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Parshas Shelach - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we continue to learn the story of what happened with the Meraglim, and how Moshe Rabbeinu asks Hashem to forgive the Yidden.

Yehoshua and Kalev tried to get the Yidden to change their minds about Eretz Yisroel:

“If Hashem wants, He can bring us to Eretz Yisroel! Don’t do things against Hashem, and we won’t have to worry about the strong people that live there! Hashem will help us!”

The Yidden were so angry at Yehoshua and Kalev, they wanted to throw rocks at them! But when they saw Hashem’s cloud coming in front of the Mishkan, they stopped since they saw Hashem wanted to talk to Moshe.

Hashem was very upset at the Yidden. This was the TENTH time they were showing that they didn’t trust in Hashem! Hashem said that maybe He should not keep the Yidden as His special nation, and Hashem will start a new nation from the family of Moshe Rabbeinu.

Moshe told Hashem not to do that, since it would look like Hashem COULDN’T bring the Yidden to Eretz Yisroel. He asked Hashem to forgive the Yidden, like it says in the Yud-Gimmel Midos HoRachamim, that Hashem forgives the Yidden.

Hashem agreed to forgive the Yidden and not destroy them, but He said that the Yidden don’t deserve to go into Eretz Yisroel anymore — except for Yehoshua and Kalev. They would also have to go a different way in the Midbar, now, since they don’t deserve for Hashem to save them from the Goyim along the way.



113 - 118

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Yud-Gimmel to Kuf-Yud-Ches — the kapitelach of Hallel.

There is a posuk in today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Ches that says “Hashem Li Be’ozroi, Va’ani Ereh Ve’Son’ai.” “Hashem is with me, with my helpers, and I will see my enemies fall.”

How can Dovid Hamelech say that Hashem is WITH his helpers? Can there be a helper except for Hashem?

Chassidus explains that the “helpers” are the Gashmius things in the world. Hashem put a piece of Kedusha into the Gashmius things, and when we use them, we get this koach to help us! So together with davening and asking Hashem to help us, we also need to use the spark of Hashem that’s in the Gashmius which will be our helper too!



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Zayin

Today we learn about two kinds of chayus that Hashem gives to the world. Understanding this will help us understand how Hashem can be EVERYWHERE, so we won’t make a mistake and think that tzimtzum means Hashem goes away from the world.

1) Sovev Kol Almin

This chayus comes from Hashem KNOWING the world, and it is what makes all of the Ruchnius and Gashmius worlds exist!

Hashem “knowing” about the world isn’t the same as a person knowing about something.

When we think about a table, is the table inside of our head? No, of course not! We can think about the table and picture what it looks like, but the real table is somewhere else.

That’s not the way it works with the chayus of Hashem! When Hashem knows something, it means that it is actually a PART of Hashem. It isn’t something separate!

This is the first way Hashem gives chayus to the world, knowing about it which makes it exist.

2) Memalei Kol Almin

This kind of chayus FILLS (memalei) the world — this is a kind of chayus that is special and different for each thing in the world. It is just the right kind of chayus for stones, trees, and animals, and just the right kind of chayus for me and you!



Chof-Daled Sivan

A Chossid once wrote to the Frierdiker Rebbe, asking how he can have hiskashrus since the Rebbe never saw him.

The Frierdiker Rebbe answered: Real hiskashrus comes from learning the Rebbe’s Torah!

Learning the Rebbe’s Maamorim and Sichos, learning and farbrenging together with Anash and Temimim, saying Tehillim after davening (the Frierdiker Rebbe’s takana), keeping the set times you have to study Torah — that’s Hiskashrus!



Shiur #316 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #310, Asei #224, Lo Saasei #300

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 3 mitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #310) We can’t let a witch live (a witch is someone who uses the koach of tumah to make magic).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: מְכַשֵּׁפָה לֹא תְחַיֶּה

2) (Mitzvas Asei #224) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of giving malkos (lashes) — one of the punishments a Beis Din gives for certain aveiros.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְהִפִּילוֹ הַשֹּׁפֵט וְהִכָּהוּ לְפָנָיו

The details are explained in Mesechta Makos.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #300) The Beis Din can’t hit someone during Malkos more than he’s supposed to be hit. Part of this mitzvah is never to hit another Yid, or even just pick up our hand as if we were going to hit him!

We also learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כְּדֵי רִשְׁעָתוֹ בְּמִסְפָּר אַרְבָּעִים יַכֶּנּוּ לֹא יֹסִיף



Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how the Sanhedrin judges.

In Perek Yud, one of the things we learn is how every judge has to have his OWN opinion. Because of that, we don’t ask the oldest or greatest judge to say his opinion first, because then the other judges might not want to say something different.

Perek Yud-Alef talks about the differences between judging cases about money (Dinei Mamonos), and judging cases where someone would be punished by being killed (Dinei Nefashos). In Dinei Nefashos, the Beis Din needs to try to find ways to make the person not guilty. One of the ways we see this is that even someone who is not a judge can give a reason why NOT to punish someone, but only the judges can give a reason to say why he is guilty!

Perek Yud-Beis explains how the Sanhedrin can pasken that someone is Chayav Misa. The judges first need to make sure that there were witnesses who saw it happen, and that the person was warned first that he is not allowed to do the aveira.



Hilchos Avel - Perek Gimmel

One of the halachos in Perek Gimmel is that even though kohanim have to be so careful not to become tomei, even a kohen should become tomei if a Nasi (or a Rebbe) passes away to show kavod.



Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

Every person is made of two parts: The Neshama, and the Guf. They are both very important!

A regular person thinks a lot about the guf. If food doesn’t taste good, the person is bothered.

But by a Tzadik, the guf isn’t that way. If food doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t make a difference. Because the guf of a Tzadik is ONLY there to help the neshama. A Tzadik IS his neshama! The guf is only there to enable the neshama to show itself and to accomplish something in the Gashmius world.

So if Chas Veshalom the guf of a Tzadik is missing, and we can’t see it, it doesn’t change any part of his LIFE — because his whole LIFE is his neshama and the avodah of the neshama.

How do we know what the life and the neshama of a Rebbe is? We can know from the avodah we see the Guf does. We can see that the Rebbe always put his kochos into making Chassidim and helping Yidden.

Even when we can’t see the Rebbe’s holy guf, we know that the Rebbe’s Avodah didn’t stop. We can see how the Chassidim are alive, and how shlichus continues. When Chassidim are alive and living the way the Rebbe wants, we can see how the Rebbe’s shlichus and neshama is alive in this world!

That’s what it means, “Mah Zaro BaChayim Af Hu BaChayim” — since the Rebbe’s whole life is for his Chassidim, when we live the way the Rebbe teaches us, Zaro BaChayim, we can see that Hu BaChayim — that the Rebbe is alive in the world!

This also shows us the achrayus we have, to live the way the Rebbe wants and put all of our kochos into doing the Rebbe’s shlichus the way the Rebbe teaches us!

See sicha of Yud Shevat 5726


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Our Morning Midbar

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Shelach, we learn about the Meraglim, and the terrible mistake that they made.

They wanted to stay in the Midbar where they could learn and daven all day, and they didn’t have to worry about Gashmius. They said that it was not a good idea to go into Eretz Yisroel, where they would need to deal with parnasa and would have less time to learn. They didn’t understand that even though their Avodah in the Midbar was good, Hashem’s goal was for them to use the koach from that to go out into the world, into Eretz Yisroel!

In fact, being first in the Midbar and then going into Eretz Yisroel is something we are supposed to do every day! We spend our morning in the “Midbar,” getting ready to daven, davening Shacharis, and learning Torah afterwards.

Then we take that koach and use it in the world, in “Eretz Yisroel!” We spend our day dealing with Gashmius. We do mitzvos with Gashmius, we bring kedusha in the Gashmius, and we make sure that the way we use the Gashmius is the way we learned to in the “Midbar!” We go out of our “Midbar” to find other Yidden too and help them do mitzvos and grow in Yiddishkeit.

This is how we fulfill Hashem’s kavana every day!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Daled, Parshas Shelach



Higher Than Teva

In this week’s parsha, we learn about the Meraglim. The Meraglim were great leaders of their Shevatim. They were special people, with Yiras Shomayim and people who understood Torah. They were chosen by Moshe Rabbeinu himself to go to Eretz Yisroel and spy it out! They had seen the nissim of Mitzrayim, of Kriyas Yam Suf, and the daily miracles in the Midbar.

So how could they say that it was impossible to capture Eretz Yisroel? Didn’t they just see that Hashem could do anything?

Chassidus explains that OF COURSE the Meraglim knew that Hashem could do anything!

They made just one mistake.

They knew that in the Midbar, Hashem was doing things in a way of nissim! Their food came through nissim, their water came through nissim, their clothes were washed and grew through nissim, and the road was made smooth through nissim. In the Midbar, the way things are in teva (nature) didn’t matter!

They also knew that in Eretz Yisroel, these nissim would stop. They would need to start doing things in a way of teva, the natural way Hashem runs the world. They would need to work in the fields for food, dig wells for water, and use regular clothes. They would need to travel on bumpy roads, and daven for rain to fall at the right times.

But they thought that if they had to start using teva, to do things in the natural way, that they could ONLY use teva. If they had to fight the wars to capture Eretz Yisroel with teva, then they didn’t think they could win!

So what was the problem?

Even though they needed to conquer Eretz Yisroel with teva, it didn’t need to ONLY be with teva. Hashem’s nissim wouldn’t stop, but they would need to be hidden in a way of teva!

The Yidden only need to START in a way of teva, and Hashem will make things have hatzlacha, even if it doesn’t make sense! That was the mistake that the Meraglim made.

This is actually the way we need to keep mitzvos every day:

Sometimes it might not seem to make sense to give tzedakah, since we think we might need the money for ourselves. It might not sound like a good idea to have a big family, because we think that they will be too hard to take care of.

But those are all only if things are in a way of teva. A Yid is NOT supposed to only live in a way of teva! We do the best we can in teva, but then we know that Hashem will make things work out with hatzlacha in a way that is HIGHER than teva!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Daled, Parshas Shelach

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



Shining a Light to the World

The Navi Yeshaya tells us that at the end of Golus, it will be very dark and hard — but Hashem will shine His light on the Yidden and save them!

In the posuk we will learn today, the Navi continues that in the times of the Geulah, the goyim will learn from the Yidden. They will also want to live with the light of Torah!

וְהָלְכוּ גוֹיִם לְאוֹרֵךְ וּמְלָכִים לְנֹגַהּ זַרְחֵךְ

Vehalchu Goyim Le’orech — The nations will learn from you and go in the way of your light (the light of Torah)

Umelachim Lenogah Zarcheich — And kings will follow your shining example.

The Yidden will be a light for the world, and show them all how to act in the way of Hashem!

See Yeshaya perek Samach posuk Gimmel

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