Torah

(25:1) “Vayidabaer Hashem el-Moshe Behar Sinai-Hashem spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai.” Rashi asks why is this din of Shmita mentioned as coming from Sinai, weren't all the Mitzvos from Sinai? He answers that just as here the details were given, so too all the Mitzvos that were given at Sinai even if the details weren't mentioned they were given at Sinai. But there is another reason for it's being mentioned. At Sinai Benei Yisroel reached a level so great that they would not have needed to worry about earthly pursuits. This too was what the Shmita year meant. If they keep the Mitzvos, then in the year of Shmita they won’t need to worry about food. It was this Mitzvah that encompassed the idea of totally relying on Hashem. Of leaving one’s means of sustenance entirely in the hands of his own Emunah. This is also why the Posuk refers to the Shmitah year as Shabbos L’Hashem. In so doing the Torah likens it to the weekly Shabbos. Just as Shabbos is a day that should be devoted to Hashem through prayer, Torah study and refraining from empty pursuits, so too the Shabbos year should not be a time of idleness and emptiness, but spiritual growth.

   We need a weekly Shabbos to remind us of our purpose in going through the six work days. But we also need a Shabbos of years to absorb the Emunah into our bones. The Shmita year resembles the earth before the sin.. Just as the earth before the sin produced food without labor. So too the Shmita years produces without labor.

   The word Shmita has the numerical value of 364. If you calculate the number of Shabbosim there are in 7 years (52 x 7) it equals 364. But since the solar year has 52 weeks plus one day, it comes out that every seven years there is one extra Shabbos? This could be why by Yovel the Posuk says Shabbos Shabbosom an extra Shabbos.

   The Amida of the week days contain the same eighteen blessings for all three daily prayers. Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv. The same is true with regards to the Amida of Yom Tov. However Shabbos is the exception. Each of the Shabbos prayers are different. The evening prayer corresponds to the original Shabbos of creation. A perfect time void of sin. The Morning prayer is a reminder of the giving of the Torah at Sinai, where Klal Yisroel attained the level of Adom before the sin. The afternoon prayer corresponds to the future Shabbos, when Moshiach will herald in the new world order.

   There are three types of Shabbosim. The first is the weekly Shabbos we have that represents the end of physical creation. The second is Shmita it is the Shabbos that happens every seven years. This is the Shabbos that is embedded in history. It represents the end of time when Hashem will be able to rest from the labor of moving history to its destination. Just as the weekly Shabbos is a time to reflect on our goal in life, so too the Shmita is reminiscent of our ultimate goal in Messianic times. The Yovel is the third Shabbos. It comes every fifty years and presents the Shabbos as the contact point between creation and Hashem, when all of mankind will once again unite with the creator. It is the Shabbos of the higher world, the realm of eight which is beyond our natural world of seven..

The first Mishneh in Avos says “Moshe Kibel Torah M’Sinai-Moshe received the Torah from Sinai.” The question is didn’t Moshe receive the Torah on Sinai. What is the meaning of “from Sinai”? The Nesivos Sholom answers that Sinai here does not refer to the mountain but rather the experience. The heavens opened wide and the entire nation experienced Hashem in a way that was never again repeated. The sages teach that they had such absolute clarity of faith that they 'saw' the words of Hashem. They had no doubts about Hashem’s existence. This is what the Mishneh is teaching. Moshe received the Torah from Sinai Of course the Torah was received from Hashem. But the level of Emunah that was reached through the experience at Sinai served as the conduit through which the Torah could and would flow down to us all.

