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Parshas Naso - Rishon with Rashi

Today Hashem tells Moshe to count the Leviim from the family of Gershon who are the right age to carry parts of the Mishkan. Only Leviim who are older than 30 and younger than 50 are strong enough to do this job.

The Torah tells us again what the family of Gershon has to carry:

The curtains for the Mishkan! There are a bunch:
- The 3 covers on top of the Mishkan
- The curtain that hangs at the front of the Mishkan (like a door)
- The curtains of the Chatzer (courtyard) of the Mishkan (like a fence around)
- The curtain that was like a door for the Chatzer
- And the ropes to hold down the bottom 2 covers of the Mishkan.

It is the job of Isamar, Aharon’s son, to make sure that these Leviim know how do their job right.



44 - 48

In today’s Tehillim, Kapitel Mem-Vov talks about how when Moshiach comes, Hashem will make that there will be no more wars. The world will be quiet and peaceful. “Lechu Chazu Mifalos Hashem Asher Sam Shamos BaAretz” — “Go look at what Hashem did — He made the world empty (of war).”

The Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Ohr that this isn’t just talking about wars with soldiers and guns, it’s talking about fighting with our Yetzer Hara too! Nowadays we always need to fight with our Yetzer Hara to do the right thing, because Hashem wants us to work hard and become better Yidden. Then Hashem will be able to reward us for our hard work.

But when Moshiach comes, we will rest from our fighting with the Yetzer Hara, just like we rest on Shabbos from our hard work all week! Instead, we will put our energy into becoming better in kedusha itself.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Alef

The Torah uses the mashal of Hashem creating the world by SAYING things — the Asara Maamaros (like “Yehi Or”). We learned from the Baal Shem Tov that these words create the world every single second.

If everything in the world needs to get chayus from Hashem’s words, and Hashem only said TEN things (like “Yehi Or” — let there be light, or “Yehi Rakia” — there should be a sky), how do all of the other things get their chayus? Everything needs to get chayus from Hashem’s words!

The answer is that the chayus can come in a few different ways. It can come from the exact way Hashem says it. The chayus can also come by switching around the letters into a different order, or by changing one letter of the Asara Maamaros for another (like through a Gematria, or letters that sound the same, as explained in Kabbalah). When the letters are switched, it can spell the Hebrew name of another thing in the world, and that’s where THAT thing gets it’s chayus!

(The chayus that comes directly from the specific words of the Asara Maamaros is stronger than the chayus that comes from switched letters, but it is still enough to give each thing its chayus.)

So we see that it’s the letters of the name in Lashon Kodesh that gives each thing its chayus! (So a tree (Eitz) gets its chayus from Ayin and Tzadik, and a rock (Even) gets its chayus from Alef, Beis, and Nun!)

Every person also gets their chayus from their Hebrew name — so if your name is Chaya you get chayus from Ches, Yud, Hey; and if your name is Yosef you get your chayus from Yud, Vov, Samech, Fey!



Ches Sivan

In Shir Hashirim, there are two pesukim that tell us about the world. From one posuk we learn that the world is called “Genuni” (we know about this from Bosi Legani!), and the other posuk calls it “Ginas Egoz.”

Genuni” is a meeting place — where Hashem meets people. This is the way the world was at the beginning.

After Adam Harishon did the Cheit Eitz HaDaas, the world got another name: Ginas Egoz — a nut garden. Nuts (“egoz”) is the Gematria of “Cheit” — an Aveira. (That’s why we don’t eat nuts on Rosh Hashana!) The world is full of chances to do Aveiros, like nuts growing on trees.

Hashem gives us the choice to live in the world in a way of “Genunia Shel Hakadosh Baruch Hu” — a place where we spend time with Hashem, or chas veshalom to choose to live in a way of Ginas Egoz — a world of aveiros. It is our choice.



Shiur #300 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #235

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #235) is not to lend a Yid anything with interest. “Interest” means that he has to pay back more than what you lent him. For example, you can’t give your brother a cookie and tell him he needs to give you back TWO cookies at the next Shabbos party.

The Torah tells us this mitzvah many times, showing how important it is! One of those pesukim is in Parshas Behar: אֶת כַּסְפְּךָ לֹא תִתֵּן לוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ וּבְמַרְבִּית לֹא תִתֵּן אָכְלֶךָ

The mitzvah is explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Bava Metziyah.



Hilchos Malveh VeLoveh

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about paying back loans.

