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Shishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is farbrenging with the Yidden more about the mitzvos they will need to be careful with in Eretz Yisroel!

Of course we can NEVER steal, but in Eretz Yisroel there is an extra mitzvah to be careful not to steal someone else’s field by moving over the fence so your field is a little bit bigger.

It is very important to judge people right in Beis Din! That’s why there always have to be TWO witnesses before the Beis Din can punish anyone. (If there is an argument about money, one witness is enough to make the person need to promise using Hashem’s name.)

The Beis Din needs to make sure the witnesses are telling the truth! If a NEW set of witnesses proves that the first witnesses are lying, they are called Eidim Zomemim, and they get the punishment they were trying to make the person get!

When someone hurts another person, the Beis Din needs to make them pay for what they did.

Now Moshe Rabbeinu explains to the Yidden how to fight a war! We need to trust in Hashem when we fight, because it is Hashem who helps us win.

We are not allowed to be afraid when we fight a war Hashem wants us to fight!

The kohen who has the job of encouraging the Yidden is called the “Mashuach Milchama,” that he is anointed for war. He first comes to warn the Yidden not to be afraid, because Hashem fights with us!

Then officers tell everyone to go home if they are afraid of something — like if they just built a house, or planted a new vineyard with grapes, or just got engaged. All these things will make a person worried, because he wants to make sure he gets to use his house, or eat his grapes, or marry his wife, and he might be afraid to be killed in the war!

They also give anyone who is afraid of their aveiros a chance to leave. They are leaving because they are afraid that they don’t deserve for Hashem to save them, but they don’t need to be embarrassed. Everyone will think that they probably built a house or planted a vineyard or got engaged.

Then there are certain soldiers who get a job to make sure nobody runs away, because that will scare everyone else!



35 - 38

Todya’s kapitelach are Lamed-Hey to Lamed-Ches. The three special kapitelach for Elul are Tes-Zayin, Yud-Zayin, and Yud-Ches.

In the first Maamar the Rebbe said, Bosi Legani, he explains a posuk from today’s Tehillim: “Tzadikim Yirshu Aretz Veyishkenu La’ad Aleha.” “Tzadikim get ‘aretz’ (Gan Eden), because they make Hashem rest (Veyishkenu) in the world.”

In the maamar, the Rebbe tells us that this is OUR special shlichus too — to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world to rest here, which will bring the Geulah!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Alef

We are learning a new letter of the Alter Rebbe today! This letter is called “Lehaskilcha Binah,” and it talks about how everything Hashem does is good, even when it might not feel like it.

Sometimes, chas veshalom, something can happen to a person Begashmius that can make him sad. Maybe he got hurt, or something he likes got lost, or someone got mad at him.

That seems like a good reason to get upset, or to be very sad.

The Alter Rebbe tells us that if our Emunah in Hashem is very strong, we won’t be sad! Why? Because everything that Hashem does is really good. The only reason why we don’t see it or feel it is because Hashem hides in the world — even though Hashem is with us all the time, Hashem made the world in a way we won’t feel it. So we might think that something isn’t good...

But if we KNOW the truth, how can we be sad? We know it’s from Hashem, so it MUST be good — Hashem is only good!



Vov Elul

The Baal Shem Tov loved light. In today’s Hayom Yom, the Tzemach Tzedek explains why.

The word “light” (Ohr) and the word “secret” (Raz) have the same Gematria (if you add up the letters like numbers). When two words in Torah have the same Gematria, it means there is something the same about them!

What does light have to do with secrets?

When a room is dark, people can’t see what’s happening. So if there are a lot of people in a dark room, nobody will know what is happening! But if even one person knows how to turn on the light, he can make it light so everyone can see! When we share a secret that nobody else knows, then everyone can see and understand it!

The same thing is with Chassidus. Before the Baal Shem Tov came, the Yidden were like people stuck in a dark room — they couldn’t see the truth of Hashem. But the Baal Shem Tov knew the secrets of the Torah, and was able to make it light for everyone!

That’s why the Baal Shem Tov liked light so much — because that was his whole shlichus: To teach the secrets of Torah and bring light to all Yidden!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #286

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #286) is that a judge isn’t allowed to listen to an eid (witness) who is a rasha.



Hilchos Eidus

In today’s Rambam we are learning more about people who can’t be eidim:

In Perek Yud-Alef we learn that a person who isn’t a mentsch — like if he doesn’t learn Torah at all, and doesn’t have normal friends, is considered a rasha and we can’t use him as an eid. If he has no aidelkeit and will take off his clothes in front of other people while he is working so he can be more comfortable, he might not be embarrassed to lie in front of Beis Din either!

In Perek Yud-Beis, we answer a very important question: There are many ways a person can be considered a rasha, but how do we know if he did teshuvah and isn’t counted as a rasha anymore?