(25:2) “Veshavsah Haaretz Shabbos L’Hashem- The land shall observe a Shabbos rest for Hashem.” Rashi says for the name of Hashem, just as it was stated by the Shabbos of Bereishis. What does this mean? What is the connection to the Shabbos of Bereishis? We know that the first Shabbos was not commanded to anyone. It was a Shabbos to Hashem. The purpose of the creation of the physical world was for the spiritual, represented by Shabbos. The Ramban writes that the comparison between Shemitah and Shabbos is that both bear testimony to Hashem’s creation of the universe in six days and His rest on the seventh. The years of the Shimitah cycle allude to the six thousand years of this world’s existence climaxed by the seventh millennium, which will be a period of Moshiach, of peace and tranquility. If Shmita relates to Shabbos and the six days of the week relate to the 6,000 years the world is destined to exist, what then is Yovel related to?

   Rabeinu Bachya writes that seven times seven years refers to the ultimate Yovel after 49,000 years which is the lifespan of the universe. This concept in turn could incorporate the concept discussed at length by the Ohr Hachaim in which the author is at pains to prove that our universe is not the first of these seven cycles but is already the fifth such cycle, previous cycles having contained lower forms of life only, including prehistoric man.

   (25:2) "Ki Sovo el H’aretz Asher Ani Nosain Lochem V’Shovsah H’aretz Shabbos L’Hashem-When you enter the land that I will give to you, then the land will keep a Shabbos to Hashem" Why is the first year upon entering the land, a Shabbos year? The Shmita year mirrors the earth before the first sin. Produce came without effort. This is the ideal, to take us back to Adom before the sin. An entire year was needed to drive home the message that everything comes from Hashem. After spending forty years of having all of their physical needs provided for them by Hashem, Klal Yisroel knew that upon entering the land they would be required to come back to reality. Perhaps this is the reason for the Shabbos year at the start. To highlight that this is the goal.

   The words “V’Shavtah Ha’artez Shabbos L’Hashem” equal “Vayishbos B’Yom Ha’Shevii M’Kol Melachto.” (1767)

(25:9) “Vehavartah Shofar Teruah B’chodesh Hashevi Basser Lachodesh B’Yom Hakipurim-And you shall sound the shofar in the seventh month on the tenth day on Yom Kippur.” The Posuk is telling us that we must blow shofar to herald in the Yovel year. The question is why wait until the tenth? Why isn’t it counted from the first of the month, from Rosh Hashana? The Midrash says that this was done in order for the slaves to prepare themselves for freedom. From Rosh Hashana on they no longer worked but they were not yet free. They would sit at their masters table and eat from their food until Yom Kippur. This has a dual effect in that it also softens the blow for the master who goes through the hardship of relinquishing his slave.

   The Maharal explains that just like Yom Kippur returns things to their original state, so too does Yovel. When a person sins he falls under the rule of the Yetzer Horah and is no longer under the domain of Hashem. The Yetzer Horah rules over the physical body. So by going through a Yom Kippur, where a person negates the physical to the extent that he is compared to an angel, he returns to Hashem and is now able to accept freedom.

   (25:19) "V'ochaltem L'sova-You shall eat your fill." Rashi says that the blessings will be in the stomach, such that a person will be satisfied with less. The Kasav Sofer asks why should the blessing be to be satisfied with less? Why shouldn't there be plenty of food for everyone? He answers that people who become accustomed to excessive amounts of everything, whether food, money or luxuries, can never really feel secure. Having become dependent on more than enough they will feel deprived with anything less. Therefore the blessing is that people will not gorge themselves to excess but still be satisfied.

   The Soforno distinguishes between one who trusts in Hashem, who does not question, "what will we eat in the seventh year?" and he who questions. The one who does not question will indeed, have less produce, however, it's nutritional value will far exceed that of a regular year. He will have less, but he will require less. Less will be more. The believer whose belief is not as strong will ask the question and will receive a Heavenly response in the way of a greater yield in the sixth year. His crops will be plentiful, enough to last him through the following year. Nonetheless, these crops will be of normal quality, un-enhanced by Heavenly intervention.

