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Parshas Emor - Shishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about the Yom Tov of Sukkos!

Sukkos is 7 days long (in Eretz Yisroel), and there is a special Sukkos korban every day!

On the 8th day, there is an extra day of Yom Tov, Shmini Atzeres. This is because Hashem loves when we have such a happy Yom Tov with Him, and He wants it to last for an extra day!

The first day of Sukkos, and the last day (Shmini Atzeres) are both days when we can’t do any melacha. The other days are Chol Hamoed.

On Sukkos, we take 4 different kinds of plants together. They are an Esrog, a Lulav, Hadassim and Aravos.

On Sukkos, we live in a Sukkah. This reminds us of the Ananei Hakavod, the clouds Hashem put around the Yidden to keep them safe in the Midbar.



49 - 54

The beginning of Kapitel Nun, in today’s Tehillim, speaks about Le’asid Lavo, the time when Moshiach comes. At that time, Hashem will punish the goyim for hurting the Yidden during the times of Golus!

The posuk says that then Hashem will say, “Isfu Li Chasidoi,” “Gather to me My righteous ones,” “Korsei Brisi Alei Zovach,” “the ones who made a bris with Me and brought a korban.”

אִסְפוּ לִי חֲסִידָי כֹּרְתֵי בְרִיתִי עֲלֵי זָבַח

Who made a bris with Hashem?

This posuk is talking about the Yidden at the time of Matan Torah. Like it says at the end of Parshas Mishpatim, before the Torah was given, they brought korbanos and made a bris with Hashem. They promised that whatever happens, Hashem’s love for them and their love for Hashem will stay — they will always stay connected.

In Mesechta Sanhedrin, R’ Elazar brings this posuk as a proof about Techiyas Hameisim. R’ Elazar says that we see from here that the Dor Hamidbar, the Yidden who wandered through the Midbar, have a chelek in Olam Haba. It shows that EVERYONE from that dor, even the Meraglim and Korach and his group, who also made this bris at the time of Matan Torah, will all have Techiyas Hameisim and have a part in Olam Haba! There is an argument in the Gemara about this, but what R’ Elazar said became the halacha.

The Rebbe tells us that we can learn a very important lesson from this in our Ahavas Yisroel! Even if we see someone who looks as low as Korach, making machlokes with others, we need to remember that EVERY Yid, even Korach, has a part in Olam Haba! Hashem gives each Yid a chelek in Olam Haba because they are all “Neitzer Mata’ai, Maasei Yadai Lehispa’er” — Hashem is proud of every Yid! This will help us have Ahavas Yisroel for every Yid and help bring them closer to Hashem!

See Farbrengen Yud-Beis Tammuz and Tes-Vov Tammuz Tof-Shin-Lamed-Tes



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Vov

We are learning now how a Yid can come to love Hashem by thinking about the love that Hashem has for us! Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, and brought us close to Him by giving us the Torah and the mitzvos.

When we do a mitzvah, we are very close to Hashem — but we don’t always feel it.

In Tehillim, Asaf says: “Va’ani Vaar Velo Eida, Beheimos Hayisi Imach, Va’ani Tomid Imach.” — “I am foolish, I don’t feel You, Hashem. I am like an animal in front of You — but I am always with You.”

Asaf was saying these words for all of the Yidden who live after the time of the Churban Beis Hamikdash, when we don’t feel Hashem. Even though a mitzvah should make us feel Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem because of how special it is, during Golus we don’t feel it.

We are like a fool or an animal, who don’t understand what is happening.

Still, “Va’ani Tomid Imach” — “I am always with You, Hashem!” Even though the BODY doesn’t always understand how close it is to Hashem when it does a mitzvah, the neshama does feel it!

This closeness to Hashem is the same by EVERY kind of Yid, from the biggest tzadik to the simplest person. Any time a Yid does an aveira, he is breaking this tremendous closeness to Hashem, which is the same for everyone. That is why every Yid gets the same punishment if he chas veshalom does an aveira.

When we think about how Hashem makes us so close to Him when we do a mitzvah, we will love Hashem and want to do His mitzvos!



Tes Iyar

Today is twenty-four days of the Omer!

The Baal Shem Tov said:

Everything we see or hear can help us in our Avodas Hashem!

This is what Avodah is all about — to get used to trying to understand how each thing that comes into our life will help our Avodas Hashem.

In a sicha to the girls of Camp Emunah after they came back from camp, the Rebbe explained one of the horaos we can learn from playing! The Rebbe pointed out that we see that when little girls play, one of their main games is playing house and with dolls.

Even though they are very young and don’t really think about their shlichus in the world, they are already practicing for it! When they get older, Hashem will IY”H give them a home and children to take care of. Now, with the game they like to play, they are already learning how to do their shlichus in the future, and make their home a home that will be the way Hashem wants!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Daled p. 196



Shiur #52 - Mitzvas Asei #162, Lo Saasei #325, Asei #163, Lo Saasei #326

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn 4 mitzvos, about not working on Shavuos or Rosh Hashana:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #162) We need to rest on Shavuos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וּקְרָאתֶם בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #325) We can’t work on Shavuos.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: כָּל מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ

3) (Mitzvas Asei #163) We need to rest on Rosh Hashana.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן וְגוֹ׳

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #326) We can’t work on Rosh Hashana.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: כָּל מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ



Hilchos Shevisas Yom Tov

Today’s Rambam is perakim Daled, Hey and Vov.

