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CHUMASH

Parshas Acharei - Shishi with Rashi

Since we are Hashem’s holy nation, we need to remember that getting married is a very holy thing! Hashem gives us very specific rules about getting married.

- A person can’t marry his mother or stepmother

- He can’t marry his sister or stepsister

- He can’t marry his grandchildren

- He can’t marry his aunt

- He can’t marry his daughter-in-law

- He can’t marry a woman and her daughter

- He can’t marry two sisters

- He needs to act differently with a woman who has Tumas Niddah (like we learned in Sefer Hamitzvos)

- He can’t get married to a woman who is married to someone else

Hashem also tells us NOT to do the Avodah Zarah of Molech.

 
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TEHILLIM

104 - 105

In today’s Tehillim we have a very interesting posuk: “Al Tig’u Bimeshichoi” — “Do not touch My anointed ones.”

The Chachomim tell us that one of the things that “Meshichoi” (My anointed ones) means is Yiddishe children.

The reason for this is since it is because of the children that Moshiach will come!

The Gemara (in Mesechta Shabbos) says that the reason the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed was because the Yidden weren’t careful that the children should learn Torah. Since that is the reason for the Golus, if we make sure that Yiddishe kinderlach DO learn Torah, it will make the Geulah come!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Beis

In this perek, the Alter Rebbe is teaching us how to have Yiras Shomayim. The Alter Rebbe told us that we get the koach of Yiras Shomayim from the neshama of Moshe Rabbeinu and the Moshe Rabbeinu (the “Rebbe”) of each generation.

In yesterday’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us that even though the koach of Yiras Shomayim is already there, hidden inside our neshama, if we want it to do its job and make us behave the way Hashem wants, we need to work to wake it up.

Why?

Because our neshama is inside of a body, which can cover up and hide this Yiras Shomayim. There are two things we need to do to wake up this Yiras Shomayim:

1) The first thing is to take away the distraction of the guf. (The Alter Rebbe calls this Yegiyas Basar.) How do we do this? By having thoughts of teshuvah which make us feel humble. These are the kinds of thoughts the Alter Rebbe taught us to think about in Perek Chof-Tes and Lamed.

In today’s Tanya we learn the second thing:

2) We need to train our mind to be able to spend time thinking about how Hashem is with us and watching everything we are doing. (The Alter Rebbe calls this Yegiyas Nefesh.)

Even though this might be hard, especially if a person has done certain aveiros, with the koach of teshuvah and learning and thinking about how Hashem is watching us, the Yiras Shomayim WILL wake up in the end.

If we try hard, we will succeed, like the Chachomim say — Yogati Umotzosi Taamin!

We can understand this with a mashal: If a person knows that a treasure is buried in a certain spot, he will dig and dig, not stopping, until he finds it! Even if it takes time, and is hard work, he knows it is there and worth all of his work. The same is true with our Yiras Shomayim: We know there is a treasure of Yiras Shomayim, buried inside of our neshama! If we keep “digging” by thinking about how Hashem is always with us and watching us, we will find this treasure! Our Yiras Shomayim will become active, and will make sure we are doing what Hashem wants us to do.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Alef Nisan

Today is the sixth day of the Omer!

When we read Az Yashir in the Torah, we should stand up.

In Lubavitch, there is a minhag to stay up all night THREE times every year: Shvi’i Shel Pesach (that’s today!), Shavuos, and Hoshaana Rabbah.

The Friediker Rebbe said that, already from when he was nine, he stayed up on Shvi’i Shel Pesach!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #238 - Mitzvas Asei #109

Today we finally learn a new mitzvah! Today’s mitzvah, (Mitzvas Asei #109) is about how we can become tahor from the kinds of tumah we were just learning about. Do you know how? By going into (or putting our keilim into) a mikvah!

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Keilim - Mikvaos

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the halachos about which kinds of keilim can become tomei.

Perek Chof-Zayin reviews the rules about tumah, by giving us three examples of many types of keilim, and telling us what the halacha is for each of them. Here’s one example:

There are three kinds of sheets:
1) A sheet that goes on a bed — this can get Midras (the tumah of when a Zav rests on it)
2) A sheet that we hang up like a curtain — this can get Tumas Meis
3) A sheet that has sewing designs on it to teach how to sew — this stays tahor

Perek Chof-Ches explains what happens if tumah touches the outside of a keili — does the inside become tomei? What about if the tumah touched the inside — is the outside tomei? (It depends what the keili is made of.)

