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Parshas Va'eschanan - Revi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the Yidden about the Aseres Hadibros that they heard by Matan Torah!

At Matan Torah, Hashem spoke to the Yidden face to face! Moshe reviews each of the Aseres Hadibros — do you know them?

1) Believe in Hashem!
2) Don’t make or daven to Avodah Zarah.
3) Don’t promise in Hashem’s name for no reason.
4) Keep Shabbos!
5) Kibbud Av Va’em
6) Don’t kill.
7) Don’t get married to a woman who is already married.
8) Don’t kidnap.
9) Don’t lie to a Beis Din if you are a witness.
10) Don’t be jealous of things that belong to someone else.



44 - 48

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Daled through Mem-Ches.


Think of somebody sleeping. Can you see how smart he is? Can you see how strong he is? How well he can draw? How fast he can run?

No — when a person is asleep, all of these kochos are hidden.

In one of today’s kapitelach, Dovid Hamelech says “Urah, Lomo Sishan Hashem?” — “Wake up, why are You sleeping, Hashem?”

Of course, Hashem doesn’t really sleep, but sometimes Hashem’s kochos are hidden from us, so it seems like a person who is asleep.

In Golus, it is like Hashem is sleeping. Can we see the amazing nissim of Hashem? Can we see His kedusha shining? No — they are hidden from us.

So we ask, “Hashem, please wake up!”

Chassidus teaches us that we should make sure not only to ask Hashem with our words, we should “wake Hashem up” with the things we do! When we show Hashem how we are doing mitzvos with all of our kochos, even when we have to give up things we want to do, then Hashem shows us all of His kochos, showing us nissim and bringing us the Geulah!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Gimmel

In the letter we started learning yesterday, the Alter Rebbe is explaining to the Chassidim how special tzedakah is, so they will want to give it!

The Alter Rebbe shows us how a posuk from Yeshayahu teaches us the special things that happen when a Yid gives tzedakah. Tzedakah doesn’t just make the poor person happy, it brings chayus from Hashem into the world! Because of that, we also get a lot of brachos in Gashmius and Ruchnius.

Today, the Alter Rebbe finishes explaining how this works.



Ches Menachem Av

Every single day, after davening (even on all of the Yomim Tovim) we say the Sheish Zechiros, the six things we have to remember every day. (Do you know what each of them are?)


The Rebbe Maharash used to say: How is Chassidus and Yiras Shomayim worth anything, if the main thing — Ahavas Yisroel — isn’t there! And especially if someone not only doesn’t have Ahavas Yisroel, but is even ready Chas Veshalom to hurt another person!?

The Torah tells us that the reason we are in Golus so long R”L is because we have Sinas Chinam, we can’t get along with each other. When we fix this, we won’t need to be in Golus anymore!

So even though it is very important to be very frum and learn lots of Chassidus — the MAIN thing is to make sure we have Ahavas Yisroel, and chas veshalom never do anything to cause another Yid pain.



Shiur #20 - Mitzvas Asei #73, #10

In today’s Rambam, we finish Hilchos Teshuvah and the whole Sefer Mada! We start a new sefer, Sefer Ahava, which starts with the halachos of Kriyas Shema. So we have two mitzvos, one about teshuvah and the other about Kriyas Shema.

We learn the same mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #73) one last time: If someone does an aveira (Chas Veshalom!) he needs to SAY to Hashem what he did and ask Hashem to forgive him.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra: וְהִתְוַדָּה אֲשֶׁר חָטָא

The details are explained in the end of Mesechta Yoma.

We learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #10) to say Kriyas Shema two times every day — one time in the morning (by a certain time) and once at night.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ

The details are explained in Mesechta Brachos.



Hilchos Teshuvah - Hilchos Kriyas Shema

Perek Yud: In this perek, the Rambam tells us that the best way to serve Hashem is lishma, since a person knows it’s the right thing to do. But that doesn’t happen on its own, it takes time and work! In the meantime, a person first serves Hashem for rewards and prizes, until he learns how to serve Hashem lishma.

The Rambam also says “Al Pi HaDeiah Tihiyeh HoAhava” — the more we learn about Yiddishkeit and Hashem, the more we will appreciate it, and our love for Hashem and Avodas Hashem will be greater!

Now we have finished Sefer Mada, and we start Sefer Ahava!

