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Sheini with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn what happened when Avram and Sarai were in Mitzrayim.

When Avram came to Mitzrayim, Sarai was hiding in a big box. The officers at the border of Mitzrayim told him he has to open the box so they can see what is inside. When they saw Sarai, they decided that she was so beautiful, she should get married to Paraoh — so they took her away to Paraoh’s palace.

Sarai said that she was Avram’s sister, like Avram had asked her too. The Egyptians gave Avram a lot of presents, to make him happy to let his sister be Paraoh’s wife.

Sarai didn’t want to be married to the goyishe king Paraoh, of course! Hashem made everyone in Paraoh’s palace get a very bad rash that hurt a lot. This way he wouldn’t be able to even touch Sarai! Paraoh STILL tried, but Hashem gave Sarai a malach that she could ask to hit Paraoh any time he tried to come too close to her.

Paraoh realized that Sarai must be married to Avram, since all of these things were happening.

He called Avram to come, and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me you were married to her? Why did you say she is your sister? Now you got me in trouble with Hashem!

“Go out of Mitzrayim, since people here aren’t good people and will try to steal Sarai since she is so beautiful.”

Paraoh sent guards to go with Avram when he went out of Mitzrayim. He also sent his daughter, Hagar, to be a servant to Sarai. He decided that it was better for her to even be a servant in the house of a Tzadeikes who Hashem loves, than to be a princess!

Avram went back on his way to Eretz Yisroel, on the same road as before. (He felt that it was mentchlich to stay in the same places he did before, and he wanted to pass by the same places to pay back anyone he owed money to.) He went back to Beis-Keil, where he first brought a korban to Hashem, and davened there again.



35 - 38

In the first Maamar the Rebbe said, Bosi Legani, he explains a posuk from today’s Tehillim: “Tzadikim Yirshu Aretz Veyishkenu La’ad Aleha.” “Tzadikim get ‘aretz’ (Gan Eden), because they make Hashem rest (Veyishkenu) in the world.”

In the maamar, the Rebbe tells us that this is OUR special shlichus too — to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world to rest here, which will bring the Geulah! We do this through having Ahavas Yisroel and acting in a way of Shtus D’Kedusha.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Vov

The Alter Rebbe is explaining a piece in the Zohar which seems to be saying that the halachos of Torah are mixed with good and bad, and that we won’t learn them when Moshiach comes. The Alter Rebbe told us that this can’t be right, and today explains to us the right way to understand it.

The Alter Rebbe explains that the THINGS that the Torah talks about are mixed with good and bad (Eitz HaDaas Tov VaRa). When Moshiach comes, the not good part of it won’t be there anymore. But the HALACHOS themselves, the way they are in Torah, are FOR SURE always only from Kedusha (Eitz HaChaim)!

All of the Gashmius’dike things in the world come from kelipah. Many of them come from a kind of kelipah called Kelipas Noga, which has a mixture of good and bad. You can choose to use it for kedusha (if you do a mitzvah with it) or Chas Veshalom a person could use it for not good things. (It’s a little bit like pareve food — if you cook it with milchigs it becomes milchig; if you cook it with fleishig it becomes fleishig.)

But the HALACHOS, even the halachos ABOUT tumah, are all part of Torah Shebaal Peh, which the Zohar says very clearly is a VERY high level of kedusha.



Vov Mar-Cheshvan

Once a Chossid of the Alter Rebbe, named R’ Yekusiel Liepler, was in Yechidus.

The Alter Rebbe wanted to give him a bracha to be rich, but R’ Yekusiel said he didn’t want that bracha! He said that it would take too much time to take care of the money, and he only wanted to learn Chassidus and serve Hashem.

Then the Alter Rebbe wanted to give him another bracha — that he live for a long time (Arichas Yomim). R’ Yekusiel said he only wanted the bracha if they were not “poierishe yoren” (peasant years) — he said it’s only worth living if he lives like a chossid, knowing about and serving Hashem.

In a sicha, the Rebbe asks, “How can it be that when a person gets a present, especially such a special one like a bracha for long life, that he says he only wants it IF he gets certain conditions?” The Rebbe explains that R’ Yekusiel wasn’t making a condition. He just wanted to say that for him, it’s only a bracha if he lives like a chossid. He didn’t feel that any other way of living is real life.



Mitzvas Asei #155

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #155) is to make Shabbos holy, by saying special things when Shabbos comes in and when Shabbos goes out. We speak about how great and special Shabbos is, and how it is different than the days before and after it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk (one of the Aseres Hadibros), “Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos Lekadsho,” “Remember Shabbos to keep it holy.”

Torah Shebaal Peh explains what this mitzvah is. The Mechilta, the Midrash of halacha, explains that this means to make a bracha. In Gemara, the Chachomim tell us to make this bracha over a cup of wine. The Gemara says we should make a bracha when Shabbos ends as well, to separate it from the rest of the days.

That’s why we keep this mitzvah by making Kiddush and Havdalah!

The halachos of how to keep this mitzvah are discussed in the end of Gemara Pesachim, and in many places in Mesechta Brachos and Mesechta Shabbos.

The Rambam organizes these halachos in Perek Chof-Tes of Hilchos Shabbos, part of the Rambam tomorrow.



Hilchos Shabbos

In today’s Rambam, we learn about other things we don’t do on Shabbos, even if they aren’t similar to a melacha and won’t lead to a melacha. These things we don’t do because they aren’t Shabbosdik things to do, even if they aren’t a melacha. The Chachomim learned from a posuk (“Mimtzo Cheftzecha VeDaber Davar”) that we shouldn’t act like we do during the week.

We also start learning about muktza — things that aren’t meant to be used on Shabbos.

