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Parshas Tzav - Revi'i with Rashi

We already learned about the week before Rosh Chodesh Nissan, where Moshe will get the kohanim ready to serve in the Mishkan. Now it’s happening! It is Chof-Gimmel Adar, and Hashem tells Moshe to get together all the things he needs — Aharon and his sons, the kohanim’s clothing, the Shemen Hamish’cha (“anointing oil”), the bull for the Chatas, two rams, and a basket of 30 matzos!

Moshe should have all of the Yidden come stand near the Mishkan so they can see. Moshe will act as the Kohen Gadol, wearing the white clothing the Kohen Gadol would wear on Yom Kippur. He will bring the special korbanos (a Korban Olah, a Korban Chatas, the special “Miluimkorban, and three Korban Minchas).

Moshe told all of the Yidden that he is doing this because Hashem said so, not because he likes the kavod or because he wants his brother to have kavod!

Moshe dressed Aharon in the special clothes of the Kohen Gadol, and put the tzitz on his head.

Moshe put or sprinkled Shemen Hamish’cha on each part of the Mishkan, so they will be ready to be used.



39 - 43

In Perek Mem (40) of today’s Tehillim, there’s a posuk that says “Ashrei Hagever Asher Sam Hashem Mivtacho!” “Happy is a person who has bitachon in Hashem!” The posuk says later that this person doesn’t turn to anything else for help!

The Medrash tells us that this posuk is talking about Yosef Hatzadik, who always trusted in Hashem. But once, his bitachon wasn’t perfect — he asked the Sar Hamashkim to remember him, instead of only trusting in Hashem.

The Rebbe explains to us that even though a Yid usually needs to “make a keili in Teva” (do something in Gashmius so that Hashem’s bracha has “where to go”), Hashem wanted Yosef to have even a stronger level of bitachon! Yosef had a very special neshama. Because of that, his connection to Hashem should have been SO strong that he shouldn’t even need to worry about having a keili in Teva!

Even though we aren’t expected to have a bitachon as strong as Yosef Hatzadik, we can learn from this how important it is to have the bitachon that IS expected from us!



Likutei Amarim Perek Lamed-Tes

Yesterday we learned about two kinds of kavana: The first kind is the kavana from the natural Ahava that a Yid has to be connected to Hashem through Torah and mitzvos. We just have to wake up this feeling, because it is already a part of us! That is compared to an animal, who acts the way it naturally feels. The second kind of kavana comes through hisbonenus, thinking deeply about Hashem until we feel Ahava and Yirah. This is compared to a person, who has sechel!

You might be feeling very down.
Your face might have a sad big frown.
Because it isn’t wonderful
That your kavana is compared to an animal.

But don’t worry, do you know who
Has this kind of kavana too?
MALOCHIM also feel this way
When they serve Hashem each day!

(That’s why in the Torah’s words
Malochim are called animals or birds.
When we say Hashem’s “Chayos,” that’s what we mean
And they looked like animals when the Merkava was seen.)

Malochim have great chayus in the Avodah they do
And feel Hashem so strongly too!
And we can feel it just like them
When we also serve Hashem.

This shows us that the kavana of bringing out the natural love for Hashem is also very special, and is compared to the level of Malochim, who are also compared to animals. This is the level that a beinoni is able to have always.

We also see from here that if this kavana is so special, we can just imagine how much greater it is to serve Hashem with the higher level of kavana, the one that is compared to a person! That is the kavana that tzadikim have always, and a beinoni can have at certain special times.



Zayin Nisan

Our nusach of “Vayehi Binso’a Ha’aron”, in the tefillah that is said when the Torah is being brought to the bimah on Shabbos and Yom Tov, we say the words “Vechirtzon Kol Amcha Beis Yisroel.”

The Rebbe tells us something today about the last names of the Rebbeim:

The Alter Rebbe’s last name was Baruchovitch. (His father’s name was Boruch!)

The Mitteler Rebbe chose a different last name — Shneuri. (After his father, the Alter Rebbe.)

