The People’s Mishkan – Parashat Terumah

The People’s Mishkan – Parashat Terumah

“…And you shall place into the ark the testimony, which I will give you….” – Shemos 25:16 וְנָתַתָּ אֶל הָאָרֹן אֵת הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן אֵלֶיךָ – שמות כה, טז The Talmud (Berachos 8b) teaches that contained in the Aron were the unbroken second Luchos, as well as the broken remnants of the first Luchos. These contents reflect three phases experienced […]

February 11, 2018 at 2:34 AM 0 comments

The Mishkan Again? – Parashat Pekudei

The Mishkan Again? – Parashat Pekudei

“…And Moshe spoke to the entire community of Bnei Yisrael, saying: This is the word that G-d has commanded…” – Shemot 35:4 וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ – שמות לה, ד The Torah’s wording is concise, even cryptic at times, such that an extra word or even letter is a cause for […]

March 9, 2015 at 6:46 PM 0 comments

Preoccupied – Parashat Vayakhel

Preoccupied – Parashat Vayakhel

“…Moshe assembled the entire community… “these are the things that g-d commanded to be done” – Shemot 35:1 וַיַּקְהֵל משֶׁה אֶת כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. . אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ לַעֲשׂת אֹתָם – שמות לה, א After prevailing upon G-d to wholeheartedly forgive Bnei Yisrael for the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe descended from Mount Sinai, bringing with him the […]

February 25, 2019 at 1:36 AM 0 comments

Taking Donations from Children

Taking Donations from Children

“…And Moshe assembled the entire community of Bnei Israel…” – Shemos 35:1 וַיַּקְהֵל משֶׁה אֶת כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – שמות לה, א Moshe assembled “the entire community of Bnei Yisrael” when he announced G-d’s command to gather the materials necessary and construct the Mishkan. According to the Ohr Hachaim, the Torah’s emphasis that Moshe assembled the entire community teaches us […]

February 24, 2019 at 12:41 PM 0 comments

Man’s Highest Calling

Man’s Highest Calling

“…Speak to Bnei Yisrael and have a contribution taken for me…” – Shemos 25:2 דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה – שמות כה, ב According to one opinion in the Zohar (vol. 2 p. 224a), both the commandment to build the Mishkan, as well as Bnei Yisrael’s donation of materials for its construction, took place immediately after the Giving of […]

February 2, 2019 at 6:03 AM 0 comments

Jewish Nationality

Jewish Nationality

“…Hashem, our G-d, spoke to us in Chorev, saying, “Your stay at this mountain has been plenty for you”… Devarim 1:6 ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ דִּבֶּר אֵלֵינוּ בְּחֹרֵב לֵאמֹר רַב לָכֶם שֶׁבֶת בָּהָר הַזֶּה – דברים א, ו Moshe recounted to Bnei Yisrael that, if not for the episode of the Spies, G-d would have brought them into the Land of Israel […]

July 16, 2018 at 1:44 AM 0 comments

A Morning Person’s Teshuva

A Morning Person’s Teshuva

“…In the morning, G-d will make known who is His, and who is holy, and He will draw them near to Him…” – Bamidbar 16:5 בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה’ אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְאֶת הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְהִקְרִיב אֵלָיו – במדבר טז, ה Korach and his followers contested Moshe’s authority and his appointment of Aharon as the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest.  Moshe challenged […]

June 13, 2018 at 2:30 AM 0 comments

Lamps and Flames

Lamps and Flames

“…Speak to Aharon and say to him, “When you ignite the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah…” – Bamidbar 8:2 דַּבֵּר אֶל אַהֲרֹן וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ אֶת הַנֵּרֹת אֶל מוּל פְּנֵי הַמְּנוֹרָה יָאִירוּ שִׁבְעַת הַנֵּרוֹת – במדבר ח, ב The Talmud regards the menorah as a symbol of Torah study. Hence, our […]

May 27, 2018 at 2:24 AM 0 comments

Where More is Less

Where More is Less

“…They brought their offering before G-d: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon from each two princes, and an ox from each one…” – Bamidbar 7:3 וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶת קָרְבָּנָם לִפְנֵי ה’ שֵׁשׁ עֶגְלֹת צָב וּשְׁנֵי עָשָׂר בָּקָר עֲגָלָה עַל שְׁנֵי הַנְּשִׂאִים וְשׁוֹר לְאֶחָד – במדבר ז, ג The generosity of Bnei Yisrael in their donation of materials for the […]

May 22, 2018 at 2:50 PM 0 comments

How to Give

How to Give

“…Every raised-offering of all the holy things that the children of Israel bring to the kohen, it shall be his…” – Bamidbar 5:9 וְכָל תְּרוּמָה לְכָל קָדְשֵׁי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ לַכֹּהֵן לוֹ יִהְיֶה – במדבר ה, ט Rashi explains that this verse comes to teach us that bikkurim are given to the kohen. Elsewhere (Shemos 23:19), the Torah instructs […]

