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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ מרדכי בן הר׳ פינחס מענטליק
ולזכות הרה״ח זאב יחזקאל הכהן בן מינדל שי׳ לבריאות הנכונה

L’ilui Nishmas
Chana Tzivia bas R’ Yosef Yitzchok A”H


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Parshas Naso - Sheini with Rashi

Today Hashem tells Moshe to count the THIRD family of the Leviim, the family of Merari, to find out how many of them are the right ages to do the job of carrying parts of the Mishkan. Only Leviim who are older than 30 and younger than 50 are strong enough to do it right. (When someone is 30, they are as strong as they will get, but once they turn 50 they start being less strong.)

The Torah tells us their job again: To carry the walls of the Mishkan (with all of their pieces), and the poles with all of THEIR pieces from the Chatzer (the courtyard — the “fence” around the Mishkan).

Isamar, the son of Aharon, was in charge of making sure they knew how to do it right.

Now Moshe did what Hashem told him, and counted the men from the 3 families of the Leviim to see who was strong enough to do the work. Here’s how many he counted:

- Kehos: 2,750
- Gershon: 2,630
- Merari: 3,200

These Leviim were the right age to carry the parts of the Mishkan and play music with heavy instruments for the Avodah.



35 - 38

The first maamar the Rebbe said, Bosi Legani, explains a posuk from today’s Tehillim: “Tzadikim Yirshu Aretz Veyishkenu La’ad Aleha.” “Tzadikim get ‘aretz’ (Gan Eden), because they make Hashem rest (Veyishkenu) in the world.”

We know from the 12 Pesukim that this is a job for ALL Yidden — “Ve’amcha Kulam Tzadikim, Leolam Yirshu Aretz” — ALL Yidden are Tzadikim who will get this kind of reward!

In the maamar, the Rebbe tells us that this is OUR special shlichus too — to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world, and to get ready for the Geulah!



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Hakdama

We are finishing the hakdama (introduction) to Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah, Chinuch Katan.

Now the Alter Rebbe finally tells us why he made this part of Tanya, and answers the question we had before — why even though a person changes always, the Chinuch they had when they were young still stays the same even when they are older. (“Chanoch Lenaar Al Pi Darko, Gam Ki Yazkin Lo Yasur Mimena.”)

A Yid is constantly growing. The way Hashem made it is that before we are able to reach a higher level, first we lose something from our previous level in Avodas Hashem. This is like before a person takes a big jump — first they go back a few steps to be able to jump higher.

The same way, before a Yid reaches the level of Ahava Betaanugim, a very high level in Avodas Hashem, first they might lose the level of Ahavas Hashem that they had before. But since a Yid ALWAYS needs to serve Hashem, and part of that is having Ahavas Hashem, there must be a kind of Ahavas Hashem that they ALWAYS have, even in such a time!

That is the Ahavas Hashem we get when we first start our Avodas Hashem, which is the Ahava we just learned about in the last two days.

That’s the answer to our question — “Gam Ki Yazkin” — even when we’re older and stop loving Hashem in one way, in order to reach a higher level, we always need to have this kind of Ahavas Hashem that we got in the beginning of our Chinuch, as we learned about before.

But, the Alter Rebbe tells us, even before we can have Ahavas Hashem, we need to have something else first! This is EMUNAH, belief in Hashem.

This is what we are going to learn in this part of Tanya — how to have a very strong Emunah that will be the foundation of our Ahava and Yirah.



Vov Sivan

First we learn two minhagim about Shavuos:

1) When we read the Aseres Hadibros in shul, everyone should stand up and face the Sefer Torah.

2) It’s not our minhag to say “Akdamos,” a special poem about Matan Torah that is written in Aramaic and is said in some shuls before Kriyas HaTorah.

The Baal Shem Tov passed away on Wednesday, the first day of Shavuos, in the year Tof-Kuf-Chof. His ohel is in Mezibuzh.

