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Parshas Emor - Chamishi with Rashi

Today we are learning about the Yomim Tovim of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur!

Hashem tells Moshe to tell the Yidden that the first day of Tishrei should be the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashana. On this day, they should say pesukim from the Torah to remember the Akeidas Yitzchak and how Avraham Avinu took a ram (the animal we take a shofar from) as a korban instead of Yitzchak. These pesukim are called Pesukei Zichronos and Pesukei Shofros.

On Rosh Hashana, we can’t do melacha, and we bring a Yom Tov korban in the Beis Hamikdash.

On the 10th day of Tishrei, it is Yom Kippur. Hashem will forgive the Yidden for the things they did wrong, if they fast and keep the inuyim of Yom Kippur. We aren’t allowed to do melacha on Yom Kippur! We make it holy by wearing clean clothes and davening the special Yom Kippur tefillos.



83 - 87

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Pey-Daled, we have a very special posuk which we learned about in Tanya! “Ki Shemesh UMagen Hashem Elokim!” “Because the name of Hashem and Elokim is like a sun and a cover.”

A mashal for Hashem is the sun, which shines very strong. If the sun shines on us with all of its might, it would make the word too hot! The world can be a place for us to live because there is a cover on the sun, so we can enjoy its light.

The same is with Hashem: The chayus from the name Havaya is so strong that we wouldn’t be able to feel like people — we would all just be part of Hashem. But the name Elokim covers up the name Havaya so the world can keep on being the way we see it.



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Ches

Today we are learning more about what we learned yesterday — the two kinds of chayus of Hashem in the world.

Did you ever see a globe? It shows you the whole world, which is shaped like a ball, at one time!

You can close your eyes, and a picture of the whole world can be in your head at the same time! Hashem also knows the whole globe — the whole world. The difference is that we just have a PICTURE in our head. When Hashem knows, He is also making it and giving it chayus!

That chayus, though, is too strong to make the world the way WE see it. So Hashem gives the world another type of chayus. This chayus is what makes each thing in the world different, with the exact amount of chayus so it will look right. The mountain should be big and wide, and the bump in the road should be small. The huge tree and the tiny piece of grass each get just the right amount of chayus. Because this chayus is so hidden, we can see the world the way Hashem wants it, even with our gashmius eyes.

When we know this about Hashem and think about it, it will help us come to love Hashem. IY”H tomorrow we will see why.



Yud-Zayin Iyar

Today is thirty-two days of the Omer!

We don’t say Tachanun in Mincha because tonight is Lag B’omer.

There is a time in the morning that is called “Sof Zeman Kriyas Shema.” This means the latest time to say Shema in the morning to do the mitzvah right. Many people say Shema in the morning BEFORE davening, so they can daven at their regular time (which is sometimes after the time of Kriyas Shema) and not miss the mitzvah of Kriyas Shema in the morning.

When you do this, you should say the words “Ani Hashem Elokeichem,” and then again — “Ani Hashem Elokeichem — Emes.” (This way we will have 248 words in the three paragraphs of Shema, for each of the 248 parts of the body!) But when you say Shema with a different set of Tefillin, like Rabbeinu Tam or Shimusha Raba, you don’t say the words “Ani Hashem Elokeichem” again — you just say once, “Ani Hashem Elokeichem, Emes.”


Once on Lag B’omer (5604), the Tzemach Tzedek taught something from the Baal Shem Tov:

There is a Posuk in Navi (Malachi) that says that Yidden are an “Eretz Chefetz” — a rich land, a land that Hashem wants.

Hashem hid lots of special and important things in the ground — like gold, diamonds, things like oil and coal that help us have electricity and heat, and vitamins that make plants grow. There are so many treasures in the ground, that nobody will ever be able to discover them all!

The Navi compares Yidden to the ground, because we are also full of treasures. Nobody will EVER be able to find all of the special kochos hiding inside every single Yid!

The Baal Shem Tov said, “I want to make sure that Yidden use all of the hidden treasures that are inside of them!”



