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CHUMASH

Parshas Chukas - Chamishi with Rashi

Today we learn about four important things that happened to the Yidden in the Midbar: Aharon passes away, Amalek attacks the Yidden, the Yidden complain about the mohn and Hashem sends poisonous snakes, and Hashem tells Moshe to put up a snake on a pole to help the Yidden to do teshuvah and be saved.

Aharon passes away: The Yidden continued going through the Midbar. They came to a mountain called Hor HaHar (that means “The Mountain of the Mountain” — because it looked like a small mountain on top of a big mountain).

Now Aharon will pass away.

Hashem told Moshe that he should speak to Aharon to make him feel better, reminding him that he will see his son Elazar take over as Kohen Gadol before he passes away. This is something that even Moshe Rabbeinu himself did not have with his son.

Hashem told Moshe to bring Aharon and Elazar into a cave in the mountain. There will be a bed with a candle inside. Moshe should help Aharon take off the special clothes of the Kohen Gadol and dress Elazar in them. Then Aharon will lay down on the bed, and close his eyes, and Hashem will take back his neshama with a “kiss.” (Misas Neshikin — only certain tzadikim pass away like this.)

Even though it was hard for him, Moshe did what Hashem said, and Aharon passed away. Then Moshe and Elazar came down from the mountain. The Yidden were very sad, and cried for a whole month. They missed Aharon, who used to make shalom between people, especially bringing Shalom Bayis.

Amalek decides to attack: The clouds that were around the Yidden were in Aharon’s zechus, and Hashem took some of them, the Ananei HaKavod, away when Aharon passed away. The clouds that Hashem took away weren’t the ones that protected the Yidden, but they were there for kavod for the Yidden.

When Amalek saw that the clouds went away, they thought that Hashem would let them fight against the Yidden. They decided to pretend they were from Canaan, so the Yidden wouldn’t be able to daven to Hashem against them — they would be davening for the wrong thing.

Amalek attacked the Yidden, and captured one person (who was really only an Amaleki the Yidden had captured last time).

The Yidden davened to Hashem to save them. They didn’t ask Hashem to save them from the Canaanim, so Amalek’s trick didn’t work! Hashem helped, and the Yidden won. They gave all of the money they got to Hashem.

The Yidden complain about the Mohn: The Yidden were so scared from the war with Amalek, and that Aharon passed away, that they tried to run back to Mitzrayim.

The Leviim chased them and fought with them until they agreed to go back to Eretz Yisroel. But they complained about Hashem and about Moshe. They said that they didn’t like the mohn.

The copper snake of teshuvah: Hashem punished the Yidden for their Lashon Hara about the mohn by sending poisonous snakes. (The reason why Hashem sent snakes was because the snake by the Cheit Eitz HaDaas said Lashon Hara.) The Yidden realized they needed to do teshuvah, and asked Moshe to ask Hashem to stop the snakes.

Hashem told Moshe to make a fake snake and put it on a pole. When the Yidden look at it, they won’t die from the snakebites. When they look up they will think about Hashem, and also they will remember why Hashem was punishing them.

Moshe made this snake out of copper, because the word copper (nechoshes) is like the word snake (nachash)! And just like Hashem promised, if a Yid was bitten by a snake, he looked at the copper snake and Hashem forgave him and didn’t let him die.

 
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TEHILLIM

44 - 48

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Mem-Daled to Mem-Ches.

Before Kapitel Mem-Ches (like for most kapitelach) there are a few words that tell us what the kapitel is about. The introduction to this kapitel tells us that the kapitel is about when Moshiach will come! It is about how beautiful Yerushalayim will be, and how we will bring the korbanos and see all of the things the Neviim told us will happen when Moshiach comes.

 
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TANYA

Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Yud-Alef

The creation of the world is through the letters in the Asara Maamaros, and these letters are one with Hashem.

Hashem gives us the holiest language, Lashon Hakodesh. Hashem gave us 22 letters to say all the words in this holy language. Each of them have a special way they sound when we say them, and a way they look when we write them. They help us say what we think or feel in our sechel and midos.

