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מוקדש לחיזוק ההתקשרות לכ״ק נשיא דורנו
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Parshas Vayeira - Chamishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the party Avraham and Sarah made when Yitzchak turned two. We also learn how Yishmael was sent away.

Avraham was 100 when Yitzchak was born. Sarah felt that Yitzchak, which means laughter, made her laugh with happiness — and also made everyone who heard the news very happy too.

When Yitzchak was 2 years old, he stopped nursing, and started eating only regular food. Avraham made a party, and lots of people came — including Shem, Ever, and Avimelech.

Sarah nursed all of the babies who came to the party, to show them the neis Hashem made — that even though she was so old, she was able to have a baby, and even able to nurse him herself! This way nobody could think that Yitzchak wasn’t really their son.


Avraham tried to teach Yishmael to be good, but Yishmael was wild. Once, after an argument with Yitzchak, he shot arrows at him in the field. Sarah saw this, and also saw that he davened to idols, did not-tznius things, and even killed people!

Sarah told Avraham to send away Hagar and Yishmael. Avraham felt very bad to send away his son, but Hashem told him to listen to her. He reminded Avraham not to worry, Yishmael would also have many children.

Avraham woke up in the morning, and gave Hagar bread and water. Yishmael had become sick because Sarah gave him an Ayin Hara, so Avraham had Hagar carry the food and also carry Yishmael.

Hagar left and wandered in the desert. She was so upset at being sent away that she decided to worship Avodah Zarah again.

Since Yishmael was sick, he drank a lot of water. When the water ran out, Hagar put him under a bush, and walked away. She was sure Yishmael would die. She saw he was getting sicker, and she cried out loud. Yishmael also davened.

Hashem heard Yishmael’s cries, and told Hagar not to worry. (The Chachomim learn from here that the davening of the sick person himself is more powerful than the davening of other people.) Hashem showed her a well of water, and she gave water to Yishmael. He grew up in the desert and became a shooter and a robber. He lived in the Paran desert, and Hagar found him a girl to marry from Mitzrayim.

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77 - 78

Kapitel Ayin-Ches reviews all of the Nissim that Hashem did for the Yidden, starting from Yetzias Mitzrayim, until He made Dovid Hamelech the king over the Yidden!

One of the pesukim in this kapitel is “Vayikatz Keyashen Hashem” — Dovid Hamelech asks Hashem to wake up!

What does this mean? Does Hashem sleep?!

Chassidus explains (in the Bar Mitzvah maamar) that during Golus, the chayus that the world feels is like the chayus a person feels when he is sleeping. When someone is asleep, the neshama goes up to Shomayim and the person can only have dreams, and not think about things that make sense. The world doesn’t feel most of the chayus of Hashem, it only feels the little bit of chayus, like enough to make a person dream.

So we ask Hashem to bring Moshiach, when everyone can see and feel the chayus of Hashem in the world like a person who is awake! We want Hashem’s chayus to be revealed and strong. When we learn Torah and do mitzvos, we make this happen and bring the Geulah closer!

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Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Zayin

The Alter Rebbe is explaining the words of the Zohar: “Tzadika De’ispater Ishtakach Bekulhu Almin Yatir Mi’bechayohi” — after a tzadik passes away, he is found in ALL of the worlds more than in his lifetime. The Alter Rebbe asked a question on this. We can understand that the tzadik is found more in the Ruchnius worlds. We can also understand that the tzadik’s zechus and brachos are here even in this Gashmius world. But how can you say that the tzadik’s life, which we don’t see b’Gashmius, is found MORE in this Gashmius world than before? Didn’t the tzadik leave the Gashmius world?

To understand this, yesterday the Alter Rebbe told us what a tzadik’s life is, and how it is different than a regular person — that the entire life of a tzadik is his neshama, his emunah, his Ahava and Yirah. The guf is only a way for it to shine in this world.

The Alter Rebbe continues:

When a tzadik is alive b’Gashmius in this world, a chossid is connected to the tzadik by listening to how the Rebbe teaches him to act, and trying to understand what the tzadik wants. But the tzadik’s neshama can only be in one place — in the holy guf of the tzadik. The Chassidim only get the shine of the tzadik’s neshama through his holy guf by watching and hearing the tzadik.

