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Parshas Beshalach - Shishi with Rashi

We learned before that the Yidden finished eating the food they took out of Mitzrayim, and they complained there was no food. Moshe told Aharon to tell the Yidden that Hashem will soon speak to them about this.

All of the Yidden were waiting to hear what Hashem would say to them, since they had complained about having no food.

With all of the Yidden standing there, Hashem spoke to Moshe from the cloud.

Hashem said: “I heard what the Yidden complained about! Tell them that they will have meat and bread, and they will know that I am Hashem! They will get the meat in the afternoon, but they will get the bread in the morning, in a loving way.”

The next morning, the mahn fell for the first time! Hashem sent a layer of dew underneath it, so it would be clean, and another layer to fall on top, to protect it. When the sun came up, the top layer of dew disappeared, and the Yidden could see the mahn! They didn’t know what it was exactly, and that’s why it got the name “mahn” — meaning just plain food. 

Moshe told the Yidden that this was the bread Hashem sent for them! They should take as much as they need for everyone in their family. The Yidden listened, but some people ended up taking more mahn than they needed, and some people took less. But when they measured it, they found that Hashem made a neis — everyone had EXACTLY as much as they needed!

Moshe warned the Yidden not to save the mahn, Hashem would send more when they needed! But some Yidden didn’t trust that they would get more tomorrow, and they put some away for the next day. The mahn got all rotten and full of worms, and Moshe got very upset at them for not listening and believing in Hashem!

Every morning, after the Yidden took their mahn, the mahn that was left on the ground would melt, and go into the rivers and streams. The meat from animals who drank it was delicious — and all of the goyim could see how Hashem loves the Yidden to send them such special food!

On Friday, the Yidden took as much mahn as they needed — but they found out that they had DOUBLE! They asked Moshe why. (The Yidden knew about Shabbos, but didn’t know Hashem wanted them to keep Shabbos even before Matan Torah.)

Moshe said, “I didn’t tell you this yet, but some of the halachos of Shabbos will be kept starting this week! You won’t be able to cook or bake on Shabbos. Everything will need to be prepared before Shabbos starts.” So the Yidden put the extra mahn aside — and this time, it didn’t get rotten overnight!

Still, the Yidden asked if they should go to get mahn on Shabbos, but Moshe told them no. When they asked again, he realized that they were scared that the mahn might not fall again! Moshe told them not to worry — the mahn would fall again after Shabbos, on Sunday.

Still, some Yidden went out on Shabbos to look for mahn. Hashem was not happy with the Yidden! Even though only some people went, all Yidden are responsible for each other.

The Yidden could have given the mahn a different name, but they decided to keep the name mahn. The mahn was round, like a little seed, and it was white. It tasted like dough fried in honey — unless they wanted it to taste like something else!

Hashem told Moshe to put an omer of mahn in a little jar, to keep forever in the Mishkan — so the Yidden will remember that Hashem always gives us what we need. (When the Mishkan was put up, Aharon did this.)

The Yidden would continue to eat the mahn for 40 years!



66 - 68

Today’s kapitelach Tehillim are Samach-Vov, Samach-Zayin, and Samach-Ches.

In Kapitel Samech-Vov (66), it says “Hofach Yam LaYabasha” — Hashem made the water into dry land, during Kriyas Yam Suf.

Chassidus explains that this is like what happens when Moshiach comes!

Usually, there is water that covers over the sea. But when Hashem makes it into dry land, like by Kriyas Yam Suf, we can see what’s inside, what’s usually hiding!

When Moshiach comes, we’ll be able to see things that are hidden. Now we can’t see how Hashem makes everything be, but when Moshiach comes we will see it!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Gimmel

The Alter Rebbe taught us a little bit about Achdus Hashem so that we will understand why any mitzvah we do is connecting to Achdus Hashem. In today’s Tanya we learn about how a Yid becomes one with Hashem through Torah and mitzvos.

When we do a mitzvah, we are connected with the ratzon of Hashem. We also have this connection when we learn Torah, but in even a greater way!


When we understand or speak the words of Torah, we are thinking or saying the ratzon of Hashem! For example, halacha tells us what the ratzon of Hashem is. If we learn that, we have the ratzon of Hashem in our head! So we aren’t just CONNECTED to the ratzon, but we have that ratzon inside of us! That’s an even stronger connection.

