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Parshas Beshalach - Chamishi with Rashi

After Kriyas Yam Suf, the Yidden started to travel in the Midbar.

The Yidden came to a place called Eilim. There they found twelve springs of water, and 70 date trees. They camped there near the water. Rashi tells us that Hashem put the springs of water there to hint to the twelve Shevatim, and the 70 date trees were there in connection with the 70 Zekeinim.

One month after they got out of Mitzrayim, the Yidden ran out of matzah. They complained to Moshe and Aharon that they had no food — instead of trusting in Hashem or asking nicely. They wanted to have bread and meat!

Even though Hashem wasn’t happy with how the Yidden asked, He told Moshe that He will send mahn for the Yidden to eat! It will fall down from Shomayim every day in the morning, except on Shabbos. On Friday they will have to take a DOUBLE portion of mahn, so they will have enough for Friday AND Shabbos.

Moshe also told the Yidden that Hashem didn’t like the Yidden’s complaining. Hashem would give them bread in the morning, and today they will also get Slav bird meat in the afternoon. Since bread is something that is a real need, Hashem will give it in the morning which is a better time to get it, and in a more respectful way. The meat they will get in the afternoon, and not in as a respectful way.

He told them that soon Hashem wants to talk to them about it! All of the Yidden gathered together, and they saw how Hashem was ready to speak to Moshe from inside a cloud.



77 - 78

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Ayin-Zayin and Ayin-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk: “Vayivchar BeDovid Avdo.” This posuk means that Hashem chose Dovid Hamelech to be the leader of the Yidden.

Throughout the generations, we find that Yidden have many leaders and teachers. We have leaders to show the Yidden what to do, parents and teachers to help us, and Rabbonim and others who tell us the right way to act.

But there is only one Nasi Hador! That is one person that Hashem chooses to be in charge of ALL of the Yidden.

What is the difference between the Nasi Hador and all of the other leaders?

The way our parents and teachers and leaders guide us is like food. Every person gets what he needs. Some people need more, and some people need less!

But the Nasi Hador gives us the Nekudas Hayahadus, waking up a part of the neshama that is the same for everyone!

We see an example of this in this week’s parsha, Beshalach. ALL of the Yidden sang Az Yashir together as one, including great and simple Yidden, and even the small babies! That means that it came from a deep part of the neshama, where every Yid is the same.

But in order for everyone to sing this praise to Hashem together, the Nasi Hador had to wake up that part of every Yid’s neshama! That is why we see in the posuk, “Az Yashir Moshe U’vnei Yisroel.” First Moshe, the Nasi Hador, had to wake up their neshamos, and then that made all of the other Yidden to be able to praise Hashem together in the same way.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Lamed-Alef, Beshalach sicha Alef



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Daled

Yesterday, we learned that someone who does an aveira (chas veshalom) is separating himself from the kedusha of Hashem, and instead connects to the kelipah and Avodah Zarah in the world! In a way, he is even MORE separated from Hashem than they are!

If a Yid has a hidden love (Ahava Mesuteres) for Hashem, and would be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh to stay connected to Hashem, why would a person ever do an aveira?

The Alter Rebbe gives the answer to this in today’s Tanya.

Hashem gave permission to the Yetzer Hara to try and convince a Yid to do an aveira. This is called a “Ruach Shtus.” The Yetzer Hara tells the Yid that an aveira does NOT separate a Yid from Hashem.

Only when it comes to something VERY BIG, like a Yid giving up their Yiddishkeit, then the Ahava Mesuteres will come out and not let the person leave their Yiddishkeit.

But we need to understand that EVERY time we do something that is not the way Hashem wants it is just as serious! EVERY aveira separates us from Hashem just like Avodah Zarah does! When we understand that, the Yetzer Hara won’t be able to convince us that an aveira is not such a terrible thing.

The Gemara tells us that if the Yetzer Hara bothers us, we should shlep him to the Beis Medrash to learn Torah! Here we see that with the koach of learning Torah, like what the Alter Rebbe is teaching us, we will not let ourselves be convinced by the foolish thoughts of the Yetzer Hara.

There is a kuntres which the Rebbe Rashab wrote, called Kuntres Umaayan. In this kuntres, he brings what it says in Tanya, and also other foolish thoughts that the Yetzer Hara uses to try and convince us to do an aveira. For example, “Nobody will see,” or “Nothing will happen to me.” The Rebbe Rashab explains how to answer these thoughts and to understand why what the Yetzer Hara is telling us is so foolish!



Tes-Vov Shevat

We don’t say Tachanun, because it’s Chamisha Asar Bishvat.

Today we will learn something about Likutei Torah, which we actually begin learning in Parshas Beshalach!

The Tzemach Tzedek wrote notes on the maamorim in the second half of Torah Ohr (called Likutei Torah). Some of the chassidim found out about them, and when they were about to print Likutei Torah, they asked the Tzemach Tzedek if they could put the notes into the sefer.

At first, the Tzemach Tzedek said no.

Then the Tzemach Tzedek had a dream that his zeideh, the Alter Rebbe, came to him and told him to print the notes. The Tzemach Tzedek didn’t tell anyone, but three of the Tzemach Tzedek’s sons had the same dream! When they told him, he agreed to print the notes in Likutei Torah.

So even though Likutei Torah seems to be just the second half of Torah Ohr, it is very special because it has something new — the notes of the Tzemach Tzedek inside of it!



