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Shvi'i with Rashi

Paraoh’s butler and baker have dreams while they are in jail, and Yosef explains them.

Yosef was still sitting in jail. He helped take care of the other prisoners. Hashem didn’t want everyone to talk in a not-nice way about Yosef and what they thought he tried to do to Potifar’s wife, so He gave them something else to talk about.

Paraoh’s butler (who brings the king drinks) and his baker did something to make Paraoh upset: Paraoh found a fly in his wine, and a rock in his bread! Paraoh was very angry and threw them both in jail — the same jail where Yosef was. They stayed in jail for a year, and Yosef was in charge of them.

One night, the butler and the baker had dreams. The butler had a strange dream he didn’t understand, and ALSO dreamed the baker’s dream and what it meant. The baker had a strange dream HE didn’t understand, and also dreamed the butler’s dream and what it meant.

When Yosef came in the morning to check on them, he saw that they were upset about something. So he asked them why. They said that they had strange dreams, but there was no one to tell them what the dream means!

Yosef said, “Hashem knows what dreams mean! Tell me what you dreamed.”

The butler told his dream: “I dreamed that there was a vine with 3 branches growing on it. When the grapes grew, I squeezed them into Paraoh’s cup that I was holding, and then I gave the cup to Paraoh.”

Yosef explained, “In three days, Paraoh will take you out of jail and have you come back and be his butler. When this happens, please tell Paraoh about me so I can come out of jail! I was kidnapped and sold, and I didn’t deserve to go to jail.” (For a tzadik like Yosef, asking the butler to save him was not showing enough bitachon.)

Since the baker had dreamed the butler’s dream AND what it meant, he knew that Yosef was giving the right explanation. He decided to ask Yosef to explain his own dream. So he said: “In my dream, there were three baskets on my head. In the top basket there was bread for Paraoh, and birds were eating it.”

Yosef explained what it meant: “In three days Paraoh will kill you and not bury you, but hang up your body for the birds to eat.”

On the third day, Paraoh’s birthday, Paraoh made a big party. He thought about who could serve him, and remembered the butler and the baker. He took the butler back to work, and killed the baker like Yosef said.

Hashem made Yosef stay in jail for two more years after Paraoh’s party. This time would help him do teshuva properly for not having enough bitachon in Hashem.



108 - 112

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Ches through Kuf-Yud-Beis.

In Kapitel Kuf-Tes, Dovid Hamelech says “Ki Oni Ve’evyon Anochi, VeLibi Cholal BeKirbi.” “I am like a poor person, and my heart is empty inside of me.”

What does Dovid Hamelech mean? What is an empty heart?

The Gemara explains that Dovid Hamelech was saying that half of his heart is empty — the part where the Yetzer Hara usually is!

Dovid Hamelech had no Yetzer Hara — he “killed” it by fasting! (Hashem made Dovid Hamelech with a Yetzer Hara that COULD be killed, but not everybody’s can be.)



Likutei Amarim Hakdamas Hamelaket

Today’s Tanya is the end of the introduction that the Alter Rebbe wrote.

The Alter Rebbe tells us that the Tanya was first distributed as kuntreisim (booklets) that had many mistakes in them. Some mistakes were even made on purpose by people who didn’t want the Tanya to be known! Now it needs to be published as a book, and this way everything will be carefully corrected.

The people who are printing it worked very hard, and it is their parnasa. If others print copies of the Tanya, it will hurt the parnasa of those who printed it first! The Alter Rebbe writes in very strong language, with the koach of halacha, that it should not be reprinted by anyone else until after a certain date.



Chof-Gimmel Kislev

The Rebbe Maharash said, “Three days before Shabbos we already start getting ready for Shabbos.

“The Zohar says that Shabbos gives brachos to all the days of the week — the three days before (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), and the three days afterwards (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday).

“So we start preparing for the next Shabbos on Wednesday! In the Shir Shel Yom for Wednesday, we say the first three pesukim of Lechu Neranena, the beginning of davening on Friday night!” This reminds us that Shabbos is coming.



