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Parshas Re'eh - Shishi with Rashi

Moshe teaches the Yidden about more Mitzvos they will keep in Eretz Yisroel:

If you lend someone money, and he didn't pay you back yet when a Shemitah year starts — you need to forgive the loan and he won’t owe you money anymore.

A Yid might think that he will lose money if he does that, but the Torah tells us that if we listen to Hashem, none of the Yidden will be poor!

Be careful, don't decide not to lend someone money before a Shemitah year in case he doesn't pay you back before then! Even if he doesn't pay you back, Hashem will.

Make sure to give Tzedakah! Rashi explains how these pesukim teach us so much about the mitzvah of giving tzedakah, like who we need to take care of first, and about how much to give.

If you have a Jewish slave, you need to let him or her go free after working for you for 7 years. Make sure to give him presents when he goes!

If he DOESN’T want to leave, and wants to stay your slave forever, you need to pierce his ear by the door, and then he will be your slave until Yovel.



140 - 144

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Mem to Kuf-Mem-Daled.

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk, “Tikon Tefilasi Ketores Lefanecha” — “I bring my davening before Hashem like Ketores!”

What is the connection between Ketores and davening?

When the kohen brings the Ketores, nobody else is allowed to be there — it’s just the kohen bringing the Ketores to Hashem. The same thing is when we daven — it’s private, between us and Hashem!

Also, the word Ketores is like the word “Kesher” (in Aramaic — Ketar) — a connection. Davening is one of the ways we make a special connection with Hashem.



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes

The Alter Rebbe tells us today how important the mitzvah of tzedakah is for us, especially now, before the Geulah!

In Eilu Devarim (at the end of morning Brachos) we talk about some of the mitzvos and the reward we get for them. The last thing it says is “VeSalmud Torah Keneged Kulam” — learning Torah is worth as much as ALL of them!

The Alter Rebbe says that this was only in the time of the Gemara. But nowadays, in order to bring Moshiach, TZEDAKAH is the most important!



Chof-Tes Menachem Av

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe teaches us how precious it is to Hashem when we put in our own effort.

Did you ever start writing a letter to your Bubby or Zaidy and think, “This is taking too long! I’m not sure what to write! Mommy, YOU write it!”

Of course it will be much faster, and maybe look nicer too, if Mommy writes it. But what will make Bubby and Zaidy happier? They will love it so much more if WE write it — even if it isn’t as nice.

Our Avodas Hashem is like that too! Sometimes we think that we just want someone else to do it for us, or at least show us EXACTLY what to do! But Hashem loves it so much more when WE tried our best, even if it isn’t as perfect. That’s called “Avodah BeKoach Atzmo” — when we do the Avodah OURSELVES.

Today is Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, and this is what Chodesh Elul is all about — putting in our own effort to become close to Hashem (Ani Ledodi)! Then, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are like Hashem taking us by the hand and bringing us closer to Him (Vedodi Li).



Shiur #25 - Mitzvas Asei #5

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the same mitzvah again, since we’re busy learning SO MANY halachos about it in Rambam! The mitzvah is Mitzvas Asei #5, that we serve Hashem by davening to Him.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת ה׳ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם



Hilchos Tefillah

Perek Yud-Alef: In this perek, we learn about a shul! In a place where there are 10 Yidden, we need to make sure there is a shul. A shul has to be treated with kavod, and we have to keep it clean — sweeping and mopping the floors!

Perek Yud-Beis: Now we learn halachos about Kriyas HaTorah! Moshe Rabbeinu taught us to lein from the Torah on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbos, so that there are never 3 days in a row without hearing the holy words of the Torah.

Perek Yud-Gimmel: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us the halachos about leining the parshios each week, so we finish the whole Torah every year. Did you know that some people had a minhag to read shorter parts of the Torah, and only finish it every three years?