The unity that a Yid has with Hashem by learning Torah is so special, that it is even stronger than the way it is in the Ruchnius worlds! Even though our guf doesn’t feel it, our neshama feels that we’re united with the ratzon of Hashem even more than malachim are!

That’s why the Gemara says that the mitzvah of learning Torah is better in some ways than all other mitzvos — even davening! When we daven, we bring the unity of Hashem in Ruchnius worlds, but Torah brings even a greater unity.



Yud-Beis Shevat

The mind and the heart are like two separate worlds — they are very different!

A person’s MIND makes him feel very calm, and sometimes “cold” (not excited).

But a person’s HEART can make him feel very warm and excited!

One way isn’t better than the other — Hashem wants us to use both: To use our mind to calmly teach ourselves how to serve Hashem, but with the chayus (warmth) of our heart!



Shiur #261 - Mitzvas Asei #181, Lo Saasei #309, #298, Asei #184

1) (Mitzvas Asei #181) Today’s first mitzvah is called “Eglah Arufah.” If someone finds the body of a person who was killed, and nobody knows who did it, the Beis Din needs to make an Eglah Arufah.

The details of this mitzvah are in the last perek of Gemara Sotah, and the Rambam organizes them in Perek Tes and Yud of today’s Rambam.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Shoftim: כִּי יִמָּצֵא חָלָל בַּאֲדָמָה

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #309) We are not allowed to work in the land around the stream where the mitzvah of Eglah Arufah was done.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Shoftim: אֲשֶׁר לֹא יֵעָבֵד בּוֹ וְלֹא יִזָּרֵעַ

We also learn the details of this mitzvah in the last perek of Mesechta Sotah.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #298) We are not allowed to leave dangerous things around our city or property.

This mitzvah is in the Torah in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְלֹא תָשִׂים דָּמִים בְּבֵיתֶךָ

The halachos are explained at the beginning of Mesechta Shekalim, and in many places in Seder Nezikin.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #184) We need to take away anything dangerous from our property. For example, we put a rail (Maakeh) around our roof if it is flat, so nobody will fall off, and a wall around a pit so nobody will fall in. We fix up anything dangerous so nobody will get hurt!

In the Torah, this mitzvah is in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְעָשִׂיתָ מַעֲקֶה לְגַגֶּךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Bava Kama.



Hilchos Rotzeiach U'Shmiras HaNefesh

In today’s Rambam, we learn about the mitzvah of setting aside Arei Miklat, and the halachos of Eglah Arufah.

Perek Ches we learn about the cities that need to be set aside. There are six main Arei Miklat. When Moshiach comes, we will add another three! There are also the 42 cities of the Leviim that can be used as an Ir Miklat. The cities need to be ready for a person to run there, and the Beis Din needs to check the roads every year to make sure that a person will be easily able to get to the Ir Miklat quickly!

Perek Tes has the halachos of today’s mitzvah, about the Eglah Arufah. If someone finds the body of a person that was killed, and we don’t know for sure who did it, Beis Din needs to measure to see which city is the closest. The Beis Din of the closest city does the mitzvah of Eglah Arufah, to show Hashem that they were not responsible for the murder.

First they bury the person who was killed. The Beis Din uses the city tax money to buy a young calf, and bring it to a strong stream of water. They cut off the head of the calf, and then the Beis Din and all of the Zekeinim wash their hands in the stream. They announce in Lashon Hakodesh that it wasn’t their fault that this person died, and they didn’t let him leave their city without food or someone to go with him. The kohanim ask that Hashem should forgive the Yidden, and Hashem does.

Perek Yud has more halachos about the Eglah Arufah. We learn about how the place of the Eglah Arufah can’t be used later, like for growing things. Also, if Beis Din didn’t do it for whatever reason, they need to make it up, even if many years already passed!



Hilchos Sanhedrin - Perek Gimmel

A small Sanhedrin or a Beis Din should get together to judge Shacharis, and stop at chatzos. A big Sanhedrin starts in the morning and ends at Mincha time. A Sanhedrin is not supposed to start judging a case at night.

