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Parshas Vayakhel - Chamishi with Rashi

Now the Yidden made the walls, the Aron, and the Shulchan for the Mishkan!

The walls of the Mishkan were made of Kerashim, tall thin beams. The Mishkan was 20 Kerashim long, and 8 Kerashim wide. The bottom of each of the Kerashim had two pieces sticking out like a plug! Each of the Kerashim were “plugged in” to two silver Adanim.

The front of the Mishkan was covered by a Masach, a curtain.

The Torah says specifically that Betzalel made the Aron. It has his name because Betzalel was extra-careful to do it properly, since he knew that the Aron was the holiest part of the Mishkan. The Yidden also made the Kapores, the cover of the Aron, with the Keruvim standing on it.

They also made the Shulchan, the golden table for the Lechem Hapanim, together with all of the tools needed for it.



108 - 112

In Kapitel Kuf-Tes, Dovid Hamelech says “Ki Oni Ve’evyon Anochi, VeLibi Cholal BeKirbi.” “I am like a poor person, and my heart is empty inside of me.”

What does Dovid Hamelech mean? What is an empty heart?

The Gemara explains that Dovid Hamelech was saying that half of his heart is empty — the part where the Yetzer Hara usually is!

Dovid Hamelech had no Yetzer Hara — he “killed” it by fasting! (Hashem made Dovid Hamelech with a Yetzer Hara that COULD be killed, but not everybody’s can be.)

In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe teaches that that’s what a tzadik means — someone who doesn’t have a Yetzer Hara.

Most of us DO have a Yetzer Tov AND a Yetzer Hara, and we have to fight all the time for the Yetzer Tov to win.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Beis

When the Alter Rebbe first wrote the Tanya, it was different than the Tanya we have today! One very big difference is that this whole perek wasn’t there at all! The Alter Rebbe added it later, and chose to put it right here, so it would be the 32nd perek. “Lamed-Beis” (32) is the Gematria of “Lev,” “heart.” Just like the heart sends the blood with chayus to all the parts of the body, this perek gives chayus to everything we learn in Tanya!

There are three kinds of love: Ahavas Hashem (love for Hashem), Ahavas HaTorah (love for Torah), and Ahavas Yisroel (love for another Yid). In the Rebbe’s first farbrengen after accepting being Rebbe, the Rebbe said that we need to make sure that our love for Hashem and the Torah BRINGS us to Ahavas Yisroel! In this perek, the Alter Rebbe shows us how to do that.

In the last three perakim, we have been learning about a hisbonenus with many parts. First we think thoughts that make us feel humble. Then we realize that even though as a person we may not have what to be proud of, we have a neshama like every Yid does, and the neshama can come out of the Golus of the guf through Torah and mitzvos! Through learning halacha and doing mitzvos, we can even make the guf more aidel, which is why Hashem put the neshama in the guf in the first place! We decide to make it our life’s mission to connect our neshama with Hashem and make our guf aidel through Torah and mitzvos!

When we think about OURSELVES this way, that the neshama is the main thing, we will look at another Yid the same way too! This way we will be able to have true Ahavas Yisroel for EVERY SINGLE YID, no matter who!



Chof-Gimmel Adar Alef

This Hayom Yom is from a letter the Frierdiker Rebbe wrote to a Rav who was feeling bad about himself. He lived in America, and felt like he wasn’t accomplishing anything with the American Jews who were not interested in Yiddishkeit. The Frierdiker Rebbe gave him an eitzah of what to do, and also this hora’ah about how he should look at himself:

The Rabbonim are the heads of the Yidden. Just like in a body, the head needs to be healthy for the rest of the body to be healthy, when the Rabbonim are strong and healthy b’Ruchnius, this will affect the rest of the Yidden as well.



Shiur #181 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125, #123, #128, #126, #127, #121, #122

In Sefer Hamitzvos today, we learn A LOT of mitzvos about the Korban Pesach! Most of these mitzvos come from Parshas Bo, where Hashem tells the Yidden about this mitzvah.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125) We are not allowed to eat the Korban Pesach when it is cooked in any liquid, or when it is not fully cooked. It needs to be roasted well, the way people usually eat meat.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: אַל תֹּאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נָא וּבָשֵׁל מְבֻשָּׁל בַּמָּיִם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #123) We are not allowed to take any of the Korban Pesach out of the house where we are eating it.

This mitzvah comes from the words: לֹא תוֹצִיא מִן הַבַּיִת מִן הַבָּשָׂר חוּצָה

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.