Yesterday in Rambam, we learned that we can light a fire on Yom Tov. But today, the Rambam explains that we can’t light a NEW fire, but we can light a fire from another fire when it’s already burning.

We also learn about being happy on Yom Tov! What makes someone happy? The Rambam says that the way to make sure kids are happy on Yom Tov is to have nuts and candies! For women, they are happy with new clothes and jewelry. Men should eat meat and drink wine to be happy on Yom Tov.

But we need to be careful that our Simcha on Yom Tov is a Simchas Mitzvah, a simcha from doing a mitzvah, and not just Simcha of the stomach! By sharing our delicious Yom Tov food and drink with poor or lonely people, our Simchas Yom Tov will be a Simchas Mitzvah!



Hilchos Maaser - Perek Alef

In today’s Rambam, we start to learn about Maaser Rishon, which goes to the Leviim.

One halacha is that Maaser is not as holy as Terumah, it is called “chulin.” It doesn’t have kedusha in it the way Terumah does.

Another interesting halacha is that even though Maaser Rishon is given to the Leviim, there was a time when it was given to the kohanim! Ezra Hasofer, who brought many Yidden back to Eretz Yisroel right after the second Beis Hamikdash was built, was upset that the Leviim did not come! So he gave them a knas (like a punishment), he made a takanah that Maaser Rishon would go to the Kohanim instead of to the Leviim for a period of time.

icon of clock



In this week’s parsha, Parshas Emor, we learn mitzvos that are special for kohanim.

In the beginning of the parsha, Hashem says, “Emor El Hakohanim,” You should speak to the kohanim, “Ve’amarta Aleihem,” and you should say to them.

Rashi brings a reason why it needs to say (twice) “Emor” AND “Ve’amarta.” The Chachomim teach that it is “Lehazhir Hagedolim Al Haketanim,” that the kohanim need to warn their children to be careful to follow the mitzvos of the kohanim, just like the adults.

The word the Chachomim use is “Lehazhir,” to warn. Why don’t they use a word like “to teach” or “to tell”? The word “Lehazhir” can also mean light (like Zohar). It teaches us that if the adults will teach their children properly, it won’t only help their children — it will bring light to the adults too!

This is a lesson in chinuch for everyone, not just kohanim. When we are busy with chinuch, it lights us up too!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Zayin p. 151

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Goel Yisroel

The seventh bracha in Shemoneh Esrei is “Goel Yisroel.” In this bracha, we ask Hashem to free us from all of the problems that keep us from serving Hashem properly. We say “Goel Yisroel,” that Hashem is redeeming us right now!

There are many kinds of tzaros that can make it hard to do our avodah. There might be other people that bother us, feelings we have inside of us, or things we are afraid of. Hashem frees us from all of these problems so we can go do what we need to do!

We say this bracha after Selach Lanu, where we ask Hashem to forgive us. This fits with what it says in Tehillim, that Hashem forgives our aveiros, and then in that zechus redeems us from our tzaros: “Hasoleiach Lechol Avonochi ... Hagoel Mishachas Chayochi.”

Of course, when we have our personal geulah from things that keep us from doing mitzvos, we will be able to bring the Geulah for ALL of the Yidden!



Exceptions to Muktza

Things that are not meant to be used on Shabbos are muktza, and we are not allowed to move them.

There are some times when the Chachomim took away their gezeira of muktza. One time is when leaving the muktza where it is will be a sakana for people.

For example, broken glass is muktza, since it usually can’t be used for anything.

But if glass breaks on the table or where people walk, someone could get hurt! Because of this, the Chachomim didn’t make it counted as muktza, and we are allowed to clean it up in the regular way.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Shin-Ches se’if Chof-Ches

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



The End of Avodah Zarah

The Navi Yeshaya said many nevuos about what will happen in the times of the Geulah!

One of the nevuos is about people who have lots of gaavah, who serve Avodah Zarah. When the days of Moshiach will come, they won’t feel proud anymore — they will be very embarrassed! They will throw away all of their Avodah Zarah and run to hide from the glory of Hashem that will be seen in the world.

The posuk says:

לָבוֹא בְּנִקְרוֹת הַצֻּרִים וּבִסְעִפֵי הַסְּלָעִים מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד ה׳ וּמֵהֲדַר גְּאוֹנוֹ בְּקוּמוֹ לַעֲרֹץ הָאָרֶץ

The posuk before tells us that everybody who has Avodah Zarah will throw it away when they run to hide!

Lavo Benikros Hatzurim — They will run to hide in the holes of the rocks

Uv’se’ifei Hasela’im — And in the caves of the cliffs

Mipnei Pachad Hashem — From the fear of Hashem

Umeihadar Ge’ono — And from Hashem’s great glory

Bekumo La’arotz Ha’aretz — When Hashem gets up to punish the Resha’im in the world.

See Yeshayahu perek Beis, posuk Chof-Alef

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