The Tzemach Tzedek changed his last name too — but he didn’t choose the name of his father. The Tzemach Tzedek also chose a last name that has to do with the Alter Rebbe, Schneerson, and this became the last name of all of the Rebbeim until today!

On Yud Shevat 5711, the Rebbe officially accepted the Nesius of the Dor Hashvi’i. In that farbrengen, the Rebbe told us that we are the seventh generation from the Alter Rebbe. Even though seven is special, it is only special because it is the seventh from #1, starting from the Alter Rebbe! The Rebbe explained then the avodah of being a chossid in the seventh generation: We need to live with the Mesirus Nefesh which we were taught by the Alter Rebbe, the first generation — to do what Hashem tells us even when it is hard, and to dedicate ourselves to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus wherever we can!



Shiur #315 - Mitzvas Asei #226, #227, #230, #231, Lo Saasei #66

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn 5 more mitzvos. The first two are kinds of Misas Beis Din — the ways Beis Din needs to punish people who are Chayav Misa.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #226) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of Hereg

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: נָקֹם יִנָּקֵם

2) (Mitzvas Asei #227) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of Chenek

We also learn this mitzvah from Parshas Mishpatim: מוֹת יוּמָת

We learn the details of both of these mitzvos in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Zayin.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #230) After being put to death, people who did certain aveiros need to be hung

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְתָלִיתָ אֹתוֹ עַל עֵץ

4) (Mitzvas Asei #231) A person who is put to death by Beis Din needs to be buried on the same day. Part of this mitzvah is also that a person who passes away should be buried on that day (unless it is more kavod for the meis to wait before burying him).

We also learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כִּי קָבוֹר תִּקְבְּרֶנּו בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא ּ

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #66) It is asur to leave a person hanging overnight. We learned in today’s third mitzvah that the Beis Din needs to punish people for certain aveiros by hanging them. These aveiros are connected to Avodah Zarah or Birchas Hashem, the opposite of bentching Hashem. The reason we don’t leave a person hanging overnight is so that Yidden won’t be reminded about these aveiros.

We also learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תָלִין נִבְלָתוֹ עַל הָעֵץ

We learn the details of all of these mitzvos in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Vov.



Hilchos Sanhedrin

Today we learn more of Hilchos Sanhedrin, the halachos of a Beis Din and how the judges need to act.

Perek Zayin: One interesting halacha is called Zabla — if two people who are arguing (like about money) and each want to go to a different judge, they can each choose one judge, and then those judges pick out a third judge to make sure that the halacha will be paskened in a fair way.

Perek Ches and Tes teach us the halachos about following the Rov (majority), what most judges say. We act differently when it is a case of Dinei Nefashos, when someone may be Chayav Misa.



Hilchos Aveil - Perek Beis

This perek explains which relatives a person has a mitzvah to mourn for.

icon of clock


Yud-Alef Nissan

On a birthday, the Rebbe tells us, it’s important to think about the reason why a person is born. In many of the Yud-Alef Nissan farbrengens, and also on Yud-Beis Tammuz, the Frierdiker Rebbe’s birthday, the Rebbe would explain about the reason why Hashem brought the neshama into the world, based on the posuk from Iyov, “Adam La’amal Yulad” — a person was born to work hard.

What is this Amal, this hard work that our neshama was put into this world to do?

In one of the maamarim of Yud-Beis Tammuz, the Rebbe explained what this Amal is. We have this Amal every day when we wake up and start our day right away with davening, to learn Torah after davening, and to act as a Yid all day. But there are also four bigger kinds of Amal that we have to deal with at some point in our lives, and Hashem puts our neshama here to succeed in these challenges too.

They are hinted to in the four categories of people who need to bring a Korban Todah when they are saved from a danger:

1) Dealing with illness — We need to have a healthy Yiddishe head and heart. If we are sick, chas veshalom, we won’t be able to serve Hashem properly. This is hinted to by the sick person who becomes healthy and needs to bring a Korban Todah.

2) Dealing with our own Yetzer Hara — Sometimes our Yetzer Hara can become so strong in our mind or heart that it feels like we can’t control ourselves! This is another big Amal that people need to deal with. It is hinted to by the person who gets out of jail, since when the Yetzer Hara doesn’t let the neshama do what it wants, it is a kind of Ruchnius “jail.”