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #52, #32, #55, #54, #354, #360, #361

A Jewish marriage needs to be holy, the way Hashem wants! Today we learn more mitzvos about this:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #52) It is asur for a Jew to get married to a non-Jew.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #32) It is asur for a Jewish woman to marry a man from Amon or Moav, even if he becomes a Ger.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #55) We are not allowed to push away a Ger from Mitzrayim forever. A Yid can marry the grandchild of a Ger from Mitzrayim.

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #54) The same thing is for a Ger from Edom: A Yid can marry the grandchild of a Ger from Edom.

These above three mitzvos cannot be fulfilled nowadays, because Nevuchadnetzar mixed up all the nations, and we don’t know who really belongs to each one of these nations.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #354) A mamzer can’t get married to a Yid. (Someone who is born from two people who aren’t allowed to get married to each other)

6) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #360) A man who got hurt and now can’t have children is not allowed to get married to a Jewish woman.

7) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #361) We are not allowed to hurt a man or an animal so that he can’t have children.



Hilchos Isurei Biah

In today’s Rambam, we learn about what kinds of people are called a mamzer.

We also learn about women that a kohen is not allowed to get married to.



Hilchos Shemitah VeYovel - Perek Daled

We are not allowed to take sefichin (vegetables and grain that grow without planting them) during Shemitah, even though they grew on their own. This way people won’t try to plant things secretly. We are only allowed to take FRUIT that grows by itself, since everyone knows that a fruit tree had to be planted long before Shemitah for it to grow now!



Caring for Another Person

When Yosef Hatzaddik was in jail, he met the baker and the butler who were also in jail. The Torah tells us all about these people, and how upset they were about their dreams.

The Torah is so careful about every letter and every word! Why do we need to know about every detail of the baker and butler’s dreams?

This teaches us a very important hora’ah about how we should act with other people.

Being in jail is not a very happy thing. To be in jail in a faraway country, with nobody to visit him, for something he didn’t even do, must have been very painful for Yosef.

But even though he was suffering himself, he didn’t only think about what was bothering him. Instead, Yosef was always looking to help other people! He noticed when the butler and the baker were sadder than usual, and right away asked them what was bothering them. Then, in the end, this helped bring him out of jail too!

We can learn from here that even when we have our own problems, we shouldn’t just think about ourselves. We should still be looking to see how we can help another person! And just like with Yosef Hatzaddik, at the end we will see that we were helping ourselves too!

See sicha of Mikeitz 5734; Hamaor Shebetorah p. 522


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Shemoneh Esrei - Yehuda

Reuven, Shimon, Levi, and Yehuda are names of Shevatim. But just like every part of Torah has a deeper meaning, the names of the Shevatim are also the deeper meaning of parts of our davening.

After davening the parts that are connected to Reuven, Shimon, and Levi (Shema, Vehaya, and Emes V’Yatziv), we come to the main part of davening, which is connected to Yehuda.

Yehuda got his name from the words “Hapaam Odeh Es Hashem,” “this time I will thank (or admit to) Hashem.” This is the avodah of bittul.

When we stand before Hashem in Shemoneh Esrei, we stand like a servant in front of his master. We stand with true bittul to Hashem!

Maamar Yehuda Ata 5738, Likutei Sichos Chelek Chof p. 348



Menorah Wicks

The leftover oil and wicks in our Menorahs are special because it was set aside for a mitzvah, so we can’t use them for anything else. After we use the menorah for the last time on Zos Chanukah, these leftovers should be burned. Some people put them away until Erev Pesach, and burn them with the Chometz!

For a full review of the halachos of Chanukah, see the Halacha Day by Day by the Badatz of Crown Heights or the Halacha Newsletter by Rabbi Lesches

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 139, Shevach Hamoadim page 102

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



Learning About the Geulah

The Baal Shem Tov says, “Bemakom Shemachshavto Shel Adam, Sham Hu Nimtza.” “Where a person’s thoughts are, that’s where he is.

This helps us understand why it’s so important to learn about the Geulah! When we are thinking about the Geulah, then in a certain way, we are already there! This also gives us the koach to speed up bringing the Geulah for all the Yidden.

See Farbrengen Parshas Balak 5743

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