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Parshas Bo - Shvi'i with Rashi

The Yidden learn that firstborns are special to Hashem. They also learn about Pesach, and about remembering the Geulah by writing about it in our Tefillin.

Yesterday, we learned about Yetziyas Mitzrayim! The Yidden left Mitzrayim and came to a place called Sukos.

In Sukos, Hashem said that since the Yiddishe firstborns were protected from Makas Bechoros, they are special to Hashem. The firstborn boys should become kohanim until the Mishkan is built. The firstborn animals should be given to the kohanim and brought as korbanos. For the firstborn donkeys, you should do Peter Chamor, giving the kohen a lamb or goat instead.

Now that the Yidden weren’t in such a rush, Moshe told them about the Yom Tov of Pesach. He told them about eating only matzah, and about telling the children about the nissim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

He also told them to write about the Geulah from Mitzrayim and put it into their Tefillin. These pieces of Chumash are written on the parchment in Tefillin, to remind us every day about Yetziyas Mitzrayim.



35 - 38

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Lamed-Hey through Lamed-Ches.

In Kapitel Lamed-Zayin (37), Dovid Hamelech says, “MeiHashem Mitzadei Gever Konanu” — “Hashem decides where each person goes,” “Vedarko Yechpatz” — “and He wants His way.”

Chassidus teaches that these two things are connected: BECAUSE Hashem wants His way, THAT’S why He decides where each person goes. Hashem puts us into each place to do His special shlichus there.

So when we end up somewhere with Hashgacha Protis, we need to remember that we’re there because Hashem has a job for us to do there — and we’d better make sure to do it right!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe is telling us in short what Achdus Hashem (the oneness of Hashem) means.

Understanding Achdus Hashem will help us understand how every mitzvah is a connection with Achdus Hashem, and every aveira is chas veshalom a separation from it. Then we will not let the Ruach Shtus from our Nefesh Habehamis convince us that there is anything that doesn’t matter or is not worth it when it comes to doing what Hashem wants.

We say in davening, “Ata Hu Ad Shelo Nivra Ha’olam, Ata Hu Mishenivra Ha’olam” — Hashem is the same Aibershter now that He created the world, as He was before He created it. That is part of the Emunah Peshutah (simple Emunah) that every Yid has.

In this perek, the Alter Rebbe starts to explain this emunah so we can make it part of our Chabad, part of our understanding, also. We will see more about this IY”H over the next few days.



Vov Shevat

Did you ever hear of Ruach Hakodesh?

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe tells us what it means to have Ruach Hakodesh. It means that the person understands deep secrets of the Torah!

The Yidden that were closer to the time of Matan Torah were more Ruchnius’dik, and the seforim that Talmidei Chachomim in those times wrote were written with Ruach Hakodesh. The Rebbe tells us that this was true until after the time of the Shach and Taz (who wrote a pirush on the big Shulchan Aruch). Nowadays, only certain seforim, written by certain Talmidei Chachomim, are written with Ruach Hakodesh.



Shiur #180 - Mitzvas Asei #57, #56, #58

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 3 mitzvos about the Korban Pesach.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #57) If someone couldn’t bring the Korban Pesach on time, he should bring it on Pesach Sheini!

We learn this mitzvah from the first half of a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha: בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ

2) (Mitzvas Asei #56) We need to eat the Korban Pesach on the first night of Pesach, just like the Torah tells us — it needs to be roasted, and we eat it at home, with matzah and maror.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: וְאָכְלוּ אֶת הַבָּשָׂר בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה צְלִי אֵשׁ וּמַצּוֹת עַל מְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #58) If someone needs to eat the Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini, he needs to eat it that night, with matzah and maror.

We learn this mitzvah from the second half of the posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ

The details of all of these mitzvos are explained in Mesechta Pesachim.



Hilchos Korban Pesach

In today's Rambam, we learn more about the halachos of the Korban Pesach.

In Perek Gimmel and Perek Daled the Rambam tells us what to do if there is a problem with the korban, like if it gets lost or becomes Tomei.

Perek Hey: In this perek, we learn what to do if the person becomes tomei and can’t bring the korban, and when he needs to bring it on Pesach Sheini.



Hilchos Avodim - Perek Vov

In Perek Vov we start learning the halachos of the document that is used to make the slave free, and that it is similar to a get between a husband and wife.



