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

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 […]

June 3, 2019 at 2:50 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

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

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

The Altar of Anonymity – Parashat Tetzaveh

The Altar of Anonymity – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…You shall make an altar for burning incense…” – Shemot 30:1 וְעָשִׂיתָ מִזְבֵּחַ מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת – שמות ל, א The Inner Mizbei’ach, the golden altar for incense which stood in the sanctuary of the Mishkan, is described at the conclusion of Parshas Tetzaveh. Its placement here is somewhat peculiar, considering that the construction of the Mishkan and the other utensils […]

February 22, 2018 at 1:14 AM 0 comments

Plant a Tree from Israel – Parashat Terumah

Plant a Tree from Israel – Parashat Terumah

“…And this is the contribution that you shall take from them …and acacia wood…” – Shemot 25:3 וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם . . וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּים – שמות כה, ג-ה How did Bnei Yisrael have acacia wood in the desert? Some commentaries suggest that acacia wood may have been available for purchase from gentile merchants they encountered in the desert, […]

February 13, 2018 at 2:45 AM 0 comments

The Testimony

The Testimony

22″…These are the accounts of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the testimony…” – Shemot 38:21 אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת – שמות לח, כא What is the “testimony” to which the Torah refers when calling the Mishkan, “The Mishkan of the Testimony”? Rashi explains that the Divine Presence resting in the Mishkan was itself the testimony: “It served as testimony for the […]

March 22, 2017 at 1:53 AM 0 comments

Don’t Sacrifice Your Heart – Parashat Tetzaveh

Don’t Sacrifice Your Heart – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…You shall not offer upon it any other incense, burnt-offering, or flour-offering, and you shall pour no libation upon it…” – Shemot 30:9   The Inner Mizbei’ach, the golden altar which stood in the sanctuary of the Mishkan, was used exclusively for the offering of Ketores, incense. All other Korbanos, the animal and grain offerings, were brought only on the […]

March 10, 2017 at 2:38 AM 0 comments

Self-Construction

Self-Construction

“…And it came to pass in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, the Mishkan was erected…” – Shemos 40:17 וַיְהִי בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הוּקַם הַמִּשְׁכָּן – שמות מ, יז A seven-day training and initiating period for the Kohanim preceded the official erecting of the Mishkan on the 1st day of […]

March 10, 2016 at 2:04 AM 0 comments

It’s How You Wear It

It’s How You Wear It

“…And they made Aharon’s holy garments, as G-d had commanded Moshe…” – Shemos 39:1 וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר לְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ אֶת משֶׁה – שמות לט, א The construction of the Mishkan and all its contents is recounted in Parshas Vayakhel. Then, in Parshas Pikudei, we read how Bnei Yisrael brought all the finished work before Moshe, who […]

March 9, 2016 at 7:38 AM 0 comments

The Collateral

The Collateral

“…These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the testimony…” – Shemot 38:21 אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת – שמות לח, כא Rashi takes note of the Torah’s uncharacteristic repetition of the word mishkan in this verse, and explains it based on the similarity between the word mishkan, מִשְׁכָּן, and the word mashkon, מִשְׁכָּן, a security deposit. “This [repetition] alludes to the Mikdash, […]

March 6, 2016 at 5:31 PM 0 comments

The Rear-view Mirror

The Rear-view Mirror

“…And he made the copper washbasin and its copper base from the mirrors of the legions of women…” – Shemos 38:8 וַיַּעַשׂ אֵת הַכִּיּוֹר נְחשֶׁת וְאֵת כַּנּוֹ נְחשֶׁת בְּמַרְאֹת הַצֹּבְאֹת – שמות לח, ח The Talmud (Yevamos 49b) contrasts Moshe with all the other prophets: “All the prophets looked into a dim glass, but Moshe looked through an illuminated glass.” […]

March 4, 2016 at 2:24 AM 0 comments

Humanity’s Most Important Goal – Parashat Terumah

Humanity’s Most Important Goal – Parashat Terumah

“….Speak to Bnei Yisrael and have a contribution taken for Me….” – Shemot 25:2 דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה – שמות כה, ב According to one opinion in the Zohar (vol. 2 p. 224a), G-d’s command that the Mishkan be built, as well as the collection of materials for its construction, took place immediately after the Giving of […]

February 16, 2015 at 1:25 AM 0 comments