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Parshas Beshalach - Rishon with Rashi

The Yidden travel towards the Yam Suf... and the Mitzriyim start to chase them!

The Yidden are leaving Mitzrayim! Hashem had the Yidden go a longer way, in case some Yidden would become scared of going into the big empty Midbar, and because of that would later want to run back to Mitzrayim.

When the Yidden traveled, Hashem went in front of them! During the daytime, Hashem went in a big cloud, so they could see where to go. This cloud also made the road easier for them to go on, kept them safe, and cleaned their clothes. At night, Hashem went in a pillar of fire, which also let them see at night.

On the third day, Hashem told Moshe that they should go back towards the Yam Suf, so that the Mitzriyim can be killed, and none of the Yidden will ever need to worry about them again. To get Paraoh to follow them, they are setting up a trap! Paraoh will see the Yidden going backwards, and will think that they are stuck. He will chase after them, and then Hashem will punish him and the Mitzriyim. Now Paraoh will need to realize that Hashem is in charge!

Even though the Yidden might have been afraid to go closer to the Mitzriyim who made them suffer so much, they trusted in Moshe that he was doing what Hashem wanted him to do.

In the meantime, Paraoh changed his mind about letting the Yidden go! He convinced a bunch of Mitzriyim to come with him and make a war with the Yidden, and take back all of the gold and silver they gave them before. Paraoh took all of the horses and wagons that survived the makos, with more than 600 special small and fast wagons. They were so excited, the Mitzriyim decorated these wagons with expensive decorations!

At first, Paraoh wasn’t sure if he should go, but Hashem didn’t make it easy for him to do teshuvah, and he decided to go run after the Yidden.



39 - 43

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Lamed-Tes through Mem-Gimmel.

According to some meforshim, Kapitel Mem-Alef, in today’s Tehillim, speaks about the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim.

The second posuk says, “Ashrei Maskil El Dal,” fortunate is the person who thinks about someone who is sick, and comes to visit him. The posuk tells us the words he should use to make the person feel better — “Beyom Ra’ah Yemalteihu Hashem,” he should tell the sick person that even if he is having a Yom Raah, a hard day, Hashem will help him and bring him a Refuah Sheleimah!

The kapitel tells us the special reward that Hashem gives the person who does Bikur Cholim like this, and that Hashem will help him when he needs help!

See Rashi and Radak on this kapitel



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

In today’s Tanya, we learn more about Achdus Hashem through a mashal of speaking. Today we understand Achdus Hashem better by showing that the mashal is NOT exactly the same as the nimshal.

The Alter Rebbe is explaining how we need to see that every choice we make is important. It is worth putting in even tremendous kochos in our shlichus to fulfill the Ratzon of Hashem. That’s because every mitzvah connects us to Hashem, and through an aveira, we are chas veshalom separated.

Knowing this will help us overcome the shtus of the Yetzer Hara that tells us that it’s not worth trying so hard.

But first we need to learn to learn a bit about what Achdus Hashem means:

We explained before that Hashem created the world “Bidvar Hashem” — with His “words.” Of course, Hashem doesn’t have a mouth like a person, but “words” are a good mashal to understand how Hashem made the world:

A person can say lots of important and interesting things, but compared to how much he COULD say, and certainly compared to the person himself, those words are like nothing! The world is like that too — the whole entire world is just “words” for Hashem, and those words are not important at all compared to Hashem Himself!

Words are a way for us to share something that’s hidden inside of us with another person. This is also true in the nimshal: The Creation of the world is Hashem showing us something that was hidden before!

But this mashal of speaking isn’t the same in EVERYTHING.

When a person speaks, those words become a separate thing from the person. (That’s why we need to be so careful with what we say — because you can’t take back your words!)

This part of the mashal is NOT the same, because NOTHING can become separate from Hashem!



Zayin Shevat

When the Alter Rebbe was 9, he learned certain parts of math and science that help us understand how the sun and moon work. When he was ten, he made a Yiddishe calendar for 15 years!

When the Alter Rebbe was just 12, he gave a shiur on the Rambam’s halachos of Kiddush Hachodesh, which explain when we see the new moon for Rosh Chodesh. These halachos are very complicated, and it made the Talmidei Chachomim in shul feel very embarrassed next to this young boy!

The Torah teaches us how the world should be according to Torah. Sometimes you first need to understand how the world works to understand what the Torah wants! One of the examples is that you need to know some math and science to understand the way the Yiddishe calendar works. That’s why the Alter Rebbe learned these things. 

The Alter Rebbe, who was a posek in Niglah and Nistar (wrote the Shulchan Aruch and Tanya) knew everything that you need to know in order to understand halacha.



