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Chamishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the Yidden about some of the mitzvos they will do in Eretz Yisroel!

When plants grow in your field, you need to give Maaser! There are a few kinds of MaaserMaaser Rishon (to the Leviim), Maaser Sheini (to eat in Yerushalayim), and Maaser Oni (that needs to be given to the poor).

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu teaches the Yidden how to make sure that all of these Maasros are given properly.



135 - 139

Today’s kapitelach are Kuf-Lamed-Hey to Kuf-Lamed-Tes.

In the brachos before Kriyas Shema, we say that Hashem is constantly creating the world with His goodness — “Hamechadesh Betuvo Bechol Yom Tamid Maaseh Bereishis.”

We prove this from a posuk in today’s Tehillim, “Le’oseh Orim Gedolim, Ki Le’olam Chasdo” — “Hashem makes the big lights — because He has so much chesed.” The posuk says that Hashem MAKES the lights in the sky, not that Hashem MADE them before!

This teaches us an important lesson in our Avodah. We need to make sure that our Yiddishkeit is ALSO always a new thing, like the way Hashem creates the world new all the time. We shouldn’t feel like our Yiddishkeit is boring, it should always be exciting like a new prize!

The Baal Shem Tov explained that we ask Hashem for this in one of the Selichos: “Al Tashlicheini Le’eis Zikna,” “don’t throw us aside in our old age.” We are also asking Hashem not to throw us into a feeling that our Yiddishkeit is old and boring. We want our Torah and mitzvos to always feel fresh and new!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Ches

Did you ever ask Mommy for a candy, and she said “If you help me for 5 minutes”? She wants you to deserve your treat. Hashem also wants US to deserve the very special thoughts that we have during davening.

How do we deserve it? By giving tzedakah!

But by giving a nickel to Tzedakah, we’re really getting MUCH more than a nickel is worth! The Alter Rebbe gave a mashal of planting — the tree that grows is so much more than the tiny seed you planted!

Today we learn that the same thing happens with our Tzedakah — the nickel we give is like planting a seed! The “ground” is the place where all of the Ruchnius of the Neshamos come from. When we give tzedakah, it’s like planting a seed there. The big beautiful “tree” that grows are the special things we think about in davening!

This is ESPECIALLY when we give tzedakah for people in Eretz Yisroel — it’s like planting in rich dirt that grows very quickly, so nothing gets in the way of having these special thoughts in our davening!



Chof-Ches Menachem Av

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn something that will help prepare us for Chodesh Elul.

If a person’s guf is R”L not feeling well, what should he do?

There are two things he should do to become healthy:

1) Take medicine to make the sick part of the body feel better.

2) Eat healthy foods, rest, drink a lot of water, and sit in the sun, so the whole body gets stronger, which will also make the sick part feel better!

If a neshama is sick R”L, we should also use the same two ways to make it feel better!

1) Do Teshuvah to take away the aveira that is making the neshama not feel good.

2) Do lots of mitzvos to make the neshama so strong that it will be easier to correct the aveiros!

That’s what we do in Elul! We make a Cheshbon Hanefesh to see the good things we did during the year and make them stronger, and do teshuvah for the things we need to fix.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #294, #290

Today we learn two mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #294) If someone was forced to do an aveira (onus), we don’t punish him because it wasn’t his fault.

The Gemara in Sanhedrin says, “Oness Rachmana Patrei” — if someone was forced, the Torah makes him patur (exempt).

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #290) The Beis Din is not allowed to punish someone based on what we think happened. Even if we are VERY sure that a person must have done an aveira, the Beis Din is only allowed to punish him if there were at least two people who actually saw him do the aveira.

Once a Beis Din starts punishing someone who is PROBABLY guilty, then they will end up punishing someone who MIGHT be guilty! The Torah doesn’t want us to start guessing when a person should be punished. It is better that a thousand people should not be punished for their aveiros by Beis Din, than for one person to be punished when he doesn’t deserve it.

We learn this from what the Torah tells us, “Venaki Vetzadik Al Taharog,” “a person who is innocent and a tzadik should not be put to death.” From here we see how careful we need to be to make sure that an innocent person is not punished.

(We don’t have to worry about a person not being punished. Even if the Beis Din doesn’t give the punishment, Hashem has many other ways to make sure that there is justice in the world!)



Hilchos Sanhedrin

In today’s Rambam we learn how the Beis Din carries out Misas Beis Din.

In Perek Yud-Gimmel, the Rambam tells us how careful we are not to punish someone with death unless we are absolutely sure he deserves it! On his way to be killed, if he comes up with a good reason why he is innocent, we take him back to the Beis Din again and again, to see if his reason changes the psak.

