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CHUMASH

Parshas Mikeitz - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Paraoh makes Yosef second to the king. He starts collecting food for the hunger, and has two sons, Menasheh and Efrayim.

Paraoh said to Yosef, “Just like you said, we need a very smart person to be in charge of the food. Since Hashem made YOU know about this and nobody else, that means that there is nobody as smart as you! I am making you in charge of saving the food. Everyone will have to listen to you, and even though I am still the king, you can do anything just like a king.” (Paraoh ignored what the butler said, that Yosef wouldn’t be a good person to have a job for the king.) He gave Yosef his ring, and fancy clothes, and a special necklace that shows he is a big officer. 

Paraoh had Yosef ride through the city in one of the royal carriages, telling everyone to bend their knees in front of Yosef. He said to Yosef in front of everyone: “I am Paraoh, and I am in charge. I am making a decree that nobody can even hold weapons or ride on a horse without your permission!”

Paraoh gave Yosef the name “Tzofnas Paneiach,” which means “the one who explains hidden things” (because he explained the dream that nobody understood) and gave him Osnas, Potifera’s daughter, to marry. (Potifera is the name the Torah now uses for Potifar.) Yosef was now 30 years old, and he went all around Mitzrayim to save food for the hunger years, when nothing will grow.

During the seven years when there was a lot of food, people brought grain to the storehouses where they would keep all of it. They took some of the earth from the places where it grew, to help keep it from going bad. There was so much grain, more than could be counted!

Yosef had two sons before the hunger years started. One son was called Menasheh, which means “makes you forget.” Hashem made Yosef forget the hard years he went through, and he wanted to thank Hashem for that! He also chose this name to help him remember that he is a Yid, because being so great can chas veshalom make a person easily forget. The second son was called Efrayim, because Hashem made him grow in Mitzrayim.

 
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TEHILLIM

119 (second half)

Today’s Tehillim is the second half of Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes.

Today we are saying the second half of the longest Kapitel in the whole Tehillim! The last posuk says, “To’isi KeSeh Oved, Bakeish Avdecha, Ki Mitzvosecha Lo Shochochti.” “I got lost like a stray sheep, please Hashem, find me, because I didn’t forget Your mitzvos!”

Why did Dovid Hamelech say that Hashem should find him because he didn’t FORGET His mitzvos — why didn’t he say because he was DOING all of the mitzvos?

We can find the answer in the posuk! Dovid Hamelech is saying this posuk for all of the Yidden, how we feel during Golus. We ask Hashem to remember us. We can’t say that we are DOING all the mitzvos of Hashem, because we can’t keep so many of them without a Beis Hamikdash and without living in Eretz Yisroel. But we REMEMBER them!

Most of the day we are busy doing everyday things, and not only doing mitzvos. But even when we are doing “regular” things, we are still thinking about mitzvos, and how we are connected to Hashem. One way we do this is by learning Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos, so every year we have remembered all of the 613 mitzvos!

When we do this, “Bakeish Avdecha” — Hashem will find us, and bring the Geulah!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Gimmel

Hashem placed 10 special tools in a Yiddishe neshamasechel and midos — to help us do our Shlichus in the world. In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe shows us how a Yid uses these tools to be connected to Hashem.

Yesterday, the Alter Rebbe taught us about the neshama-tools of Sechel and Midos.

Today we learn about how using the Sechel tools to think about Hashem can make us feel — in our heart — a strong love and fear of Hashem — Midos!

We said in Perek Alef that the first Nefesh has four ingredients. The second nefesh (the neshama) has them also! Ahava comes from the ingredient of fire, and Chochma comes from water. We will see later, in Perek Tes, that by making the ingredients of our neshama stronger inside of us, it will change the matching ingredients of our Nefesh Habehamis into Kedusha!

The Alter Rebbe tells us that it is important to make sure to use our koach of Daas, because that’s the only way to make sure that our Midos will be strong and last!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Vov Kislev

Chassidishe Minhagim for Shabbos Chanukah: We have farbrengens because it is Shabbos Mevorchim. In the year the Hayom Yom was written, Vesein Tal Umatar was started Motzei Shabbos Chanukah. We light the menorah after Havdalah, before we say V’yitein Lecha. In Shul, first we light the menorah, and then we say Havdalah.

On Shabbos Mevorchim, Chassidim should come to shul early to say the whole Tehillim. Then, study a maamar for about an hour, in a way that everyone can understand, and after that daven. The time of the farbrengen is different depending on where you live — whatever is best for your place.

