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Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem chooses Moshe to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem appears to Moshe in a burning bush and tells him to go to Paraoh.

Hashem wanted to pick someone to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem now looked to see if Moshe was a good choice.

The way someone treats animals, who can’t take care of themselves, is the way they will treat people they lead. Hashem saw that Moshe was very careful with every sheep, and knew he would be a good choice to lead the Yidden.

Moshe would take the sheep into the desert so they wouldn’t eat from other people’s fields.

One day he came to a mountain called Har Chorev (this would later become Har Sinai, the mountain from which Hashem would give the Yidden the Torah).

On the mountain, Moshe saw a thorn bush that was on fire. A malach of Hashem appeared to him through the fire. Moshe saw that even though the bush was on fire, the fire wasn’t burning up the bush!

Moshe realized that he needed to stop what he was doing and pay attention to this Ruchnius’dike thing: Why wasn’t the bush being burned up?

Moshe understood that Hashem was appearing through a malach in a prickly bush to show that He is with the Yidden in the painful Golus. But Moshe couldn’t understand — if Hashem is with the Yidden, how can there be a Golus? If Hashem, like a flame of fire, is in the painful Golus, how come the Golus is not getting burned up and ended?

When Hashem saw that Moshe was trying to understand, Hashem called out to him from the bush. He called in a loving way, “Moshe, Moshe!” Moshe answered with humility, “Here I am. I am ready to hear what Hashem has to say.”

Hashem told Moshe not to come too close. Moshe should take off his shoes, because this is a very holy place! Then He said to Moshe, “I am Hashem, the Aibishter of the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.” Moshe hid his face because he was afraid to look at Hashem!

Hashem told Moshe that He saw how the Yidden in Mitzrayim are suffering so much. Hashem now wants to take them out of there, and bring them to Eretz Yisroel. He told Moshe to tell Paraoh to let the Yidden go.

Moshe said, “Am I able to go speak to Paraoh without getting hurt? And do the Yidden deserve to come out of Mitzrayim?”

Hashem said, “Don’t worry, I will go with you. The burning bush that you see, where the bush isn’t getting burned by the fire, is a sign for you that you won’t get hurt.

“The Yidden deserve to come out of Mitzrayim because they are coming out to serve Hashem, to get the Torah and do its mitzvos.”

Moshe asked Hashem, “When I come to the Yidden, they are going to ask me how Hashem could let such terrible things happen. What should I tell them?”

Hashem answered, “Tell them that even though they can’t always tell, I am always with them in Golus.”



88 - 89

Today’s kapitelach are Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

One of the things it talks about in Kapitel Pey-Tes (89) is how Hashem gave the melucha (being kings) to Dovid Hamelech and his children. “Zaro Leolam Yihiyeh, Vechiso Kashemesh Negdi” — “His children will be forever, and his throne like the sun before me.”

Moshiach (Melech Hamoshiach) comes from Dovid Hamelech, so Hashem’s promise to Dovid Hamelech really does go forever! Melech HaMoshiach comes from the family of Dovid!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Alef

We learned that in a tzadik the Yetzer Tov becomes so strong, that the Yetzer Hara becomes very weak and has no say to stop him from doing mitzvos!

Today we learn that the OPPOSITE can happen if a person lets a Yetzer Hara behave however it wants: It can get so strong that it will always be in charge of what the person does, and the Yetzer Tov won’t be able to say anything to stop him. This is what the Alter Rebbe calls a Rasha.

By some people the Yetzer Hara can be in charge only once in a while, or only with a small aveira. For other people, the Yetzer Hara can be in charge more often, and with bigger, more serious aveiros.

We said that with a tzadik, even though the Yetzer Tov is in charge there could still be some Yetzer Hara left inside. That’s called a Tzadik Vera Lo. That means that he is a tzadik, but there is still something bad inside.

With a Rasha the opposite is true. Even though the Yetzer Hara is in charge, the Yetzer Tov is still inside. It can make the person think and feel good things, even if it’s not strong enough to keep the person from doing the wrong thing. This is a Rasha VeTov Lo.

That’s why a person feels bad after he does an aveira. The good that’s inside of him is making him feel like he acted in the wrong way.

