind of Ahavas Hashem is a mitzvah to have, and which kind is a “present” from Hashem, but not a mitzvah.

Loving Hashem which comes through hisbonenus is the Ahavas Hashem that we have a mitzvah to do. We think in general how Hashem is our chayus, and we love Hashem for giving us life! We also think specifically about how Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, brought us close to Him, and gave us the precious Torah! This happens every day when we daven and learn Torah. This makes us love Hashem and want to serve Hashem properly.

This is exactly what Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden to do when he gave them the mitzvah to love Hashem! The Alter Rebbe shows us from the pesukim that Moshe told the Yidden things they can think about so they will love Hashem and do what Hashem wants.

However, the strong kind of love which comes as a gift from Hashem is not the mitzvah of Ahavas Hashem. It is like the reward the neshama gets in Olam Haba!



Hey Sivan

Today is forty-nine days of the Omer!

On Erev Shavuos in 5557, the Alter Rebbe said a “Torah”:

Before the Yidden got the Torah, Hashem told Moshe how the Yidden should get ready: “Make them holy today and tomorrow, and they should wash their clothes.” Becoming holy today and tomorrow is something we get from Hashem, but cleaning our clothes we need to do ourselves.

That’s all the Alter Rebbe said.

The Tzemach Tzedek explained this Torah:

Hashem told MOSHE to make the Yidden holy. In every generation, we have a Rebbe, our Moshe Rabbeinu, who helps make us holy. They teach us Torah and SHOW us how to be good Yidden and do our shlichus.

That is given to us. But to really BE the way we should be, WE need to “wash our clothes.” What are clothes? Like we learned in Tanya, the Levushim are what we think, say, and do. We need to make these clean ourselves, to act the way Hashem wants.

The Rebbeim teach us what we need to do, but it’s up to us to actually follow the horaos and do it!



Shiur #311 - Mitzvas Asei #248

Today, we learn the same mitzvah again (Mitzvas Asei #248) — that we need to give the yerusha (inheritance) to the right people as it says in the Torah. This includes that the bechor gets a double portion.

We learn this mitzvah from Parshas Pinchas: אִישׁ כִּי יָמוּת וּבֵן אֵין לוֹ

The halachos are explained in Mesechta Bava Basra perakim Ches and Tes.



Hilchos Nachalos

Perek Vov: In this perek, we learn that we are not allowed to change who is supposed to get the yerusha! A person can give away his property as a present, to keep his son from getting it, but he can’t say that his son doesn’t get part of the yerusha, because that is given by the Torah.

But the Chachomim teach us that it is NOT a good thing for a person to give away all of a his property to keep the children from getting a part of the yerusha.

Perek Zayin teaches us that the Beis Din doesn’t let someone have their part of the yerusha until they are sure that the person really passed away. So if the father disappeared when he was on a long trip, the sons don’t get the yerusha even if they think that their father must have passed away.

Perek Ches is a very short perek! The Rambam teaches us that we don’t let a different relative take care of a field for a child under Bar Mitzvah who got it as a yerusha. That’s because that relative might then say that it was HIS field that he got as a yerusha, and people could believe him, since after all, he is a relative.



Hilchos Shechitah - Perek Yud-Gimmel

In this perek, we learn the halachos about the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKein, sending away the mother bird before taking her babies or eggs from her nest.



Siyum on Mesechta Sotah

During the time of Sefiras Haomer, Chassidim have a minhag to learn Mesechta Sotah. Today, on Erev Shavuos, we make a siyum on the whole Mesechta!

In the year Tof-Shin-Yud-Tes, on Erev Shavuos, the Rebbe made a siyum and hadran explaining how the end of Sotah and the beginning of Sotah are connected, and how they both help us to be prepared for Matan Torah!

The beginning of the Mesechta speaks about a Sotah — a wife who didn’t behave properly and now her husband doesn’t trust her because he thinks she might have done a serious aveira.

The end of the Mesechta speaks about how even after R’ Yehuda Hanasi passed away, it is still possible to have the midah of Yiras Cheit, being afraid to do an aveira.

The Tanna who says that it is still possible to have Yiras Cheit is R’ Nachman. When R’ Nachman was a baby, his mother was told by astrologers that he was going to grow up to be a thief. His mother decided to be careful to put a yarmulka on him all the time to help him have Yiras Shomayim. And indeed, instead of becoming a thief, he became one of the Tannaim of the Gemara!

The Rebbe points out that when a person is born, they are born without a yarmulka. But through the avodah we do, like to wear a yarmulka, can make such a difference! The same way, our avodah of counting Sefirah, working on our midos, and learning Mesechta Sotah during Sefiras Ha’omer also makes a big difference! They keep us from getting tricked by our Yetzer Hara like the Sotah, and keep us from doing aveiros.

