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Parshas Vaeira - Sheini with Rashi

In Parshas Vaeira, we are starting to learn about the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim! But first we will learn about the people who Hashem chose to be the ones to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim: Moshe and Aharon.

The Torah tells us about Moshe and Aharon’s family. They were from Shevet Levi, an important shevet. They were also from Amram’s family, the leader of the Yidden at that time. This made the Yidden able to respect them. Moshe and Aharon grew up in a house of Torah, a house of Yiras Shomayim, and a family that had Mesiras Nefesh to help other Yidden.

Now that the Torah tells us that both Moshe and Aharon were the right people to have this special shlichus from Hashem, we are ready to learn what happened next.



120 - 134

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Chof to Kuf-Lamed-Daled, the 15 Shir Hamaalos!

In the Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchok, before each kapitel there is a short paragraph telling us the message of that kapitel.

In the paragraph before Kapitel Kuf-Chof, the first kapitel of Tehillim for today, it says that in this kapitel, Dovid Hamelech tells people who speak Lashon Hara how terrible this aveira is, that it is even more dangerous than weapons.

In Parshas Shemos, we learned that Moshe Rabbeinu was also very upset about Lashon Hara. When he heard that Yidden were speaking Lashon Hara, he was afraid that it could Chas Veshalom keep them from getting the Geulah!

Why was Moshe so scared about Lashon Hara? The Yidden might have been doing much bigger aveiros than that!

The Rebbe explains that the Geulah from Mitzrayim was meant to bring the Yidden together to become one nation — Hashem’s nation. Instead of being just a big group of separate people, now they would become Am Yisroel!

But Lashon Hara, saying not-nice things about others, makes people feel unhappy with each other. They don’t want to be together anymore. Instead of being together as one, they feel like separate people who aren’t connected to each other.

That’s why Moshe was so worried about the Yidden speaking Lashon Hara — how could they have the Geulah and become one nation if they didn’t want to be together?

In this kapitel also, Dovid Hamelech warns people who speak Lashon Hara how dangerous it is. We can learn from this kapitel to be careful to only say nice things about each other!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Lamed-Alef p. 8



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Zayin

On the Shaar Blatt of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe told us that the Tanya is based on the posuk (which is one of the Yud-Beis Pesukim!) “Ki Karov Eilecha Hadavar Meod, Beficha Uvilvavcha Laasoso — It is very close to you (possible), in your mouth and your heart to do it.”

How can we say that it’s very close IN OUR HEARTS? We can understand that it is very possible to DO what Hashem wants. We can speak words of Torah, we can even be careful what we think about in our minds. But how can we control what goes on in our hearts, to control how we FEEL?

Do you know how you love your mother and father, your brothers and sisters, or your best friend? You might love them because they’re your family, but to feel it more, you can think about how special they are, how much they do for you, and how much you like being around them. And even if they’re not there, you can really feel how you love them.

Tzadikim can love Hashem as much as we love our parents, but not every beinoni can. A Beinoni knows he SHOULD love Hashem, but he can’t feel it the same way a Tzadik can. (Every Yid has a natural love for Hashem — just because he’s a Yid. But it’s hidden.) So how can a beinoni serve Hashem “bilvavcha,” with his heart? It doesn’t seem practical for every Yid!

The Alter Rebbe explains that for a beinoni, you don’t have to FEEL that kind of love. You just need to be mature enough in your Yiddishkeit to appreciate your connection with Hashem and be motivated to do what Hashem wants you to do. In Tanya that’s called the Ahava of Laasoso — it’s just enough motivation to get you to act like the Yid you’re supposed to be.

The Alter Rebbe gives a mashal to explain this inyan from Tanya in a different maamar:

Some adults LOVE their jobs. They are so excited to go work every morning! But most people don’t love what they do. They don’t hate it, but it doesn’t get them excited. So why do they do it? They know that it’s important, they know that they need to get paid for their job, and they also know that people are depending on them. In their mind they appreciate it, so even if they are feeling lazy or not in the mood, they show maturity. They may not be excited, but what they know motivates them to do the right thing.

The same thing is with Yiddishkeit for a beinoni! Even if the beinoni is feeling lazy or not in the mood, he can still serve Hashem “bilvavecha.” If he learned in Chassidus that it’s important for his neshama to be connected to Hashem through davening, learning, or doing mitzvos, that will motivate him later, even when he’s not in the mood. For a beinoni, acting the way Hashem wants because of this Ruchnius maturity which he gets from learning Chassidus or going to a farbrengen or davening, is counted as serving Hashem with his heart.



Chof-Zayin Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn a vort from the Alter Rebbe:

Hashem has an ongoing deal with Yidden: We need our gashmius’dike things that only Hashem can give us (like health, money, and nachas). Hashem needs us to bring Yiddishkeit, Torah and mitzvos, into the world — ruchnius!

The problem is that we can’t do our ruchnius unless Hashem gives us the gashmius.

So this is the deal: Hashem gives us the gashmius, and then, we use it to do the things Hashem wants, and the gashmius becomes ruchnius. Then a Yid’s Gashmius IS Ruchnius!

Sometimes, though, Hashem gives a person only a little bit of gashmius. Then, it’s HARDER to make Ruchnius, and we might not be able to give Hashem as much! Still, if we are able to at least give Hashem something small (like the Minchas Ani, the korban a poor person would bring to Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash), that will make Hashem very happy.

