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Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about what happens if someone is so poor he sells himself as a slave!

We are not allowed to treat him like a slave, and make him do things like put on our shoes for us or do things we don’t really need just so he will be busy. We have to treat a Jewish slave in a much nicer way, like a regular worker. We even need to make sure his children have food to eat. If we need someone to do work like a slave, we need to buy a non-Jewish slave.

Just like with fields and houses, in a Yovel year a Jewish slave goes free.

If a non-Jew who lives in Eretz Yisroel buys a Jewish slave, the Torah tells us to pay the non-Jew so he can go free. We shouldn’t wait until Yovel (even though non-Jews who live in Eretz Yisroel ALSO need to keep Yovel) because he might learn to act like a non-Jew.

When we buy him back, we need to make sure we don’t make a Chillul Hashem, and pay the non-Jew a fair price. Since he thought he was buying a slave until Yovel, we should pay him back for whatever time there is left.

We aren’t allowed to see a non-Jew treating a Jewish slave badly without doing something about it.

But if nobody buys him back, he goes free in Yovel, like we said. Because Yidden are HASHEM’S servants, and shouldn’t be servants to other people!

We also start Parshas Bechukosai today, since it’s a double parsha!

Hashem promises that if we put a lot of effort into learning Torah and follow the mitzvos the Torah teaches us, Hashem will give us many brachos!

Hashem will make rain fall for our fields during times when the rain won’t bother anyone, at night when people don’t usually need to be outside. Hashem will even make the rain fall just on days when everyone is home, like late Friday night!

Even though this isn’t a lot of rain, Hashem will make the fields grow plenty of food — and Hashem promises that we will feel safe and be able to enjoy it!

Hashem will keep us from needing to be afraid. Hashem will send away the wild animals, and make other armies stay away from us. If we go outside of Eretz Yisroel to fight, we won’t even have to kill the enemies — they will kill each other! We will be much stronger than the enemies, and the more careful we are with the mitzvos, the stronger we will be!

Hashem will give us many healthy children, in reward for working hard to learn and follow the Torah. In fact, Hashem will help us by making the mitzvos so much a part of us that it will be hard to do an aveira!



113 - 118

In today’s Tehillim, we say the kapitelach of Hallel!

In the second Kapitel, we talk about how the Yidden went out of Mitzrayim and crossed the Yam Suf. The posuk says “Hoysa Yehudah LeKodsho, Yisroel Mamshelosav. HaYam Ra’ah Vayanos.” The translation is, “Yehuda (the Yidden) became Hashem’s holy nation, Yisroel (another name for the Yidden) became His kingdom. The sea saw and ran away!”

The Gemara in Sotah (which we’re learning during Sefiras Haomer) explains this posuk:

When the Yidden were standing by the Yam Suf, they didn’t know what to do. The Mitzriyim were running after them, and they couldn’t go anywhere because they were stuck by the water! Moshe Rabbeinu was davening to Hashem. Nachshon ben Aminadav, from Shevet Yehudah, decided to just keep doing what Hashem told them before, and keep going. He jumped into the water and kept going! Hashem made the neis of Kriyas Yam Suf and the sea split.

Hashem gave Nachshon a reward for what he did, that the Yiddishe kings will later come from Shevet Yehudah.

So the Gemara explains the posuk: “Hashem made the Shevet of Yehudah holy, that he will rule Yisroel (the Yidden). Why? Because ‘Hayam Ra’ah Vayanos’ — ‘the sea saw that he was making a Kiddush Hashem’ and ran away (split).”



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Alef

In today’s Tanya we learn part of a mashal that will help us understand how although Hashem is everywhere, the Shechinah is revealed in certain places.

Hashem gave every one of us a Neshama, which is what gives us chayus and makes us alive.

But there are TWO kinds of chayus that we get from the neshama — one kind of chayus that is the same for every part of us, that just makes us alive, and a second kind of chayus that gives each part of us exactly the kochos it needs (like the koach to see for our eyes, or to hear for our ears).

The main place where this second kind of chayus is the head. All of the kochos are there, hiding. They spread out to the right parts of the body so it will work the way Hashem made it. Even the heart, which is so important, gets its chayus from the head! (This is what we learned before in Tanya, that the mind has a koach to rule over the heart.)

We will soon see that the Beis Hamikdash is like the “head” of the world!



Chof-Daled Iyar

On Chof-Daled Iyar we count thirty-nine days of the Omer!

We go through some minhagim for this Shabbos:

1) This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevorchim. The Rebbe reminds us that it’s a day of Farbrengen, and that we should say Tehillim in the morning.

2) When we lein the Tochacha in Parshas Bechukosai, nobody gets the Aliyah — instead, the person who is reading the Torah says the brachos on his own without being called up to the Torah.

3) Usually on Shabbos Mevorchim we don’t say the paragraph of Av Harachamim before Musaf. In Av Harachamim, we speak about the many Yidden who gave up their lives Al Kiddush Hashem. We ask Hashem to punish those who killed Yidden. Usually, on Shabbos Mevorchim, we don’t want to speak about something so sad. But davka during this time of the year, in the time of the Crusades, many communities of Yidden were wiped out. To remember them, the Chachomim asked that we say Av Harachamim this week.


