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Parshas Ki Sisa - Rishon with Rashi

Today’s Chumash is extra-long! We will IY”H learn why in tomorrow’s Chumash.

In today’s Chumash we finish learning Hashem’s instructions of how to build the Mishkan. We learn about the Machatzis Hashekel, the Kiyor, the Shemen Hamishcha and Ketores, and who should build the Mishkan. Even after learning all about the Mishkan, we learn that the Yidden need to rest on Shabbos and not build it then.

The order of the way things are written in the Torah are not always the order they actually happened in. Later in this week’s parsha, we will learn about how after Matan Torah, the Yidden did the Cheit Ha’eigel and how Hashem forgave them. But really, what we will learn now about the Machatzis Hashekel happened AFTER the Cheit Ha’eigel!

Hashem forgave the Yidden on Yom Kippur, and gave Moshe Rabbeinu the second set of luchos. Now Hashem was ready to show His love to the Yidden again! Hashem asked Moshe to count the Yidden who didn’t die from the plague that happened after the Cheit Ha’eigel, and asked that the Yidden should build a Mishkan where Hashem can rest among them.

The way the Yidden will be counted now is by every Yid giving a half-shekel coin, a Machatzis Hashekel, which will be counted to see how many Yidden there are. The coins will be used for the Mishkan, and will prevent an Ayin Hara from the Yidden being counted.

The Yidden actually gave a terumah (donation) THREE times for the Mishkan! First was the terumah we learned about in Parshas Terumah, where the Yidden gave the materials, like gold, silver and copper, to build the Mishkan with. Then there is this terumah, the Machatzis Hashekel, which will be used to make the silver Adanim (sockets) on the bottom of the Mishkan’s walls. The third terumah is when the Yidden will be counted again using a Machatzis Hashekel, on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, a month after the Mishkan is put up. Those coins will be used to pay for the korbanos brought for all of the Yidden, the Korbanos Tzibur. (We’ll learn about this at the beginning of Chumash Bamidbar!) These three terumos are hinted to in this week’s parsha, and in Parshas Terumah, where the word terumah is used three times!

Hashem showed Moshe Rabbeinu a half-shekel made of fire. This helped Moshe understand that when the Yidden do this mitzvah, they are doing it “with fire,” with their whole heart! This will help them be forgiven for the Cheit Ha’eigel.


Next we learn about the Kiyor:

Before the kohanim start working in the Mishkan, they need to wash their hands AND their feet. To do this, there is a special container of water called the Kiyor. It has two places for water to come out — one for the kohen to wash his right hand and foot, and the other for the kohen to wash his left hand and foot. A kohen is not allowed to go into the Mishkan or do Avodah on the Mizbeiach outside of the Mishkan before he washes his hands and feet from the Kiyor.

Next we learn about the Shemen Hamish’cha:

Hashem told Moshe how to make the Shemen Hamish’cha (anointing oil), the special oil that is used to get something ready for a holy job. It is olive oil mixed with certain spices (some of the same ones that are used in the Ketores). Moshe will smear some of the Shemen Hamish’cha on the Mishkan and its tools and furniture, and on the Kohanim. When they are smeared with the Shemen Hamish’cha, they become holy and can do their special job for Hashem. It is asur to use the Shemen Hamish’cha for any other reason.

Now we learn about the Ketores:

Hashem gave Moshe the recipe for making the Ketores which was burned on the Mizbeiach Hazahav (golden Mizbeiach) in the Mishkan. There were 11 spices (not all of them are written in the Torah). We count them every day in Korbanos in the beginning of davening! One of the spices (the Chelbenah) does not smell good, to remind us that even a Yid who acts in not such a nice way (chas veshalom) is allowed to daven with us!

Now Hashem told Moshe who gets the job of building the Mishkan: Hashem says that He will fill up Betzalel with the spirit of Hashem and with wisdom to know how to build and carve and weave all sorts of things needed for the building of the Mishkan! (Betzalel was from Shevet Yehudah, the grandson of Chur, who was killed during the Cheit Ha’egel.) Together with Betzalel will be Oholiav (from Shevet Dan), and Hashem will also give wisdom to many others who will help build the Mishkan.

Finally, Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu to tell the Yidden that even though the Yidden are very excited to build the Mishkan, they still need to rest on Shabbos.

Because the Torah connects these two things, working on the Mishkan and resting on Shabbos, we also learn that any kind of work done to build the Mishkan is asur on Shabbos. The Chachomim teach us that there were 39 kinds of work to build the Mishkan, and that’s why there are 39 melachos that are asur on Shabbos! Do you know some of them?

The last few pesukim of today’s Chumash, that teach us about resting on Shabbos, are part of Shmoneh Esrei on Shabbos and in Kiddush for Shabbos day!



66 - 68

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Samach-Vov (66), is the way we will thank Hashem when He brings all the Yidden to Eretz Yisroel!

The first posuk says, “Lamenatzeiach Shir Mizmor Horiu L’Elokim Kol Ha’aretz!” This kapitel is a song, saying that the whole world will blow a trumpet for Hashem. When Moshiach will come, all of the nations of the world will believe in Hashem!

To make this happen very soon, we need to make sure that the Goyim know about the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, which will teach them to believe in Hashem.



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Tes

We are learning how to get rid of Timtum Halev, so that the light of our neshama can shine in our heart and make us interested and excited about the Elokus we know. We are doing this by thinking thoughts of teshuvah and humility, so that the Yetzer Hara won’t be able to block the neshama from its connection with Hashem.

In today’s Tanya, we learn more about what we should think about to make ourselves feel humble:

Our body is not very Ruchnius’dik. It can even want things that are completely asur (even though a beinoni wouldn’t actually do them).

That shows us how low our body really is.

