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Parshas Acharei - Chamishi with Rashi

Yesterday we learned that the Yidden are not allowed to shecht a korban outside of the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash. Today, the posuk adds that burning the korban outside of the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash is another aveira.

We also learn about the punishment for eating blood. We are not allowed to eat blood, because the chayus of a living thing is in its blood. This is also why we need to cover the blood of animal when we shecht it (“Kisui Hadam”).

If someone eats a kosher bird that wasn’t shechted properly, he becomes tomei and his clothes become tomei, too. He is not allowed to eat from korbanos or go into the Beis Hamikdash until he goes himself into the mikvah, and dips his clothing into the mikvah too.

Now Hashem tells the Yidden to remember about Hashem, and not to act like the Mitzriyim, who didn’t know that getting married is a very holy thing! The Torah will give us rules about who we can marry.

We also learn from these pesukim that Yidden need to behave differently than the other nations (“Uvechukoseihem Lo Seileichu”). We need to be dedicated to learning Hashem’s Torah and doing His mitzvos.



97 - 103

Once when the Friediker Rebbe was a young boy, his father the Rebbe Rashab took him to a Chassidishe farbrengen. It was Sukkos, and the farbrengen was in the freezing cold Sukkah. The farbrengen went until very late, and the Friediker Rebbe fell asleep.

Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah (the Friediker Rebbe’s mother) came to take him into his warm bed, but the Rebbe Rashab said to let him stay! The Rebbetzin said, “It is cold for him! Doesn’t it say, ‘Kerachem Av Al Banim…’ — ‘Hashem has Rachmanus on us like a FATHER has Rachmanus on his child’? Where is your Rachmanus for your son? He might get sick from the cold chas veshalom!” (This posuk is in today’s Tehillim! We also say it many times in davening.)

The Rebbe Rashab answered, “Let him sleep close to Chassidim that are farbrenging, and that will keep him warm! This varemkeit (warmth) will stay with him for many generations.”

Many years later, the Friediker Rebbe told this story at a farbrengen with Chassidim. After the story, he said, “This is Mesirus Nefesh for Chinuch!”



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Beis

Even though we get Yiras Shomayim from the Neshama of Moshe Rabbeinu and the Moshe Rabbeinu (the “Rebbe”) of each generation, we still need to do some work ourselves to feel it.

Because our neshama is inside of a body, which isn’t used to thinking about Hashem, it can make it hard for us to feel Yiras Shomayim.

There are two things that make it possible to feel Yiras Shomayim even though we are in a body:

1) The first thing is to have teshuvah and thoughts of being humble, the kinds of thoughts the Alter Rebbe taught us to think if we have Timtum Halev (starting in Perek Chof-Tes). This will take away the distractions of the guf and let us have Yiras Shomayim.

We will IY”H learn the second thing tomorrow!



Chof Nisan

Today is the fifth day of the Omer!

One Pesach, the Mitteler Rebbe’s brother (R’ Chaim Avraham) went to wish the Mitteler Rebbe a Gut Yom Tov.

He said that their father, the Alter Rebbe, said: “On Pesach, we don’t give food or drinks to our guests, but if the guest wants he can take.”

That’s because many people have different kinds of chumros on Pesach, and we don’t want anyone to feel embarrassed!

(Of course, if you know your guests don’t have any special chumros, you should offer them food as usual!)



Shiur #237 - Mitzvas Asei #96

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #96) is about the kind of tumah that comes from the body of a Neveila — an animal that died.



Hilchos Keilim

In today’s Rambam, we learn about what kind of keilim can get Midras. That means that if a Zav sits on something, stands on something, or leans on something, it becomes tomei with a tumah called Midras.

In Perek Chof-Daled, we learn about leather things that become tomei if a Zav sits on them. One thing the Rambam tells us is that a leather bib can become tomei!

Perek Chof-Hey teaches us about furniture that can become tomei with Midras. A baby stroller is one thing that can become tomei, because people sometimes lean on strollers. But a cane isn’t, because it only helps a person balance.

In Perek Chof-Vov, the Rambam tells us about when keilim that were broken, taken apart, or attached to other keilim can get the tumah of Midras.



Hilchos Mechusrei Kapara - Perek Hey

This is the last perek of this set of halachos:

Now we learn what happens if something isn’t done right with the korbanos of the Metzora.



Sefiras Haomer

During Sefiras Haomer, we work on our midos so we’ll be ready to get the Torah on Shavuos! When we have good midos and we’re aidel, we will be able to have the Torah become a part of us.

During the first week of Sefira, we’re working on our chesed — making sure our chesed and ahava is in the best way. Chesed, being kind, comes from a feeling of love (ahava) in our heart.

One of the things we need to be very careful with when we have Ahavas Yisroel is “tzu rechenen zich mit dem tzveiten” — to think about how the other person will feel.

For example, if you want to be nice and share your favorite car or doll with someone else, think: Do they really want to play with your car or your doll? Maybe they would rather share your crayons?

We don’t just have Ahavas Yisroel because WE want to do something, we need to think about who we’re having Ahavas Yisroel for.

