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CHUMASH

Parshas Bo - Shishi with Rashi

At exactly midnight, Hashem does Makas Bechoros, and the Mitzriyim rush the Yidden out of Mitzrayim!

At exactly midnight, Hashem killed all of the firstborns in Mitzrayim — the firstborn people (including the non-Jewish slaves) and the firstborn animals. The only firstborn who didn’t die was Paraoh, because Hashem wanted him to see the nissim of Kriyas Yam Suf so he will know and tell others that Hashem is in charge.

Paraoh woke up, and then went and woke up all of his servants. All of the Mitzriyim woke up too. Everyone saw that the firstborns had died! In every house, there was at least one person dead. The whole Mitzrayim was full of crying!

Paraoh ran out of the palace in the middle of the night to find Moshe and Aharon right away! He told them that all of the Yidden should leave Mitzrayim, with the adults, the children, and all of their animals! Some of the Yidden were afraid to go out into the desert, but the Mitzriyim told them to hurry and go!

The Yidden didn’t have time to bake bread in the morning, so they just took the raw dough and their leftover matzah and maror from the Korban Pesach. They carried this on their backs, because they wanted to carry a mitzvah! They asked the Mitzriyim for their gold and silver and clothes for the way, and put them on their donkeys. The women also took tambourines, because they were sure Hashem would make nissim, and they wanted to be ready to sing and dance!

Moshe made sure to take Yosef’s aron out of the Nilus, like Yosef was promised, and brought the aronos of the other Shevatim. The Yidden also brought the trees Yaakov had planted, to use later for the Mishkan.

Hashem sent a malach to show the Yidden where to go. They all went from Raamses (near Goshen) to a place they would call “Sukos,” near the Yam Suf. Moshe counted the Yidden, and there were about 600,000 men older than 20! (A group of goyim, called the Erev Rav, who wanted to join the Yidden, came too.)

In Sukos, the Yidden baked the dough into matzah. This matzah lasted the Yidden for a month, until the mahn started to fall!

If you count, you will see that the Yidden were in Golus in Mitzrayim for 210 years, 430 years since the Bris Bein Habesarim, when Hashem told Avraham that his children would go into Golus. At exactly the end of this time, Hashem took the Yidden out! They didn’t stay in Golus for one minute longer than they needed to.

Forever, this night of Yetziyas Mitzrayim is called “Leil Shimurim” — a night Hashem protects us.

At the end of today’s Chumash, there are some more mitzvos about the Korban Pesach: Only Yidden who believe in Hashem can eat the Korban Pesach, or a slave who belongs to a Yid. But, they all need to have a bris. And, it is asur to break any of the bones of the korban

All of the Yidden did what Hashem asked.

 
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TEHILLIM

29 - 34

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Tes through Lamed-Daled.

In the last perek of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech tells us “Sur Me’Ra, Va’asei Tov, Bakeish Shalom Verodfeihu” — “turn away from bad, and do good, and work hard to make shalom.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains that in every gashmius’dike thing in this world, there’s a part that’s good and a part which is bad. The Gashmius on its own (without being used for a holy purpose) is bad. The good is the chayus of Hashem which gives life to this gashmius’dike thing.

The posuk is telling us about the attitude a person should have to Gashmius. A person who is using Gashmius needs to be a “Sur Me’Ra” — someone who turns away from bad. He shouldn’t want the pleasure that he gets from the gashmius. Instead he should be “Asei Tov” — choose to want to be helped by the chayus of Hashem that is inside.

Then, when his attitude is correct, because he isn’t using the gashmius for selfish reasons, he should try to make shalom with the chayus of Hashem and the gashmius thing. How does he do that? By using the gashmius for the reasons Hashem wants it to be used — for doing mitzvos and for having koach to be able to serve Hashem!

Hayom Yom Hey Menachem Av, Sefer Hamaamarim of the Friediker Rebbe, Yiddish, page 75

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe teaches us that we can use a special koach that is built into every Yid’s neshama to win over our Nefesh Habehamis all the time!

The Nefesh Habehamis can only get us to do an aveira by giving us a Ruach Shtus — a foolish thought. It tricks us by convincing us that our aveira is not a big deal. The Nefesh Habehamis is only able to convince us with this foolish thought most of the time. One thing it can NEVER convince us is that separating from Hashem is not a big deal. Every single Yid realizes that losing his connection to Yiddishkeit and Hashem is a very big deal, and would be ready to even give up his life not to be separated from Hashem chas veshalom and to remain a Yid!

