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Parshas Vezos Habracha - Revi'i with Rashi

Moshe is giving the last brachos to the Yidden before he passes away:

Yissachar and Zevulun work together — Zevulun earns money so that Yissachar can learn Torah. Because Yissachar wouldn’t be able to learn without Zevulun, Moshe gives Zevulun the bracha first!

Shevet Zevulun should be happy when they go out to work, and Shevet Yissachar should be happy when they sit and learn Torah. Talmidei Chachomim from Shevet Yissachar will learn all about the moon, and they will be the ones to decide when it’s Rosh Chodesh, so all of the korbanos will be at the right times!

Zevulun will earn money by sailing big ships on the ocean and doing business with people from other lands. They will be the ones to get the Chilazon from the sea to dye the Techeiles (blue) strings of the Tzitzis! They will also make a Kiddush Hashem with the people they do business with, and many of them will come to the Beis Hamikdash and become Yidden.

Shevet Gad lives on the other side of the Yarden, with non-Jews living right near them. Hashem should help them to be able to have even more land, and to be able to guard the border of Eretz Yisroel so that nobody can come in to fight with the Yidden. Moshe Rabbeinu will be buried in Shevet Gad (nobody knows EXACTLY where), so it will be a zechus for them.

Of course, Gad will do what they promised and fight in front of the other Yidden to get Eretz Yisroel!



66 - 68

In today’s Tehillim, one of the pesukim speaks about seeing what Hashem does in the world. The posuk says, “Nora Alila al Bnei Adam” — “the things Hashem does for people are amazing!”

Chassidus explains this posuk to be also talking about how Hashem sometimes makes things happen in a way that Yid might do an aveira.

Even though this is a terrible thing to happen, it’s still amazing — because Hashem wants a Yid to come even closer to Him by doing teshuvah.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

We learned earlier in this Igeres about how the greatest koach of Hashem is used to create Gashmius, and that in Gashmius, the greatest koach of Hashem is in the lowest part of it — the soil in the earth!

People, animals, and plants, grow and walk and talk much more than soil! Still, they all need the soil to live — they grow and eat things that grow in the soil. Now we understand why! Because the greatest koach of Hashem is in the lowest part of what Hashem created — in the soil — and everything needs part of that koach!

We also finally finish the part that we have of this letter of the Alter Rebbe, where he tells us how we should feel so lucky to have chances to do mitzvos, with Gashmius things — where we can find the greatest koach of Hashem!



Yud-Beis Tishrei

Maybe you have a friend who isn’t doing so well in class. You want to help... but you think — “What is the point? It’s not going to make a difference anyway!”

Or maybe you want to go on mivtzoyim — but you think you probably won’t be able to convince anyone to shake the Lulav anyway.

Today the Rebbe teaches us a very important rule that we need to know, that will help us make the right decisions!

Hashem gives a promise that if you try to help someone else, and try to figure out the best way to do it, and do it in a friendly way, FOR SURE it won’t be a waste! Even if what happens isn’t what you were hoping would happen, you DEFINITELY helped.



Shiur #83 - Mitzvas Asei #217

In Sefer Hamitzvos today, we learn a new mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #217): Chalitza. We learned yesterday about the mitzvah of Yibum (if a man passes away without having any children, his brother should marry his wife). But if the brother doesn’t want to, the almanah needs to do the mitzvah of Chalitza.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְחָלְצָה נַעֲלוֹ מֵעַל רַגְלוֹ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Yevamos.



Hilchos Yibum V'Chalitzah

Today’s Rambam, Perakim Gimmel, Daled, and Hey, explains exactly how the mitzvah of Chalitzah is done.

If a woman’s husband passed away before they had any children, his brother has a mitzvah (yibum) to marry the woman so that they can have a baby to name after his brother. If the brother (the yavam) doesn’t want to marry her, she is not allowed to marry another person until they do the mitzvah of chalitzah.

The woman and her brother-in-law need to go to Beis Din. The yevama (the almanah) announces with certain words taken from the Torah that her husband’s brother doesn’t want her husband’s name to be remembered, because he doesn’t want to marry her.

