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

The Shabbos Spell

The Shabbos Spell

“…For six days, work shall be done; on the seventh day, you shall have sanctity, a Shabbos of complete rest to G-d…” – Shemot 35:2 שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן לַה’ – שמות לה, ב The command of Shabbos observance is first stated in the Aseres Hadibros, the Ten Commandments (Shemot 20:9-10): שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים […]

March 1, 2016 at 3:47 AM 0 comments

Fasten Your Avnet – Parashat Tetzaveh

Fasten Your Avnet – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…And you shall make a sash of embroidery work…” – Shemos 28:39 וְאַבְנֵט תַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה רֹקֵם – שמות כח, לט In a splendid manner, the vestments of the Kohanim each garb a specific part of the body. Even the Kohen Gadol’s additional garments each serve a defined purpose: wearing the Tzitz brought atonement for Bnei Yisrael, the breastplate is made […]

February 17, 2016 at 1:31 AM 0 comments

Brazen as Brass, Soft as Soil

Brazen as Brass, Soft as Soil

“…You shall make the altar… and you shall coat it with copper. …You shall make it hollow, out of panels…” – Shemos 27:1-8 וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּח . . וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתוֹ נְחשֶׁת . . נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹ – שמות כז, א-ח The outer mizbei’ach, the altar that stood in the courtyard of the Mishkan, was coated with a layer of […]

February 12, 2016 at 3:07 AM 0 comments

Redoing the Giving of the Torah

Redoing the Giving of the Torah

“…And they stood at the bottom of the mountain…” – Shemos 19:17 וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר – שמות יט, יז The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, of righteous memory, would bless people before the holiday of Shavuos, “to receive the Torah b’simchauv’pnimiyus, joyfully and internally.” At the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, both of these qualities were […]

May 22, 2015 at 6:20 PM 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

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

The Egyptian Me – Parashat Yitro

The Egyptian Me – Parashat Yitro

“….I am Hashem, your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt…” – Shemot 20:2 אָנֹכִי ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם  – שמות כ, ב Our Sages teach that the Ten Commandments that the Jewish nation heard at Mt. Sinai represent the sum total of the entire Torah; all 613 mitzvos are incorporated within these ten. Taking […]

February 6, 2015 at 4:26 PM 0 comments

The Miracle of Freedom – Parashat Bo

The Miracle of Freedom – Parashat Bo

You shall tell your son on that day, saying, “It is for this sake that G-d acted on my behalf when I went out of Egypt.” – Shemot 13:8 וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם – שמות יג, ח The Torah tells us that in all generations one must relate to his children “that […]

January 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM 0 comments

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself – Parashat Shemot

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself – Parashat Shemot

“….Moshe became frightened and said, “Indeed, the matter has become known.” Pharaoh heard of this incident, and he sought to slay Moshe; and Moshe fled from before Pharaoh…” – Shemot 2:14-15 ַיִּירָא משֶׁה וַיֹּאמַר אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר: וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אֶת משֶׁה וַיִּבְרַח משֶׁה מִפְּנֵי פַרְעֹה… – שמות ב, יד-טו The Torah relates that Moshe became […]

January 7, 2015 at 11:26 PM 0 comments