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Parshas Tzav - Shlishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the special “thank You” present we give when Hashem saves us from dangerous things, called a Korban Todah! After a person takes a trip across the ocean or through the desert, or comes out of jail or has a Refuah Sheleimah from being very sick, he needs to give Hashem a present! He brings an animal for a Korban Shelamim, and 40 Mincha korbanos — 30 made into 3 kinds of matzah with oil, and 10 made into bread — which is chometz. (That’s why we don’t say Mizmor L’sodah, a paragraph about this korban, on Pesach, since the Korban Todah has chometz!)

The meat of this korban can be shared with anyone who is tahor, but eating it while a person is tomei is a big aveira.

When we bring a korban, there are certain parts of the animal that are always burned on the Mizbeiach. For example, certain pieces of fat, called Cheilev, need to be burned on the Mizbeiach. These parts are always asur for us to eat, from ANY animal — even an animal that is not being brought as a korban. We also never eat the blood of any animals.

When a person brings a Korban Shelamim, part of the animal is burned on the Mizbeiach, part of it is given to the kohanim, and part of it he brings home to eat. The person and the kohen hold the parts for Hashem and the kohanim together and wave them, similar to the way we wave a Lulav and Esrog.

Now the Torah has finished teaching us about six kinds of korbanos!
1) Korban Olah - the korban that is ALL burned on the Mizbeiach
2) Korban Mincha - a korban of flour and oil
3) Korban Chatas - a korban brought if a person did an aveira by mistake
4) Korban Asham - for an aveira a person did on purpose
5) Miluim - the korbanos the kohanim will bring when they first become kohanim
6) Shelamim - a korban brought for a happy reason (a Korban Todah is one kind of Shelamim)



66 - 68

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Samach-Vov (66), is the way we will thank Hashem when He brings all the Yidden to Eretz Yisroel!

The first posuk says that this kapitel is a song — “Lamenatzeiach, Shir Mizmor.”

Then the posuk continues, “Horiu L’Elokim Kol Ha’aretz!” “The whole world will blow a trumpet for Hashem!” When Moshiach will come, all of the nations of the world will believe in Hashem!

We learn in today’s Tanya that the things we do in Golus are what make the special Geulah things happen! To help the nations start to believe in Hashem, we need to make sure that they know about the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, which will teach them to believe in Hashem.



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Zayin

We learned in the last perek that when Moshiach comes, Elokus will be revealed in the world, just like at the time of Matan Torah. In this perek, the Alter Rebbe will show us that the mitzvos we do in the time of Golus is what makes this happen!

If you look around the room, you will see lots of kinds of things. Chairs, or couches, tables, toys, food, papers... These kinds of things get their chayus from Kelipas Noga, like a kind of “peel” that blocks it from kedusha. This is what makes it possible for there to be Golus, where kedusha is hidden.

When we do a mitzvah, it makes some of the light of Hashem come into the world — into the things we used to do the mitzvah! Now instead of getting chayus from kelipah, they get chayus from kedusha! Now these Gashmius things in the world become part of kedusha and are able to shine with Hashem’s light!

Even though we will be able to SEE this only when Moshiach comes, it is already shining now with the mitzvah that we did!

This helps us understand what the Chachomim say, “Sechar Mitzvah Mitzvah” — the reward for a mitzvah is a mitzvah. The Alter Rebbe tells us that the reward is the mitzvah itself! The mitzvah that we did is making the reward of the Geulah happen — the light of Hashem that shines in the world, in a place that used to be kelipah!

Many times we talk about “doing a mitzvah to bring Moshiach.” Usually we mean that this one mitzvah could be the one to tip the scale and bring Moshiach, like the Rambam teaches. But it also means something else, like we learn in today’s Tanya: Our mitzvah is CREATING the Geulah! We are changing the world, even though we can’t see it. As soon as Moshiach comes we will see what we accomplished! When Moshiach comes, he will thank all of the Yidden for what they did to help make the Geulah a reality in the world!



Yud-Beis Adar Sheini

In yesterday’s Hayom Yom, we learned that Chassidus explains the deeper meaning of mitzvos and halachos, both in Ruchnius and in Avodah.

Today we see how Chassidus explains what the mitzvah of korbanos means in Avodah!

When the Torah teaches us about bringing korbanos, the first posuk is written in a different way than most pesukim are written. Instead of saying “when ONE OF YOU brings a korban,” it says “when someone brings FROM YOU a korban!” — “Adam Ki Yakriv Mikem...”

This teaches us that a korban isn’t just about bringing an animal (beheima) onto the Mizbeiach, but a Yid can bring a korban for Hashem of himself, “Mikem.”

When we give our own beheimah, the Yetzer Hara which is called a beheima (the Nefesh Habehamis), to Hashem, that’s like bringing a korban!

How do we do this? We take things that our Nefesh Habehamis likes, and give them to Hashem.

For example, let’s say we like to play on the computer. If our parents ask us to do something, and we go off the computer to help them, that’s like a korban! We are taking what we want to do, and giving it away to Hashem by doing the mitzvah of Kibud Av Va’eim!



Shiur #200 - Mitzvas Asei #107

Today’s mitzvah is the same one as yesterday:

(Mitzvas Asei #107) When a neshama leaves a body, the body becomes Tomei. Someone who touches or is in the same house as the body gets some of this Tumah too, called Tumas Meis. Today’s mitzvah is to follow all of the halachos about this tumah!



Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam (Perakim Yud-Ches, Yud-Tes, and Chof), we learn more about how Tumas Meis can spread inside of a house.