Perek Tes-Zayin: When you pay back a loan, it is important to know that until the person GETS the money, it’s YOUR job to make sure nothing happens to it. For example, if Reuven borrows a pencil from Shimon, and then puts it back on Shimon’s desk when he’s done, it’s Reuven’s job to watch over the pencil until Shimon gets back to his desk. If it rolls off the desk and disappears, Reuven needs to pay him back for the pencil.

BUT, if Shimon said “Just put it on my desk when you’re finished,” then even if it disappears, it’s not Reuven’s fault.

Perek Yud-Zayin teaches us halachos about what happens if someone passes away, and his children find a note saying that someone owed him money. If the other person says he paid already, he has to take a shevuah (a very serious Torah promise) that he is telling the truth.

One interesting halacha is that if someone has a shtar written in Australia, and he brings the shtar to get paid back in America, he needs to pay back Australian dollars and not American dollars. But if it doesn’t say where it is written, and the person says it is for Australian dollars, he needs to make a shevuah that the shtar was really written there.

Perek Yud-Ches teaches us about when a person can’t pay back the loan, and there was no mashkon: We can take away his property to pay back the loan, even property that he sold already.



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Tes-Zayin

In the end of Perek Tes-Zayin the Rambam tells us that there are a few kinds of people that are kosher to be an eid, but they can’t be a judge. For example, a friend or enemy — they can be an eid, but they can’t be a judge because their friendship or hatred might make them make a wrong decision.



Isru Chag

Today is the first day of the seven Yemei Tashlumin of Shavuos. In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, Yidden could use these days to bring Korbanos that they didn’t have a chance to bring on Shavuos.

It is also called “Yom Tavo’ach,” the day of shechting korbanos. In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, many Yidden brought their Olas Re’iyah, the korban that is brought when you come up to the Beis Hamikdash, on Isru Chag! So this became a day of shechting many korbanos.

Now we also have a chance to make up for things we didn’t have a chance to do on Shavuos, like making hachlatos to learn more Torah.

The Rebbe points out that Tashlumin also comes from the word “Shleimus,” complete. Even if we did everything RIGHT on Shavuos, we should still use these days to do even MORE, so that our avodah is complete!


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Davening for Gashmiyus

It’s easy to understand that we should to ask Hashem to help us overcome our Yetzer Hara, and to bring Moshiach. But it is okay to daven for a new bicycle, that the stain on our shirt should come out in the washing machine, or to have spaghetti and meatballs for supper? What about davening that the scrape should feel better, or that the headache should go away?

Someone once asked the Rebbe if it is appropriate to spend a lot of time in davening, asking for all of the Gashmiyus’dike things he needs, and davening for health.

The Rebbe answered, “Obviously! Being healthy is actually a mitzvah! We are taught that we need to be careful to watch our health. The Rambam says in Hilchos Deios that a person needs to make sure his body is healthy and complete. Like the Alter Rebbe brings in Shulchan Aruch, you don’t have permission to hurt your body!

“In fact, according to many Rishonim, if a person needs something, it is a Mitzvas Asei Min HaTorah — a mitzvah from the Torah — to daven to Hashem for it!

“Obviously, it is not only appropriate to daven for health and other things, but it is a MITZVAH to ask Hashem to help us in everything.”

See Igros Kodesh chelek Yud-Tes, page 122



Isru Chag

The day after Yom Tov is called Isru Chag. The word “isru” means tied, connected. It is a day that connects the regular weekdays with the Yom Tov that just ended.

On Isru Chag, we bring some of the joy of Yom Tov into a regular day. We eat a little bit more than usual to show that it is special, and we don’t fast.

The Gemara says that someone who eats and drinks more on the day after Yom Tov, connecting it to the Yom Tov, it is like he built a Mizbeiach and brought a korban!

(We hint to this in Hallel: “Isru Chag Ba’avosim Ad Karnos Hamizbeiach.” If you eat “avosim” (fatty food) on Isru Chag, it is like you brought a korban to the corners of the Mizbeiach.)

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Chof-Tes se’if yud-zayin

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



Hashem's Hidden Chayus

In his nevuos about Moshiach, the Navi Yeshaya said “Velo Yikanef Od Morecha,” “And your Teacher, Hashem, won’t hide from you anymore.”

Like we are starting to learn now in Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah, Hashem gives a chayus to the world the whole time so that it can exist. But this chayus is hidden.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this posuk also means that when Moshiach comes, Hashem won’t hide from us anymore! We will be able to clearly see Hashem’s chayus in the world.

See Tanya Perek Lamed-Vov

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