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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
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Parshas Noach - Chamishi with Rashi

Hashem promises to never make a Mabul again to destroy the whole world. Hashem shows a rainbow as a sign of this promise.

Hashem had told Noach to have children, but Noach was afraid that there might be another Mabul. Even though Hashem told Noach not to worry, he was still afraid to have more children! So Hashem made a PROMISE with Noach and with everyone and every animal, never to destroy the world again. He gave Noach a sign to see that He will never do it again: A rainbow!

If Hashem sees that people need to do teshuvah, Hashem might send a storm somewhere in the world to show that there are people that DESERVE to get a Mabul. But a rainbow will shine through the clouds and Hashem will have Rachmonus and not destroy everyone.

Hashem showed Noach the rainbow so he would know what the sign looks like.

Why did Hashem choose a rainbow? A rainbow in the sky is made of light shining into a cloud with water in a certain way, that splits up the light into all of the colors. Before the Mabul, the world wasn’t able to make a rainbow — the sun couldn’t shine through the clouds, because they were too thick! But the Mabul made the world more aidel, and the clouds became more aidel too, to let the sun shine through to make rainbows. The more aidel world after the Mabul is also a world where we can do Teshuvah, which was harder to do before the Mabul! Now that it’s easier to do Teshuvah, we won’t ever NEED another Mabul!

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Today we are starting the Sefer Tehillim again from the very beginning!

If you look in Kapitel Ches, you will see that posuk Beis and the last posuk have the same words in them! Why? Let’s see what the Gemara says about this:

When Hashem wanted to give the Torah to Yidden, the Malachim said: “You want to give such a special hidden treasure to PEOPLE?!” They said posuk beis of this Kapitel: “Hashem Adoneinu, Mah Adir Shimcha Bechol Ha’aretz, Asher Tenah Hodcha Al Hashomayim!” “Hashem, You are so great, put your Torah in Shomayim!”

Hashem told Moshe to answer the Malochim. Moshe answered, “The Torah says not to steal. Do Malochim have a Yetzer Hara that they would want to steal from each other?” After Moshe told them this and some more reasons why only Yidden can keep the Torah, the Malochim agreed.

They said this posuk again, saying how great Hashem is — but not asking Him to keep the Torah in Shomayim. They just said, “Hashem Adoneinu, Mah Adir Shimcha Bechol Ha’aretz.”

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Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Hey

This letter from the Alter Rebbe explains something we learn from the Baal Shem Tov: If a person is the middle of davening, and someone tries to get him mixed up, he should think about how the Shechinah is in Golus inside of the one who is bothering him. The Shechinah goes into Golus in that person who is getting chayus from kelipah, in order to give MORE chayus to kedusha, by the person using this challenge to add more Kavana in his davening.

The Alter Rebbe explains this vort, by teaching us how Hashem Echad Ushmo Echad — Hashem is one. The same Hashem that is giving chayus to the Yid who is davening, is also giving chayus to the Goy who is trying to get him mixed up. Hashem just made the chayus easier to see in the Yid who is davening, and more hidden and in Golus in the Goy who is bothering him.

It’s like the chayus of Hashem is dressing up in a costume — it looks like something is RUINING our Kavana, but really Hashem is doing this to make our chayus in davening stronger! So we shouldn’t get angry at whatever is bothering us, we should realize that Hashem is making this happen to wake us up, and work harder to daven with more Kavanah.

Yesterday we learned that the Shechinah is inside of the words of our davening.

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us that the Shechinah is also inside of the goy who is trying to bother us! But there, the Shechinah is in Golus.

Hashem wanted there to be two kinds of chayus in the world — one that helps us act the way Hashem wants, and one that is a challenge — that makes it hard for us to do it. The first kind of chayus is in our neshama, and it helps us do what we need to! But why do we need the second kind of chayus? To add more chayus into kedusha, by us using the challenge to add more in Avodas Hashem!

Hashem is ready for that chayus to be in Golus, to make sure we will work hard with the strongest kochos of our neshama. That chayus is in the goy who bothers us in davening.

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Alef Mar-Cheshvan

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about something called Sod Habirurim, the secret of the Birurim.

What are Birurim?

All around the world, there are little pieces of kedusha stuck all over in different places. These pieces of kedusha are called Nitzutzos. When we use the opportunities we have to serve Hashem, wherever we are, then we are able to set those nitzutzos free!

Every person has a special shlichus from Hashem to free some of the Nitzutzos that are hidden and stuck.

But how do we know where to find our Nitzutzos?

This Sod Habirurim started with Avraham Avinu. Hashem told him to go far away from where he lived, to another place. There were Nitzutzos waiting for him there!

How can we find OUR Nitzutzos, since Hashem doesn’t tell us where to go?

