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CHUMASH

Shlishi with Rashi

Paraoh finally sent the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, but as soon as Hashem hardened Paraoh’s heart again, he changed his mind and started chasing the Yidden to bring them back.

The Yidden were afraid since Paraoh was chasing them! Moshe started to daven to Hashem also, but Hashem said, “Now is not the time to cry to Hashem! Now it’s time to DO something! I will take care of the Mitzriyim, but you have a job — tell the Yidden that they can keep on going! I have already decided to split the Yam Suf for them, and the zechus of their Avos and the zechus of the Emunah they have in Hashem is enough that they should be saved. Pick up your stick and the Yam Suf will split, so the Yidden can walk through on dry land. The Mitzriyim will follow, and drown in the sea! Then they will realize that I am Hashem.”

Now that the Mitzriyim were even closer, the malach of Hashem that usually went in front of the Yidden went behind them, to keep the Mitzriyim from hurting any Yidden. At night, instead of disappearing, the cloud moved behind the Yidden. It made it dark and the Mitzriyim couldn’t see the Yidden at all! They kept trying to shoot arrows, but the cloud caught them so none of the Yidden got hurt.

Moshe picked up his arm over the Yam Suf, and Hashem made a strong wind blow all night, splitting the Yam Suf and turning it into dry land. The water all over the world also split, so everyone would know about the neis!

The Yam Suf split into 12 paths, one for each Shevet. The Yidden, starting with Shevet Binyamin, went through on dry land. 

Once the cloud followed the Yidden into the Yam Suf, the Mitzriyim could see again! They chased after the Yidden, right into the Yam Suf! Hashem sent the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire to punish the Mitzriyim. The pillar of cloud made the ground turn into mud, and the pillar of fire made the mud boiling hot! The shoes fell off of the horses, and the wheels fell off the chariots. The Mitzriyim got shlepped through the hot mud, and banged around. The Mitzriyim realized that Hashem was fighting for the Yidden!

As the Yidden came out of the Yam Suf, they were able to see Hashem so clearly — even a very simple person saw even more than the greatest Neviim!

 
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TEHILLIM

49 - 54

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Tes through Nun-Daled.

In today’s Tehillim, in Kapitel Nun-Gimmel (53), it talks about the churban of the Second Beis Hamikdash. At the end of the kapitel, Dovid Hamelech says how he hopes Hashem will save the Yidden: “Mi Yitein MiTzion Yeshuos Yisroel...” (“Who will give, from Yerushalayim, the saving of the Yidden?”)

This posuk is actually written TWICE in Tehillim — once in Kapitel Yud-Daled (14), and once here.

The Medrash says that these two times where it says “Mi Yitein” is also asking Hashem to bring Yidden the Geulah. These two times where it says Mi Yitein in Tehillim also match with two places in the Chumash where it says the words “Mi Yitein!”

In one place in the Torah, Hashem says how He hopes the Yidden will all have Yiras Shomayim (“Mi Yitein Vehaya Levavam Zeh Lahem LeYirah Osi...”), and in the other place, Moshe Rabbeinu hopes that all of the Yidden will be neviim (“Umi Yiten Kol Am Hashem Neviim”).

The Medrash says that Dovid Hamelech is asking that Moshiach should come, when both of the “Mi Yitein”s will be fulfilled — all Yidden will be neviim and have Yiras Shomayim!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Ches

In the Sefer of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe is teaching us how to serve Hashem in the way of Chassidus. He explains that every Yid has the ability to serve Hashem with every part of his behavior by using bilvavecha, by feeling Ahava and Yirah to Hashem.

If that’s what it means to serve Hashem with Chassidus, then maybe Chassidus isn’t for everyone? To feel Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Shomayim, you need to have hisbonenus. You need to know certain things about Hashem and think about them, so that they change the way you naturally think and behave. Not everybody is so good at thinking deep thoughts, or is interested in thinking about Hashem. So how can we say that it is Karov Me’od, very possible for everyone to serve Hashem with Ahava and Yirah?

The Alter Rebbe tells us that there is a type of Ahava (that has Yirah in it too) that every Yid has built into his neshama, given to us as a yerusha from the Avos. This love, called Ahava Mesuteres, is able to keep us in control of our behavior, even without hisbonenus!

How is this possible?

If we look throughout history, we will see something incredible. Even Yidden who knew nothing about the greatness of Hashem gave up their lives Al Kiddush Hashem. They may not have been able to have hisbonenus, and may not even have been very good at staying away from aveiros. But when someone told them to deny Hashem (Chas Veshalom), they were ready to even give up their lives!

