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CHUMASH

Parshas Acharei - Shlishi with Rashi

Today we finish learning about the Avodah on Yom Kippur in the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash. We will also learn how the Yidden should keep Yom Kippur every year!

The Kohen Gadol, wearing his regular Kohen Gadol clothing like all year, burns the fat of the korbanos on the Mizbeiach. The rest of the parts of the animal are taken outside of Yerushalayim by a regular kohen and burned there. He then changes back into the special linen Yom Kippur clothes, and takes the ketores pan and spoon out of the Kodesh Hakodoshim.

Once this is done, he needs to go to the mikvah and put back on his regular Kohen Gadol clothing and finish the avodah of the day. He brings the rest of the korbanos, the Korban Tomid, the regular ketores, and he lights the menorah. Finally the Yom Kippur Avodah is finished. He puts on his regular clothes and goes home.

The kohen who burns the rest of the parts of the korbanos outside of Yerushalayim, and the one who brought the goat to Azazel need to go to the mikvah, and dip their clothes in the mikvah, before coming back.

Even though we don’t have the whole Yom Kippur Avodah since we don’t have a Beis Hamikdash, Yom Kippur is a mitzvah forever! Here are the things that happen every year on Yom Kippur:

- We do the “inuyim” (not doing certain things that we are usually comfortable doing, like eating and wearing leather shoes)

- We don’t do any work on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a special day every year, when Hashem will forgive us for our aveiros!

 
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TEHILLIM

88 - 89

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Asher Cherfu Oivecha Hashem, Asher Cherfu Ikvos Meshichecha.” “Your enemies have disgraced, Hashem; they have disgraced the footsteps of the one You anointed.”

Many years ago, the Rebbe Rashab started the Yeshivah of Tomchei Temimim. The Rebbe Rashab said a sicha, explaining the job of a tomim. There are two types of people that the Temimim need to overcome, because they are dangerous for the Yidden:

1) Those that don’t want other people to believe in Hashem or keep Torah and mitzvos. They make fun of them, and say that Yidden don’t need it chas veshalom.

2) Yidden who DO keep Torah and mitzvos, but say that you don’t need to talk about Moshiach or get excited that he is coming.

The Yeshiva bochurim have to show that that’s not true! We DO need to keep Torah and mitzvos, and we all need to be excited that Moshiach is coming!

These two are hinted to in the posuk! “They disgraced Hashem” (this is talking about the people that say that we don’t need to believe in Hashem or keep His mitzvos), and “they disgraced Ikvos Meshichecha” (this is talking about the people that make fun of Yidden who are excited that Moshiach is coming).

The Rebbe told us that this sicha was said to the Temimim then, but nowadays it is the job of every Yid!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Alef

The kavana a person should have before davening or learning is that this connects his neshama to Hashem. This kavana needs to be before davening, before learning Torah during the day, and every hour of learning.

The Alter Rebbe tells us that the reason why we connect our neshama to Hashem is to bring Hashem a big nachas ruach! This nachas is like the nachas of a king whose son comes out of prison — imagine how much Hashem appreciates our Torah and tefillah, which brings our neshama back close to Hashem!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Ches Nisan

Today is the third day of the Omer!

On Erev Shabbos of Chol Hamoed, we say Posach Eliyahu like on a regular Friday, but not the Hodu before Mincha.

Today we learn a piece of Chassidus from the Tzemach Tzedek that he said in the year Tof-Reish-Ches, based on a posuk from the Kriyas HaTorah read in shul on Chol Hamoed today:

The posuk says, “Im Kesef Talveh...” “when you lend money...”

The word “kesef”, money, also means WANTING something very much, like the word “Nichsof”. So in Ruchnius, the word kesef in this posuk is talking about the neshama, that WANTS to go up closer to Hashem!

According to this, the posuk can also mean, “when You lend a neshama!” Hashem lends us the neshama to use when we are alive.

Hashem gave us a certain amount of days do to our Avodah on earth, and each day becomes like clothes for the neshama in Gan Eden. If a person is missing one day of Avodah, they will be missing one piece of clothing in Gan Eden.

So we need to make sure to use every chance Hashem gives us to do mitzvos every day!

On every day of Chol Hamoed, we read a different part of the Torah! The Rebbe once spoke about how Lebn Mit Der Tzeit, living with the times, also means to live with and learn lessons from the special Kriyas HaTorah of that day, even when it isn’t from the parsha of the week.

In the year Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches, the Rebbe said a sicha each night of Yom Tov, including Chol Hamoed, and explained the lesson we can learn from that day’s Kriyas HaTorah!

From today’s Hayom Yom, we learn a lesson for today, from the part of the Torah we lein, about how important it is to make sure every day is used out fully.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #235 - Mitzvas Asei #106

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #106) is about the tumah of a Zavah, a woman with a certain kind of sickness. She can make other things tomei, like by touching them or moving them. We need to follow the halachos of the Torah that tells us when she becomes a Zavah, and when she makes other things tomei.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn about clay keilim and when they can become Tomei.

In Perek Yud-Ches we learn that a clay keili is only tomei if it is a Klei Kibul — it has a place to hold things inside.

Perek Yud-Tes teaches us about when a clay keili is broken — when are the pieces big enough that they are counted as their own keilim?

Perek Chof is about things that are attached to a clay keili, to know when they are counted as a keili by themselves.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Mechusrei Kapara - Perek Gimmel

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the people who need to bring the Korbanos called Mechusrei Kaparah — when they are Tahor, but not Tahor enough to eat meat from a Korban.