Certain big Tzadikim know where their shlichus is, and they go there themselves — otherwise only Hashem knows! But we don’t have to worry! Hashem makes things happen Behashgacha Protis so we will end up in the right place to find our Nitzutzos and set them free.

The Rebbe Rashab said this to a melamed who moved from the Vilna area to a town in Cherson to have a job:

This melamed once came to the Rebbe Rashab in yechidus. The Rebbe Rashab asked him if there is a shiur Chassidus every day where he lives. He answered that the Balebatim have a shiur on Shabbos, but since they don’t really like to learn Chassidus they don’t have a shiur every day.

The Rebbe Rashab told him: Do you think you moved to your town just so that you can be a Melamed? Hashem could have given you students where you lived before, and you would have a job as a Melamed there!

Did you think about the fact that Hashem sent you there for a reason?

Then the Rebbe Rashab told him the message of today’s Hayom Yom, that Hashem makes every person end up where they are with a special shlichus they need to accomplish.

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Shiur #116 - Mitzvas Asei #93, #114

We learn one last mitzvah about a Nazir:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #93) When a person finishes his time of being a Nazir, he has to shave off his hair and bring korbanos.

The Rambam learns this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Naso: בְּיוֹם מְלֹאת יְמֵי נִזְרוֹ

We also learn one mitzvah from the next set of halachos:

2) (Mitzvas Asei #114) If a person promises to give Hashem as much money as a certain person is worth, he needs to follow what it says in the Torah about how much money to give.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: אִישׁ כִּי יַפְלִא נֶדֶר בְּעֶרְכְּךָ נְפָשֹׁת וגו׳

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Hilchos Nezirus - Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we finish learning about the Nazir:

Perek Tes: At the end of a person’s Nezirus, he has to bring certain korbanos. The money that is set aside to pay for them, and the animals that he brings, get a special kedusha! So if he set aside too much money for his korbanos, the money has kedusha and can’t be used for other things.

Perek Yud: This is the last perek about the halachos of a Nazir.

There are three times a Nazir might need to shave his hair:

1) At the end of his NezirusTiglachas Tahara
2) If he became tomei in the middle, he shaves all of his hair when he becomes tahorTiglachas Tumah
3) If he becomes tamei from Tzoraas during the time he is a Nazir

The Rambam tells us what happens if he has all three, or if there is a sofek that he might have them — how and when he needs to shave his hair and bring his korbanos.

At the end of this perek, the Rambam tells us that a person who becomes a Nazir for the right reason is very special to Hashem!

We now start a new set of Halachos — Hilchos Erchin VaCharamin — when a person promises to make a donation to Hashem (to help pay for keeping the Beis Hamikdash running). We learn how to find out how much a person is worth, or a field, or other kinds of things. This is also a kind of Neder (promise) — which is what this Sefer of Rambam (Hafla’ah) is all about! This is a kind of promise called Nidrei Hekdesh.

Perek Alef: The Rambam discusses the din of Erkei Adam, the worth of a person. The Rambam tells us from the Chumash how much money to give for each person based on if they are a man or a woman, and how old they are. There is also another kind of neder where we figure out how much someone is worth depending on how much people would pay for them if they were sold as a slave.

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Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Zayin

In the Beis Hamikdash, there were 15 officers in charge of different things — like the Ketores, locking the gates, or taking care of sick kohanim. Each officer had a lot of helpers. The Rambam explains the job of each of these officers.

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Chodesh Cheshvan

In a farbrengen at the beginning of Cheshvan, the Rebbe spoke about this special month:

We just finished a very exciting month with many special Yomim Tovim.

But now that it’s all over, what is there to look forward to? We are back at school and our regular schedule, and it can feel boring.

Well, that’s what Chodesh Cheshvan (which today is its Rosh Chodesh), is all about. Of course having mitzvos that are exciting and fun is important, and Hashem wants us to have them. But being a Yid isn’t just during the times that are exciting. Hashem wants us to show how a Yid acts the way he should even on a regular day when there isn’t anything exciting happening. We don’t get a chance to show that until the month of Cheshvan.

Hashem said to the month of Cheshvan that when Moshiach comes it will get a special thing! What is it?

The Chanukas Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi will be in the month of Cheshvan!

And when we show how a Yid acts even when nothing exciting happens, we make that VERY exciting thing happen much sooner!

See sicha Parshas Noach, Tof-Shin-Mem-Daled

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Getting Things Done

Shlomo Hamelech built the first Beis Hamikdash. His father, Dovid Hamelech, had wanted to do it, but it was only built in the time of Shlomo Hamelech.

The Beis Hamikdash was a huge project! Tens of thousands of people worked on it, with over 3,000 people just in charge of making sure that the workers were doing it right! It took seven years to build it. When it was finally finished, Hashem had a permanent home in the world.

