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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayakhel - Sheini with Rashi

When Moshe Rabbeinu asked the Yidden to donate to the Mishkan, many Yidden came to bring the things Moshe had asked for. Even though the women didn’t need to give, they wanted to, and were the first to donate! They brought their jewelry to give to the Mishkan. The Yidden brought gold and silver, wool, Atzei Shitim, and the other materials that would be used.

Some women that were very talented wove the wool while it was still on the animals!

The Nesiim from each Shevet didn’t give things right away, first they tried to make sure everyone from their Shevet gave as much as they could!

At the end of the day, when everyone finished bringing the things for the Mishkan, the Yidden saw that there was more than enough to build the Mishkan! The Nesiim realized that they had made a mistake, and they should have helped their Shevet AND brought things for the Mishkan too!

Nobody brought stones for the Efod or spices or oil, but there was enough extra gold and silver to buy them. The Nesiim decided to bring these things so they would have a part in giving something to the Mishkan. (Later, by the Chanukas HaMishkan, they corrected their mistake, and were the first ones to bring korbanos to dedicate the Mishkan!)

 
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TEHILLIM

97 - 103

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.

That’s what the posuk is telling us — Hashem “planted” this light of Moshiach for the Tzadikim! When you plant something, it grows — and this light will grow too. When Moshiach comes, the light of the sun will be seven times as strong as it was during Sheishes Yemei Bereishis!

But there IS one place where we can find this light in Golus — it’s in Torah!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed

If a person has a clogged heart, Timtum Halev, and is too comfortable with his Avodas Hashem, it is a good time to fulfill what the Chachomim teach us, to be humble from another person! This will stop the Yetzer Hara from clogging up his heart, and open it up to doing real Avodah!

The Alter Rebbe tells us that this doesn’t just mean to act humble or think humble thoughts, it means to TRULY be humble. But how is that possible?

It’s easy to look at someone that is a Kal Shebekalim, and think about how we are much better than he is. But is that really true? Are we working as hard on winning over our Yetzer Hara as he would need to work to win over his Yetzer Hara?

In yesterday’s Tanya, we learned examples of mitzvos that we should be doing, to show ourselves that we are not working hard enough in our Asei Tov. Today the Alter Rebbe tells us that even in Sur MeRa, staying away from not-good things, we can also find things in ourselves that we need to fix up!

Not only are we probably not working hard enough on doing our mitzvos, we are probably doing aveiros too — even if we think that they are just “small” aveiros! Maybe we didn’t think they are aveiros, or maybe we got so used to doing them, that we don’t even consider them aveiros anymore.

For example, do we sometimes say Lashon Hara about someone else, and we tell ourselves it’s okay because otherwise people might think that we were the ones who did something wrong?

And maybe we don’t have iskafya when we should — and that’s a mitzvah too!

When we think about this, we will realize that we are not better than anyone else! Even though on the outside we might look like we are better, since we do more mitzvos and less aveiros, that’s not what Avodah is all about! If we look on the inside, to see how much effort we put into our Avodas Hashem, that Kal Shebekalim might be doing much better than us, since his Yetzer Hara is much stronger! This will make us decide that we need to start doing real avodah.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof Adar Alef

The Rebbeim of Chassidus expect each of us to do Avodah. In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn something new about Avodah: Our Avodah needs to be done with Emes!

This doesn’t just mean that the PARTS of Avodas Hashem we are busy with, like learning, davening, and having Ahavas Yisroel, should be done with a true kavana and having a chayus in what we are doing. Having the midah of Emes means that we need to make sure that EVERY part of our life is part of our Avodah! We need to make sure that we are following Toras Hachassidus in every part of ourselves and every part of our lives! That is the Avodah of Emes.

Our Avodah needs to reach every part of us, even down to our “fingernails”, which is one of the least important parts of our body! Even the least important parts of our lives need to be part of our Avodas Hashem — living the way a Chossid should.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #178 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #114

Today we learn another mitzvah about not using animals that are supposed to be korbanos: We are not allowed to cut the hair of an animal, like we usually do to get wool, if it is going to be a korban.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְלֹא תָגֹז בְּכוֹר צֹאנֶךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bechoros.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Me'ilah

In today's Rambam, we learn more halachos about Me’ilah, a person who uses or benefits from hekdesh, something that belongs to the Beis Hamikdash.

