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Parshas Emor - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about some of the Yomim Tovim!

First Hashem reminds us to keep Shabbos. Rashi tells us that the reason why Hashem tells us about Shabbos right before telling us about the Yomim Tovim is to show us that we have to be just as careful to keep Yom Tov as we are to keep Shabbos. Even though Shabbos is holy automatically the way Hashem set it up, and the Yomim Tovim only become holy when the Beis Din decides when Rosh Chodesh should be, they still need to be kept just as carefully.

Now we start to go through the Yomim Tovim, starting with Pesach:

PesachErev Pesach, we bring a Korban Pesach. Then on Tes-Vov Nissan, Pesach starts! It is called Chag Hamatzos, and we only eat matzah (not chometz) all 7 days. The first day and the seventh day are Yom Tov, and we can’t do melacha. Every day of Pesach there is a special korban.

For places outside of Eretz Yisroel, Pesach is eight days. Do you know why?

Korban Haomer — Before we can eat the grain (like wheat or barley) that grows in a field, we need to first bring the Korban Ha’omer. On the second day of Pesach, we bring an Omer (a certain amount) of the new grain to the kohen. The kohen waves the Omer like a Lulav, as a present for Hashem. Along with the Omer of grain, we also bring a sheep as a korban. Then we are allowed to eat from the new grain.

This is called “Chodosh.” There is a machlokes among Chachomim whether this needs to be kept outside of Eretz Yisroel or not.

Sefiras Haomer — Starting from the day we bring the Korban Ha’omer, we need to count 7 weeks (49 days).

Shavuos — On the fiftieth day of our counting is the Yom Tov of Shavuos. We need to bring another special korban: Two loaves of bread (Shtei Halechem), 7 lambs, one bull, and 2 rams! We also need to bring a Yom Tov korban — a goat and two lambs. The kohen has to wave the bread and the two lambs before bringing the korban. On Shavuos we can’t do melacha.

The Torah reminds us again about the Matnos Aniyim, the parts of our fields that belong to the poor: When we pick what grows in our fields, we need to leave one of the corners (Pe’ah) and whatever falls down (Leket) or was forgotten (Shichecha) for the poor people to take!

Rashi tells us that the Torah reminds us about these mitzvos right here, when we learn about the Yom Tov korbanos, to teach us that if someone is careful with these mitzvos it is like they built the Beis Hamikdash and brought korbanos in it!



79 - 82

In Kapitel Pey-Alef (81), the posuk says “Tiku BaChodesh Shofar, Bakeseh LeYom Chageinu. Ki Chok LeYisroel Hu, Mishpat Leilokei Yaakov.” These pesukim are talking about blowing the shofar, which is the mitzvah of Rosh Hashana.

The Gemara says that it is also talking about the parnasa that every Yid will have for the coming year. There is an argument in the Gemara whether a person is judged on Rosh Hashana, or every day, or even every hour!

Chassidus explains in many places that it’s really not an argument — they’re just talking about different things! In Ruchnius, on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it is decided what a person will have. But based on how they act every day and every moment, it is decided whether that Ruchnius koach he deserves will come into Gashmius and give him parnasa, or stay in Ruchnius for Gan Eden.

Some people think that since Hashem decided on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur how much parnasa they will have, it doesn’t matter if they daven properly or join a shiur in Torah or do other mitzvos. Either they will get it or they won’t get it!

But that’s not true! Even if in Shomayim it was decided that a person will get a lot, if he doesn’t earn Hashem’s bracha, he won’t get the bracha in Gashmius. And the opposite is also true — even if someone isn’t supposed to get a lot, with Hashem’s bracha that little bit can help him even more than a lot would!

See maamar of the Alter Rebbe, “Kad Nahir Yomama D’Shabbata”



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Ches

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us more about how Hashem’s chayus is hidden in the world. It has to be hidden, because the chayus from Ein Sof is too much for the world to handle! The Alter Rebbe teaches us that there are two kinds of chayus:

1) Memalei Kol Almin — This means that every thing in the world has its own special kind of chayus! This chayus makes a tree different than a stone, and a person different than an animal.

2) Sovev Kol Almin — This kind of chayus is the same for EVERYTHING Hashem makes. The Sovev chayus is what makes the Gashmius world exist Yeish Me’ayin, something from nothing!

This main chayus of Hashem is very strong, and it needs to be hidden because otherwise the world wouldn’t be able to exist in front of such a strong light of Hashem!

Here is a mashal for this kind of chayus: Imagine you go to a park and look around at everything so you won’t forget. Later, when you go home, you can close your eyes and think about how the whole park looks. It’s like the whole park is in your mind! You can see the WHOLE thing at one time!

The same way, Hashem knows the WHOLE world! Hashem knows about the entire world and every single thing inside — all at once!

But there is a very important difference: The park doesn’t change because you know about it. But with the world, the fact that Hashem knows about it is what makes it exist! This is the chayus of Sovev Kol Almin.

Even though Sovev Kol Almin is a much stronger chayus than the first one, it is COMPLETELY hidden in the world!



Tes-Zayin Iyar

Today is thirty-one days of the Omer!

After the Rebbe Rashab cut his nails, he would put a small piece of wood (like the match) inside before burning them.


The Rebbe Maharash had a Chossid named R’ Elya Abeler.

Once when he came into Yechidus, the Rebbe Maharash told him: “Elya, I am jealous of you! Hashem gave you something so special which I don’t even have! You are a business person, so you need to go to many places to do your business.

“Sometimes in the middle of talking to someone about business, you start to tell him a Yiddishevort” or a story from the Gemara, and make him excited to learn Torah!

