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Parshas Vayikra - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem is still speaking to Moshe Rabbeinu, telling him more about the korbanos that the Yidden will bring in the Mishkan.

Hashem told Moshe that sometimes a person wants to give Hashem a korban as a present (nedavah). One way to do this is by giving a Korban Olah, a korban that is burned up completely on the Mizbeiach, with no parts left for the person or the kohen to eat. (That is why it is called “olah”, because the whole korban “goes up” to Hashem.)

In yesterday’s Chumash, Hashem told Moshe about bringing an ANIMAL as a Korban Olah.

Now Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu that if a person can’t afford to bring an animal as a present, he can bring a BIRD as a Korban Olah instead. Even though the birds are smaller than animals, if the person gave it with a good kavana, it brings Hashem the same nachas as a bigger korban!

After the kohen shechts the bird, he should take out the inside parts of the bird, that are used for eating food (the digestive system). With a korban of an animal, we take these parts and wash them out, but with the bird, we throw these parts away.

Rashi tells us that this is because of the kind of food birds eat! An animal that can be brought as a korban is a kind of animal that lives on a farm, and only eats what its owner gives it. But a bird flies around and eats whatever it finds, which is like stealing. We throw these parts away so our korban won’t have a connection to stealing.

Hashem told Moshe that after taking out these parts, the bird should be burned on the Mizbeiach. Even though feathers are very smelly when they are burned, they shouldn’t be taken off! Hashem wants the korbanos of poor people to look as big and important as possible.

Still, for some very poor people, even a bird can be too expensive! Hashem told Moshe that there is another, cheaper korban that can be brought as a present to Hashem. This korban is made of flour, and is called a “Korban Mincha”.

When Hashem was telling Moshe about the Korban Mincha, Hashem didn’t use the same word as usual for the person bringing the korban. Instead of saying “Adam” (a person), Hashem said “Nefesh” — a neshama! Hashem wanted Moshe to know that when a person is very poor, but still wants to give a present to Hashem, his korban is very precious! Hashem counts it as if he is giving his whole nefesh as a present!

Hashem told Moshe about the different ways that flour is used as a korban. (Three of these ways are in today’s Chumash.)

One kind of flour korban is actually raw flour. The person brings fine flour, and the kohen should pour oil and spices on top. One handful should be burned on the Mizbeiach, and the rest of it the kohanim will be allowed to take home and eat.

For another kind of Mincha, the kohen should bake the flour. This baked Mincha has two kinds: One is called “Challos Matzos,” where the kohen will MIX the flour with the oil and then bake it. The other is called “Rekikei Matzos,” where the kohen will SMEAR the oil on top of the baked Mincha.

There is also a kind of Mincha that should be fried in a pan until it gets crispy.

Hashem told Moshe that for all of the kinds of Mincha where the flour is already cooked or baked, the kohen should break it into pieces and then pour oil in it.



23 - 28

The first posuk of Kapitel Chof-Hey starts with Dovid Hamelech saying to Hashem, “Eilecha Hashem Nafshi Esa,” “I raise up my nefesh to You Hashem.”

The Alter Rebbe tells us in Tanya that this is a kavana that every Yid needs to have when davening and learning! We need to feel that we are actually giving Hashem our nefesh.

We should try to feel the same way that a neshama in Gan Eden does: A neshama in Gan Eden doesn’t think about what the body needs, it just thinks about connecting itself to Hashem through the words of Torah that it is learning.

We should have this kind of Mesiras Nefesh when we are davening and learning too! We should only be thinking about connecting to Hashem through the words of our Torah and Tefillah.

Of course, before we daven and learn we need to eat well! That’s part of the Chassidishe minhag to eat before davening, so that we won’t be hungry during davening. During davening, we don’t think about these things, we only think about the words of davening and learning that are connecting us to Hashem!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Hey

In the beginning of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe taught us something that the beinoni needs to always know: It is his job to use his koach of Moach Shalit Al Halev, in order to win over the Yetzer Hara.

How do we do this avodah? We need to use our moach, our mind, to remember how we are ready to have Mesiras Nefesh to do whatever Hashem wants, and we need to use our sechel to think about the greatness of Hashem, so we understand how important it is to do what Hashem wants us to.

We also learned that to have hatzlacha with Moach Shalit Al Halev, our lev can’t be worried! If we have atzvus because we are worried about things, or Timtum Halev, we won’t be able to do this properly.