With a minyan, after saying each book of Tehillim on Shabbos Mevorchim, an avel (mourner) or a person who has yartzeit says Kaddish.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #141 - Mitzvas Asei #133, #143, #144

Today we learn 3 mitzvos about presents we give to the kohanim:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #133) Hafroshas Challah — whenever we make dough, we take a piece to give to the kohen. (We learn about this in today’s Rambam!)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shelach: רֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם חַלָּה תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה

The details are explained in Mesechta Challah and Mesechta Orlah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #143) We need to give the kohen 3 parts of every kosher animal we shecht — the front part of the leg, the jaw, and one of the stomachs (the Keivah).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְזֶה יִהְיֶה מִשְׁפַּט הַכֹּהֲנִים מֵאֵת הָעָם מֵאֵת זֹבְחֵי הַזֶּבַח אִם שׁוֹר אִם שֶׂה

The details are explained in Mesechta Chulin perek Yud.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #144) When we cut the hair of our sheep (shearing), we need to take the first part and give it to the kohen.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְרֵאשִׁית גֵּז צֹאנְךָ תִּתֶּן לוֹ

The details are explained in Mesechta Chulin perek Yud-Alef.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Bikurim

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about Hafroshas Challah — today’s first mitzvah!

Perek Vov: We need to take challah from dough that will be baked for people to eat. Dough that will just be boiled (like spaghetti) we DON’T need to take challah from. We learn that there needs to be enough flour (about 3 pounds), and they need to be the kinds of flour that we use to make hamotzi bread (wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye).

Perek Zayin: What happens if we put a few small batches of dough together? Do we need to take challah from them? As long as we wouldn’t mind if they got a little bit mixed with each other, we can count them as one big batch of dough, and take challah from them if together they are the size of the shiur challah.

Perek Ches: Do we need to separate challah from flour? Usually we don’t, but if the flour all gets stuck together, we do.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Zechiya U'Matana - Perek Gimmel

In Perek Gimmel we learn about presents. When a person gives someone a present, he needs to make sure that the other person understands what belongs to him! If he just says “I’m giving you a field,” the person doesn’t get anything, because we’re not sure which one we’re supposed to give him!

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Chanukah

Are you a soldier in Tzivos Hashem? Did you know that it’s like being in a real army?

In a real army, soldiers have a general who gives orders. In a time of war, the general figures out the best way to win the war. He gives an order every day to make sure that the army does an important piece of his plan, to make sure they will win! That’s the “order of the day,” the special task that needs to be done to win the war.

In our army, Tzivos Hashem, we have an “Order of the Day” too! Our general, the Rebbe, tells us that our order for each day is the lessons we learn from the daily shiurim, Chitas and Sefer Hamitzvos. When we learn the shiurim, we will figure out the special order for today, which will help us win the war against the Yetzer Hara and bring Moshiach!

In the army, some days there will be special missions too! Sometimes the soldiers will do a surprise attack, or will need to fight extra hard because the enemy is coming closer.

In our army, we also have special missions! Sometimes it is a mission about a Yom Tov, or because of something serious that happens in the world. Our special missions are very important!

At the rallies for the Yomim Tovim, the Rebbe often told the soldiers of Tzivos Hashem about their special mission.

From a sicha on the 5th night of Chanukah, 5747

 

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TEFILLAH

Hallel

Part of the mitzvah of Chanukah is to praise and thank Hashem, Hallel and Hoda’ah. We praise Hashem by saying the whole Hallel every day of Chanukah, and we thank Hashem by adding Ve’al Hanisim in Shemoneh Esrei.

In Hallel, we praise Hashem that He runs the world exactly the way He wants, even when it is “against the rules!” The world usually works with the rules of teva (nature), but Hashem doesn’t HAVE TO use them! When Hashem wants to, “Hahofchi Hatzur Agam Mayim” — He can change a rock into a fountain of water! We say, “Veilokeinu Bashamayim Kol Asher Chofeitz Asa” — Hashem runs the world however He wants to, no matter how nature says it is supposed to work.

The neis of Chanukah happened just like that! Hashem didn’t listen to any of the rules of teva. Hashem made the small Yiddishe army win over the gigantic Greek army, and made a small bottle of oil burn for 8 days!

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Tzedakah on Chanukah

The Meforshim in the Shulchan Aruch talk about giving tzedakah on Chanukah. They say that on Chanukah, we need to give EXTRA tzedakah. But we don’t only give extra MONEY to tzedakah, we also need to give extra tzedakah from OURSELVES, from our time and our energy!

The Rebbe tells us that a very important way to give tzedakah from ourselves is to do extra mivtzoyim. This way, we are also giving Ruchnius’dike tzedakah to others in honor of Chanukah!

See Likutei Sichos Chelek Hey, sicha of Chanukah and in Hosafos

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

Dreidel

It is written in seforim that the dreidel is connected to Moshiach, because the letters “Nun, Gimmel, Hey, Shin” are the same Gematria as the word Moshiach!

 
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