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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Noach - Sheini with Rashi

Hashem tells Noach to take the animals and his family into the Teivah.

On Yud Mar-Cheshvan, 1,656 years after Hashem made the world, Hashem told Noach to come into the Teivah, together with his family, since he was the only one left who was a Tzadik.

Even though there had been a tzadik, Mesushelach, Hashem made him pass away before the mabul would start. In fact, Hashem waited an extra seven days after the Mabul was supposed to start for his kavod, so that the seven days of mourning for him would be finished before the Mabul began.

Hashem told Noach to take the animals onto the Teivah too. He should take seven pairs (one boy and one girl) of each kind of tahor animal and bird, and only one pair of each non-tahor animal and bird. He would need more of the tahor kinds, because they would be used for korbanos after the Mabul.

Noach understood which animals Hashem meant. This shows us that Noach learned Torah — that’s how he knew which animals were tahor (kosher) or not.

All of the animals came to Noach by themselves, and went into the Teivah right away. Noach put the food inside, but he didn’t go in himself yet — he didn’t have such strong emunah, and wasn’t sure Hashem would REALLY send such a dangerous Mabul. He only went in when it started to rain.

Noach was 600 years old when the Mabul started...

The Mabul started on Yud-Zayin Mar-Cheshvan. The sun, moon, and stars stopped shining, and didn’t shine again until the whole Mabul was over.

At first it just rained, to give people a last chance to do Teshuvah. But they didn’t — so Hashem made all of the water come up from underground. He also opened up the place that holds water in Shomayim, and all of the water from Shomayim poured out for forty days and nights.

Noach had gone into the Teivah during the day, with bears and lions keeping him safe from the people who wanted to hurt him! His whole family came too — his wife Naama, his sons (Sheim, Cham, and Yafes), and his three daughters-in-law. All of the animals had come too, one boy and one girl of each (and seven pairs of Kosher animals). The animals all were nice to each other on the Teivah, and none of them hurt each other — just like they will act when Moshiach comes!

Once Noach was in the Teivah, Hashem sealed the door behind him.

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135 - 139

In today’s Tehillim there are some kapitelach we say during Shacharis on Shabbos. The kapitelHodu Lashem Ki Tov, Ki Le’olam Chasdo”, also called Hallel HaGadol (Kapitel Kuf-Lamed-Vov), is one of them. We also have Al Naharos Bavel in today’s Tehillim, which we say before bentching on a weekday.

In Hallel Hagadol, one of the things we thank Hashem for is the big lights that shine on the world — the sun, the moon, and the stars. We say, “Le’oseh Orim Gedolim, Ki Le’olam Chasdo! — Hashem makes the big lights — because His kindness is forever!”

We also thank Hashem that the sun and moon follow a seder, the sun by day and the moon by night: “Es Hashemesh Lememsheles Bayom, Es Hayareiach VeChochavim Lememshelos Balailah.”

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Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Hey

In this letter, the Alter Rebbe is explaining to us about our Emunah in Hashem — what it means that Hashem gives chayus to the world every second. Everything a person does or says is from the chayus that Hashem gives the person at that moment — and that is not only with a Yid, but also a goy! EVERYTHING we say or do is from the chayus Hashem gives us at that moment.

Some Yidden didn’t understand how Hashem can be giving chayus to a goy every second, even if he is doing things that are trying to stop a Yid from doing a mitzvah. That is what the Alter Rebbe is explaining here.

So far we learned that the chayus Hashem gives to the world every moment is called the Shechinah. Today the Alter Rebbe teaches us about the Golus of the Shechinah. (That’s going to be the answer how Hashem can give chayus to something going against Hashem — because the Shechinah is in Golus.)

Golus means that something is not in the proper place where it is supposed to be. Like someone who is in jail — he really belongs at home but he is stuck in jail. The same thing is with the chayus of Hashem: Golus means that the chayus is not where it should be. Right after the Cheit Eitz HaDaas, the first Golus started. That’s when bad started getting mixed up into good, and it was like Hashem giving chayus to something that doesn’t really deserve it — and that’s Golus.

But that was only the beginning of Golus. Once the Yidden went into Golus, that was a complete Golus. Yidden have a Neshama which is a part of the most special chayus of Hashem, the pnimius of Hashem’s chayus! When that chayus had to become stuck in Golus, then Hashem’s most special chayus is in a place that is not proper for it to be — and that is a FULL Golus

Very soon, when Yidden will come out of Golus AND there won’t be any tumah or bad in the world, that will be a COMPLETE Geulah!

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Chof-Ches Tishrei

In order to get married, a Chosson gives his Kallah a ring so she will become his wife. He promises to take care of his Kallah and make sure she has what she needs.