The Rambam tells us some ways how we can know, depending on the kind of aveira a person did. For example, if someone lent money with ribbis (interest) like we learned about before, we know he did teshuvah if he apologizes, rips up any contract that had ribbis, and stops lending with ribbis even to goyim, when he is allowed to! Or a person who sold non-kosher food to make more money, if he moved to a place where people don’t know him, and lost a lot of money because of kashrus, we know he did teshuvah.

In Perek Yud-Gimmel, we start to learn about tomorrow’s mitzvah — that relatives can’t be witnesses together.



Hilchos Nedarim - Perek Alef

There are two different kinds of Neder. One of them is deciding that something will be asur for you. For example, if someone makes a neder not to eat bananas, bananas become asur for him. The second kind is promising to give something to Hashem, like promising to bring a korban.

There are certain words that need to be used when making a neder.




A chossid was once in Yechidus with the Rebbe, and the Rebbe told him:

“There is a promise from the Alter Rebbe: When someone does tzedakah begashmius or b’ruchniyus with others (helping them with what they need), his mind and heart become 1,000 times more pure than before! That makes him understand things 1,000 times faster!

“I’ve said before, this is not an expression or an exaggeration — it’s literal!

“To make sure you don’t get confused, I’m saying it again, very clearly; and you should tell this to other people too:

“Someone who does mivtzoyim, which is Ruchnius tzedakah, will have tremendous hatzlacha in his learning. What would take him 1,000 hours to understand, he will understand in one hour! What would take him 500 hours he can now learn in just a half hour!

“You can test me with this! Anyone who does Shlichus and mivtzoim properly — as much as he can and the way it’s supposed to be — will have tremendous hatzlacha in learning Torah, Niglah and Chassidus, and in the chinuch of his children, 1,000 times as much as it would usually take — literally!”

Sometimes a Mommy or Tatty might think, what can I do to help my little boy learn better in Cheder? How can I help my little girl be nicer to her friends? Here we have a solution from the Rebbe! If we look for ways to help other Yidden, we can find a solution 1,000 times faster than it would take us otherwise!


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Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos

After Boruch She’amar on Shabbos, we don’t say Mizmor Lesodah. That is because the Korban Todah was not brought in the Beis Hamikdash on Shabbos.

Instead, we say a different kapitel, Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos. It was the Shir Shel Yom that the Leviim sang in the Beis Hamikdash on Shabbos. It speaks about what will happen when Moshiach comes.

Then we say the next kapitel of Tehillim, Kapitel Tzadik-Gimmel, which starts with the words “Hashem Malach.” It is a continuation of the kapitel before, and speaks about how when Moshiach comes, Hashem will punish the resha’im who destroyed the Beis Hamikdash.



The Order of Brachos

When we have many foods in front of us to eat, what do we make a bracha on first?

Even if we know which brachos to say on each food, it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar (a mitzvah done in the best way) to say the brachos in the right order.

Here is the general order of brachos:

1) Mezonos
2) Hagafen
3) Ha’eitz
4) Ho’adamah
5) Shehakol

(There is a siman in Hebrew to remember this order: Maga Aish, “touch fire” — Mezonos, Gafen, Eitz, Adamah, SHehakol.)

For example, if we have foods that are Shehakol, Hagafen, and Ha’adamah, we will first say Hagafen, then Ha’adamah, and then Shehakol.

Then, we will need to look at all of the foods with the same bracha, and figure out which of them we should say the bracha on, which will include the other foods with the same bracha.

We will IY”H learn more about this tomorrow.

See Seder Birchos Hanehenin perek Yud

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



Torah Will Come From Yerushalayim!

The Navi Micha lived at the same time as the Navi Yeshaya. Hashem sometimes showed the same thing to both of these neviim! The words each Navi uses to tell the Yidden what they saw are almost exactly the same! Here is another nevuah we learned from Yeshaya, this time the way Micha saw it:

וְהָלְכוּ גּוֹיִם רַבִּים וְאָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַעֲלֶה אֶל הַר ה׳ וְאֶל בֵּית אֱלֹקֵי יַעֲקֹב וְיוֹרֵנוּ מִדְּרָכָיו וְנֵלְכָה בְּאֹרְחֹתָיו כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה וּדְבַר ה׳ מִירוּשָׁלִָם

Vehalchu Goyim Rabim — Many nations will go

Ve’amru — and they will say:

Lechu Venaaleh El Har Hashem, V’El Beis Elokei Yaakov — “Let’s go up to Hashem’s mountain, to the home of Hashem, the Beis Hamikdash,

Veyoreinu Midrachav, Veneilcha Be’orchosav — Let Hashem teach us His ways, and we will follow what Hashem says.”

Ki Mitziyon Teitzei Sorah — They will come there, because the Torah will be taught from Tzion (Yerushalayim)

Udvar Hashem MiYerushalayim — And the word of Hashem will come from Yerushalayim!

When Moshiach comes, even the goyim will realize that the Torah is true. But Yidden don’t have to wait for this to happen in the times of the Geulah, we should follow the Torah now!

See Micha perek Daled posuk Beis

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