The Rambam writes that finishing the Chumash in three years isn’t the minhag haposhut. Based on this Rambam, the Rebbe taught two ways to learn the daily Shiur of Rambam: To finish it in one year, or to finish it in three years. The Rebbe said that just like we finish Torah Shebichsav (the Chumash) in one year, the minhag haposhut should be also to finish Torah Shebaal Peh (the halachos of Rambam) in one year.



Hilchos Keilim - Perek Yud-Ches

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

We learn that a clay keili is only tomei if it is a Klei Kibul — it has a place to hold things inside.



Stories the Rebbe Told Us

The chossid R’ Binyomin Kletzker was a businessman who worked with lumber.

Once he sat down to make a cheshbon of how much money he had earned. He calculated the price of each of the forests, the workers who chopped down the trees, the cost of bringing the logs to the marketplace, and how much he earned from each log.

At the end, he added up all of the numbers and wrote down the total: Ain Od Milvado — there is nothing except for Hashem!

What is special about this is that R’ Binyomin wasn’t doing this to teach a lesson to anyone, or to make a cute comment. He was really thinking so much about Hashem all the time that he really felt that at the end, the main thing was not the amount of money, but the fact that the whole world is just a part of Hashem.

See sicha of Parshas Re’eh, 5735


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Mizmor Shir Chanukas Habayis

In the second half of Hodu, we said many pesukim about the greatness of Hashem and asking Hashem to bring the Geulah.

We continue speaking about the Geulah in the next paragraph. We say a kapitel of Tehillim, “Mizmor Shir Chanukas Habayis,” a kapitel which is a song for the Chanukas Habayis for the Beis Hamikdash. The Sforno explains that this is a song that the Yidden will sing to Hashem at the Chanukas Habayis of the third Beis Hamikdash!

This is also connected to the section of korbanos which we just finished. We ask Hashem to rebuild the place where we can bring the REAL korbanos, and do the Avodah like Hashem asked us to.



Birchos Hanehenin - Specific Brachos

There are three main types of foods, with three general brachos: Ha’eitz, Ho’adamah, and Shehakol.

But there are some foods that the Chachomim taught us are IMPORTANT foods. These foods get their own specific bracha! Even though wine is a kind of drink, which should be Shehakol, it is a very important drink. For wine or grape juice, we say the bracha Hagafen.

Cooked grain, like wheat and barley, is also an important kind of food. Really, it grows from the ground, so it should be Ha’adama. But when grain is cooked, it gets a bracha of Mezonos, thanking Hashem for making satisfying food. If we make the grain into bread, it becomes Hamotzi, thanking Hashem for making bread!

Knowing that these are important foods will help us when we learn more halachos about saying brachos!

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



A Nevuah by Amos

Amos was a Navi who lived in the times of the king Uziah (from Malchei Yehudah) and Yeravam the second (from Malchei Yisrael). At that time, things were very good for the Yidden in Gashmius. Their enemies were not fighting them, and they were very rich.

But the Yidden did not treat each other well. They cheated each other, and bribed the judges to say that they were right.

Amos warned the Yidden to do teshuvah, or else Hashem would punish them. At the end of his sefer, he said a few nevuos about the Geulah. The Navi told the Yidden that Hashem promises that a king from Dovid Hamelech will again rule over ALL of the Yidden!

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אָקִים אֶת סֻכַּת דָּוִיד הַנֹּפֶלֶת וְגָדַרְתִּי אֶת פִּרְצֵיהֶן וַהֲרִסֹתָיו אָקִים וּבְנִיתִיהָ כִּימֵי עוֹלָם

Bayom Hahu — On that day of Geulah,

Akim Es Sukas Dovid Hanofeles — I will pick up the Sukkah of Dovid which fell (meaning the melucha of the family of Dovid Hamelech)

Vegadarti Es Pirtzeihen — And I will close up any holes in the walls (meaning that there won’t be any other kings)

Vaharisosav Akim — And I will pick up its broken pieces

Uvnisiha Kimei Olam — And build it again as it used to be.

Even though the Yidden split into groups for a period of time, when Moshiach comes we will all be united with one king over all the Yidden!

See Amos perek Tes posuk Yud-Alef

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