“That makes me jealous of you, because when you do that, it brings Hashem so much nachas and Hashem gives you so many brachos for it.”



Shiur #293 - Mitzvas Asei #244

Today’s mitzvah in Sefer Hamitzvos (Mitzvas Asei #244) is the same as yesterday — that someone who borrows something needs to follow the halachos about borrowing.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְכִי יִשְׁאַל אִישׁ מֵעִם רֵעֵהוּ

The halachos are explained in Perek Ches of Mesechta Bava Metziah, and Perek Ches of Mesechta Shevuos.



Hilchos She'eilah Upikadon

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about borrowing (“shoel”), and we also learn about a person who watches something without being paid for watching it (“shomer chinam”).

Perek Gimmel teaches us what happens if an animal we borrowed dies. If the animal died during the time it was borrowed, the person has to pay! The Rambam teaches exactly when the borrowing is considered to have started.

Perek Daled is about a Shomer Chinam, who watches something for another person without getting paid for his work.

If you watch something for someone else, you need to be very careful with it — even more careful than if it was yours! The halacha is that if you put something that belongs to someone else in a not safe place, and it got lost or stolen — even if it wasn’t your fault! — you need to pay for it.

So for example if someone asked you to watch their pencil for a few minutes, and you just left it outside in the playground, it is your fault if it gets lost or stolen.

Perek Hey teaches us what happens if something gets robbed from us while we are watching it for another person.



Hilchos Maachalos Asuros - Perek Yud-Beis

This perek has many halachos about when wine becomes Yayin Nesech.




In this week’s parsha, Parshas Emor, we learn mitzvos that are special for kohanim.

In the beginning of the parsha, Hashem says, “Emor El Hakohanim,” You should speak to the kohanim, “Ve’amarta Aleihem,” and you should say to them.

Rashi brings a reason why it needs to say (twice) “Emor” AND “Ve’amarta.” The Chachomim teach that it is “Lehazhir Hagedolim Al Haketanim,” that the kohanim need to warn their children to be careful to follow the mitzvos of the kohanim, just like the adults.

The word the Chachomim use is “Lehazhir,” to warn. Why don’t they use a word like “to teach” or “to tell”? The word “Lehazhir” can also mean light (like Zohar). It teaches us that if the adults will teach their children properly, it won’t only help their children — it will bring light to the adults too!

This is a lesson in chinuch for everyone, not just kohanim. When we are busy with chinuch, it lights us up too!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Zayin p. 151

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Vehinei Hashem

Some people think that taking a few minutes before davening to think about how great Hashem is, and how small we are next to Him, is a very special bonus avodah we can do.

But that’s not true! It IS a special avodah, but it isn’t a bonus — we need to! It is a halacha in Shulchan Aruch that before we daven, we need to think about these things. It’s PART of davening!

Here’s why: The chachomim tell us that during Shmoneh Esrei, we need to stand “like a servant before his master.” The only way a person can feel like a servant is by thinking about Hashem and realizing that He is our Master, and we are only servants! Our whole life is to serve Hashem by doing the jobs (the mitzvos) He asked us to do.

The Alter Rebbe tells us an easy way to do this (in Likutei Amarim, perek Mem-Alef): Think about all of the great things in the world Hashem made — hurricanes, thunder, huge waterfalls, tall mountains, oceans and everything inside... and about the amazing ruchnius Hashem made: Tzadikim, the secrets of Torah, Gan Eden...

Now think about how ALL of that was made so that YOU could do your job! Hashem is looking at YOU and wants you to do your best to do it!

This is the message of the posuk Vehinei of the Yud-Beis Pesukim.

(Of course this is true all the time, not just during davening! But especially when we daven, we need to make sure to think about it, because davening is the start of our day.)

Based on a sicha of Lamed Tishrei, 5742




It is the Chabad minhag to light at least some of our Shabbos candles on the table.

But if there are candles resting on the table, the whole table can become a bosis to the muktza! Then the table would be muktza too, and we wouldn’t be able to move it on Shabbos.

(The real problem is the flames, which are Muktza Machmas Isur. This is a strict kind of muktza that can’t be moved for any reason. Candlesticks are only a Keili Shemelachto L’isur, which CAN be moved if you need the space, as long as they are not a bosis to the flames. But since the table is also a bosis to the flames, the whole table can’t be moved at all.)

That’s why we also have a minhag to put the challos on the table before Licht Bentchen. Since the challos are more important than the flames, and they are also resting on the table, the table doesn’t become a bosis only to the muktza. This way we are able to move the table on Shabbos if we need to.

Based on Halacha shiur from Rabbi Y. Schusterman, muktza part V

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



Kibbutz Galuyos

The Navi Yeshaya said a famous nevuah about Kibbutz Galuyos, Hashem gathering back all of the Yidden when Moshiach comes. This is the second posuk of this nevuah:

וְנָשָֹא נֵס לַגּוֹיִם וְאָסַף נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּנְפֻצוֹת יְהוּדָה יְקַבֵּץ מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ

Venasa Neis LagoyimMoshiach will let the goyim know to bring him Yidden that they know about, as a favor to him

Ve’asaf Nidchei Yisrael — And he will gather the lost Yidden

Unefutzos Yehuda Yekabeitz — And he will gather the scattered Yidden

Me’Arba Kanfos Ha’aretz — From the four corners of the world.

Wherever the Yidden are, Moshiach will gather them together. Even the goyim will help to make sure that we have every single Yid!

See Yeshayahu perek Yud-Alef, posuk Yud-Beis, and Rashi there

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