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Parshas Devarim - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu continues to remind the Yidden about the things that happened to them in the Midbar, so they will be ready to go into Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu reviews with Shevet Reuven, Gad, and Menasheh the promise they made — that even though they will live in these parts of Eretz Yisroel on the other side of the Yarden, they will first make sure the other Yidden are settled in Eretz Yisroel before they go back to live with their families.

Moshe tells the Yidden not to worry about the war to capture Eretz Yisroel! Look how Hashem helped them before — Hashem will fight for them again!



23 - 28

Today’s kapitelach are Chof-Gimmel until Chof-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — Hashem teaches humble people His path.

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuva, and

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Alef

In this letter, the first letter in Igeres Hakodesh, the Alter Rebbe is encouraging Chassidim to add extra chayus in their learning Torah, and especially their davening, so that their neshamos will be strong!

Yesterday, we learned the first part of this letter. That part was written before the Alter Rebbe left to Mezritch. This second part that we learn today was written after he left. By then, he had found out from his Rebbe (the Maggid) about his special shlichus in the world — and that it will be hard, and even dangerous for him to do it!

Yesterday we learned about the mashal of a person, who has TWO halves — a top and a bottom! The top half is very important, but we need the bottom half to help us get to where we need to be. Our top half is our mind and our heart, which we use to think about the greatness of Hashem and bring out feelings of Ahava and Yirah, to want to be and stay connected to Hashem. The lower half, starting from the waist, is in Ruchnius our Emunah in Hashem, which makes it possible to think about Hashem’s greatness and bring out these feelings during davening.

But this emunah needs a “belt”! When a person puts on a belt, he feels strong! We also need to put on a Ruchnius “belt” to feel our strong emunah. What is the belt? The halachos of Torah! They make our Emunah and Chayus in serving Hashem very strong! That is the words of Dovid Hamelech, “Chagra B’Oz Masneha” — the Yidden put a belt on their waist which is Oz (strength), Torah. (The Rebbe gave us the special takanah of learning Rambam, and also strengthened the takana of Chalukas Hashas. One of the things it does for us is that it gives us strength in our Emunah!)

The Alter Rebbe tells us that besides for strengthening our emunah by learning halacha and Torah Shebaal Peh, there is also a special time to make the upper part strong — to make our Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem strong. When is this? This is when we daven Shacharis! We need to use this chance and daven with all of our might!

Tomorrow, IY”H, in the last part of this letter, the Alter Rebbe will make some takanos to make sure that we use this time in the best way.



Daled Menachem Av

Sometimes we think that we get parnasa based on how hard we work. But really, the main thing is the bracha from Hashem which comes from doing what Hashem wants!

Sometimes a Tatty might think that if he skips a shiur or doesn’t daven with a minyan, he will have more time to work and he will get more money! But it’s not true. No matter how hard a person works, he won’t get even one penny more than what Hashem decided he should have.

This is very important to remember!

If we realize that our parnasa comes ONLY from Hashem, we will act the way Hashem wants. A person won’t think “It’s a waste of time to daven with a minyan because it takes too long and then I don’t have as much time to work!” or thinking “If I worked on Shabbos (chas veshalom) I would get more...” And it will never feel like a waste of money to pay for kosher food or for chinuch for our children! We know that all of the money comes from Hashem, and we know where Hashem wants us to spend it!

Even though we need to do our part to earn the parnasa, we need to remember that our work is not the main thing. The main thing is the bracha from Hashem!

When we remember this, we will make sure that our work in parnasa won’t take away from our Ruchnius, and we will live the way a Yid should. Then Hashem will bentch us with everything that we need!



Shiur #16 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #35, #38, #36, #37, #34, #43, #44, #40, #39, #41, #45, #171

Today we learn 12 MORE mitzvos about how to stay away from Avodah Zarah!

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #35) It is asur to say “magical words” to make someone feel better or stay safe, like the goyim do.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְחֹבֵר חָבֶר

The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos perek Zayin.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #38) It is asur to try to do things to speak to a person who passed away, like the goyim do.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְדֹרֵשׁ אֶל הַמֵּתִים

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #36) It is asur to ask questions from a person who does the Avodah Zarah of “Ov.”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְשֹׁאֵל אוֹב

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #37) It is asur to ask questions from a person who does the Avodah Zarah of “Yidoni.”

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ וְשֹׁאֵל אוֹב וְיִדְּעֹנִי

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #34) We are not allowed to do any kind of magic or witchcraft.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ וְגוֹ׳ וּמְכַשֵּׁף

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #43) A man is not allowed to cut off his peyos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תַקִּפוּ פְּאַת רֹאשְׁכֶם

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #44) A man is not allowed to shave his beard with a razor.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְלֹא תַשְׁחִית אֵת פְּאַת זְקָנֶךָ

8) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #40) A man is not allowed to wear women’s clothes.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְלֹא יִלְבַּשׁ גֶּבֶר שִׂמְלַת אִשָּׁה

9) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #39) A woman is not allowed to wear men’s clothes.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא יִהְיֶה כְלִי גֶבֶר עַל אִשָּׁה

10) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #41) It is asur to make a tattoo.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וּכְתֹבֶת קַעֲקַע לֹא תִתְּנוּ בָּכֶם

The details are explained in the end of Mesechta Makos.

11) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #45) A Yid is not allowed to hurt himself because he is sad that someone passed away, or as any kind of Avodah Zarah.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: לֹא תִתְגֹּדְדוּ

The details are explained in End of Mesechta Makos.

12) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #171) A Yid is not allowed to pull out his hair because he is sad that someone passed away.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: וְלֹא תָשִׂימוּ קָרְחָה בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם לָמֵת



Hilchos Avodas Kochavim

Perek Yud: One thing that we learn is that we should give tzedakah to poor goyim, and not just poor Yidden, because we want to have shalom. We should be nice to them and say hello when we see them!

In Perek Yud-Alef, the Rambam tells us that it’s a goyishe thing to try to figure out what will happen in the future. Yidden need to believe in Hashem, and trust that He will take care of us. (These are the halachos of the first part of today’s Sefer Hamitzvos.)

In Perek Yud-Beis, we learn about how a Jewish man or boy can’t cut off his beard or peyos! (These are the halachos of the second part of today’s Sefer Hamitzvos.)



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah - Perek Daled

In this perek, we learn more about the world, be- cause the Rambam tells us that by understanding the world, it will help us love Hashem and have Yiras Shomayim!



Shabbos Chazon

Once there was a little boy, whose father loved him very much.

One day, the father decided to have a new suit made for his son. He chose fine fabric and polished buttons, and had the tailor work hard to sew a handsome suit.

The son was so grateful and so proud to have such a wonderful suit! He loved to wear it, knowing that it was a special gift from his father, who loved him so much.

But the little boy was not as careful as he should have been. He wore the suit even when he was playing outside with his friends, and soon the beautiful suit was torn and stained.

The little boy showed his father sadly how his suit was ruined and couldn’t be worn anymore.

The father loved his son, and had the tailor make another suit, as fine as the one before.

At first, the little boy wore his suit carefully. But after a while, he forgot again. Soon this suit as well was completely ruined.

The father again went back to the tailor, and had him make the suit again. But this time, he did not give the suit to his son. He hung it in the closet, telling his son that he would only get the suit when he showed that he now knew how to take care of it.

Every year, the father would pull the suit out of the closet, reminding his son to be careful so that he would deserve to have again such a beautiful suit to wear.


This story is a mashal told by R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

We are like the little boy, Hashem is the father, and the handsome suit is our precious Beis Hamikdash. Twice we were not careful with the Beis Hamikdash, and twice it was destroyed. Hashem is ready to give us another one, but we first have to show that we have learned how to take care of it.

Every year, on Shabbos Chazon, Hashem shows us a “chazon” (a vision) of the Third Beis Hamikdash. Our neshama is able to see it, and it is reminded to behave as Hashem wants us to, so that we can merit to have the third Beis Hamikdash very soon!


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Hareini Mekabel

The Chachomim tell us that this long, long Golus came because of our aveiros, especially because of Sinas Chinam, hating another Jew for no reason.

While we fight the darkness of Golus by bringing light to the world, we also need to fight the Golus by taking away the reason for it! That way, the Golus will have no more reason to be there. We do this by strengthening our Ahavas Yisroel, loving every Jew just because he is a Jew!

In davening, we are going to ask Hashem to bring us the Geulah. We start off our davening by telling Hashem that the reason for the Golus is gone! We say Hareini, telling Hashem that we love every single Jew. This way, the reason for the Golus will go away, and Hashem will give us what we’re asking for — the Geulah for all of the Yidden!

See Igros Kodesh chodesh Menachem Av 5724



Meat & Wine During the Nine Days

During the Nine Days, we don’t eat meat or drink wine.

One of the reasons why is because meat and wine bring a person simcha! During the Nine Days we are sad about the Beis Hamikdash, and don’t do certain things that usually make us happy.

Another reason why we don’t eat meat or drink wine is to remind ourselves that we are missing the meat of the korbanos, and the wine that was poured on the Mizbeiach.

The halacha is that we don’t eat actual meat or food that has the flavor of the meat, like chicken soup. But it isn’t a problem to eat food that was cooked in a fleishige pot, or to eat food where there was meat that became botul or it doesn’t make the food taste like meat. (For example, we would be allowed to eat a vegetable soup that has a few pieces of onion that were fried in shmaltz instead of oil, as long as it is doesn’t make the whole soup taste like chicken soup.)

If wine was used in cooking, it is also fine as long as it was botul. Wine vinegar isn’t considered like wine at all, and we can use it for cooking during the Nine Days.

But if someone has a bris or a Pidyon Haben during the Nine Days, we DO eat fleishigs!

Based on “Day by Day” halacha newsletter by Rabbi Sholom Osdoba, downloadable at

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



The Third Beis Hamikdash

How will the Third Beis Hamikdash be built?

There is a machlokes about whether it will come down from Shomayim already built or it will be built by people.

Rashi (in Gemara Sukkah) brings a Medrash saying that the Beis Hamikdash is already built! It will come down from Shomayim when Moshiach comes. We see this in the posuk, “Mikdash Hashem Konenu Yadecha,” “Hashem, Your hands built the Beis Hamikdash.”

The Zohar also says that Hashem will build the third Beis Hamikdash. The Zohar calls this Beis HamikdashBinyana DeKudsha Brich Hu,” Hashem’s building. It is Hashem’s building because Hashem will build it Himself!

This is the first opinion, that says it will be built from Shomayim. Tomorrow IY”H we will learn the other opinion, and then see how the Rebbe explains how they both are true!

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