But there are different levels in Rasha VeTov Lo. By one person, the Yetzer Tov that is inside may be strong enough to give the person enough koach to do a proper teshuvah, and not do it again. By another person, he may just feel bad, but not be strong enough to do teshuvah properly and stop acting in his bad ways.

Then there is a Rasha VeRa Lo. This is someone who got so used to doing the wrong thing that the Yetzer Hara pushed the Yetzer Tov out. He can’t feel the good inside of him anymore, and won’t even feel bad for doing the aveira.

Still, the Yetzer Tov doesn’t COMPLETELY leave a Yid. Even in the Rasha VeRa Lo, it is still there, connected to him, even though he can’t feel it. That’s why he is still counted as a part of a minyan and can bring the Shechina down when there are ten Yidden together.

So what does a person do if his Yetzer Tov isn’t strong enough? What if he’s so used to doing something he shouldn’t be doing, that he can’t control himself? One thing he can do is to get help from someone else to help his Yetzer Tov become stronger, so he will be able to choose to do the right thing again! (Like we learned in Hayom Yom, when two people talk together to become stronger in their Avodas Hashem, there are two Yetzer Tovs fighting against one Yetzer Hara.)



Yud-Ches Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how to be full of life, even in Golus!

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, today was Shabbos Parshas Vayechi.

First we learn a minhag about Kriyas HaTorah: The person who gets the last Aliyah of the Chumash says Chazak Chazak Venis’chazek together with the rest of the minyan.

We also learn a minhag about Shabbos davening: In Maariv of Motzei Shabbos, we say the posukOrech Yomim” two times — but not when we say this posuk in Shacharis on Shabbos. (Do you know where we say this posuk?)


When the Tzemach Tzedek was a boy, his teacher taught him, according to the pirush of the Baal Haturim, that Yaakov lived the best years of his life when he was in Mitzrayim. The Tzemach Tzedek couldn’t understand how living in a kelipah-filled place like Mitzrayim could be the best part, and he asked his zeideh, the Alter Rebbe.

The Alter Rebbe answered him that Yaakov was able to live his best years in Mitzrayim because he first sent Yehudah to set up a yeshiva there. The words of the posuk that teach us this (Lehoros Lefanav Goshna) can also be explained that “when we learn Torah (lehoros) we come close (goshna) to Hashem!”

Yaakov had the Torah, which is called a Torah of life, in Mitzrayim. Learning Torah brings a Yid closer to Hashem than anything else! Because he had Torah in Mitzrayim, he was able to have Vayechi — a life, and the best part of his life — in Mitzrayim.

That’s also how we are able to be full of life, even in Golus: With the koach of Torah which connects us to Hashem!



Mitzvas Asei #115, #116, #117

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn about three of the many kinds of presents a person can give to the Beis Hamikdash. The mitzvah is to follow the halachos if we give these kinds of presents.

We learn all of these mitzvos from pesukim in Parshas Bechukosai:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #115) If someone gives a non-kosher animal (like a horse), or an animal that has a mum and can’t be brought as a korban, he needs to follow the halachos of how it can be given as a present.

The words of the Torah we learn this from are: וְהֶעֱמִיד אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱרִיךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָהּ

We learn the details of this mitzvah in Mesechta Temurah and Me’ilah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #116) If someone promises to give a house to the Beis Hamikdash he has to follow the halachos of how this present is given.

We learn this from the words: וְאִישׁ כִּי יַקְדִּשׁ אֶת בֵּיתוֹ קֹדֶשׁ לַה׳ וְהֶעֱרִיכוֹ הַכֹּהֵן

The Gemara explains the details of this mitzvah and the next one in Mesechta Erkim.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #117) If someone promises to give a field to the Beis Hamikdash he has to keep the halachos of how to give it as a present.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: וְאִם מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳ וְאִם אֶת שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וגו׳

We learn the halachos about this mitzvah in today’s Rambam; we will IY”H learn about houses and animals in tomorrow’s Rambam.



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we are learning more halachos about someone who promises to make a donation to the Beis Hamikdash, as much as someone is worth. We also start learning the halachos about if someone donates a field.