But a beinoni might get very frustrated! He keeps fighting to win over his Yetzer Hara, but his Yetzer Hara never goes away! He ends up winning and doing what Hashem wants, but his Yetzer Hara is still there!

Now the Alter Rebbe will explain that it’s not our job to beat our Yetzer Hara completely! That would be very frustrating, since we would never finish! A beinoni doesn’t have the koach to change his Yetzer Hara into a Yetzer Tov. That’s the avodah of a tzadik. Only when Moshiach comes, will Hashem change our Yetzer Hara into a Yetzer Tov too!

So what is the beinoni’s job? Why does he have to keep fighting?

The Alter Rebbe will teach us that the point is to bring the Shechinah down into the world and to bring the Geulah! The way to do this is by doing mitzvos and Maasim Tovim, and winning over the Yetzer Hara who is trying to keep us from doing them. That is what will bring Moshiach, and that’s a job that a beinoni should be very happy that he IS able to accomplish!



Daled Adar Sheini

When the Mitteler Rebbe said Chassidus, it was very quiet in the Zal. But the Mitteler Rebbe would still say, “Sha, Sha!”

Why did he have to say “Sha Sha?” Nobody was making noise!

The Rebbe Rashab explained that this was because of the Mitteler Rebbe’s Nevius Hamochin. His mind would think so much and so fast, that he was saying “Sha, Sha” to his thoughts to slow them down enough to be able to explain them to the Chassidim!



Shiur #192 - Mitzvas Asei #74, #77

We learn two mitzvos today, about korbanos that need to be brought for someone to finish becoming Tahor:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #74) To become tahor enough to eat korbanos, a Zav (a man who had a certain kind of sickness) needs to bring a korban of two birds.

We learn this from the words of the pesukim in Parshas Metzora: וְכִי יִטְהַר הַזָּב מִזּוֹבוֹ וְגוֹ׳ וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים וְגוֹ׳

2) (Mitzvas Asei #77) After a person gets better from Tzoraas (a Metzora), he needs to bring 3 korbanos — an Olah, a Chatas, and an Asham — and oil. Until he does, he isn’t tahor enough to eat meat from korbanos.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Metzora: וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים תְּמִימִם וְכַבְשָׂה אַחַת בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ תְּמִימָה



Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the Mechusrei Kaparah, people who are Tahor, but still need to bring korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn about when a Zav can become tahor — he needs to wait a week after his sickness is over.

Perek Daled: The Rambam teaches us about the Metzora, and how he brings these korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Hey: Now we learn what happens if something isn’t done right with the korbanos of the Metzora.



Hilchos Me'ilah - Perek Daled

If a person set aside money or promised to bring a korban, is it the aveira of me’ilah if someone uses the money?



Megillas Esther

The story of Purim actually starts 57 years earlier, in Eretz Yisrael, with the churban of the first Beis Hamikdash. The Navi Yirmiyahu promised it would be rebuilt 70 years after Golus Bavel.

King Achashverosh made his feast to celebrate that 70 years of the Golus had passed and the Beis Hamikdash still hadn’t been rebuilt. He calculated the 70 years from the time when Yechuniah Melech Yehudah was brought into Golus, which was before the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed.

The neis of Purim happened 10 years after this feast, and three years after that, Esther’s son Daryavesh gave permission for the Yidden to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash again, exactly 70 years after the churban! Daryavesh asked to put a picture of Shushan in the Beis Hamikdash. A picture of Shushan was engraved and hung up on one of the gates of the Beis Hamikdash, which they called Shaar Shushan. This is the gate that is used during the burning of the Parah Adumah, which we will IY”H need to use so we can all go into the Beis Hamikdash when Moshiach comes!

During the second half of this party, Achashveirosh invited everyone in Shushan, including the Yidden. At this party, he asked that it be “Kirtzon Ish Va’ish” — the way each person wants. Achashverosh asked that there should be kosher food for the Yidden, so they could eat at the feast.

Of course, a non-Jewish party celebrating that the Beis Hamikdash was not rebuilt is NOT the right place for a Jew to be! The Yidden were punished for going and enjoying that feast, with the decree of Haman HaRasha.

Still, the Rebbe teaches us, there is an important lesson we can learn from Achashverosh’s instructions, since they are written in the Megillah, and everything in the Megillah has a lesson for us!

Hashem made Yidden just a small part of all of the people in the world. We sometimes might feel that we shouldn’t be so careful with some mitzvos, since it might bother other people or make us stick out.

