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Parshas Tzav - Rishon with Rashi

We have been learning about the Korban Olah, a kind of korban that is completely burned up on the Mizbeiach, and kohanim don’t even get a little bit to eat! When we don’t get anything from what we do, sometimes we might not be as careful. So Hashem tells Moshe to tell the kohanim very strongly to keep the halachos of the Olah — “Tzav!” — “command them!”

All the korbanos should be put on the Mizbeiach during the day, but even if they were put on at night it is still okay.

In the morning, a kohen needs to take off the ashes from the Mizbeiach. Even though it might be messy, he wears his special white kohen clothes because it is part of the holy Avodah! The kohen uses a rake to sweep through the middle of the pile of ashes that burned the Olah (and any other korbanos that were on the Mizbeiach). He needs to make sure that the korbanos were all burned. If they weren’t burned up properly, he needs to put them back into the fire. These ashes that he raked through are put on the ground near the Mizbeiach. (This is the same place where the ashes from the Ketores and the used wicks of the Menorah go.) Hashem makes a neis that they will sink into the ground!

Since only the middle part of the ashes is taken off every day, after a while there will be so many ashes on the Mizbeiach, there won’t be room to burn the korbanos! If the kohen sees that there is no room left, he will need to clean off the rest. To do this messy job, he wears a different set of Bigdei Kehunah, not the regular ones. Those ashes are taken away from where the Yidden live, but it still needs to be brought to a tahor place.

The kohanim have to be very careful not to let the fire on the Mizbeiach go out! The fire that the kohanim light needs to burn all the time, even though Hashem will send down a fire from Shomayim to burn the korbanos. The kohanim also use this fire for lighting the Menorah!

A kohen should put fresh wood into the fire every morning, and then put the Korban Tomid (which is a Korban Olah) as the first korban on this new wood. (The last korban of each day is also the Korban Tomid.)

Last week we started to learn about the Korban Mincha, a korban of flour and oil. Now we learn how the Korban Mincha is brought before Hashem: The kohen needs to use his hand to take out a fistful of flour where it is most oily. He has kavana that this korban should bring nachas to Hashem, and burns it on the Mizbeiach together with all of the Levonah spice.

Whatever is left over is for the kohanim to eat… but they can’t make it chometz! It is very holy (called “Kodesh Kodoshim”) and can only be eaten inside the Mishkan. Any other korbanos it touches become Kodesh Kodoshim too!

The flour left over from the Mincha, together with any other parts of the korbanos that are not burned, belong to the kohanim and are shared with all of them equally. It doesn’t matter if they have a mum and can’t actually bring the korbanos, it belongs to them too and they still are able to eat it.



55- 59

In the end of today’s first Kapitel is the niggun Padah Veshalom, which we sing on the Geulah of the Rebbeim. Because we are almost at the Geulah of Purim, it’s a good time for this niggun!

On this posuk, the Gemara learns that someone who learns Torah, and helps others, and davens with a minyan is like he was “Padah” Hashem and the Yidden — like he took them out of Golus!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Vov

In the last perek, the Alter Rebbe told us that only when we do a mitzvah with maaseh, then the Shechinah can rest even on our guf. In this perek, the Alter Rebbe explains that only by doing the mitzvah with our guf and Gashmius are we able to bring Moshiach in this Gashmius world, which is why Hashem created everything! In today’s Tanya we learn that we get the koach to make this happen from Matan Torah.

When Moshiach comes, we will all be able to SEE Hashem through the koach of the Torah!

At Matan Torah the Yidden got a taste of how we’ll be able to see Hashem when Moshiach comes!

What happened during Matan Torah? All of the Yidden were standing together, and everyone was able to realize that Hashem was giving the Torah straight to them. Because they were getting Torah, where Hashem isn’t hidden at all, every Yid could feel that “Ain Od Milvado,” nothing exists aside for Hashem! It was a taste of how it will be when Moshiach comes!



Yud Adar Sheini

There was a chossid that was moving with his family from Warsaw to Eretz Yisroel. The Frierdiker Rebbe gave him a bracha, and told him that before he leaves, he should make a Chassidishe farbrengen there.

Before you leave the place you live, make sure to have a farbrengen and get a bracha from your friends!

Like the saying, “Chassidim never leave each other” — “Chassidim Zegenen Zich Nisht.” That’s because wherever we are, we are one family!

Making a farbrengen before we leave will make us feel this in a stronger way. This will help us remember that we have the Chassidishe way of living which keeps Chassidim together wherever we are.



Shiur #198 - 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. There are many halachos about what a person who has this kind of Tumah is not allowed to do, and how he can become Tahor again. Today’s mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos!



Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel, and Yud-Daled, we are learning about Tumas Meis, and how someone can get this kind of Tumah. There are two ways to get Tumas Meis — to carry a Meis, or to be under the same roof as a Meis.

The Rambam teaches us what is called “under the same roof” (Ohel). Something strong is counted as a roof — even sturdy branches of a tree! They bring the tumah to whatever is underneath it, but keep the tumah from spreading to whatever is OVER the Ohel (“Meviin Vechotzetzin”).

But something that is not strong and will not stay does not become an Ohel. For example, snow is not counted as a roof, because it will melt. So an igloo, which is made of ice and snow, would not be counted as an Ohel and make things inside it tomei.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Perek Beis

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



Megillas Esther

It says in the Midrash that Mordechai gathered together 22,000 children and learned Torah with them. That is what took away the gezeira against the Yidden!

What’s so special about the Torah learning of children?

It is more pure!

First of all, the neshamos of children haven’t been in the world for as long. They are still much more connected to the way they were in Shomayim!

Also, young children don’t have as many taavos from their guf. This keeps them more pure too!

So when the children learned Torah, especially together with their hiskashrus to their Rebbe, Mordechai, their Torah was so powerful! Mordechai Hatzadik learned Torah in the best possible way, and together with the pure Torah of the Yiddishe kinderlach, that destroyed the gezeira!

Vekibel Hayehudim Purim 5711, Toras Menachem Sefer Hamaamarim Purim p. 243


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At the end of davening, we say the Tefillah of Aleinu.

According to most opinions, this tefillah was written by Yehoshua bin Nun.

There are two hints to the connection with Yehoshua from the words of Aleinu:

1) The first letter of the first four lines of Aleinu spells “Hosheia” backwards. (Aleinu Leshabeiach — Ayin, Shelo Sam — Shin, Va’anachnu Korim — Vov, Hu ElokeinuHey.) Hosheia was Yehoshua’s name before Moshe added a Yud. Because Yehoshua was so humble, he still called himself Hosheia.

2) Yehoshua was from Shevet Yosef. This is hinted to in the words “Aleinu Leshabeiach!” In Yaakov’s brachos to the Shevatim, Yosef was compared to an ox (shor). The Gematria of the word Shor is the same as the Gematria of the words “Aleinu Leshabeiach.”



Mivtza Purim

There are four mitzvos of Purim, and many other halachos and minhagim which we learned about. It is very important for us to keep them all. But the Rebbe told us that especially because Moshiach is about to come, we also need to have Ahavas Yisroel and make sure other Yidden can keep these mitzvos too!

Over the years, the Rebbe spoke about Purim mivtzoyim many times! Here is a collection of some of the things the Rebbe told us about:

1) Teach about Purim: We should make sure that people are able to learn more about Purim! We should not only teach about the halachos of Purim, but about the Ruchnius’dike meaning of Purim. Some ways to do this are by teaching classes, and including information about Purim in things we give or send out.

2) Do at least the easy mitzvos: Some of the mitzvos of Purim are very easy for almost ANYONE to do, like giving Shalach Manos and Matanos L’evyonim. We should make sure we are getting as many people as possible to do these mitzvos — including children! Some ways to do this are by bringing coins and a pushka along with us, and having people GIVE (not just get) Shalach Manos.

3) Help people do the harder mitzvos properly: If someone is ready to hear the Megillah, we should make sure they have a Baal Korei who can lein it the way halacha teaches!

4) Spread Simchas Purim: It is a mitzvah to be happy on Purim! So even if a person isn’t able to do the mitzvos, at least they should be happy! Especially in a place where there isn’t much happiness, like in a hospital or nursing home, we should share the joy of Purim so they can celebrate it too!

Based on Sichos of Purim throughout the years — see Otzar Minhagei Chabad, Purim

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



It Can Happen Again!

We learned in today’s Tanya that at the time of Matan Torah it was a taste of how it will be when Moshiach comes. The Yidden were able to feel that nothing exists in the world aside from Hashem.

But we will see in tomorrow’s Tanya that it didn’t last! The Yidden only felt that way for a short time.

So why did Hashem need to make this happen just for that time?

The Rebbe explains that this was important for our avodah of bringing Moshiach! We need to know that it’s not something strange or impossible to be able to clearly see Hashem. We know that it already happened before, at the time of Matan Torah, and soon it will happen again!

This gives us the koach to work hard to bring the Geulah, when we will be able to again see in the Gashmius world that nothing exists besides for Hashem.

See Sefer Hasichos 5752 vol. 1 p. 38 ha’arah 16 , Notes on the Tanya from the Rebbe p. 224

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