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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Tetzaveh - Rishon with Rashi

In last week’s parsha we started learning about how Hashem gave Moshe Rabbeinu instructions how to build the Mishkan. Today we learn about lighting the Menorah, and we start to learn about the clothing of the Kohanim.

Hashem tells Moshe about how to make the kind of olive oil we need to use for the menorah: We should only use the oil that comes out when the olive skin is first broken by getting squeezed, before the olives get squashed by something heavy or are ground up.

This is how the Menorah should be lit: The kohen needs to hold the flame close to the wick for enough time to make sure the wick is burning on its own. The kohanim should put in enough oil in the menorah so it will burn all night.

Now Hashem tells Moshe about the clothes the Kohanim should wear — 8 special pieces of clothing for the Kohen Gadol, and 4 for the other Kohanim. Today Hashem tells Moshe about the Efod:

The Efod should be made out of colorful threads like the curtains of the Mishkan will be made out of. It is like an apron that is worn backwards — so it doesn’t cover the Kohen Gadol in the front. The Efod is made with a belt as part of it, and shoulder straps attached to it.

The Yidden should also take two precious stones, and engrave the names of the Shevatim on them — half of the Shevatim on each stone. This way, whenever the Kohen Gadol will go into the Mishkan, Hashem will remember how special the Yidden are!



49 - 54

In the last posuk of Kapitel Nun, Dovid Hamelech says: “Zoveiach Todah Yechabdaneni” — “a person who brings a Korban is bringing Kavod to Hashem.”

Just like when we bring a korban to shecht it brings kavod for Hashem, shechting the Yetzer Hara also brings kavod for Hashem.

How do we bring our Yetzer Hara to be shechted as a korban?

Just like when we shecht an animal, the animal loses its chayus, when we shecht our Yetzer Hara, the Yetzer Hara loses its chayus too. Instead of getting excited about Gashmiyus things that we like or want (like computer games or nosh), we get excited about Kedusha things — like davening or doing mitzvos!

By getting excited about things for Avodas Hashem, and less excited about things for the Yetzer Hara, we are also bringing kavod to Hashem!

See Tehillas Menachem kapitel Nun



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Beis

When the Alter Rebbe first wrote the Tanya (Mahadura Kama), it was different than the Tanya we have today! One very big difference is that this whole perek wasn’t there at all! The Alter Rebbe added it to the final version, and chose to put it right here, so it would be the 32nd perek. “Lamed-Beis” (32) is the Gematria of “Lev,” “heart.” Just like the heart sends the blood with chayus to all the parts of the body, this perek gives chayus to everything we learn in Tanya!

There are three kinds of love: Ahavas Hashem (love for Hashem), Ahavas HaTorah (love for Torah), and Ahavas Yisroel (love for another Yid). In the Yud Shevat farbrengen of Kabolas Hanesius, when the Rebbe officially accepted to be Rebbe, the Rebbe said that we need to make sure that our love for Hashem and the Torah BRINGS us to Ahavas Yisroel! In this perek, the Alter Rebbe shows us how to do that.

In the last three perakim, we have been learning about a hisbonenus with many parts. First we think thoughts that make us feel humble. Then we realize that even though as a person we may not have what to be so proud of, we have a neshama like every Yid has, and the neshama can come out of the Golus of the guf through Torah and mitzvos! Through learning Torah and doing mitzvos, we can even make the guf and Gashmius things we use more aidel, which is why Hashem put the neshama in the guf in the first place! That will bring us to decide to make it our life’s mission to connect our neshama with Hashem and elevate our guf and the Gashmius to kedusha through Torah and mitzvos!

When we think about OURSELVES this way, that the neshama is the main thing, we will look at another Yid the same way too! This is how we will be able to have true Ahavas Yisroel for EVERY SINGLE YID, no matter who!

How does seeing the neshama as the main thing bring us to love every Jew?

First, let’s think about why it’s hard to have Ahavas Yisroel: People look, sound, and act differently. Some people are tall and some are short, some are loud and some are quiet, some are smart and some are talented. Some people are mean, and some people are nice. There are people who like to play, others like to read. Some like to give presents, and some like to get presents! Different people like different kinds of things and we all have different personalities. That makes it very hard to love everyone the same!

But all these differences are only because of our guf. Our neshamos, though, are all the same — they are all a part of Hashem!

So if we are able to look at ourselves and see that the main thing is the neshama (through the hisbonenus we just learned), we will be able to look at every other Yid also in the same way! We will see that for them too, the main thing is the neshama! Then, there are no differences, and we can have Ve’ahavta Lereiacha Kamocha to every Yid equally, no matter how big or small they are!

In fact, this won’t only help us do ONE mitzvah (the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel) — if we can truly feel this way, that is the main point of the whole Torah and ALL of the mitzvos!

We see this in a story from the Gemara, about Hillel Hazakein:

Once a goy came to Hillel and asked to become a Yid — but he said that he is only willing to learn about Yiddishkeit while standing on one foot. So Hillel told him, “Things you don’t like other people to do to you, you shouldn’t do to other people. That’s the whole Torah. Everything else just explains it. Now go learn the rest.”