Hashem also uses these special letters to show His sechel and midos, and to make the world! The different ways the letters look and sound shows us how each thing Hashem made is in a different way.

But when WE use letters, they are lower than our sechel and midos. When Hashem uses osios (letters) they are all still part of Hashem, and through these 22 different letters, Hashem makes everything in this world. Even the sechel of the highest Malochim and neshamos is made through these osios, and is on a lower level than these letters.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Ches Tammuz

The main love Hashem had for Avraham Avinu was because he brought Yidden closer to Hashem!

Avraham Avinu, the first of the Avos, was very special to Hashem. Hashem made all of the Yidden come from him!

Hashem gave Avraham ten very hard tests to show how much he is connected to Hashem.

Some of these tests were being thrown into the fiery pit of Nimrod for breaking his father’s Avodah Zarah, traveling far away without even knowing where he was going because Hashem said so, and finally the biggest test — to bring Yitzchak as a korban by the Akeidah. Avraham passed them all!

But guess what? That WASN’T the main reason Hashem loved him so much!

So why DID Hashem love Avraham so much?

Because he taught his children and other people around him to come close to Hashem and do what Hashem wants. Teaching and helping other people is the MOST special thing for Hashem!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #314 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #282, #283, Asei #229, #228

Today we learn 4 mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #282) Usually we listen to whatever MOST of the judges say, but for a Beis Din to punish a person who might be chayav misa, there is a special mitzvah: The number of judges who say that the person is chayav misa have to be at least two more than the amount of judges who say that he isn’t. Unless there are two judges more who say that this person is chayav misa, it is an aveira to punish the person in this way.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: לֹא תִהְיֶה אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְרָעֹת

The details are explained in Perek Daled of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #283) This mitzvah is in a case where the Beis Din is deciding if someone is chayav misa or not (Dinei Nefashos): Every judge has to pasken the way he understands things himself, not just agree with other judges. He can’t rely on what another judge says, even if he respects his opinion, or if most of the other judges are saying the same thing. He needs to pasken based on his own understanding.

We learn this from the same posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְלֹא תַעֲנֶה עַל רִב לִנְטֹת

The Rambam also tells us other things that the Chachomim learn from this posuk:

1) A judge who paskened that the person was innocent can’t change his mind and say that he is guilty.

2) The first judge to say his opinion should be a judge who thinks that the person is not chayav misa.

3) The Beis Din can’t go back and change the psak if they paskened that the person was not guilty.

4) The first judge to share his opinion should not be the greatest judge.

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Daled of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #229) Beis Din needs to keep the halachos of Sekilah (one of the ways a Beis Din punishes). The Rambam tells us in the specific aveiros when they are punished with Sekilah.

We learn this from another posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וּסְקַלְתֶּם אֹתָם בָּאֲבָנִים וָמֵתוּ

The details are explained in Perek Vov of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #228) Beis Din needs to keep the halachos of Sereifah (another one of the ways a Beis Din punishes). The Rambam tells us in the specific aveiros when they are punished with Sereifah.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: בָּאֵשׁ יִשְׂרְפוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶתְהֶן

The details are explained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Sanhedrin.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how the Sanhedrin works.

In Perek Daled, we learn about a special kind of Semicha. This Semicha is the way to pass down a special koach of Hashem to judge as part of the Sanhedrin. This koach was passed down from one judge to another, and goes all the way back to Moshe Rabbeinu!

Unfortunately, for certain reasons we don’t have this kind of Semicha nowadays — it was not passed down all the way to our times.

Perek Hey: In this perek we learn what each type of Beis Din is able to pasken on. For example, setting up a king can only be done by a big Sanhedrin of 71 judges, and a case where someone might be chayav misa can only be done by a Beis Din of at least 23 — a small Beis Din of 3 is not allowed to pasken in such a case.

In Perek Vov, we learn what happens if the Beis Din made a mistake. We also learn that if someone is afraid a Beis Din might make a mistake, he can sometimes choose to go to a bigger one.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Shaar Avos Hatumah - Perek Daled

The Rambam explains how bugs and creepy-crawling things make things Tomei.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In today’s Chumash, Chamishi of Parshas Chukas, we learn about the passing of Aharon Hakohen. After Aharon Hakohen’s histalkus, the Ananei Hakavod were taken away from the Yidden.