The Yidden and Hashem are like a Chosson and Kallah! The same is with our marriage with Hashem! Hashem gave US a ring — the mitzvos, to make us His kallah. Now Hashem has to make sure we have all of the things we need to live a happy life.

When we act the way Hashem wants, Hashem promises us that He will give us everything we need, like the posuk says, “Im Bechukosai Teileichu, Venasati Gishmeichem Be’itam.”

Now that Chodesh Tishrei is ending, we are going back into the regular Gashmius’dike work to get our parnasa. We need to remember that the bracha will only come if we take care of our Ruchnius as well, by having a Kvius Itim (a set time) to learn Torah and doing mitzvos properly!

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Shiur #113 - Mitzvas Asei #95, #92, Lo Saasei #209

Today’s mitzvah is the same as yesterday’s (Mitzvas Asei #95) — that if a Yid makes a promise and changes his mind, he needs to go to a Rav or Beis Din to do that.

We also learn two more mitzvos, from the next set of halachos in Rambam, halachos about a Nazir.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #92) A Nazir has a mitzvah to let his hair grow. Like we will see in the next mitzvah, it is asur for a Nazir to cut his hair. In this Mitzvas Asei, we learn that it’s not enough for him not to cut it, the Nazir needs to make sure he is letting his hair grow. So, for example, he isn’t allowed to rub cream on his head that keeps hair from growing.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #209) A Nazir is not allowed to cut off his hair — not even one single hair!

These mitzvos are explained in Gemara, in Mesechta Nazir.

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Hilchos Nedarim - Hilchos Nezirus

Perek Yud-Gimmel: (This is the last perek of Hilchos Nedarim.) We learn about HOW we take away a promise. At the end of the perek, the Rambam tells us when it’s a GOOD thing to make a neder. A neder can actually help us in our Avodas Hashem!

For example, if someone eats way too much, and not in an aidel way, he can make a promise not to eat any meat for one or two years. If someone drinks too much wine, he can make a neder to only drink wine on Shabbos and Yom Tov for a few years, or he can promise never to get drunk.

Still, we should be careful not to make too many nedarim, so that we don’t forget how serious a neder is in halacha. Nowadays, when we make a hachlata, we should always say that it is bli neder. Even though we are very serious about keeping our hachlata, we want to be extra careful to not ever end up chas veshalom not keeping a neder.

Now we start the next set of halachos, about a SPECIFIC kind of promise — if someone promises to become a Nazir!

Perek Alef: There are things that are asur if someone becomes a Nazir — cutting his hair or eating things made with grapes. A person doesn’t have to say “I will become a nazir” to become one — he can say things like “I will grow my hair,” while thinking that he wants to be a Nazir.

Perek Beis: We learn more about a Nazir’s promise: What happens if he makes the promise by mistake, or because someone forces him, or because of a reason that ends up not being true? In many cases, he is not a Nazir.

One interesting halacha is that a person STAYS a Nazir until they bring their korbanos, and that a Nazir needs to be in Eretz Yisroel. So if someone makes a promise to be a Nazir nowadays, he has to move to Eretz Yisroel and stay a Nazir until the Beis Hamikdash is built and he can bring his korbanos.

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Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Daled

The kohanim were chosen for the special Avodah of Korbanos, and all Yidden need to give them special Kavod. That’s why even today they get the first aliyah and other special things!

We also learn about the Mishmaros — groups of Kohanim which worked on certain days — and how EVERYONE could work during the Yomim Tovim. We learn about choosing a Kohen Gadol, and who will replace him after he passes away. We also learn how there are 8 levels of Kohanim, to make sure everything works smoothly. The higher levels are in charge of the lower levels.

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Midos Tovos

We will learn something from a famous sicha on Parshas Noach:

In Parshas Noach, we learn two very important things about our midos:

When the Torah tells us about the animals that went into the Teivah, it doesn’t say to bring seven pairs of kosher animals and two treife animals, it says to bring two animals that aren’t tahor. That shows us that we need to be careful to say things in the nicest way that we can. Instead of saying “tomei,” we can say “not tahor.” Instead of saying something is bad, we can say it isn’t very good.

Then there is a second lesson. When Noach drank too much wine after the Mabul (like we will see in Friday’s Chitas) he did something not good. When Shem and Yafes saw it, they went backwards to cover their father but didn’t want to see what he had done that wasn’t right. They just went to fix the problem.

The same thing is if we see people not acting the way they should. We shouldn’t think about how they aren’t acting right and think not good things about them in our mind, and of course not to say something not nice about them to others Chas Veshalom! Instead, we should just make sure to fix the problem in a kind way.