In the beginning of Parshas Bechukosai, Hashem says “Im Bechukosai Teileichu” — “if you will go in the path of My mitzvos,” then Hashem will be able to give Yidden many brachos!

The Chachomim explain that the word “Im” doesn’t only mean “if”, it means “halevai” — “if only!” Hashem loves Yidden so much that he is asking us to please keep the Torah so that we can get all of the brachos the Torah promises.

Knowing that Hashem is asking us gives us the koach to choose to do the right thing!


There are a few places in Hayom Yom with more than one part per day — all on Shabbos! Maybe the Rebbe is teaching us that on Shabbos, we should make time to learn even more! Here is the second part of today’s Hayom Yom:

When Moshiach comes, we will see how special the poshute Yidden are. These are the simple people who serve Hashem and say Tehillim with temimus, only because they want to serve Hashem with their whole heart.



Mitzvas Asei #98

Today’s mitzvah is the same as yesterday’s (Mitzvas Asei #98) — that we need to follow what the Torah teaches us about food and drink becoming Tomei.



Hilchos Tumas Ochlin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how food and drink become Tomei:

Perek Daled explains the smallest amount of food that is Mekabel Tumah (any amount — even a drop!) and the smallest amount of food that can make other things tomei (at least a Kebeitzah).

Perek Hey teaches us the halachos about the Yad (like the stem) and the Shomer (like the peels) of a food. If a Yad is attached to a food, it can become Tomei. A Shomer can always become Tomei, unless it gets thrown away. Sometimes they are counted as part of the food, and sometimes not!

Perek Vov has the halachos of when foods are counted as “attached” or not. A pile of dough is counted as attached — if part of the dough is touched, the whole thing is Tomei. But if figs were squashed into a pile and some of the figs became Tomei, the rest of them are still Tahor.



Hilchos Ishus - Perek Yud-Tes

In this perek, the Rambam explains the halachos of how yerusha works with the money of the kesuba.




The Rebbe teaches us many times that in order for our Shlichus to work properly, we need to speak to other Yidden with words that “come from our heart.”

One time the Rebbe reminded us that even when we are saying words that are from seforim, we STILL need to make sure that we mean what we say and that the words come from our heart.

Another time, the Rebbe told us that if we see that what we say is not making a difference to another person, we need to think about who we are and why what we’re saying is not making a difference. We need to keep trying until the Shlichus is successful.

The Torah gives us a promise that “Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev Nichnasim El Halev, Upoalim Peulasam.” Words that come from the heart enter the other person’s heart, and accomplish what they need to.

See Mafteiach Inyonim L’Sichos Kodesh


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Sim Shalom (part 1)

We are learning the meaning of the last bracha of Shemoneh Esrei.

At the end of Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem to accept our tefillos. Then, we ask Hashem to bring back the Avodah of the Beis Hamikdash, because our tefillos are in place of the korbanos.

After the daily korbanos were brought, the kohanim would bentch the Yidden. Here, at the end of our “korban,” Shemoneh Esrei, the chazan says Birchas Kohanim.

The last bracha of Shemoneh Esrei speaks about the most important bracha that the kohanim give the Yidden, the bracha of Shalom. That is why this bracha starts with the words, “Sim Shalom” — “Give us the bracha of shalom.”

The reason why Birchas Kohanim ends off with the bracha for shalom is because shalom is a keili for bracha, it is like a container that catches and holds brachos. After asking Hashem for all of the brachos during Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem that we should be able to keep all of the brachos, which is only possible when we have shalom.



Thunder & Lightning

If you see lightning and hear thunder at the same time, you only make one bracha — either “Osei Maasei Bereshis, or “Shekocho Ugvuraso Malei Olam.” That’s because each of these brachos could be made on either thunder or lightning, so one bracha is enough for both.

But if you hear or see one and then the other afterwards, you should say two brachos. Like we said, either bracha works for either one, but the minhag is to say “Osei Maasei Bereishis” for the lightning, and then “Shekocho Ugvuraso Malei Olam” (which talks about Hashem’s gevurah) for the thunder, which reminds us about Hashem’s gevurah!

We say both brachos (instead of saying the same bracha twice) because it’s best to praise Hashem in different ways!

If the thunderstorm stopped, and a new storm started afterwards, do you make another bracha?

If you saw the clouds move away, and you could see the sky, and then new clouds came, you will need to make another bracha if you see lightning or hear thunder again!

See Seder Birkas Hanehenin, 13:15-16

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



Geulah In Everything!

There are some parts of Torah that speak directly about the times of Moshiach, like the Gemara in Sanhedrin, many Midrashim, and parts of Chassidus.

Other parts of Torah don’t speak openly about the times of Moshiach, but there is a connection to Moshiach which is obvious. Yet other times, there seems to be no connection at all!

When we remember that the reason why Hashem made the world is for the Geulah, we will realize that everything must be connected to the Geulah! When we pay attention, we will be able to find the connection to the Geulah hiding inside of each inyan, waiting for us to learn it!

See Sicha Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef

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