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Parshas Tzav - Rishon with Rashi

Korban Olah:

We have been learning about the Korban Olah, a kind of korban that is completely burned up on the Mizbeiach, and kohanim don’t even get a little bit to eat! When we don’t get anything from what we do, sometimes we might not be as careful. So Hashem tells Moshe to tell the kohanim very strongly to keep the halachos of the Olah — “Tzav!” — “command them!”

Terumas Hadeshen: All the korbanos should be put on the Mizbeiach during the day, but even if they were put on at night it is still okay.

In the morning, a kohen needs to take off the ashes from the Mizbeiach. Even though it might be messy, he wears his special white kohen clothes because it is part of the holy Avodah! The kohen uses a rake to sweep through the middle of the pile of ashes that burned the Olah (and any other korbanos that were on the Mizbeiach). He needs to make sure that the korbanos were all burned. If they weren’t burned up properly, he needs to put them back into the fire. These ashes that he raked through are put on the ground near the Mizbeiach. (This is the same place where the ashes from the Ketores and the used wicks of the Menorah go.) Hashem makes a neis that they will sink into the ground!

Since only the middle part of the ashes is taken off every day, after a while there will be so many ashes on the Mizbeiach, there won’t be room to burn the korbanos! If the kohen sees that there is no room left, he will need to clean off the rest. To do this messy job, he wears a different set of clothes, not the regular Bigdei Kehunah. Those ashes are taken away from where the Yidden live, but it still needs to be brought to a tahor place.

Aish Tomid: The kohanim have to be very careful not to let the fire on the Mizbeiach go out! The fire that the kohanim light needs to burn all the time, even though Hashem will send down a fire from Shomayim to burn the korbanos. The kohanim also use this fire for lighting the Menorah!

A kohen should put fresh wood into the fire every morning, and then put the Korban Tomid (which is a Korban Olah) as the first korban on this new wood. (The last korban of each day is also the Korban Tomid.)

Korban Mincha:

Last week we started to learn about the Korban Mincha, a korban of flour and oil. Now we learn how the Korban Mincha is brought before Hashem: The kohen needs to use his hand to take out a fistful of flour where it is most oily. He has kavana that this korban should bring nachas to Hashem, and burns it on the Mizbeiach together with all of the Levonah spice.

Whatever is left over is for the kohanim to eat… but they can’t make it chometz! It is very holy (called “Kodesh Kodoshim”) and can only be eaten inside the Mishkan. Any other korbanos it touches become Kodesh Kodoshim too!

The flour left over from the Mincha, together with any other parts of the korbanos that are not burned, belong to the kohanim and are shared with all of them equally. It doesn’t matter if they have a mum and can’t actually bring the korbanos, it belongs to them too and they still are able to eat it.



23 - 28

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — “Hashem teaches humble people His path.”

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things! Here they are:

1) He sends them Neviim who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuvah.

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Ches

The Alter Rebbe is telling us why it is important to have kavana, because as the Chachomim say, davening without kavana is like a Guf without a neshama. What does this mashal mean?

When we say “neshama” here, we mean the chayus that makes a person or animal alive (the Chachomim are not talking about the Nefesh Elokis we learned about in the beginning of Tanya).

Really, everything in the world must get chayus from Hashem: Plants have chayus that makes them grow, and even stones and dirt have chayus that make them exist and not disappear. This chayus is in a way the same for EVERYTHING in the world — because the chayus of Hashem in all of these things is hidden in Kelipas Noga. We can’t see that Hashem is in them until Moshiach comes.

Still, even though Hashem is hidden in everything in the Gashmius world, there is a big difference in the amount of chayus they have. The chayus of a stone that doesn’t move and a plant which is only able to grow is very small and hidden. An animal that can run around has much more chayus, and the chayus of a person who has sechel and can do amazing things is even more than that! Only an animal and a person have a neshama which gives them enough chayus to move around.

This helps us understand why kavana makes a difference:

Every time we do a mitzvah, Hashem’s chayus shines on us. The more kavana we have, the easier it is to feel the chayus of Hashem. So if we do a mitzvah with lots of kavana, Hashem’s chayus shines in a way that we can feel!

A mitzvah that we just do without thinking about it, or davening that we say without kavana, is like a guf — like a plain rock or flower. We can hardly tell that there is any chayus there at all. But when we do have kavana, it is like it also has the chayus that a person or an animal has — like the chayus of a guf with a neshama!



Daled Nisan

The Hayom Yom has lessons for all different kinds of Yidden. A few days ago, we learned things that are important for a Rav to know. We also learned lessons for women. Later we will see lessons for a yeshiva bochur. Now we will see a lesson for a business person!

