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Parshas Vayikra - Revi'i with Rashi

Even though the mitzvos of korbanos which we are learning about now in Chumash were only able to be kept when the Mishkan and the Beis Hamikdash were standing, still Chassidus teaches us that the Ruchnius meaning of the korbanos are able to be kept always. Recently in Hayom Yom, we learned about some of the meanings of korbanos in Ruchnius!

Today we learn about another kind of Korban Nedava that a person can give as a present to Hashem, called a Korban Shelamim. Rashi says that this korban is called Shelamim from the word Shalom, because someone who brings this korban brings Shalom to the world! It is called Shelamim, many Shaloms, because it brings shalom to everything and everyone involved in the korban! The Mizbeiach gets a part of it, the kohen gets a part of it, and the ones who are bringing the korban also get a part of it!

A person can bring a Korban Shelamim from 3 kinds of animals — any kind of cow, or a sheep, or a goat. Of course, none of them can have a mum — any injuries or anything wrong with it!

Part of the animal gets burned on the Mizbeiach, including all of the cheilev, a certain kind of fat that is inside of an animal.

The Torah reminds us that even though the cheilev is brought as part of a korban, Yidden are not allowed to eat cheilev or blood!



140 - 150

At farbrengens, the Rebbe would often speak about things that need to be corrected in our time.

In a Chai Elul farbrengen, the Rebbe spoke about the Minhag of Yidden that we say Tehillim in an Eis Tzara, a time of trouble. As we learned yesterday, really, along with saying Tehillim in such a time, we should be giving tzedakah together with it.

But why was this not part of the minhag before?

The Rebbe explains that at many times in the past, a lot of Yidden were extremely poor. They barely had enough bread to eat, or a shirt that wasn’t torn. They did not have even an extra penny to give to tzedakah!

Nowadays, we are not all rich. But everyone can give at least SOMETHING to tzedakah.

So nowadays, we should not only say Tehillim in an Eis Tzara, we should also give tzedakah, asking Hashem to take away our troubles and bring us a yeshuah!

See sicha Chai Elul Tof-Shin-Mem-Hey (English essay)



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Zayin

In yesterday’s Tanya, we learned about the maalos of learning Torah, which is more important than ALL the mitzvos! Still, if there is a mitzvah and there is nobody else to do it, the halacha is that a person needs to stop learning Torah and go do the mitzvah.

That’s because mitzvos make the world into a Dira Betachtonim, and that’s the whole reason the neshama came into the world! If nobody else can do that mitzvah, we need to stop learning and make sure the world can become a Dira Betachtonim!

But if someone else can do the mitzvah, we shouldn’t stop learning, because of the maalah of Torah. Torah makes the light of Hashem shine in the neshama in an even higher way than mitzvos can!

The Rebbe once used this halacha in a letter to explain why Lubavitcher chassidim don’t stay in kollel for many years after getting married. Instead, they go out on Shlichus. Since there aren’t enough people doing the important mitzvah of bringing Yidden back to their Yiddishkeit, they can’t just sit and learn Torah — there’s an important mitzvah waiting, and not enough people doing it!



Chof-Tes Adar

Today, because there are only 29 days in Adar, we will do THREE Hayom Yoms! (When there is an Adar Alef, it is 30 days long, so there’s another Hayom Yom we need to learn today!)

Chof-Tes Adar Alef

In the year Tof-Shin-Gimmel, today was Shabbos Mevorchim Adar Sheini. It is a minhag to farbreng on Shabbos Mevorchim, and say Lechaim!

Today the Rebbe tells that there are two nuscha’os of what to answer when someone says Lechaim at a farbrengen:

1) “Lechaim Tovim Ul’Shalom!” — “for a good life, and for shalom.” Why do we say these words? We say this because we need to be careful with wine — in the Torah, when Adam and Noach drank wine, not such good things happened. So we give a bracha that THIS wine should only be good!

2) The way the Maggid of Mezritch used to answer: “Lechaim Velivracha!” “For life and for bracha!”

The Alter Rebbe said this for the first time once at a farbrengen. The Chassidim discussed this nusach, which was new to them! One chossid explained the reason for these words: “Livracha” (“for bracha”) can also be split into two words — “Lev Raka,” a soft heart. Since when we drink wine, people can see what we feel, we need a bracha that only a Lev Raka should come out.

The Tzemach Tzedek said about this chossid, that he understood this because he davened and worked hard in his avodah for 30 years!

Lamed Adar Alef

The Rebbe Rashab said, “A Chosid macht a svivah.” What does this mean?

When a chossid acts the way a chossid should be, people around him see and learn from him. They also start to act the way the should!

If that’s not happening though, if people around us aren’t starting to behave better, we need to ask ourselves why.

If a chossid sees that he is not making a sevivah, it should bother him very much! He should ask himself, “Vos tu ich oif der velt?” “What am I accomplishing in the world?”

Chof-Tes Adar Sheini

The Rebbe Rashab said at a farbrengen:

Hashem created the world “Yeish Me’ayin” — something out of nothing!

The Avodah of a Yid is to change it around — we need to make “something into nothing (Me’Yeish Le’Ayin)!”