   (25:38) “Losase Lochem es-Eretz Canaan L’hiyos Lochem L’elokim-To give you the land and to be your G-d.” Rashi comments that whoever lives in Israel, Hashem is his G-d and whoever leaves Eretz Yisroel is likened to an Idol worshipper. One can only be fully Jewish in Israel and one who leaves loses part of his Jewish identity. (Oznayim L’Torah)

(25:30) “B’Iyar Asher Lo Chomah-In a city that has a wall.” Rashi writes that the word Lo is read with a “Vav” but is written with an Aleph. This would mean that the Torah writes “no wall” but it means “there is a wall.” What is the meaning of this? Why would the Torah write it one way but mean the opposite? To understand this we must first understand what the walled cities were. When Yehoshua entered Eretz Yisroel he sanctified all those cities that were walled at the time. This miracle represented the fact that no human effort could stand in the way of the will of Hashem. On the other hand those walls built by the Jews contained no Kiddusha because they represented the lack of faith placed in Hashem’s ability to protect them. So it comes out that the walls built by the gentiles, Lo spelled with an aleph, are viewed by the Torah as “Lo Chomah” no wall.. When read with a Vav meaning a wall built by the Jews, it is saying Lo-to him Chomah-a wall. In other words this wall was built for him (Lo) for his security which is a lack of/ Emunah in Hashem. The selling of a house referred to here is not your typical sale where someone wishes to move up to a nicer home. Anyone who sold an ancestral dwelling did so only under the pressure of financial concerns. This follows after the warnings of a person who sells himself as a slave. Any home sold of the walled cities that were sanctified by Yehoshua could be redeemed in the first year only. After that they were lost and would not return to its original owner even at Yovel.

The Parsha goes on to speak about the need to support the poor. When a person gives charity he gets more than he gives. He gives a small material amount but receives an inestimable wealth of spiritual merits. In Pirkei Avos it says there are ten things that were created each stronger than the next-1.rock, 2.iron, 3.fire, 4.water, 5.clouds, 6.wind, 7.the body, 8.fear, 9.death, 10.Tzedaka, which is stronger than all of the rest. The Maharal asks “why is Tzedaka stronger than the other things listed?” He explains that the first nine are naturally strong, whereas Tzedaka's strength is not a physical one. It bears the Kiddusha of a Mitzvah. Therefore it can even overpower death, which is bound by the confines of nature.

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   (21:1) “Vayomer Hashem el Moshe Dabaer el Hakohanim Benei Aharon-Hashem said to Moshe, speak to the Kohanim the son’s of Aharon.” Why does the Torah need to mention that they were the son’s of Aharon? Who else would be called Kohanim? Rav Yonasan Eyebeshutz answers that Moshe had the status of a Kohen at this time but since he was not a descendant of Aaron, he was not instructed to avoid becoming Tameh. Pinchas was able to kill Zimri even though he was a descendant of Aharon because he was not yet a Kohen. Based on this interpretation the Posuk reads; speak to the kohanim- this excludes Pinchas, the sons of Aharon- this excludes Moshe. Rav Yonasan goes on to explain that precisely because Moshe was able to become Tameh by killing Zimri he was faulted by Hashem for not doing so. Instead Pinchas killed Zimri since he too was able to become he did not become Tameh, so too, no one would ever become Tameh for him.

   (21:1) “Vayomer Hashem el Moshe Dabaer el Hakohanim Benei Aharon-Hashem said to Moshe, speak to the Kohanim the son’s of Aharon.” The Kohanim are exalted above the rest of Yisroel. This the posuk reads "Speak to the Kohanim," tell them they are the sons of Aharon and must continue to conduct themselves accordingly.

   (21:1) “V’amarta Aleyhem L’Nefesh Lo Yitamoh B’amov-Tell them, each of you shall not contaminate yourselves to the soul of a corpse among his people.” Why is the Torah using the word “Nefesh” to describe the contaminate? Is it not the corpse that contains the contamination?

