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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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L’ilui Nishmas R’ Simcha ben R’ Mishael Babayov ~ yartzeit Chof-Gimmel Tammuz
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CHUMASH

Parshas Matos-Masei - Shishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the Nesiim who will help split up Eretz Yisroel, and where the Leviim will live.

Hashem told Moshe who should be in charge of dividing up Eretz Yisroel — Elazar the Kohen Gadol, and Yehoshua bin Nun. The Nasi from each Shevet should be in charge of the part for his shevet.

Here are the names of the Nesiim:

Yehuda: Kalev ben Yefuneh
Shimon: Shmuel ben Amihud
Binyamin — Elidad ben Kislon
Dan: Buki ben Yagli
Menasheh: Chaniel ben Eifod
Efrayim: Kemuel ben Shiftan
Zevulun: Elitzafan ben Parnach
Yissachar: Paltiel ben Azan
Asher: Achihud ben Shlomi
Naftali: Pedahel ben Amihud

(We don’t say the Nesiim for Shevet Reuven or Gad, because they already have their land, on the other side of the Yarden!)

Then Hashem tells Moshe about the cities for Shevet Levi. They don’t GET a part of Eretz Yisroel — there are just certain cities that will be for the Leviim to LIVE.

The Yidden should give them the six cities which will be an Ir Miklat, and then 42 more cities. Each city needs to be surrounded by 1000 amos of open space, and 1000 amos of fields to grow things, on all sides of the cities.

In today’s Chumash, there are two very rare trop — this is the only place they appear in the entire Torah! Can you find them?

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TEHILLIM

140 - 150

Today is Erev Rosh Chodesh! Since this month has only 29 days, we also say the Tehillim for Yom Lamed, and we finish the whole Sefer Tehillim!

The Rebbe once spoke at a farbrengen about the small paragraph before almost every kapitel in Tehillim which tells us what the kapitel is about. The Rebbe said that even though we don’t know who wrote these paragraphs and if he is reliable, still almost all of them seem to properly show the inyan of that kapitel.

In the paragraph before Kapitel Kuf-Mem-Alef, it says that this Kapitel teaches us that a Yid should daven to Hashem to help him not say things that he doesn’t really feel.

One of the pesukim says “Shisa Hashem Shamra Lefi” — “Hashem should put a guard in front of my mouth” — to only say what I really mean.

When we talk to other people, it is easy to say things that will make us look better, even if they aren’t what we really feel. This kapitel asks Hashem to help us to be able to be true friends with other people.

If we are nice to someone else, we need to act like their friend, even when they are not looking.

See Divrei Kibushin 17 Tammuz 5745

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TANYA

Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Yud-Alef

We learned that a Yid is able to feel serious and happy at the same time when doing teshuvah, because they are for different reasons. The seriousness comes from Teshuvah Tata’ah, from having rachmanus for the neshama and feeling bad for the aveiros that we did, since they bring the Shechinah and the neshama in Golus. The happiness comes from Teshuvah Ila’ah, from being able to daven and learn and do mitzvos with a new chayus after doing Teshuvah Tata’ah!

Then we learned that even the part of Teshuvah where we feel bad about the aveiros we did can also bring a simcha! When we have emunah and bitachon that Hashem forgives us, that will make us happy!

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us more about how we are so sure that Hashem forgives us:

We say every day in davening, “Boruch Ata Hashem, Chanun HaMarbeh Lisloach” — “Blessed are You Hashem, Who is merciful and forgives A LOT!” We also say something like this when we ask Hashem to forgive us on Yom Kippur.

It MUST be that Hashem forgives us, otherwise how could we say Hashem’s name in a bracha? It would be a bracha levatala!

If we asked a person to forgive us for hurting him, he might agree. But if we kept on hurting him again and again, he would run out of patience and not want to forgive us anymore!

But Hashem’s midos do not run out! We ask Hashem three times a day to forgive us, even though we keep making the same mistakes. And every year on Yom Kippur we ask Hashem to be mochel us for the same things. We know that Hashem WILL for sure forgive us!

If a Yid chas veshalom does an aveira and thinks “It’s OK to do this aveira — I’ll just do Teshuva later,” (Echteh Ve’Ashuv), Hashem won’t help him to do teshuvah. But when we daven, before we ask Hashem to forgive us, we ask for help to do a proper teshuvah. On Yom Kippur also, we first ask Hashem to help us not do aveiros again. This shows that our teshuvah is real, we aren’t just relying on Hashem’s forgiveness. And even if someone is, and Hashem won’t help him do teshuvah, if he tries very hard, he still can do teshuvah — and Hashem will forgive him!

When we KNOW that Hashem will forgive us, we can be besimcha even about the past!

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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Tes Tammuz

A handwritten note, a Ksav Yad, was found from the Tzemach Tzedek.

On the paper, it said about a hachlata that he made — to learn for 6 hours at night, standing up!

