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Rishon with Rashi

The Yidden travel towards the Yam Suf... and the Mitzriyim start to chase them!

The Yidden are leaving Mitzrayim! Hashem had the Yidden go a longer way, in case some Yidden would become scared of going into the big empty Midbar, and because of that would later want to run back to Mitzrayim.

When the Yidden traveled, Hashem went in front of them! During the daytime, Hashem went in a big cloud, so they could see where to go. This cloud also made the road easier for them to go on, kept them safe, and cleaned their clothes. At night, Hashem went in a pillar of fire, which also let them see at night.

On the third day, Hashem told Moshe that they should go back towards the Yam Suf, so that the Mitzriyim can be killed, and none of the Yidden will ever need to worry about them again. To get Paraoh to follow them, they are setting up a trap! Paraoh will see the Yidden going backwards, and will think that they are stuck. He will chase after them, and then Hashem will punish him and the Mitzriyim. Now Paraoh will need to realize that Hashem is in charge!

Even though the Yidden might have been afraid to go closer to the Mitzriyim who made them suffer so much, they trusted in Moshe that he was doing what Hashem wanted him to do.

In the meantime, Paraoh changed his mind about letting the Yidden go! He convinced a bunch of Mitzriyim to come with him and make a war with the Yidden, and take back all of the gold and silver they gave them before. Paraoh took all of the horses and wagons that survived the makos, with more than 600 special small and fast wagons. They were so excited, the Mitzriyim decorated these wagons with expensive decorations!

At first, Paraoh wasn’t sure if he should go, but Hashem didn’t make it easy for him to do teshuvah, and he decided to go run after the Yidden.



29 - 34

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Chof-Tes through Lamed-Daled.

In the last perek of today’s Tehillim, Dovid Hamelech tells us “Sur Me’Ra, Va’asei Tov, Bakeish Shalom Verodfeihu” — “turn away from bad, and do good, and work hard to make shalom.”

The Baal Shem Tov explains that in every gashmius’dike thing in this world, there’s a part that’s good and a part which is bad. The Gashmius on its own (without being used for a holy purpose) is bad. The good is the chayus of Hashem which gives life to this gashmius’dike thing.

The posuk is telling us about the attitude a person should have to Gashmius. A person who is using Gashmius needs to be a “Sur Me’Ra” — someone who turns away from bad. He shouldn’t want the pleasure that he gets from the gashmius. Instead he should be “Asei Tov” — choose to want to be helped by the chayus of Hashem that is inside.

Then, when his attitude is correct, because he isn’t using the gashmius for selfish reasons, he should try to make shalom with the chayus of Hashem and the gashmius thing. How does he do that? By using the gashmius for the reasons Hashem wants it to be used — for doing mitzvos and for having koach to be able to serve Hashem!

Hayom Yom Hey Menachem Av, Sefer Hamaamarim of the Friediker Rebbe, Yiddish, page 75



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof

The Alter Rebbe teaches us that we can use a special koach that is built into every Yid’s neshama to win over our Nefesh Habehamis all the time!

The Nefesh Habehamis can only get us to do an aveira by giving us a Ruach Shtus — a foolish thought. It tricks us by convincing us that our aveira is not a big deal. The Nefesh Habehamis is only able to convince us with this foolish thought most of the time. One thing it can NEVER convince us is that separating from Hashem is not a big deal. Every single Yid realizes that losing his connection to Yiddishkeit and Hashem is a very big deal, and would be ready to even give up his life not to be separated from Hashem chas veshalom and to remain a Yid!

That is the koach of the Ahava Mesuteres, a very powerful love for Hashem that is part of every Yid’s neshama.

So if we can realize that EVERY aveira separates us from Hashem, then no Ruach Shtus will ever be able to convince us that it isn’t a big deal!

That is what we are going to be learning now in Tanya.

There are two main mitzvos that are about never separating ourselves from Hashem. These are the first two of the Aseres Hadibros, “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” and “Lo Yihiyeh Lecha Elokim Acheirim.”

The Gemara teaches us that all of the Mitzvos Asei come from the first dibur, and all of the Mitzvos Lo Saasei come from the second dibur. That’s why we heard only the first two of the Aseres Hadibros directly from Hashem — because they include ALL of the mitzvos!

So really, every mitzvah is about not separating from Hashem!

To understand WHY, the Alter Rebbe needs to first teach us at least a little bit about Achdus Hashem, understanding how Hashem is everything and nothing changes Him.

The posuk says, “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” that Hashem created the world with “speech.” Over the next few days, the Alter Rebbe is going to show us how Hashem doesn’t change after the world was created, by explaining the mashal of dibur and what dibur means lemaalah.

We will see that Hashem makes the world in a way that it won’t recognize Achdus Hashem, and it will feel separate, which is the idea of Avodah Zarah. When a Yid doesn’t do what Hashem wants, he is separating from Achdus Hashem and connecting to the Avodah Zarah of the world. When we realize that, we will never ever allow it to happen!



Hey Shevat

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how important it is to use our koach of speaking to always say words of Torah!

In a maamar that starts with the words “Bidvar Hashem Shomayim Naasu,” the Friediker Rebbe explains what it means that Hashem created the world with dibur. Then, the Friediker Rebbe says that the reason why Hashem created the world with dibur is so a Yid should use his dibur to strengthen the world that Hashem created with dibur!

In the second half of that maamar, the Friediker Rebbe mentions what happens to the neshama after it finishes its job in this world. If a person wasted his time and talked a lot of narishkeit, the neshama needs a special cleaning called Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela. Today’s Hayom Yom is the last few lines of that maamar:

A person needs to say many words of Torah, (like to say Tehillim or review Mishnayos) whenever and wherever he can! This way it will strengthen the world (because this is why Hashem created it), it will save him from needing Chibut Hakever and Kaf Hakela, and his neshama will be able to appreciate Elokus.



