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Parshas Yisro - Shishi with Rashi

The Yidden prepared for Matan Torah, and are now gathered around Har Sinai to receive it.

Hashem brought Shomayim down so it was on Har Sinai!

This was the most the Yidden would ever be able to see Hashem, and Hashem told Moshe to make sure none of them tried to come closer to Har Sinai to see better, because they can’t touch Har Sinai.

Moshe didn’t think the Yidden needed to be told again not to touch Har Sinai, because they were already told before. Hashem told Moshe to tell them again because there needs to be a warning before, and a warning at the actual time of Matan Torah too.

Finally, after all the preparations, Hashem was going to give the Torah, and now every Yid would have the zechus and achrayus to keep all of its mitzvos.

Hashem said all of the Aseres Hadibros all at once! Then Hashem said them again, one at a time.

1) Anochi — I am Hashem Who took you out of Mitzrayim!

2) Lo Yihiyeh — don’t have or serve idols

3) Lo Sisa — Don’t promise something silly or not true in Hashem’s name

4) Zachor — Remember and keep Shabbos

5) Kabeid — Honor your parents — Kibbud Av Va’eim

6) Lo Sirtzach — don’t kill

7) Lo Sinaf — don’t marry someone who is already married to someone else

8) Lo Signov — don’t kidnap

9) Lo Saaneh — don’t lie about someone in Beis Din

10) Lo Sachmod — don’t be jealous of other people’s things

Even though the Yidden only heard ten mitzvos, really, the whole Torah is hinted to in these Aseres Hadibros!

Something amazing happened at Matan Torah! It used to be that Ruchnius and Gashmius were always two separate things. Even though the Avos used Gashmius to do mitzvos, it never got kedusha! So the sticks that Yaakov Avinu used to do the mitzvah of tefillin with did not become holy afterwards! But as we learned in today’s Chumash, at Matan Torah, Shomayim came down to the world. After Matan Torah, even a Gashmius thing can become full of kedusha when we use it for mitzvos!

That’s also the reason why we see that some of the mitzvos in the Aseres Hadibros seem very obvious. Everyone understands on their own that it’s not right to kidnap! But after Matan Torah, these mitzvos also become full of kedusha! So when we don’t kidnap, we’re not just doing it because it makes sense, but because it’s a mitzvah that Hashem told us to do!

Throughout history, we see that many nations go against the Aseres Hadibros, even the mitzvos that make so much sense. They decided, when it was better for them, that it makes sense to do cruel things! The same thing is true with all of us! We can’t be sure that we will behave in the right way with other people if we do it only because it makes sense. The only way that we will keep these mitzvos of not hurting another person, even when it is hard, is if we do them with Kabolas Ol — because it is a mitzvah from Hashem. (See Likutei Sichos chelek Gimmel parshas Yisro, and many other places)



108 - 112

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

One of the pesukim in today’s Tehillim says, “Zorach Bachoshech Ohr Layesharim, Chanun Verachum Vetzadik.” The posuk means that Hashem shines light in the darkness for Yidden who go in the straight path.

On one hand, there is definitely a lot of darkness in Golus now, but at the same time, Hashem gave us tremendous kochos so that we can spread more light! We have many more seforim, more shuls, schools, and Chabad Houses all over the world!

This posuk reminds us that we need to shine the light of Geulah which the Rebbe gives us! That will help us change the darkness of Golus into light.



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Zayin

A person who is worried or sad will not have enough energy to fight with their Yetzer Hara and only listen to their Yetzer Tov!

That’s why the Alter Rebbe is giving us advice here what we can tell ourselves when we are worried, so we will be in a good mood to do the right thing.

We learned before what we should think about if there is something Gashmius that is bothering us or if we are bothered because we did something wrong.

Another thing that can make a person upset is that even while being busy with other things, bad thoughts and taavos can come into the person’s mind! A person might think, “I only want to be thinking about GOOD things, why do such terrible things keep coming into my head?”

The Alter Rebbe says that instead of being upset about this, we should be HAPPY! Because when a person has iskafya and doesn’t think the not-good thought, and thinks of something else instead, he is doing a mitzvah — the mitzvah of Lo Sasuru!

It is actually a mitzvah not to think about things we see or taavos which do not help us serve Hashem. Every time someone pushes away one of those thoughts, he’s doing a Mitzvas Lo Saasei, the mitzvah of Lo Sasuru, and gets a reward for it like for any other mitzvah! So instead of being sad, we should be happy that we can do a mitzvah!

If a person is Makir Mekomo, he knows who he really is, that he is not at the level of a tzadik who does not have such thoughts, he is at the level of a beinoni, he will know that it is his AVODAH not to think about these foolish thoughts that the Yetzer Hara keeps trying to make him think about!

When someone does not allow himself to think inappropriate thoughts, and instead thinks about something else, this is called Iskafya, and it brings Hashem a great Nachas Ruach! This is a special avodah that a beinoni gets to do EVERY TIME he pushes a bad thought out of his mind!



Chof-Gimmel Shevat

Once, when the Alter Rebbe came out of his room, he heard his Rebbetzin talking to other women. She said, “Meiner zogt...” — “Mine (my husband) says” — talking about something the Alter Rebbe said.