The first two challenges are inside of us, health and our Yetzer Hara. But there are also other challenges that come from outside of us:

3) Trouble with parnasa — Being worried about parnasa can make it very hard for a Yid to serve Hashem. This is hinted to by a person who goes on a trip over the sea, since many years ago, people didn’t travel very much — usually they would only travel if they needed to for parnasa.

4) Making the world around us a place for Hashem — It can be very hard for us to make our families, communities, and the world around us look the way Hashem wants. This is hinted to by a person who crosses a midbar, because a desert is a place where nobody lives, and our job is to make the world a place where Hashem can live, a Dira Betachtonim.

In the maamar, the Rebbe explains that we might think that the neshama came into the world to grow in Ruchnius, in what it knows in Torah and its feelings of Ahava and Yirah for Hashem. But that can’t be, because the neshama in Shomayim has this way more than a person can grow in the world!

The real reason why the neshama came into the world is for the Amal, dealing with the challenges we have every day and throughout our lives, and doing our best to be strong Yidden even when it is hard.

We need to work hard and do our very best, and feel sure that with Hashem’s help we will succeed. Then we will thank Hashem for the nissim that he has done for us to help us to be successful in the Shlichus our neshama came into this world to do!

From Maamar Hagomel Yud-Beis Tammuz 5743

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Don’t forget the Nasi! Today’s Nasi is the seventh Nasi (Shevet Efrayim).


After Shemoneh Esrei every day, we say Tachanun. When we say Tachanun, we ask Hashem to forgive us for things we did wrong. We do ask for Hashem’s forgiveness in one of the brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, but only in brief. After Shemoneh Esrei, we ask with much more detail.

If it is important to ask Hashem to forgive us, how come we skip it on certain days, like the whole Chodesh Nissan?

The Rebbe explains that the days we don’t say Tachanun are special days. The koach of these days brings Hashem’s forgiveness by itself! This is like what it says about Yom Kippur, “Itzumo Shel Yom Mechaper,” the day of Yom Kippur itself brings forgiveness.

On the days we don’t say Tachanun, it’s not that Tachanun is not important, it’s that what usually happens because of Tachanun happens by itself! We don’t need to say Tachanun because the koach of the special day makes it that we don’t need to actually say Tachanun at all.

To protect the kedusha of these days, we don’t say Tachanun, and let the special koach of the day accomplish what Tachanun would.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Daled, p. 401–402



Treats for Kids

On the night of Pesach, before starting the seder, it is a minhag to give children nuts and treats. We want them to see that tonight is different, and ask us why we’re giving them treats even before the meal!

Even though we don’t answer that question directly, it helps the children realize that tonight is very different, and get them to wonder why and start asking questions, like about the matzah and maror and leaning while we eat! Then we’ll be able to answer them with Avadim Hayinu and the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Tof-Ayin-Beis se’if Lamed-Alef

As we are getting closer to Pesach, it is a good idea to review the halachos of Pesach again! Here are some halacha newsletters that you can use:
- Halacha Day by Day by Rabbi Yosef Braun
- Halacha Newsletter by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches

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



Kimei Tzeischa Me'Eretz Mitzrayim (4)

When the Navi Micha asked Hashem to take care of the Yidden who live at the time before the Geulah, Hashem gave him a beautiful promise: “Kimei Tzeischa Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos,” “I will show you wonders like the days when you came out of Mitzrayim!”

One of the things that is special about the nissim of Yetziyas Mitzrayim is that they weren’t just nissim for that time. Some of the nissim were nissim FOREVER! Once the Yidden left Mitzrayim and became servants of Hashem instead of servants of Paraoh, it stayed this way FOREVER! Yidden were never again able to become slaves to another nation!

When Hashem takes us out of this Golus, we will also be getting a Geulah FOREVER! It will be a permanent Geulah which will never have Golus afterwards — “Geulah Nitzchis, She’ain Achareha Golus.”

See Likutei Sichos chelek Hey p. 177, ha’ara 32

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