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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.



79 - 82

Today’s kapitelach of Tehillim are Ayin-Tes through Pey-Beis.

When these kapitelach were the Rebbe’s kapitelach for his Yom Huledes, there was a niggun made up for each one! Do you know them all?

In Kapitel Pey, Dovid Hamelech starts asking Hashem that “Roei Yisroel Haazina, Noheg Katzon Yosef.” “The Shepherd of Yidden, listen, the One who takes care of Yosef like sheep.”

In this posuk, Yidden are called with TWO names: Yisroel and Yosef.

We know Yidden are called Bnei Yisroel, because we are all children of Yaakov Avinu, who is also called Yisroel. But why are all Yidden called with the name Yosef, if he was only one of the Shevatim?

The reason is because in the time when there was no food in Eretz Yisroel, Yosef was the one who fed all the Yidden. Since he gave all the Yidden chayus, we are all called by his name!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Ches

R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev was a mechutan with Alter Rebbe — his grandson married the Alter Rebbe’s granddaughter. While R’ Levi Yitzchak was alive, his son, R’ Meir passed away. The Alter Rebbe sent this letter to him to make him feel better.

When the Torah tells us about how Miriam passed away, it says it in the Torah right near the part where we learn about the Parah Adumah. The Chachomim explain that just like a Parah Adumah can make someone tahor from even the greatest tumah, so too when a tzadik passes away, it brings a kapara for even the greatest aveiros Yidden have done.

The mitzvah of Parah Adumah has many many details! When we do the mitzvah with all of the details like it says in the Torah, it brings a very great chayus of Hashem into the world. That chayus of Hashem is able to bring tahara even to the strongest tumah!

Tomorrow IY”H we will learn what happens when a Tzadik passes away, and why these two things are similar.



Tes-Zayin Mar-Cheshvan

A person has a koach in their neshama called machshava, which means thinking. This koach is ALWAYS working — a person is ALWAYS thinking! But where does this koach find things to think about? From the koach of the neshama called sechel, things a person knows or learns.

So if a person knows or learns good things, things about Torah and Yiddishkeit and Ahavas Yisroel, that’s what he’ll be thinking about! But if what a person knows is just about Gashmius, or just what he sees and hears about in the street, then THAT’S what he will think about.

So we need to make sure to learn Torah every day. This will fill up our sechel with good things, and keep our machshava busy thinking about them!



Shiur #101 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #101

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #101) that we are not allowed to shecht an animal and its child on the same day. We are not even allowed to bring a mother and baby animal as korbanos on the same day!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: אֹתוֹ וְאֶת בְּנוֹ לֹא תִשְׁחֲטוּ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד

The details are explained in Mesechta Chulin perek Hey.



Hilchos Shechitah

Perek Gimmel: In today’s Rambam, we learn about the 5 things that a shochet has to be careful NOT to do — otherwise the animal he shechted isn’t kosher.

1) Shehiyah — stopping in the middle of shechting
2) Chaladahshechting without being able to see the knife
3) Drasah — pushing down with the knife instead of going back and forth
4) Hagramashechting on the wrong part of the animal’s neck
5) Ikur — if the part that he is supposed to shecht moves before he finishes

Any animal that the shochet does one of these 5 things on is called a Neveilah, and we are not allowed to eat it.

Perek Daled: We learn about who is and isn’t allowed to shecht.

Perek Hey: We start to learn the halachos of tereifah, which we will learn the details of over the next few days.



Hilchos Rotzeiach U'Shmiras HaNefesh - Perek Vov

Now we learn about three kinds of “accidental killing:”

1. Someone who didn’t know that what he was doing would kill someone — a real mistake. He needs to stay in the Ir Miklat.

2. When it was a kind of thing that doesn’t usually happen — like throwing something heavy into a place where people don’t usually go. That person doesn’t need to stay in an Ir Miklat, and the Goel Hadam is not allowed to kill him.

3. Where the person was being careless, we don’t consider that an accident. It won’t help for him to be in an Ir Miklat, and he won’t be safe there.




A mean officer in Russia once decided to put a new, very high tax on the Jewish farmers. The tax was so high, that it looked like any farmer who wasn’t rich would have to find a new place to live, or even go to jail for not paying!

The Rebbe Maharash wanted to help all of these Yidden. He went to collect money from the rich Jews of Odessa and Kishinev, to help the Yidden pay the tax.

In Odessa, the Yidden gave generously to help. But in Kishinev, the Yidden didn’t want to give as much. The Rebbe Maharash was not able to collect as much from them.

The Rebbe Maharash said a sicha to these Yidden, to encourage them to give more:

Hashem made the world in a way that there is a Mashpia (a giver) and a Mekabel (a taker). For example, the sky is a Mashpia, because it gives rain. The earth is a Mekabel, because it takes this rain and soaks it up for the plants and trees. People also use this system. There are rich people who are Mashpia, and poor people who are Mekabel from them. The rich need to give, and the poor need to take. And this is good for them both! In fact, the Chachomim say that more than the poor person gets from the rich person, the rich person gets from the poor person. Hashem gives him so much bracha, worth much more than the money he gave for tzedakah!

It is Hashem Who decides who will be the rich ones, and who will be the poor ones. But the poor person has a complaint! He asks, “Why do I have to suffer so that the rich person can be a Mashpia? Why do his brachos need to come through giving me, when that means I have to be poor all the time? Hashem could give him brachos in a different way!”

This sicha made the rich people of Kishinev change their minds and give much more for tzedakah! With this money, the Rebbe Maharash was able to save the jobs of all of the farmers!

Yidden in other cities also heard about this sicha. It made a lot of rich Jews realize what a bracha they have to be the Mashpia. To thank Hashem for what they had, they started giving much more to all of their fellow Jews, with love and friendship.

See the complete story and letter of the Frierdiker Rebbe in Igros Kodesh chelek Vov, p. 254


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By saying Yishtabach, we finish the part of davening called Pesukei Dezimra, where we praise Hashem. Now we are ready to go on to Shema. Then we will daven Shemoneh Esrei, where we will ask Hashem for all of our needs!

But if we are davening with a minyan, we first say Kaddish and Barchu.

What is Barchu?

The Chazan says, “Barchu Es Hashem Hamevorach!” Let’s go bentch Hashem Who is blessed!

Everyone bows and answers, “Baruch Hashem Hamevorach Le’olam Va’ed!” Blessed is Hashem, the One Who is blessed, forever!

One of the reasons for saying Barchu now is from the Zohar. According to the Zohar, we need to make sure to bring the Shechinah into our minyan before we daven. We do this by bentching Hashem together first. Once the Shechinah is resting fully in our minyan, we can go daven together.

See Mesechta Shel Tefillah



Standing Up

There are many different opinions about which parts of Pesukei Dezimra we should stand for.

In Shulchan Aruch it speaks about standing for Vayevarech Dovid, for Az Yashir, and Yishtabach.

Some Yidden have a minhag that only the chazan stands for Yishtabach.

But our minhag is that we stand up starting with Boruch Hashem Le’olam, and stay standing until after Borchu which leads us into the next section of davening, Birchos Kriyas Shema.

See Chikrei Minhagim

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



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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