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Parshas Matos-Masei - Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn what happened after the war with Midyan.

Moshe Rabbeinu is upset with the Yidden: The soldiers didn’t take anything from Midyan, but some other people tried! So Moshe, Elazar, and the Nesiim came out to them.

Moshe was very angry that the Yidden left the women and children alive! The women were the ones who made the Yidden do aveiros, and could make the Yidden do aveiros. He told the soldiers to kill all the young boys, and all of the women that were old enough to get married.

Becoming tahor and halachos of kashrus: Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden who were tamei to use the Parah Adumah to make themselves tahor again. But he was so upset about what happened, he made a mistake: He thought that since the Parah Adumah can make things tahor from touching a dead body, that it can also make things kosher without kashering them.

So Elazar the Kohen Gadol reviewed the halachos with the Yidden — that the Parah Adumah can make a person tahor, along with anything else that touched (or was in the same house as) a dead body.

But that’s not enough if it’s something a Goy used for food! Elazar taught them about kashering pots by putting them in fire, and about toiveling dishes a Goy used.

He also reminded them about going to the mikvah before going back into the Mishkan.

Splitting up the spoils: Now Hashem told Moshe that everything that the soldiers brought back should be split up. All of the animals and people should be shared — half for the soldiers, and half for all the Yidden — and the money and pots and other things should go to the soldiers.

The soldiers should pay a tax for Hashem from the animals and people — one out of every 500. Moshe gave this tax (which ended up being 675 sheep, 72 cows, 61 donkeys, and 32 people) to Elazar, like Hashem told Moshe.

The Yidden also had to pay a tax from what they got — 1 out of every 50. Moshe gave this tax to the Leviim.

After this, the officers in charge of the soldiers came to Moshe. They wanted to give Hashem a present, to thank Hashem that none of the Jewish soldiers were killed, and as a kapara for any thoughts about marrying the women of Midyan. They gave a present of all of the gold women’s jewelry they got from Midyan. This turned out to be 16,750 shekels of gold. Moshe and Elazar brought it into the Mishkan.



119 (second half)

Today’s Tehillim is the second half of the longest kapitel in the whole Tehillim! In Aramaic, this kapitel is called Tamnya Api — the eight faces, because there are 8 pesukim that start with each letter of the Alef-Beis! Today we are saying the pesukim starting with Mem, all the way until Sof.

One of the pesukim is “Taan Leshoni Imrasecha” — “My tongue repeats Your words.”

Chassidus explains on this posuk that when a Yid learns Torah, Hashem learns Torah with him!


The words of the Torah we are learning were not made up by Moshe Rabbeinu, the Tannaim, Amoraim or Tzadikim. These are words of Hashem that they said! When we say these words, we are repeating those same words, and Hashem is saying them with us!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Zayin

There are two ways to make sure our Teshuvah will last. One way is to have Rachmanus on the neshama — to think about how hard it is for the neshama to be in the world, and that will make sure we treat it nicely. The second way is to have a Leiv Nishbar — to take away the gaavah of the Yetzer Hara! Today and tomorrow the Alter Rebbe will tell us HOW:

A person needs to take some time every day to think about what happens when he does an aveira:

No Yid wants to stay in Golus, and of course none of us would dream of doing something that will make the Golus last for longer!

But guess what? If a person does an aveira, it brings Hashem and his neshama INTO Golus!

A Yid needs to farbreng with himself, thinking in his mind: “Everyone is working so hard to bring the Geulah — and here I go and do something that could chas veshalom keep myself and Yidden in Golus LONGER! What a chutzpa!”

When we think about this, we will make sure that we won’t EVER do anything that will keep us in Golus even one extra second.



Chof-Vov Tammuz

Sometimes we could think that the most important thing is to learn Torah — because we learn Hashem’s Torah and we understand new things! But when we daven, we don’t learn anything new!

So some people used to think that it wasn’t worth spending time on davening — just say the words and go learn Torah!

Today the Rebbe tells us how special davening really is.

When a Yid learns Torah, he is learning and understanding something. His feeling is like someone who is learning from his teacher.

But davening has something that is more special. When a Yid davens, he is thinking about Hashem in a way that is HIGHER than anything he can understand! And he feels close to Hashem more than a student to his teacher — he feels like a child talking to his Tatty.



Shiur #332 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #168

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #168): Even though a regular kohen SHOULD become tomei to go to a levayah of someone in his family who passed away, a Kohen Gadol should NOT.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא יִטַּמָּא



Hilchos Aveil

In today’s Rambam, we learn halachos about how we act if someone passes away R”L.

One of the halachos in Perek Gimmel is that even though kohanim have to be so careful not to become tomei, even a kohen should become tomei if a Nasi (or a Rebbe) passes away to show kavod.

In Perek Daled, we learn about Kavod Hameis, showing kavod for a person who passed away.

