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Parshas Shemos - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem chooses Moshe to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem appears to Moshe in a burning bush and tells him to go to Paraoh.

We learned that Moshe had to run away from Paraoh, and he went to Midyan. There, he married Tziporah, the daughter of Yisro, and became a shepherd of Yisro’s sheep.

Hashem wanted to make Moshe the one to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, but first tested him while he was a shepherd.

The way someone treats animals, who can’t take care of themselves, shows how they will treat people they lead, who also need help and can’t do certain things themselves. Hashem saw that Moshe was very careful with every sheep, and knew he would be a good choice to lead the Yidden.

Todays’ Chumash begins with one of the times that Moshe was taking care of the sheep:

Moshe would take Yisro’s sheep deep into the wilderness so they wouldn’t eat from other people’s fields.

One day he came to a mountain called Har Chorev (this would later become Har Sinai, the mountain from which Hashem would give the Yidden the Torah).

On the mountain, Moshe saw a thorn bush that was on fire. A malach of Hashem appeared to him through the fire. Moshe saw that even though the bush was on fire, the fire wasn’t burning up the bush!

Moshe realized that he needed to stop what he was doing and pay attention to this Ruchnius sight: Why wasn’t the bush being burned up?

Moshe understood that Hashem was appearing through a malach in a prickly bush to show that He is with the Yidden in the painful Golus. But Moshe couldn’t understand — if Hashem is with the Yidden, how can there even be a Golus? If Hashem, like a flame of fire, is in the painful Golus, how come the Golus is not getting burned up? How can the Golus exist at all?

When Hashem saw that Moshe was trying to understand, Hashem called out to him from the bush. He called in a loving way, “Moshe, Moshe!” Moshe answered with humility, “Here I am. I am ready to hear what Hashem has to say.”

Hashem told Moshe not to come too close. He should take off his shoes, because this is a holy place! Then Hashem said to Moshe, “I am Hashem, the Aibershter of the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.” Moshe hid his face because he was afraid to look at Hashem!

Hashem told Moshe that He always saw how the Yidden were suffering in Mitzrayim, and will never close His ears to their cries. But now has come the time to do something about the Golus! Hashem now wants to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, and bring them to Eretz Yisroel. Hashem told Moshe that he should go to Paraoh and tell him to let the Yidden go.

Moshe asked Hashem, “First of all, am I able to go speak to Paraoh without getting hurt? Second of all, do the Yidden deserve that a miracle should happen for them to go out of Mitzrayim?”

Hashem answered, “About the first question you asked, don’t worry, I will go with you. The burning bush that you see, where the bush isn’t getting burned by the fire, is a sign for you that you won’t get hurt. And for your second question, the Yidden deserve to come out of Mitzrayim because they are coming out to serve Hashem, to get the Torah on this very mountain where you are standing now.”

Then Moshe asked Hashem, “When I come to the Yidden, they are going to ask me how Hashem could let such terrible things happen. What should I tell them?”

Hashem answered, “Say to them that even though they can’t always tell, I am always with them in Golus.”



88 - 89

Today’s kapitelach are Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

One of the things it talks about in Kapitel Pey-Tes (89) is how Hashem gave the melucha (being kings) to Dovid Hamelech and his children. “Zaro Leolam Yihiyeh, Vechiso Kashemesh Negdi” — “His children will be forever, and his throne like the sun before me.”

Moshiach (Melech Hamoshiach) comes from Dovid Hamelech, so Hashem’s promise to Dovid Hamelech really does go forever! Melech HaMoshiach comes from the family of Dovid!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Alef

In today’s Tanya, the entire Perek Yud-Alef, we learn about a Rasha.

We learned in the last perek that a tzadik is someone whose Yetzer Tov becomes so strong, that the Yetzer Hara becomes very weak and has no say to stop him from doing the Will of Hashem!

Today we learn that the OPPOSITE can happen Chas Veshalom if a person lets their Yetzer Hara make them behave however it wants: It can get so strong that it will always be in charge of what the person does, and the Yetzer Tov won’t be able to say anything to stop it. This is what the Alter Rebbe calls a Rasha.