There were three special nissim that came along with the Yidden in the Midbar, in the zechus of Moshe, Aharon and Miriam:

1) Mahn fell in the zechus of Moshe

2) The Yidden had water in the zechus of Miriam (Be’eira Shel Miriam)

3) The Ananei Hakavod were in the zechus of Aharon

The Rebbe explains why it was davka the Ananei Hakavod that came in Aharon’s zechus:

We learned in the Chumash that all of the Yidden mourned for Aharon, because he brought Shalom and Achdus to the Yidden.

The Ananei Hakavod were clouds that surrounded the Yidden for kavod. Even though the mahn and the water came to each Yid separately, the clouds were around all of the Yidden together! This also shows the idea of Shalom and Achdus.

That’s why Hashem made the Ananei Hakavod come in Aharon’s zechus, because Aharon’s inyan was bringing Shalom and Achdus to the Yidden. These clouds also brought kavod to all of the Yidden together, uniting all of the Yidden as one.

See Hamaor ShebaTorah Bamidbar p. 330, sichos cited there

 

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TEFILLAH

Kabolas Daled Misos

In Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, in the section of Tachanun, there are a group of four paragraphs, known as “Kabolas Daled Misos.” They start with the words “Yehi Ratzon.”

This tefillah is from the Ramban and the Zohar. It talks about four aveiros that may have been done during the day: Kriyas Shema, Tefillin, Tzitzis, and Tefillah. According to Kabbalah, if someone does one of these aveiros, it takes away some of the chayus that comes through the letters of Hashem’s name into the world.

In halacha a person is not Chayav Misa for not keeping these mitzvos properly. But in Kabbalah, because the person took away some of Hashem’s chayus in the world, it also takes away some of the person’s chayus in Ruchnius.

That’s why in this paragraph, we say that we are ready to accept our punishment if we deserve it, so we can fix the name of Hashem. We say that we are ready to accept the Misas Beis Din to fix up what we did through our aveira.

In Igeres HaTeshuvah, we will see that by saying these words themselves, we are actually fixing the problem with the chayus that comes through the name of Hashem!

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Women and Kabolas Daled Misos

The paragraphs of Kabolas Daled Misos talk about specific aveiros that a person might do, which would take away some of the chayus of Hashem in the world. But most of these aveiros are only for a man — women don’t put on Tefillin or Tzitzis, for example! So is there a reason to say these paragraphs?

There are two opinions:

1) Skip these paragraphs! Since a woman does not have these mitzvos, these paragraphs are not important for her to say, and she should skip them.

2) Say part of them! When we say the paragraph Ribon Ha’olamim, we skip the part that speaks about Tikun Chatzos, since we don’t say Tikun Chatzos. But we still say the rest of the paragraph! The same way, women should say the paragraph about tefillah which they do have a chiyuv in, and skip the paragraphs about the mitzvos of Kriyas Shema, Tefillin, and Tzitzis, which they don’t need to do.

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

Hashem Promises to Take Us Out of Golus

The Navi Yirmiyah lived in the times of the first Beis Hamikdash. He saw that the Yidden were not behaving the way they should, and Hashem sent him many nevuos to warn the Yidden to do teshuvah. Most of these nevuos are very sad ones about the Churban.

Still, there are some very famous happy nevuos, about the time of Moshiach! Yesterday, we learned a posuk about how the Goyim will talk about Hashem gathering together the Yidden! Here is the next posuk, which explains why this will happen:

כִּי פָדָה ה׳ אֶת יַעֲקֹב וּגְאָלוֹ מִיַּד חָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ

Ki Fadah Hashem Es Yaakov — Because Hashem has freed the Yidden from Golus

U’Ge’alo Miyad Chazak Mimenu — And saved them from the hands of those who are stronger than them!

This posuk is also part of davening! Do you know where?

See Yirmiyah perek Lamed-Alef posuk Yud-Alef

 
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