Perek Beis: We learn about someone who says they want to give as much as PART of a person is worth (like his arms), or how much a person weighs. At the end of the perek, we learn halachos of different rooms in the Beis Hamikdash that were used for different kinds of donations.

Perek Gimmel: What if I promised to give as much as my baby brother is worth to the Beis Hamikdash — and didn’t actually give it until my brother was older? Do I give as much as a baby is worth, or how much a kid is worth? The Rambam teaches us that the amount is based on when he made the promise to give, not when the Beis Din wants to take it. We also learn what happens if someone can’t afford to give the donation in the end, or if his present was lost or stolen. Sometimes the Beis Din needs to take his things instead of his money.

Perek Daled: Now we learn the halachos of someone donating his field to the Beis Hamikdash. There are two kinds of fields — a Sedei Achuzah that someone got as a yerusha (like after his parents passed away) or a Sedei Mikna that a person bought or got from hefker.



Hilchos Klei Hamikdash - Perek Ches

Now we learn about the clothes of the kohanim. The clothes had to be perfectly neat and clean — otherwise their Avodah was no good! The Rambam teaches us about the materials they were made of, and where they were kept. The clothes the Kohen Gadol wore on Yom Kippur were only worn ONCE, and then they had to be buried! The clothes of the kohanim wouldn’t get washed — once they got dirty, they were made into wicks. In the Beis Hamikdash, they had a very organized way to store all the clothes!



Raising Kids to Torah

The Rebbe tells us about the plan of the modern-day Paraoh.

In Parshas Shemos, we learn how Paraoh made a terrible gezeira against the Yidden. He wanted to throw all the baby boys into the Nilus.

Nowadays, we also a have a rasha, our Yetzer Hara, who wants us to throw our children into the Nilus!

What does that mean?

Being very busy with parnasa is like drowning in water. Our Yetzer Hara wants us to throw our babies into looking for parnasa, even when they are little kids! It wants us to raise our kids to have a good job, instead of raising them to Torah.

Really, it is HASHEM Who gives parnasa. If we do what Hashem asks us to do, then Hashem will also listen to what we are asking for, and will give us and our children parnasa and all of the things we want and need.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 111


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Modeh Ani

A person should get used to saying Modeh Ani right away when he wakes up. After he finishes saying Modeh Ani, he should get up b’zerizus, quickly, to go serve Hashem!

Even though we really need to start our day with zerizus, we shouldn’t jump right out of bed. It isn’t healthy to go from lying down to standing up too suddenly. We take a few seconds first to say Modeh Ani while sitting or lying down, and only then do we quickly get up to do our Avodas Hashem.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman alef, se’if vov



Checking Pockets

The melacha of Hotza’ah (carrying) has many details! One of the very practical things about this melacha is what the Gemara says in Mesechta Shabbos, and is also brought in halacha:

In a beraisa, R’ Chananya says that a person needs to check the pockets of his clothes before Shabbos, to make sure that nothing is inside. This way he won’t accidentally walk outside with things in his pockets, which is the melacha of hotza’ah. R’ Yosef says about this, “Hilchesa Rabsa LeShabbata,” how great is this halacha, which keeps a person from doing an aveira on Shabbos!

See Shabbos 12a and the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Shabbos 252:20

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



Dedication to Chinuch Will Bring the Geulah

The Gemara in Sotah says that it was in the zechus of the righteous women that we left Mitzrayim! “Bizchus Noshim Tzidkonios Shehayu Be’oso Hador, Nigalu Avoseinu MiMitzrayim.”

What did they do that was so special?

Even though Paraoh made a wicked gezeira that their children would be thrown into the water, the women just ignored it! They continued having children anyway, not thinking about what would be.

We can learn from them how to bring the Geulah nowadays!

The world says that we need to worry about what will happen with our children when they get older, if we don’t teach them secular subjects so they can make a good parnasa. We should ignore them! We should educate our children to have a chayus in Torah and mitzvos, and Hashem will take care of the children (and parents too!) with whatever they need at the right time.

This will both save our own children and bring the Geulah for all of the Yidden!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 113

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