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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
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מוקדש לחיזוק ההתקשרות לכ״ק נשיא דורנו
ע"י ולזכות הרה"ת ר' לייביש משה וזוגתו מרת רינה ילדיהם קיילא באשא, בנציון דוד, אליהו איסר, רבקה שיינדל אלטא שיחיו גולדהירש


Those who make Chitas for the month of Shevat possible:


לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ מרדכי בן הר׳ פינחס מענטליק
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The Kirstein Family
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May her memory help others connect to Yiddishkeit as she helped her grandson.


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Parshas Vaeira - Chamishi with Rashi

Hashem chose Moshe and Aharon to speak to Paraoh so he will let the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. But first, there are going to be Makos. The first makah came and went, and Paraoh refused to let the Yidden go. Today we learn what happened after the second makah finished.

In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned how Paraoh asked Moshe to take away the frogs. Moshe agreed to daven to Hashem that the frogs would go away from everyone’s houses, and only the frogs that are still in the Nilus would remain alive.

Moshe davened that the frogs should go away and all of the frogs died. The Mitzriyim made big piles of dead frogs all over and they smelled very bad!

But Paraoh decided not to listen to Hashem this time either!

So Hashem told Moshe to warn Paraoh about the third makah — lice.

Makas Kinim: Moshe and Aharon warned Paraoh that the makah would start if he didn’t do teshuvah. He didn’t listen, so Hashem had Aharon hit the dust of Mitzrayim. (Moshe couldn’t hit it, because the dirt helped bury the Mitzri he killed, and that wouldn’t be Hakoras Hatov.)

When Aharon hit the dust, it turned into lice all over Mitzrayim! Lice is a little bug that is very itchy, and this makah bothered all of the people and animals in Mitzrayim.

Paraoh’s magicians tried to make lice too, but they couldn’t — because tumah magic doesn’t work with anything smaller than a grain of barley. They had to admit that Hashem made this makah! Still, Paraoh wanted to think that Moshe and Aharon were just better magicians, so he ignored what Moshe and Aharon said and didn’t let the Yidden go.

Makas Arov: Hashem told Moshe to warn Paraoh about the next makah — wild animals. He should tell Paraoh that if he doesn’t let the Yidden go out of Mitzrayim, Hashem will send very mean wild animals to hurt people and ruin things!

All of the other makos were also in Goshen, where the Yidden lived (even though they weren’t bothered by them), but the wild animals won’t go into Goshen at all!

Paraoh will have to realize that Hashem is in charge of the whole world!



1 - 9

Today, we are starting Sefer Tehillim again from the very beginning! We say kapitelach Alef through Tes. IY”H we will finish the whole thing before Rosh Chodesh Adar!

The first kapitel of Tehillim is a very special kapitel. In it, Dovid Hamelech inspires Yidden to learn Torah and stay away from aveiros. He tells us that someone who follows this path will have hatzlacha in all he does, but people who do the opposite will have the opposite of hatzlacha, chas veshalom.

In the first posuk, Dovid Hamelech tells us how fortunate a person is if he doesn’t spend time with resha’im! Instead, he does what it says in posuk beis: “Ki Im BeSoras Hashem Cheftzo, UveSoraso Yehege Yomam VaLayla.” “Hashem’s Torah is all he wants, and he is busy with his Torah all day and night.”

Chassidus explains why the first part of the posuk says HASHEM’S Torah, and the second part says HIS Torah (that it belongs to the person learning it):

The reason for this is that when a person first starts learning Torah, he knows that he is coming to learn the Torah of Hashem, but what he learns might feel strange to his way of thinking. But after he learns Torah and understands it well, he and the Torah become one! The Torah he learned becomes his way of thinking, his path in life.



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Ches

In the Sefer of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is teaching us how to serve Hashem in the way of Chassidus. He explains that every Yid has the ability to serve Hashem with every part of his behavior by using bilvavecha, by feeling Ahava and Yirah to Hashem.