This last Golus came from Yidden not having proper Ahavas Yisroel. By fixing up our Ahavas Yisroel, not only will we be ready for Matan Torah, but we will be ready for the Geulah!


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Yetziyas Mitzrayim

In the Haggadah, we say the posuk of “Bechol Dor Vador,” saying that we need to see ourselves as if we are going out of Mitzrayim.

Chassidus explains that in Mitzrayim, the Yidden were stuck in tumah. When Hashem took the Yidden out of the land Mitzrayim, He also took them out of the tumah of Mitzrayim. Then they were able to connect with Hashem!

This kind of Yetziyas Mitzrayim, leaving tumah so we can connect to Hashem, doesn’t just happen when we relive the story on Pesach. Every day we are in a kind of Mitzrayim. Our body, that only thinks about what it enjoys, is a type of tumah. The world, that is always trying to get us to do aveiros, is also a kind of tumah. Every time we stop giving into the taavos of the body and the nisyonos the world gives us, we are leaving Mitzrayim!

This Yetziyas Mitzrayim happens every time we learn Torah and do mitzvos, when we break away from the tumah and connect to Hashem. But it is especially strong when we accept Ol Malchus Shomayim, when we decide that we are ready to do whatever Hashem asks us to. We are saying that the tumah of the guf and the tumah of the world is not in charge of us, and we only want to connect to Hashem!

When we say Shema every day, we are accepting Ol Malchus Shomayim. We say that Hashem is all that matters, and the rest of the world is only there to help us with that!

At the end of the third paragraph of Shema, Vayomer, we speak about Yetziyas Mitzrayim. Even though remembering Yetziyas Mitzrayim is a separate mitzvah from Kriyas Shema, since this is what Shema is all about, it is included as one of the paragraphs of Kriyas Shema! When we say Shema, we break away from the tumah of the world, accept Hashem’s gift of Torah and mitzvos, and connect to Hashem. That is Yetziyas Mitzrayim!

See Tanya Perek Mem-Zayin



Eruv Tavshilin

When Shabbos is right after Yom Tov, or on the second day of Yom Tov, we need to make an Eruv Tavshilin on Erev Yom Tov. The Eruv Tavshilin makes it mutar to cook food for Shabbos on Yom Tov, and to light candles for Shabbos before it starts.

The Torah lets us cook on Yom Tov, but only for that day. We can’t prepare for the next day, or for after Yom Tov. According to the Torah, it is fine to cook a lot of extra food, because we MIGHT end up using it if unexpected guests come, but the Chachomim only allow us to cook the amount that we will probably be able to eat, to protect the kedusha of Yom Tov.

So what do we do when Yom Tov is Erev Shabbos? We won’t be able to cook on Shabbos, so we NEED to cook on Yom Tov for the next day!

Because there is no other choice, the Chachomim took away their gezeira and let us cook A LOT of food on Erev Shabbos, much more than we will probably be able to eat. (Of course, all of this food has to be ready with enough time to eat it on Yom Tov.) We can use this extra food for Shabbos. But to protect the kedusha of Yom Tov and Shabbos, the Chachomim told us that we can only do this if we make an Eruv Tavshilin before Yom Tov.

When we make an Eruv Tavshilin, we start preparing for Shabbos before Yom Tov starts. We take a piece of matzah and a cooked important food (like fish or chicken) and set it aside to eat on Shabbos, following certain halachos and saying a special bracha.

By making the Eruv Tavshilin, we protect the kedusha of Yom Tov, by showing that we tried to prepare for Shabbos before, so that Yom Tov doesn’t become a workday of preparing for Shabbos. We also protect the kedusha of Shabbos, by showing that we are thinking about Shabbos and making sure we will have special food for it, by starting Erev Yom Tov.

Make sure that your family makes an Eruv Tavshilin before bentching licht for Yom Tov!

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Tof-Kuf-Chof-Zayin

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



Everyone Will Know Hashem (2)

The posuk says that Le’asid Lavo, “Kulam Yeidu Osi,” everyone will know Hashem.

Still, the same posuk continues, “Lemiktanam Ad Gedolam,” “from small to big.” This means that there will still be “small people” who don’t understand Hashem as much, and “big people” who understand Hashem better.

If everyone knows Hashem, why are there differences?

We can understand this from a mashal:

People and animals were created from the ground, but we don’t live in the ground.

The Gemara says that fish were created from water, and they live inside of the water, too! They live inside of the source of their chayus.

The same thing is with us nowadays: We get our chayus from Hashem, but we don’t “live inside of it,” we don’t feel that it is all around us.

But when Moshiach comes, we will be like fish! We will feel the source of our chayus.

Even with fish, though, there are different sizes and kinds! Some are bigger, and some are smaller. Some live in warmer water, others in colder water. Some live near the top of the ocean, and others live on the bottom.

Le’asid Lavo we will feel that everything is from Hashem, but not all of us will understand it the same way! Some people will understand more than others. We won’t need to teach people that Hashem is the source of their chayus, but we will still need to learn and teach more about understanding Hashem.

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