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CHUMASH

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Shvi'i with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the Yidden more mitzvos, teaching how to act in a caring way to other people:

- If someone does work for you, pay right away, especially if he is poor, because he might need the money you’re supposed to give him! He worked hard and may have even endangered his life for the money. If you don’t pay him right away, it is an aveira.

- Close relatives can’t be witnesses (eidim) for each other in court.

- The Beis Din has to be extra careful with the way they treat an orphan or a ger, making sure that they are treated fairly.

- An almanah (a woman whose husband R”L passed away) also needs extra sensitivity. If she borrowed money, even if she didn’t pay back, you can’t take a Mashkon from her. Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim and gave us mitzvos to keep. We need to keep them even if they are hard, like this one, where someone might lose money!

- When you are cutting your wheat from the field, or picking olives and grapes, and you forget something by mistake you need to leave it for a poor person and not take it for yourself.

- The Beis Din needs to make sure to make a proper Din Torah to say who is right and who is wrong.

- Then we learn the mitzvah of the court giving malkos to a person who deserved that punishment in court for an aveira he has done.

- You are not allowed to cover the mouth of an animal when it is working in the field! (People used to cover the mouth of an animal, called muzzling, to keep it from eating the food in the field.)

- Then we learn the mitzvah of yibum and chalitzah. If someone passed away without children, his wife needs to get married to the brother of her husband so they can name a child after him. That’s called Yibum. If that’s not possible or they don’t want to, then chalitzah is done.

- If someone does something very embarrassing to someone else when they were fighting, he must pay. A person doesn’t just have to pay for hurting someone else, but also for embarrassing him.

- When you do business it needs to be honest and then Hashem will be happy and give you long life.

- Remember, and never forget, what Amalek did to us when we left Mitzrayim. We need to wipe out their name. This mitzvah will be finished when Moshiach comes!

 
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TEHILLIM

72 - 76

Today’s kapitelach are Ayin-Beis to Ayin-Vov. We also say kapitelach Mem, Mem-Alef, and Mem-Beis for Elul.

In Kapitel Ayin-Gimmel, there is a posukMi Li Bashamayim Ve’imcha Lo Chofatzti Ba’aretz.”

The Tzemach Tzedek tells us that the Alter Rebbe used to say that this posuk means, “Do I need Shomayim? And I don’t want what’s with You in the world.” The Alter Rebbe was saying that he doesn’t want what’s WITH Hashem, like Gan Eden or Olam Haba. He just wanted Hashem Himself.

What does that mean for us? When we do a mitzvah, we shouldn’t think about how we will get a reward from Hashem — even a special Ruchnius’dike reward! The only thing that should be important to us is that we become connected to Hashem and fulfilling the shlichus He gave us to make Hashem’s kedusha felt in the world.

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Vov

One very important thing we learn about in Kabbalah is called the Eser Sefiros. In this letter, the Alter Rebbe will help us understand the Eser Sefiros, by learning about OUR neshamos! Because our neshamos are part of Hashem, they also have the Eser Sefiros.

When we learn about Ruchnius, like the Eser Sefiros, we are not learning abut something that is separate from us. We are also learning about these levels in Ruchnius the way they are in our neshama!

From this we can also understand that even when we learn very Ruchnius’dike things in Chassidus, we shouldn’t think that they have nothing to do with us! The neshama that Hashem put into us is connected to all of these madreigos.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Daled Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn to be careful with what we use our energy for: Helping make Yiddishkeit stronger, not wasting time proving we are right!

The Rebbe Rashab told Chassidim something very important:

There are people that laugh at Yiddishkeit sometimes. We might want to fight or argue with them, to prove that they are wrong and we are right!

This is not the right thing to do. Not because we can’t win or because we are scared to fight!

We can’t waste our time with arguing, because we have too much to do! We need to use ALL of our koach for what is important, to make sure that Yiddishkeit is strong, holy, and pure.

For this, we need to REALLY have Mesiras Nefesh! It’s not enough to just be READY to have Mesiras Nefesh. We shouldn’t think about what WE want — we just do whatever we can to help Yiddishkeit! There’s no time for anything else.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #40 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #320

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #320) is the same as yesterday’s. We are not allowed to do any of the kinds of work called melacha on Shabbos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Yisro: לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה

The details are explained in Mesechta Shabbos.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Shabbos

In today’s Rambam, perakim Tes, Yud, and Yud-Alef, we learn many of the Lamed-Tes melachos that we started in the last perek of yesterday’s Rambam! We learn about not cooking, or even putting something near a warm place so it will cook too. We learn about not writing, or cutting nails, or tying knots, and many more of the melachos and their details!

We will finish learning the rest of the Lamed-Tes Melachos in the first perek of tomorrow’s Rambam.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Mikvaos - Perek Hey

Water that comes from a keili and not from rainwater is called Mayim She’uvim. If there is too much Mayim She’uvim in a mikvah, it is posul! This perek tells us about different ways that Mayim She’uvim could come into a Mikvah and make it posul.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Chodesh Elul

The month of Elul has three names: Chodesh Hacheshbon, Chodesh Hachana, and Chodesh Horachamim.

Chodesh Hacheshbon: Elul is a month of cheshbon, a month of calculation. Elul is the last month of the year, and Hashem gives us time to make a cheshbon of the year, to see what went right and what needs to be fixed, as we learned in Hayom Yom.