Hillel was saying that the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel is the whole Torah!


The whole point of the Torah is to make our neshama stronger than our Guf, and to connect it to Hashem!

When we do Ahavas Yisroel after going through this whole hisbonenus, which brings us to feel that a person’s neshama is really the main thing, we are doing the whole point of Torah!

When Yidden have achdus with each other, then Hashem also wants to have achdus with us! This way, Hashem’s Shechinah can be felt among the Yidden.

And this is also the point of the whole Torah!



Tes Adar

The Hayom Yom was first written for a Shana Me’uberes, a year with TWO Adars. This year is a Shana Peshuta, with only ONE Adar. We don’t want to miss any Hayom Yoms, so we learn TWO Hayom Yoms every day of Adar!

Tes Adar Alef

The Frierdiker Rebbe came to America on Tes Adar Beis 5700. This Hayom Yom talks about a mivtza that the Frierdiker Rebbe started when he came to America, to make the air pure with words of Torah — Taharas Ho’Avir.

What do you think about when you are walking outside?

We shouldn’t go out in the street without a plan of what we’re going to think about, and just think about whatever comes into our mind. When we walk in the street we should be thinking TORAH, like Tanya or Mishnayos!

If we are sitting around somewhere where we can use a sefer, we should also have a plan — to say words of Torah, like Chumash or Tehillim (which are usually said from inside a sefer).

Especially nowadays, when there isn’t as much Torah in the streets as there used to be, it is even more special when we think or say words of Torah there!

Tes Adar Sheini

Nusach Chabad: When we say Borei Nefashos, we should be careful to say “KOIL Mah Shebarasa” (with a cholam), and not “KOL Mah Shebarasa” (with a komatz).

A chossid wants to be mekushar to the Rebbe.

How can he do it?

It’s not enough to just to see the Rebbe’s face (or to see videos or pictures). To have proper hiskashrus, we need to learn and understand the Rebbe’s Chassidus!

On Tes Adar, the Frierdiker Rebbe arrived in America. You can imagine how excited the Chassidim were to see the Frierdiker Rebbe, many of them for the first time ever!

In today’s Hayom Yom, we see that this excitement is not enough to be hiskashrus by itself. Chassidim also need to study and understand the Rebbe’s Chassidus in order to be mekushar.



Shiur #227 - Mitzvas Asei #98

Today’s mitzvah is the same one again (Mitzvas Asei #98) that we need to know about how food can become Tomei, so we can follow all of those halachos.



Hilchos Tumas Ochlin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about how food and drinks can become tomei.

In Perek Yud we learn about other kinds of liquids that make things tomei, because they are like the seven kinds of liquids we learned about before. For example, tears are like regular water. So if someone tomei cries, their tears can make things tomei.

Perek Yud-Alef has special halachos about grapes and olives, and how they become tomei.

Perek Yud-Beis teaches us about wet foods becoming tomei: We learn that only if they are wet ON PURPOSE, and the person wanted them to get wet, can they become tomei from being wet. So if water splashed on a fruit that you wanted to keep dry, it can’t become tomei. The Rambam gives us many examples so we will understand what is “on purpose” and “wanting” food to get wet. (For example, if someone had to hide their food in a wet place so nobody will steal it, it’s not counted that they wanted it to get wet.)



Hilchos Ishus - Perek Chof-Alef

In today’s Rambam, we learn about the things a wife has to do for her husband. One of them is that she’s not allowed to do NOTHING all day, even if she is very rich! That’s because when people do nothing, it usually makes them end up doing things that aren’t good…

She also has some special jobs to do for her husband, like pouring him drinks and getting his bed ready.



Tes Adar

America Iz Nisht Andersh!” Today is the day that the Frierdiker Rebbe arrived in America, to live there. (The Frierdiker Rebbe came for a visit before.)

At that time, the Yidden in America had a very hard time being frum.

The first thing the Frierdiker Rebbe said was, “America Iz Nisht Andersh!” We shouldn’t think that America is different, that Torah is Chas Veshalom not the same here. The Torah and the mitzvos are the same for every time and for every place!

The Frierdiker Rebbe asked Rabbi Hodakov to come with him on the boat from Poland to America. On the boat, the Frierdiker Rebbe told Rabbi Hodakov that he should write up a plan what they would do to build Yiddishkeit in America, before they even get there.

Rabbi Hodakov wrote up a plan, and based on that plan, Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, Machneh Yisroel, and Kehos were founded. The Frierdiker Rebbe gave these mosdos over to the Rebbe, and the Rebbe used these mosdos to spread Yiddishkeit all over the world!

The Frierdiker Rebbe specifically did not want to wait until they got to America and then figure out what to do. The Frierdiker Rebbe wanted it planned in advance! One lesson we can learn from this is that we shouldn’t wait until we get older to decide how we’ll live. While we are children, we should get the proper Chinuch and make decisions about how to do things right for the rest of our lives!

