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Parshas Netzavim - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden that when they come into Eretz Yisroel, they will become responsible for each other! They need to make sure that no one is doing Avodah Zarah.

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden another reason why they need to make a new promise with Hashem: Because this promise is for all the Yidden TOGETHER — once they make this promise, they will have to make sure that EVERY Yid does the mitzvos. Before, every Yid only had to worry about himself what HE was doing — then, when they come into Eretz Yisroel (at Har Grizim and Har Eival), they will get the responsibility to make sure that everyone is doing what Hashem wants — Kol Yisroel Areivim Zeh Lazeh.

This is very serious — Yidden can even get punished if someone else does an aveira!

If someone thinks about the idols he saw from the Goyim, and decides to do it — and even worse, if he makes other Yidden do it too — Hashem will punish him, and anyone who listens to him, with the scary things that it says in the Tochacha. Everyone will see that, and know that Hashem is punishing them for the Avodah Zarah.

But how can we know if someone is secretly doing Avodah Zarah? Will we get punished even though we had no idea?

Don’t worry, Moshe tells the Yidden — “Hanistaros LaHashem Elokeinu” — whatever is hidden, Hashem knows. We only need to worry about what we DO see and we DO know about, to make sure that all of the Yidden follow the Torah.



108 - 112

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Ches through Kuf-Yud-Beis. We also say three kapitelach for Chodesh Elul: Samach-Zayin, Samach-Ches, and Samach-Tes.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Reishis Chochma Yiras Hashem” — the beginning of Chochma (the first thing before we get the chochma of Torah) is to have Yiras Hashem.

A person could go to Yeshiva and learn a lot of Torah! Sometimes a person might think he is so smart, he is smarter than his teachers! He thinks he doesn’t need to listen to his parents or give them respect, because he knows so much!

That’s why we need to have Yiras Shomayim first, because this way, we can make sure that our learning Torah will only bring to GOOD things!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Zayin

The Alter Rebbe is writing a letter to Chassidim in a certain city that used to give a certain amount of money to Colel Chabad every year. Then parnasa got very hard for them, and they started to give less. The Alter Rebbe is explaining reasons why they shouldn’t do that:

Yesterday, we learned the first reason: The poor Yidden in Eretz Yisroel had no way of getting money on their own. Helping them with the things they NEED comes before getting the things the Yidden in this town liked to have for themselves.

Today, the Alter Rebbe gives us more reasons:

2) The Gemara says that someone who ONLY gives exactly the amount of money that halacha says to give, and no more, will Chas Veshalom need to take tzedakah himself in the end. So we should give MORE than what the halacha says to protect ourselves from this.

3) We always need Hashem’s rachmonus, and if we have rachmonus on other people even when it’s hard for us, Hashem will have rachmonus on us too in everything that we need.

4) All of us have done aveiros, and one way for Hashem to forgive us for them is by giving Tzedakah (like we learned in Igeres HaTeshuvah).

5) We believe that giving Tzedakah isn’t giving what WE have, it’s like lending money to Hashem, and Hashem will pay us back double!

6) The Gemara says that if your friends are doing a mitzvah and you don’t do it with them, it could bring not good things chas veshalom. Since all of the Anash communities were giving to this fund they shouldn’t be different.

The Alter Rebbe tells the Chassidim that if they will give the same amount of Tzedakah that they gave before, they will get lots of brachos from Hashem!



Chof-Gimmel Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom, we see that learning Torah needs to come along with having good midos!

When the Alter Rebbe’s son Moshe was a boy, he was learning a Gemara where it was saying special things about the different Chachomim.

R’ Shimon ben Yochai said something special about his teacher R’ Akiva: “Learn from my midos, because they are only a tiny part of the midos of my teacher!”

When R’ Moshe was learning this, he was not sure about something: Rashi explains that “midos” means the Torah he learned from his teacher, but R’ Moshe also knew that “midos” means “midos” — how we act and feel!

The Alter Rebbe came in and said with a niggun, “The whole Torah is all Midos Tovos. Even though there are some things that seem like Hashem is being strict with us, really that’s also good midos, to make us better. So BOTH things are right — the word “Midos” means Torah and also midos! You can’t have good midos without Torah, and you can’t have Torah unless you have good midos.”

The same thing happened with the Tzemach Tzedek too, when he was a boy! He was also learning Gemara and had this question, and the Alter Rebbe said the same thing.



Shiur #79 - Mitzvas Asei #222

Today’s Sefer Hamitzvos is the same as yesterday’s (Mitzvas Asei #222) — that if a man and woman can’t stay married, the husband has to give his wife a get. (A get is a paper that shows that they are not married anymore.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Gitin.