Here is a very powerful story which is one example for this, which was told by the Rebbe Maharash:
https://kidschitas.org/resources/articles/mesiras-nefesh

That koach to have Mesiras Nefesh comes from the Ahava Mesuteres, and it is a part of every single Yid’s neshama.

The specific part of the neshama where this Ahava is held is in the chochma of the neshama, where our emunah is. Because chochma is the highest level of the neshama, and it is higher than the levels of our understanding, it is the place where we can feel Hashem the most. No matter what, in this part of the neshama a Yid feels that Hashem is One! When the chochma of the neshama is active, it is impossible for a Yid to deny his connection to Hashem.

Usually, when a Yid is given a nisayon that pushes him to give up his Yiddishkeit, this part of the neshama is “turned on.” In the next few perakim, we will learn a way to wake up our Ahava Mesuteres any time, for even the smallest mitzvah! This will make it possible for us to ALWAYS be in control of our behavior the way Chassidus teaches us, with Ahava and Yirah (bilvavecha), even without hisbonenus.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Tes Shevat

When the Rebbe Rashab finished learning the whole Gemara (Shas) for the third time, he said a maamar about making a siyum on a mesechta (a part of Gemara).

Tomorrow, Yud Shevat, is the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Rivkah, the Friediker Rebbe’s grandmother and the mother of the Rebbe Rashab. Today we will learn something about her yartzeit:

At the end of 11 months, when the Rebbe Rashab finished saying Kaddish for his mother Rebbetzin Rivkah, he made a siyum on the whole Mishnayos.

At her first yartzeit, the Rebbe Rashab made a siyum on the whole Shas!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Mitzvas Lo Saasei #141, #142, #143

Today we learn three mitzvos, about the three kinds of Maaser Sheini we are not allowed to eat outside of Yerushalayim. There is a separate mitzvah for each kind of food.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #141) We are not allowed to eat grain of Maaser Sheini outside of Yerushalayim.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #142) We are not allowed to drink wine of Maaser Sheini outside of Yerushalayim.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #143) We are not allowed to consume olive oil of Maaser Sheini outside of Yerushalayim.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Maaser Sheini VeNeta Reva'i

In today’s Rambam, we learn the next three perakim of Hilchos Maaser Sheini.

Perek Hey: We learn about being podeh Maaser Sheini, changing it for money. Usually when we are podeh the Maaser Sheini we need to pay an extra fifth. One of the things we learn in this perek is when we need to add that extra fifth AND when we don’t.

Perek Vov: We learn what happens when Maaser Sheini, or money from being podeh Maaser Sheini, gets mixed up with other food or money, and other sfeikos about Maaser Sheini.

One interesting halacha is about a son whose father passed away, and he is not sure where the Maaser Sheini of his father is. If he has a dream that it is in a certain place, then even if he finds the food there like he heard in the dream, it’s not considered maaser. Words in dreams don’t count in halacha.

Perek Zayin: We learn halachos for the things that are bought with the money of Maaser Sheini.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Maaseh Hakorbanos - Perek Beis

The Rambam teaches us about the Nesech (wine) and Mincha (flour and oil) that we bring along with each Korban. We learn how much we bring for each kind of Korban.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Erev Yud Shevat

On Yud Shevat, the Rebbe’s nesius of the Dor Hashvi’i began. This happened right after the histalkus of the Frierdiker Rebbe, and especially when the Rebbe officially accepted the nesius at the Yud Shevat farbrengen, in Tof-Shin-Yud-Alef.

There are many stories about that period in time before the Rebbe officially became Rebbe. Chassidim begged the Rebbe to accept the nesius, and finally the Rebbe accepted it publicly on Yud Shevat. (There is an entire sefer that has stories from that time, called Yemei Bereishis.)

In the farbrengen of Yud Shevat Tof-Shin-Yud-Alef, the Rebbe set up the goals for Dor Hashvi’i. Before starting the maamar, the Rebbe made a clear statement, outlining the job of the Dor Hashvi’i:

“When the Frierdiker Rebbe came to America, he quoted (from the Medrash) ‘When you come to a place, you follow the customs of that place.’ In America, people like to hear an announcement, and especially something mind-blowing. It’s called a statement. I don’t know if this is the way it really needs to be, but we will do according to the custom of the place:

“The three loves — love of Hashem, love of the Torah, and love of our fellow Yid — are all one. You can’t separate them, because they are all part of one etzem… If you love Hashem, and you don’t have a love for the Torah and Ahavas Yisroel, that is a sign that there is something missing in the love for Hashem. On the other hand, if you have Ahavas Yisroel, even though it’s a mitzvah that makes sense, at the end it will bring to a love of the Torah and love for Hashem. As it is known the story of the Tzemach Tzedek, who, because he lent someone money, was able to reach a higher level in Ruchnius than he was able to reach through learning and davening itself…

“And when we will have these three loves, it will be a triple string that is not easy to break (as the posuk says in Koheles). This will also bring the Geulah, because just as the Golus came because we did not have Ahavas Yisroel, so too through Ahavas Yisroel, we will have the Geulah, bimheira veyameinu mamosh.”