May 20, 2018 at 2:40 PM 0 comments

Expectations

Expectations

“…And fire went forth from before G-d and consumed them, and they died before G-d…” – Vayikra 10:2 וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי ה’ וַתֹּאכַל אוֹתָם וַיָּמֻתוּ לִפְנֵי ה’ – ויקרא י, ב Why were Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aharon, punished with sudden death? According to the opinion of R’ Yishmael cited in the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 12:1), they died […]

March 27, 2018 at 2:35 AM 0 comments

Burning Fats, Fueling Flames – Parashat Tzav

Burning Fats, Fueling Flames – Parashat Tzav

“…A continuous fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished…” – Vayikra 6:6 אֵשׁ תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא תִכְבֶּה – ויקרא ו, ו In addition to the obligation stated explicitly in this verse, namely, to maintain a constant fire on the Outer Mizbeiach, the Talmud sees in this verse an allusion to yet another “continuous fire” […]

March 22, 2018 at 1:11 AM 0 comments

Cynical is Criminal – Parashat Tzav

Cynical is Criminal – Parashat Tzav

“…A constant fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished…” – Vayikra 6:6 אֵשׁ תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא תִכְבֶּה – ויקרא ו, ו The Torah commands us to constantly burn a fire on the Outer Mizbei’ach, the altar that stood in the courtyard of the Temple, and to never extinguish it. Moreover, as taught in the […]

March 21, 2018 at 2:36 AM 0 comments

Dare to Prepare – Parashat Tzav

Dare to Prepare – Parashat Tzav

“…He shall then take off his garments and put on other garments, and he shall remove the ashes to outside the camp…” – Vayikra 6:4 וּפָשַׁט אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְלָבַשׁ בְּגָדִים אֲחֵרִים וְהוֹצִיא אֶת הַדֶּשֶׁן אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה – ויקרא ו, ד The task of clearing the ashes from the Altar was not an actual part of the service in the […]

March 20, 2018 at 4:02 AM 0 comments

Kohanim Without Borders – Parashat Tzav

Kohanim Without Borders – Parashat Tzav

“…He shall then take off his garments and put on other garments, and he shall remove the ashes to outside the camp…” – Vayikra 6:4 וּפָשַׁט אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְלָבַשׁ בְּגָדִים אֲחֵרִים וְהוֹצִיא אֶת הַדֶּשֶׁן אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה – ויקרא ו, ד One of the tasks in the Mishkan was to clear the ashes from atop the Altar and dispose of […]

March 19, 2018 at 2:52 AM 0 comments

Why Korbanos? That’s Why…

Why Korbanos? That’s Why…

“…A man who shall bring from you an offering to G-d…” – Vayikra 1:2 אָדָם כִּי יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַה’ – ויקרא א, ב The significance that the Torah attributes to animal sacrifice is mystifying. Why would the physical slaughter and burning of an animal be our primary form of Divine worship (see Avos 1:2 and Yerushalmi, Taanis 4:1)? Would […]

March 12, 2018 at 2:51 AM 0 comments

Mass-Energy Equivalence – Parashat Pikudei

Mass-Energy Equivalence – Parashat Pikudei

“…These are the accounts of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony, as they were overseen by Moshe…” – Shemos 38:21 אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל פִּי משֶׁה – שמות לח, כא The total weight of all the gold, silver, and copper that was donated for the Mishkan is recorded in Parshas Pikudei.  No mention is made, […]

March 8, 2018 at 1:57 AM 0 comments

The Gifts of the Gifted

The Gifts of the Gifted

“…All the women whose hearts uplifted them with wisdom spun the goat hair…” – Shemot 35:26 וְכָל הַנָּשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂא לִבָּן אֹתָנָה בְּחָכְמָה טָווּ אֶת הָעִזִּים – שמות לה, כו This is particularly remarkable considering that Bnei Yisrael had not been instructed to process the goat hair at all before donating it to the Mishkan. The manner in which the […]

March 6, 2018 at 1:50 AM 0 comments

Rinse Well Before Serving – Parashat Ki Tisa

Rinse Well Before Serving – Parashat Ki Tisa

“…Aharon and his sons shall wash their hands and feet from it…” – Shemot 30:19 וְרָחֲצוּ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת יְדֵיהֶם וְאֶת רַגְלֵיהֶם – שמות ל, יט Before beginning their daily service, the kohanim serving in the Mishkan would wash their hands and feet. Emulating the kohanim, we, too, wash our hands every morning upon awakening to sanctify ourselves for […]

February 25, 2018 at 3:46 AM 0 comments