By some people the Yetzer Hara can be in charge only once in a while, and only with a small aveira. For other people, the Yetzer Hara can be in charge more often, and with bigger, more serious aveiros.

We said that with a tzadik, even though the Yetzer Tov is in charge there could still be some Yetzer Hara left inside. That’s called a Tzadik Vera Lo. That means that he is a tzadik, but there is still some of the Yetzer Hara left hidden inside.

With a Rasha the opposite is true. Even though the Yetzer Hara is in charge, the Yetzer Tov is still inside. It can make the person think and feel thoughts of Teshuvah, even if it’s not strong enough to keep the person from doing the wrong thing. This is a Rasha VeTov Lo.

That’s why a person feels bad after doing an aveira (“Reshaim Melei’im Charatos”). The good that’s inside of him is making him feel like he acted in the wrong way.

But really there are different levels in Rasha VeTov Lo. By one person, the Yetzer Tov that is inside may be strong enough to give the person enough koach to do a proper teshuvah, and not do it again. By another person, he may just feel bad, but not be strong enough to do teshuvah properly and stop acting in his not-good ways.

Then there is a Rasha VeRa Lo. This is someone who got so used to doing the wrong thing that the Yetzer Hara pushed the Yetzer Tov out. He can’t feel the good inside of him anymore, and won’t even feel bad for doing the aveira.

Still, the Yetzer Tov doesn’t ever COMPLETELY leave a Yid. Even in the Rasha VeRa Lo, it is still there, connected to him, even though he can’t feel it. That’s why he is still counted as a part of a minyan and can bring the Shechina down when there are ten Yidden together.

So what does a person do if his Yetzer Tov isn’t strong enough? What if he’s so used to doing something he shouldn’t be doing, that he can’t control himself? One thing he can do is to get help from someone else to help his Yetzer Tov become stronger, so he will be able to choose to do the right thing again! (As we learn in Hayom Yom, when two people talk together to become stronger in their Avodas Hashem, there are two Yetzer Tovs fighting against one Yetzer Hara. So together with another Yid’s help, everyone is able to make the Yetzer Tov win!)



Yud-Ches Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how to be full of life, even in Golus!

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, today was Shabbos Parshas Vayechi.

First we learn a minhag about Kriyas HaTorah: The person who gets the last Aliyah of the Chumash says Chazak Chazak Venis’chazek together with the rest of the minyan.

We also learn a minhag about Shabbos davening: In Maariv of Motzei Shabbos after Shemoneh Esrei, we say the posukOrech Yomim” two times — but not when we say this same posuk in Shacharis on Shabbos in the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra.


When the Tzemach Tzedek was a little boy, his teacher taught him, according to the pirush of the Baal Haturim, that Yaakov lived the best years of his life when he was in Mitzrayim. The Tzemach Tzedek couldn’t understand how living in a kelipah-filled place like Mitzrayim could be the best part of his life, and he asked his zeideh, the Alter Rebbe, this question.

The Alter Rebbe answered him that Yaakov was able to live his best years in Mitzrayim because he first sent Yehudah to set up a yeshiva there. The words of the posuk that teach us this (Lehoros Lefanav Goshna) can also be explained that “when we learn Torah (lehoros) we come close (goshna) to Hashem!”

Yaakov had the Torah, which is called a Torah of life, in Mitzrayim. Learning Torah brings a Yid closer to Hashem than anything else! Because he had Torah in Mitzrayim, he was able to have Vayechi — a life, and the best part of his life — even in Mitzrayim.

That’s also how we are able to be full of life, even in Golus: With the koach of Torah which connects us to Hashem!



Shiur #192 - Mitzvas Asei #74, #77

We learn two mitzvos today, about korbanos that need to be brought for someone to finish becoming Tahor:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #74) To become tahor enough to eat korbanos, a Zav (a man who has a certain kind of tumah from his body) needs to bring a korban of two birds.