The yavam needs to answer, “I don’t want to marry her.”

The yavam then puts on a special chalitzah shoe (which will fall apart once it is untied) on his right foot and stands. The yevama sits on the floor, unties the shoe, and throws it on the floor. Then she spits on the ground.

After this, the yevama says the words of the posuk, “Such shall be done to a man who doesn’t build his brother’s house! His family should be called the house of the one whose shoe was taken off (‘chalutz hanaal’)!”

Everyone who is there says, “Chalutz Hanaal! Chalutz Hanaal! Chalutz Hanaal! — the shoe was taken off.”

Then the almanah is allowed to get married to someone else.



Hilchos Tefillah, Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah - Perek Vov

In Perek Vov, we learn what kinds of places don’t need a mezuzah. A house has to have 10 conditions to need a mezuzah! For example, a house with no roof does not need a mezuzah.



Leben Mit Der Tzeit

There is something very special that happened today, on Yud-Beis Tishrei!

The Medrash tells us that Avraham Avinu had his bris on Yom Kippur. That means that the story we know from Parshas Vayeira — how Hashem appeared to Avraham while he was doing Hachnosas Orchim with the malochim, and the malochim promised him and Sarah a son — happened today, on Yud-Beis Tishrei!

So today has a very special message for us in doing our shlichus: Someone might think, “It can be very hard to go and try to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus! They might not want it! It’s not a normal thing to do! Who knows if it will work?”

But today is the day when Avraham was promised that Yitzchak would be born. That was a huge neis — after all, Avraham and Sarah were very old.

We can learn from today that Hashem promises us nissim too! We don’t have to worry even if it doesn’t seem to make sense! Hashem promises us that we will have “children” too, that people WILL want to learn Torah and Yiddishkeit. And not only one — after Yitzchak was born, all of the Jewish people came from him. Our shlichus will also have hatzlacha like that!

See Hisvaaduyos 5742, p. 103


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When Yidden have problems, they daven to Hashem to help them, and they turn to the Rebbe to give them advice and brachos.

Sometimes, the Rebbe would answer people that they need to work on their bitachon. When a person has more bitachon, Hashem will give more bracha in whatever he needs!

So how do we make our bitachon stronger?

The Rebbe would sometimes tell people to learn the section about Bitachon from the sefer Chovos Halevavos. In Chovos Halevavos, it explains that for our bitachon to be strong, there are certain things we need to know:

We need to know that Hashem is in charge of everything that happens in the world. We need to know that Hashem is the ONLY one in charge, and we shouldn’t trust anyone except Hashem. We should remember that Hashem can help us without anyone or anything getting in the way, and that Hashem loves us and cares about us! It is also important for us to check that our behavior is the way Hashem wants it to be.

We speak about all of these things in davening, in Pesukei Dezimra, Birchos Kriyas Shema, and Shema. By speaking about them and thinking about what they mean, we will be able to make our bitachon stronger too. This way, we can be sure that we will bring down all of the brachos that we ask for in our davening!



Happy Days!

Even though Dovid Hamelech wanted to build the Beis Hamikdash himself, Hashem only let his son, Shlomo Hamelech, build the Beis Hamikdash.

It took almost 7 years to build the Beis Hamikdash, and they were finally finished on Zayin Tishrei! The Yidden brought korbanos, ate, drank, and celebrated for a week, until Sukkos. They didn’t even fast on Yom Kippur!

Nowadays, we still have part of their simcha. We make the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos into days of joy!

During these days, we are not allowed to fast, and we don’t say Tachanun.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Reish-Chof-Daled

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



All About Moshiach

At the end of the Rambam, the Rambam shows us where in the Torah it talks about Moshiach! But the Rambam doesn’t bring any pesukim from Navi, because he says that all of those seforim are FULL of talking about Moshiach!

But if you look in Navi, there are lots of stories that don’t seem to be about Moshiach, and may even seem like the OPPOSITE of Geulah and Moshiach.

The Rebbe explains that if we work hard to learn about what Geulah and Moshiach really are, we will be able to find how every part of Torah really talks about Moshiach!

See Sefer Hasichos 5751 Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim ha’orah 120

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