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Parshas Haazinu - Chamishi with Rashi

To stop the Yidden from doing their aveiros anymore,
Hashem might let the goyim beat the Yidden in a war.

The goyim think that it’s because they’re smart, and so strong too
But if they were smarter, they’d know that can’t be true!

They tried to beat the Yidden so many times before
But even with their idols, they never won a war!

It has nothing to do with their fighting, or how powerful they’ve been
It’s only that Hashem is now letting them win.


Really, all of the aveiros are so bitter and upsetting
The punishment the Yidden deserve is worse than what they’re getting.

But Hashem won’t let the goyim DESTROY them, because then
The goyim would think that their idols are stronger than Hashem!

Never think that your aveiros can be hidden from Hashem!
Or that the Avos will keep you from getting punished for them!

Hashem knows every single thing that you do all along
And will punish so you’ll do teshuvah for what you did wrong.


When you are suffering from the aveiros, you’ll learn how to behave
You’ll see that when you need help, only Hashem can save!

The punishments will help you learn what you must know is true:
Hashem runs the world, and His mitzvos you must do.



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In Kapitel Samach, the first of today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Lemaan Yeichaltzun Yedidecha, Hoshia Yemincha Va’aneini.” (We also say it by the end of Shmoneh Esrei.)

The pesukim before this one talk about how Hashem sometimes makes a person have a hard time. We see in this posuk that there is a very good reason for this! The posuk means, “Hashem does this so that He can save them, and will help with His right hand and answer.”

Really the whole time Hashem wants to save the person, but he wants them to first show their bitachon. By showing that they believe in Hashem ALL the time, they will DESERVE their brachos.

Even though sometimes things are hard, it is because Hashem wants us to deserve more brachos!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Alef

Today we start a new letter in Igeres Hakodesh. Can you guess what it’s about? That’s right, about giving Tzedakah!

This letter has something NEW about tzedakah. We need to do it with zerizus, very quickly — not to push it off until later!

Zerizus is very special. The chachomim tell us that the Akeidah — when Avraham Avinu went to bring Yitzchak as a korban — is not the whole reason why we always ask Hashem to help us in its zechus. Lots of Yidden had Mesiras Nefesh later, and Hashem didn’t even give them a clear command like He talked to Avraham Avinu! The main reason we ask for brachos in the zechus of the Akeidah is because Avraham Avinu did it with ZERIZUS.

This teaches us how important it is to have zerizus in all of our mitzvos!

We especially need to have zerizus in giving tzedakah. Tzedakah has a very strong koach: it protects us from many not good things.

Even though it was already decided on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur what will happen during the year, Hashem judges us again each day, to see if we will bring those brachos down. That’s why every day again we need to earn these tremendous brachos by giving tzedakah with zerizus!



Yud-Alef Tishrei

On Yom Kippur, we had the highest level of davening we had all year! Today we learn something the Alter Rebbe taught about the inyan of davening.

On Motzaei Yom Kippur in the year Tof-Kuf-Nun-Vov, the Alter Rebbe said a short maamar. This is what it was about:

In Kabbalah and Chassidus, we learn about many different kavanos a person can have when he davens.

The most simple kavana, though, is the plain Emunah that a Yid has in Hashem. It means that we know that when we daven we are standing before Hashem. We know that Hashem is listening to what we are asking Him, and will give us the things that we need.



Shiur #141 - Mitzvas Asei #133, #143, #144

Today we learn 3 mitzvos about presents we give to the kohanim:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #133) Hafroshas Challah — whenever we make dough, we take a piece to give to the kohen. (We learn about this in today’s Rambam!)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shelach: רֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם חַלָּה תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה

The details are explained in Mesechta Challah and Mesechta Orlah.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #143) We need to give the kohen 3 parts of every kosher animal we shecht — the front part of the leg (zro’a), the jaw (lechayayim), and one of the stomachs (the Keivah).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְזֶה יִהְיֶה מִשְׁפַּט הַכֹּהֲנִים מֵאֵת הָעָם מֵאֵת זֹבְחֵי הַזֶּבַח אִם שׁוֹר אִם שֶׂה

The details are explained in Mesechta Chulin perek Yud.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #144) When we cut the hair of our sheep (shearing), we need to take the first part and give it to the kohen. This mitzvah is called Reishis Hageiz.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: וְרֵאשִׁית גֵּז צֹאנְךָ תִּתֶּן לוֹ

The details are explained in Mesechta Chulin perek Yud-Alef.



Hilchos Bikurim

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about Hafroshas Challah — today’s first mitzvah!