Then Hashem will give us A LOT of gashmius and we will be able to make from it A LOT of ruchnius.



Shiur #186 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #109, Asei #69

Today we learn two mitzvos!

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #109) The tenth animal is called Maaser Beheima, and needs to be brought as a korban to Hashem. Today we learn that it is asur to sell it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bechukosai: לֹא יִגָּאֵל

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros and in the beginning of Mesechta Maaser Sheini.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #69) If someone does a certain aveira (an aveira that usually gets punished with Kareis) by mistake, he has to bring a Korban Chatas.

We learn mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְאִם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת תֶּחֱטָא בִשְׁגָגָה מֵעַם הָאָרֶץ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Horayos and Mesechta Kerisus, and in a few places in Mesechta Shabbos, Shevuos, and Zevachim.



Hilchos Bechoros - Shegagos

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about the Maaser for animals, and start learning about the Korban that a person brings if they do an Aveira by mistake.

Perek Ches: In the last perek of Bechoros, we see what happens if someone isn’t sure if an animal is Maaser or not. For example if someone counted wrong, or if other animals got mixed together.

The next set of halachos, Hilchos Shegagos, teaches us about five different korbanos that a person brings if he did certain aveiros.

Perek Alef: We learn which aveiros a person does that would make him chayav to bring a Korban Chatas. Usually it is only brought for a Mitzvas Lo Saasei which is punished by Kareis, but not a Mitzvas Asei. One of the exceptions to that is the Korban Pesach.

Perek Beis: The Rambam tells us the halacha in case of a safek, if someone is not sure if he needs to bring a Korban Chatas or not.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Ches

In this perek, we learn about the types of months. Some months are malei (full), with 30 days, and other months are chaseir (missing) with 29 days. During the year the months go in a pattern, one month malei, and then one month chaseir.

But there are two months that can change — Cheshvan and Kislev. Sometimes both are malei, sometimes both are chaseir, and sometimes they follow the regular pattern, with Cheshvan being chaseir and Kislev being malei. This kind of year is called “Kesidran,” “in order,” because then all of the months follow the pattern!



Story the Rebbe Told Us

One night, when the Rebbe was in Vienna, he went into a shul to daven. While he was there, he put some money into a tzedakah pushka.

A knowledgable young man came over to him, and said, “How can you do such a thing? It says in Kisvei HoArizal not to give tzedakah at night!”

Later the Rebbe told the Frierdiker Rebbe what had happened. The Frierdiker Rebbe said, “That person probably doesn’t give tzedakah during the day either...”

The lesson the Rebbe learns from this is that sometimes when we want to do something good, people can say that we shouldn’t do it since we’re not doing it 100% right. But probably that’s because they aren’t doing enough themselves, not because of the excuses they are giving! So we should never let that stop us, and keep doing more good things, even if people tell us it’s not perfect!


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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Review

We are reviewing the meaning of the last four pesukim, the last two of each set that the Rebbe taught us, which come from Chassidus. Chassidus shows us the neshama, the deeper meaning of Torah, and helps us to use our mind and heart and all of our inner kochos in serving Hashem!

Ki Karov Eilecha — Torah and mitzvos are very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it.

This posuk, which is the foundation of Tanya, tells us that we are able to serve Hashem with our mind and heart and all of our kochos.

In the earlier pesukim, we learned about the Avodah of a Yid, about how precious Torah and mitzvos are, and how we should learn it in a way of Yogaati! In the posuk of Ki Karov, we learn not just to learn Torah and do mitzvos, but to do it BILVAVCHA, with a feeling in our heart!

We use our mind to understand the greatness of Hashem and how important Torah and mitzvos are, making us feel that we want to be close to Hashem and do what we are supposed to with a feeling of Ahava and Yirah.

The posuk that matches this, which the Rebbe taught a few weeks later, is the posuk of Vezeh.

Vezeh Kol Ha’adam — The purpose of a person and the entire Creation, the higher Ruchnius worlds and this Gashmius world, is all that we should make it into a Dira Betachtonim, a place for Hashem!

From this posuk we see that serving Hashem with our own neshama and all of our kochos is also the “neshama” and the purpose of the whole Creation!

When we know this, it will make us feel fulfilled and happy with what we are doing! We realize this is IT! We don’t need to look anywhere else, we are fulfilling the Tachlis of Hashem’s Creation!



Looking at the Neiros During Kiddush

The next thing we will be learning in halacha are some of the dinim of Kiddush and Havdalah.

When a person is making Kiddush, he first looks at the Shabbos candles, the neiros.


The Chachomim teach us that there is a certain thing that a person might do which takes away Tof-Kuf (1/500th) of their eyesight. So a person should look at the two Shabbos candles, since the Gematria of “ner” (candle) is 250, and two together is 500. Looking at the 500 of the neiros is a segulah for fixing the 1/500th of a person’s koach of seeing!

But we don’t look at the neiros WHILE we make Kiddush. During the bracha of Kiddush itself, we need to look at the kos of Kiddush. We only look at it right before we make Kiddush.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Yud-Tes

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



Recognizing Hashem

When the Yidden came out of Mitzrayim, another wonderful thing happened: The Mitzriyim also recognized Hashem and realized that only Hashem runs the world!

But in that Geulah, it only happened through painful Makos.

When Moshiach comes, the Geulah will be in a complete way! The whole world will recognize Hashem — but this time, without Makos, only in a pleasant way!

Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Hey p. 189

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