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Sheini with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is reviewing the mitzvos and reminding the Yidden about what happened in the Midbar to prepare them to enter Eretz Yisroel. Today Moshe reminds the Yidden about how he set up the judges to help the Yidden act in the right way and about the nations who did not let them pass through their lands.

Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden that they did something wrong by being excited about having judges.

When Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden about the idea of having more judges, they should have said “No! Only Moshe Rabbeinu should lead us!” They should have been upset about losing the zechus to learn directly from Moshe. But they weren’t upset about the idea at all. The Yidden were excited about the judges — for the wrong reasons. They hoped that some of the judges would be ready to take bribes to make them win even if they are wrong!

Still, Moshe set up the judges for the Yidden. He tried to make sure that the judges will have Yiras Shomayim and judge them the way Hashem wants. He taught them how to be fair to everyone.

Then Moshe tells the Yidden how they traveled more — they got so close to Eretz Yisroel, but the nations wouldn’t let them pass through their countries. 

Still, Moshe told the Yidden not to be worried. When it would be the right time to go into Eretz Yisroel, Hashem would fight for them and they will able to go right in!



23 - 28

Today’s kapitelach are Chof-Gimmel until Chof-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, there are two pesukim (Kapitel Chof-Hey, pesukim ches and tes) that talk about how Hashem shows us the right way to live. The last words of these pesukim are “VeYelamed Anavim Darko” — Hashem teaches humble people His path.

The Rambam says that this is talking about two things that Hashem gives to Yidden to help them do teshuvah and do the right things:

1) He sends them Neviim (and Rebbeim) who teach them the ways of Hashem and how to do teshuva, and

2) Hashem makes a person to WANT to do the right thing when they learn about it.

These two things together make it much easier for us to do JUST what Hashem wants!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Alef

In this letter, the first letter in Igeres Hakodesh, the Alter Rebbe is encouraging Chassidim to add extra chayus in their learning Torah, and especially their davening, so that their neshamos will be strong!

Yesterday, we learned the first part of this letter. That part was written before the Alter Rebbe left to Mezritch. This second part that we learn today was written after he left. By then, he had found out from his Rebbe (the Maggid) about his special shlichus in the world — and that it will be hard, and even dangerous for him to do it!

Yesterday we learned about the mashal of a person, who has TWO halves — a top and a bottom! The top half is very important, but we need the bottom half to help us get to where we need to be. Our top half is our mind and our heart, which we use to think about the greatness of Hashem and bring out feelings of Ahava and Yirah, to want to be and stay connected to Hashem. The lower half, starting from the waist, is in Ruchnius our Emunah in Hashem, which makes it possible to think about Hashem’s greatness and bring out these feelings during davening.

But this emunah needs a “belt”! When a person puts on a belt, he feels strong! We also need to put on a Ruchnius “belt” to feel our strong emunah. What is the belt? The halachos of Torah! They make our Emunah and Chayus in serving Hashem very strong! That is the words of Dovid Hamelech, “Chagra B’Oz Masneha” — the Yidden put a belt on their waist which is Oz (strength), Torah. (The Rebbe gave us the special takanah of learning Rambam, and also strengthened the takana of Chalukas Hashas. One of the things it does for us is that it gives us strength in our Emunah!)

The Alter Rebbe tells us that besides for strengthening our emunah by learning halacha and Torah Shebaal Peh, there is also a special time to make the upper part strong — to make our Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem strong. When is this? This is when we daven Shacharis! We need to use this chance and daven with all of our might!

Tomorrow, IY”H, in the last part of this letter, the Alter Rebbe will make some takanos to make sure that we use this time in the best way.



Daled Menachem Av

Sometimes we think that we get parnasa based on how hard we work. But really, the main thing is the bracha from Hashem which comes from doing what Hashem wants!

Sometimes a Tatty might think that if he skips a shiur or doesn’t daven with a minyan, he will have more time to work and he will get more money! But it’s not true. No matter how hard a person works, he won’t get even one penny more than what Hashem decided he should have.

This is very important to remember!

If we realize that our parnasa comes ONLY from Hashem, we will act the way Hashem wants. A person won’t think “It’s a waste of time to daven with a minyan because it takes too long and then I don’t have as much time to work!” or thinking “If I worked on Shabbos (chas veshalom) I would get more...” And it will never feel like a waste of money to pay for kosher food or for chinuch for our children! We know that all of the money comes from Hashem, and we know where Hashem wants us to spend it!

Even though we need to do our part to earn the parnasa, we need to remember that our work is not the main thing. The main thing is the bracha from Hashem!

When we remember this, we will make sure that our work in parnasa won’t take away from our Ruchnius, and we will live the way a Yid should. Then Hashem will bentch us with everything that we need!



Mitzvas Asei #244

Today’s mitzvah in Sefer Hamitzvos (Mitzvas Asei #244) is the same as yesterday — that someone who borrows something needs to follow the halachos about borrowing.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: וְכִי יִשְׁאַל אִישׁ מֵעִם רֵעֵהוּ

The halachos are explained in Perek Ches of Mesechta Bava Metziah, and Perek Ches of Mesechta Shevuos.



Hilchos She'eilah Upikadon

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about borrowing (“shoel”), and we also learn about a person who watches something without being paid for watching it (“shomer chinam”).