Do you know what month the Beis Hamikdash was finished in? It was in Cheshvan!

The Rebbe tells us that this is a special bracha for the month of Cheshvan — it has in it a segulah to get things of kedusha done! Just like the Beis Hamikdash, a house of kedusha, was completed in this month, this month has the segulah to help finish ALL kinds of Torah and mitzvah projects which spread kedusha in the world!

So if you have a project you want to do, this is the month to work on it. If you are studying for the Chidon, doing a private learning project, or trying to make a new Gemach, the koach of Cheshvan will help you get it done! We should make sure to use this koach as much as possible to accomplish great things in Cheshvan.

See rally Beis Cheshvan Tof-Shin-Mem-Gimmel

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Building Bitachon Through Davening

We know we need to always trust in Hashem, but sometimes it is hard to feel it!

Like we see in Tanya, a good way to make ourselves feel something is to understand it and think about it — then we will start to feel that way too.

To feel our bitachon in Hashem, we can think about how much it makes sense to trust in Hashem, and how it doesn’t make sense to trust in a person!

The Sefer Chovos Halevavos, in the section Shaar HaBitachon, explains the reasons why a person would trust in someone else. The Chovos Halevavos shows us how these reasons are only really true with Hashem!

One reason we might trust someone is because he cares about us and wants to help us. We trust our parents, our teachers, and our friends. We know that they are looking to make sure things are good for us.

But there is one problem: Sometimes a person is trying to help, but he doesn’t know what we really need!

Let’s say my uncle sees me having a hard time with my report. He tells me, “I see that this report is really too hard for you. I will speak to your teacher about it, and in the meantime, you don’t have to finish the report.” Of course, I trust my uncle! He cares about me and wants me to do well in school. I don’t work on the report anymore, I work on something else instead.

But my uncle is just a person! He might not know what is REALLY good for me. Maybe it would be better for me to get used to doing things even when they are hard. Maybe there is another reason why I should continue working on the report. Maybe I will get in trouble for not finishing the report, even if my uncle does speak to the teacher.

I can trust that my uncle wants to help... but I can’t trust that his help will always be what I need!

Hashem is different. Not only does Hashem care about us and want good things for us, Hashem knows exactly what every one of us needs!

When we think about this, it makes a lot of sense to have bitachon in Hashem. Hashem loves us very much. We can trust that Hashem knows what is REALLY good for us, and will give us exactly what we need.

During davening is a very good time to work on our bitachon! The Rebbe told many people that if they make their bitachon in Hashem stronger, it will help bring more of Hashem’s brachos into their lives.

The words of Pesukei Dezimra can help us think about why we should trust Hashem.

One of the pesukim in Pesukei Dezimra that help us think about how Hashem knows just what we need is, “Einei Chol Eilecha Yesabeiru, Ve’ata Nosein Lahem Es Achlam Be’ito.” “Everyone’s eyes turn to You, Hashem, and You give them their food at the right time.” Hashem knows just what each of us needs, and gives it to us just at the right time.

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Yaaleh Veyavo

On Rosh Chodesh, we add Yaaleh Veyavo in Shemoneh Esrei. We ask Hashem for the special brachos of the day!

If we accidentally leave it out in the Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis or Mincha, we might have to say Shemoneh Esrei again! It depends when we realize we missed it:

1) Vesechezenah: If we were in the middle of Vesechezenah, before saying the bracha, we go back to Yaaleh Veyavo and say Vesechezenah again afterwards.

2) After Vesechezenah: If we already said Hashem’s name in the bracha at the end of Vesechezenah (Hamachzir Shechinaso Letzion), we say Yaaleh Veyavo right there, and then go straight onto Modim.

3) Modim: If we already started Modim, and we remembered before finishing Shemoneh Esrei, we go back to Retzei (the paragraph BEFORE Yaaleh Veyavo), and then say those paragraphs again.

4) End of Shemoneh Esrei: If we already said the second Yihiyu Leratzon (the one after we say our name posuk, right before Oseh Shalom), we need to go back to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei.

See Derech Hachaim, printed in the siddur

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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There are two reasons why Hashem brings rainbows.

The first one is what we learned in today’s Chumash, Chamishi of Parshas Noach, to show that Hashem will never bring another Mabul to destroy the world. Rainbows that come from this reason are not a happy sign — they are a sign that people really need to do teshuvah, and Hashem needs to have Rachmanus on them so they won’t be punished.

The Zohar also tells us another, much happier, reason why Hashem sends rainbows: The Zohar says that when it’s time for the Yidden to come out of Golus, a rainbow with bright colors will appear in the sky. When you see that rainbow, you should hope for Moshiach!

See Zohar parshas Noach 72b and Sefer Hasichos 5752 p. 66 ha’arah 100

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