When the Alter Rebbe heard this, he said, “With one mitzvah (of getting married) I belong to you — with so many mitzvos we do, can you imagine how much we belong to Hashem?” Then the Alter Rebbe leaned on the doorpost and fell into a strong deveikus — connection to Hashem — and was deep in thought.

After the Alter Rebbe came out of his feeling of deveikus, he said a short “Torah” explaining the posuk of “Tze’ena U’re’ena Bnos Tzion.” In this Torah, he spoke about the maalah of his Rebbetzin, the source of neshamos of women which comes from the level of Malchus, and how she brought him to this feeling of deveikus. He said that Le’asid Lavo, the maalah of women will be revealed — Eishes Chayil Ateres Baalah.



Shiur #211 - Mitzvas Asei #111

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #111) is the SECOND step a Metzora needs to take to become Tahor — shaving off all of his hair.

We learn this from the words of a posuk in Parshas Metzora: וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יְגַלַּח

The halachos of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Nega’im.

The Rambam also explains why the shaving of the Metzora is a separate mitzvah from his korbanos, but with a Nazir, who also has to shave and bring korbanos, they are part of the same mitzvah.



Hilchos Tumas Tzoraas

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about Tzoraas:

Perek Yud-Alef: Now we learn the halachos about the first step for a Metzora to become Tahor. We learn about the water and the plants that are used, and what happens if the bird that was shechted is Treif, or the blood got spilled by mistake. We also learn about the second step, where he waits seven days and then goes to the Beis Hamikdash to get his hair cut off and bring his korban.

Perek Yud-Beis: This perek teaches us the halachos of Tzoraas on clothes. We learn what it looks like, and how big the spot needs to be to be counted as Tzoraas.

Perek Yud-Gimmel: The Rambam teaches us the halachos of what kinds of material can get Tzoraas, and what we do once the kohen says it is Tomei. If a Kohen says that a piece of clothing is Tomei, and it gets mixed up with other clothes, we aren’t allowed to use ANY of them! In this perek, the Rambam finishes teaching us the halachos of Tzoraas on clothes.



Hilchos Ishus - Perek Hey

In this perek, we learn about what a person can use to do Kiddushin.

A man has to OWN what he use to be Mekadesh a woman. So if it is asur for him to have it (like chometz on Pesach), or if he stole it, it is not counted as Kiddushin. It also has to be worth at least a perutah. The Rambam gives us many examples of when something is counted as Kiddushin or not.



Besuros Tovos

In yesterday’s Chumash, Chamishi of Parshas Yisro,we see that Moshe Rabbeinu told the Aibershter what the Yidden had answered him. Of course Hashem already knew, but Moshe Rabbeinu still went back and told Hashem.

Rashi explains that this teaches us Derech Eretz. If someone makes you his shliach to do something, you should come back and tell him how it went — even if he already knows.

This is very important for Chassidim to know!

Chassidim are all the Rebbe’s shluchim, with the job of strengthening Yiddishkeit and spreading the teachings of Chassidus. Our shlichus includes ourselves, our families, and anyone else we can reach.

We shouldn’t just say “the Rebbe knows.” From here we see that we should write letters and tell the Rebbe how our shlichus is going. This will bring the Rebbe much nachas!

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A Meeting With the King

Imagine seeing two people hurrying down the street. Both of them are dressed in suits and ties and are carrying briefcases. You might think that they are both the same, right?

But one of them is late to work, and feeling very worried. The other one just walked out of a meeting with the king! The king asked him to do a very important mission, and gave him a credit card so he can get whatever he needs to make it happen. You can imagine that these two men feel very different!

Every morning, we have a choice about how we want to run our day. Do we want to just be rushing from place to place, or do we want to feel like the second man, proud and excited to do our mission?

When we daven every morning, we are having a private meeting with Hashem! Hashem gives us a special shlichus to do in the world, and gives us brachos and kochos to get whatever we need to make it happen! Only after we daven do we have the kochos of the King of all Kings, Melech Malchei Hamelochim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu, to go do our shlichus throughout the day with simcha!

See sicha of Chof-Ches Iyar 5738, at Kinus for women before Shavuos




After Havdalah on Motzei Shabbos, there is a minhag to speak about Eliyahu Hanavi, saying that he should come and tell all the Yidden about the Geulah!

Why do we do this on Motzei Shabbos?

Eliyahu Hanavi can’t come announce the Geulah anytime! Eliyahu Hanavi can’t come on Erev Shabbos, when the Yidden are busy getting ready for Shabbos, and he can’t come on Shabbos because of the halachos of the Techum Shabbos.

But now that Shabbos is over, Eliyahu Hanavi can come to tell all of us about the Geulah, which should happen right away! That’s why, as soon as Shabbos is over, we mention Eliyahu Hanavi and daven that he should come and tell us about the Geulah!

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Reish-Tzadik-Hey se’if Hey

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



When Moshiach Can't Come

The Tzemach Tzedek once spoke about Moshiach coming at a certain time.

Someone that was there asked the Tzemach Tzedek how he could say that. It said in seforim that Moshiach COULDN’T come at that time!

The Tzemach Tzedek answered the person: “When Moshiach comes, all questions will be answered, as the Gemara says many times, ‘Teiku’ — hinting that Eliyahu Hanavi will answer our questions. So let this question, of how Moshiach could come at a time when it says he can’t, be answered then too…”

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 272

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