Chodesh Hachana: Elul is also a month of hachana, preparation. As we learned in Tanya, a new chayus will come into the world at the start of the new year. During Elul, we prepare for this chayus so we will be a keili for it!

Chodesh Horachamim: Elul is also a month of Rachamim, where the Aibershter is extra close to us and ready to help us when we ask. We see this in the famous mashal of Melech Basodeh, the king in the field — that Hashem is right here in the field with us, and it is easy to go to Hashem and ask us for help with everything we need. This special time comes from the Yud-Gimmel Midos Horachamim which shines during Elul. The Yud-Gimmel Midos are higher than the regular way the world works, and make this month a much easier time to do teshuvah and come close to Hashem!

All of these names of Elul are connected! In order to finish off the year, and be prepared for the new year, Hashem makes the Yud-Gimmel Midos Horachamim shine. They help us do teshuvah and fix whatever is missing, so that we will be a keili for the brachos Hashem is waiting to give us! This way we will be able to get the Kesiva Vachasima Tova, and the Shana Tova Umesukah that Hashem brings down to us on Rosh Hashana, the head of the year.

 

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TEFILLAH

Avinu Malkeinu

A long time ago, one of the scariest things that could happen was a hunger. If, for a long time, there was no rain, nothing would grow. The fields would all dry up, animals would become sick and weak, and there wouldn’t be enough food for everyone. There were no refrigerators to store food, no big trucks to bring food from other places, and no big pipes to bring water from faraway places to water the fields.

If there was a hunger, the Yidden would all fast and do teshuvah. They would gather in the shuls and daven to Hashem, saying special tefillos and asking Him to have rachmonus and give rain.

In the times of Rabbi Akiva, the Yidden once noticed something incredible: Rabbi Akiva came to the shul during a hunger. He came to the Amud and said a new tefillah. Rabbi Akiva said, “Avinu Malkeinu, Chatanu Lefanecha!” “Our Father, Our King — we admit that we did aveiros!” When he said these words, it started to rain.

The Yidden realized that these words had a special koach to ask Hashem for rachmonus. They added more lines starting with the words Avinu Malkeinu, and made them part of the tefillos on fast days and during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.

On Yom Tov, we actually don’t say the first line of Avinu Malkeinu, “Chatanu Lefanecha,” because we don’t say Vidui on Yom Tov. Instead, we start with the next line, saying “Avinu Malkeinu, Ain Lanu Melech Ela Ata!” “Our Father, our King, we don’t have a King aside for You!”

On Rosh Hashana, we ask for Hashem’s rachmonus by saying Avinu Malkeinu. But there is another way that we get Hashem’s rachmonus! In the Zohar, it writes that the neshamos in Shomayim look for ways to ask Hashem to have rachmonus on the Yidden in this world, that Hashem should bentch us all with a good year.

See Shaar Hakolel end of perek Mem-Beis

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Avinu Malkeinu

There are certain words in davening that we are very careful to pronounce the right way, so that the meaning isn’t chas veshalom changed to a not-good meaning. In Shema there are some places like this, for example making sure that even if we say the word “Echod” (“one”) slowly in Shema, that it doesn’t sound like Acher (“another one”).

Especially during the Yomim Noraim, when we are being carefully judged, there are some parts of davening where we are very careful to pronounce the words just right.

For example, we add the line “Zochreinu Lechaim,” asking Hashem to remember us for life. We are careful to say the word LE’Chayim, with a sheva, and not to say it as “La’Chaim,” with a komatz or patach. That is because “LaChaim” could sound like two words — La Chayim — which could chas veshalom mean NOT life!

Another place we are very careful is when we say the line in Avinu Malkeinu, “Kra Ro’a Gzar Dineinu,” asking Hashem to rip up the bad parts of our decree. We are careful not to pause between the words “Ro’a” (bad) and “Gzar” (gezeira). If we pause, it might sound like we are asking Hashem, “rip up the bad thing — our gezeira!” We don’t want Hashem to rip up our whole gezeira, chas veshalom, with all of its good parts — we only want Hashem to take out the not good parts of our gezeira for this year and we should be left with only what’s good!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Kuf-Pey-Beis and Shaar Hakolel end of perek Mem-Beis

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

Prazos Teisheiv Yerushalayim

In the nevuos of the Navi Zechariah, we see how Hashem showed things to him, like a mashal.

In one of these nevuos, Zechariah saw a malach with a measuring stick. He asked the malach what he was doing, and the malach said he was measuring Yerushalayim.

Another malach came over to the first malach, and told him to stop measuring! Now, Yerushalayim is a city with a wall around it, so it can be measured. But when Moshiach comes, Yerushalayim will be like the cities without walls. This way it will be able to grow as more and more Yidden come to live there!

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו רֻץ דַּבֵּר אֶל הַנַּעַר הַלָּז לֵאמֹר פְּרָזוֹת תֵּשֵׁב יְרוּשָׁלִַם מֵרֹב אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה בְּתוֹכָהּ

Vayomer Eilav — The second malach said to the first malach:

Rutz Dabeir El Hanaar Halaz — “Run and speak to this young man (Zechariah)

Leimor — Saying:

Prazos Teisheiv Yerushalayim — ‘Yerushalayim will be lived in like a city without walls

Meirov Adam Uveheima Besocha — From the many people and animals that live there!’”

See Zechariah perek Beis posuk Ches

 
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