If that’s what it means to serve Hashem with Chassidus, then maybe Chassidus isn’t for everyone? To feel Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Shomayim, you need to have hisbonenus. You need to know certain things about Hashem and think about them, so that they change the way you naturally think and behave. Not everybody is so good at thinking deep thoughts, or is interested in thinking about Hashem. So how can we say that it is Karov Me’od, very possible for everyone to serve Hashem with Ahava and Yirah?

The Alter Rebbe tells us that there is a type of Ahava (that has Yirah in it too) that every Yid has built into his neshama, given to us as a yerusha from the Avos. This love, called Ahava Mesuteres, is able to keep us in control of our behavior, even without hisbonenus!

How is this possible?

If we look throughout history, we will see something incredible. Even Yidden who knew nothing about the greatness of Hashem gave up their lives Al Kiddush Hashem. They may not have been able to have hisbonenus, and may not even have been very good at staying away from aveiros. But when someone told them to deny Hashem (Chas Veshalom), they were ready to even give up their lives!

Here is a very powerful story which is one example for this, which was told by the Rebbe Maharash:

That koach to have Mesiras Nefesh comes from the Ahava Mesuteres, and it is a part of every single Yid’s neshama.

The specific part of the neshama where this Ahava is held is in the chochma of the neshama, where our emunah is. Because chochma is the highest level of the neshama, and it is higher than the levels of our understanding, it is the place where we can feel Hashem the most. No matter what, in this part of the neshama a Yid feels that Hashem is One! When the chochma of the neshama is active, it is impossible for a Yid to deny his connection to Hashem.

Usually, when a Yid is given a nisayon that pushes him to give up his Yiddishkeit, this part of the neshama is “turned on.” In the next few perakim, we will learn a way to wake up our Ahava Mesuteres any time, for even the smallest mitzvah! This will make it possible for us to ALWAYS be in control of our behavior the way Chassidus teaches us, with Ahava and Yirah (bilvavecha), even without hisbonenus.



Alef Shevat

The year that the Frierdiker Rebbe was put in jail for spreading Yiddishkeit (in Tof-Reish-Pey-Zayin — 5687), he asked that every Yid should say Tehillim after davening. This is the daily shiur of Tehillim that’s set up so we say the whole sefer every month, which is the Tehillim part of Chitas! Since now we are starting again the Tehillim on Rosh Chodesh, the Rebbe is telling us something very special about this takana:

The Frierdiker Rebbe said that this Tehillim helps ALL the Yidden, and gives them many brachos! So for Ahavas Yisroel, we should try to make sure that everyone does it. In every Shul, they should say the Tehillim after davening — even shuls that are not Chabad.

We can understand from this that the Rebbe’s takanos also help EVERY Yid, whether or not they are Chassidim! For Ahavas Yisroel, we should make sure that every Yid is able to keep the Rebbe’s takanos. Can you inspire someone to learn Chitas and Rambam? There are many resources that can help, like Chabad.org/dailystudy, Dvar Malchus, Chayenu, and Chitas for Kids!



Shiur #189 - Mitzvas Asei #71

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #71) is that a person who does certain aveiros needs to bring a ram as a Korban Asham, called an Asham Vadai. It is brought for four kinds of aveiros, whether they are done on purpose or by mistake:

- Someone who does Me’ilah (using something that is holy and belongs to the Mizbeiach or to the Beis Hamikdash)

- Someone who gets married to a Shifcha Charufa (a slave girl that is engaged to someone else, and was set free by one of her owners)

- Someone who steals money (Gezeilah) and then lies when he makes a promise about it in Beis Din

- Someone who has something that he needs to give back and then lies when he makes a promise about it in Beis Din (Shevuas Hapikadon)

The dinim of these mitzvos are explained in Mesechta Krisus.



Hilchos Shegagos

In today’s Rambam, we learn about more korbanos a person brings if they do an Aveira.