People who are in business might think that their job is to make money to support themselves and their family, and to give tzedakah. But that’s not all! It is true that those things happen because of the work they do. But in the work itself, they have a very special avodah, with two parts!

The first part is to keep their own connection to Hashem strong. They need to have some seforim in their business and use their free time to learn. They also need to have some Torah that they know by heart so that when they are walking outside they can think words of Torah.

Today there are so many things that make it easier for us to do this, like in a car or with a computer or phone!

Another part of this avodah is to help connect other Yidden to Hashem. When they are speaking to other Yidden for business reasons, they should try to find a way to talk about something from Torah or to encourage them to go to a shiur.

The Rebbe also tells us in sichos that if a business person meets goyim at work, they should use that opportunity to speak about doing their mission in the world by keeping the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. This will help save Yidden from any not good gezeiros (Chas Vesholom) and bring Moshiach much closer. People might think that they are dealing with the goyim just for their own good, to make money, but the truth is that the main reason is to help the goyim do the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach and bring the Geula closer!

The Rebbe gave an example of someone who influenced the goyim that were working for him to become closer to Hashem and keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach! Chabad.org/2516760 (English translation of a sicha where the Rebbe told the story of Mr. David Chase and the yacht).



Shiur #237 - Mitzvas Asei #96

Since we are learning a set of halachos that doesn’t have its own mitzvah, Hilchos Keilim, we are reviewing other mitzvos from Sefer Tahara, since keilim can also get these kinds of tumah!

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #96) is about the kind of tumah that comes from the body of a neveila — a dead animal.

The mitzvah NUMBERS that we have here are according to the order of the mitzvos the way the Rambam lists them in Sefer Hamitzvos. We actually learn the mitzvos based on the order that the halachos are explained in the Rambam, so that we learn the same thing (be’achdus) with all of the Yidden learning the halachos of Rambam. That’s why the mitzvah numbers don’t go in order — one day we will learn Mitzvas Asei #96, and the next day we will learn #109!

According to the list in Sefer Hamitzvos, today’s mitzvah, Mitzvah #96, is the last of 13 mitzvos about kinds of tumah. That’s why the Rambam explains in this mitzvah a general rule about tumah:

It is not a mitzvah that we need to become tomei, or to be careful not to become tomei. The mitzvah is to follow the dinim of how a person becomes tomei, and to follow the rules which are given for a tomei person, like not going into the Beis Hamikdash or eating from korbanos.



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn about what kind of keilim can get Midras. That means that if a Zav sits on something, stands on something, or leans on something, it becomes tomei with a tumah called Midras.

In Perek Chof-Daled, we learn about leather things that become tomei if a Zav sits on them. One thing the Rambam tells us is that a leather bib can become tomei!

Perek Chof-Hey teaches us about furniture that can become tomei with Midras. A baby stroller is one thing that can become tomei, because people sometimes lean on strollers. But a cane isn’t, because it only helps a person balance.

In Perek Chof-Vov, the Rambam tells us about when keilim that were broken, taken apart, or attached to other keilim can get the tumah of Midras.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh - Perek Hey

In this perek, the Rambam talks about how the Beis Din makes sure that people are telling the truth in Beis Din.

Some of the halachos talk about what happens if it seems like the person is a liar. If a person is a liar in Beis Din, he can’t make a shevuah (a very strong promise) which would make him patur from paying. Instead, he just has to pay. But a person is only considered a liar by the Beis Din if he says something in front of them, and then someone else brings two witnesses who say that they saw the opposite.



Chassidishe Parsha

Based on the Rebbe’s hora’ah to teach part of the maamarim in Likutei Torah of that week even to children under Bar or Bas Mitzvah, we will learn something from this week’s Likutei Torah, the Chassidishe Parsha:

In many of the maamarim for Parshas Tzav, the Alter Rebbe explains nevuos and inyonim about Moshiach and L’asid Lavo according to Chassidus! In this week’s Likutei Torah, there are also many maamarim for Pesach.

Here is one of the things the Alter Rebbe explains from Parshas Tzav:

In Gemara Sotah, there is a list of some of the signs that Moshiach is very close. One of these signs is that before Moshiach comes, there will be a lot of chutzpah. Young people will embarrass older people and make their faces turn white — Ne’arim Pnei Zkeinim Yalbinu.

This sounds like a terrible thing about the times before Moshiach. But the Alter Rebbe explains it in another way, that shows that it is really a very GOOD sign!