The Alter Rebbe wanted us to know that the Baal Shem Tov was like the sun and moon — he lit up the world with Chassidus. He connected it to the day of the week that the Baal Shem Tov passed away:

Right after the geulah of Yud-Tes Kislev, the Alter Rebbe said, “Bayom Harevi’i Nitlu Hameoros” — “On the fourth day (Wednesday) of Hashem making the world, Hashem hung up the lights of the world in the sky.” This was the day that Hashem put the sun, moon and stars in the sky.

But if we spell the word with a Tes instead of a Tof, it means “taken away.” The Alter Rebbe was saying that “Bayom Harevi’i,” on Wednesday, the first day of Shavuos in Tof-Kuf-Chof, “Nitlu Hame’oros” — Hashem took away the Baal Shem Tov, who lit up the world with Chassidus.



Shiur #312 - Mitzvas Asei #248

Today we learn the same mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #248) one last time for this year — to follow the halachos in Torah about a yerusha, an inheritance. Part of this mitzvah is that the bechor gets a double portion.

In the Rambam’s order of the mitzvos, this is the last mitzvah of the Mitzvas Asei! After this mitzvah, the Rambam adds some general points which are important for all of the mitzvos. The Rambam also says that there are 60 mitzvos for a man and 47 mitzvos for a woman which regular people keep even when there is no Beis Hamikash. The Rambam finishes off with a tefillah asking Hashem to help us keep the mitzvos!



Hilchos Nachalos

Perek Tes: One halacha is that if the oldest brother buys fancy clothes, and now everyone is nicer to their family, it doesn’t come out of his money, because it helps all of them.

In Perek Yud, we learn that if we originally divided up the yerusha wrong, we need to divide it again! For example, if the person who passed away said to give a certain tree as a present to his friend, and they forgot when they split up the yerusha, they need to give the person the tree and then divide the yerusha again.

In Perek Yud-Alef, we learn that if someone passes away R”L when his children are too young to get a yerusha, the Beis Din needs to put someone in charge of watching over his things until the children are older.

Even though the person in charge doesn’t need to write down everything he does, he should be very careful, because Hashem Himself is the Tatty or Mommy of these children, like the posuk says, “Avi Yesomim Vedayan Almanos, Elokim B’Meon Kadsho.”

Mazel Tov! Now we’ve finished learning the 13th book of the Rambam, Sefer Mishpatim! Tomorrow we will IY”H start the last sefer of Rambam, Sefer Shoftim!



Hilchos Shechitah - Perek Yud-Daled

Today we learn the halachos of “Kisui HaDam,” covering the blood of an animal after we shecht it.

The Rambam finishes the halachos of Shechitah, and the end of the whole Sefer Kedusha, by teaching us a lesson: We should cover the blood with dirt using our HANDS, not our feet, to show that Hashem’s mitzvah is special to us! By treating the mitzvos with respect, we are giving respect to the One Who commanded the mitzvos — to Hashem!

Mazel Tov! We have now finished Sefer Kedusha!




One year, the Rebbe gave a hora’ah to learn the maamar of the Alter Rebbe called “Bachodesh Hashlishi” in honor of Shavuos, and to share the inyonim of the maamar even with children!

This is a famous maamar that the Rebbe spoke about often, and there are maamarim and sichos of the Rebbe which are based on this maamar.

We will go over one of the main points of this maamar:

The Torah is called “Oz” (it gives us strength) and “Tushiya” (it saves us).

When we learn Torah, it gives strength to our neshama, and it saves us from the traps of our Yetzer Hara!

When the Yidden were in Mitzrayim, they were stuck. They had to work very hard, and it was hard for them to even have emunah when Moshe told them they are coming out of Mitzrayim!

The same way, the guf can sometimes make the neshama feel that it is in Golus. It can make it hard for us to have emunah.

But just like Hashem gave the Yidden the Torah then, which gave them strength for their neshama and saved them from the tumah that they had, the same way now as well, Torah helps the kochos of the neshama come into the guf and makes the Yetzer Hara weaker so it can’t stop us!

