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CHUMASH

Parshas Devarim - Shishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu reviews with the Yidden how they captured the lands of Sichon and Og.

Sichon and Og: Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the Yidden how they won over Sichon and Og, the kings of the Emori, even though these kings were SO strong! Hashem told them to fight with these nations, and they did, completely capturing their land.

Part of their land went to Shevet Reuven and Gad, and part to some of the families of Shevet Menasheh.

 
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TEHILLIM

44 - 48

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Daled through Mem-Ches.

Zzzzzz…

Think of somebody sleeping. Can you see how smart he is? Can you see how strong he is? How well he can draw? How fast he can run?

No — when a person is asleep, all of these kochos are hidden.

In one of today’s kapitelach, Dovid Hamelech says “Urah, Lomo Sishan Hashem?” — “Wake up, why are You sleeping, Hashem?”

Of course, Hashem doesn’t really sleep, but sometimes Hashem’s kochos are hidden from us, so it seems like a person who is asleep.

In Golus, it is like Hashem is sleeping. Can we see the amazing nissim of Hashem? Can we see His kedusha shining? No — they are hidden from us.

So we ask, “Hashem, please wake up!”

Chassidus teaches us that we should make sure not only to ask Hashem with our words, we should “wake Hashem up” with the things we do! When we show Hashem how we are doing mitzvos with all of our kochos, even when we have to give up things we want to do, then Hashem shows us all of His kochos, showing us nissim and bringing us the Geulah!

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Alef

In this letter, the first letter in Igeres Hakodesh, the Alter Rebbe is encouraging Chassidim to add extra chayus in their learning Torah, and especially their davening, so that their neshamos will be strong!

Yesterday, we learned the first part of this letter. That part was written before the Alter Rebbe left to Mezritch. This second part that we learn today was written after he left. By then, he had found out from his Rebbe (the Maggid) about his special shlichus in the world — and that it will be hard, and even dangerous for him to do it!

Yesterday we learned about the mashal of a person, who has TWO halves — a top and a bottom! The top half is very important, but we need the bottom half to help us get to where we need to be. Our top half is our mind and our heart, which we use to think about the greatness of Hashem and bring out feelings of Ahava and Yirah, to want to be and stay connected to Hashem. The lower half, starting from the waist, is in Ruchnius our Emunah in Hashem, which makes it possible to think about Hashem’s greatness and bring out these feelings during davening.

But this emunah needs a “belt”! When a person puts on a belt, he feels strong! We also need to put on a Ruchnius “belt” to feel our strong emunah. What is the belt? The halachos of Torah! They make our Emunah and Chayus in serving Hashem very strong! That is the words of Dovid Hamelech, “Chagra B’Oz Masneha” — the Yidden put a belt on their waist which is Oz (strength), Torah. (The Rebbe gave us the special takanah of learning Rambam, and also strengthened the takana of Chalukas Hashas. One of the things it does for us is that it gives us strength in our Emunah!)

The Alter Rebbe tells us that besides for strengthening our emunah by learning halacha and Torah Shebaal Peh, there is also a special time to make the upper part strong — to make our Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem strong. When is this? This is when we daven Shacharis! We need to use this chance and daven with all of our might!

Tomorrow, IY”H, in the last part of this letter, the Alter Rebbe will make some takanos to make sure that we use this time in the best way.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Ches Menachem Av

Every single day, after davening (even on all of the Yomim Tovim) we say the Sheish Zechiros, the six things we have to remember every day. (Do you know what each of them are?)

~

The Rebbe Maharash used to say: How is Chassidus and Yiras Shomayim worth anything, if the main thing — Ahavas Yisroel — isn’t there! And especially if someone not only doesn’t have Ahavas Yisroel, but is even ready Chas Veshalom to hurt another person!?

The Torah tells us that the reason we are in Golus so long R”L is because we have Sinas Chinam, we can’t get along with each other. When we fix this, we won’t need to be in Golus anymore!

So even though it is very important to be very frum and learn lots of Chassidus — the MAIN thing is to make sure we have Ahavas Yisroel, and chas veshalom never do anything to cause another Yid pain.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Hakdama

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the last few rules about what we count as one of the 613 mitzvos:

10) Things you need to do before you can do the mitzvah aren’t counted as separate mitzvos (like squeezing the olive oil for the menorah).

11) If a mitzvah has a lot of parts, we still count it as only one mitzvah (like lulav and esrog).

12) If doing the mitzvah has a lot of steps, we still count it as only one mitzvah (like building the Mishkan).

13) Even if we need to do the mitzvah for many days, it is still counted as one mitzvah (like sitting in the sukkah for seven days is only one mitzvah).

14) We don’t count the punishment for each aveira as its own mitzvah.

 
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RAMBAM

Minyan Hamitzvos

In today’s Rambam, the Rambam tells us the list of mitzvos again, but shows us where we’ll learn them in the 14 books of the Rambam. These 14 seforim include 83 sections that teach us different sets of halachos.

Here are the seforim:

1) Mada — “to know.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos that are important for a Yid to know FIRST, so he will do all of the other mitzvos.We need to know that Hashem is one, and that we can’t serve Avodah Zarah.

2) Ahava — “love.” This sefer has the mitzvos we need to do all of the time, like loving Hashem. It also has the mitzvos that help us love Hashem, like saying Shema.

3) Zmanim — “times.” This sefer teaches us mitzvos that we do on special days, like Shabbos and Yom Tov.

4) Nashim — “women.” In this sefer, we learn the mitzvos that have to do with marriage and divorce.

