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Sheini with Rashi

Yaakov comes to Charan and wants to marry Rochel.

Since Hashem promised Yaakov in his dream that he would be safe, he went to Charan happily, knowing it would be good. On his way, he had to cross the Yarden river. Hashem made a neis and the river split so he could walk across easily!

When he reached Aram Naharayim, he saw a well, covered with a big rock. Near it were three flocks of sheep together with their shepherds, sitting and waiting. They were waiting for everyone else to get there so they could move the rock, since it was too heavy to do it without everyone helping.

Yaakov asked the shepherds if they knew Lavan, and they said yes. “How is he?” Yaakov asked. “He’s fine,” said the shepherds, “and as a matter of fact, here’s his daughter Rochel coming with his sheep!” (Lavan had Rochel take care of his sheep, since he didn’t have any sons to do it.)

Since Yaakov didn’t know that the rock was so heavy, he asked the shepherds why they were just waiting there instead of giving the sheep water and taking them home. They explained that they needed to wait for everyone to come. They were still talking to him when Rochel came with the sheep to the well.

When Yaakov saw her, he rolled the rock off the well all by himself, and gave water to his uncle Lavan’s sheep.

Yaakov kissed Rochel and cried, because he knew with Ruach Hakodesh that they wouldn’t both be buried together in Me’aras Hamachpeilah, and because he didn’t have any presents for her. (Eisav’s son Elifaz had stolen everything from him on the way.)

Yaakov explained to Rochel that he was her cousin, and that he wanted to marry her. Rochel told him that her father was very tricky! Yaakov said he wasn’t worried — he could be as tricky as Lavan if he needed to be, but if Lavan would be honest, Yaakov would be honest too.

Rochel ran and told her father (her mother had already passed away). Lavan ran to meet him, hoping that Yaakov had a lot of money, like when Eliezer came to get Rivkah. Lavan hugged and kissed Yaakov, but not because he loved him or because he was happy to see him — really he just wanted to see if he was hiding any money. When he saw there wasn’t any money, he brought Yaakov home anyway. Yaakov explained that he was running away from Eisav, and that Elifaz had taken all of his money, but he didn’t tell Lavan yet that he wanted to marry Rochel.

Lavan said, “Since you have no money, you can only come here since you’re my nephew. You can stay here for a month if you work as my shepherd.” So Yaakov stayed a month and watched his sheep.

Lavan then asked Yaakov how to pay him. He said to Yaakov, “Just because we’re related, do you have to work for free?”

Yaakov had an idea of the payment he wanted!

Lavan had twin daughters, Leah and Rochel. (He also had daughters from a different wife, Bilhah and Zilpah, that he used as maids.) Everyone always thought that since Lavan has twin girls, and Yitzchak has twin boys, they would marry each other. So Leah (who was older) always thought she would have to marry Esav, the older twin, and she cried so much about it that her eyes were always red and swollen — but Rochel was beautiful.



23 - 28

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel to Chof-Ches.

In Kapitel Chof-Hey it says “Zechor Rachamecha Hashem Vachasadech Ki Me’olam Heimah” — “Hashem should remember His mercy and His kindness, because they are forever.”

The Mitteler Rebbe explains (in a maamar about Chanukah!) that the word “meiolam” (forever) also means “from the world.”

Which world?

When Hashem made the world, he made a special light that we can’t see today, because it is hidden until Moshiach will come. Because Yidden needed special kochos in the time of Chanukah, Hashem took this light and made it shine for Yidden in order to help them to do Teshuvah, come closer to Hashem, and win over their enemies who wanted to destroy them!

How did the Yidden deserve to use this light? The Mesiras Nefesh Yidden would have for Torah and mitzvos made Hashem want to shine the light of Moshiach in the world!

That’s what it means, “Hashem should remember His goodness and kindness from the world — that Hashem should make the special light which shined from the beginning of the Creation of the world, to help Yidden overcome the hardships of Golus.



Kuntres Acharon

The Alter Rebbe teaches that DOING a mitzvah is very special! Even if a person is able to THINK about how great Hashem is, and that makes him FEEL very close to Hashem and love Him very much, or to be afraid to do things that aren’t what Hashem wants, it’s not the same as DOING a mitzvah.

In this section of Kuntres Acharon, the Alter Rebbe explains why!



