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CHUMASH

Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is farbrenging with the Yidden, on his last day in the world — Zayin Adar. He tells them to choose the Torah, which will bring them brachos!

Look Yidden! You have a choice — you can choose to keep the Torah, which will bring you brachos, or you can choose to chas veshalom not keep the Torah, which will bring not good things.

Even though we don’t always see how mitzvos bring good, we should trust Hashem, because that’s what He tells us.

So Yidden, “Uvocharta Bachayim!” “Choose life!” Choose to follow the Torah, so you will be able to live in Eretz Yisroel and get all of Hashem’s brachos!

 
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TEHILLIM

135 - 139

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Lamed-Hey through Kuf-Lamed-Tes. We also say the three kapitelach for Elul: Pey-Beis, Pey-Gimmel, and Pey-Daled.

Kapitel Kuf-Lamed-Tes is a very special kapitel. It teaches a person how to serve Hashem — there is no other kapitel that does this in such a special way!

One of the things that Dovid Hamelech says is about how Hashem created Adam HaRishon. Adam HaRishon says: “Achor VaKedem Tzartani” — “You created me last and first.”

What does that mean? How can Adam be created last AND first at the same time?!

We learned in Tanya that you can have two opposite things together if they are for different reasons! Adam Harishon is last in one way, but first in another way:

The Alter Rebbe explains in Likutei Torah that “Achor” (last) means that he is created on the LAST day of Creation, and he is the lowest madreigah, because he can do an aveira — going AGAINST what Hashem wants. Only a person can do an aveira — so he’s like the LAST, the lowest thing.

But he is FIRST because he has a neshama, and nothing else that Hashem made has a neshama like a person does! And even his Guf is very special, too.

So that’s how Adam Harishon can be FIRST AND LAST at the same time!

Every Yid, just like Adam Harishon, has the choice to be the first or last in Creation with the choices that he makes.

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Ches

Doing mitzvos like giving tzedakah helps us to not fall for the Yetzer Hara’s tricks!

Every Yid has love for Hashem hiding inside. Because of it, he always wants to be close to Hashem and act the way Hashem wants.

Sometimes, a person can forget and think that it doesn’t really matter so much if he does an aveira. But really, it’s a trick of the Yetzer Hara that doesn’t want us to remember that we love Hashem!

The Avodah of a Yid is to take away all of the things that try to hide the love for Hashem so we will be able to serve Hashem properly in everything we do!

This is something we need to do ourselves, but we still also need Hashem’s help to have hatzlacha. By doing mitzvos like giving Tzedakah, we get a special bracha from Hashem to be successful in our mission!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof-Ches Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn that someone who gives from his time for tzedakah or strengthening Yiddishkeit will be paid well by Hashem! Even if it takes some time, Hashem will not remain in debt.

How does a person become rich?

Does he just have a good job and work hard?

No! That is just the keili that the person makes to receive the bracha from Hashem. What makes a person rich or have any other good things like to be healthy and have nachas from children, is all from the bracha of Hashem!

How do we get that bracha? Today we learn the secret: By learning Torah and doing mitzvos and acting the way Hashem wants!

When we give our time to do Shlichus — spreading Yiddishkeit and helping Yidden with what they need — that ESPECIALLY brings Hashem’s brachos! Hashem doesn’t owe people things for a long time — everything we do, Hashem pays us back with brachos and good things.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64, Asei #8, Asei #6, #206

Today we learn four mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64) We need to trust what Hashem tells us through a Navi (once we know he is really a Navi), and not keep testing him to see if what he is saying is true.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #8) We need to act like Hashem! The Torah uses many ways to describe Hashem, like that Hashem is a Rachum, that Hashem has Rachmonus. This mitzvah is that we need to also follow Hashem’s ways, and have Rachmonus like Hashem does!

3) (Mitzvas Asei #6) We have to stay close to Hashem. How can we do that? By staying close to the tzadikim, who learn Hashem’s Torah!

4) (Mitzvas Asei #206) This mitzvah is to have Ahavas Yisroel. We need to love another Yid like we love ourselves: Just like we want to have nice things, we should want other Yidden to have nice things too! Just like we are happy when people play with us, we should try to make other people happy too! And just like we don’t like it when people are mean to us, we shouldn’t be mean to other people.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah - Deios

Perek Yud: In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the first set of halachos, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah! We learn how to keep the mitzvah of not testing a Navi.

Then we start a new set of halachos, called Hilchos Deios! These halachos help us to have good midos.

Perek Alef: The Rambam explains that there are three ways to have each midah. For example, a person has a choice to be a very stingy person, saving all of his money and not buying even important things. Another person might spend lots of money all the time, even on silly things. But there is a MIDDLE way: To spend money on things we need, and not to waste it.

The Rambam teaches us that we should try to have the MIDDLE path in most of our midos.

