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Parshas Vaeira - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn how Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon how they should talk to Paraoh, and that Paraoh won’t listen and will get the Makos because of this. Then the Mitzriyim will come to recognize Hashem.

Moshe was afraid that Paraoh wouldn’t listen to him — after all, the Yidden didn’t listen!

Hashem gave Moshe instructions of what to do. He should tell Paraoh what Hashem said, in a strong way. He should make sure to say it in Lashon Kodesh too, even though Paraoh doesn’t understand that language. This will help him have strength over Paraoh! Then Aharon will translate and explain what Moshe says so that Paraoh will understand it well. In the end, Paraoh will send the Yidden out of his land.

Still, at first Paraoh won’t listen.

If Paraoh agrees right away to set the Yidden free, he will change his mind quickly. Hashem will harden Paraoh’s heart, so that he will see all of the Makos and the nisim of Hashem. Then, he will really let the Yidden go.

These nisim will also bring the Yidden to have more Yiras Shomayim.

Moshe and Aharon did exactly what Hashem told them to, like we’ll see tomorrow!

At this time, Moshe was 80 and Aharon was 83.



113 - 118

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Yud-Gimmel through Kuf-Yud-Ches.

Today’s Tehillim is all parts of Hallel! Hallel is the special tefillah we say to Hashem to thank Him for all of His nissim. We say Hallel on Yom Tov, and on Rosh Chodesh.

One of the pesukim in Hallel is “Zeh Hashaar LaHashem, Tzadikim Yavo’u Vo.” “This is the gate to Hashem, Tzadikim go in this way.”

Chassidus teaches that the gate we are talking about is Yiras Shomayim — being afraid to Chas Veshalom do something that won’t make Hashem happy. We make sure to act the way Hashem expects us to!

We learn about Yiras Shomayim in one of the 12 Pesukim. Do you know which one?

You guessed it! Vehinei Hashem Nitzav Alav (which is from Tanya!). It means that a Yid should think how Hashem is watching over him. Even though Hashem is everywhere, he should think about how Hashem is looking at HIM, and making sure he is serving Hashem properly the way he should, and as good as he can!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Gimmel

In today’s Tanya, we learn that Hashem gives a special koach to the Yetzer Tov to win, even when the Yetzer Hara seems very strong!

In Perek Alef of Tanya, we say that for the Beinoni, “Zeh VeZeh Shoftan” — “this one and this one judge him.” What does that mean?

The Alter Rebbe explains that inside of us, we have a kind of court! In court, there are two judges, who are supposed to decide the way things should be. Each judge is allowed to say what they think, but they can’t decide on their own.

What if the two judges DON’T agree? They need a third party, who will decide which judge is right.

That’s what goes on inside of us! The Yetzer Hara says “I think I want to say something not nice to someone!” The Yetzer Tov says, “I don’t agree.” So who will decide?

There is a posuk in Tehillim that tells us who decides — “Ki Yaamod Limin Evyon, Lehoshia Mishoftei Nafshoi” — “Hashem stands at the right side (the Nefesh Elokis side!) of the poor man, to save him from those that judge his neshama.”

HASHEM decides who is right! And who do you think Hashem says we should listen to? The Yetzer Tov, of course!

We need Hashem’s help every time, because the Nefesh Habehamis can be very strong — and it gets stronger just by using it for the Gashmius’dike things we do on a regular basis! But Hashem can help us win over the Nefesh Habehamis in our “court” every time!



Chof-Daled Teves

Today is the Yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe passed away Motzei Shabbos Parshas Shemos, in a little village called Pyena. The Alter Rebbe’s ohel is in Haditch.

The Rebbe Maharash once asked the Tzemach Tzedek, “When the Alter Rebbe wanted Chassidim to follow the minhagim of Chassidus (Darkei HaChassidus), what did he expect to happen? And what did he want to happen from the Chassidus that he taught?”

The Tzemach Tzedek answered:

Living the way of Chassidus means that all Chassidim should be like one family! The Alter Rebbe wanted to see that all Chassidim love each other, the way the Torah teaches. We should have a set of hanhagos that will keep us together. (For example, that all chassidim learn the same shiurim of Chitas and Rambam, we farbreng together, and do mivtzoyim.)

And Chassidus is chayus! It brings light and chayus into everything, making everything clear so we can see what it really is and know what to do with it. We can even understand what our Yetzer Hara is, and the not-good midos that we have in ourselves, so we know how to fix them! The Alter Rebbe wanted the Chassidus to bring chayus and light into every part of a Chossid’s life.



Shiur #198 - Mitzvas Asei #107

Today’s mitzvah is the same one as yesterday:

(Mitzvas Asei #107) When a neshama leaves a body, the body becomes tomei. Someone who touches, carries, or is in the same house as the body gets some of this Tumah too, called Tumas Meis. There are many halachos about how a person can get this tumah, and how the tumah is passed on to other people or things. Today’s mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos!



Hilchos Tumas Meis

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel, and Yud-Daled, we are learning about Tumas Meis, and how someone can get this kind of Tumah. There are a few ways to get Tumas Meis — to touch or carry a Meis, or to be under the same roof as a Meis.

The Rambam teaches us what is called “under the same roof” (Ohel). Something strong is counted as a roof — even sturdy branches of a tree! They bring the tumah to whatever is underneath it, but keep the tumah from spreading to whatever is OVER the Ohel (“Meviin Vechotzetzin”).

