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CHUMASH

Parshas Lech Lecha - Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Avraham Avinu does Hashem’s mitzvah to make a bris. Sarai gets a new name, Sarah, and they are promised that they will have a special son, Yitzchak!

Hashem promised Avraham that the Yidden will follow Hashem, and He will be their Hashem! He will give them the special land of Eretz Yisroel, and be especially close to the Yidden that live there.

And what does Avraham have to do to deserve this? To have a Bris Milah himself, and for every Jewish boy who is born.

Hashem then gave Sarai a new name: Sarah! (Hashem took a letter Yud away from her name — later He would give that Yud to Hoshea, and he would be called Yehoshua!)

Sarah will also become young again, and she will have a baby even though she is almost 90 years old! Avraham laughed, he was so happy! What a neis to have a baby when he is almost 100 years old!

Avraham told Hashem that he doesn’t even deserve such a neis — he would be happy if Yishmael would be a Yerei Shomayim. Hashem said that still, Avraham would have a son, and should name him Yitzchak. Only Yitzchak’s children will be Hashem’s special nation.

But Avraham shouldn’t feel bad for Yishmael — Hashem will give him brachos and he will have many many children.

Then Hashem finished speaking to Avraham, and the Shechinah went back up.

Avraham asked his friends, Aner, Eshkol and Mamrei, if he should do a bris. He wanted them to also have a part of it, so everyone would know that he is making this deal with Hashem! Mamrei was the only one who said it was a good idea to do anything for Hashem, Who made such nissim for Avraham!

Avraham gave himself a bris when he was 99, and Yishmael had one when he was 13. Hashem helped Avraham to do his own bris, since he was afraid his hands would shake. Avraham also gave a bris to everyone else in his house.

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TEHILLIM

55- 59

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Nun-Hey to Nun-Tes.

Today’s Tehillim has the posukPadah Beshalom Nafshi,” where Dovid Hamelech says that he won his fights and was free in the zechus of the people that davened for him.

When the Alter Rebbe said this Kapitel, he came out of his Golus as well — out of jail — on Yud-Tes Kislev!

The Chachomim explain this posuk in the Gemara, that “When someone learns Torah, it’s like taking the Shechinah and the Yidden out of Golus!” The Alter Rebbe explains this in the Igeres Hakodesh we are learning now in Tanya!

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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Vov

The Torah is in Golus together with the Shechinah, in the gashmiyus things in the world where we can’t feel that they are from Hashem.

There are two ways to take the Shechinah out of Golus:

1) The first way is to use these gashmiyus things to do what Hashem wants. This way, the kedushah that was in the gashmiyus connects back to Hashem, and comes out of Golus!

2) The second way is to learn about these gashmiyus things in Torah, and understand how the Torah says they should be used. This also brings them out of Golus! It’s even more when the halachos are complicated, and we need to try very hard to figure out what Hashem wants us to do with the gashmiyus. When we finally understand what Hashem wants, we take the Chochmah of Hashem, and the Shechinah that is hiding, and bring them both out of Golus!

Who can do this? Not neshamos in Gan Eden, and not malachim! Only a Yid who is living in the world with a gashmiyus body can do this! We can break the kelipah using our Torah learning, because our guf has this same kelipah. Neshamos and malachim aren’t stuck in Golus, so they can’t do it!

When we learn Torah and figure out how the halachos make sense, we find new things in the Torah! These are called “Chiddushei Torah” — parts of Torah that nobody noticed before! The neshamos in Gan Eden are very excited, and they come to hear our Chiddushei Torah, because they can’t do it themselves!

To make sure that our neshama can do its whole shlichus, we need to make sure to find Chiddushim in our Torah learning!

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HAYOM YOM

Yud Mar-Cheshvan

The way Hashem created the world is that there are four Ruchnius’dike worlds, where Hashem’s kedusha hides more and more. In this last world, Asiyah, Hashem’s kedusha is almost completely hidden. But in the highest “world,” Atzilus, Hashem’s kedusha isn’t hiding at all! It is felt very strongly.

The Alter Rebbe would feel so connected to the kedusha of that olam when speaking about Atzilus, he couldn’t even say the word! He would say “oiben!” (“above”). And the Alter Rebbe couldn’t even write it… he would write “Atzi–” but was too awed to even finish writing the word!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #125 - Mitzvas Asei #130, #195, Lo Saasei #232

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we have three mitzvos about Tzedakah!

1) (Mitzvas Asei #130) On the 3rd and 6th years from Shemitah, we give Maaser Animaaser to poor people, instead of Maaser Sheini, which is brought during the other years and eaten in Yerushalayim.

This mitzvah, like the other mitzvos of presents from our fields, is only kept in Eretz Yisroel.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Re’eh: מִקְצֵה שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים תּוֹצִיא אֶת כָּל מַעְשַׂר תְּבוּאָתְךָ וגו׳

2) (Mitzvas Asei #195) It is a mitzvah to give tzedakah to poor people. It is our job to take care of them and make sure they have what they need. Even a poor person has a mitzvah to give at least a little bit of tzedakah to others!

