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לעילוי נשמת ר׳ יוסף בנימין בן ר׳ מנשה קאלטמאנן
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Those who make Chitas for the month of Elul possible:


לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Ki Savo - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabeinu reminds the Yidden about the good things that Hashem did for them!

After the Yidden heard the 98 curses that Moshe gave, and remembered the 48 curses Hashem gave before, they got scared! So Moshe called all of the Yidden, so he could remind them how much Hashem loves them:

“Remember how Hashem punished the Mitzriyim, and took you out of Mitzrayim! Remember all of the nisim that you saw! You learned to believe in Hashem and to listen to Him.

“But Hashem gave you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear! What do you need to know and see and hear? All of the Chesed Hashem does for you!

“Hashem took care of you in the Midbar, that your clothes should not get ruined or dirty, your shoes shouldn’t get worn out, and you ate mahn, and drank water from a well that was a Neis!

“And even though the strong kings Sichon and Og came to fight us, we won, and their land will become part of Eretz Yisroel later — for now, Reuven, Gad, and part of Shevet Menasheh will live there!

“So you see how much Hashem loves you!

“So make sure you learn Hashem’s Torah and do what He says, and you will have hatzlacha in EVERYTHING!”



97 - 103

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin to Kuf-Gimmel. For Chodesh Elul, we say three more kapitelach: Nun-Ches, Nun-Tes, and Samach.

At the end of today’s first Kapitel (which we also say in Kabolas Shabbos, and in the Machzor before Kol Nidrei), the posuk says “Ohr Zarua LaTzadik” — “Light is planted for the Tzadik.”

The Medrash teaches that when Hashem made the world, there was a very strong light, but it was too hard for the world to live in it! So Hashem hid it for the Tzadikim when Moshiach comes.

But even now there is a place where we can find that special light — in the Torah!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Vov

Today the Alter Rebbe gives us some examples of how we use the kochos of our Neshama to connect to Hashem and live the way Hashem wants. Here are some of the examples brought in today’s Tanya:

Chesed (loving, giving): A Yid loves Hashem and wants to act in the ways of Hashem. We want to have good middos, especially those that we learn from the stories in the Torah and from Tzadikim.

Gevurah (strict): To fight with our Yetzer Hara, because we are afraid that we shouldn’t do anything that is not the way Hashem wants.

Tiferes (beauty): We look at the mitzvos that we do as the most precious and beautiful things, so we buy the best Mezuzos and Tefillin and do all other mitzvos in the nicest way.

Netzach (winning): When we know something is right, we stand very strong and don’t let anything make us change our minds or let us act in the wrong way.

Hod (thanking, acknowledging): To thank Hashem for all of the good things that Hashem does for us and not to be a Kefui Tovah.

Yesod (connection): To have a geshmak and chayus in acting the way a Yid should.

Malchus: To have Kabolas Ol. To know that Hashem is in charge and that we have to do what He wants, even though we might understand or want something different.



Chof Elul

Someone who is selfish doesn’t realize it.

Did you ever get into a fight with someone? When your mother or father ask you about it, you say “Well, I didn’t do anything wrong!” Your parents might try explain to you that you aren’t perfect, and that you also weren’t acting the way you should.

Why don’t we think of that ourselves? Because we are so busy thinking about how WE were right that there is no time to think about what was bothering the other person. So we aren’t able to find out what WE did wrong and how we could become better.

Our neshamos are all stuck in a Guf that thinks only about itself. When we daven and learn and make a real Cheshbon Hanefesh in Chodesh Elul, we will see that we need to become much better!



Shiur #76 - Mitzvas Asei #212

Today we learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #212) to have children.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bereishis: פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Yevamos perek Vov.



Hilchos Ishus

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.



Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i - Perek Yud-Alef

The year after we give Maaser Ani for the poor (the 4th and 7th year), we need to do Vidui Maaser. Vidui Maaser is telling Hashem formally that we gave all of the presents and maaser we needed to give. We can’t do this until we actually gave them to the poor, the kohanim, or the Beis Hamikdash — it’s not enough to just set them aside.



Chayus in Our Teshuvah

This week we celebrated a very special day — Chai Elul.

The Frierdiker Rebbe said that the name we call this day, “Chai Elul,” means that this day brings a chayus into Elul. Elul is the month of teshuvah, and Chai Elul brings a chayus into this avodah of teshuvah!

What is teshuvah?

Teshuvah means to think about the things we did wrong, and realize how bad we feel about it. We then make a strong hachlata to do the mitzvos properly from now on — no matter what! Even if we are not in the mood, or it is hard, we are ready to follow everything the Torah teaches.

Chai Elul brings a chayus into this avodah!

Chai Elul is the beginning of Chassidus, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe. The chayus that Chai Elul brings is how Chassidus teaches us to do teshuvah with simcha!