In order for the Torah to help us, we have to learn Torah in a special way — a way of bittul:

We need to remember that the words of the Torah we are learning are not our own words. They are words of Hashem, said through Moshe Rabbeinu, the Tannaim, the Amoraim and tzadikim throughout the generations! When we say these words, we are repeating the words of Hashem said through these tzadikim, which are also coming through our words today!

This gives us a feeling of bittul when we learn Torah.

The Yom Tov of Shavuos is a good time to think about this and remember this, so that EVERY time we learn Torah we will learn Torah with the proper bittul and get the Oz and Tushiya of Torah!

See Maamar Bachodesh Hashlishi, Torah Ohr Shavuos and footnotes there

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Zman Matan Toraseinu

We see many names for this Yom Tov in different parts of Torah. In Parshas Re’eh it is called “Shavuos,” in Parshas Pinchas it is called “Yom Habikurim,” and in Parshas Mishpatim it is called “Chag Hakatzir.” In other parts of Torah, the Chachomim also called it “Atzeres.”

But in davening, we only call Shavuos by one name: “Zman Matan Toraseinu,” the time of the giving of the Torah. This is the most important name!

What was so special about Matan Torah, though? We had the Torah before Matan Torah! The Avos kept the whole Torah before it was given, and there were even Yeshivos, like the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever, to study Torah. Hashem gave us mitzvos to keep before then too!

The difference is in the words “Matan” “Toraseinu.” At Matan Torah, Hashem gave us the Torah as a Matana, a gift. The Avos may have been able to learn Torah, but it wasn’t THEIRS yet. They had the Torah of Hashem, but after Matan Torah, it became “Toraseinu,” OUR Torah, which belongs to every Jew!

At Matan Torah, such an incredible thing happened. Hashem gave us the Torah in way that the Torah became OURS completely. In fact, when Yidden in this world decide halacha based on how we understand things here in this world, in Shomayim they will agree with the halacha decided here!

This is the gift of Torah that Hashem gave to us and gives us again every day, and especially during Matan Torah — a gift that is really ours.

See the sicha of the second day of Shavuos, 5735



Milchigs on Shavuos

It is a minhag to eat milchigs on the first day of Shavuos.

We do this like the Yidden at Har Sinai, who also ate milchigs on Shavuos.

One of the explanations for why they ate milchigs is that they HAD to! The Yidden shechted meat before, but now, after Matan Torah, they were counted as a nation of Yidden. Since before Matan Torah they were NOT counted as full Yidden, the meat they shechted then wasn’t kosher! So they ate milchigs.

It is a minhag to eat milchigs on Shavuos, but it is a MITZVAH to eat fleishigs on EVERY Yom Tov!

There is also a mitzvah to be careful about Basar B’chalav, not mixing milchigs and fleishigs. So we first eat our milchigs, then we wait an hour, put out a new tablecloth, and eat a fleishig Yom Tov meal. (Make sure you didn’t eat hard cheese, or you’ll have to wait six hours!)

There are some opinions that are not as strict about waiting the full hour, but especially on Shavuos, it is not the time to be less strict about mitzvos!

Another reason we eat milchigs on Shavuos is to show how special the Yidden are, who are careful about not mixing Basar B’chalav. The malochim, when they came to visit Avraham Avinu, DID eat milchigs and fleishigs together. But Yidden are special — we don’t mix them at all!

So especially on a Yom Tov when we are celebrating how careful we are with Basar B’chalav, we shouldn’t be looking for any excuses not to wait the full hour before our fleishig meal!

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



Achdus Before Geulah

When the Yidden camped around Har Sinai to get the Torah, they camped like one person, with one heart — “Ke’ish Echad, BeLeiv Echad.”

We learned in Tanya that Matan Torah was a taste of the way it will be in the times of the Geulah!

The Rambam tells that we will also have this kind of Achdus before Moshiach comes. One of the jobs of Moshiach is “Veyisaken Es Ha’olam Kulo Laavod Es Hashem Beyachad” — to make the whole world ready to serve Hashem TOGETHER!

Just as we got the Torah with true Achdus, we will have the Geulah with true Achdus too!

Migolah L’Geulah p. 312

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