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CHUMASH

Shlishi with Rashi

In Chumash, we are learning more about Yovel:

We said yesterday that in a Yovel year, all fields go back to the person they belonged to first. When we sell a field in Eretz Yisroel, we are only selling it for the years until Yovel.

Today we learn that it is different with a house that’s in a city surrounded by walls: The person who sold it only has one year to buy it back; otherwise it belongs to the person who bought it forever, even after Yovel.

Houses in cities WITHOUT walls around them are like fields, that go back to the person who they belonged to first.

Houses in the Leviim’s cities are different too: A Levi can ALWAYS buy his house back, and he gets it back in Yovel. The same is with fields in the Leviim’s cities — they can ALWAYS buy them back.

Today we also learn about taking care of poor people: If we see that someone is becoming poor, we should help him right away even if he’s not poor yet, because once he is REALLY poor it will be much harder to help him. Rashi says that this is like big heavy packages on a donkey: If you see them slipping off, even one person can keep them from falling. But once they fall on the ground, even 5 people can’t pick them all up!

But when we help, we should NEVER take interest! (Interest is making someone pay back more money than they borrowed — like if someone borrows $10 from another person, that person can’t make him pay back $11 so that he makes money.)

Even if nobody sees and nobody knows, remember that Hashem is watching!

 
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TEHILLIM

108 - 112

In Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Alef, the pesukim have every letter of the Alef-Beis! The first half of the posuk has one letter, and the second half has the next letter. (The last two pesukim have 3 parts, with 3 letters.)

Dovid Hamelech says: “Koach Maasav Higid Le’Amo, Lases Lahem Nachalas Goyim.” (Do you see how the first part of the posuk starts with Chof, and the second half starts with Lamed?) “Hashem told Yidden the great things He did, so He could give them a land that the Goyim lived in.”

What does this mean?

The first Rashi in Chumash tells us that Hashem made the Torah start with — not mitzvos — but the story of how Hashem made the world. This way, if the Goyim get mad that we took Eretz Yisroel, we will tell them that HASHEM made Eretz Yisroel, and Hashem let the Goyim live there, but then He wanted the Yidden to have it, and so He gave it to Yidden!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Alef

In the beginning of Perek Lamed-Hey, we started to explain what’s so special about doing mitzvos. We said that the main thing is to do mitzvos, but to do mitzvos right, we need to have kavana — to have Yiras Hashem and Ahavas Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe brought a mashal to explain how important it is to do mitzvos: That a Yid is like a candle — the fire is the light of Hashem — the Shechinah, the wick is the body, and the oil is the mitzvos. We have to make sure that there is plenty of “oil” so the fire stays lit on the wick — we have to make sure that we have plenty of mitzvos so the light of Hashem stays lit on us!

What does it mean that the Shechinah shines on us? Isn’t Hashem everywhere?

The Torah tells us that Hashem will rest in the Beis Hamikdash. But isn’t Hashem EVERYWHERE?

We can understand this from what we know about the Beis Hamikdash.

The answer is that Hashem really IS everywhere. But in most places, Hashem is hidden, we can’t see Him. Only in a Yid, when he does mitzvos, can Hashem be felt. The same thing is also by the Beis Hamikdash — there we can feel Hashem.

How come we can feel Hashem when we do mitzvos, or feel Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash? Over the next few days of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is going to teach us something about our neshamos that will help us understand how this works.

How can we understand this from our own Neshamos? Because there is a posuk, “Mibesari Echezeh Elokah” — “from my body I can see Hashem.” The Alter Rebbe shows us that by looking at ourselves and how our neshama and body work, we can understand Hashem better!

Our neshama is what makes us alive. Even though our Neshamos give Chayus to every part of the body, the Neshama’s main place is in the head. The head makes sure that every part of the body gets the chayus that it needs.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Gimmel Iyar

Today is thirty-eight days of the Omer!

When a Yid goes to sleep, his Neshama goes up to Hashem to get new chayus. When he wakes up, his Neshama is still sleeping — only a little part of it is active. To wake the neshama up so it is working hard in the whole body, we need to daven!