Perek Hey: In this perek we finish learning about which kinds of things are counted as me’ilah, specifically things that were given as a donation to the Beis Hamikdash. One of the halachos in this perek is if it is called me’ilah when a person uses a korban brought by a goy. (Of course we can NEVER take something that doesn’t belong to us! But here we are talking about a separate aveira that needs an extra special kind of teshuva, for taking something from the Beis Hamikdash.)

Perek Vov: This perek teaches what the person needs to be doing with it for it to be counted as the aveira of me’ilah. If it is something that becomes worth less when it is used, if it becomes worth at least a perutah less, it is called me’ilah.

Perek Zayin: We learn what happens if someone makes a shliach to use the thing that is hekdesh, or has someone else watch it without telling him that it is hekdesh and can’t be used. The Rambam gives many cases and says who would need to do this teshuva of paying and bringing a korban in each example.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Yud-Daled

For a kavana to make a korban not good, there are certain conditions: It only goes by the thought of the kohen who is bringing the korban, not the person who the korban is brought for. The kohen needs to be someone who is fit to do the avodah, the korban has to be fit to be brought as a korban, and the place where the korban is brought has to be fit as well.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Bringing Out the Good

In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is helping us understand how hard it is for someone with a big Yetzer Hara that gives him taavos all the time. When we see how hard he has to work, it makes us more humble! We realize that we should also be fighting that hard against our own Yetzer Hara, as hard as we expect him to fight his Yetzer Hara.

But this piece of Tanya doesn’t only help us in our avodah, it helps that person with the big Yetzer Hara and a lot of taavos! By being Dan Lekaf Zechus, finding the zechus for that person, The Alter Rebbe is helping him. By telling him that we realize how big his nisayon is, we bring out the good that is inside of him. It shows that he really has a very strong koach from Hashem, if he is expected to overcome such big challenges! This gives him the koach to overcome all of his hard nisyonos!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Zayin p. 165, ha’ara 62

 

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TEFILLAH

Kaddish With Tiskabel

When we are davening in shul, the chazan says a Kaddish after Uva Letzion. This kaddish has an extra part, called Tiskabel. We say it only once during every tefillah, since it asks Hashem to accept the tefillah we just said.

We say this Kaddish after Nefilas Apayim and Uva Letzion, which are connected to and are a continuation of Shemoneh Esrei.

(The rest of davening is not a continuation of Shemoneh Esrei, they are extra sections that are added to the davening.)

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Avak Lashon Hara

We learned in Tanya today about the issur of saying Lashon Hara. There is also something called “Avak Lashon Hara,” the dust of Lashon Hara.

This is not saying something that hurts another person, but it can cause someone else to be hurt through the speech. Here are two examples:

If someone speaks nicely about another person in front of someone who doesn’t like him, or in front of a big group of people, where there might be someone that doesn’t like him, that’s Avak Lashon Hara. When a person hears something nice about a person he doesn’t like, he will want to say something NOT nice.

Even in front of his friends, you need to be careful, because if you speak too much about someone, eventually you will end up saying something not nice.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov, se’if Yud-Beis

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

Emes Revealed

There are many things which are true, which are the Emes, but in the times of Golus, we don’t see them.

For example, Hashem is constantly giving chayus to the world and watching over every one of us and every detail of the world with Hashgacha Protis. That is Emes! But during Golus, it is hidden.

Like we’re learning in Tanya, someone who doesn’t have a strong battle with his Yetzer Hara shouldn’t be proud of himself and think he’s better than a Kal Shebekalim. That is Emes! But in Golus, people don’t think that way.

Hashem hid the Emes in Torah. So now, if we learn Torah, especially Chassidus, which talks about these things clearly, we can think about what the Emes really is.

When Moshiach comes, the Emes in everything will be revealed. We will be able to see it naturally, without any avodah or hisbonenus!

See Sichos Kodesh 5741 parshas Vayeishev siman Chof-Zayin

 
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