One of the differences between younger people and older people is that when someone is younger, their guf and their taavos are much stronger. As a person gets older, they know more, and their taavos become not as strong.

When a person does a mitzvah, it brings Elokus into the world. But when a person holds himself back from a taavah to do what Hashem wants, called Iskafya in Chassidus, it brings down a much higher level of Elokus! This higher level is called Lavnunis, whiteness.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this is what the Gemara is saying! The young people, who have more Iskafya to break their taavos, bring down this special Lavnunis level of Elokus into the world. This is a much higher level than the Elokus that the older people bring down through their mitzvos!

That’s what it means, “Ne’arim Pnei Zkeinim Yalbinu,” that one of the signs of Moshiach is that the younger people will have a lot of iskafya, which will bring this level of Lavnunis to the older people as well.


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Haggadah Shel Pesach

Don’t forget to say the Nasi! Today’s Nasi is from Shevet Reuven.


As part of Biur Tefillah, we are also learning some of the parts of the Haggadah, as a preparation for Pesach.

In the beginning of the Alter Rebbe’s Haggadah Shel Pesach, we have the bracha before we start Bedikas Chometz and the paragraph Kol Chamira afterwards, saying that the chometz is botul (means nothing to us and doesn’t belong to us); and another paragraph Kol Chamira which we say when we are burning the chometz in the morning.

After the second time we say Kol Chamira, while burning the chometz, we say another paragraph asking Hashem that just as we are destroying the chometz from our homes and our reshus, Hashem should destroy the tumah, the Yetzer Hara, and all negative things from the world, like Hashem did in Mitzrayim!

In some nus’chaos, this tefillah is written in Lashon Yachid (singular), “May it be Your will Hashem, MY Hashem and the Hashem of MY fathers.” But in the Alter Rebbe’s nusach, it is written in Lashon Rabim (plural) — “OUR Hashem, and the Hashem of OUR fathers.”

The Rebbe explains that our nusach is based on the Gemara in Brachos, where Abaye says that when you say Tefillas Haderech, even if you are traveling yourself, you should include yourself with everyone else, and say the tefillah in Lashon Rabim (plural). Because when you include yourself with others, the tefillah is accepted better.

That’s why in this tefillah also, we say it in Lashon Rabim, so it will be accepted more easily by Hashem.

See the Rebbe’s Haggadah, Dibur Hamas’chil Yehi Ratzon



Mechiras Chometz

If you “sell your chometz” now, you aren’t actually selling it yet. You are just authorizing the Rav that he can sell it for you on Erev Pesach. Because of this, you can sell your chometz NOW! There is no mitzvah to wait until the last minute.

If your family does not have a Rav that you usually use, you can sell your chometz online at chabad.org/sellchometz.

(Since Rabbonim don’t usually get paid for all of the time they give to answer our shaalos all year, there is a minhag to give them money to thank them for being there to help us. The minhag is to give some money at the time when we sell our chometz.)

This is also an important part of Mivtza Pesach: To help Yidden sell their chometz!

Even if we are worried that these Yidden might chas veshalom use something chometz’dik on Pesach, it is still worth it for them to sell their chometz. (The Rebbe explained the reason for this in halacha.) So we should make sure that EVERYONE is able to sell their chometz!

How do we do this? We make sure to have Mechiras Chometz forms or let people know where they can sell their chometz online, and encourage as many people as possible to sell their chometz for Pesach!

See Notes on Pesach and Shevach Hamoadim — Mechiras Chometz, Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p. 181

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



Kimei Tzeischa Me'Eretz Mitzrayim (2)

In the famous sicha of Chof-Ches Nissan, the Rebbe said that every Yid needs to do everything in his power to bring the Geulah. The Rebbe said that when Yidden are stubborn to do what they can and ask Hashem for the Geulah, it will work, and Hashem will give it to us!

We see a similar thing with the Navi Micha. The Navi Micha saw in his nevuos the time before Moshiach comes. Seeing all of the troubles the Yidden would go through made Micha cry out to Hashem. He asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden the way Hashem took care of the Yidden in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu!

Hashem gave the Navi a beautiful promise, “Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos.” Hashem promised that He would make wonders and miracles for the Yidden at the time of the Geulah, like the nisim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim!

But Hashem only told this to Micha after Micha asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden like at the time of Yetziyas Mitzrayim! We see from here that we need to ask Hashem for the Geulah, and that when we do, Hashem will answer us and make it happen!

See Sefer Hasichos 5751 chelek Beis p. 474 and ha’ara 54 (Hebrew)

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