We need to take the world, that is called Yeish, because it is Gashmius; and make it into Ayin, which means Ruchnius. We do this by using the Gashmius to help us with Ruchnius and Avodas Hashem!

This is an avodah that EVERY Yid needs to do.



Shiur #233 - Mitzvas Asei #99

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #99) is about the Tumah of Niddah. This is a kind of tumah that a woman can have.

Even though this kind of tumah, and some of the other kinds of tumah we will learn about, are kept in certain ways nowadays, in these halachos we are learning about how someone with these kinds of tumah makes other people or things tomei. These halachos are only kept when there is a Beis Hamikdash.



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how keilim become tomei and pass on their tumah to things inside of them:

In Perek Yud-Beis the Rambam explains what happens if a keili became tomei, then was broken (so now those pieces are tahor), and then someone put those pieces back together. If the keili was made of wood, or bone, or leather, the new keili is tahor. If it was made of metal, it is still tomei.

Perek Yud-Gimmel teaches us about the tumah that is passed on with keilim made of clay. Usually the halacha is that if something is touching a tomei keili, it becomes tomei too. But with a clay keili, something touching the outside won’t become tomei. Only something that is INSIDE of it, whether or not it is touching it, will become tomei. For example, if you have an oven made out of clay, and something fell inside and made the oven tomei, everything inside becomes tomei too!

Perek Yud-Daled explains one of the ways to keep tumah from spreading. If you fill a pot with food and then seal it closed, and put it into a tomei oven, the pot and the food stays tahor. But if you put something that GIVES tumah inside of a pot and seal it closed, it can still make the whole oven tomei.



Hilchos To'ein Venit'an - Perek Beis

In Perek Beis we learn about when the Beis Din doesn’t let someone make a shevuah — if they are a person that we think might make a false shevuah. For example, the Beis Din won’t let a gambler make a shevuah.




Even in a time of trouble, when we are suffering, it is still possible to have simcha. Simcha is a feeling that comes from thinking about things that we have, which can make us feel happy. As we learn in Tanya, we can have two opposite feelings at the same time. So together with feeling tzaar that Yidden are suffering, we can still feel simcha for the many things we do have: That we have each other, that Hashem is with us, that we have Torah and mitzvos, and that Moshiach is coming very soon! And by having simcha, it can take away the not-good things that are causing this tzaar!

On the last day of Chodesh Adar, there needs to be an extra-special simcha!

During the whole Chodesh Adar, we have a mitzvah to add in simchaMarbim Besimcha! Now we are at the highest part, the day of the MOST simcha!

The Rebbe tells that the simcha of Chodesh Adar gives us the koach to bring Moshiach in Chodesh Nisan! Nisan is an especially good time for Geulah, since it was also the month when we had the Geulah from Mitzrayim.

The Chachomim tell us that in Nisan we were freed from the first Golus, and in Nisan we will also be freed from this last Golus! “Benisan Nigalu, Uv’Nisin Asidin Lehiga’el!”

It is the simcha of Chodesh Adar, and especially this last day, that breaks through the rest of Golus and will bring the Geulah with Moshiach Tzidkeinu Bekarov Mamosh!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Daled p. 1274


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Yom Kippur Katan

Erev Rosh Chodesh is called “Yom Kippur Katan,” the “little Yom Kippur.”

Yom Kippur is the time when we do teshuvah and Hashem forgives us for our aveiros. Before Rosh Chodesh we make a Cheshbon Hanefesh (self-audit) of our behavior over the past month. We ask Hashem to forgive us for whatever we didn’t do so well, and we have a fresh start for the new month!

The Rebbe had the minhag to go to the Ohel every Erev Rosh Chodesh. One time there was a major snowstorm, and all of the roads in New York were blocked, so it was impossible to drive. Even though the Rebbe wanted to go to the Ohel that day, that month the Rebbe was not able to go.

The Rebbe teaches that we should add in Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim on this day.

See Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p. 172; Yoman 5738




The Shulchan Aruch teaches us that every person should be part of getting ready for Shabbos. Even if there are a lot of servants or helpers to clean and cook, we should still do something ourselves! With mitzvos, even if we can do it through a shliach, it’s better to do it ourselves.

Some of the great Chachomim would help prepare for Shabbos. Even if it didn’t seem like it showed kavod to them, to show that their true kavod is bringing kavod to Shabbos.

Rav Chisda would slice the vegetables thin for Shabbos, Rabba and R’ Yosef would chop wood for Shabbos, R’ Zeira would light the fire for Shabbos, Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak would clean the house, take out the weekday keilim, and bring in the Shabbos keilim!

We should learn from them to help get ready for Shabbos and show kavod for Shabbos!

See Alter Rebe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman reish-nun, se’if daled

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



Shabbos and Moshiach

One of the things we say about Shabbos in Lecha Dodi is “Sof Maaseh Bemachshava Techilah,” Shabbos was the last part of creating the world, but it was Hashem’s first thought. Hashem wanted from the very beginning that Creation should finish with Shabbos!

The same thing is also true about the Geulah, which is also compared to Shabbos!

Even though the Geulah comes all the way at the end of the world’s time, it is Machshava Techilah — in Hashem’s “mind” first. Hashem planned from the very beginning that Shabbos would come at the end. Geulah is the reason why Hashem created the world!

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