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Parshas Chukas-Balak - Revi'i with Rashi

Today we learn about how the Yidden captured the lands of Sichon and Og, the kings of the Emori. We also start to learn about Balak and Bilaam

Hashem already killed many of the Emori who wanted to hurt the Yidden, but there are still 2 kings of the Emori — Sichon and Og. Hashem had told Moshe to fight Sichon, but first Moshe asked their permission to go through to Eretz Yisroel.

But Sichon said NO! He wanted to fight.

The Emorim were very strong, and it would be hard to fight them in their cities. So Hashem gave Sichon an idea to all go into the desert to fight the Yidden! There, the Yidden fought and fought! Hashem made the sun not go down so the Yidden could finish the war. The Yidden won, and now all of the Emori land belonged to them.

The Shevatim of Reuven and Gad decided to live there, in the land of the Emori which would now be part of Eretz Yisroel!

Really, the land where Sichon lived used to belong to Moav, but Sichon hired a non-Jewish navi, Bilaam, to curse the city so he could win it.

Moshe sent men to go be spies and look at a place called Yazer, that wasn’t part of Sichon’s land. These spies wanted to do teshuvah for the Meraglim, so they didn’t just spy. They actually fought and even won over Yazer right away, and sent away the Emorim who lived there!

Now the Yidden went to fight against Og and take the rest of the land of the Emorim. At first Moshe was afraid because Og had helped Avraham, maybe he deserved to win! But Hashem told Moshe not to worry.

Og picked up a mountain that was as big as the entire place where the Yidden were camped! He wanted to kill them all at once. Because he wanted to do this, he lost all of his zechus. Hashem made ants make a big hole in the mountain, and it got stuck on his head! Then Moshe took a big axe, jumped very high, and hit Og in his ankle. Og fell down, and died from the mountain. Now the Yidden killed the rest of Og’s sons and took over the rest of the land of the Emorim.

Now the Yidden were right across the Yarden river from Yericho, a city in Eretz Yisroel!

Balak scares Moav: Even though Moav told the Yidden they aren’t allowed to come through, they weren’t afraid that the Yidden would fight them. They knew that Hashem didn’t promise the Yidden to get the land of Moav, so the Yidden would have no reason to attack them.

But Balak ben Tzipor, from Midyan, scared them! He told them that the Yidden could fight them just like they fought with the Emori kings, Sichon and Og. Now Moav was very scared that the Yidden would come in and take whatever they wanted from them! They were so scared that they made shalom with Midyan, who were their enemies, and made Balak their king to help them!

Since the koach of the Yidden was from Hashem, Balak knew that it wouldn’t help to get a big army. They needed to find someone with ruchnius kochos! So he sent a messenger to Bilaam ben Beor, who was famous for cursing people and also was a Navi. He asked Bilaam to curse the Yidden so that they won’t come into the land of Moav.

Even though Bilaam was a Navi of the goyim, and knew that the Yidden wouldn’t do anything to Moav, he hated the Yidden so much that he WANTED to curse them! He told the messengers to wait because he only got nevuah at night. (When Hashem lets a non-Jew be a Navi, He doesn’t do it in a kavodike way, and also only at night.)

At night, Hashem asked Bilaam, “Who is with you?” Of course Hashem really knew who was with him! He was asking only to “start the conversation,” like He did with Adam Harishon.

Bilaam thought that Hashem didn’t always know what was happening! He decided to curse the Yidden when Hashem “wasn’t looking.”

Bilaam told Hashem that Balak wanted him to curse the Yidden. Hashem told him not to go. Bilaam asked if he could curse them from Midyan, but Hashem said no! Bilaam then asked if at least he could bless the Yidden, but Hashem said no — the Yidden don’t need his brachos!



49 - 54

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Tes to Nun-Daled.

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Avon Akeivai Yesubeini” — “the aveiros of my heels surround me.” Dovid Hamelech was saying that he’s not worried that he’s not keeping the “big” mitzvos that are written in the Torah or taught by the Chachomim, he’s worried that the “small” mitzvos — even though he’s keeping them — might not be kept carefully.