That is the koach of the Ahava Mesuteres, a very powerful love for Hashem that is part of every Yid’s neshama.

So if we can realize that EVERY aveira separates us from Hashem, then no Ruach Shtus will ever be able to convince us that it isn’t a big deal!

That is what we are going to be learning now in Tanya.

There are two main mitzvos that are about never separating ourselves from Hashem. These are the first two of the Aseres Hadibros, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” and “Lo Yihiyeh Lecha Elokim Acheirim.”

The Gemara teaches us that all of the Mitzvos Asei come from the first dibur, and all of the Mitzvos Lo Saasei come from the second dibur. That’s why we heard only the first two of the Aseres Hadibros directly from Hashem — because they include ALL of the mitzvos!

So really, every mitzvah is about not separating from Hashem!

To understand WHY, the Alter Rebbe needs to first teach us at least a little bit about Achdus Hashem, understanding how Hashem is everything and nothing changes Him.

The posuk says, “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” that Hashem created the world with “speech.” Over the next few days, the Alter Rebbe is going to show us how Hashem doesn’t change after the world was created, by explaining the mashal of dibur and what dibur means lemaalah.

We will see that Hashem makes the world in a way that it won’t recognize Achdus Hashem, and it will feel separate, which is the idea of Avodah Zarah. When a Yid doesn’t do what Hashem wants, he is separating from Achdus Hashem and connecting to the Avodah Zarah of the world. When we realize that, we will never ever allow it to happen!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Hey Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how important it is to use our koach of speaking to always say words of Torah!

In a maamar that starts with the words “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” the Friediker Rebbe explains what it means that Hashem created the world with dibur. Then, the Friediker Rebbe says that the reason why Hashem created the world with dibur is so a Yid should use his dibur to strengthen the world that Hashem created with dibur!

In the second half of that maamar, the Friediker Rebbe mentions what happens to the neshama after it finishes its job in this world. If a person wasted his time and talked a lot of narishkeit, the neshama needs a special cleaning called Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela. Today’s Hayom Yom is the last few lines of that maamar:

A person needs to say many words of Torah, (like to say Tehillim or review Mishnayos) whenever and wherever he can! This way it will strengthen the world (because this is why Hashem created it), it will save him from needing Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela, and his neshama will be able to appreciate Elokus.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #179 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #114, Asei #55, Lo Saasei #115, #116

Today we review the mitzvah of yesterday:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #114) We are not allowed to cut the hair of a sheep that is meant for a Korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְלֹא תָגֹז בְּכוֹר צֹאנֶךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros.

We also learn 3 mitzvos about the Korban Pesach, since we are starting those halachos today!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #55) It is a mitzvah for every Yid to bring (or be part of a group that brings) a Korban Pesach on Erev Pesach.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וְשָׁחֲטוּ אֹתוֹ כֹּל קְהַל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Pesachim.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #115) We can’t bring the Korban Pesach if we have chometz in our house!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא תִזְבַּח עַל חָמֵץ דַּם זִבְחִי

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

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #116) The fat of the korban needs to be burned on the Mizbeiach before the next day. We are not allowed to leave it overnight. If it is left, it becomes nosar and is not allowed to be burned on the Mizbeiach anymore.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא יָלִין חֵלֶב חַגִּי עַד בֹּקֶר

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Me'ilah - Korban Pesach

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last Perek of Me’ilah — which is also the last perek of the entire Sefer Avodah!

Perek Ches: We learn about people who are working using Hekdesh, like farmers, builders, or Kohanim. We learn that even these people also need to be careful with Me’ilah!

The Rambam finishes by reminding us that we need to do mitzvos carefully, even if they are chukimmitzvos we don’t understand!

With that halacha, we finished the eighth Sefer in Rambam! Now we are going to start the NINTH sefer, called Sefer Korbanos. This sefer will talk about specific Korbanos.

The first set of halachos is about the Korban Pesach. In 10 perakim, the Rambam will teach us about the 16 mitzvos connected to the Korban Pesach! Only four of them are Mitzvos Asei, things we need to do. All the rest are Lo Saasei — things we have to be careful NOT to do. We will IY”H learn them all in Sefer Hamitzvos.

Perek Alef: In this perek, we learn the answers to the questions “What? Where? When? How?” about the Korban Pesach. (The Rambam usually doesn’t teach us the details of the WHY, which is explained in other places in Torah.)