You can read this whole sicha, as well as the Rebbe’s maamar Bosi Legani, in English on www.sie.org/2420930

 

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TEFILLAH

Vayomer

The third section of Kriyas Shema, the paragraph of Vayomer, speaks mainly about two things: The mitzvah of tzitzis, which reminds us of all the mitzvos of the Torah, and the mitzvah of Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

These seem to be two completely separate things that have nothing to do with each other.

But the Alter Rebbe tells us in Tanya that they are really both the same thing! How?

When we wake up every morning, Hashem gives us back our neshama. But when it first comes back to us, it rests only in our nostrils, and isn’t spread out into our whole body yet. That leaves the body in charge of what we do.

Our body is very special, but when it makes its own decisions, it isn’t a good thing. Our guf has things that it likes, even if they are wrong, and things it doesn’t want to do even though it should. The Alter Rebbe calls this Maaser Haguf, that when the guf is in charge it is like we are stuck in prison!

How do we get out of this prison?

When we daven and are Mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim, we connect our neshama to Achdus Hashem. By being connected to Hashem, the neshama is much higher than the guf, and isn’t stuck in “prison” anymore! By davening, the NESHAMA becomes in charge of the body.

As we learned before, the reason we speak about the mitzvah of tzitzis in Vayomer is to help us keep what we already decided — to be Mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim, to accept upon ourselves to do whatever Hashem wants, specifically to keep all of the mitzvos in the Torah.

This Kabolas Ol brings us to have our own daily Yetziyas Mitzrayim, to leave the “prison” of the guf and make the neshama in charge!

So now we see that the mitzvah of tzitzis (which is a continuation of the first two parshios of Shema) and the mitzvah of speaking about Yetziyas Mitzrayim are really both exactly the same thing! By remembering all of the mitzvos with our tzitzis, and the Kabolas Ol Mitzvos we just took upon ourselves, we will have a Yetziyas Mitzrayim and have our neshama in charge for our Avodas Hashem all day!

See Tanya perek Mem-Zayin

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Kiddush

One of the ten things we need for a Kos Shel Bracha is to be “Magbia Tefach,” to lift it up at least one tefach off the floor or table. We learn this from the posukKos Yeshuos Esa” — “I pick up a cup of yeshua.”

The reason we pick up the kos is so that everyone at the table will be able to see it.

Even though the Gemara only tells us to pick it up a tefach, the Chabad minhag is that lechatchila and for a hiddur mitzvah we pick it up THREE tefachim higher than the table.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef se’if Yud-Ches, siman Kuf-Pey-Gimmel se’if Ches, and Sefer Haminhagim Chabad (cited in the haoros on the Shulchan Aruch)

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

Shalom Brings Geulah

On Yud-Tes Kislev Tof-Shin-Yud-Alef, the Rebbe suggested to make a chalukah of Mishnayos, to split up the Mishnayos, to finish on Yud Shevat. Everyone should take five perakim.

On Yud Shevat that year, the Rebbe made a siyum and explained the connection between the last piece of Mishnayos and the first piece of Mishnayos.

The last piece of Mishnayos is that Hashem found that the best keili to bring bracha to Yidden is shalom — “Lo Matza HaKadosh Baruch Hu Keili Machzik Bracha LeYisrael Ela HaShalom.”

The beginning of the Mishnayos is about reading Shema at night and in the morning. “Mei’eimasai Korin Es Shema Be’arvis” and “Mei’eimasai Korin Es Shema Beshacharis.”

When we use the end of Mishnayos and make a hachlata to have shalom, then we will also get what it says at the beginning of Mishnayos, to be able to say Shema both at night and in the morning. Saying Shema means to recognize the goodness of Hashem. When we make shalom, we will see the goodness of Hashem “at night” (in the darkness of Golus) and then also “in the morning” (in the time of Geulah, when darkness will be turned to light).

See Likutei Sichos chelek Beis p. 502

 
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