The Baal H’Akeida writes that the concept of Tumas Mase is derived from the power of the sparks of the Neshama that are not able to separate themselves from the physical body, after they had been joined and connected to it, having become one with the Guf. Therefore if the soul would be able to detach itself completely there would not be any spiritual contamination or Tumas Mase. This is the meaning of the usage of the words “L’Nefesh Lo Yitamoh” the prohibition the Torah refers to is of the Nefesh. That it is through the soul connection that remains in the body that produces this Tumeh.

   The Ohr Hachaim writes that the reason the term "Nefesh" is used is to teach us that even a small amount of blood can render a Kohen Tamei for the Nefesh is in the blood.

   (21:2) “Ki Im L’Shearoh H’koreiv Aylav-Except for the relative who is closest to him.” The Kohein may not contaminate himself with anyone other than those closest to him. The verse goes on to list these relatives. Mother, Father, Son , Daughter and unmarried sister. Oddly missing is a wife? Rashi explains “Ayin Shearoh Elah Ishto-There is no closer relative than a wife.” The Gematria of the word Shearoh is equal to Zivug min H’Shomayim.(507)

   Man’s relationship with his relatives is based on the past. They all came from the same root. However his relationship with his wife is based on the future. The future is always more precious than the past, for that which has already happened no longer exists. No one can bring it back or improve on it. Yet we still have a chance to improve the future. (Oznayim L'Torah)

   (21:6) "Kol Ish Asher Bo Mume Mzerah Aharon Hakohen lo Yigash L'Hakriv-Any man from the sons of Aharon the Kohen who has a physical defect shall not come close to perform the service"

The Kli Yakar writes that every defect is the result of sin. They were able the look at the defect and know what sin caused it. However a defect from birth was also restricted in order not to embarrass those barred from service.

   (21:17) "Lechem Elokav-Food of G-d." What is meant by this expression "Food of G-d"?

When Yisroel stood at Mount Sinai they had reached a pinnacle in history. They had overcome the original sin. Not since the dawn of creation had man ever attained such closeness to the Creator. The purpose of bringing sacrifices to the Creator of the world is in order to reconnect to Him. The word Korbon is from the word Korov/close. The sacrifices are called the "Food of G-d" because just as food connects the physical body to the spiritual soul, so too the sacrifices reconnect Klal Yisroel with Hashem. Lechem Elokav is equal to 130 the same as the word Sulam-Ladder which is the connection of the upper and lower.

   (22:28) “Oso V’es Binoh Lo Sishchatu B’Yom Echad-You may not slaughter it and its offspring in one day.” If one person kills the mother animal and another the offspring on the same day, both are culpable. There is an amazing link between the individual Jew and the rest of the nation. The Jewish people share one soul. In the eyes of heaven, all the Jewish people bear responsibility for each other. Here we find the slaughtering of the parent animal by one individual had an effect on the collective soul of the nation including every individual Jew. (Oznayim L’Torah)

   (23:3) “Sheyshes Yomim Tai’Aseh Melacha-For six days work shall be done” This chapter is devoted to the Yomim Tovim. The commentaries ask why does it begins with Shabbos, and in particular with the six days of work? Rashi explains that this is to teach us that whoever observes Yom Tov is considered as if he observed Shabbos.

   The Gerer Rebbe answers the question in a different way. We know that if a person touches something Tameh he becomes Tameh. Depending on the different degrees of Tumeh that the person touches is the degree of Tumeh he incurs. But what if it were reversed? What if he touches Kiddusha? There is a Gemarrah in Zevachim (87a) that says whoever touches the holy objects of the Mishkon becomes holy and is capable of spreading that holiness. If we look for the source of Kiddusha in the world, we find that at the six days of creation the first mention of Kiddusha is with regard to Shabbos.(Bereishis 2:3) “Vayivorech Elokim es-Yom Hasheve Vayikadesh Oso-Hashem blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Shabbos is the source of Kiddusha in the world. By keeping Shabbos a person is able to spread that Kiddusha into the rest of creation. Through this the Sanhedrin was able to establish the times when Yom Tov would occur. As such, Shabbos acts like the sacred objects in the Mikdosh; whatever touches it becomes holy and is able to spread that holiness. This concept can be seen in the wording of the following excerpt from the Yom Tov prayers. Mikadesh Ha’Shabbos Yisroel V’Hazmanim-He sanctifies Shabbos, Israel and the festivals. First comes Shabbos then Israel and then the festivals. Shabbos is the source of Kiddusha which is then transferred to Yisroel to elevate the mundane.