Shiur #294 - Mitzvas Asei #244

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #244) is that we need to follow all of the halachos about someone who watches something for another person without getting paid for it.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: כִּי יִתֵּן אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ כֶּסֶף אוֹ כֵלִים לִשְׁמֹר

The halachos are explained in Perek Tes of Mesechta Bava Kama, Perek Gimmel of Mesechta Bava Metziah, and Perek Ches of Mesechta Shevuos.



Hilchos She'eilah Upikadon

In today’s Rambam, we are finishing this set of halachos, about borrowing (shoel) and watching something for someone else (Shomer Chinam).

In Perek Vov, we learn about the special shevuah that this shomer has to make if something was broken or stolen when he was watching it. He needs to make a shevuah that he took care of it properly, that what he said happened to it really did (like if he said “it fell apart by itself”), and that he didn’t use it — he was watching it, not borrowing it!

If the Shomer Chinam doesn’t want to make the promise, but he’d rather pay back the owner for what got stolen or lost, we usually let him.

But if it was a special kind of thing that got stolen or lost, and you can’t just buy a new one of, like a painting, we make him make the shevuah, because we are afraid maybe he just wanted to keep it for himself! We are afraid that he wanted to buy it, but the owner wasn’t selling — so he is using this as a trick to pay for it and keep it himself. To keep people from doing this, we make them make a shevuah in this kind of case.

Here’s an example of one interesting halacha in Perek Zayin: Let’s say that Reuven asked Shimon to watch his kiddush cup while he goes to summer camp. Shimon wasn’t planning on going to camp, so he agreed.

But then in the middle of the summer, Shimon’s Bubby invited him to come to Eretz Yisroel with her! What should Shimon do? He can’t bring the kiddush cup with — it might get lost or stolen on such a big trip! And he can’t ask someone else to watch the kiddush cup — Reuven asked HIM to watch it! Does he have to stay home now to watch the kiddush cup?

Shimon can bring the kiddush cup to the Beis Din, and they will find someone who can watch it until Reuven gets back.

Perek Ches: One halacha we learn is about if something was stolen from the shomer, and instead of making a shevuah, the shomer paid it back. If the thief is caught and needs to pay back double, who does the thief pay double to? The original owner, or the shomer? The answer is that the shomer is the one who gets to keep the double payment, since he decided to pay instead of making a shevuah, and it is counted as if it is his.



Hilchos Maachalos Asuros - Perek Yud-Gimmle

This perek teaches how to make sure that closed containers of wine do not become Yayin Nesech.



Lag B'Omer

Today is Erev Lag B’Omer. At a Lag B’Omer parade, the Rebbe spoke about the great simcha of the hilula of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai!

In Sifrei Kabbalah, there is a story about one of the talmidim of the Arizal, named R’ Avraham Halevi. R’ Avraham Halevi was a gilgul of the Navi Yirmiyah, meaning that he had the same neshama as this Navi, who said the Nevuah about the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash.

Since R’ Avraham Halevi had this neshama, he felt the Churban more than other people did. Every day, he would say the Tefillah of Nacheim in the bracha of Velirushalayim, asking Hashem to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash and comfort (Nacheim) us for the Churban. He would say this tefillah even on happy days, like on Chol Hamoed, because it bothered him so much that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed.

One Lag B’Omer, R’ Avraham Halevi was with his Rebbe, the Arizal, in Meron, near the kever of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai. As usual, when he davened he added the tefillah of Nacheim.

The Arizal told him that Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai was upset about this! How could someone say Nacheim, a tefillah that brings sadness, on the day of his simcha? In fact, something happened to R’ Avraham Halevi because of this.

For great tzadikim like Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, there was no Churban! These great tzadikim still see the same level of Elokus like there was when the Beis Hamikdash was standing!

So on the day of the histalkus of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, it is not right to be sad about the Churban.