Perek Yud-Daled has more halachos about a person who is chayav misa, deserves to be killed. One halacha tells us that we need to be very patient, and not try to pasken quickly if someone deserves to be killed! If a Beis Din kills one person every seven years, we say that they are a bloodthirsty court.

In Perek Tes-Vov, the Rambam lists all of the aveiros that can make a person deserve to be put to death by the Beis Din. There are 36 of these aveiros.



Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Hey

In today’s Rambam we learn the halachos about a Shevuas Bitui (a false promise) and a Shevuas Shav (a useless promise).



Tzivos Hashem

In a sicha to children, the Rebbe explains a plan we can use to win over our Yetzer Hara.

We are soldiers in Hashem’s army! We are fighting against the Yetzer Hara by acting the way Hashem wants us to!

In every army, there are “Tachsisei Milchama” — tricks to fight better. We can learn from their ideas how to fight our own Yetzer Hara!

Imagine an army trying to capture another country. One way is for the soldiers to spread out and try to capture the whole thing at once! But then it’s also easier for the enemy to fight back, and they might not be successful.

Another way to do it is that they can send all of the soldiers to capture one city. With all of them working together on a smaller piece of land, they will for sure be able to win over it! Then they can move on to the next city, and then the next, until they have captured the entire country!

We can use that same idea in our Avodas Hashem.

We might have many parts of our Avodah that need to be better. But instead of trying to fix everything all at once, we can use all of our kochos to fix up one thing at a time. If we’re using all of our kochos in one part of our Avodas Hashem, we will definitely be able to correct it! Then we can move on to another thing, and another — until everything we do is the way Hashem wants us to do it!


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Hodu (Part 2)

The second half of Hodu, starting from the word “Romemu,” are 22 pesukim from Tehillim. These pesukim include praise to Hashem, and pesukim that ask Hashem to help the Yidden and bring the Geulah!

In Likutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains that these pesukim are connected to the Avos!

The Avos were the ones who began the Tefillos of Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv. In davening, we often ask Hashem to answer us in their zechus.

Each of the Avos had a strong koach in a certain midah. Avraham Avinu showed a tremendous level of Chesed, kindness. Yitzchak Avinu had a powerful level of Gevurah, strictness. Yaakov Avinu showed the midah of Tiferes (Rachamim), mercy, in a very great way.

These pesukim in the second half of Hodu connect to these midos. For example, “Va’ani Bechasdecha Batachti,” “I have trusted in Your Chesed,” is the midah of Chesed. “Keil Nekamos Hashem,” “Hashem punishes resha’im,” is the midah of Gevurah. “Ata Hashem Lo Sichla Rachamecha Mimeni,” “Hashem, Your Rachmonus has not left me,” is the midah of Tiferes.



General Brachos on Foods

There are three “general” brachos, that we use for most foods. (Later IY”H we will see that there are exceptions for specific kinds of foods.)

All food fits into three main groups: Food that grows from the ground (like carrots), food that grows on trees (like apples), and food that we get any other way (like chicken or eggs). Depending on where our food comes from, that is the bracha we make!

For juicy peaches, which grow on trees, we make a bracha of Ha’eitz, thanking Hashem for letting us enjoy the food that grows on trees. On crunchy celery, which grows from the ground, we make a bracha of Ha’adama, thanking Hashem for letting us enjoy the food that grows from the ground. For fish, which we don’t get from the ground or from trees, we make a bracha Shehakol, thanking Hashem for letting us enjoy His world, which was all created through Hashem’s words.

See Birchos Hanehenin, perek Alef se’if Beis

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



Hashem Will Punish the Goyim

The last two perakim of Yoel are about the Geulah, and that Hashem will punish the goyim who hurt the Yidden during the time of Golus.

At the end of the last perek, the Navi Yoel warns Edom and Mitzrayim that they will be punished for killing the Yidden from Yehudah.

The last two pesukim speak about what will happen in the end:

וִיהוּדָה לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב וִירוּשָׁלִַם לְדוֹר וָדוֹר

וְנִקֵּיתִי דָּמָם לֹא נִקֵּיתִי וַה׳ שֹׁכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן

ViYehuda Le’olam Teisheiv — Yehudah, that they tried to kill, will stay forever

VeYerushalayim Ledor Vador — And Yerushalayim, which they tried to destroy, will last for all generations.

Venikeisi Damam Lo Nikeisi — Hashem says, I may forgive them for other aveiros, but for the blood of the Yidden that they killed, I will not forgive them!

VaHashem Shochein Betzion — This will happen when Hashem rests in Tzion, the time of the Geulah.

See Yoel perek Daled pesukim Chof and Chof-Alef

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