Monday, March 3, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
This is the only time that the phrase ויקהל משה,
Moses assembles, appears in the entire Torah. Why is this?
The sin of the Golden Calf divided the Children of Israel, blaming one another and blaming Aaron but never blaming themselves. Moses therefore sought to unite the Children of Israel here by assembling and connecting them with each other thorough G-ds commands. He again asks the children of Israel to bring an offering to G-d. Among the offerings are: gold, silver, copper, blue, purple and dark red wool, fine twined linen, goats hair, seal-skins, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oils and onyx stones for the ephod or breastplate. Every man and woman of the Children of Israel whose heart stirred them to give, dedicated their offering to G-d and the construction of the Tabernacle.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Parashat Ki Tisa contains a collection of several Mitzvot regarding the Mishkan. However, the main issue of the Parasha is the sin of the Golden Calf and the smashing of the Tablets of the Ten Commandments. This episode will forever remain as a blotch in the Children of Israels biography.
The Parasha opens with the mandatory contribution of half a shekel of silver as an offering to G-d. Moses is ordered to collect the coins from every man, twenty years and above at the time of the nation. G-d tells Moses,
העשיר לא ירבה והדל לא ימעיט ממחצית השקל לתת את תרומת
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel when giving this offering to G-d (30:15).
G-d also instructs Moses how to make the כיור, a copper wash basin that Aaron and his sons would use to wash their hands and feet prior to their service in the Tabernacle and that was placed between the tent of meeting and the altar.
In this Parasha, the children of Israel are also commanded again to keep the Shabbat. G-d orders Moses to tell the people-
...את שבתותי תשמרו כי אות היא ביני וביניכם לדרתיכם...
...You must preserve my Sabbaths, because it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations... (31:13).
When Moses did not return as expected from Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel were confused. Rashi explains that the satan or the adversary came to the Children of Israel and showed them images of darkness, gloom and confusion, implying to them that Moses had probably died on the mountain and the world therefore had been thrown into disorder.
The children of Israel then gather upon Aaron and said Arise, make us gods that will lead us, for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what happened to him (32:1). Aaron collects gold from the Children of Israel and the Golden Calf is created. The children of Israel declare,
These, Israel are your gods, that brought you up from the land of Egypt (32:4).
G-d tells Moses:
לך רד כי שחת עמך אשר העלית מארץ מצרים
Go down for your people have become corrupt, those whom you brought up out the land of Egypt (32:7).
G-d proposes to destroy the Children of Israel, who He refers to them as the stiff-necked people (32:9).
Moses pleads with G-d, asking,
למה יאמרו מצרים לאמר ברעה הוציאם להרוג אותם בהרים ולכלתם מעל פני האדמה
Why should Egypt be able to say, He brought them out with evil intent, to slay them in the mountain, and consume them from the face of the earth? (32:12)
G-d repents of the evil that He said He would do to His people and Moses descends the mountain. When Moses descends from the mountain, he carries the two tablets of the testimony, engraved with the Ten Commandments that were the work and writing of G-d. However, when Moses sees the Golden Calf and the Children of Israel dancing,
ויחר אף משה וישלך מידו את הלוחות וישבר אותם תחת ההר
Moses anger blazed and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain (32:19).
Moses then burns the Calf, grinds it to a powder, sprinkles it onto the water and makes the Children of Israel drink it. Moses stands at the gate of the camp and proclaims, Whoever is on G-ds side, let him come to me! (32: 26).
Moses returns to G-d and says that the Children of Israel have committed a great sin, but they should still be forgiven. Moses tells G-d that-
ועתה אם תשא חטאתם ואם לא מחני מספרך
And now if you do not forgive them, erase me out from your book that you have written (32:32).
Moses carves out a new set of stone tablets just like the first ones and once again ascends up the mountain. G-d then descends on the mountain and proclaims to Moses the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. Moses once more pleads with G-d, asking G-d to Pardon our iniquity and our sin (34:9). G-d accepts Moses plea and forms a covenant with the people, saying that He will perform before them marvels that have never been performed in all the earth, nor in any nation. After another forty days on the mountain, Moses descends with the two new tablets of the testimony and with a radiance emanating from his face.
What can we work on this Shabbat?