The Baal Shem Tov says that if we think too much about how another person isn’t good, and not just about fixing the person’s problem, that is a sign from Hashem that we have that not good thing in ourselves. Hashem is showing it to us like when we look in a mirror, when we really see ourselves inside.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud, Parshas Noach

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Warming Up the Winter

Did you notice that it is starting to get a little bit colder outside, and that it is starting to get dark earlier?

That’s because the winter is coming. During the winter it is colder and darker in the world.

Chassidus explains that the cold and dark aren’t just in Gashmius, but also in Ruchnius. During the winter, Avodas Hashem is harder. We might feel like Hashem is hiding more and it can feel harder to do what we are supposed to.

In a rally after Simchas Torah, the Rebbe explained that Hashem gets us ready for the winter with Tishrei! The month of Tishrei with all of the special Yomim Tovim, and especially the end of the month, the Yom Tov of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, gives us koach for the long winter that’s coming.

We get ourselves and our houses ready for the winter with warm clothes, heaters, and lights so that we will be comfortable even in the coldest and darkest nights.

In Ruchnius, the treasures that we get during the month of Tishrei are like the warm clothes and light that we need for the cold and dark winter months!

One of the treasures we get is a special simcha. On Simchas Torah we had an extra special simcha and danced with the Torah and our fellow Yidden!

Later in the year, in a hard time in the middle of the winter, we can close our eyes and remember our dancing and the simcha that we had. We can remind ourselves that even now we have the very same Torah, with all of the lessons and kochos it gives us!

Remembering what we have will give us the koach and simcha to overcome the dark and cold of the long winter months, and help us be sure to live up to what Hashem expects from us during this entire time.

Based on children’s rallies on Beis Cheshvan 5743 and Chof-Zayin Cheshvan 5744

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Building Bitachon in Davening

What does it take for you to trust someone?

The Sefer Chovos Halevavos goes through each of the conditions a person needs in order to REALLY trust someone. As we go through the conditions, we realize that no PERSON can be completely trusted — we can only truly trust in Hashem!

The first condition for trusting someone is to know that the other person cares for us and has rachmonus on us. When we know that they love us and care for us, we will trust that they will only do things that are good for us.

It is very clear to see that we can trust Hashem in this way! Hashem has more rachmonus on us than any person in the entire world. In fact, if any person does care for us, it is only because Hashem is making him feel that way!

We speak about Hashem’s rachmonus in Pesukei Dezimra. In Ashrei, we say (in the posuk starting with Ches), “Chanun Verachum Hashem, Erech Apayim Ugedol Chased.” “Hashem is gracious and full of Rachmonus, Hashem is slow to get angry and has great kindness.”

When we say these words in davening, we can think about how Hashem truly cares for us and has rachmonus on us. This is one step that will help make our bitachon in Him stronger!

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Closing Seforim

RING! Is that the bell for recess?

Before we run to get our snack, we first take care of our seforim! We close the sefer we were in the middle of using, since it is not kavodik for a sefer to be left open with nobody learning from it.

The Rebbe said that cheder kids used to ALL know this. Nowadays, people don’t always think about their seforim! They leave the room, and just leave their poor seforim open, all alone.

Once the Frierdiker Rebbe noticed an important person walking away from a table where he had been learning. His sefer was still open. In a kind way, the Frierdiker Rebbe asked him to close the sefer, and not just leave it that way.

The Rebbe had been standing nearby. The Rebbe knew how the Frierdiker Rebbe was always so careful not to bother other people, especially important people. He told the Frierdiker Rebbe that he could have asked him, the Rebbe, to close the sefer instead of telling this person!

The Frierdiker Rebbe said that it is important to make sure that the sefer is closed when it is left alone, but that is not all. It is also important that if it is possible, the person who opened it should close it himself.

See Toras Menachem vol. 39, p. 190-192

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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A Taste of Moshiach

During the Mabul, all of the animals in the world were together on the Teiva.

Even though the Teiva was big, there were very many kinds of animals. It was very crowded!

Still, none of the animals fought. Snakes stayed calmly next to birds, and lions lay down next to lambs. Everything was peaceful, the way the Navi says it will be when Moshiach comes!

But when the Mabul ended, and all of the animals had to leave the Teiva, this peaceful time ended too. The lions went back to their chasing and attacking, and snakes tried to capture other animals for food again. The taste of Moshiach was over.

Even though it didn’t last very long, this time was a Nesinas Koach, something that helps us later! The fact that we already had this kind of life once makes it easier for us to bring it again, but this time in a way that will last forever!

By doing our shlichus in our part of the world, we will bring Moshiach, when we will have this kind of shalom between animals, and people too — but this time in the WHOLE world, and forever!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Hey sicha Noach gimmel, Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Nun parshas Noach p. 92

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