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לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח הרה״ת הר׳ משה פינחס בן הר׳ אברהם מרדכי הכהן כ״ץ
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Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe tells the Yidden that Betzalel (from Shevet Yehudah) and Oholiav (from Shevet Dan) have a special koach from Hashem to make the Mishkan, and anyone else who has special kochos or talents should help too.

Shevet Yehuda was the most respected Shevet, and Shevet Dan had the simplest yichus. But to build the Mishkan, Hashem specifically wanted that it should be made with people from EVERY kind of yichus.

In one day, the Yidden had brought all of the materials they needed for the Mishkan, and Moshe told everyone to stop bringing things!

Right away, they started to build the Mishkan. First they made the curtains, then they made the walls, and the Aron, and the Shulchan.



113 - 118

There is a posuk in today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Ches (118) that says “Hashem Li Be’ozroi, Va’ani Ereh Be’Son’ai.” “Hashem is with me, with my helpers, and I will see my enemies fall.”

How can Dovid Hamelech say that Hashem is WITH his helpers? Can there be a helper except for Hashem?

Chassidus explains that the “helpers” are the Gashmius things in the world. Hashem put a piece of Kedusha into the Gashmius things, and when we use them, we get this koach to help us! So together with davening and asking Hashem to help, a person also needs the sparks of kedusha that are in the Gashmius’dike things as part of the help as well!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Zayin

Yesterday, we learned how by using things in the world to do mitzvos, the chayus they were getting before from kelipah becomes kedusha! We make them shine with the light of Hashem!

To light Shabbos candles, you need to use your fingers to hold the match, your hands to cover your eyes, and your mouth to say the bracha. Where do you get the koach to move those parts of your body? From the food you eat! The same is true when you daven or learn Torah! Since the food helped you do the mitzvah, the chayus of the food that was from kelipah becomes kedushah!

So since we use food and other Gashmius things to help us do the mitzvah, not only does our OWN body become connected with Hashem, but all of the Gashmius things which help us do the mitzvos also become kedusha!

As we use the koach of the Gashmius world for more and more mitzvos, we will end up making the chayus from kelipah of the WHOLE world into Kedusha!

That will be completely finished at the time of the Geulah. Here’s how it works:

When Moshiach will come, two special things will happen:

1) Tumah will go away — “Ve’es Ruach Hatumah Aavir Min Haaretz” — and all the bad things that are because of tumah will disappear.

2) The world will be a Dira Betachtonim — Hashem will be felt in the world, so we will be able to see and feel all of the good things that come from Hashem!

Through our Avodah during Golus, we are making these two things happen!

Every time we stop ourselves from doing an aveira, we are taking chayus away from tumah, because it only gets chayus from aveiros. So when we don’t do an aveira, we are taking tumah away from the world, which will be finished when Moshiach comes.

And when we do a mitzvah, we bring Hashem into the world, which will also be complete when Moshiach comes!!

So when Yidden all work together to stop ourselves from doing aveiros and putting in effort to do mitzvos, we’re making the Geulah happen!



Chof-Daled Adar

The Hayom Yom was written for a year where there were TWO Adars (a Shana Me’uberes). This year there is only ONE Adar (a Shanah Peshutah), so we learn BOTH Hayom Yoms every day!

Chof-Daled Adar Alef

R’ Hillel Paritcher was a very great chossid of the Alter Rebbe, and later the Mitteler Rebbe. The Mitteler Rebbe told all of the Chassidim that came to Lubavitch, that on their way home they should teach the Chassidus they heard in all of the towns and villages they pass. Before leaving Lubavitch, R’ Hillel Paritcher asked the Mitteler Rebbe how to follow this hora’ah in places where people don’t understand Chassidus at all.

The Mitteler Rebbe told him that he should chazer Chassidus in those places too, because “the neshama hears.” Even if they don’t understand the Chassidus, their neshama hears it.

The Mitteler Rebbe used a posuk to show R’ Hillel that not only does the neshama hear the Chassidus, but it gives the person koach to do what Hashem wants!

Chof-Daled Adar Sheini

There is a Tefillah that we say many times that starts with the words Ana B’Koach.

The special tefillah of Ana B’koach has 42 words. The first letter of each of the words spells out the 42-letter name of Hashem! When we say this paragraph, we should LOOK at and THINK about (but not say) these letters.



Shiur #242 - Mitzvas Asei #109, #237

Today we learn the mitzvah of Mikvah one last time (Mitzvas Asei #109). Dipping in a mikvah has the koach to make something that used to be Tomei, Tahor!

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Metzora: וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם אֶת כָּל בְּשָׂרוֹ

The details are explained in Mesechta Mikvaos and Tvul Yom.

We also learn a new mitzvah from the new Sefer in Rambam! This mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #237) is that if one of our animals hurts or breaks things, we need to pay for what it broke.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְכִי יִגַּח שׁוֹר וְגוֹ׳

The first six perakim of Mesechta Bava Kama explain the halachos of this mitzvah.



Hilchos Mikvaos - Hilchos Nizkei Mamon

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the tenth Sefer of the Rambam, which is about Tahara, and start learning a new Sefer, called Nezikin (damages)!

Perek Yud-Alef is the halachos about making hands Tahor, by dipping them in a Mikvah or washing them, which is the mitzvah of Netilas Yodayim!

The Rambam finishes off this Sefer with a lesson in Avodas Hashem: He reminds us that a person can also make his neshama Tahor, by going in a “mikvah” of the neshama! What’s a “mikvah” for a neshama? Learning Torah and deciding to do Teshuvah.