1. Our faith in G-d
2. Learning laws of Shabbat properly
3. Work on our ego- lowering ourselves
4. Giving charity
5. Being more careful to wash hands prior to prayer, eating bread and when one awakens in the morning. Look up laws for washing hands to learn more!
Have an amazing and uplifting Shabbat!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
"And you command the children of Israel to take for themselves pure olive oil and to light the candle".
The word תצוה Tetzave literally means you shall command. However, the word can also be read as a derivative of Tzivta צוותא, meaning together or united. G-d tells Moses to unite with the Children of Israel. Thus every Jewish person in every generation carries a spark from Moses. (אור החיים : Ohr ha-Chaim)בעל הטורים (Baal ha-Turim) brings a very interesting approach to the word Tetzaveh. He explains that the numerical value of the word Tezaveh תצוה is 501 and is equal to that of the word Nashim Tziva (spelled in hebrew) which means command the women. From here the Baal Haturim derives the womens obligation to light the Shabbat candles weekly.
Aahron Hacohen was commanded to clean the menorah in the Mishkan. Why does Aahron the Cohen Gadol recieve such a dirty job? To show us that even the job that seems so low and dirty is the most holiest thing because you are serving Hashem.
tzaveh תצוה. He explains that the numerical value (gematriya) of the word Tetzavehbתצוה is 501 and is equal to that of the word נשים צוה or Commanded the Women. From here the Baal ha-Turim derives womens obligation to light weekly Shabbat candles.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
As our Parsha opens, Hashem tells Moshe, "If you think I was close to Bnei Yisroel at Matan (the giving of the) Torah, pitch me a tent, 'cause I'm dwelling among Bnei Yisroel from now on." Here's what Hashem has in mind: While the Jews travel through the desert, living in temporary dwellings, Hashem, too, will travel the same way, dwelling in a temporary, travelling Mishkan, which will be packed up every time the Jews move on to a different camping ground. When the Jews are settled in Eretz Yisroel and build permanent homes, they will build a permanent dwelling for Hashem's Shechina (divine presence), the Bait Hamikdosh.
Moshe is up at the summit of Har (Mt.) Sinai. He doesn't know it, but all heck is about to break loose down below. There's major sinning sneaking up on the desert Sinai. Sinning that could destroy the bond between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel. Hashem knows He has to strengthen the bond now, before it is too late! The Mishkan is the solution. Hashem tells Moshe all about this travelling Holy Temple that keeps Hashem's Shechina right smack in the middle of the Bnei Yisroel. With the Shechina resting among the people, no nation will be able to say that Hashem abandoned Bnei Yisroel after their terrible sin. In this weeks parsha it also describes how each item apart of the Mishkan was made. Nowadays, we don't have a Mishkan orBeit Hamikdash however, we have our homes our Beit Hamikdash Me'at. A woman is the Cohen Gadol and needs to make sure nothing impure enters the home so Hashems presence can dwell amongst us. Anything that is holy belongs in our homes. May each and everyone of us take out the garbage from within our homes and within ourselves so Hashems shchina may dwell amongst us.Amen!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
In this weeks parsha we receive 53 Mitzvot, such as; the three festivals, Pesach, Sukkot and Shavuot, etc. Hashem tells Bnei Yisrael that He will send an angel before them to guard them and to bring them to the Promised Land, Israel. He also tells them that they must hearken to His voice and uproot idolatry. Bnei Yisrael proclaim all together "Na'Aseh Ve'Nishma"-"we will do an we will listen". Bnei Yisrael answered Na'Aseh Ve'Nishma like one man with one heart. They were united, unfortunately, nowadays, we are not united and that is why we are still in exile. Today, the exile we live in is very comfortable however, at the same time confusing. We don't know what is emet-true. We live our life filled with confusion that is why we have the Torah to guide us in the proper light. Instead of us Bnei Yisrael saying Na"Aseh Ve'Nishma, we say "Nishma Ve'Na'Ase"- we will listen then we will do. We are basically saying, prove to me that there is a G-d and prove to me why I have to keep these commandments then I will do. It's all about proving Hashems existence. However, how can I search for something that doesn't exist. So, obviously there is a G-d who created this world and created everything in it for me in order to serve Him to my fullest ability. We need to stop the exile within us and work on our Emunah in Hashem and believe that He will take us out of exile and bring Mashiach soon. Amen. BimHera Beyameynu!
By: Esther Shamayev