We learn this mitzvah from many pesukim in the Torah. One of them is also in Parshas Re’eh: פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת יָדְךָ

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #232) We are not allowed to ignore poor people and not help them when we really can.

We also learn this mitzvah in Parshas Re’eh: לֹא תְאַמֵּץ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְלֹא תִקְפֹּץ אֶת יָדְךָ מֵאָחִיךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Matnos Aniyim

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last three Perakim of Matnos Aniyim. Now we are learning about Tzedakah!

Perek Ches: We learn that saying that we will give Tzedakah is like making a neder, and we need to keep it. We also learn about a Goy giving Tzedakah, and finally about the great mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuyim, helping a Yid come out of jail. The Rambam says that there is no bigger mitzvah than this one!

Perek Tes: We learn that every city should have a Gabbai who is in charge of giving out Tzedakah to people who need. Everyone in the city should give money to this Gabbai for him to give out to the poor.

Perek Yud: The Rambam tells us how special it is to give, and that even when we can’t give, we should try to make the poor person feel good. Also, helping other people to give Tzedakah is even BETTER than giving yourself!

The Rambam also teaches us about:
- 8 levels of Tzedakah
- giving Tzedakah before davening
- not taking Tzedakah unless someone really needs to.

We need to trust in Hashem Who will make sure we have everything we need!

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Biyas Hamikdash - Perek Vov

We start learning the halachos about a kohen who has a mum.

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INYANA D'YOMA

Chassidishe Parsha

The Chachomim say that Avraham Avinu kept the whole Torah even before it was given! But then why did he wait so long, until he was 99 years old, to do a Bris Milah?

Did your Mommy ever ask you, “Do you want a cracker now, or a piece of cake as soon as it’s ready?” If you are smart, you will wait until the cake is ready, even though it won’t be right away!

Avraham Avinu did the same thing. If he did the Bris Milah right away, he would have done something good. But by waiting until Hashem told him to, his Bris Milah was much more special! He was able to feel the special chayus of Hashem that we will ALL feel when Moshiach comes! This was only because he waited until Hashem told him to do it.

See maamar Be’etzem Hayom Hazeh (Torah Ohr, parshas Lech Lecha). This maamar is usually said by a father when his son has his bris! (chabad.org/108205)

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TEFILLAH

Vayevarech Dovid

The first part of Vayevarech Dovid is the words Dovid Hamelech said to the Yidden before he passed away. They are pesukim from the sefer Divrei Hayamim.

After telling the Yidden that the Beis Hamikdash would be built by his son Shlomo Hamelech, Dovid Hamelech praised Hashem.

The expressions of praise we give Hashem in Yishtabach are based on the praises that Dovid Hamelech used in these pesukim, the pesukim that follow, and in Az Yashir. This is one of the reasons why we say Vayevarech Dovid before finishing Pesukei Dezimra and saying the bracha of Yishtabach.

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

The Meaning of Brachos

We say many brachos every day. What do they mean?

There is an opinion in halacha that says that we need to understand what we are saying when we say a bracha, or else it isn’t counted! A bracha thanks Hashem or praises Hashem for something, and if we don’t know what we are saying, we aren’t actually praising Hashem, and then it’s not really a bracha.

There are other opinions that say it is fine even if we just said the words. So even if we didn’t understand what we were saying, the halacha is that we don’t need to say the bracha again.

But lechatchilah, we do need to understand what we are saying whenever we make a bracha, like the first opinion.

We don’t need to know what the exact words mean, especially in long brachos with many details, but we should know what we are thanking or praising Hashem for! It is enough to understand what the beginning part and the end part of each bracha are talking about.

The beginning of each bracha is “Baruch Ata Hashem.” We should think about how we are praising Hashem, the King of the world!

The end of each bracha praises or thanks Hashem for something. For example, when we say “Borei Pri Ha’eitz,” we know that we are thanking Hashem for the delicious fruits we can eat! When we say the brachaAl Achilas Matzah,” we are praising Hashem for giving us the mitzvah to eat matzah.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Pey-Hey

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

Bris Bein Habesarim

In this week’s parsha, Hashem promises Avraham that his children will get the WHOLE Eretz Yisroel, all 10 lands.

But first, the Yidden will need to go through a Golus of 400 years — Golus Mitzrayim.

Really, we won’t get the WHOLE Eretz Yisroel until Moshiach comes. So why does Hashem’s promise only talk about the Geulah from Mitzrayim?

The Maharal brings from the Medrash that the Torah uses the word “vegam” (“and also”) to hint to us that there will be more Golus after that one. Golus Mitzrayim was the main Golus, and every other Golus comes from it. Hashem was telling Avraham about EVERY Golus that would happen, and promised that at the end we would leave even this last GolusBirchush Gadol,” with great riches!

Gevuros Hashem perek Tes, Yalkut Moshiach U’Geulah p. 259

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