We learn this from the words of the pesukim in Parshas Metzora: וְכִי יִטְהַר הַזָּב מִזּוֹבוֹ וְגוֹ׳ וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים וְגוֹ׳

2) (Mitzvas Asei #77) After a Metzora gets better from Tzoraas, he needs to bring three animals for korbanos — an Olah, a Chatas, and an Asham — and oil. (A poor person brings one animal and two birds.) Until he does this, he isn’t tahor enough to eat meat from korbanos.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Metzora: וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים תְּמִימִם וְכַבְשָׂה אַחַת בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ תְּמִימָה



Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the Mechusrei Kaparah, people who are Tahor, but still need to bring korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn about when a Zav can become tahor — he needs to wait a week after the tumah stops coming from his body.

Perek Daled: The Rambam teaches us about the Metzora, and how he brings these korbanos to become completely tahor.

Perek Hey: Now we learn what happens if something isn’t done right with the korbanos of the Metzora.



Hilchos Me'ilah - Perek Daled

This perek talks about me’ilah from money that was set aside or something that was promised to be used for a korban.

icon of clock


Hashem's Special Treasure

In today’s Chumash, we learned that Hashem promised Moshe, “Behotziacha Es Ha’am Mimitzrayim, Taavdun Es HaElokim Al Hahar Hazeh.” When you take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, they will serve Hashem on this mountain. “This mountain” means Har Sinai, the place where Hashem was speaking to Moshe, and that is where they will receive the Torah later. Hashem tells Moshe that this is the reason why they are coming out of Mitzrayim, to serve Hashem with the Torah and mitzvos!

Moshe Rabbeinu later told this to the Yidden, and they were very excited to have Hashem’s precious treasure! From when they left Mitzrayim, they counted the days until they would receive the Torah.

Hashem didn’t only give the Torah to the Yidden of then, Hashem gives the Torah to each and every one of us!

We should also be excited about having Hashem’s special treasure, and should want to have the whole thing! So when we have free time, we should use it to learn parts of Torah we never learned before, and in a way that helps us follow the lessons of the Torah in everything we do.

See Der Rebbe Rebt Tzu Kinder, vol. 4 p. 72

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Modeh Ani

A person should get used to saying Modeh Ani right away when he wakes up. After he finishes saying Modeh Ani, he should get up b’zerizus, quickly, to go serve Hashem!

Even though we really need to start our day with zerizus, we shouldn’t jump right out of bed. It isn’t healthy to go from lying down to standing up too suddenly. We take a few seconds first to say Modeh Ani while sitting or lying down, and only then do we quickly get up to do our Avodas Hashem.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman alef, se’if vov



Derech Malbush

Wearing something outside as clothing is not called carrying. This is called “Derech Malbush.”

Still, the Chachomim want to make sure that it is something that we will not take off and carry around! Two of these halachos are just about kids:

For example, if a kid goes outside in Tatty or Mommy’s shoes, the shoes will probably fall off. Then he will end up carrying them. So going outside in Tatty or Mommy’s shoes on Shabbos is not allowed because of hotza’ah!

But a shirt that is too big won’t usually fall off by itself. So even if it looks silly, a kid IS allowed to go out on Shabbos with a shirt that is too big, and it’s not a problem of carrying. We are not worried that it will bring him to carrying outside.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, 301:3

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



Hashem's Promise

In Chumash we are learning about the Golus of Mitzrayim. This was a very hard Golus! There were especially terrible gezeiros against Yiddishe children, and many of them were even R”L killed.

But still, the Yidden were not afraid! The parents were not afraid, and the children were not afraid. They all went to learn Torah with Shevet Levi, who were the teachers of that generation.

They also never forgot the promise of “Pakod Pokadeti,” that Hashem promised to remember the Yidden and take them out of Golus very soon! They knew that they needed to get ready by learning Hashem’s Torah and keeping the mitzvos they had.

We need to learn from them!

Now we are also in Golus. With Hashem’s kindness, it is a much easier Golus than it was in Mitzrayim. There are no gezeiros trying to kill Yiddishe children. But it is still a Golus, and it can be hard to act the way we should.

So just like then, we need to remember that Hashem promises to take us out of Golus! And just like then, we need to get ready for the Geulah by learning Hashem’s Torah and keeping the mitzvos. And very soon we will see Hashem’s promise come true, and have such a great Geulah that we will never have Golus again!

See Der Rebbe Rebt Tzu Kinder, vol. 4 p. 71

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