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Parshas Haazinu - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we are continuing to learn Shiras Haazinu. Moshe Rabbeinu is teaching the Yidden this song to encourage them to keep the Torah and mitzvos properly in Eretz Yisroel. He tells the Yidden what will happen when they come there:

To Eretz Yisroel, Hashem let you go
The best place in the world, where the best fruits grow.

The land is good for the fields, and the animals too
The best food and drink are right there for you.

They could have done so many more mitzvos when their bodies were properly fed —
But they ate so much that their neshamos were covered up instead.

What they did made Hashem so angry at them —
Because they served Avodah Zarah and forgot about Hashem.



23 - 28

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Gimmel to Chof-Ches. Until Yom Kippur, we continue adding three extra kapitelach. Today we say kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin, Tzadik-Ches, and Tzadik-Tes.

In the first sefer of Rambam, Sefer Mada, there is a set of halachos where the Rambam explains how to do teshuvah, Hilchos Teshuvah.

The Rambam explains that there is a time of year where doing teshuvah is our main Avodah, the time of Aseres Yemei Teshuvah and Yom Kippur.

It is easier to do teshuvah when we know that Hashem is helping us!

One of the things the Rambam teaches us about this is from pesukim in today’s Tehillim! The Rambam explains how these pesukim show us the special help Hashem gives us to do teshuvah.

These pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — Hashem teaches humble people His path.

The Rambam says that this shows us two important kinds of help Hashem gives us:

1) Hashem sends us Neviim and leaders who teach us the ways of Hashem and HOW to do teshuvah!

2) Hashem makes us in a way that when we learn about the right thing to do, we will WANT to do it!

These two things together make it much easier for every Yid to do teshuvah!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

This letter of the Alter Rebbe is very special. It was written only a few days before the Alter Rebbe passed away.

This letter teaches us how precious gashmiyus is — it is even much more precious than ruchniyus! It will show us how special our mitzvos are, since they are done with gashmiyus things.

We will see that for there to be Gashmius, it needs the HIGHEST koach of Hashem that there could be, and that’s what makes it so special!



Daled Tishrei

Today, we learn that the “Tof” of the word Teshuvah teaches us to be serious about doing what Hashem wants from us.

R’ Zushe of Annapoli explained that Teshuva has five parts. He showed how all of those parts are in the letters of the word “Teshuvah”!

The Tof stands for “Tomim Tihiyeh Im Hashem Elokecha” — be “tomim” with Hashem.

The Rebbe Rashab explained what kind of teshuvah there is in the words of this posuk. What does it mean to be “tomim” or have “temimus”? It can mean a lot of things, and there are many ways for a person to have temimus. But in teshuvah it means the kind of temimus that is called “erenstkeit,” seriousness.

A person might joke about all kinds of things. But when it comes to something they care about very much, they stop making jokes. It is very important to them, and they take it seriously.

As part of our teshuvah, we need to take what Hashem wants seriously. We need to be “erenst” (“serious” in Yiddish) about doing what Hashem asks us to. We need to feel how important it is to us and do it with our whole heart!

This is what the posuk says about Avraham, “Umatzasa Es Levavo Ne’eman Lefanecha,” that Hashem found Avraham’s heart truthful before Hashem. Hashem therefore made a promise to give Eretz Yisroel to his children!

What did Hashem see in Avraham’s heart? His temimus, the way he took his Avodas Hashem seriously and followed whatever Hashem wanted him to do.



Shiur #75 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #262

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we again learn the mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #262) that a man has to do certain things for his wife — two of them are that he has to take care of making sure she has food and clothes.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ לֹא יִגְרָע



Hilchos Ishus

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Yud-Zayin, Yud-Ches and Yud-Tes, we are learning many halachos about the Kesuba. The Kesuba promises the wife that if they can’t be married anymore or the husband passes away, the woman will have money and not be stuck without any money to live.

Usually, if a husband passes away, the wife gets the amount written in the Kesuba. But what if the husband owed money to other people, and there’s not enough to give the wife her Kesuba AND to pay back what he owes?

The Rambam tells us that it’s more important to pay back the money the husband owes, even if there is no money left to pay the Kesuba. That’s because the people that loaned him money were expecting to get that back, and if they don’t, that money was wasted. But the wife didn’t get married FOR the money, she got married to have a husband, so even without the Kesuba, she still got what she wanted.



Hilchos Tefillah - 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.



Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

In the Kisvei HoArizal, the writings of the Arizal, it says that the seven days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are like Chol Hamoed. That’s why some people do less work on these days, so they can think about the avodah of the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.

The seven days of the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah match up with the seven days of the week, and we have an opportunity to fix up the mistakes of each and prepare for the next year.

Now is the time to make sure our schedule of each day of the week is the way a Yid and a Chossid’s seder needs to be!


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There are certain times that we daven every day. We daven Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv. We say Modeh Ani right when we get up, and Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah before we go to sleep.

During the day, we also can daven to Hashem, either in our own words, or using the holy words of Tehillim. Dovid Hamelech put together the Tehillim so we would have the words to beg Hashem to help us.

Usually, we don’t say Tehillim at night, based on the Kisvei Ho’Arizal.

But during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we do say Tehillim, even at night!

See Sefer Haminhagim



Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

In the halachos of Teshuvah, the Rambam teaches that the way we are judged depends on what we do. We can make a difference in our judgment by doing more mitzvos!

Since the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah is the main time of judgement, it is a minhag to give extra tzedakah, do more maasim tovim and be more careful with our mitzvos during this time. We also spend more time on our davening, and learn things that inspire us to do teshuvah.

It is not our minhag to say Selichos during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.

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



Moshiach NOW

During World War II, the Frierdiker Rebbe started a new campaign about Moshiach: “L’alter L’Teshuvah, L’alter L’Geulah!” If we do Teshuvah right away, the Geulah will come right away!

At the same time that the Frierdiker Rebbe was telling everyone that Moshiach could come RIGHT NOW, the Frierdiker Rebbe was also working on spreading Yiddishkeit and setting up cheders — projects that take a long time.

People were confused! If Moshiach is coming right now, then we don’t need to worry about making a new cheder or sending a shliach to a faraway town! Moshiach will take care of it.

When they asked the Frierdiker Rebbe, they were told that there is an example for this in the Torah!

In the midbar, the Yidden traveled to many places. In some of these places, they stayed for 19 years. In others, they left after just one day! But no matter what, they had to set up the whole Mishkan and the whole Machaneh as if they were going to stay for a very long time. So they had two feelings together: They were ready to leave in one day if they had to, but they were set up to stay for a very long time!

In Golus, we also have to have these two feelings. We need to have full bitachon that Hashem will make nisim and Moshiach will come RIGHT NOW! But at the same time, we need to plan things based on the way they are in Golus. Of course, we will be VERY happy if we don’t need to finish those plans, because Moshiach will take care of them for us!

See farbrengen Parshas Vayeishev, 5717

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