The Rebbe teaches: When we say this in Tehillim, we are also talking about our own mitzvos. Of course we are doing mitzvos — like keeping Shabbos and davening — and even being very careful with them. But we need to be worried about the “small” mitzvos, our Chassidishe Hanhagos — like saying Chitas or having Ahavas Yisroel for a Yid we never met, since we might not be doing these as carefully.

We need be careful with ALL of our mitzvos, the “big” ones AND the “little” ones!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Beis

When a person does teshuvah, he is forgiven for his aveira. But to be as close to Hashem as he was before the aveira, he needs to give Hashem a present.

We said that the mitzvah of teshuvah is to make a hachlata to ONLY act the way Hashem wants, and of course not to do the same aveira again!

This is real teshuvah — it works! Hashem will forgive him! Hashem won’t see any aveiros in a time when the person is judged. BUT, he still isn’t as close to Hashem as he was before.

Let’s say there are two friends, Zelig and Laibel. One day, Laibel hears Zelig saying something not nice about him. When Zelig realizes what he did, he says sorry and asks for forgiveness right away! But are they best friends again? Not yet. When Zelig gives Laibel a present to show how much he wants to be friends, they are best friends again.

In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, after someone did teshuvah, he brought Hashem a present — a korban! This way Hashem would love him like He loved him before he did the aveira.

But what kind of present can we give now, when we don’t have the Beis Hamikdash? A person can fast. Fasting is like a korban, because we lose some of what would be in our stomach, like a korban, where part of the animal is burned on the Mizbeiach.

The Arizal taught his Talmidim all about fasting instead of bringing a korban. He had a list of how many times a person should fast for different kinds of aveiros.

We don’t give Hashem this present nowadays either, later we’ll see why and what we do instead!



Tes Tammuz

Today we learn a good eitzah of what to do when parents need help with their children.

A Mommy and Tatty can sometimes have a very hard problem: Chas veshalom something might be not going so well for one of their kinderlach! Maybe one of them is not acting so nicely in school anymore, or maybe one isn’t feeling so good.

What should they do?

Today the Rebbe tells us: The best thing a Mommy and Tatty can do is to give tzedakah to help people to learn Torah. Then Hashem will help them, and things will become better.



Shiur #331 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #195, Asei #37

We learn two mitzvos in today’s Sefer Hamitzvos. The first mitzvah is from the end of Hilchos Mamrim:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #195) This is the aveira of a Ben Sorer Umoreh, that a young man should not behave in a grubbe way in his eating and drinking. If someone does, according to all of the conditions we learn in Perek Zayin of today’s Rambam, he is chayav misa.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תֹאכְלוּ עַל הַדָּם

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Ches.

We also learn a mitzvah from the new set of halachos we are learning, Hilchos Aveil:

2) (Mitzvas Asei #37) Even though a Kohen is not allowed to become tomei by going near someone who passed away, like to a levayah or a cemetery, he is supposed to become tomei for the levayah of someone very close in his family.

This mitzvah is also where we learn that any person has the mitzvah to mourn (aveilus) for a close family member.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: לָהּ יִטַּמָּא

The details are explained in Mesechta Mashkin (Moed Katan), and places in Mesechta Brachos, Kesubos, Yevamos, and Avodah Zarah.



Hilchos Mamrim - Aveil

In today’s Rambam, we are finishing Hilchos Mamrim and starting Hilchos Aveil. “Mamrim” means those who rebel. We learned about the Zakein Mamrei, the Rabbi that rebels against the Sanhedrin. We also learned about Kibud Av Va’eim, not rebelling against parents, and now we learn about a boy of a certain age who rebels in a specific way, called Ben Sorer Umoreh.

Perek Zayin: This perek teaches us the details of the Ben Sorer Umoreh. He is a boy (not a girl) who is between the age of 13 and 13 and three months, who steals money from his father, buys a certain measurement of meat and wine, and eats the meat partially raw like robbers do, together with a group of not nice people. There are also many more details in this perek that make it very unlikely for it to actually happen.

There is an opinion in the Gemara that there never WAS a Ben Sorer Umoreh, and this is one part of Torah that we learn even if we can never actually do it —“Drosh Vekabel Schar.”