Daled Kislev

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn about how chassidim wash Mayim Acharonim before bentching: We pour water over our fingertips, then pass our fingers over our lips while they are still wet.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn the same mitzvah as yesterday again (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #355) — that a person is not allowed to act like he is married to a woman without first doing the mitzvah of Kiddushin, getting married according to Torah.



Hilchos Ishus

In today’s Rambam, we learn about things a husband has to do for his wife. One halacha is that he has to buy her new clothes every year.

We also learn about moving: One halacha is that if the husband says that the neighbors are not good people, he can make his wife move even if she doesn’t want to. And the same is for her — if she thinks the neighbors aren’t good people, she can make them both move away.



Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i - Perek Ches

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about Maaser Sheini.

Some things DON’T have the kedusha of Maaser Sheini, like the shells of nuts or the container that the wine came in. We also learn about how to use the money to buy food in Yerushalayim.



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Vayeitzei, we learn about Yaakov’s important shlichus. His parents sent him to Charan to get married. Yaakov asks Hashem to be with him and protect him in Charan, and that Hashem should bring him back to the home of his father! Hashem gives him this bracha, promising him that He will bring him back to his father’s home.

The shlichus of Yaakov Avinu is a hora’ah for OUR shlichus in the world — to make Hashem a Dira Betachtonim.

We get sent out to “Charan,” to different parts of the world that don’t look like they are full of kedusha, to make them a comfortable place for Hashem. Before we go out on our shlichus, we ask Hashem to be with us and protect us.

But why do we also ask Hashem to bring us back? Isn’t the main thing to be doing the shlichus well? Why does it matter whether or not we go back?

This is the lesson we learn from Yaakov: It is very important to do our shlichus well, but that’s not the only thing that Hashem wants. Hashem wants us to finish our job, so we can come back to Eretz Yisroel where we belong! Even if we are doing well in our shlichus in the world, making it comfortable for Hashem, we need to remember that the GOAL is to finish the job and come back to our home — to the world the way it is supposed to be, when Moshiach comes. Knowing this gives us chayus in our shlichus, to finish up the job and bring Moshiach now!

See Sefer Hasichos Parshas Vayeitzei 5748


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Birchos Kriyas Shema

Shema Yisroel…” When we say these words, we are saying that we understand that there is nothing aside for Hashem — Hashem is One! So we are ready to do whatever Hashem wants, and not let anything stop us!

But it’s not just enough to say the words. We need to really mean it!

The Chachomim helped us by giving us two brachos before Shema. They help us get ready to say Shema properly and mean what we say!

First, we say the bracha of Yotzer Ohr, about how Hashem created the world and about the malochim. Then, we say the bracha of Ahavas Olam, about how Hashem loves the Yidden, and we ask Hashem to help us learn Torah and do mitzvos.

How do those brachos help us have Kabolas Ol? We will see IY”H tomorrow!

See Tanya Perek Mem-Tes



Ahavas Yisroel

Most people do some many good things, but also some not-so-good things. It is a mitzvah to talk about the good things they do. It helps them to keep doing those things, and to want to do even more! It also makes Hashem happy to hear that Yidden are saying nice things about each other. When Hashem has nachas, He wants to give us more brachos!

To make sure that what we say ends up being good, there are halachos about saying nice things about others.

One halacha is that we should be careful that what we say won’t make other people say NOT nice things!

If we are with people who don’t like the person we want to praise, we shouldn’t say anything. By us saying something nice, those other people will want to start saying mean things about him.

Even if everyone we are talking to likes that person, we should be careful not to say too much. If we praise someone too much, people will usually start explaining why that person isn’t perfect, and will say not nice things about him.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 156 se’if Yud-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 Sign of the Geulah

The Rebbe points out something amazing about nowadays:

Throughout all of the years of Yidden being in Golus, many countries had rules that made it hard to be a Yid, and especially to teach Yiddishkeit to others.

For the first time ever, almost everywhere in the world, Yidden are free to practice Yiddishkeit and share Yiddishkeit, without anyone stopping us!

Now it is just up to us, to use this special time to do as much as we can!

This is a very important preparation for the Geulah, when Moshiach will unite the world to know Hashem!

See sicha Parshas Vayigash, Sefer Hasichos 5752 p. 224

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