One of the things the Rambam teaches is that “Derech Hatumah Latzeis, Ve’ein Darka Lehikanes” — tumah goes out of things, but doesn’t come in. Tumah can come out of even a closed container to make the whole house tamei, but it doesn’t go into a sealed container and make things inside of it tamei.

So for example, if there are dishes inside of a sealed box in a house that has Tumas Meis inside, the dishes stay tahor, even though the whole house is tomei. The tumah doesn’t go inside of the box.

But if there is Tumas Meis inside of a sealed box inside of a house, the whole house becomes tomei. The tumah that is inside of the box goes out of it.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Perek Daled

In this perek we learn more about what to do if there is a problem with the Korban Pesach, like if it gets lost or becomes Tomei.



Mivtza Purim for Children

In the Shabbos Mevorchim farbrengen for Adar Sheini, in Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches, the Rebbe spoke about how important it is to make sure kids are involved in Mivtza Purim! To explain why, the Rebbe told over something the Frierdiker Rebbe said, about the Baal Shem Tov:

When the Baal Shem Tov was still a hidden tzadik, he would travel around from one town to the next. One of the things the Baal Shem Tov would make sure to do in every town or village was to ask every Jew he found — men and women, adults and children — how they are doing. He would go over to them in shul, on the street, in their houses or stores. The Baal Shem Tov would ask them about their health, how their children were doing, and how their parnasa was.

The Baal Shem Tov was very happy to hear how they would all answer, praising Hashem in different ways. They would say “Boruch Hashem,” “Hashem helps,” “Hashem is the real doctor,” and other beautiful answers.

The men would praise Hashem that their families were healthy and that they had parnasa, the women would praise Hashem for their energy and for their children, and the children would praise Hashem for giving them parents who take care of everything they need and make sure they can learn Torah.

This was what the Baal Shem Tov wanted, to have all of these poshute Yidden praise Hashem. The Baal Shem Tov explained that this was the “parnasa” for Hashem!

The Rebbe points out that even though the Baal Shem Tov had so many important things to do, he would make time to go over to children so they could praise Hashem for everything. We see from here how important children are in Yiddishkeit! And now, so close to Purim, we should know that it is especially important for kids to be involved in the mitzvos of Purim and in Mivtza Purim!

See sicha Motzei Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, Tof-Shin-Lamed-Ches, Sefer Hamaamarim Yiddish maamar “Ve’ata Kadosh Yosheiv Tehillos Yisroel


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Ve'al Kein

We learned that the Tefillah of Aleinu was written by Yehoshua at the time of the war with Yericho. The next part, Ve’al Kein, is also connected to this story:

Before the war with Yericho, Yehoshua bin Nun warned the Yidden not to take anything from the city for themselves! It was all going to be given to Hashem.

But one of the soldiers, a man named Achan, wasn’t able to overcome his Yetzer Hara. He took some of the treasures of Yericho for himself.

Hashem was upset at the Yidden, and in the next battle, with the city of Ai, many soldiers were killed.

Yehoshua tried to find out why Hashem made this happen, and learned what Achan had done. Yehoshua took Achan to Beis Din, and they paskened that he was chayav misa, as a kapara for his aveira.

Before Achan received his punishment, he wrote the second part of Aleinu, Ve’al Kein. We see this hinted to in the first words, “Al Kein Nekaveh.” The first letters of each of these words spell the name of Achan.



Taanis Esther

Most of the fasts during the year are connected with the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash. Taanis Esther (and Yom Kippur!) are the only ones which are not.

There are many reasons brought for why we fast on Taanis Esther. A main one is that before the Yidden went to fight against the goyim at the time of Purim, they fasted so that Hashem would have Rachmonus on them and help them win. To remember that, we also fast.

This fast also helps us remember all of the other fasts the Yidden fasted, as part of their doing teshuvah.

Taanis Esther not only helps us remember what happened in the past, but is important for now as well:

On Purim, we eat a lot of good food (and nosh!) and drink lechaims. If people do that for the wrong reasons, it can make them chas veshalom not behave like they should. We fast beforehand, to help keep us from doing aveiros on Purim.

Another reason we fast is to ask Hashem to take away any gezeira that we might have nowadays, from any new “Hamans” that may exist! We are asking Hashem to help us and get rid of those “Hamans” too.

Since this fast is not talked about in Navi in connection with the Churban, it is not such a strict fast. A sick person, even if he is not dangerously sick, is allowed to eat. A woman who is pregnant or nursing a baby, or one who had a baby not long ago, doesn’t have to fast either. Still, they should eat a little bit less than usual, to be part of the Yidden who are fasting. They also shouldn’t eat extra things like nosh. Kids shouldn’t eat nosh either — save it for Purim!

Just like on every fast day, there is a special Kriyas HaTorah in shul, and parts are added to davening.

See Piskei Teshuvos and Halachos Uminhagei Chabad - Taanis Esther

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



Our Mitzvos MAKE the Geulah!

In today’s Tanya, we learn that the mitzvos that we do in Golus are what make the Geulah happen!

But why only mitzvos that we do in Golus? Don’t ALL mitzvos bring down Hashem’s light into the world?

Yes, every mitzvah brings Hashem’s light into the world — even in a time when there is no Golus.

But the Geulah happens when there is a Dira Betachtonim, a comfortable place for Hashem in the lowest part of the world! Golus, where Hashem is hiding, is the lowest part of the world. It is our mitzvos now, in Golus, that bring Hashem’s light all the way down to the Tachtonim, the lowest part of the world, and make it into Hashem’s Dira, into Geulah!

See Notes on Tanya from the Rebbe, perek Lamed-Zayin

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