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Revi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is still talking to the Yidden about how to act in Eretz Yisroel. First he tells them about the kohanim’s job, and then tells the Yidden not to try to figure out what will happen in the future!

Each of the kohanim have turns to go serve in the Beis Hamikdash. It’s not fair for them to go work in the Beis Hamikdash when it’s not their turn!

But there are two times a kohen CAN work in the Beis Hamikdash even if it’s a different kohanim’s family’s turn:

1) If they are bringing their OWN korban, they are allowed to bring it themselves

2) On Yom Tov, EVERYONE is allowed to help!

The kohanim who are working in the Beis Hamikdash share the parts of the korbanos that belong to them.

Now we learn that Yidden are not supposed to try to figure out what will happen in the future:

Learn from the Goyim how NOT to act!

None of the Yidden should do the strange Avodah Zarah that the Goyim do. They also shouldn’t try to figure out what will happen later by looking at things — like asking a stick what to do, making real or fake magic, or asking questions to the koach of Tumah.

To Hashem, these kinds of things are very not nice, and He is sending the Goyim out of Eretz Yisroel because they act this way!

Yidden — “Tomim Tihiyeh Im Hashem Elokecha” — Act in an honest way with Hashem, don’t try to figure out what is going to happen, just have bitachon and Hashem will take care of you!



23 - 28

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel to Chof-Ches. We also say kapitelach Yud, Yud-Alef, and Yud-Beis for Chodesh Elul.

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — Hashem teaches humble people His path.

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuva, and

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud

Giving tzedakah without a limit brings the chayus of Hashem without a limit into the world!

When a person does a mitzvah, he brings chayus from Hashem into the world. Because mitzvos are Gashmius, they have a certain amount, and they bring that much chayus into the world.

If someone missed a chance for a mitzvah, there is chayus missing in the world! What should they do? Teshuvah can reach a level of Hashem where there IS no amount — and then they can bring in a more special chayus that can fix up missing chayus from before!

But even though Teshuvah REACHES that chayus, it can’t bring the chayus into the world! You need to do a Gashmius mitzvah to bring the chayus actually into the world.

But a regular mitzvah with an amount can’t bring in a chayus WITHOUT an amount! So we need to do a mitzvah WITHOUT an amount. What Gashmius’dike mitzvah do we have that can be without an amount?

Give tzedakah, without an amount!

But didn’t we learn that the Gemara says not to give more than a fifth ($1 of out of every $5)?

That’s for someone who didn’t do any aveiros. But someone who DID, and needs this special chayus, can give as much as he wants — just like if a person chas veshalom needs to become healthy, he will pay even ALL of his money! So if it is our neshama that needs to be healthy, we can ALSO give as much money as we need to tzedakah, to have a healthy neshama.

Then when we give tzedakah without an amount, that will be able to bring down the chayus of Hashem which we reach through teshuvah, to make sure that the world gets any chayus that was missing.



Daled Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn our minhag for what someone does when he gets an Aliyah. We also learn about the four levels of how a person can be, and how we ALL have the koach to change!

When someone is called up to the Torah in Shul, here’s what he does before making the bracha!

1) Using your tallis, touch the words of the Torah at the beginning and end of the Aliyah we’re about to read.

2) Roll up the Torah so it’s closed.

3) Turn your face a little bit to the right side.

4) Make the Bracha on the Torah

5) We open the Torah up again, and lein the Aliyah!

We are now in Chodesh Elul, and we are working on making ourselves better and better! But CAN we really be better? Today we will see that each of us has the koach inside of us to change!

In the Torah, there are four words that we use that mean “a person.” (Like a Neshama can be called Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama...)

When we use the word “Adam,” we are talking about a person who is special with their sechel — how they understand what Hashem wants.

When we use the word “Ish,” it means someone who has good midos.

Enosh” is a person who is missing something in their sechel, or their midos, or both.

And “Gever” is someone who works on himself to become better than before — so he won’t be Enosh anymore, but be “Ish” and “Adam”!

That teaches us that we ALL have the koach to change — we can all be “Ish” and “Adam” — to have good midos and good sechel. We just need to work on it!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #291

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #291) that a witness can’t say if he thinks someone is wrong or right in Beis Din if the person might be chayav misa. They are only allowed to say what they heard or saw, not their opinion.



Hilchos Eidus

In today’s Rambam, we learn many more halachos about witnesses.