It also said there that Boruch Hashem he was able to keep his hachlata, and he finished learning ALL of the Gemaras, Shas, Bavli, and Yerushalmi, and the Shulchan Aruch, b’iyun — in depth!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #26 - Mitzvas Asei #26, #12

Today we learn two NEW mitzvos!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #26) A kohen has a mitzvah to bentch the Yidden every day! (Outside of Eretz Yisroel, the kohanim bentch the Yidden only on Yom Tov.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Naso: כֹּה תְבָרֲכוּ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמוֹר לָהֶם

The details are explained in the last perakim of Mesechta Megillah, Mesechta Taanis, and Mesechta Sotah perek Zayin.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #12) Men need to wear Tefillin Shel Rosh, tefillin on their head. This mitzvah is said four times in the Torah!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Menachos perek Daled.

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Tefillah - Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah

Perek Yud-Daled: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us about Birchas Kohanim, the special words that kohanim say to bring Hashem’s brachos to the Yidden! In the Beis Hamikdash, the kohanim would bentch the Yidden using the special Sheim Hameforash, the name of Hashem that is written Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay, and pronouncing it properly. After Shimon Hatzadik passed away, they stopped using this name of Hashem, even in the Beis Hamikdash, in case someone who didn’t act properly would learn it.

Perek Tes-Vov: We learn about times when a kohen shouldn’t do Birchas Kohanim, like a kohen who is drunk. But being a rasha shouldn’t stop a kohen from bentching the Yidden — because it’s a mitzvah, and we don’t make a rasha into a bigger rasha by stopping him from doing more mitzvos!

In the last halacha, the Rambam says that any kohen that bentches the Yidden is bentched himself, like the posuk says, that Hashem says to Avraham, “Va’avarecha Mevarachecha, “I will bentch those who bentch you.” From here we see, “Kol Hamevarech Misbarech” — when someone gives a bracha to another person, he is bentched from Hashem!

Then we start a new set of halachos: Halachos about Tefillin, mezuzah, and Sefer Torah!

Perek Alef: The Rambam starts by telling us about Tefillin. (Many of these halachos are also for mezuzos and Sifrei Torah, which is why these halachos are all in the same set of halachos.) There are 10 things that Tefillin need to have in order to be kosher! The first two are about how they are made:

1) They need to be written with ink: We make ink by mixing soot from burning candles with sap and honey, crushing it into powder, and drying it. We mix it with a liquid (like gallnut juice) and write with that. One halacha is that the ink has to be BLACK — if even one letter is written in another color, even gold, they are posul!

2) They have to be written on parchment: There are actually three kinds of parchment! Parchment is made from the skin of an animal, which we soak in things that make it get smaller and harder. Once it is ready, it is called g’vil. But the g’vil can be separated into two parts — the klaf (the part facing outside of the animal, where hair grows) and the duchsustos (the part facing inside, where the meat of the animal is). It is best to write a Sefer Torah on g’vil, a mezuzah on duchsustos, and Tefillin on klaf. (Nowadays, we use only one kind of parchment, which has some of the top and most of the bottom rubbed off. This makes the parchment a lighter color.)

The Rambam also teaches us about the kavana the sofer needs to have when he is writing. If he writes Hashem’s name without thinking about the kedusha of Hashem, the tefillin (or mezuzah, or Sefer Torah) is posul!

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Kela'im - Perek Yud

In this perek, the last perek of Hilchos Kelaim, we learn the halachos of Kilayim in clothing, shatnez. Shatnez means mixing wool and linen together. Any way we mix them — by sewing them together, making a kind of material with wool and linen, or even just sewing one thread of wool into linen — are all asur! But it IS okay to wear a linen belt over wool clothes, because they are not connected.

Shatnez isn’t just for clothes — if it can touch your skin and make you warm, it is also asur! So sheets, towels, and soft squishy beanbags also can’t have shatnez.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Hilchos Beis Habechirah

We are now in the middle of Bein Hameitzarim, the Three Weeks where we think about the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash and the many sad things that happened to Yidden through the years. Starting tonight, on Rosh Chodesh, we will also be in the time of the Nine Days, when the Chachomim taught us to follow some of the minhagim of aveilus (mourning) for the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash.

It is important to review these halachos today, because to keep them, we need to prepare before Rosh Chodesh. For example, we aren’t allowed to do laundry or wear fresh clothes during the Nine Days, and we need to make sure to have enough clothing ready.

The Three Weeks and the Nine Days are not times of simcha for Yidden. But still, that doesn’t mean that we should be very sad and feel like we should give up! Even though the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, we still have the Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash, that Hashem rests among the Yidden.

During the Three Weeks and especially during the Nine Days, we need to work EXTRA hard to make our Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash strong, and to help build the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash faster!