Of course, EVERY mitzvah needs to be done with simcha, and teshuvah is a mitzvah too.

But part of teshuvah is feeling bad for the things we didn’t do right, and being upset that we let the Yetzer Hara trick us. We might even feel a little angry that the Yetzer Hara got us to do the wrong thing, and decide that we won’t ever fall for his tricks again!

Chassidus teaches that even THAT part of teshuvah needs to be done with simcha! Even though we are upset at the Yetzer Hara, we know that we also have a Yetzer Tov and a neshama! We know that the neshama is the MAIN thing, and that when we do teshuvah, our neshama again becomes close to Hashem. We also have bitachon that Hashem forgives us, and that every Yid will eventually do teshuvah!

Thinking about what Chassidus teaches us about the mitzvah of teshuvah helps us do every part of teshuvah with chayus and simcha! That’s why Chai Elul brings chayus into Elul, into the Avodah of Teshuvah.


For the last 12 days of Elul, we count “Yom Lachodesh,” spending one day doing teshuvah for each month of the year. Today we look back at Chodesh Kislev, seeing what worked or didn’t, so that this coming Kislev will be even better!

Chodesh Kislev is a month full of Chassidishe Yomim Tovim, and the month of Chanukah. We can think about how we used the time to add in learning Chassidus and acting like a chossid, and how we did with our Chanukah mivtzoyim.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Beis, p. 388 ff

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Ledovid Hashem Ori

During the month of Elul, and until Hoshaana Rabbah, we say the paragraph Ledovid Hashem Ori twice in davening — once in Shacharis, and once in Mincha.

There are many ways explain the connection of this kapitel to Chodesh Elul and Tishrei, and there are also many beautiful things we can learn from it. But even the simple meaning of the first posuk has a very important message for us, especially during Elul!

This mizmor begins, “Ledovid Hashem Ori Veyish’i, Mimi Ira” — Dovid Hamelech says, “Hashem is my Light and the One Who saves me, so I have nothing to be afraid of.”

The world can sometimes feel like a dark place, full of tumah and not-good things. It can be hard to realize that Hashem is here.

When we say Ledovid Hashem Ori, we remind ourselves that Hashem is Ori, my light — when we are connected to Hashem, the world won’t feel like such a dark place anymore! We also remind ourselves that Hashem is the One Who saves us, and we trust only in Hashem, not in anyone or anything else. When we remember these things, then we have nothing to be afraid of!

And when we are connected to Hashem’s light, it will push away the darkness until the whole world is changed into light, in the time of the Geulah!

See Igros Kodesh chelek Yud-Zayin, p. 323



Hachlatos for Rosh Hashana

On special days, like our birthday and on Chassidishe Yomim Tovim, we make a hachlata of how we will try to be better.

It is also our minhag to take a new hachlata before every Rosh Hashana, how we will be better Yidden this coming year.

In the Sefer Kaf Hachayim, we see a very special way of doing this minhag: During Elul, some people make a hachlata to be extra careful in a certain mitzvah. They write down what they decided, bli neder. Then the next year, before Rosh Hashana, they review what they wrote to see how well they kept their hachlata.

(If you need an email reminder, Chabad.org can help! http://www.chabad.org/1943153)

See Shevach Hamoadim, Kitzur Hilchos Elul, siman Gimmel

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



No More Yetzer Hara!

Many of the things we know about Moshiach come from the words of the Neviim! Hashem showed them a little bit of what the world will be like when Moshiach comes, and the Neviim told it to us.

One of the things we know will happen when Moshiach comes is that there will be no more Yetzer Hara! Here are the words of the Navi Zechariah when he told the Yidden about this:

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם ה׳ צְבָאוֹת אַכְרִית אֶת שְׁמוֹת הָעֲצַבִּים מִן הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא יִזָּכְרוּ עוֹד וְגַם אֶת הַנְּבִיאִים וְאֶת רוּחַ הַטֻּמְאָה אַעֲבִיר מִן הָאָרֶץ

Vehaya Vayom Hahu — This will happen on the day of the Geulah.

Ne’um Hashem Tzevaos — So says Hashem:

Achris Es Shemos Ha’atzabim Min Ha’aretz — I will cut off the names of the Avodah Zarah from the land

Velo Yizachru Od — And they won’t be talked about again.

Vegam Es Haneviim — And also the fake neviim

Ve’es Ruach Hatumah — And the Yetzer Hara

Avir Min Ha’aretz — I will take away from the land.

The Metzudos Dovid (a meforash on the Navi) explains that these things will happen automatically! Since when Moshiach comes the world will be full of the understanding of Hashem, no fake Navi will be able to say anything not true. And the same thing will happen with the Yetzer Hara — when we can see clearly what is true, there is no place for any tricks of the Yetzer Hara!

See Zechariah perek Yud-Gimmel posuk Beis

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