Animals would never do something that Hashem doesn’t want them to do. We know this from stories of tzadikim in a lion’s den, that even starving lions would never attack a tzadik, since that is against the Will of Hashem.

But a person COULD do something asur. This shows that the guf is able to go completely against Hashem, chas veshalom! This should make a person feel humble and not so proud of himself anymore.



Yud-Beis Adar Alef

When we look around, we see a lot of important and famous people. There are rich people, and there are smart people. We might be jealous of them, and also want to be rich or famous. But in today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe shows us what gives us true imporantce!

Who is really the MOST important kind of person?

Someone who is gives of himself to strengthen Yiddishkeit — like someone who helps Yidden to do mitzvos, someone who gives tzedakah, teaches Yiddishe kinderlach, or goes on mivtzoyim!

THESE are the really special and famous people, and they get a lot of brachos from Hashem for what they are doing.

This is the meaning of what Shlomo Hamelech says in his sefer, Mishlei: “Matan Adam Yarchiv Lo, Velifnei Gedolim Yanchenu.”

The posuk could be translated to mean: “Matan Adam,” when a person gives of himself (to strengthen Yiddishkeit), “Yarchiv Lo,” (not only) will he be blessed with harchava, (but) “Velifnei Gedolim Yanchenu,” he will be led in front of great people, (even in front of people that are known for their wisdom or riches).



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #120

(Mitzvas Lo Saasei #120) Today’s mitzvah is that each Korban has a day when we shouldn’t eat it anymore! Some Korbanos can be eaten for one day, and some for two days. We are not allowed to leave any part of the korban over to be eaten after that time. This is called “Nosar.” If it is left over, we will learn in Mitzvas Asei #91 that it needs to be burned.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor about the Korban Todah, and from there the Chachomim teach us that the same is for other korbanos too: לֹא תוֹתִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר



Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about when a Korban is posul!

Perek Hey: We learn halachos about money set aside for a korban: If someone put money away to buy a Korban Chatas, but he passed away before he was able to bring the Korban, we have to throw the money into the sea so nobody can use it. If someone put away $10 for a korban, but the korban only cost $7, he uses the rest of the money to buy other korbanos.

Perek Vov: We learn what happens if a korban, or the meat of a korban, gets mixed up with other animals that CAN’T be a korban.

Perek Zayin: In this perek, the Rambam teaches us about what can make a bird posul as a korban.

Today is an Achdus day! We all learn the same perek of Rambam — whether we are learning three perakim a day, or one perek a day, we all learn Perek Vov of Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin!



Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Vov

Today we learn what happens if a korban, or the meat of a korban, gets mixed up with other animals that CAN’T be a korban.



Why We Have Two Eyes

In today’s Tanya, we learned about thoughts of Teshuvah to make ourselves feel humble, realizing that we are not so imporant. As we will see later in Tanya (in Perek Lamed-Beis), this also gives us room in our heart to have true Ahavas Yisroel for another Yid. Here is a story that shows us how to see what is really special and important:

When the Frierdiker Rebbe was a child, he once asked his father: “Why did Hashem make a person with two eyes? Isn’t one eye enough, the same way we have one nose and one mouth?”

His father the Rebbe Rashab answered him, “There are certain things that a person needs to look at with his right eye. The right side shows closeness and love, things we want and care about.

“There are other things that a person needs to look at with his left eye, not to want them too close, and not to care about them too much.

“We need to look at a siddur and another Yid with our right eye. But we should look at a candy or a toy with our left eye.”

We look at Gashmius with our left eye, and realize that it is not so important. But we look at another Yid or a siddur with our right eye, realizing how special and important they are!

See Sefer Hatoldos of the Frierdiker Rebbe vol. 1, p. 8


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After Nefilas Apayim (and after Kriyas HaTorah on Monday and Thursday), there are a few tefillos that we end off our davening with. One of them is Ashrei and Uva Letzion.

The Chachomim tell us that if a person says Ashrei three times a day, he is promised that he is a Ben Olam Haba. We already said Ashrei once in Pesukei Dezimra, and we will say it again in Mincha. So here we have a third time of saying Ashrei every day.

One of the main parts of Ashrei is the posukPoseiach Es Yodecha,” where we praise Hashem for giving food and parnasa to every creation.

The Zohar explains that before Shemoneh Esrei and Pesukei Dezimra, it is not appropriate to ASK Hashem for parnasa, so there we are only saying it to praise Hashem. But here, after Shemoneh Esrei, when we say this posuk it is appropriate to ask Hashem to take care of us.



When in Doubt...

If we set aside money to give to tzedakah, we need to give it to tzedakah.

But what about when we’re not sure? Let’s say that you forgot if you already gave maaser from some money. Or if your little brother dumped out a pushka and now you’re not sure if those quarters are from your Chanukah gelt or from the pushka.

What do we do then?

The halacha is that whenever we’re not sure, we need to give the money to tzedakah. That way we will be sure that we aren’t taking any money that belongs to Hashem!

See Shulchan Aruch, Yorah Deiah, siman Reish-Nun-Tes

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



Shemen Hamishcha in the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi

In today’s Chumash, we finish learning Hashem’s instructions to Moshe about making the Mishkan.

The Rebbe said that when we learn about these things from Torah Shebichsav, we should also learn about them from Torah Shebaal Peh, which will bring the Geulah faster.

Today we learned about the Shemen Hamishcha, the special oil that was smeared on the kohanim and the Mishkan to make it holy. The Torah says that this oil should be “Ledoroseichem,” for generations to come.

Rashi tells us that the Chachomim learned from here that the entire 12 lug of the Shemen Hamishcha are hidden away, so that they can be used again Le’asid Lavo — for the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi!

See Rashi 30:31, from Gemara Horiyos 11

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