Shiur #203 - Mitzvas Asei #113

Today’s mitzvah is the same as yesterday’s:

2) (Mitzvas Asei #113) It is a mitzvah to prepare the Parah Adumah so its ashes can be used to make Yidden Tahor from Tumas Meis.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Chukas: וְהָיְתָה לַעֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת

There is a whole mesechta of Mishnayos that deals with the dinim of Parah Adumah, called Mesechta Parah.



Hilchos Parah Adumah

In today's Rambam, we learn about how we get the Parah Adumah ready!

Perek Beis: The Rambam explains how careful we are to make sure that everything used for the Parah Adumah has no chance of becoming Tomei.

There were children that were raised in a special way from when they were born, so that they would never become tomei. This way they would be ready to help prepare the Parah Adumah in a way of tahara!

Perek Gimmel: We learn how the Parah Adumah was burned.

The Rambam tells us that nine Parah Adumahs were brought until the end of the second Beis Hamikdash. The first one was brought by Moshe Rabbeinu, the second one by Ezra Hasofer, and seven more in the time of the second Beis Hamikdash. The tenth one will be brought by Moshiach!

Right after saying this, the Rambam adds the words “Meheira Yigaleh Amen Kein Yehi Ratzon” — “Moshiach should immediately be revealed.” The Rebbe tells us that the Rambam here is teaching us a very important halacha: We should want Moshiach so much that even if we’re talking about something else, if we mention Moshiach we should right away daven that he should come!

Even though the Rambam doesn’t say this EVERY time he speaks about Moshiach in his sefer, still at least one time in the Mishnah Torah, he shows us that when you speak about Moshiach, you need to ask for Moshiach to come. (See Likutei Sichos chelek Chof-Ches, parshas Chukas; and Chof Cheshvan Tof-Shin-Mem-Vov)

Perek Daled: In this perek, the Rambam tells us what happens if one of the halachos wasn’t followed exactly — is it still kosher?



Hilchos Megillah V'Chanukah - Perek Alef

We start learning the halachos about Purim today, in a new set of halachos!

Even though there are mitzvos for Purim and Chanukah, they are mitzvos from the Chachomim, and not mitzvos that are said in the Torah.

One mitzvah of Purim is to hear the Megillah. In this perek, the Rambam tells us when to do this mitzvah.



Chamisha Asar B'Shevat

Today is Chamisha Asar Bishvat, the new year for trees!

Chassidus explains that every Yid is like a little Eretz Yisroel! Just like Eretz Yisroel has seven special fruits, we also have these seven special “fruits” inside us.

There are many pesukim and Maamorei Razal about these fruits, which are used in Chassidus to show how to use our Ruchnius “fruits” to do better in our Avodas Hashem. Here are two examples:

Gefen (grapes): There are pesukim in Nach that say that grapes, which make wine, make Hashem and people happy. Chassidus teaches us that our “gefen” in Avodas Hashem is the simcha we need to have! In everything that happens, we should look for the good parts, and that will make us happy.

Rimon (pomegranate): The Gemara says that every Yid is full of mitzvos like a pomegranate. In our Avodas Hashem, we should be trying to fill ourselves up with mitzvos, by always looking for more mitzvos to do! We can try to find ways to learn more Torah, do favors for other people, or say Tehillim!

(Here is a link to a poem that explains each of the fruits according to the Rebbe’s sicha of Chamisha Asar Bishvat, Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis.)

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Birchas Hamazon

In one of the Horachamans, we ask that “Venimtza Chein Vesechel Tov Be’einei Elokim Ve’Adam” — “we should find chein in the eyes of Hashem and people.”

Once a bochur wrote a letter to the Rebbe, asking why it says this in bentching. Why should we be worried about what other people think of us? Why should we care if they like us?

The Rebbe answered that he should have kavana L’sheim Shomayim — that people should like him so they’ll want to be like him, and be good Jews who act the way Hashem wants!



Why Are Some Fruits Ho'adamah?

If you ask anyone what bracha we make on fruit, they will answer right away — Ha’eitz!

But there are some fruits that are NOT Ha’aeitz, like bananas. Why?

The halacha is that for something to be counted as a tree to make a bracha Ha’eitz, it has to have its branches all year, even in the winter when the fruits aren’t growing.

The banana tree doesn’t work that way though! Even though part of the trunk usually stays all year, the banana tree loses all of its branches in the winter, and they grow again in the spring. So according to the Alter Rebbe, the banana tree isn’t counted as a tree, and we make the bracha Ho’adamah.

This is also why other foods that we call “fruits” are really Ho’adamah.

To see pictures and learn more about these halachos, see https://kidschitas.org/resources/articles/hoadamah-fruits-and-haeitz-berries

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



Geulah Fruit

Planting an orchard is hard work. It starts by planting a seed, watering it, and waiting patiently for months and months. Once the tree starts growing, it needs careful trimming and watering, and protection from bugs and animals.

So why does a farmer spend so many years growing an orchard?

Because the fruit that will grow in the end is worth it!

This is one of the lessons of Chamisha Asar Bishvat. The minhag on this day is to eat delicious fruit. This reminds us how wonderful the fruit is, and we will know that it is worth all the effort to grow it!

Knowing about the fruit that comes at the end gives us encouragement for the avodah that a Yid does in the time of Golus.

The Geulah is the same way. It takes a lot of hard work to do what we are supposed to do during Golus, but eating the delicious fruit on Chamisha-Asar B’Shvat reminds us that it is worth it to do all of this difficult work for the delicious “Geulah fruit” which we will get in the end when Moshiach comes!

See sicha of Chamisha Asar Bishvat 5741

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