At the parade, the Rebbe pointed out that even though R’ Avraham Halevi said Nacheim on Chol Hamoed, the only time when it was a problem was on Lag B’Omer! This shows us that the simcha of Lag B’Omer is a simcha that is in a way greater than the simcha of other Yomim Tovim! And even when Moshiach comes, and the Yomim Tovim don’t feel as special since there is so much Elokus in the world, Lag B’Omer will always be a very special Yom Tov!

See sicha of Lag B’Omer Tof-Shin-Mem-Gimmel, Hisvaaduyos Mem-Gimmel chelek Gimmel p. 1441; Likutei Sichos vol. 22 p. 30-31

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How can we win over our Yetzer Hara? What if the Yetzer Hara doesn’t want us to do what we are supposed to? Are there any tricks to help us win?

If we know the sixth posuk of the Twelve Pesukim by heart (Vehinei), we have a good chance!

Even though Hashem made the malochim and so many great Ruchnius “worlds” and such a beautiful Gashmius world that we live in, and runs them all in a way of Hashgacha Protis, taking care of each detail, still Hashem puts all of that aside and thinks about each one and wants to see that we are acting like we should.

When we think about this posuk, any time our Yetzer Hara might come up with a trick to get us in trouble, we will remember that what we decide to do is so important to Hashem. That way we will for sure win!

There was a Chossid of the Alter Rebbe, R’ Mottel, whose gaavah made him a Chossid.

Even though gaavah is not a good midah, he was able to use it for kedusha!

R’ Mottel had a Yetzer Hara, which would sometimes give him ideas of what to do. It would say, “Mottel! Do an aveira!”

R’ Mottel would respond with pride and shock. “ME?! I am a chossid of the Alter Rebbe, a gvir and a lamdan! You want ME to do an aveira?!?”

When we think about the fact that Hashem puts everything aside to see what we are going to do, and that the whole world depends on how we behave, we will have the pride to answer our own Yetzer Haras too: “ME?!? Hashem HIMSELF is watching me, and the WHOLE WORLD depends on what I choose! You want ME to do an aveira?!”

See also sicha of Simchas Beis Hashoeiva 5715




We are learning more halachos about a bosis.

Imagine that you walked into your room on Friday night, after the meal, and saw that some tzedakah money was left on the stool you use to reach the tall shelf in your closet.

Even though the money was resting on the stool during Bein Hashmashos, when Shabbos starts, the stool did not become a bosis for the money. That’s because you didn’t mean for the coins to stay on the stool, that’s not where they belong!

So is it okay to move the stool over to the closet to take down the game you wanted to play?

The Shulchan Aruch says that it is better not to move the stool with the muktza still on it. First you should try to do “Niyur,” shaking off the muktza onto the floor.

So first you should push the stool over so the coins fall onto the floor. Then you can pick up the stool and move it to wherever you need to use it.

But if there was something on the stool that might break if you shake it off, then you don’t have to do Niyur. Since the stool is not a bosis, you are allowed to move it, even though the muktza is still on it.

Only if it is possible to shake it off without anything getting ruined, we should shake off the muktza.

Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Shin-Tes

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



Thanking Hashem for Golus!

The Navi Yeshaya said a nevuah that the Geulah will be such an incredible Geulah that we will even be able to understand why the Golus had to be. We will be able to even THANK Hashem for the hard parts of Golus!

וְאָמַרְתָּ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אוֹדְךָ ה׳ כִּי אָנַפְתָּ בִּי יָשֹׁב אַפְּךָ וּתְנַחֲמֵנִי

Ve’amarta Bayom Hahu — You will say on the day of the Geulah:

Odcha Hashem Ki Anafta Bi — I will thank You Hashem, for being angry with me and putting me in Golus

Yashov Apcha Usenachameini — At that time, Your anger will go away, and You will comfort me.

Even though now a Yid can’t feel that way, since we are still in Golus, the Navi tells us that when the Geulah happens, we WILL be able to feel it!

See Yeshaya perek Yud-Beis posuk Alef, and Igros Kodesh chelek Yud-Beis p. 414

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