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Parshas Bamidbar - Chamishi with Rashi

Now Hashem tells Moshe to count Shevet Levi. But they get counted differently! Instead of only the men that are at least 20 being counted, every boy that is even just one month old is counted!

Rashi says that this is not the first time that Shevet Levi is counted at this young age — when the Yidden came into Mitzrayim, Yocheved, from Shevet Levi, was just born. Still, she was counted as number 70!

At first Moshe asked how he could do this, because it might not be tznius to go into the tents of each family to see how many children they had. Still, Hashem told him that he should do his part, and Hashem would do the rest. When he reached the door of each tent, a Bas Kol came out and announced how many children were in that tent! So Moshe counted the Leviim, just like Hashem said.

He counted each of the families in Shevet Levi. Here are the names of Levi’s sons and their families:

Two families of Leviim came from Gershon: Livni and Shimi
Where they camp: behind the Mishkan — on the west
Their Nasi: Eliasaf ben La’el
What they’re in charge of: the curtains of the Mishkan and the chatzer
How many Moshe counted: 7,500

Four families of Leviim came from Kehos: Amram, Yitzhar, Chevron, and Uziel
Where they camp: on the south side of the Mishkan (near Shevet Reuven)*
*Korach is from the family of Kehos, and because Shevet Reuven was near him, a lot of that shevet made the mistake of listening to Korach. “Oy l’rasha, oy lishcheino!” It’s bad for a rasha, and bad for his neighbor...
Their Nasi: Elitzafan ben Uziel
What they’re in charge of: the Aron, Shulchan, Menorah, Mizbeiachs, and their tools; and the Paroches
How many Moshe counted: 8,600

Two families of Leviim came from Merari: Machli and Mushi
Where they camp: on the north side of the Mishkan
Their Nasi: Tzuriel ben Avichayil
What they’re in charge of: the walls of the Mishkan and the poles for the Chatzer
How many Moshe counted: 6,200

So who camped at the FRONT of the Mishkan, on the east? Moshe, Aharon, and his children, the Kohanim. They were near the Shevatim of Yehudah, Yissachar and Zevulun. Because they were so close to Moshe, they started learning lots of Torah too! “Tov letzadik, tov lishcheino!” It’s good for a tzadik, and good for his neighbor!

All together (except for Aharon), Moshe counted 22,000 Leviim.



120 - 134

A Chossid once complained to the Rebbe Maharash about how hard it is for him at home, because he has no money. He said (from today’s Tehillim), “MeiAyin Yavo Ezri?” “Where will my help come from?”

The Rebbe Maharash answered, “Your answer is in the next posuk! ‘Ezri Me’Im Hashem, Osei Shomayim VaAretz!’ Your help comes from Hashem, Who takes care of everything in the Shomayim and the earth. He gives everything what it needs in the right time, and He will take care of you too!”



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Beis

Yesterday, we learned about the Shechinah, and how the chayus for every part of the world, and the neshamos of Yidden, come through the Shechinah.

The Alter Rebbe tells us today that even though everything comes through the Shechinah, the light of Hashem is still too strong, and the world wouldn’t be able to exist if it got its chayus straight through the Shechinah. It needs to get “covered” so every part of the world can get its chayus.

The “cover” for the light of Hashem is the Torah and mitzvos, because it can handle the chayus of Hashem, and is also Gashmius!

Since the Torah and mitzvos are the Chochmah and Ratzon of Hashem, the chayus of Hashem is not too strong for them. Still, the Torah talks about Gashmius things in the world, and we use the Gashmius of the world to do mitzvos.

Once Torah covers the light of Hashem with the Chochmah and Ratzon of Hashem the way they are in Gashmius, the world (which is also Gashmius) can get its chayus.



Chof-Zayin Iyar

Today is forty-two days of the Omer!

The Rebbe Rashab heard from his father (the Rebbe Maharash), who heard from HIS father (the Tzemach Tzedek), who heard from the Alter Rebbe, that the Alter Rebbe would say that he was a son of the Maggid of Mezritch and a grandson of the Baal Shem Tov.

Even though the Maggid was his Rebbe, not his father, he still felt like he was a child of the Maggid!

In one of the first years after the Rebbe became Rebbe, he gave the bochurim a bracha on Erev Yom Kippur, like a father gives a bracha to a son. The Rebbe said: “Since you are learning in the Rebbe’s Yeshiva, you are the Rebbe’s children!” (“Ir lernt in dem Rebben’s Yeshiva, zaint ir doch dem Rebben’s kinder.”) and then gave them the bracha of Birchas Kohanim, like a father gives to his son.



Shiur #290 - Mitzvas Asei #201

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #201) is a new mitzvah about workers: You have to let your workers eat from what they’re working on when they are harvesting. If they’re picking grapes, you have to let them eat grapes while they’re working. If they’re picking oranges, they can eat oranges!

We learn this from two pesukim in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כִּי תָבֹא בְּכֶרֶם רֵעֶךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ עֲנָבִים וְגוֹ׳ כִּי תָבֹא בְּקָמַת רֵעֶךָ וְקָטַפְתָּ מְלִילֹת בְּיָדֶךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Bava Metziyah.