But we can learn from the Megillah that we shouldn’t think that way! Hashem gave Achashverosh the idea to have kosher food for the Yidden, and so too, Hashem will make sure the rest of the world HELPS us to do the mitzvos. When we show that we are ready to stand strong in our Yiddishkeit, Hashem will make sure that all of the nations of the world help us to keep each mitzvah properly.

See Hisvaaduyos 5742, p. 950; Megillas Esther with the Rebbe’s explanations p. 87


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In Medrash Tehillim, it explains the posukKavei El Hashem,” which comes from kapitel Chof-Zayin. The Medrash says that since the words “Kavei El Hashem” are twice in this posuk, in the beginning and the end, it shows us that if you daven twice, you are promised that you will be answered.

What?!? Does that mean I need to go back to Modeh Ani as soon as I finish davening?

In Kavei and Ein Keilokeinu, we are actually reviewing the 12 middle brachos in Shemoneh Esrei, where we davened to Hashem for all of our needs! So by saying this, it is considered like we are davening again!

This way, we will be sure that our tefillos will be answered.

(Tomorrow we will IY”H see exactly how Kavei and Ein Keilokeinu are reviewing the brachos of Shemoneh Esrei!)

See Shaar Hakolel, perek Yud-Alef, os Lamed



Matanos La'evyonim

There are many different levels in fulfilling mitzvos. The lowest level is the way the mitzvah is kept beshaas hadchak (in hard circumstances) or bedieved (after the fact), then there is lechat’chila (the ideal way to do it), then being yotzei lechol hadeios (fulfilling the mitzvah in a lechat’chila way according to all opinions), then mehadrin, and the highest level is mehadrin min hamehadrin.

As Chassidim, we try to keep all mitzvos behidur, in the most beautiful way. Part of that hiddur is to make sure that as many Yidden as possible keep the mitzvos (even if THEY can’t do it in the best possible way), especially the mitzvos the Rebbe set up as mivtzoyim!


For Matanos La’evyonim, we should try to give as much as we can. The minimum we need to give is at least one penny to at least two poor people.

According to halacha, the minimum needs to be at least one perutah for each, and the smallest definition of perutah is one penny. Other opinions say that a nickel or a dime is enough, or all the way up to fifty cents.

Other Chachomim say that you should give the worth of a meal to the poor people. There are also opinions on how much money that would be, starting from $2.50 and going up to $7.00.

If you live in a place where you can give the money directly to the poor people, or where an organization can give the money for you on Purim, that is the best way. If you can’t, you can give the money before Purim to an organization that will give it out on Purim, or you can put it aside (like in a pushka) for when you will be able to give it to the poor.

Matanos La’evyonim is done during Purim day, after the Megillah.

From all of the mitzvos of Purim, this is the one we should increase in the most, because there is no greater simcha for Hashem than to bring joy to the people who need it most!

Shalach Manos and Matanos La’evyonim are very easy mitzvos to fulfill, so every man, woman, boy and girl should keep this mitzvah. We should help as many Yidden as possible fulfill the mitzvah on Purim! One practical idea is to bring coins and a pushka with you on mivtzoyim.

See Shevach Hamoadim p. 152, Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p.150-151, farbrengen Chai Elul 5737

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



Fighitng Amalek

This week is Parshas Zachor, where we read in the Torah about Amalek, to remember what Amalek did to us. This is a mitzvah from the Torah! We read it on the Shabbos before Purim because Haman was from Amalek.

The Rebbe brings in a sicha that we there are four times when the Yidden especially have this fight with Amalek. The first two times were at the beginning and end of the time when they were in the Midbar, when everything was taken care of by Hashem!

1) Amalek fought with the Yidden when they were going to Matan Torah.
2) Right before the Yidden went into Eretz Yisroel, Amalek fought with them again — this time disguised as Kenaanim.

The second two times that the Yidden fight with Amalek is at the beginning and end of the time when we work with our own Avodah, starting from the time when the Yidden entered Eretz Yisroel.

3) Amalek fought with the Yidden when Shaul became king.
4) The Zohar says that at the very end of Golus, right before Moshiach comes, there will be another war with Amalek, which will be disguised as something else.

The Rebbe explains that this war is a Ruchnius war. In the sicha, the Rebbe tells us what the war is with this hidden Amalek, and how to fight it, which we will IY”H learn about tomorrow!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, Parshas Zachor

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