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Parshas Eikev - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe is still talking to the Yidden, begging them to listen to Hashem so they can have all the brachos!

“If you keep all the mitzvos, and stay close to Hashem (by learning from the Chachomim and Tzadikim), Hashem will send away all of the Goyim from Eretz Yisroel! The WHOLE land will belong to the Yidden!

“Nobody will try to make problems for the Yidden, because Hashem will make them scared of you!”



108 - 112

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Ches to Kuf-Yud-Beis.

In Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Alef, the pesukim have every letter of the Alef-Beis! The first half of the posuk has one letter, and the second half has the next letter. (The last two pesukim have 3 parts, with 3 letters.)

Dovid Hamelech says: “Koach Maasav Higid Le’Amo, Lases Lahem Nachalas Goyim.” (Do you see how the first part of the posuk starts with Chof, and the second half starts with Lamed?) “Hashem told Yidden the great things He did, so He could give them a land that the Goyim lived in.”

What does this mean?

The first Rashi in Chumash tells us that Hashem made the Torah start with — not mitzvos — but the story of how Hashem made the world. This way, if the Goyim get mad that we took Eretz Yisroel, we will tell them that HASHEM made Eretz Yisroel, and Hashem let the Goyim live there, but then He wanted the Yidden to have it, and so He gave it to us!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Zayin

We are starting a new letter of the Alter Rebbe. Even though this is also a letter which was sent with the shliach to collect the tzedakah for Eretz Yisroel, the part of the letter that speaks about tzedakah is not printed in the Tanya.

In many of the letters in Igeres Hakodesh, the practical part of the letter was taken out, and only the explanations in Chassidus were left in.

This Igeres Hakodesh will teach us about our Chelek, the special part of our Avodas Hashem that we are supposed to have an extra chayus in. Like we say in davening, “Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu!” “We are so happy, our chelek is so good!” The Alter Rebbe starts off this letter with these words.

We will understand it by first learning about HASHEM’s chelek. Since everything in the world comes from Ruchnius, our chelek comes from Hashem’s chelek. We will be able to understand much more about our special chelek in Avodas Hashem by first learning about Hashem’s chelek.

How we can say that there is a “chelek” of Elokus, a part of Hashem? Isn’t Hashem ONE? How can we say that Hashem is split up into parts, chalakim?

We will see that there is a ha’arah of Elokus that gives chayus to the world. That ha’arah CAN be split up into parts.

The Rebbe Rashab tells us, in the famous Hemshech “Samach-Vov,” how special this explanation is, and how it makes many confusing things in Kabbalah make sense!



Chof-Gimmel Menachem Av

Today we are going to learn something about how special our neshama is!

The Alter Rebbe teaches us in Tanya that our neshama is a “Chelek Eloka Mimaal Mamosh!” — “A part of Hashem from above — Mamosh!”

What does “mamosh” mean?

It means FOR REAL! Like you can touch it!

But that seems like two opposites! We said it’s from Hashem above, so it’s very Ruchnius’dik, and we’re also saying that it’s Mamosh — it’s like Gashmius!

When the Rebbe Rashab learned this with the Frierdiker Rebbe (when he was 11), he explained that the reason why he says both of these things is because that this is the whole point of the neshama! Even though it’s SO Ruchnius’dik, it’s still able to do its Shlichus and make the Gashmius heilig!

Some people think that being a Yid is using the neshama just for learning and davening. But Chassidus teaches us how the neshama of a Yid needs to serve Hashem with EVERYTHING we do — even eating and drinking and playing!



Shiur #19 - Mitzvas Asei #73

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #73) is the same as yesterday’s: If someone does an aveira (Chas Veshalom!) he needs to SAY to Hashem what he did and ask Hashem to forgive him.



Hilchos Teshuvah

In Perek Zayin, the Rambam tells us many special things about teshuvah! Here are some of them:

- A person who does Teshuvah is in some ways GREATER than a tzadik!
בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁבַּעַלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה עוֹמְדִים אֵין צַדִיקִים גְמוּרִים יְכוֹלִים לַעֲמוֹד שָׁם

- When all the Yidden do teshuvah, Moshiach will come right away!
יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹשִׂין תְּשׁוּבָה וּמִיַד הֵם נִגְאָלִין

In Perek Ches, the Rambam teaches us about Olam Haba, the reward for a person after he passes away. We know what our bodies like — we enjoy yummy treats, fun trips, and special presents. But our neshama loves to feel Hashem! In Olam Haba, as a reward for our avodah, our neshama will be able to enjoy feeling Hashem in a very strong way.