5) Kedusha — “holy.” Hashem gave us certain mitzvos that show us how a Yid is different than other nations. In this sefer, we learn about who we can’t get married to, and what we can’t eat. For a Yid, getting married is holy, and we can only marry who the Torah says we can. A goy can eat any food that he wants, but a Yid can only eat kosher.

6) Hafla’ah — “separation.” This sefer has the mitzvos about when a person separates HIMSELF from something, by making a promise that he won’t use it.

7) Zeraim — “plants.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos that have to do with planting, like Shemitah and Yovel, and the terumah and maaser we have to give from things that grow.

8) Avodah — “work.” In this sefer of the Rambam, we learn about the work we do for Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash. We learn the mitzvos of building the Beis Hamikdash, and the korbanos that ALL of the Yidden bring to Hashem, like the Korban Tomid that we bring every day!

9) Korbanos — “sacrifices.” This sefer has the mitzvos about the korbanos Yidden have to bring by themselves, like the Korban Pesach that every Yid has to be part of, and the korbanos a person brings if he does an aveira.

10) Tahara — “purity.” In this sefer, the Rambam will teach us all of the mitzvos that have to do with tumah and tahara.

11) Nezikin — “damages.” In this sefer we have all of the mitzvos about if one person hurts another person or ruins his things.

12) Kinyan — “acquiring.” In this sefer we learn how property can belong to a person, like if he buys it. It also has the halachos about neighbors and partners.

13) Mishpatim — “judgments.” This sefer has the mitzvos about when two people argue about something in Beis Din, like halachos about a person who watches something for his friend, or lends him money.

14) Shoftim — “judges.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos for a Sanhedrin, like when a person is punished for doing an aveira. We also learn about a king, and the wars he fights — ending off with the halachos about Moshiach!

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Tumas Ochalin - Perek Yud-Gimmel

In this perek the Rambam explains that only water that we wanted to be brought can make foods tomei. For example, if you were pushed into a lake, the water on your clothes was taken out of the lake without you wanting it to be, and it doesn’t make food able to become tomei.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Learning Torah

Erev Pesach (5719), a Lubavitcher boy was standing near the Rebbe’s room. Suddenly the Rebbe came out! When he saw the boy, he asked “Why aren’t you learning?”

The boy answered that it was vacation, and he had no school.

“But why aren’t you learning?” the Rebbe asked again.

The boy was confused, and again said that he had no cheder.

The Rebbe took out a sefer, opened up to the last page, and said: “Do you see how many pages there are in this sefer? Do you see how many seforim there are in the bookshelves? I’m sure you know that there are even MORE seforim that aren’t in the bookshelves! When are you going to get to know all of these seforim if you don’t learn?”

We need to be always learning — not just when it’s school!

From “Haketzarim” — short stories about the Rebbe. With permission

 

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TEFILLAH

Akeidah

At the beginning of davening, as a way to prepare ourselves for davening properly, we read the story of the Akeida as it is written in Torah. On a day when we say Tachanun, we add a paragraph before and after the Akeida, asking Hashem to be good to us. We ask Hashem, just as Avraham Avinu went against his nature to do what Hashem wanted, Hashem should go against any nature of the world and do good for us!

The Gemara says that Hashem Himself says these words, saying that He should overlook any strictness against Yidden, and only do kindness for them. One of the things we ask Hashem in the paragraph after the Akeidah is that Hashem should do the greatest kindness, to bring us back to our land with Moshiach Tzidkeinu very soon!

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Erev Shabbos Tisha B'Av

Even though we don’t eat fleishigs during the Nine Days, we are allowed to taste fleishige Shabbos food on Erev Shabbos to make sure it is good. (This taste is only a drop, to make sure it has the right spices.)

If men will be in shul for Maariv on Motzei Shabbos, they should bring their Tisha B’Av shoes there before Shabbos, because we aren’t allowed to wear them on Shabbos.

Since Tisha B’Av is on Shabbos this year, we won’t fast until Sunday. That means that Shabbos is Erev Tisha B’Av. On Erev Tisha B’Av we don’t learn after Chatzos, so we should try to say Chitas and learn about the Beis Hamikdash BEFORE davening. If someone forgot, he can still finish learning until Shkiah.

After Chatzos, we should learn about the Churban, or learn some of the sichos the Rebbe said on Shabbos when it was Erev Tisha B’Av!

We don’t eat a Seudah Hamafsekes this year, because we don’t do anything that looks like mourning on Shabbos. Instead, we eat a big Seudah Shlishis, but make sure to stop before Shkiah.

For more halachos of Tisha B’Av, see the Halachos of Tisha B’Av on Shabbos by Badatz of Crown Heights, or the Halacha Newsletter by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches from Melbourne, Australia

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Who Will Build the Third Beis Hamikdash?

Will we build the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi, or will it come down from Shomayim, already built?

In different places in Torah, it says different things! The Rebbe explains that BOTH will be true!

According to Chassidus, we can understand why it needs to be this way!

The first Beis Hamikdash was very special. It was given as a present from Hashem to the Yidden. But the Yidden didn’t deserve such a present, and didn’t treat it properly. That’s why it was destroyed.

The second Beis Hamikdash came through the hard work of Yidden. They had to first do teshuvah before they could start to build it. So they deserved this Beis Hamikdash! But Hashem didn’t give the same Ruchnius as with the first Beis Hamikdash. There was no Aron or Urim VeTumim, for example, and many of the nissim weren’t there.

But the third Beis Hamikdash will have BOTH maalos! It will come as a present to the Yidden, with all of the nissim, but it will also be made by us, in a way that we DESERVE it! That’s why we will build the Beis Hamikdash, AND it will come down from Shomayim. This way it will have both maalos — it will come through the work of Yidden, and as a present from Hashem!

 
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