In this perek, we learn about when a Zav can become tahor — he needs to wait a week after his sickness is over.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Chai Nissan

Today is TWO very important days on the Chassidishe calendar! Today is the birthday of the Rebbe’s father, R’ Levi Yitzchak, and ALSO the day of the Rebbe’s bris milah!

On Chol Hamoed Pesach, at a children’s rally, the Rebbe told this story about his father’s Mesiras Nefesh:

It was getting closer to Pesach. In Yekatrinoslav, one of the biggest cities in Ukraine, the government officials knew that soon the Yidden would be looking for matzah.

Back then, the Russian government owned EVERYTHING. Nobody could have their own store, or their own factory, or their own Matzah Bakery. The government would need to arrange for matzah to be baked. Since Yidden would only buy matzah with a hechsher, they decided to ask R’ Levi Yitzchak (the Rav in their city) to be the Rav and say that it was kosher.

R’ Levi Yitzchak agreed — but when he explained how they would need to make the matzah Shmurah, they didn’t want to follow all of the rules. It would cost the government more money and be complicated to make the matzah properly! They wanted R’ Levi Yitzchak to give a hechsher even without doing it right. They tried to convince R’ Levi Yitzchak to agree.

The Russian government in that time would give people very big punishments, even for little things. (This actually happened to R’ Levi Yitzchak later in his life, and he passed away early because of it.) Everyone had to listen to exactly what they said — or else!

Even though the Russian government was so powerful and so scary, R’ Levi Yitzchak didn’t think about what would happen. He knew that it wasn’t right to give a hechsher to matzah that wasn’t made exactly the way halacha teaches. He told the government that he did NOT agree!

Really, that would have been enough for R’ Levi Yitzchak to deserve a huge punishment! How dare he tell the government that he won’t do what they told him to!

But instead of punishing him, they said that they can’t follow all of his rules unless they get permission from the higher officials in Moscow. They sent him there to ask himself.

R’ Levi Yitzchak traveled to Moscow, and told the government officials there firmly what they need to do in order for him to be able to give a hechsher. Amazingly, they agreed to what he said! They wrote an order that all of the mills where they grind the flour for matzah have to follow the rules that Rabbi Schneerson gives — even if it ends up being more expensive for them!

~

In Tof-Shin-Nun-Alef (5751/1991), a maamar was published for Chai Nissan. This maamar was once said to a chossid in Yechidus on Vach Nacht, the night before his grandson’s Bris. The Rebbe edited this maamar and it was published for Chassidim to learn!

 

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TEFILLAH

Freeing the Neshama

When the Frierdiker Rebbe lived in Russia, he was sent to jail many times for spreading Yiddishkeit. The seventh time he was in jail was especially hard. The Frierdiker Rebbe wrote down what happened in prison in his diary (Reshimas Hamaaser, printed in Prince in Prison).

In the introduction, the Frierdiker Rebbe writes that we need to remember that we use jail as a mashal for the way the neshama feels when it is stuck inside of a body that only cares about Gashmius. The neshama feels like it is stuck in prison, and it suffers very much. In fact, it is much worse than the suffering of a person in jail, because that is just a mashal, and a mashal can never show how strong the real inyan is.

When we think about that, we will feel very bad for our poor neshama!

One main time that our neshama is allowed to feel free from its “prison,” and can go speak to Hashem is the time of davening! When we daven, our neshama goes and cries to Hashem. It says, “It is so hard to be in the guf! I want to be close to You, Hashem, and I am stuck in this body!”

Through the words of davening, Hashem reminds the neshama that it is in the body for a very important reason: To do mitzvos and to fulfill its shlichus! The words of davening comfort the neshama that the body won’t be a prison forever. When Moshiach comes, the body won’t stop the neshama at all. It will help the neshama all the time, so it can be close to Hashem!

The time of davening, when the neshama can speak to Hashem, is very important for the neshama. It gives the neshama koach to stay in the body and do its shlichus, even though it is hard. The time of our davening is what makes us able to serve Hashem properly!

See also Tanya Perek Lamed-Alef

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Chol Hamoed

Chol Hamoed is still part of Yom Tov, even though it has a different level of Kedusha. It is not a weekday.

Just like it is a mitzvah to be happy on Yom Tov, it is a mitzvah from the Torah to be happy on Chol Hamoed. For men this is to drink wine every day, since that’s one thing that makes people happy. For women, it is wearing beautiful clothing. For children, they should have sweet things and toys!

To make sure that we don’t treat Chol Hamoed like a weekday, the Chachomim made certain takanos. The clothes we wear should be clean and nice, and even better if they are Shabbos’dik. We don’t do melacha that is not necessary for Yom Tov, and we don’t do some kinds of melacha that would take away from the simcha of Yom Tov.

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

In OUR Time

One of the foundations of Emunah is to believe that Moshiach will come, and hope for him to come every day!

People may have a question when they hear this. How can Moshiach come in OUR time? There were so many tzadikim in other generations who were much greater than us, and Moshiach didn’t come in their time! So how can we think that Moshiach will come now?

The answer is that all of the good things that were ever done stay! So today, we have with us all of the mitzvos and special things that were done by the Yidden and tzadikim of the past generations. When we add this to the little bit that we did compared to them, with all of those good things together, we can be sure that we will see Moshiach very soon!

See sicha of Acharon Shel Pesach 5718, printed in Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 247

 
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