Perek Beis: Now we learn WHO — who brings the Korban Pesach, and about eating it together as a group.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Avodim - Perek Hey

In Perek Hey we learn the mitzvah of an Eved Knaani — a goyishe slave, and that he goes free only if the master hurt him in a certain way. We learn all the details of what he needs to have done to go free.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Yud Shevat

There are two things that happened on Yud Shevat. The first thing that happened was the histalkus of the Frierdiker Rebbe, and then right away the beginning of the Rebbe’s nesius.

Even though we feel more connected to the fact that it is the beginning of the Rebbe’s nesius, especially this year, which is 70 years of the Rebbe’s nesius, it is clear that the Rebbe also wanted us to keep the minhagim connected to the Yom Hilula of the Frierdiker Rebbe.

There is a letter the Rebbe wrote before Yud Shevat, with the minhagim of the yartzeit.

One of these minhagim is important to know for the Shabbos before Yud Shevat: It is a minhag to get an aliyah to the Torah in connection with the yartzeit.

In many sichos, the Rebbe also speaks about making a farbrengen, if possible, also on the Shabbos before Yud Shevat.

Of course, we need to think to ourselves to make hachlatos in connection with Yud Shevat, to add in learning the Rebbe’s Torah, and making sure we are fulfilling the horaos that the Rebbe gives us on how to live our lives in our time, as we prepare for Kabolas Pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

See farbrengen Gimmel Nisan Tof-Shin-Mem-Beis, and other sichos and letters quoted in Kovetz Shivim Shana

 

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TEFILLAH

Birchos Hashachar

We have been about the meaning of the morning brachos, Birchos Hashachar. Today we will learn about what Birchos Hashachar accomplishes according to Chassidus:

Every night, while we are sleeping, part of our neshama goes up to Shomayim. Then, in the morning, Hashem gives us back our neshama fresh and new!

But when our neshama comes back, it is only “b’apo,” in our nostrils.

Before we are able to do the Avodah of davening, where our neshama spreads into our body, the first step is to remind ourselves that Ruchnius is more important than Gashmius.

We know this when we think about ourselves: As we get older, the guf gets weaker, but our neshama gets stronger!

The same is true with everything in Gashmius. Gashmius by itself falls apart, but the chayus of Hashem stays forever!

There are maamarim in Chassidus that explain how we see this message in the brachos of Birchos Hashachar!

Reminding ourselves that Ruchnius is the most important thing gets us started on our avodah of waking up our neshama and spreading it throughout our guf during davening.

See Ohr HaTefillah, Birchos Hashachar

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Kiddush

The halacha is that children — boys or girls — who understand the inyan of Shabbos have a mitzvah for Chinuch to make Kiddush or be yotzei Kiddush by hearing it from someone else.

If a child is making his own Kiddush, it is important to know how much wine or grape juice he needs to drink! The halacha is that a person who makes Kiddush needs to drink at least a Melo Lugmav, enough to fill up one cheek. But this isn’t the same size for everyone, it goes by the actual size of your cheek! So a small child, who has a small cheek, doesn’t need to drink much at all when he makes Kiddush.

But even though he doesn’t need to DRINK very much, we still need to make sure that the Kiddush cup is the right size. The smallest size for a kosher Kiddush cup is a Revi’is, and even a child should use at least this size, even if he will only drink a small part of it.

Baed on the audio halacha shiurim of Rabbi Farkash, and see Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Chof-Daled

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Comparing the Geulah to Yetziyas Mitzrayim

The Navi says, “Kimei Tzeis’cah Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos.” In the time of the Geulah, Hashem will show us nisim like when we came out of Mitzrayim.

From here we learn that the Geulah from Mitzrayim is an example for the Geulah of Moshiach!

Here is one way that they are the same:

It says about Yetziyas Mitzrayim that it came in the zechus of the women — Bizchus Noshim Tzidkonios Nigalu Avoseinu. Moshiach will also come in the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios (righteous women) of our times!

That is why the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe were very careful to make sure that women have a very good Chinuch. Especially compared to the Rebbeim in other generations, they gave so much of their time and kochos for this! There were special letters, sichos and horaos just for the women, to help make sure that the Noshim of our times will be Noshim Tzidkonios, who will bring Moshiach in their zechus.

See Sefer Hasichos Nun-Beis p. 300

 
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