That is the connection between the end of the Mesechta and the beginning of the Mesechta: By fulfilling what R’ Nachman says at the end of the Mesechta, to have Yiras Cheit, that will stop us from doing aveiros like the Sotah, which we learn at the beginning of the Mesechta.

This way we will also be ready for Matan Torah, to receive the Torah from Hashem — Kabolas HaTorah B’Simcha Ub’Pnimius!

The sicha explains at length the difference between the way that Rashi and the Rambam learn what Mesechta Sotah is about, and a deep explanation in Avodas Hashem about the idea of a Sotah in Ruchnius. The sicha was prepared to be published in Tof-Shin-Mem in a likut, and was published in Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Ches, second sicha for Parshas Naso. (This sicha is being learned this week b’Achdus by many Chassidim around the world, as part of Project Likutei Sichos.)

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Chag Hashavuos

The Rebbe would always give people a bracha before Shavuos: “Kabolas HaTorah BeSimcha Ub’pnimius!” These are the words the Rebbe Rashab and the Frierdiker Rebbe would use.

What is this a bracha for?

The words mean “Receive the Torah with simcha and a pnimius” — what does that mean?

When you are told in camp that you are going on a trip to an amusement park, or your parents tell you that you’re going to your cousins’ house next week, you are very happy and excited about the trip! Because you are happy, you will REALLY enjoy and appreciate the trip when you finally take it!

The same thing is with the Torah. When we are excited and happy that we’re getting the Torah, and we don’t feel that we are forced to do it, then we will have simcha. Then, when we get the Torah with a new chayus every year, we will FOR SURE appreciate and enjoy everything about the Torah and feel that everything in the Torah is meant for us!

That is one of the meanings of this brachaKabolas HaTorah b’Simcha, that we should be excited and happy about receiving the Torah, so that we can take the Torah into a pnimius — we will appreciate the Torah and feel like it’s ours.

See Igros Kodesh vol. 17, p. 152



Saying Tikun Leil Shavuos

The night before Shavuos, we stay up all night as a preparation for Matan Torah. Every year, we receive the Torah from Hashem anew when we hear the Aseres Hadibros in shul. By staying up, we correct the mistake of the Yidden, who were sleeping the night before Shavuos, when Hashem came to give them the Torah.

The Yidden had a good reason to sleep. They wanted to reach a higher connection to Hashem, which can only be done when sleeping. Still, it wasn’t the right thing. Hashem wanted the preparation to be in this world, while they were awake, even if it wouldn’t be as high of a level.

There are different minhagim about what to do on this night while we stay up. Many people sit and learn Torah all night.

The Rebbe pointed out that the Frierdiker Rebbe explained in many sichos that we should say the words of the Tikun Leil Shavuos. (The Tikun is a sefer which includes the first and last section of every part of Torah.)

Saying Tikun Leil Shavuos is a way to show achdus! Everyone is able to read the words of Torah, even if we can’t all understand them. At Matan Torah, all of the Yidden were together equally, and Shavuos is a special time to have more achdus. By saying Tikun Leil Shavuos, which EVERYONE can be a part of, we unite with all of the Yidden together. That is why it is the Chabad minhag to say Tikun Leil Shavuos when we stay up.

There are many incredible brachos promised to people who stay up during this night to say words of Torah!

See Otzar Minhagei Chabad, Chodesh Sivan


Here are links to two Halacha Newsletters, to review the halachos for Shavuos: Badatz of Crown Heights and Rabbi Shmuel Lesches of Melbourne

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



No Jew Will Be Left Behind

In the Haggadah Shel Pesach, we speak about how to answer four kinds of sons. When we answer the Rasha, we tell him that if he was in Mitzrayim, he wouldn’t have come out! He would have passed away with the rest of the Resha’im during Makas Choshech.

But that’s not the way it will work with the Geulah! The Navi Yeshaya tells us that “Yitaka BeShofar Gadol,” a great shofar will be blown, and EVERY Yid will come back, no matter how far away he is!

Why will this Geulah be different? Why will Hashem bring even the Resha’im back to Yerushalayim?

Yetziyas Mitzrayim happened before Matan Torah. In the Aseres Hadibros, Hashem said, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha!” Hashem is the Aibershter of every single Jew! That new connection to Hashem makes it impossible for any Yid to be lost in Golus. EVERY Yid will come back to serve Hashem in Yerushalayim, no matter how far away he is from Yiddishkeit!

See MiGolah L’Geulah p. 196, from Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Alef p. 2

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