Perek Beis: There are some midos that we shouldn’t try to go with the middle path! Even if a person doesn’t get angry very often, getting angry is such a bad midah, he should try to do the OPPOSITE! He shouldn’t get angry even in times it makes sense to get mad. The same is also with gaava, when someone feels like he is very important. It is not good to have the middle path — a person should not have gaava at all.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Nezirus - Perek Yud

This is the last perek about the halachos of a Nazir. We learn that there are three times a Nazir needs to shave his hair:

1) At the end of his NezirusTiglachas Tahara
2) If he became tomei in the middle, he shaves when he becomes tahorTiglachas Tumah
3) When a person becomes tamei from Tzoraas

The Rambam tells us what happens if he has all three, or if he might have them — how does he need to shave himself ?

At the end of this perek, the Rambam tells us that a person who becomes a Nazir for the right reason is very special to Hashem!

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Elul

During Elul, we need to spend time looking at the different mitzvos that we’re doing, to make sure they are done right. Today let’s ask some questions about brachos, to see how we are doing!

1) Am I always remembering to make a bracha before I put something into my mouth?

2) Do I say the words of my brachos clearly, or do the words get all jumbled together?

3) Do I know the right bracha for the foods that I eat?

4) Do I know the right order to make the brachos in?

5) Do I always make a Bracha Acharona as soon as I am finished eating?

6) Do I think for a second before I say a bracha that I am thanking Hashem Who created this food, and taking permission from Him to eat it, so that I can serve Hashem properly?

~

This Shabbos, we don’t give the special Bracha for the coming month the way we do for all the other months. We learned a reason for it in Hayom Yom — because HASHEM bentches this month! (Still, don’t forget that we still say the whole Tehillim and keep the minhag of farbrenging on Shabbos Mevorchim!)

There is another reason why we don’t bentch the new month — to mix up the Satan so that he won’t say bad things about the Yidden chas veshalom on Rosh Hashana.

What does it mean to confuse the Satan? Doesn’t he remember from last year? Why does he get mixed up every year with the same thing again?

We will understand it after this story:

In the first years right after the Rebbe Rashab became Rebbe, a chossid came and asked for a Bracha for something very serious that he needed. The Rebbe Rashab said, “I’m sorry but I can’t help you.”

You can imagine how the chossid felt. He was so upset, he went out of yechidus and started to cry and cry. The Rebbe Rashab’s brother the Raza saw him and asked what happened.

The Raza felt bad for him and went to ask the Rebbe Rashab why the chossid can’t get a Bracha. The Rebbe Rashab said to send him back in, put on his gartel, and gave him a bracha.

Why did the Rebbe Rashab do that? Why didn’t he just give the chossid a bracha when he asked first?

The answer is because the first time the chossid wasn’t a keli for the bracha. Only after he cried and did teshuva did he deserve to receive this important bracha which he needed so much.

The same is true about bentching the Chodesh. Hashem says NO! You cant bench the chodesh. That makes us feel bad, and try to think why, so we do teshuva and become better.

When we do that the Satan becomes mixed up, because he was hoping that Yidden would do Birchas Hachodesh and still act the way they always did. But now because we can’t, we try to become better — and then the Satan has nothing bad to say about Yidden!

Then, like in the story, we become a keli to receive the Bracha which we get from Hashem Himself, which gives us bracha for the whole year!

See Likutei Sichos

 

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TEFILLAH

Shehecheyanu

On Rosh Hashana, we say the bracha of Shehecheyanu on BOTH days of Rosh Hashana, all over the world.

We don’t say Shehecheyanu at a Bris Milah, because even though the baby got such a special mitzvah, it can still hurt! Because the baby has tzaar, we don’t say the bracha of Shehecheyanu.

But we DO say Shehecheyanu on Rosh Hashana. The fact that we say this bracha on Rosh Hashana teaches us that there is no place for tzaar on Rosh Hashana.

The Rebbe tells us that this is because we have bitachon — we are SURE that Hashem will bentch us with a good year, a Kesiva Vachasima Tova, a Shana Tova Umesuka! That’s why we say Shehecheyanu, which is only said when we have a feeling of simcha!

See Farbrengen Erev Rosh Hashana Tof-Shin-Lamed-Zayin and Tof-Shin-Lamed-Tes

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Saying Tehillim on Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is not like every other day of the year. It is like the head of the year!

Your body is made of lots of different parts. Your stomach, toes, fingers, nose, and more! But one of those parts is different. It has the chayus of the whole body, and sends it to the rest of the body. This is the head, of course!

The days, hours and minutes of Rosh Hashana are the head of the year. They hold the chayus for every other day!

So we are extra-careful with how we behave on Rosh Hashana. We know that this time will make a difference for our whole year!

We have extra chayus in our Kabolas Ol, so that the whole year will have more Kabolas Ol. How do we have more Kabolas Ol? By saying a lot of Tehillim, which we say even if we don’t understand it.

We also make sure not to waste any time, by using every free moment not to talk about narishkeit, but to say more Tehillim!

This way, our Rosh Hashana will be a good and healthy head that will help our whole year be a time of Kabolas Ol and Simcha!

Igros Kodesh vol. 3, p. 468, and see Otzar Minhagei Chabad Elul-Tishrei p. 68 for additional reasons

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Moshiach Down Here

The Frierdiker Rebbe once said that in a higher Ruchnius’dike world, Moshiach already came. They are already celebrating there! But here in this world, Hashem is waiting for Yidden to do teshuvah so that Moshiach can come.

See Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Alef p. 81

 
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