In Perek Alef of Hilchos Nizkei Mamon, we learn some general rules about what happens when an animal breaks something. The amount that the owner has to pay depends on whether he should have known his animal could do something like that (Mu’ad) or it was something it doesn’t ever do (Tam). It also depends how the animal broke it — by fighting, eating, or walking; and where it happened (in public property, or in someone’s private property).

Perek Beis explains more about the halacha that things that break while the animal is walking in public aren’t the owner’s responsibility, and he doesn’t have to pay. We also learn about times when it’s partly the owner’s fault, and he has to pay half.



Hilchos Gerushin - Perek Yud-Alef

Today we learn more halachos about a get.



Chassidishe Parsha

We’re learning about the Mishkan now in Chumash, but it’s not the first time! We just learned about the Mishkan before.

If we look at both places where we talk about the Mishkan, we will see one very big difference — the order.

In Parshas Terumah and Tetzaveh, we first learn about 1. the keilim of the Mishkan building, then 2. the building of the Mishkan, and finally about 3. keeping Shabbos.

In Parshas Vayakhel and Pekudei, we first learn about 1. keeping Shabbos, then we learn about 2. the building of the Mishkan, and finally we learn about 3. the keilim that went inside.

But that’s exactly backwards! Why?

Chassidus teaches us that each of these three things mean something different in Ruchnius:

1. Keeping Shabbos means the extra neshama, the Neshama Yeseira (Yechidah) that we get on Shabbos — especially during the special tefillos of Shabbos!

2. The Mishkan building, the walls and curtains, are like the mitzvos that we do.

3. The keilim of the Mishkan mean the Torah that we learn.

The first time we learned about the Mishkan, we learned about it the way Hashem sees it. But in Parshas Vayakhel, we are learning about the Mishkan the way WE need to do it!

In our Avodas Hashem, we need to use the second order — first Shabbos, then the building, then the keilim.

First we need to start with the koach of Shabbos, the Neshama Yeseira. On Shabbos, we don’t need to work, so we are able to daven for a long time (b’arichus) on Shabbos. We need to use our Neshama Yeseira, and especially our tefillos, to have chayus in our Torah and mitzvos. This koach will last us all week! We can use this koach when we do mitzvos, and finally that will give us koach in our learning and understanding Torah!

See Torah Ohr, Parshas Vayakhel

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Kabolas Shabbos

Today we will learn about the source of where Kabolas Shabbos comes from.

In Gemara Shabbos, we learn how R’ Chanina would greet Shabbos. He would go out, wearing his special Shabbos clothing, and announce: “Come, let us go out and greet the Shabbos queen!” Nowadays, we also greet the Shabbos queen, but we do it in shul!

About 450 years ago, in Tzfas, there lived a great Mekubal called R’ Moshe Cordovero, the RaMaK. He taught Yidden to say 6 kapitelach of Tehillim, which correspond to the six days of the week. Then for the seventh part of Kabolas Shabbos, we sing a beautiful poem written by the Ramak’s brother-in-law, R’ Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz. This song, Lecha Dodi, is the words we use to greet the Shabbos queen. This is followed by a seventh kapitel of Tehillim for Shabbos, Mizmor Shir Leyom HaShabbos, and then we say a part of the Zohar, beginning with the word Kegavna, which describes Shabbos in the Ruchnius’dike Olamos.

Now all Yidden greet Shabbos in this special way, based on the teachings of the Mekubalim.

See My Prayer



Mechiras Chometz

Not having chometz on Pesach is a very serious thing. We are not allowed to even have it lying around the house! This is called “Bal Yeira’eh U’bal Yeimatzeh,” that it can’t be seen or found.

Because of this, we need to search around our entire house to make sure that all of the chometz is taken out. We are careful that not even a little bit of chometz should be found, and spend time before Pesach getting rid of it. We are mevatel any chometz that we don’t find, saying that it is like it is worth nothing and doesn’t count.

But what if we do have real chometz that DOES count to us, like chometz that we want to use after Pesach? We can’t say that it is botul, because it is still important to us! But we can’t keep it, because then we would be doing a very serious aveira, and this chometz would be asur FOREVER to use or eat or sell, even after Pesach!

The Chachomim tell us that this chometz can be sold to a goy. This is called Mechiras Chometz. Because the halachos of selling chometz are very complicated, we don’t do this by ourselves. Instead, we authorize the Rav to sell our chometz for us.

(Some Yidden don’t sell real chometz on Pesach, because there can be questions about if the chometz is counted as being completely sold. The Alter Rebbe taught that we should sell our chometz using an Arev Kablan, a type of guarantor, which makes sure that our chometz IS completely sold! See here for an explanation of how this works.)

Any chometz that we want to be sold should be set aside in a separate area that is closed off. We can close it off by sealing it off or covering it completely with a cover that is tied down. We do not use this area on Pesach.

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



What Did I Do?

Every day, in Shemoneh Esrei, we say “Es Tzemach Dovid Avdecha Meheira Satzmiach,” asking Hashem that Moshiach should come and save the Yidden. We also say, “Vesechezena Eineinu,” asking Hashem to bring us back to Yerushalayim.

If we think about what we are saying, we will realize how much we need to want Moshiach. We will ask ourselves, “What did I do today to make this happen? What did I do today to bring Moshiach?”

See Likutei Sichos 20 p. 384, Migolah L’Geulah p. 158

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