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Parshas Pinchas - Rishon with Rashi

Hashem shows the Yidden that Pinchas did the right thing, and makes him a kohen! He tells Moshe that they will have to attack Midyan. He also tells Moshe to count the Yidden and that soon they will go into Eretz Yisroel!

Some of the Yidden were upset that Pinchas killed Zimri. They made fun of him and said he was like his grandfather, Yisro, who used to be mean to the animals he shechted for Avodah Zarah. They said that he wasn’t trying to do the right thing, he was just being mean like his grandfather. They said that Zimri was trying to do the right thing by marrying Kozbi, so that Moshe wouldn’t be upset at the whole shevet Shimon for doing an aveira by marrying the daughters of Moav.

To show that this is not true, this parsha starts by saying “Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon Hakohen” — saying that Pinchas comes from Aharon. That is who Pinchas was acting like! Aharon always tried to make peace between people, and Pinchas killed Zimri to bring peace between the Yidden and Hashem!

Hashem also made Pinchas a kohen, to show how happy He is with him! (Even though Pinchas came from the family of Aharon, he wasn’t a kohen before. He was born BEFORE Hashem said that Aharon and his sons will be kohanim, and a baby only becomes a kohen if his father is a kohen when he is born.)

But Zimri WASN’T trying to bring peace! Zimri’s name is “Zimri ben Salu Nesi Veis Av L’Shimoni.” The Torah tells us that his shevet is from Shimon, who killed the people of Shechem without rachmanus. The Torah is showing us that Zimri was NOT doing what he did to bring peace.

Hashem told Moshe that soon he will have to attack Midyan for what they did. (Kozbi was a princess from Midyan.) It wasn’t time yet to attack Moav, even though most of the girls were from Moav, because Moav made trouble because they were scared of the Yidden, but Midyan didn’t have any reason to — they just hated the Yidden. (Also, Rus was going to come from Moav, so the Yidden will wait to punish them.)

Now Hashem told Moshe to count the Yidden again, to show how He loved them and took care of them the whole time in the Midbar. Soon they will be going into Eretz Yisroel, and we will see how many Yidden will be going into Eretz Yisroel.



88 - 89

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

One of the things it talks about in Kapitel Pey-Tes is how Hashem gave the melucha (the special job to be the Yiddishe kings) to Dovid Hamelech and his children. “Zaro Le’olam Yihiyeh” — “his children will be forever.”

Now we don’t have any Yiddishe king, so what happens to Hashem’s promise?

Moshiach comes from Dovid Hamelech, so Hashem’s promise to Dovid Hamelech really does go forever! We will see that our king Moshiach comes from the family of Dovid!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Daled

In the first three perakim of Igeres HaTeshuvah, the Alter Rebbe told us what the mitzvah of Teshuvah is, and how to become close again to Hashem if someone did an aveira Chas Veshalom. Chassidus teaches us about the NESHAMA, the pnimius of Torah and mitzvos. Now, the Alter Rebbe will start to explain to us the pnimius of this special mitzvah of Teshuvah.

The Zohar says that the word Teshuvah is really TWO words: Tashuv (return), and Hey. So the inyan of teshuvah in Ruchnius is to bring back the Hey!

What Hey are we talking about?

Hashem’s name has four letters: a Yud and a Hey and a Vov and a Hey — there are two Heys.

Every Yid’s neshama has the name of Hashem in it. When we act the way Hashem wants, Hashem’s name is whole! But if someone does an aveira, the Heys get separated from Hashem’s name.

Teshuvah brings back the Hey into the neshama, making Hashem’s chayus shine completely inside of a Yid.

There are TWO Heys in Hashem’s name, and there are TWO kinds of Teshuvah! One kind of Teshuvah is called Teshuvah Ila’ah, the HIGHER kind of Teshuvah. This teshuvah brings back the first Hey to be connected again to the Yud of Hashem’s name. There is also Teshuvah Tata’ah, the LOWER kind of Teshuvah. This teshuvah brings back the last Hey, to be connected again to the Vov of Hashem’s name.

Some aveiros are so big that only the higher kind of Teshuvah will help. (We will IY”H learn more about this later in Igeres HaTeshuvah.)

Now the Alter Rebbe asks a question:

There are some kinds of aveiros where Hashem punishes the person who did them with Kareis. The chachomim explain that Kareis, which means that the person becomes separate from Hashem, means that the person will also pass away at an early age. But nowadays, we see that many people who do these aveiros live for a long time anyhow! Why?

When we learn the answer to this question, we will understand what happens to a Yid’s neshama when a person does an aveira now days, and how special it is when a Yid does teshuvah.



Yud-Ches Tammuz

In today’s Hayom Yom, we see how the Alter Rebbe was very proud of one of his Chassidim for his hard work in his avodah.

The Alter Rebbe said about his chossid R’ Moshe Vilenker, that R’ Moshe has “Mochin D’Gadlus.” By putting his kochos into learning Chassidus for ten years, he made his mind able to hold a tremendous amount of Chassidus!

What were these ten years that the Alter Rebbe was talking about?

Before R’ Moshe Vilenker went into Yechidus with the Alter Rebbe, he prepared for three years. Only then did he go into Yechidus.

Afterwards, for seven years, he was constantly thinking about, farbrenging about, and trying to learn more about the words that the Alter Rebbe told him. R’ Moshe Vilenker made sure that what the Alter Rebbe told him could be seen in every part of his life.