We finish learning the halachos of Mamrim, and we learn the first two perakim about Aveilus, mourning.

Perek Alef: We start learning about the mitzvah of Aveilus, mourning after someone passes away.

Many of the halachos are not kept until the person who passed away was buried.

Perek Beis: This perek explains which relatives a person has a mitzvah to mourn for.



Hilchos Melachim - Perek Daled

In Perek Daled, we learn about what rights a Jewish king has. He is allowed to make taxes, hire whoever he wants to work for him, and choose officers. In halacha Yud, the Rambam reminds us that the king has to make these decisions Lesheim Shomayim, to do the job Hashem wants him to do!



Singing Shirah

In the entire Chumash, we find two places where the Yidden sang shirah, a song to praise Hashem. One of them is at the time of Kriyas Yam Suf, and the other is in our parsha, where the Yidden praised Hashem for the neis in saving them from the Emoriim.

Why are these the only places where the Yidden sang shirah? Didn’t Hashem save the Yidden many more times, and do many more nisim?

The answer is that with these two nissim, the Yidden were able to see Hashem’s love for them much more clearly. This made them feel a matching love for Hashem, and they sang to Hashem to show how much they loved Him!

At the time of Kriyas Yam Suf, Hashem told the Yidden they wouldn’t need to fight, and the Mitzriyim would not be able to hurt them. Seeing how Hashem took care of them without them needing to do anything showed Hashem’s special love!

In our parsha too, the Yidden saw Hashem’s special love in the way they were saved from the Emoriim. Not only did they not need to fight, they didn’t even need to worry about the Emoriim — they only found out about the neis afterwards! This woke up the Yidden’s strong love for Hashem, and they sang shirah to thank Hashem for this incredible neis.

See Dvar Malchus parshas Chukas p. 53, from Likutei Sichos 23 p. 153


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Ana B'koach

In Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, we have the paragraph of Ana B’koach, which we say during many tefillos.

This paragraph is very special and very holy! It was written by R’ Nechunya ben Hakana with deep meanings in Kabbalah. Ana B’koach has 42 words. The first letters of each word together spell out one of Hashem’s holy names!

When we finish reading these words, we say Baruch Sheim, blessing the name of Hashem we just read through the words of Ana B’koach.

This tefillah always helps us elevate ourselves. In Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, it helps us elevate the avodah of the entire day!



Ana B'koach

In our siddurim, the Roshei Teivos of Ana B’koach, which spell out Hashem’s name, are written next to each line.

In Hayom Yom, it teaches that we should look at and think about these words, but we shouldn’t actually say them.

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



We Will Never Be Worried Again!

In most of his nevuos, the Navi Yirmiyah was warning the Yidden about the Churban which would happen if they did not do teshuvah. That’s why most of this sefer of Navi is very sad.

Still, some of Yirmiyah’s nevuos are very happy, very famous ones about the Geulah!

In this posuk, the Navi tells the Yidden about how good things will be when Moshiach comes. Hashem will give them so much good, they will never be worried again!

וּבָאוּ וְרִנְּנוּ בִמְרוֹם צִיּוֹן וְנָהֲרוּ אֶל טוּב ה׳ עַל דָּגָן וְעַל תִּירֹשׁ וְעַל יִצְהָר וְעַל בְּנֵי צֹאן וּבָקָר וְהָיְתָה נַפְשָׁם כְּגַן רָוֶה וְלֹא יוֹסִיפוּ לְדַאֲבָה עוֹד

Uva’u Verinenu — The Yidden will come and celebrate

ViMerom Tzion — On the highest part of Yerushalayim (the Beis Hamikdash).

Venaharu El Tuv Hashem — And they will gather to get the goodness of Hashem

Al Dagan Ve’al Tirosh Ve’al Yitzhar— In their grain, their wine, and their oil

Ve’al Bnei Tzon Uvakar — And in their sheep and cattle.

Vehaysa Nafsham KeGan Raveh — They will feel satisfied from the goodness of Hashem

Velo Yosifu LeDa’avah Od — And they will never feel sad or worried again!

See Yirmiyah perek Lamed-Alef posuk Yud-Alef

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