Seforim With Ruach Hakodesh

We learned in Hayom Yom that until the Shach and the Taz, seforim were written with Ruach Hakodesh. How do we know which seforim nowadays are written with Ruach Hakodesh? Here’s a story heard from Rabbi Dovid Edelman A”H, which he told in connection with the beginning of the Rebbe’s nesius on Yud Shevat:

One time, before the Rebbe's nesius began, he walked into the Zal in 770 and saw a bochur who was learning the Pnei Yehoshua (a pirush on the Gemara that is learned in all Yeshivos).

The Rebbe said to the bochur, “Do you know that the Pnei Yehoshua (who lived after the time of the Shach and Taz) wrote other seforim as well? So why does everyone learn only this sefer?

“Because all Yidden collectively have a certain kind of Ruach Hakodesh. When Yidden see a sefer that’s written with real Ruach Hakodesh, we can ‘feel’ it! When everyone chooses to learn a certain sefer, we can know that it was written with Ruach Hakodesh.”


Before the Frierdiker Rebbe’s histalkus, it was not said clearly to all of the Chassidim that the Rebbe should become Rebbe. So how did everyone know?

Rabbi Edelman said that he felt that it was similar to this story: All of the Chassidim had a kind of Ruach Hakodesh, and everyone was able to understand that the Rebbe should become Rebbe.


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Hiskashrus With Hashem

The time of davening, aside for a time when we ask Hashem for our needs, is a time for us to connect our neshama to Hashem. That way, even when our neshama is in a body in the world, it is strong and healthy and can do its shlichus.

From the time when the Yidden became a nation, Hashem gave them tzadikim and Rebbeim who helped them strengthen their neshamos and connect them to Hashem.

We learned about this in the beginning of Tanya: For a neshama in a body to connect to Hashem, it needs to be connected to the tzadikim who always have a connection with Hashem that is easy to see!

This helps us understand something the Rebbe told a chossid not long after the histalkus of the Frierdiker Rebbe: The Rebbe told him that before or after Birchos Hashachar, he should think about and picture the Rebbe in his mind.

We can understand a reason why the Rebbe said this, because Birchos Hashachar is when we take the first steps to strengthen our neshama! When we have hiskashrus with the Rebbe, the Nasi Hador, we will have an easier time strengthening our neshama’s connection with Hashem, which begins during davening.




The Chachomim teach us ten things we are careful to do for a Kos Shel Bracha. A Kos Shel Bracha, a kos of bracha, is a cup of wine we use for special things, like bentching, Kiddush, or Havdalah.

One of these ten things is that we are “Mekablo B’Shtei Yadav” — we take the kos with two hands. Taking something with two hands shows that we are excited to have it, and we really want it very much. We take it with two hands to show that the Kos Shel Bracha is very special to us!

But when we actually make the bracha, we hold the kos with only one hand, because if we held the kos with two hands it would look like it’s annoying to hold.

In halacha there is a discussion about how we hold the kos for the actual bracha. Do we hold it with our fingers, the way we hold a regular cup, or do we hold it in the palm of our hand, the way we would hold a handful of something? According to kabbalah, we hold it in the palm of our hand, and have our fingers around the kos.

According to the Chabad minhag, the way we do it is like this:

First we pick up the kos with our right hand, then pass it to our left hand. This way, we used both hands to take the kos!

Then, we get our right hand, which is our more important hand, ready to hold the kos for kiddush. We hold our hand out, with our fingers a little bit upward, like our hand is a little bowl (klei kibul). We lower the kos down into the palm of our hand to make Kiddush. (A lefty would do this backwards, and lower the cup into his LEFT hand, which is his more important hand, to make Kiddush with.)

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef se’if yud-ches, siman Kuf-Pey-Gimmel se’if zayin

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



Expecting Moshiach

We expect Moshiach to come any second, right?

Here’s a story about how the Rebbe would talk about Moshiach:

R’ Zalmon Jaffe, a chossid from Manchester, England, loved his trips to the Rebbe. One Motzei Shabbos, right before he left back to England, he held the door of 770 open for the Rebbe.

Gut voch!” R’ Zalmon told the Rebbe. “Everything is perfect now — except for one thing.”

The Rebbe smiled, and was happy to hear that. “But what is that one thing that isn’t perfect?”

R’ Zalmon answered, “Tomorrow we are going home, and leaving the Rebbe!”

The Rebbe answered, “Tomorrow is still another day, and I will see you again. In any case, Moshiach may come, and everything will be changed!”

See “My Encounter With the Rebbe,” by Zalmon Jaffe, book 1, page 158

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