One of the things this Hayom Yom can help us to understand is what we are learning now in Igeres HaTeshuvah! The Alter Rebbe told us that a person can do teshuvah very quickly, but to make sure that the teshuvah will last, a person needs to learn well, understand, and farbreng with himself (together with the other steps of teshuvah that we will learn about soon) for a long time! To be the best kind of teshuvah possible, the Alter Rebbe writes that it can take up to 10 years! We learn from R’ Moshe Vilenker that if we work hard, we will succeed.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #288

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #288) is that ONE eid (witness) is not enough — the Beis Din needs to have TWO eidim in order to punish someone. (One eid is enough for the Beis Din to have someone make a shevuah (a strong and special kind of Torah promise), but is not enough of a proof for someone to be punished).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: לֹא יָקוּם עֵד אֶחָד בְּאִישׁ לְכָל עָו‍ֹן וּלְכָל חַטָּאת



Hilchos Eidus

One of the things we learn in Perek Ches is that an eid has to actually REMEMBER what he saw. It is not enough for him to say something he saw in his diary, unless it reminded him and now he does remember. Otherwise, it is like him being an eid based on something his friend told him, which is not true eidus.

In Perek Tes we learn about who is not allowed to be an eid. There are ten kinds of people that can’t be an eid, for example, someone who is related to the person who had to come to Beis Din. A rasha also can’t be an eid, as the Rambam explains in detail in the next perek.

In Perek Yud we start to learn the halachos of tomorrow’s mitzvah, that the Beis Din can’t accept the eidus of a rasha. What is a rasha? Someone who does an aveira that deserves to be given malkos for. A rasha is also a person who steals or wastes his life on games and gambling.



Hilchos Shaar Avos Hatumah - Perek Yud-Daled

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about Tumah and Tahara. Yesterday we learned about things that we say are tomei when there is a sofek, and now we learn about things that when there is a safek, we say are they are Tahor.



The Three Weeks

Nowadays, the avodah of the Three Weeks is a bit different than it used to be!

In Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef, there were very big nisim that happened in the world, like the Gulf War, where the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel were saved from a big rasha named Saddam who wanted to hurt us; and that Yidden were able to leave Russia, where they had been stuck for so long!

The Rebbe told us that this is a sign that we’re going into the times of Moshiach!

The Rebbe said then that now we need to look differently at these three weeks. Because we are so close to the Geulah, we should think less about how sad the Churban is, and think more about making ourselves excited about the fact that we will see the Beis Hamikdash soon!

By adding in Torah and mitzvos in general, especially in the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel, and by learning the halachos of the Beis Hamikdash and how it looks, we will soon see the Beis Hamikdash rebuilt again!


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Asking for Moshiach on a Fast Day

We add extra parts to davening on a fast day, like Selichos and Avinu Malkeinu.

We also have Kriyas HaTorah on a fast day. We leinVayechal,” about the teshuvah for the Cheit Ha’eigel and the second Luchos. We lein a haftorah from Yeshaya, who was the Navi that spoke the most about the Geulah.

In Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis, the chazan says the paragraph of Aneinu, and in Shemoneh Esrei of Mincha, EVERYONE says Aneinu. We ask Hashem that on this special day of the taanis, Hashem should answer us (“Aneinu”) and fulfill our requests — especially to bring the Geulah!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof p. 362, ha’ara 22



The Three Weeks

Today is Shiva Asar B’Tammuz Nidcheh, since it was pushed off from Shabbos.

Shiva Asar B’Tammuz is one of the four fasts we have during the year to remember the Beis Hamikdash. This is the day that the walls of Yerushalayim were broken, later leading to what happened on Tisha B’av.

(Many other sad things happened on Shiva Asar B’Tamuz too: Moshe Rabbeinu broke the luchos, the Yidden didn’t have any more sheep on this day to bring the Korban Tomid, a big rasha Apostomos burned a Sefer Torah, and resha’im put an idol in the Beis Hamikdash.)

Here are the halachos of the Three Weeks, which start today:

- We don’t make chasunas
- We don’t listen to music
- We don’t do things that need a bracha Shehecheyanu (like buying new clothes)
- The Rebbe tells us to learn the halachos about the Beis Hamikdash.

For a detailed review of the halachos of the Three Weeks, see this review made for Melbourne: click here

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



Shiva-Asar B'Tammuz When Moshiach Comes

In many places in Navi, we see the sad details of the story of the Churban, and the things that happened before it. We learn about the siege around Yerushalayim, the breaking into the city, and finally the destruction of both the first and second Beis Hamikdash on Tisha B’Av.

In one of the nevuos that Hashem said through the Navi Zechariah, we see what all these sad things are supposed to turn into. The Navi tells us that the fast days where we are sad about the Churban will change into Yomim Tovim!

כֹּה אָמַר ה׳ צְבָאוֹת צוֹם הָרְבִיעִי וְצוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי וְצוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְצוֹם הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵית יְהוּדָה לְשָׂשׂוֹן וּלְשִׂמְחָה וּלְמֹעֲדִים טוֹבִים וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלוֹם אֱהָבוּ

Ko Amar Hashem Tzevakos — This is what Hashem says:

Tzom Harevii — the fast of the fourth month (Shiva-Asar B’Tammuz)

Vetzom Hachamishi — and the fast of the fifth month (Tisha B’Av)

Vetzom Hashvi’i — and the fast of the seventh month (Tzom Gedaliah)

Vetzom Ha’asiri — and the fast of the tenth month (Asara B’Teves)

Yihiyeh Leveis Yehudah — will become for the Yidden

Lesason Ulesimcha U’lemoadim Tovim — days of joy and happiness, and Yomim Tovim!

Veha’emes VehaShalom Ehavu — As long as you love Emes and Shalom (meaning that this will happen in the zechus of your love for Emes and Shalom).

IY”H we will be zoche to see this nevuah come true very soon!

See Zechariah perek Ches posuk Yud-Tes

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