After the histalkus of the tzadik, each of the chassidim get a little piece of the tzadik’s neshama itself inside of them. So we can feel a little bit of the Emunah, the Ahava and Yiras Shomayim of the tzadik, and so the tzadik lives inside of us.

But there is a condition to be able to live with a part of the tzadik’s neshama inside of us! That is what it says in one of the Yud-Beis Pesukim: Yogaati Umotzosi Taamin, we need to work hard to be connected to the midos of the tzadik! We can learn how to do this by following what the tzadik taught.

When a Rebbe has a piece of his neshama — his life — in so many chassidim, his life is more present even in this Gashmius world than before.

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Tes-Vov Mar-Cheshvan

Up in Shomayim, neshamos are waiting for their turn to be born. Why are they so excited to be born? Because they know how much a neshama can do in this world!

Now that our neshamos are already here in this world, the time they were so excited for, it’s time to start doing it! What are we waiting for?

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Shiur #130 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #137

Today’s mitzvah is that certain women are not allowed to eat Terumah or parts of a Korban Shelamim that are given to a kohen (the chazeh and the shok).

This includes two kinds of women:

1) A Chalalah. This means someone who got married to a kohen when she wasn’t allowed to, or their daughter.

2) A Bas Kohen (daughter of a kohen) who married someone who is NOT a kohen. While she is married, she is not allowed to eat terumah OR korbanos, since her husband is not a kohen.

If her husband passes away or she receives a get, and she does not have children, she can eat Terumah again if she goes back to live with her father who is a kohen. Still, she is not allowed to eat from these korbanos.

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Hilchos Terumos

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last three perakim about Terumah, perakim Yud-Gimmel, Yud-Daled, and Tes-Vov.

These perakim talk about what happens if Terumah gets mixed up with regular food.

One thing we learn is that it doesn’t become botul (not counted) unless there is 100 times as much regular food! (For milk and meat, if there’s 60 times as much it is enough.) So, for example, if one Terumah apple gets mixed up in a box of 100 other apples, we can take one apple and give it to the kohen, and the rest is all fine to eat.

If there is less, then the food is called “Medumah” and only a kohen can eat it.

The last halacha in today’s Rambam teaches us about the special bracha on Terumah. First the kohen makes the regular bracha on food, and then he says the bracha “...Asher Kidishanu Bikdushaso Shel Aharon Vetzivanu Le’echol Terumah!”

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Hilchos Isurei Mizbeiach - Perek Beis

We learn more about different kinds of mumim in an animal. We also learn about some kinds of mumim that could go away, and the animal would be kosher for a korban!

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Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In yesterday’s Chumash, Yitzchok is born.

The way Yitzchok was born is very different than the way Yishmael was born.

Yishmael was born naturally. Hagar was not very old, and it made sense that she would have a baby. Later, Yishmael had a bris when he was 13 years old, when he was old enough to understand that he was doing this mitzvah to connect him with Hashem.

Yitzchok was born only with a neis, to parents who were very old — way too old to have children. Then, Yitzchok had a bris when he was only 8 days old and way too young to understand that he was doing a mitzvah!

We know that Yidden come davka from Yitzchok.

What can we learn from that?

Our Yiddishkeit is NOT a natural thing, that we need to be able to understand. Our connection to Hashem is not only when it makes sense.

If we look at the history of the Yidden, we will see that we are here today only because of many nisim that happened to us!

Even if we will need to have more nisim happen, and even we don’t understand the mitzvos, we still are connected to Hashem, and are always ready to do whatever Hashem wants!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, Parshas Lech Lecha

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Full Moon

Today is the fifteenth day of the month of Cheshvan.

The 15th day of every month is special, because the moon is full on that day.

The Yiddishe calendar goes according to the moon. At the beginning of the month, we can only start to see a small part of the moon. In the middle of the month, the WHOLE moon can be seen shining brightly!

Yidden are also compared to the moon. Just like the moon sometimes shines more or shines less, there are times when the Yidden’s greatness is seen more or less in the world.