Perek Tes: If the real reward is feeling Hashem, why does the Torah promise us Gashmius rewards too? The Rambam explains that it is because the Gashmius helps us to do even MORE mitzvos! For example, if we have money, we can spend more time learning Torah, and can give more tzedakah.

The Rambam tells us that this is why we should want Moshiach — so we can learn Torah and do mitzvos without anything stopping us!



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Yud-Beis

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how keilim become tomei and pass on their tumah to things inside of them:

Today the Rambam explains what happens if a keili became tomei, then was broken (so now those pieces are tahor), and then someone put those pieces back together. If the keili was made of wood, or bone, or leather, the new keili is tahor. If it was made of metal, it is tomei.



Shabbos Mevorchim Elul

In Likutei Diburim, the Frierdiker Rebbe once spoke about how the city of Lubavitch would be different in Chodesh Elul.

In many of the Rebbe’s farbrengens before Chodesh Elul, the Rebbe would speak about this famous sicha.

The Frierdiker Rebbe said that starting after Shabbos Nachamu, they would already start learning extra after davening Maariv. By the time Shabbos Mevorchim Elul came, you could already “smell” Elul, and feel the wind of teshuvah blowing in the air. Everyone was waiting to start saying L’Dovid Hashem Ori and to hear the shofar blown.

The first sound of the shofar was like an announcement that the gates of Rachmonus were open, since Elul is Chodesh HoRachamim!

In Elul everyone felt that they needed to change, to become better. Lying in bed in Lubavitch, early in the morning, you could already hear the shofar being blown at the early minyan. People would feel bad that they were still sleeping, when there was so much to be done! They would think about how special these days are — the days when Moshe Rabbeinu stood on Har Sinai begging Hashem to forgive the Yidden. Nobody wanted to waste these special days of Yemei Ratzon!

They would jump out of bed and run quickly to shul, which was already full of Yidden saying Tehillim, learning, and davening.

Once in a farbrengen of Shabbos Nachamu, the Rebbe spoke about this sicha of the Frierdiker Rebbe. The Rebbe explained that this was not just a story about another city! The city of Lubavitch was like a light for the world, showing and teaching the way things should be. The Frierdiker Rebbe was showing us how we should prepare for Chodesh Elul, in every time and in every place.

See Likkutei Dibburim vol. 1, p. 230 (English), and Farbrengen Parshas Va’eschanan 5745


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Ana B'Koach

Another reason why we say Ana B’koach here in davening is to ask Hashem for Moshiach!

After we spoke about all of the daily korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash, we want Hashem to know that we miss the Beis Hamikdash, where we can do the avodah the way it should be done.

In the words of Ana B’koach, we are asking Hashem to take us out of Golus and bring us into Geulah!

There is a beautiful translation of this tefillah into Yiddish, which shows how every line is asking Hashem to bring Moshiach! See Hakriyah Vehakedusha, Tamuz Tof-Shin-Alef.



Kavod for Sefer Torah

One of the ways we show our kavod for the Sefer Torah is to be melaveh, to escort the Sefer Torah.

If the Torah passes by a person (like if he is sitting on the end seat) on its way to the Aron Kodesh, he should join in and go along with it until it reaches the Aron Kodesh. If it didn’t pass by him, a person should still follow it with his eyes, by looking at the Sefer Torah until it reaches where it belongs.

In a very big shul (like 770), a person shouldn’t push to join the line of people going with Sefer Torah. There are so many people there, you will probably end up squishing someone or pushing them. That wouldn’t be kavod for the Sefer Torah at all!

But if someone is in a smaller shul and the Torah passes by him, he should join along with the Torah and bring it to the place it belongs.

See Shulchan Aruch siman 149, and Piskei Teshuvos vol. 2, p. 208

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



Fifteen Neviim About Moshiach

In one of the nevuos of the Navi Hoshea, Hashem says that He bought the Yidden with 15 silver coins.

The Metzudas Dovid explains that this is talking about Hashem’s promise about the Geulah! Hashem sent His promise about Moshiach to the Yidden through fifteen Neviim who clearly speak about the Geulah:

1) Dovid Hamelech (in many kapitelach of Tehillim)
2) Yeshaya
3) Yirmiyah
4) Yechezkel
5) Hosheia
6) Yoel
7) Amos
8) Ovadiah
9) Micha
10) Chavakuk
11) Tzefania
12) Daniel
13) Chagi
14) Zechariah
15) Malachi

See Hosheia perek Gimmel posuk Beis with Metzudas Dovid

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