(For more details of this story, see Early Years, published by JEM, page 264)

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Da Lifnei Mi Ata Omeid

In Shulchan Aruch, it says there is one general kavana in davening that we need to have, even if we aren’t able to think about the meaning of the words or about deeper meanings in tefillah. This is to remember that we are davening to Hashem! “Da Lifnei Mi Ata Omeid” “Know Who you are standing before” — that we are standing before Hashem.

There are only two places in davening where we MUST know the meaning of the words:

1) The first posuk of Shema — a Yid knows that there is nothing aside for Hashem

2) The first bracha of Shmoneh Esrei — we ask Hashem to accept our tefillos in the zechus of the Avos.

A good way to be able to have the general kavana of “Da Lifnei Mi Ata Omeid” all the time is to daven from a siddur! This way we won’t be as easily distracted by things going on around us.

This is the reason why there are halachos in Shulchan Aruch about not having pictures and images in shul, because they can make it harder for people to concentrate in davening.

The Rebbe davened the entire davening from the siddur (with very few exceptions), even though he obviously knew the whole davening by heart. The Rebbe said that he kept this minhag, as he also saw by the Frierdiker Rebbe.

See sicha of Yud-Gimmel Tishrei, 5743 - Toras Menachem 5743, vol. 1, p. 143 and on



Mishloach Manos

Today we will learn about one of the four mitzvos of Purim, Shalach Manos.

At the end of the Megillah, we read how Mordechai sent out letters to the Yidden, telling them how to celebrate the neis that happened. One of the things to do is to send gifts of food from one person to another.

The meforshim give many reasons to explain why we do this mitzvah. One of the basic reasons is to bring friendship and closeness between Yidden. That’s why boys give to boys, and girls give to girls — it is appropriate that boys be friends with boys, and girls be friends with girls! (Matanos L’evyonim is different, because we are giving money to help a person in need, not to build a friendship. That’s why we can give Matanos L’evyonim to either men or women.)

The words of the Megillah that teach us about Shalach Manos are “Mishloach Manos Ish Le’Rei’eihu,” “to send portions of food from a person to his friend.” From each one of these words we learn some of the details of the mitzvah.

Mishloach — Because it says the word “to send,” we learn that it should be sent through a shliach. However, it is not NECESSARY to use a messenger to fulfill the mitzvah.

Manos — Because it says “portions” (not portion), we learn that it has to be more than one type of food. Manos also means portions of food that are ready to eat, and not something that needs to be cooked or prepared. It is best that each portion be at least a kezayis.

Ish Le’Rei’eihu — Because it says to his friend (not friends), we learn that it is enough to give Shalach Manos to one friend. But we are taught, “Kol Hamarbeh Harei Zeh Meshubach” — someone who gives to more people, and brings more friendship, is praised! (Still, giving more Matanos L’evyonim is even MORE important.)

Women also need to keep this mitzvah, and we should teach even small children to do it too!

The Rebbe pointed out that this is a very easy mitzvah! It’s an excellent opportunity to make sure as many people as possible — men, women, and children — do this mitzvah. On Mivtzoyim, we shouldn’t just give people Shalach Manos, we should make sure that they give to a friend and bring more friendship. A practical way to do this is to have people trade a meal or a Shalach Manos package.

(See Shevach Hamo’adim p. 151-152, and Halachos Uminhagei Chabad, p. 150-151)

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



Ve'ata Tetzaveh

Our parsha starts off with “Ve’ata Tetzaveh Es Bnei Yisroel,” that Hashem is telling Moshe to command the Yidden, “Veyikchu Eilecha Shemen Zayis Zach, Kasis Lamaor, Lehaalos Ner Tomid,” the Yidden should bring to Moshe pure olive oil, crushed (kosis) for light, to make the light shine constantly.

The Rebbe explains that this posuk can also mean, “You (Moshe) should connect (tetzaveh) the Yidden with Hashem — by making their Emunah strong. Then they will bring to you (Moshe) something that you didn’t have before, a Ruchnius light that comes from their Emunah! This light comes from them being kosis, crushed from being in Golus. And this will shine constantly.”

Just like Moshe Rabbeinu brought out the Emunah in his generation, there is a Moshe Rabbeinu in every generation who helps strengthen the Emunah of the Yidden in his time!

In our time, the Rebbe told us that Moshiach is about to come, and that we will soon be able to see Elokus in this world — the world will be the way it is supposed to be! But right now we don’t see it, and that hurts a Yid very much. The Golus brings out the deepest part of a Yid’s neshama, to ask Hashem to bring Moshiach, and to do whatever we can so it will happen sooner.

This is like what happens when an olive is squeezed (which is what the word “kosis” means). When the olive is squeezed, the oil comes out — the best part! When we feel “squeezed” by the Golus, it also brings out the best part of a Yid, and it makes a difference in everything that we do.

See the Maamar Ve’ata Tetzaveh 5752

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