The Rebbe tells us today that if we don’t daven with Avodah, the way we should, our neshama stays a little bit tired, and doesn’t shine as bright as it can. When a neshama is bright, we do mitzvos with a chayus, we have a geshmak in Torah, we are more aidel, and when we do Shlichus, it brings Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit!

If chas veshalom we don’t daven the way we should, Yiddishkeit starts to feel boring. It’s hard even to do mitzvos we are USED TO doing! We don’t enjoy learning Hashem’s Torah and we don’t feel very aidel. When other people look at us, they won’t see how beautiful Yiddishkeit is, and so Shlichus doesn’t work right.

So we need to make sure to do our best to daven right!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Asei #98

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #98) is that food and drinks can become tomei! We need to follow the halachos about how it can become tomei, and what to do about it.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Tumas Ochlin

In today’s Rambam, we learn about how food and drinks become Tomei.

Perek Alef: Only a food that once got wet with certain kinds of liquids can become Tomei:

1) Water
2) Dew
3) Oil
4) Wine
5) Milk
6) Blood
7) Honey

The Rambam teaches us what kinds of things aren’t counted as a food or a drink, and can’t become tomei — like spices.

Perek Beis: One of the things this perek explains the halachos about a plant or an animal becoming tomei: While a plant is growing, it can’t become tomei, and while an animal is alive, its meat is not mekabel tumah.

Perek Gimmel: Now we learn about Kavana — like if we DECIDED that something was going to be food, and changed our minds (and decided to use it to feed the animals instead), can it still become tomei?

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Ishus - Perek Yud-Ches

In this perek, the Rambam explains the halachos of how an almanah is taken care of from her husband’s property.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Tefillah

In Hayom Yom, we talked about davening with avodah.

How do KIDS daven with avodah? We hear stories of big Chassidim who learned Chassidus all morning and then davened all day! We’re not ready to do that yet! What can we do to make our davening better?

The Rebbe told us many times that when we look in the Siddur, the holy letters that we are saying make it easier to think about Hashem so that we don’t think about other things when we daven.

Also, when we say the words out loud, instead of just whispering them to ourselves, it helps us have more kavanah.

 

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TEFILLAH

Modim

Shemoneh Esrei has three parts:
1) Three brachos at the beginning, where we praise Hashem
2) Thirteen brachos in the middle, where we ask Hashem for our needs — first the needs of individuals, and then the needs of Klal Yisroel
3) Three brachos at the end, where we conclude our requests and thank Hashem.

The second bracha of these last three brachos starts with the words “Modim Anachnu Lach,” and finishes with the bracha, “Hatov Shimcha Ulecha Na’eh Lohodos.”

At the beginning of this bracha, we say that we recognize that Hashem is our Aibishter. We realize that He is our chayus, and that He takes care of every detail of our lives with His Hashgacha Protis. Then we thank Hashem for accepting our tefillos, and for all the good He does for us.

We thank Hashem for doing nissim for us — all the time! Many times, we don’t even notice that there are nissim taking place. We thank Hashem for always taking care of us, and making many nissim happen that we don’t even see.

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Taking Off Shoes

When we take off our shoes, there is a halacha for that too!

We see that the Torah gives kavod to the right side, for example when it speaks about the kohanim during the Yemei Miluim. We learn from this that we should also give kavod to the right side of our body.

In order to give kavod to the right side, we take off the left shoe first. This way the right side has the kavod that it is still wearing a shoe.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman beis

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Excitement About Moshiach!

At the time of the Geulah, when Hashem will make incredible nissim to take us out of Golus, we will all be so excited to praise Hashem! The Navi Yeshaya tells us that we will say to each other:

צַהֲלִי וָרֹנִּי יוֹשֶׁבֶת צִיּוֹן כִּי גָדוֹל בְּקִרְבֵּךְ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל

Tzahali Varoni — Shout with joy and praise!

Yosheves Tzion — Everyone who lives in Yerushalayim (meaning all the Yidden) should do this!

Ki Gadol Bekirbeich Kedosh Yisrael — Because Hashem is great among the Yidden!

This is the third posuk that talks about how the Yidden will praise Hashem when Moshiach comes, and all of these pesukim are part of Veyitein Lecha, which we say together on Motzei Shabbos.

See Yeshaya perek Yud-Beis posuk Vov

 
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