Perek Chof-Daled: We learn that you shouldn’t speak about business like you do during the week. You are allowed to talk about money for the sake of a mitzvah though, like to raise money for tzedakah.

Perek Chof-Hey: Another way that Shabbos is different than the rest of the days of the week is that we don’t move things that are muktza, which means separated from use. Some things are muktza because they are not allowed to be used on Shabbos, and other things are muktza because they are very expensive and you are always careful about touching them. There are also things that are muktza because they are disgusting, and you are always careful not to touch them!

Perek Chof-Vov: The Rambam gives examples of keilim and what kind of muktza they are. We learn when it is asur to move them, and when we are allowed to use them for something which is allowed on Shabbos.



Hilchos Terumos - Perek Tes

Someone who lives in the house of a kohen IS allowed to eat terumah. For example, a kohen’s wife or his slave (not just someone working for him) are allowed to eat terumah, even if they aren’t kohanim themselves! (In fact, we can even feed terumah to the animals that belong to a kohen!) But if they move out or the kohen passes away, they are not allowed to eat terumah anymore.



Modeh Ani

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learned what R’ Yekusiel Liepler told the Alter Rebbe: That for him, Arichas Yomim, long life, only counts as life if he feels Elokus.

The truth is that all of us, when we say Modeh Ani in the morning, say the same thing! Why do we say Modeh Ani? Because every night, our neshama goes up to Shomayim and Hashem holds onto it.

In the morning we thank Hashem for giving us back our neshama. What do we say? We don’t just say thank you for giving us A neshama, for giving chayus. We say thank You for giving me MY neshama — the neshama of a Yid (not a Goy or an animal)!

This shows that we’re not just thanking Hashem for being alive — because then we could just say thank You for giving us chayus! Instead, we say “Shehechezarta Bi Nishmasi,” that Hashem gave us our neshama — because for a Yid, a life without our Yiddishe neshama isn’t really life.

See Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras HaChassidus


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Strengthening Bitachon Through Davening - Review

What does it mean to have bitachon?

To be SURE and secure, trusting that someone will take care of you.

In order to have bitachon in Hashem, we need to make sure that our Emunah in Hashem is complete. This way we will KNOW that we can trust Hashem.

The Chovos Halevavos tells us seven parts of having proper Emunah, which will help us have proper Bitachon:

1) Hashem has so much Rachmonus! Hashem is the source of all Rachmonus. If someone else has Rachmonus on us, it comes from Hashem’s Rachmonus too.

2) Hashem is good! Hashem is truly good, and Hashem wants us to have good too — even if we’re not perfect.

3) Hashem knows what is good for us! Hashem made us, and Hashem understands us. Hashem knows exactly what we really need!

4) Hashem can do it! Other people might WANT to help us, but only Hashem truly can, no matter what. Nothing can stop Hashem from helping us if Hashem wants to!

5) Hashgacha Protis! Hashem knows about and cares about every single detail of our life. Whatever Hashem does is good for EVERY detail.

6) Hashem is in charge! Nothing and nobody can hurt or help us unless Hashem wants it to!

7) Hashem is the real reason! Everything happens the way it does because that is how Hashem wants it to be! All the things we see and think are the reason are just causes to make them happen.

By thinking about these things when we praise Hashem in Pesukei Dezimra, our emunah and bitachon will be stronger!



B"H on Letters

When you ask a Yid how he is feeling, what does he answer? Boruch Hashem!

Yidden are always thinking about Hashem, and are used to mentioning Hashem’s name often.

It is a minhag by Yidden that when we write something, we first mention Hashem. We write Boruch Hashem (B”H), Besiyata Dishmaya (BS”D), or something else like this.

We even do this on papers that have nothing to do with Torah. That’s because, really, the WHOLE world is full of the kavod of Hashem! There is nothing that doesn’t have to do with Hashem and His Torah. By writing B”H or BS”D on a letter, we are reminding ourselves how EVERYTHING is connected to Hashem!

Likutei Sichos vol. 6, p. 190, Shulchan Menachem vol. 5, p. 218

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



We Need Moshiach!

Needing Moshiach isn’t a new thing. In all of the generations, Yidden have always davened for Moshiach to come, the time when we will be able to learn Torah and do mitzvos properly, the way Hashem wants us to!

Even Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem for Moshiach, when he was taking the Yidden out of Mitzrayim! He said, “Shlach Na Beyad Tishlach,” “Please, Hashem, send the person you will send later — Moshiach — to take the Yidden out of this Golus too!”

In Tehillim, we see many times how Dovid Hamelech hoped and davened for the Geulah.

So think about it: They needed Moshiach in order to keep Torah and mitzvos properly even in the times of Moshe Rabbeinu, in the Midbar, where Hashem took care of everyone’s needs, and they were able to learn Torah all of the time! If they needed Moshiach even then, we most certainly need Moshiach now, when the Golus is so dark!

We are in a long Golus, where we are not able to learn Torah and do mitzvos properly, and there is a lot of darkness and pain. Now we REALLY feel how much we need Moshiach in order to be the way Hashem really wants us to be.

Together, Yidden should call out “Ad Mosai!” We should tell Hashem that this Golus is too long! Hashem doesn’t turn away the tefillos of many Yidden together, and He will bring Moshiach right away!

The Rebbe spoke about this at a farbrengen in Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches. After saying this, the Rebbe cried out “Ad Mosai!” All of the Chassidim answered, “Ad Mosai!”

Then the Rebbe said, “To keep us from being too sad, we should call out Ad Mosai with a niggun.”

The Chassidim started singing Ad Mosai to the tune of a niggun.

See Toras Menachem 5748, vol. 1 p. 460

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