Perek Gimmel teaches us what happens if an animal we borrowed dies. If the animal died during the time it was borrowed, the person has to pay! The Rambam teaches exactly when the borrowing is considered to have started.

Perek Daled is about a Shomer Chinam, who watches something for another person without getting paid for his work.

If you watch something for someone else, you need to be very careful with it — even more careful than if it was yours! The halacha is that if you put something that belongs to someone else in a not safe place, and it got lost and stolen — even if it wasn’t your fault! — you need to pay for it.

So for example if someone asked you to watch their pencil for a few minutes, and you just left it outside in the playground, it is your fault if it gets lost or stolen.

Perek Hey teaches us what happens if something gets robbed from us while we are watching it for another person.



Hilchos Maachalos Asuros - Perek Yud-Beis

In this perek we learn how wine becomes Yayin Nesech. If a non-Jew touched an open bottle of wine, or was left alone with an open bottle of wine, we are not allowed to drink it.



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

Chumash Devarim is different than the other four. In the first four Chumashim, Moshe Rabbeinu writes down the words of Hashem exactly, like a person who copies down what he hears. In Chumash Devarim, Moshe Rabbeinu speaks the words of Hashem the way the Ruach Hakodesh came into his own understanding.

Why was there a change in the way the Torah was given over in this Chumash?

The reason for this change was because Moshe Rabbeinu was speaking to a new group of Yidden. These Yidden were the people who would be going into Eretz Yisroel. They would be dealing with Gashmius, which would be very different from the way they lived in the Midbar. In the Midbar, all of the Gashmius was taken care of for them, but in Eretz Yisroel, they would need to work for it themselves.

That’s why Chumash Devarim needed to come this way. When the Torah came down into Moshe Rabbeinu’s sechel, it was closer to the Yidden’s Gashmius’dike life. It would help them deal with all of the new challenges of living in Eretz Yisroel.

In Chumash Devarim, many of the inyonim from the first four Chumashim were reviewed again, in the style of Chumash Devarim. This way, the Yidden would appreciate the WHOLE Torah, not just Chumash Devarim! They would realize that the WHOLE Torah is important for them to know.

Nowadays, we also have a “Chumash Devarim.” The Rebbeim of each generation teach us Torah in a way which fits with how we live in these times. Through the Torah that they teach, and the horaos and takanos they give us to keep, not only do we have the new things they teach us, but we see that the WHOLE Torah is meaningful!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Daled, Parshas Devarim


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Hareini Mekabel

The Chachomim tell us that this long, long Golus came because of our aveiros, especially because of Sinas Chinam, hating another Jew for no reason.

While we fight the darkness of Golus by bringing light to the world, we also need to fight the Golus by taking away the reason for it! That way, the Golus will have no more reason to be there. We do this by strengthening our Ahavas Yisroel, loving every Jew just because he is a Jew!

In davening, we are going to ask Hashem to bring us the Geulah. We start off our davening by telling Hashem that the reason for the Golus is gone! We say Hareini, telling Hashem that we love every single Jew. This way, the reason for the Golus will go away, and Hashem will give us what we’re asking for — the Geulah for all of the Yidden!

See Igros Kodesh chodesh Menachem Av 5724



Meat & Wine During the Nine Days

During the Nine Days, we don’t eat meat or drink wine.

One of the reasons why is because meat and wine bring a person simcha! During the Nine Days we are sad about the Beis Hamikdash, and don’t do certain things that usually make us happy.

Another reason why we don’t eat meat or drink wine is to remind ourselves that we are missing the meat of the korbanos, and the wine that was poured on the Mizbeiach.

The halacha is that we don’t eat actual meat or food that has the flavor of the meat, like chicken soup. But it isn’t a problem to eat food that is fleishig because it was cooked in a fleishige pot, or to eat food where the meat became botul and doesn’t make the food taste like meat. (For example, we would be allowed to eat a vegetable soup that has a few pieces of onion that were fried in shmaltz instead of oil, as long as it is less than 1/60th of the soup and it doesn’t make the whole soup taste like chicken soup.)

If wine was used in cooking, it is also fine as long as it was botul. Wine vinegar isn’t considered like wine at all, and we can use it for cooking during the Nine Days.

But if someone has a bris or a Pidyon Haben during the Nine Days, we DO eat fleishigs!

Based on “Day by Day” halacha newsletter by Rabbi Sholom Osdoba, downloadable at Halochos.com

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



The Third Beis Hamikdash

How will the Third Beis Hamikdash be built?

There is a machlokes about whether it will come down from Shomayim already built or it will be built by people.

Rashi (in Gemara Sukkah) brings a Medrash saying that the Beis Hamikdash is already built! It will come down from Shomayim when Moshiach comes. We see this in the posuk, “Mikdash Hashem Konenu Yadecha,” “Hashem, Your hands built the Beis Hamikdash.”

The Zohar also says that Hashem will build the third Beis Hamikdash. The Zohar calls this Beis HamikdashBinyana DeKudsha Brich Hu,” Hashem’s building. It is Hashem’s building because Hashem will build it Himself!

This is the first opinion, that says it will be built from Shomayim. Tomorrow IY”H we will learn the other opinion, and then see how the Rebbe explains how they both are true!

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