In Perek Alef of Hilchos Kriyas Shema, we learn about the mitzvah of saying Shema in the morning and at night. The Rambam tells us that Yaakov Avinu asked his sons, before he passed away, if all of them believed in Hashem. They all answered, “Shema Yisroel,” “listen, our father Yisroel,” “Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echod!” “We all believe in Hashem!” When Yaakov Avinu heard this, he said, “Boruch Sheim Kevod Malchuso Le’olam Va’ed!” to thank Hashem.

In Perek Beis, the Rambam tells us HOW to say Shema. We need to make sure we have kavana when we say the first line of Shema, otherwise we need to say it again! If a person is working and realizes that he will soon miss saying Shema on time, he needs to stop working so he can say Shema properly.



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah - Perek Ches

We learn the signs of how we know someone is a Navi. One of the ways we know is if he predicts the future. But that is not why we listen to what he says — we lis- ten to him because Moshe Rabbeinu gave us this sign in the Torah! That’s why, even if he does predict the future, there are times we wouldn’t listen to him any- way, like we will see in the next perek.



Beis Hamikdash

The Rebbe told us to learn about the Beis Hamikdash during the Three Weeks, to weaken a little bit the inyan of the Churban, and to speed up the building of the Third Beis Hamikdash!

The Kohanim would work all day in the Beis Hamikdash, starting from very early in the morning. Where did they sleep to be in the Beis Hamikdash on time?

There was a room in the Beis Hamikdash called the Beis Hamoked where the Kohanim could sleep. This room was next to the Heichal (the building with the Kodesh and Kodesh HaKodoshim). Part of it was Kodesh, and part of it was Chol.

There was a big heavy tile in the floor that could be picked up, with the keys to the Azara underneath it. When the Kohanim woke up, they would take out the keys to open the doors and start the Avodah of the day!


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At the beginning of davening, as a way to prepare ourselves for davening properly, we read the story of the Akeida as it is written in Torah. On a day when we say Tachanun, we add a paragraph before and after the Akeida, asking Hashem to be good to us. We ask Hashem, just as Avraham Avinu went against his nature to do what Hashem wanted, Hashem should go against any nature of the world and do good for us!

The Gemara says that Hashem Himself says these words, saying that He should overlook any strictness against Yidden, and only do kindness for them. One of the things we ask Hashem in the paragraph after the Akeidah is that Hashem should do the greatest kindness, to bring us back to our land with Moshiach Tzidkeinu very soon!



Learning Torah on Tisha B'Av

Learning Torah makes a Yid happy! Like it says in the posuk, “Pekudei Hashem Yesharim, Mesamchei Lev” — “Hashem’s laws are upright, they make a person happy!”

Usually, that’s a wonderful thing, to be happy all of the time!

But on Tisha B’Av, we are mourning for the Beis Hamikdash. Getting involved in happy Torah learning will make us forget our sadness about the Churban.

Still, we have a mitzvah to learn Torah all the time. So what should we do?

We should learn parts of Torah that talk about the Churban, so we won’t forget about it. We learn Eicha, or Iyov, or part of the Gemara Gittin.

Reading books or newspapers just because we enjoy them is not allowed. It will also keep a person from remembering that he is sad about the Churban. We are only allowed to read and study about the Churban or other sad times for Yidden.

See also Piskei Teshuvos vol. 6, p. 106

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



Who Will Build the Third Beis Hamikdash?

Will we build the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi, or will it come down from Shomayim, already built?

In different places in Torah, it says different things! The Rebbe explains that BOTH will be true!

According to Chassidus, we can understand why it needs to be this way!

The first Beis Hamikdash was very special. It was given as a present from Hashem to the Yidden. But the Yidden didn’t deserve such a present, and didn’t treat it properly. That’s why it was destroyed.

The second Beis Hamikdash came through the hard work of Yidden. They had to first do teshuvah before they could start to build it. So they deserved this Beis Hamikdash! But Hashem didn’t give the same Ruchnius as with the first Beis Hamikdash. There was no Aron or Urim VeTumim, for example, and many of the nissim weren’t there.

But the third Beis Hamikdash will have BOTH maalos! It will come as a present to the Yidden, with all of the nissim, but it will also be made by us, in a way that we DESERVE it! That’s why we will build the Beis Hamikdash, AND it will come down from Shomayim. This way it will have both maalos — it will come through the work of Yidden, and as a present from Hashem!

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