Perek Tes: We learn the halachos of the Asham Vadai brought for an aveira a person knows that he did (the details of today’s mitzvah).

Perek Yud: The Rambam teaches us about the Korban Oleh V’Yored that depends if a person is rich or poor.

Perek Yud-Alef: The aveira of coming into the Beis Hamikdash or eating korbanos when a person is Tamei has different halachos than any other aveira that we are learning in these perakim.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Yud-Alef

Now we start to learn how to calculate the way the moon moves, so we can see how the moon would be visible.



Chodesh Shevat

Today is Rosh Chodesh Shevat! The Rebbe teaches us something very beautiful about this month:

The twelve months of the year are connected with the 12 Shevatim. Shevat is connected to Yosef Hatzadik.

When Yosef was born, his mother asked for Hashem to give her another child — “Yosef Hashem Li Ben Acher.” So that’s what Yosef means: To add — to add another Yid.

On Yud Shevat is the Yom Hahilula of the Frierdiker Rebbe, whose name was Yosef. That’s what the Frierdiker Rebbe’s life is all about — bringing more Yidden into this world! Making more Yidden doesn’t just mean having more babies, it also means making sure that the Yidden in this world ACT like Yidden. When we help Yidden to do mitzvos, we are doing this too!

That’s the lesson from Shevat: We have a special job to make sure that there are more Yidden in the world who are acting the way Yidden should.

The Rebbe once said to someone in Yechidus in the early years of the Nesius that Shevat is Roshei Teivos “Shenishma Besuros Tovos,” that we should hear good news.

May Hashem help that through doing our shlichus of bringing Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit, and spreading the teachings of Chassidus everywhere, this month should be a month we should hear Besuros Tovos, especially the best news we are all waiting to hear — the Geulah Ho’amitis Vehashleimah!

See Mafteiach L’Sichos Kodesh, Shevat

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Borchi Nafshi

One of the pieces we add to davening on Rosh Chodesh is Borchi Nafshi. This kapitel of Tehillim speaks about the amazing wonders of Hashem in the world He created!

One of the pesukim in Borchi Nafshi starts with the words “Asa Yareiach Lamoadim” — “Hashem created the moon for Yomim Tovim.”

This posuk is all about Rosh Chodesh! Hashem created the moon so that we would be able to know when the Yomim Tovim are, by fixing the time for Rosh Chodesh. When we know the day the new month starts, we know which day to celebrate each of the Yomim Tovim!

This is one of the reasons why we say Borchi Nafshi on Rosh Chodesh.



Minhagim for Rosh Chodesh

There is a very old Minhag to learn one posuk from our Kapitel Tehillim every Rosh Chodesh. We learn the posuk with Rashi (and other Meforshim too, if we want!) We learn the pesukim in order, and try to finish learning the whole Kapitel by the end of the year.

If there are exactly 12 pesukim in your kapitel, then it’s easy to know how much to learn: If you learn one posuk each month, you will finish exactly at the end of the year! But if there are more than 12 pesukim, you should learn a few at a time to be able to finish, and if there are less than 12 pesukim, learn the same posuk again another month.

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



Hints to Moshiach

When Moshe Rabbeinu warns Paraoh about the Arov, in today’s Chumash, the posuk says, “Hineni Mashliach Becha,” “I will get them to attack you.”

One of the Baalei Hatosfos (the authors of the Tosfos), the Rabbeinu Efrayim, tells us an important reason why the Torah uses this word:

Hashem promises the Navi that when Moshiach comes, we will have nisim like we did at the time of Yetziyas Mitzrayim — “Kimei Tzeischa Me’eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos.”

So in the words of the Torah about the nisim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim, Hashem puts a hint about Moshiach!

The word “Mashliach” has the same letters as the word “L’Moshiach” — to Moshiach!

Here, in the nisim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim, Hashem is reminding us about the nisim of the final Geulah!

See Yalkut Moshiach U’Geulah Al HaTorah

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