Then we start learning the next set of halachos — about the Mikvah, to make all of these things tahor!

Perek Alef explains the general rules about a mikvah — like that a person doesn’t become tahor until nighttime, even if they went to the Mikvah during the day, and that a person can’t have anything between them and the mikvah water (for example, a bandaid) — this is called a chatzitzah.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Temurah - Perek Alef

In today’s Rambam, we learn about Temurah, switching.

The Rambam tells us that we are not allowed to switch one animal for another once it was already set aside as a korban. If somebody does this, he gets punished with malkos. Still the animal he switched it for becomes holy (so now he has TWO holy animals!). The Rambam tells us what kind of people this applies to, and for which korbanos.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Shvi'i Shel Pesach

One year, the Rebbe told us something very special about today: Shvi’i Shel Pesach is the Rosh Hashana for Mesiras Nefesh!

Why?

Because on Shvi’i Shel Pesach, there was Kriyas Yam Suf. How did it happen? Because Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped into the water just because Hashem said to keep going.

This gives us a special koach for the whole year, to do what Hashem wants with Mesiras Nefesh!

 

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TEFILLAH

Az Yashir

One of the parts of davening we say every day is Az Yashir, the song that Moshe and the Yidden sang at the time of Kriyas Yam Suf.

The word “Yashir,” though, doesn’t mean “he SANG.” It means that he WILL sing! If we are talking about the song that was sung by the Yam Suf, why does it say that Moshe WILL sing it? The Chachomim teach us that this is hinting to Techiyas Hameisim, that Moshe Rabbeinu and the Yidden will sing this song when Moshiach comes!

Why is Techiyas Hameisim hinted to specifically here, and not somewhere else in the Torah?

At the time of Kriyas Yam Suf, a special koach of Hashem’s name, Havaya, was shining. This name of Hashem includes the past, present, and future together! This name of Hashem includes all times together, including the time of Techiyas Hameisim. It gave the koach that this song of Az Yashir should last for all generations! That’s why Techiyas Hameisim is hinted to specifically in Az Yashir, because it is a tefillah that is relevant for all times!

This gives us the koach that every day, and especially on Shvi’i Shel Pesach, we can relive Kriyas Yam Suf. That way we can sing with true joy, the song of Az Yashir!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Beis, p. 30

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Staying Up

On the night of Shvi’i Shel Pesach, we have a minhag to stay up all night. On the night of Shvi’i Shel Pesach, the Yidden were also awake, crossing the Yam Suf. We stay up like they did, taking a part in the great nissim.

While we are awake, we should learn Torah, Niglah and Chassidus. But even if we can’t learn, it is still important to stay up.

The Frierdiker Rebbe told Chassidim to learn specific maamarim in Likutei Torah. One of those maamarim is “Hayam Ra’ah.” The Rebbe also said to learn the maamarVeheinif,” which speaks about Kriyas Yam Suf and Moshiach!

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

VeGar Ze'ev Im Keves

The Haftora we say on Acharon Shel Pesach is from the Navi Yeshaya, which is a nevuah about Moshiach and the time of the Geulah.

Many of the things we know about the times of the Geulah come from these pesukim!

Here is one posuk:

וְגָר זְאֵב עִם כֶּבֶשׂ וְנָמֵר עִם גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ וְעֵגֶל וּכְפִיר וּמְרִיא יַחְדָּו וְנַעַר קָטֹן נֹהֵג בָּם

Vegar Ze’ev Im Keves — A wolf will lie down together with a lamb

VeNamer Im Gedi Yirbatz — And a leopard will rest with a goat kid

Ve’egel Uchefir Umeri Yachdav — And a calf, a lion cub, and a fat ox will lie down together

VeNaar Katon Noheg Bam — And a young child will lead them.

The Rambam tells us that this nevuah is a mashal that the nations of the world will live peacefully together with the Yidden. Even though nowadays the Yidden are compared to a lamb surrounded by 70 wolves that want to attack it, when Moshiach comes, no nation will try to hurt the Yidden.

Does that mean that the animals won’t rest together after all? The Rebbe explains that the Rambam isn’t saying that. But in the Rambam’s sefer of halachos about Moshiach, he only talks about the things that will need to happen according to halacha in the first stage of the Geulah.

Many more nisim will happen later too! One of the biggest ones is Techiyas Hameisim, which the Rambam also doesn’t talk about, since it happens later. At that time, this nevuah will also be literally true! Even the animals who usually eat each other and hurt each other will live together peacefully!

 
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