When we add in learning Torah and doing mitzvos, we are making sure that Hashem will rest with us, “Veshachanti Besocham,” in our Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash.

And when we share Torah and Chassidus with others, we are speeding up the Geulah, when we will have the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash again, and these days will change from sad days into days of simcha!

One of the horaos the Rebbe gave us for these days is to learn the halachos of the Beis Hamikdash. Until Moshiach comes, this is the best way we are able to do the mitzvah of building the Beis Hamikdash!

Here is something we learn about the Beis Hamikdash:

The kohanim slept in the Beis Hamikdash, in a room called the Beis Hamokeid. Before they started their Avodah, they washed their hands and feet from the Kiyor!

The Kiyor was set up between the Mizbeiach and the Heichal. It was very big, so that all of the kohanim could use it in the morning. In the time of the second Beis Hamikdash, they added many extra spouts! This way all 12 kohanim who helped with the Korban Tomid could wash their hands and feet at the same time.

Usually, water that sits in a holy keili in the Beis Hamikdash overnight becomes posul. So the leftover water in the Kiyor would become posul every night!

A kohen named Ben Katin came up with a way to keep the water from becoming posul, and to refill the Kiyor at the same time! He set up a pulley system to lower the Kiyor every night into a Mikvah that was under the Beis Hamikdash. Since the water of the Kiyor was touching the Mikvah water, it didn’t become posul at all. (Adding the extra spouts was also Ben Katin’s idea.)

See Igros Kodesh chelek Tes-Vov p. 300, Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Ches – Masei/Bein Hameitzarim, Hilchos Beis Habechirah

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TEFILLAH

Hamaavir Sheina - Vihi Ratzon

We just said the bracha of Hamaavir Sheinah, that Hashem removed the sleep from our eyes so that we are refreshed and ready for another day.

But a day can be ANY kind of day. Some people spend their day kvetching, or looking only for fun and games, or looking for trouble. Hashem didn’t take away our sleepiness for us to do that!

In the next paragraph, that starts with the words Vihi Ratzon, we ask Hashem that today be the RIGHT kind of day! We ask Hashem that our day should be the kind that brings nachas to Hashem and makes other people happy. It should be full of Torah and mitzvos, and we shouldn’t get distracted today by the tricks of the Yetzer Hara. Then we finish the bracha the way we started, by thanking Hashem for His kindness in taking away our sleepiness and giving us kochos for a GREAT day! We say, “Hagomel Chasadim Tovim Le’amo Yisrael,” that Hashem does goodness and kindness to His nation, the Yidden.

In the next paragraph, Yehi Ratzon, we also ask Hashem that our day should be protected from troubles and hardships which can keep us from acting the way a Yid should.

The words of these paragraphs come from private tefillos that Chachomim of the Gemara used to say at the end of Shemoneh Esrei.

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

No Words of Torah Until Birchos HaTorah

The Nine Days start tomorrow, on Rosh Chodesh. There are many halachos that it is important to know. (Most of these halachos will only be kept starting after Shabbos.) Here is a link to a halacha newsletter with many of these halachos.

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We are not allowed to say any words of Torah before we say the Birchos HaTorah that are in Birchos Hashachar. We don’t say pesukim from Torah Shebichsav, and we are also not allowed to learn from Torah Shebaal Peh, or speak about ideas from Torah. (Before saying Birchos HaTorah, we are only allowed to THINK words of Torah.)

Even though some parts of Birchos Hashachar come from the Gemara, we are allowed to say them before the Birchos HaTorah. That is because we are saying them as a tefillah, and not as words of Torah.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 47

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

The New Division of Eretz Yisrael

In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned about the borders of Eretz Yisroel. Today we learn about the Nesiim who will help make sure that every family gets a part of Eretz Yisroel that is just right for them.

Eretz Yisroel isn’t actually split up until much later, in Sefer Yehoshua. First the Yidden spent 7 years capturing Eretz Yisroel, and then it took another 7 years to split up the land properly.

Near the end of Sefer Yechezkel, there is a famous nevuah where Hashem showed the Navi the measurements of the third Beis Hamikdash! There are also nevuos about other things that will happen when Moshiach comes.

One of these nevuos is about the new borders of Eretz Yisroel and how it will be split up in the times of the Geulah.

When Moshiach comes, Eretz Yisroel will be much bigger! Many of the lands around Eretz Yisroel will become part of Eretz Yisroel itself.

It will also be split up very differently. The first time it was split up, each shevet got a part of Eretz Yisroel that was the perfect size for the families in that shevet. If you look at the map, you will see that each Shevet’s section was a different shape and size.

When Moshiach comes, Eretz Yisroel will be split up into equal rows, like stripes across the entire land. Each shevet will get their own “stripe,” and there will be a stripe for the Beis Hamikdash, which will also include a section for the Kohanim and Leviim, and a section for Moshiach!

See Yechezkel perek Mem-Zayin

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