In Perek Hey the Rambam tells us a few more details about today’s mitzvah: If the witness starts to explain why he thinks the person is wrong or right, the Beis Din makes him be quiet! We also learn halachos about tomorrow’s mitzvah in Sefer Hamitzvos, not to listen to one witness in court.

In Perek Vov and Zayin, we learn how the Beis Din can accept information from a shtar (a document) without the eidim being there. Why are they allowed to do that? We learned the reason yesterday — the Beis Din wants to make sure that people are comfortable giving loans, so they don’t make it too hard to get money back in Beis Din.

So in a case where someone is trying to get back money that another person owes him, he can bring a proof from something the eidim wrote, even if they aren’t there! Of course there are many halachos explaining just how this is done, and we learn them in these two perakim (and also in the first perek of tomorrow’s Rambam).



Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Yud-Alef

In this perek, we learn when we SHOULD make a promise!



Chodesh Elul

The name of this month teaches us how to do our avodah during the month!

During the month of Elul we have two main jobs:

- Cheshbon (fixing up what happened last year)

- Hachana (getting ready for Rosh Hashana!)

We need to make sure that the things our lives are all about are strong.

What are those things?

We know (from the beginning of Pirkei Avos) that the world (and every person too!) stands on three things: Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim.

So those are the things we work on during Elul.

That’s why the name “Elul” has four letters, that are the first letters (Roshei Teivos) of pesukim that talk about these things in the Torah!

- Torah: Ina Leyado Vesamti Lach (a posuk from the Chumash, which talks about an Ir Miklat, because the Torah keeps us safe like an Ir Miklat)

- Avodah (Tefilah): Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li (a posuk from Shir Hashirim, which speaks about the love a Yid has for Hashem, something which we try to feel during davening)

- Gemilus Chassadim (Tzedakah): Ish Lereiehu Umatanos L’evyonim (a posuk from the Megillah, which talks about helping other people)

And in case we ever missed a chance, then we can always do Teshuvah!

- Teshuvah: Es Levacha Ve’es Levav (part of a posuk from the Chumash that talks about Teshuvah)

And finally, everything we do is to bring the Geulah! Elul has a Roshei Teivos for that too: Ashira LaHashem Vayomru Leimor (a posuk from Az Yashir which talks about the Geulah from Mitzrayim)


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Baruch She'amar

Boruch She’amar is the bracha at the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra. In Pesukei Dezimra, we speak about the greatness of Hashem. The Chachomim taught us that we should spend some time praising Hashem before asking for our needs in Shemoneh Esrei.

By speaking about Hashem’s greatness in Pesukei Dezimra, we wake up our feelings of connection to Hashem. This helps us daven with a proper kavana.

We say the bracha of Boruch She’amar at the beginning of Pesukei Dezimra, and the bracha of Yishtabach at the end. This way the whole Pesukei Dezimra is surrounded by brachos!



Birchos Hanehenin

When we are going to eat foods that have different brachos, the order we say the bracha in counts!

Some foods are more important, and we say the bracha on them first. We also try to say more specific brachos first.

But we only need to think about the food we are planning on eating. Even if we have a food that has a more important bracha in front of us, we only make a bracha on it if we wanted to eat it.

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



Breaking Out of Golus

The Navi Micha teaches us wonderful things that will happen at the end of the Golus!

The Navi tells us these things as if they already happened, because in his nevuah he was already able to see that it happened this way!

עָלָה הַפֹּרֵץ לִפְנֵיהֶם פָּרְצוּ וַיַּעֲבֹרוּ שַׁעַר וַיֵּצְאוּ בוֹ וַיַּעֲבֹר מַלְכָּם לִפְנֵיהֶם וַה׳ בְּרֹאשָׁם

Ala Haporetz Lifneihem — The Poreitz (the person who breaks through things to make the way easier) went up before them!

Some meforshim say that this is talking about Eliyahu Hanavi who helps the Yidden do teshuvah, and the Medrash says that it is talking about Moshiach, who comes from the family of Peretz!

Partzu Vayaavoru Shaar Vayeitzu Vo — They broke through a gate and went out through it!

They broke through anything that was stopping the Geulah from coming!

Vayaavor Malkam Lifneihem — And their King Moshiach went in front of them!

VaHashem Berosham — And Hashem was before them!

The Shechinah of Hashem again rested before the Yidden in the Beis Hamikdash!

See Micha perek Beis posuk Yud-Gimmel

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