Hilchos Sechirus

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about renting, and we start to learn the halachos of hiring a worker.

In Perek Zayin, the Rambam explains that renting is like buying for a short time. So just like you can make conditions when you sell something, you can make conditions when you rent. For example, you can rent someone your printer with a condition that you need them to print you 5 papers every week.

Perek Ches teaches us about renting a field, in exchange for part of the food that grows. An old man might rent someone his peach orchard, and they will have to give him 1/4 of the money that they make from the peaches every year. We learn that the renter has to take good care of the field! He can’t decide to stop taking away the weeds.

In Perek Tes, we also start learning the halachos about a worker. One halacha is that if you send a worker to pick up a package, and he goes to the right place but can’t find it, you still have to pay him — because he did his best to do what you asked him to do!



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Vov

Today we learn how the Beis Din can accept information from a shtar (a document) without the eidim being there. Why are they allowed to do that? We learned the reason yesterday — the Beis Din wants to make sure that people are comfortable giving loans, so they don’t make it too hard to get money back in Beis Din.

So in a case where someone is trying to get back money that another person owes him, he can bring a proof from something the eidim wrote, even if they aren’t there! Of course there are many halachos explaining just how this is done, and we start learning them today.



Hachana L'Chag Hashavuos

The Rebbe told us that from Shabbos Mevorchim Sivan (this Shabbos), we should start getting ready for Shavuos! One of the things that the Rebbe told us we should do is that everybody should wish their friends (and kids should too!) a very special bracha for Shavuos:

What is this bracha? “Kabolas HaTorah beSimcha ubePnimius” — “you should get the Torah with simcha (happiness) and make it a part of you!”

The Rebbe said that we should use exactly these words, without adding or taking away any words. This is the way the Frierdiker Rebbe said it, so we should say it too.

When we bentch someone else to have Kabolas HaTorah beSimcha ubePnimius, that helps also that OUR Kabolas HaTorah should be with simcha and pnimius!


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Elokai Netzor

During the times of the Gemara, many of the Chachomim would add their own tefillah at the end of Shemoneh Esrei. One of these tefillos later became part of Shemoneh Esrei for all of us, the paragraph of Elokai Netzor.

First, we ask Hashem to help us treat other people properly. We say, “Elokai, Netzor Leshoni!” “Hashem, protect my tongue!” We ask Hashem to help us speak to others in an honest way, not saying not nice things or pretending to be nice when we’re really trying to hurt others. We ask Hashem to help us stay away from machlokes, and not even to think badly about another person!

We ask Hashem that we should be humble, and that Hashem should open our heart to understand Torah, and to WANT to do mitzvos and connect to Hashem.

If anyone or anything is trying to keep us from doing this, Hashem should protect us from them!

Some more things were later added to this paragraph, which we will IY”H learn about over the next few days.



The Yesod of Shulchan Aruch

One of the hardest parts of keeping all of the halachos of Torah is being different from other people.

The Medrashim say that starting from the very moment of Matan Torah, the Goyim were already laughing at the Yidden for keeping all of the mitzvos. The same is true today, that people laugh at us or criticize us for following what Hashem asks us to do.

That is why the beginning of the whole Shulchan Aruch is what Yehudah ben Teima says: “Be bold like a leopard!” (We also just learned this in last week’s Pirkei Avos, perek Hey!) That means not to be embarrassed by what other people think. By keeping the mitzvos, we WILL look different than others. They might laugh at us, and say that we are doing something wrong. If we let that stop us from doing even just a few mitzvos, it will eventually be hard to do ANY mitzvos.

At the time of Matan Torah, the Yidden stayed strong in their Emunah in Hashem. They realized that since Hashem runs the world, He knows what is best. We need to behave the way Hashem tells us to!

The same is true today. Even if other people think we are strange for following the halachos of Torah, we should be bold like a leopard and not worry about what they think.

That’s why this is the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch, because it is the yesod that makes keeping the whole Shulchan Aruch possible.

See Igros Kodesh vol. 18, p. 49

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



Techiyas Hameisim

The Navi Yeshaya asks Hashem that the Yidden should have Techiyas Hameisim in the times of the Geulah!

יִחְיוּ מֵתֶיךָ נְבֵלָתִי יְקוּמוּן הָקִיצוּ וְרַנְּנוּ שֹׁכְנֵי עָפָר כִּי טַל אוֹרֹת טַלֶּךָ וָאָרֶץ רְפָאִים תַּפִּיל

Yichyu Meisecha — Those that passed away should come to life

Neveilasi Yekumun — Those who embarrassed themselves for Hashem, and passed away, should get up.

Hakitzu Veranenu Shochnei Afar — Hashem will tell those who are buried in the earth to get up and sing!

Ki Tal Oros Talecha — Because the Torah and mitzvos that they did (which are compared to dew) will be a dew of light, which will bring them Techiyas Hameisim.

Va’aretz Refa’im Tapil — And the earth should spit out anyone who is buried inside!

This is one of the pesukim that show us that we will be reunited with all of the people we love, and all of the Yidden, when Moshiach comes!

See Yeshaya perek Chof-Vov, posuk Yud-Tes

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