But something that is not strong and will not stay does not become an Ohel. For example, snow is not counted as a roof, because it will melt. So an igloo, which is made of ice and snow, would not be counted as an Ohel and make things inside it tomei.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Perek Beis

Now we learn the WHO about Korban Pesach — who brings the Korban Pesach, and about eating it together as a group.

icon of clock


Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is Chof-Daled Teves, the Yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe.

A yartzeit isn’t just a day to remember someone who passed away, it is a very special day in Ruchnius! When a person is in the world, he does a lot of mitzvos and makes a difference to other people. On the yartzeit, all of these special things get an extra koach from Hashem, and bring the person’s neshama and all of his mitzvos up to a higher level in Gan Eden! Since this world matches what happens in ruchnius, all of the things they did also get an extra koach right here in this Gashmius world!

Since the accomplishments of a tzadik make a difference to everyone in the world, we ALL get extra kochos from the things he worked on, on the day of his yartzeit.

What is the most important thing that the Alter Rebbe did in the world? The Alter Rebbe was a special neshama, and gave us Chassidus Chabad, to prepare the world for Moshiach!

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learned what the Alter Rebbe wanted us to DO with Chassidus: To fix up all of our not good midos so we will always act the way Hashem wants us to! The Alter Rebbe also gave us Darkei Hachassidus, so that we will live together like one Torah’dike family.

The Rebbe explains in a sicha that we need Darkei Hachassidus to be able to use Chassidus properly! Like we saw in Tanya, sometimes a person’s Yetzer Hara can become so strong in a certain aveira that we don’t have the koach to fight it anymore by ourselves.

So when that happens, we need Darkei Hachassidus — we need our friends to help us fight our Yetzer Hara. With our achdus, we can help each other, so we will all be acting the way Hashem wants!

Today, on Chof-Daled Teves, we have an extra koach for this! We should make sure to get together with our friends and neighbors and farbreng, to help each other fix up the midos that aren’t the way they should be. This way we will prepare ourselves and our friends for the Geulah, which is coming very soon!

See sicha Parshas Shemos Tof-Shin-Chof

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Tachanun on the Yartzeit of a Tzadik

There are some types of Chassidim who have a minhag not to say Tachanun on the yartzeit of a tzadik. But the Chabad minhag is that we DO say Tachanun on the days of the yartzeit of the Rebbeim.

The Frierdiker Rebbe once told over something the Tzemach Tzedek said about this, that helps us to understand why!

The Tzemach Tzedek said that we ask Hashem for things when it’s an Eis Ratzon, a time when Hashem is especially likely to give us what we are asking for. In Tachanun, we ask Hashem to forgive our aveiros and take away any not good things that might come because of them. What better day could there be to ask for these things, than the yartzeit of a Tzadik?

See farbrengen of Vayechi 5730



Chof-Daled Teves

The Rebbe tells us four ways we should celebrate Chof-Daled Teves:

1) Limud HaTorah:
- Learn extra Niglah and Chassidus.
- Learn at least one perek of Mishnayos that starts with a letter in the Alter Rebbe’s name.
- Learn a se’if of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch.
- Learn a perek of the Alter Rebbe’s sefer of Tanya.
- Learn something from the Alter Rebbe’s maamarim, especially from the Torah Ohr of this week.

2) Tefillah:
- Daven with more avodah from the Alter Rebbe’s siddur.
- Use the maamarim of Tefillah from the Alter Rebbe’s siddur, starting with the maamar in the introduction, “Hakol Kol Yaakov.”

3) Gemilus Chassadim:
- Give extra tzedakah.
- We should especially try to give to one of the Alter Rebbe’s mosdos, or a mosad that continues the Alter Rebbe’s work.

4) Farbrengen:
- Make a freiliche Chassidishe farbrengen for Chof-Daled Teves!
- Those who are at the farbrengen should make good hachlatos in Torah and mitzvos.

If you can’t do these things today, try to make up for them in the following days.

From Halachos Uminhagei Chabad, Likutei Sichos vol. 21 p. 296

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




The Chachomim tell us, “Gedolah Tzedakah Shemekareves Es HaGeulah.” “Great is tzedakah, which brings the Geulah closer.”

Why do the Chachomim say this only about the mitzvah of tzedakah, and not about other mitzvos? Don’t ALL mitzvos bring Moshiach?

The way to bring the Geulah is to take all of the pieces of kedusha that are hiding in Gashmius’dike things, and bring them to Hashem. We do this by using all of the Gashmius’dike things the way Hashem wants us to use them! When all of the Yidden take their part of Gashmius and use it for kedusha, that brings the Geulah!

Tzedakah does this better than any other mitzvah! With all other mitzvos, we only bring up the kedusha hiding in that specific body part, or that specific Gashmius thing we used for the mitzvah. For example, we use our hand to shake the lulav and esrog, or our nose to smell besamim on Motzei Shabbos.

But in order to earn the money to give tzedakah, we need to use SO many kochos, and SO many Gashmius’dike things — and ALL of them become elevated to kedusha when we take from our hard-earned money and give it to tzedakah! That’s why especially the mitzvah of tzedakah brings the Geulah faster, because it elevates more Gashmius to kedusha than any other mitzvah can!

See Tanya Perek Lamed-Zayin

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