Hilchos Girushin

Today in Rambam (Perakim Daled, Hey, and Vov) we learn about the get and how a person can write it. A get can’t be written with invisible ink or juice that will disappear! It’s better not to write a get with a pencil, because it can be erased.

We also learn about how someone can give a get. A get has to be given to the woman. We learn the halachos if he throws her the get, or gives it to someone else to give to her.



Hilchos Bikurim - Perek Gimmel

There are seven things we need to do the mitzvah of Bikurim properly:

1) Bring the bikurim to Yerushalayim
2) in a container,
3) say a special paragraph telling Hashem we brought them
4) and bring a Korban Shelamim
5) with singing,
6) then wave the bikurim around (like a Lulav — called Hanofas HaBikurim)
7) and stay overnight in Yerushalayim.



Gimmel D'Selichos

Today is the yartzeit of the Rebbe’s grandfather, R’ Meir Shlomo Yanovsky, the father of Rebbetzin Chana, who was a Rav in Nikolayev. The Rebbe would say Kaddish on this day in 770 during all three tefilos.


Today is also the third day of Selichos.

On the third day of Selichos, the Rebbeim would say a maamar to the one who would become the next Rebbe.

This is something people didn’t know about. But in Tof-Shin-Hey, the Frierdiker Rebbe told us about it, teaching us that Gimmel D’Selichos is a special day.

Years later, in Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef, the Rebbe explained a few reasons why this is connected davka to the third day of Selichos.

For us, the main thing is to use this special day for good things! Everyone should add in their learning Torah or good behavior. It is especially appropriate to learn a part of one of the many maamarim which were said on Gimmel D’Selichos.

See Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p. 303 and footnotes there, maamar of Tof-Shin-Hey

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What We Daven for On Rosh Hashana

In the Rosh Hashana davening, we ask Hashem, “Rule over the whole world!” We crown Hashem as our King, and say that we are ready to be His loyal subjects, ready to do whatever He asks from us with true Kabolas Ol. But also in the Rosh Hashana davening, we ask over and over that Hashem should judge us for a good year, and give us all of the Gashmius things we need.

So are we davening for Hashem to be our King, or for us to have a good year? Is this about Hashem or about us?

The Baal Shem Tov taught an explanation on the posuk from Tehillim, “Re’eivim Gam Tzemei’im, Nafsham Bahem Tis’ataf!” “When a person is hungry and thirsty, it is because their neshama wants something!” When we feel like we need something Gashmius’dik, it can be because we really want the kedusha hiding inside of it.

In order to run Hashem’s world properly, we need to use the kedusha that is hiding in the Gashmius! We won’t be able to show that the world is Hashem’s without using the world to serve Him. So on Rosh Hashana, we ask Hashem for a good year where we can SHOW that Hashem is our King!

That is also the REAL reason why we are asking for a good and sweet year — so we can truly crown Hashem as our King.

See Likutei Sichos chelek 19, sicha for Rosh Hashana - Vov Tishrei



Leshana Tova

It is our minhag that after davening on the first night of Rosh Hashana, we wish each other personally, “Leshana Tova Tikaseiv Veseichaseim!” “You should be written and sealed for a good year!” (For a girl, we say “Leshana Tova Tikaseivi Veseichaseimi.”)

After Chatzos on the second day of Rosh Hashana, Hashem has already written each of us down for a good year. So we start wishing each other, “Chasima Ugmar Chasima Tova!” “You should be signed and sealed for good!”

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Kuf-Pey-Beis, se’if Yud-Zayin

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



Sweet Again

Malachi is the last sefer of the Neviim.

Who was Malachi? The Gemara says that this Navi might have been Mordechai Hatzadik, or Ezra. The Abarbanel says that he was an actual person with this name. He says that Malachi was the last of the Neviim, who lived after the second Beis Hamikdash was built.

The last perek of Sefer Malachi is a beautiful nevuah about Moshiach!

The Navi says that Hashem will give us the Beis Hamikdash and accept our korbanos with all of the nisim we had during the first Beis Hamikdash:

וְעָרְבָה לַה׳ מִנְחַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמֹנִיּוֹת

Ve’arva LaHashem Minchas Yehudah VeYerushalayim — The korbanos of the Yidden will be sweet to Hashem

Kimei Olam Ucheshanim Kadmonios — Like they used to be!

This posuk is also part of davening:

In Korbanos in the morning, we say the pesukim that talk about the Korban Tomid and the Ketores, and the halachos about how the Ketores is made. When we do this, Hashem counts it as if we are actually bringing the Korban Tomid and the Ketores!

After finishing, we say this posuk. We are asking Hashem that not only should it be counted as if we are bringing the Tomid and the Ketores, but that we should actually be able to bring them for Hashem to enjoy!

See Malachi perek Gimmel posuk Daled

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