One halacha is that the big Sanhedrin with 71 judges didn’t always need all of the judges there at the same time, but there have to be at least 23 there always. So if a judge from the big Sanhedrin has to leave, he needs to make sure there will be at least 23 left — otherwise he has to stay!

icon of clock


Shabbos Shira

This week is called Shabbos Shirah, because Parshas Beshalach has in it the shirah, the song that the Yidden sang to Hashem after Kriyas Yam Suf, Az Yashir!

The Frierdiker Rebbe told a story of the Maharal connected to Shabbos Shira:

In the week of Parshas Beshalach, the Maharal would tell parents and teachers to gather all the young children on Shabbos in the courtyard of the shul. There, they should tell them the story of Kriyas Yam Suf, and how the birds chirped along when the Yidden sang Az Yashir! The children had rachmanus on the birds, and picked fruit from the Yam Suf and fed it to the birds.

The Maharal then asked that the children should be given kasha, so that they can also feed the birds.

Then the Maharal would bless the children and the parents that they should be zoche to teach the children properly and raise them to Torah, Chuppah, and Maasim Tovim.

In those days, most families and communities owned animals. It is only allowed to feed animals on Shabbos if they belong to you, so the minhag of feeding the birds can’t be done on Shabbos nowadays. But it is still important to teach children to have Rachmanus, so we tell them this story. Some put out kasha for the birds before Shabbos as well as keeping the minhag (which we will learn about in Hayom Yom) of eating kasha on Shabbos.

See farbrengen Parshas Beshalach Tof-Shin-Mem-Tes

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Velamalshinim (part two)

In the bracha of Velamalshinim, we ask Hashem to protect the Yidden from those who are trying to change Yiddishkeit.

Chassidus explains the deeper meaning of this bracha, that we are asking Hashem to protect us from the source of all not-good things, which is kelipah.

Hashem created the world with kedushah and with kelipah. Whatever brings a Yid closer to Hashem is kedushah, and the koach of kelipah is whatever tries to do the opposite. We ask Hashem not to let that kelipah make it hard for us.

This bracha is part of the second half of Shemoneh Esrei, where we ask for the needs of Klal Yisroel and for the Geulah. This bracha is also asking Hashem for the Geulah! When Moshiach comes, Hashem will remove all tumah from the world, and kelipah will not be able to hide Hashem anymore!

See Tanya perek Lamed-Zayin




Before we make Kiddush we make sure that the Challah that is on the table is covered.


There are three reasons:

1) On our Shabbos table, we are careful to have Lechem Mishnah, two challos. This reminds us of the double portion of mohn we got on Erev Shabbos. Before the mohn fell every day, Hashem made dew fall on the ground, and then more dew fell on top of the mohn to cover it. To remember this, we have a challah board under our Lechem Mishnah, and a cover on top, like the dew that was under and over the mohn.

2) After Kiddush, which speaks about the kavod of Shabbos, we show this kavod to Shabbos by having a seudah! Many years ago, they would only bring out the table after making Kiddush, to show that this is a special seudah just in honor of Shabbos. Nowadays, our table is already set, but we keep the challah covered until after Kiddush, so we can later uncover it and show that this is the seudah Lekavod Shabbos that we were talking about!

3) According to the Seder Birchos Hanehenin, the bracha on Challah comes before the bracha on wine. Since really we should be making the bracha first on the challah, we cover the challah during Kiddush so it isn’t “embarrassed” that we skip it and make the bracha on wine first.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef se’if Yud and Yud-Zayin, and the Tur siman Reish-Ayin-Alef

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



Shabbos Shira

This week’s parsha is Parshas Beshalach. We call this Shabbos “Shabbos Shira” because the Yidden sang Az Yashir, a special song to Hashem.

The Medrash Mechilta tells us that there are actually TEN songs that the Yidden sing to Hashem!

One of them is in this week’s haftorah, the shira that Devorah Haneviah sang after winning the war. Another one is the song that Dovid Hamelech sang after he was saved, finishing with the posukMagdil (or Migdol) Yeshuos Malko.”

The tenth song will be sung by the Yidden when Moshiach comes! We speak about this in Kabolas Shabbos, saying that then we will sing a new song, “Shiru LaHashem Shir Chadash.”

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