Perek Hey teaches halachos about aveilus, how a person acts when a close relative passes away.



Hilchos Tumas Ochalin - Perek Beis

One of the things this perek explains the halachos about a plant or an animal becoming tomei: While a plant is growing, it can’t become tomei, and while an animal is alive, its meat is not mekabel tumah.



Hilchos Beis Habechirah

When we learn about the Beis Hamikdash, Hashem counts it like we are BUILDING it! It also speeds up the building of the third Beis Hamikdash when Moshiach comes!

Yesterday, we learned about the 4 rooms in the Ezras Noshim in the Beis Hamikdash. Now let’s learn more about the Ezras Noshim!

The Ezras Nashim had a special balcony, where women could stand and see what was happening. This way, they could be a part of the simcha in the Beis Hamikdosh during Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, without being together with the men, which wouldn’t be Tzniusdik.

Nowadays, most shuls have an Ezras Noshim too, where women and girls can be part of the davening in shul, but in a tznius’dike way!

From the Ezras Noshim, there were 15 steps that led up to the Azarah.


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Birchos Hashachar

In Biur Tefillah, we are reviewing the brachos we say in the morning, called Birchos Hashachar. We learned that as soon as we wake up, even though we can’t even make a bracha yet, we thank Hashem right away for giving us back our neshama.

We learned about the bracha that we make after we wash our hands, when we are like a kohen, getting ready to serve Hashem during the entire day.

We learned how we thank Hashem for our healthy guf in Asher Yatzar, and how, once we are able to make a bracha, we say a proper bracha with Hashem’s name to thank Hashem for our neshama.

We learned what the words of the bracha mean, that Hashem is with us and gives us the koach to fulfill our shlichus in the world.

That should be enough, right? We said how Hashem is with us, we thanked Hashem for our neshama and our guf — that should be enough to get our day started!

So why do we need the rest of Birchos Hashachar?

In the next part of Birchos Hashachar, we say many detailed brachos about specific things that Hashem gives us every day.

The Chachomim teach us that a Yid should say 100 brachos every day, which will help us love and fear Hashem.

Dovid Hamelech found a hint for this in a posuk: The Torah says, “Mah Hashem Elokecha Shoel Mimecha, Ki Im Leyirah!” “What does Hashem ask from you? Only to fear Hashem!”

The word “mah” (what) is similar to the word “me’ah,” meaning a hundred. Then we can translate the posuk as “A hundred (brachos) is what Hashem is asking from you, so that you will fear Hashem!”

By saying many brachos during the day, we will be reminded about Hashem all the time. That will help us have Ahavas Hashem, and Yiras Shomayim.

The next group of 15 brachos in Birchos Hashachar make it much easier for us to reach 100 brachos throughout the day!



100 Brachos for Women & Children

According to halacha, there is a question if women and children need to say 100 brachos every day. Still, everyone should try to say as many as they can, because it isn’t so hard for anyone to reach 100 brachos!

Every time we say a bracha, we are speaking directly to Hashem! We say “Baruch ATA,” “Blessed are YOU, Hashem!” This reminds us that Hashem is always right here with us. So we should try to say many brachos during the day!

The Rebbe says that we should even help young children, even if they’re too young to understand why, to say many brachos. We can give them nosh and treats so that they will say more brachos to Hashem during the day!

See Shulchan Menachem p. 22

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



Learning About the Third Beis Hamikdash

The Rebbe spoke to us about how important it is to learn about building the Beis Hamikdash, especially during the Three Weeks! The Rebbe told us that we should learn about the Beis Hamikdash the way it is in Torah Shebichsav, Torah Shebaal Peh, and halacha.

In halacha, we have the Rambam’s Hilchos Beis Habechirah, which explains the second Beis Hamikdash in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

In Torah Shebaal Peh, we have Mesechta Midos, a Mishnayos which tells us the sizes of all of the parts of the second Beis Hamikdash.

And in Torah Shebichsav, we have the nevuah of Yechezkel. In this nevuah, Yechezkel saw a malach measuring the Beis Hamikdash, and we see the details in a few perakim of his sefer (perakim Mem to Mem-Gimmel). The meforshim tell us that this is talking about the third Beis Hamikdash!

The Rambam writes about Yechezkel’s nevuah that it is “Aino Mefurash Umevuar” — it isn’t explained properly that we can understand it.

The Radak, one of the meforshim on Yechezkel, says that there are three parts of the Beis Hamikdash that Yechezkel talks about that we really don’t understand at all. He uses the expression of the Gemara, “Asid Eliyahu Ledarsha” — Eliyahu Hanavi will need to come explain, because we won’t be able to figure it out on our own!

But even though we can’t understand it completely, and won’t until Moshiach comes, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn it — as we will IY”H see tomorrow!

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