Mitzvas Asei #115, #116, #117

In Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn about three of the many kinds of presents a person can give to the Beis Hamikdash. The mitzvah is to follow the halachos if we give these kinds of presents.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #115) If someone gives a non-kosher animal (like a horse), or an animal that has a mum and can’t be brought as a korban, he needs to follow the halachos of how it can be given as a present.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #116) If someone promises to give a house to the Beis Hamikdash he has to follow the halachos of how this present is given.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #117) If someone promises to give a field to the Beis Hamikdash he has to keep the halachos of how to give it as a present. (We learn the halachos about this in today’s Rambam; we will IY”H learn about houses and animals in tomorrow’s Rambam)



Hilchos Erchin V'Charamin

In Rambam, we are learning more halachos about someone who promises to make a donation to the Beis Hamikdash, as much as someone is worth. We also start learning the halachos about if someone donates a field.

Perek Beis: We learn about someone who says they want to give as much as PART of a person is worth (like his arms), or how much a person weighs. At the end of the perek, we learn halachos of different rooms in the Beis Hamikdash that were used for different kinds of donations.

Perek Gimmel: What if I promised to give as much as my baby brother is worth to the Beis Hamikdash — and didn’t actually give it until my brother was older? Do I give as much as a baby is worth, or how much a kid is worth? The Rambam teaches us that the amount is based on when he made the promise to give, not when the Beis Din wants to take it. We also learn what happens if someone can’t afford to give the donation in the end, or if his present was lost or stolen. Sometimes the Beis Din needs to take his things instead of his money.

Perek Daled: Now we learn the halachos of someone donating his field to the Beis Hamikdash. There are two kinds of fields — a Sedei Achuzah that someone got as a yerusha (like after his parents passed away) or a Sedei Mikna that a person bought or got from hefker.



Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Tes

In today’s Rambam, we learn about when a person is chayav from the Torah for doing many of the Lamed-Tes Melachos. Even though it is asur to do even a little bit of melacha, a person is only punished if they do at least a certain amount, for example cooking a certain amount of food.




We are less than a week before Yud Shevat, the day the Rebbe became Rebbe. Today we will learn about the connection a Nasi has with his dor in all of their inyonim.

When the Yidden were in the Midbar, Hashem gave them everything they needed! The Chachomim tell us that it was in the zechus of their Nasi, Moshe Rabbeinu.

At first, the mahn was in Moshe’s zechus, the Ananei Hakavod (clouds) were in Aharon’s zechus, and the water was in Miriam’s zechus. When Aharon and Miriam passed away, they came back in Moshe’s zechus.

That shows us that not just the Ruchnius things that the Yidden needed came through Moshe, but EVERYTHING comes through the Nasi!

The same thing is true by a Rebbe! He doesn’t only teach us Torah and how to serve Hashem, but all of the Gashmius things that Yidden need come to us also through the zechus and brachos of the Rebbe.

See Sichos Kodesh, Leil Simchas Torah, Tof-Shin-Yud-Ches


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Vehaya Im Shamoa

The Tzemach Tzedek explains the difference between Shema and Vehaya Im Shamoa:

A neshama has two different kinds of feelings.

The first, “Ratzui,” is how the neshama wants to be Ruchnius’dik and feel close to Hashem.

Then there is “Shuv,” how the neshama realizes that Hashem put it into the Gashmius’dike world for a reason, and that it has a shlichus to do here, with Torah and mitzvos.

When we say Shema, it is a time when our neshama feels Ratzui. It thinks about how nothing exists except for Hashem, and all it wants is to feel close to Hashem!

Then in Vehaya Im Shamoa, the neshama remembers that it has a shlichus in the world. It needs to gather all of the sparks of kedusha which are in the Gashmius’dike things in the world. This is something it can only do by doing mitzvos with Gashmius.

See Sefer Halikutim os Kuf, p. 228




The halacha is that children — boys or girls — who understand the inyan of Shabbos have a mitzvah for Chinuch to make Kiddush or be yotzei Kiddush by hearing it from someone else.

If a child is making his own Kiddush, it is important to know how much wine or grape juice he needs to drink! The halacha is that a person who makes Kiddush needs to drink at least a Melo Lugmav, enough to fill up one cheek. But this isn’t the same size for everyone, it goes by the actual size of your cheek! So a small child, who has a small cheek, doesn’t need to drink much at all when he makes Kiddush.

But even though he doesn’t need to DRINK very much, we still need to make sure that the Kiddush cup is the right size. The smallest size for a kosher Kiddush cup is a Revi’is, and even a child should use at least this size, even if he will only drink a small part of it.

Baed on the audio halacha shiurim of Rabbi Farkash, and see Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’if Chof-Daled

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



Comparing the Geulah to Yetziyas Mitzrayim

The Navi says, “Kimei Tzeis’cah Me’Eretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos.” In the time of the Geulah, Hashem will show us nisim like when we came out of Mitzrayim.

From here we learn that the Geulah from Mitzrayim is an example for the Geulah of Moshiach!

Here is one way that they are the same:

It says about Yetziyas Mitzrayim that it came in the zechus of the women — Bizchus Noshim Tzidkonios Nigalu Avoseinu. Moshiach will also come in the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios (righteous women) of our times!

That is why the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe were very careful to make sure that women have a very good Chinuch. Especially compared to the Rebbeim in other generations, they gave so much of their time and kochos for this! There were special letters, sichos and horaos just for the women, to help make sure that the Noshim of our times will be Noshim Tzidkonios, who will bring Moshiach in their zechus.

See Sefer Hasichos Nun-Beis p. 300

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