One of the times when the Yidden were like a full moon, shining bright, was in the times of Shlomo Hamelech. Then, the Yidden were living in Eretz Yisroel, with their own king. They were rich in Gashmius and in Ruchnius, and everyone could see how great and strong they were!

This will happen again, but even better, when Moshiach comes!

On the fifteenth day of each month, when we see the full moon shining, we are reminded that soon we will also have OUR greatness seen in the world again! When Moshiach comes, everyone will be able to see how special the Yidden are.

This is especially true in the month of Cheshvan! Hashem promises that the Chanukas Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi will be in this month, so today gives us an EXTRA encouragement to know that Moshiach will be here very soon!

See rally for children of Beis Cheshvan, Tof-Shin-Mem-Gimmel and other places

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Az Yashir (part 2)

At the end of Shiras Hayam, the song that the Yidden sang by Kriyas Yam Suf, the Yidden said, “Hashem Yimloch Le’olam Va’ed!” “Hashem will rule forever!”

We repeat this posuk twice at the end of Az Yashir.

There are a few times in davening when we say a posuk twice at the end. We also did this at the end of the last Hallelukah — we said twice, “Kol Haneshama Tehalel Kah Halelukah.” This showed that it was the end of the praises of Dovid Hamelech in Tehillim. Here also, it shows that we are finishing the praises to Hashem of Az Yashir in Chumash.

One of the reasons we say Az Yashir here is to praise Hashem from all parts of Torah. First we praise Hashem from Nach (the parts of Pesukei Dezimra that come from Tehillim, and Vayevarech Dovid, from Divrei HaYamim and Sefer Nechemyah). Then, we praise Hashem in the words of the Torah itself! Even though Chumash should really come before Nach, the Zohar explains that we say Az Yashir later so it is closer to Shema, which is a higher level of davening.

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Don't Pick Up Your Phone Before Davening!

The halacha is that a person shouldn’t get busy with anything before davening. Even though there are some that are not so strict if you already said Birchos Hashachar, the Alter Rebbe says that this is not the right thing to do! Davening should be the FIRST thing in our day. (We should only do things before that prepare us for davening.)

The Rebbe once said at a farbrengen:

A Yid will sometimes wake up in the morning, and the first thing he does is to run to the telephone to make an important call. He can’t wait until after Modeh Ani, after Hodu, and after learning a bit of Torah after davening. He needs to rush and make this phone call before the other businessman leaves his house, so he won’t miss making the deal!

Acting this way comes from not having enough emunah, and not understanding that it is Hashem Who brings us hatzlacha in all we do.

If we had proper emunah, we would realize that it’s impossible that following what the Torah tells us in Shulchan Aruch should make us lose out in what Hashem wants to give us! It is impossible that davening in shul, and learning a shiur afterwards, should cause us to miss out in the parnasa that was decided for us in Shomayim.

So why does a Yid go to the phone before davening? He isn’t going to use the phone to remind his friend to come to the minyan, which is the real reason a phone was created... He thinks that his hatzlacha is based only on what HE does: If he gets the businessman in time, it will be good.

But the truth is that when you first daven and learn something, and only afterwards go to the phone, that is when you get Hashem’s bracha!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Pey-Tes, se’if daled; farbrengen Balak Mem-Daled

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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Yishmael Under the Bushes

In today’s Chumash, Chamishi of Parshas Vayeira, we learn about when Hagar and Yishmael were sent away, and Yishmael got very sick. Hagar put him under some bushes and walked away, because it was hard for her to see him and not be able to help him. The words of the posuk are, “Vatashleich Es Hayeled Tachas Achad Hasichim.”

Meforshim show us that this posuk has a hint about Moshiach inside of it: “Sichim” (bushes) is the same letters as “Moshiach!”

So this posuk is telling us that Yishmael will be under Moshiach, meaning that Moshiach will rule over him.

Now in Golus, Yishmael (the nation that the Arabs come from) give Yidden a hard time. But very soon, when Moshiach comes, Yishmael will be under the rule of Moshiach, and Yidden will be able to serve Hashem without any worries or distractions!

See Yalkut Moshiach U’Geulah, Parshas Vayeira; Pri Dovid

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