We also learn some mitzvos about who we can’t share the Korban Pesach with:

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #128) We are not allowed to give part of the Korban Pesach to a Yid who converted to another religion.

The posuk says: כָּל בֶּן נֵכָר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #126) We can’t give the Korban Pesach to a Goy, even if he follows the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. As the Torah says: תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #127) A Yid who didn’t have a Bris Milah is not allowed to eat from the Korban Pesach.

We learn this from the posuk that says: וְכָל עָרֵל לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

We need to treat the Korban Pesach with kavod!

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #121) We are not allowed to break any of the bones of the Korban Pesach. As the posuk says: וְעֶצֶם לֹא תִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #122) We can’t break any bones of the Korban Pesach if we bring it on Pesach Sheini.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha, which speaks about Pesach Sheini: וְעֶצֶם לֹא יִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.



Hilchos Korban Pesach

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about bringing the Korban Pesach, and then about eating it!

Perek Vov: There are some people who are not allowed to bring the Korban Pesach. Someone who was Tomei, and won’t become Tahor in time, has to wait until Pesach Sheini.

Perek Zayin: When MOST of the Yidden are Tomei, the Yidden are allowed to bring the Korban Pesach on time, even though they are tomei.

Perek Ches: We eat the Korban Pesach together with matzah and maror. We are only allowed to prepare it by roasting, and we can eat it only at night.



Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Yud-Zayin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the kavanah we have when bringing a korban. The wrong kavana can make the korban posul.

This perek teaches us what happens if someone had the wrong kavanah for PART of bringing the korban — like when sprinkling the blood, or when bringing one of a pair of two sheep as a korban. Sometimes the WHOLE korban becomes pigul and we can’t use it!



Ahavas Yisroel

A bochur once came into the Rebbe for yechidus, and asked what he could do to have more Ahavas Yisroel.

The Rebbe told him that he should learn the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel the way the Tzemach Tzedek explains it in Derech Mitzvosecha. He should review this maamar until he remembers the points it says there by heart, and then think about them from time to time. (There is also a maamar of the Alter Rebbe called “Heichaltzu” in Likutei Torah which speaks about Ahavas Yisroel, and the Rebbe said he can do the same with that maamar.)

This way, the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel will become part of him quicker.


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Ahavas Yisroel in Davening

In Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas Ahavas Yisroel, the Tzemach Tzedek explains the reason we say Hareini Mekabel before davening. One meaning of davening is that we are bringing a korban — we are bringing ourselves as a korbanos to Hashem!

Like we know, a korban has to be complete. It can’t have a mum, something wrong with it. So how do we make sure that we don’t have a mum?

The neshamos of Yidden are all like one big body! Some are like the head, and some are like the other parts of the body (like we learned today in Hayom Yom). To be a complete body, without a mum, we need every single part. When have Ahavas Yisroel to every Jew, our korban is complete before Hashem — we have every part of ourselves.

But if chas veshalom we hate somebody — like this group of Jews, that relative, or my neighbor — and we don’t want to have anything to do with them, then there is something missing! It’s like we cut off a part of ourselves, and we become a baal mum!

So before we start davening, we say Hareini Mekabel! We tell Hashem that we are ready to have Ahavas Yisroel. We think about how every Yid we know is part of us, and this way our korban is complete and Hashem will accept our tefilos!

See Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas Ahavas Yisroel (translated by Sichos in English)



Ahavas Yisroel in Halacha

The mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel, to love your fellow Jew as yourself, and do everything for him as much as you would do everything for yourself, is kept when we do many other mitzvos. For example, Bikur Cholim, we visit someone else when he is sick, just like we would want others to care about us when we are sick.

Besides for all of those other mitzvos, “Ve’ahavta Le’reiacha Kamocha” is also a mitzvah for itself. It is described in Shulchan Aruch with two general things to be careful with:

1) Care about every other Yid’s kavod, just like you care about your own.
2) Care about every other Yid’s money, just like you care about your own.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov se’if Hey

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



Ahavas Yisroel Brings Moshiach

Even though there are many reasons brought for why the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash happened, the Rebbe says that all of those reasons came from one reason: Sinas Chinam. And when we act in a way of Ahavas Yisroel, we get rid of that reason — and all of the other reasons that come along with it! Then Hashem will bring the Geulah right away!

When we act in a way of Ahavas Yisroel and Achdus Yisroel, we will be zoche to the Geulah Ho’amitis Vehashleimah through Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Bimheira Veyameinu Mamosh, immediately now!

Hisvaaduyos 5745 p. 740–741, Chassidim Ein Mishpacha #1

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