Perek Vov: We need to take challah from dough that will be baked for people to eat. Dough that will just be boiled (like spaghetti) we DON’T need to take challah from. We learn that there needs to be enough flour (about 3 pounds), and they need to be the kinds of flour that we use to make hamotzi bread (wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye).

Perek Zayin: What happens if we put a few small batches of dough together? Do we need to take challah from them? As long as we wouldn’t mind if they got a little bit mixed with each other, we can count them as one big batch of dough, and take challah from them if together they are the size of the shiur challah.

Perek Ches: Do we need to separate challah from flour? Usually we don’t, but if the flour all gets stuck together, we do.



Hilchos Zechiya U'Matana - Perek Gimmel

In this perek we learn about presents. When a person gives someone a present, he needs to make sure that the other person understands what belongs to him! If he just says “I’m giving you a field,” the person doesn’t get anything, because we’re not sure which one we’re supposed to give him!

icon of clock


Gott's Nomen

Today, Motzei Yom Kippur, is called “Besheim Hashem,” “Hashem’s name” (in Yiddish, “Gott’s Nomen”).

There are many reasons given for this. One reason, from the Baal Shem Tov, is that during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah we were saying Hamelech Hakadosh (the holy King) in davening instead of HaKeil Hakadosh (the holy Aibershter). Now we go back to saying the name of Hashem, so we call this day Gott’s Nomen.

Another reason is that the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos are connected to the four letters of Hashem’s name. Since today is the first of these days, the Yud of Hashem’s name, we call today “Gott’s Nomen.”

See Otzar Minhagei Chabad p. 256

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Start Doing Teshuvah!

It was after Yom Kippur. The powerful tefillos were over, and Hashem forgave us all! The Frierdiker Rebbe was wondering, what is the special avodah of these next days? He came to his father, the Rebbe Rashab, and asked.

The Rebbe Rashab answered him, “Yetzt darf men ERSHT teshuvah tohn!” “Now we need to get STARTED on doing teshuvah!”

What was the Rebbe Rashab saying? Didn’t we just do teshuvah during Elul and the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah?

We can understand what the Rebbe Rashab meant based on what the Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr, about why we say Selach Lanu in Shemoneh Esrei.

We might wonder, why are we asking Hashem to forgive us now, in the middle of our private moment with Hashem? Shouldn’t we have done teshuvah before davening?

Even if we did do teshuvah before, we still need to ask again in Shemoneh Esrei. Because all of the davening we did to prepare for Shemoneh Esrei helped us become more aidel, more sensitive to Ruchnius. We start to realize that things we didn’t even notice before may not be the way Hashem’s children should be. So now we ask Hashem to help us to become better.

That’s also what the Rebbe Rashab was saying: After all of our hard work in Elul, the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, and Yom Kippur, we are now much more aidel! Now we really understand how a Yid should be, and need to do teshuvah and start acting that way.

See Igros Kodesh, vol. 5, p. 4



Get to Work!

We may be very tired after all of our hard work davening on Yom Kippur, but we can’t just go and relax now! There’s lots of mitzvos to do!

In the Shulchan Aruch, there is a minhag that the day after Yom Kippur we go to shul extra EARLY to daven right away. (If you aren’t davening in shul, you can still make sure to daven right away in the morning, earlier than usual!)

It is a mitzvah to start building your sukkah right after you come back from shul (or after you daven). That’s because “Mitzvah Haba Leyadcha, Al Tachmitzenah!” If a mitzvah comes to your hand (meaning you can do it right away), Al Tachmitzenah! Don’t let it become chometz’dik! Don’t just let it sit there like a lump of dough rising — do it right away!

Are you helping to build YOUR sukkah and prepare for the mivtzoyim you’ll do there?

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Reish-Chof-Daled and Tof-Reish-Chof-Hey

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



Moshiach'dike Kochos!

The Gemara says that before Moshiach comes, there will be very hard times for Yidden. Every day will be harder than the day before…

Why would the Torah tell us something like that? So that we can get into a bad mood Chas Veshalom? To make us upset or sad?

The Rebbe teaches us that the reason why the Torah tells it to us is because before Moshiach comes there will be new special kochos every day — that we can use to overcome the new challenges every day!

The Torah tells it to us so we will realize that when Hashem gives us kochos, they aren’t just a nice thing to have. Hashem gives them to us because we NEED them to overcome the hardships and bring Moshiach! So we have to be very careful to use all of the kochos Hashem gives us as much as we can!

See farbrengen Shavuos 5738

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