Shiur #181 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125, #123, #128, #126, #127, #121, #122

In Sefer Hamitzvos today, we learn A LOT of mitzvos about the Korban Pesach! Most of these mitzvos come from Parshas Bo, where Hashem tells the Yidden about this mitzvah.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #125) We are not allowed to eat the Korban Pesach when it is cooked in any liquid, or when it is not fully cooked. It needs to be roasted well, the way people usually eat meat.

We learn this mitzvah from the words: אַל תֹּאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נָא וּבָשֵׁל מְבֻשָּׁל בַּמָּיִם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #123) We are not allowed to take any of the Korban Pesach out of the house where we are eating it.

This mitzvah comes from the words: לֹא תוֹצִיא מִן הַבַּיִת מִן הַבָּשָׂר חוּצָה

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.

We also learn some mitzvos about who we can’t share the Korban Pesach with:

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #128) We are not allowed to give part of the Korban Pesach to a Yid who converted to another religion.

The posuk says: כָּל בֶּן נֵכָר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #126) We can’t give the Korban Pesach to a Goy, even if he follows the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. As the Torah says: תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #127) A Yid who didn’t have a Bris Milah is not allowed to eat from the Korban Pesach.

We learn this from the posuk that says: וְכָל עָרֵל לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ

We need to treat the Korban Pesach with kavod!

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #121) We are not allowed to break any of the bones of the Korban Pesach. As the posuk says: וְעֶצֶם לֹא תִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #122) We can’t break any bones of the Korban Pesach if we bring it on Pesach Sheini.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha, which speaks about Pesach Sheini: וְעֶצֶם לֹא יִשְׁבְּרוּ בוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Pesachim.



Hilchos Korban Pesach

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about bringing the Korban Pesach, and then about eating it!

Perek Vov: There are some people who are not allowed to bring the Korban Pesach. Someone who was Tomei, and won’t become Tahor in time, has to wait until Pesach Sheini.

Perek Zayin: When MOST of the Yidden are Tomei, the Yidden are allowed to bring the Korban Pesach on time, even though they are tomei.

Perek Ches: We eat the Korban Pesach together with matzah and maror. We are only allowed to prepare it by roasting, and we can eat it only at night.



Hilchos Avodim - Perek Zayin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more of the halachos of the shtar (document) that the master gives to his servant to make him free.

We learn that if many servants are going free, each servant needs his own shtar to say that he is free. We also learn that the master has to say that he owns NOTHING that belongs to the servant! If he writes that the servant is free, but he still has to polish the master’s shoes, the shtar isn’t good.



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learned that the Alter Rebbe learned certain parts of math and science to understand the halachos of Kiddush Hachodesh. This is connected to the first mitzvah the Yidden got, which we learned about last week, in Parshas Bo: The mitzvah of Kiddush Hachodesh, Hachodesh Hazeh Lochem.

Here’s a story about the Rebbe that shows how understanding how Hashem’s world works helps us understand the halacha properly:

When the Rebbe first came to America, there was a whole discussion about if you’re allowed to use a microphone in shul on Shabbos, so that everyone can hear the chazzan and Baal Korei. Nowadays, of course we all know you can’t do that! But in those days, people weren’t sure, and even some frum shuls wanted to do it. In fact, some Rabbonim even said it’s okay.

The Rebbe said then, “There are some Rabbonim who know the halacha but don’t know how a microphone works. There are some Rabbonim who know how a microphone works and don’t know the halacha... But someone who understands both the halacha and the way the microphone works, will know that it is most definitely asur to use it in a shul on Shabbos!”


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When we get ready to make Kiddush, we fill up our becher with wine. One of the ten things the Chachomim say about a Kos Shel Bracha is that it needs to be Malei, full. Our minhag is, not only do we fill it up to the top, we pour even more, so the wine overflows!

The Gemara says that overflowing the cup is a siman bracha, a sign of bracha.

But, the Alter Rebbe says, we need to be careful not to spill wine on the floor. That isn’t kavod for the wine of Kiddush.

Because of this, we put a plate under our becher, so that the wine will pour into a keili and not onto the floor.

See Toras Menachem 5742, vol. 3, p. 1692, Shulchan Menachem vol. 2 p. 65

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



Does Eliyahu Hanavi Have to Come First?

Usually we say that before Moshiach comes, Eliyahu Hanavi first comes to tell us.

But the Acharonim say that this is only when Moshiach comes at the right time, “Be’ita.”

If Moshiach comes earlier, “Achishena,” then Eliyahu Hanavi doesn’t need to come first — Moshiach can come right away!

See Sefer Hasichos 5748, vol. 2, p. 611

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