   In the Torah, the day of the month that we celebrate Shavous is not mentioned; it depends entirely on the counting of Yisroel. We count 49 days, then the 50th day is the Chag. There is no set time to learn Torah as by other Mitzvos for the Torah is “Above time”. With regard to the study of Torah it says Vihigisa Bo Yomam Volayla-That you should occupy yourself with it day and night.” The day is before the night. This is not the order of Bereishis which says “Vayehe Erev Vayehe Boker” the night is mentioned before the day. This shows us that the Torah is not bound by

(23:11) "Mimochoras H'Shabbos-On the day after Pesach"  Why is Pesach referred to as Shabbos? The Oznayim L'Torah writes that because we were on the 49th level of Tumeh, We were undeserving of redemption. So too, Shabbos arrives as a gift, undeserving with or without our participation. Hashem himself needed to take us out of Mitzrayim. This created a closeness to Him that was like Yom Shekulo Shabbos.

    (23:15) “U’Sefartem Lochem M’mochros H’Shabbos-You shall count for yourselves from the day after Shabbos.”Hashem had raised them to the lofty levels of angels. He then returned to His heavenly abode leaving man to fall from this high level. Now that they had experienced “a day that was entirely Shabbos” they began to yearn for that closeness again. (Oznayim L'Torah)

    Many commentators have struggled to explain why the word Shabbos in this verse is really referring to the first day of Pesach? In Bereishis on the eve of the first Shabbos Hashem intended for man to obey His first command and enter  Shabbos in a pure and holy state. This would have been the completion and perfection of all of creation. However Man failed and creation was thrown into a downward spiral. Through Hashem’s Chesed  Man was allowed to remain in Gan Eden for Shabbos. The work to rebuild the relationship would thus begin on the eighth day, the day following that first Shabbos -  M’Mochros H’Shabbos.

   (23:28) "B'etzem Hayom Hazeh-On this very day" Why is this phrase repeated here with regard to Yom Kippur? We might have thought that the forgiving of sin can only be accomplished when there is a temple standing. The Torah therefore tells us B'etzem Hayom Hazeh it is the essence of the day itself  with or without the temple.(R.Bechaya)

  (23:28) “L’Chapear Aleichem-To provide you atonement.” The Baal H’Rokeach writes that the word Kapora is written 24 times in the Parshas of  Acharei and Emore. This corresponds to the 24 prohibitions of Arayos in Acharei and the 24 hours in the day. Plus, he adds, the 24 times the word  “Ochel” is found in  Bereishis from the time Hashem commanded Adom to eat from all of the trees in the garden (Lochem Yihiyeh L’Ochloh), until Hashem expels man from the garden lest he eat from the “Tree of life” (V’ochel V’chai L’Olam)

  What is the connection of all of these? Both of these Parshios deal with the Kohanim, the priests. They represent the apex of man. The Torah prescribes that they represent all mankind in the service of the Temple. They are to be holy and thus abstain from any illicit behavior (Arayos). They are to correct the original sin which robbed mankind of time. Where he once was to live for ever, he now was reduced to being subject to time. Plus the 24 times the word Ochel is mentioned, with regard to the sin of eating the forbidden fruit, is countered by the 24 times the word Kapora is written.

   (23:39) “Ach B’Chamishe Assur Yom-But on the fifteenth day.”The Torah has just finished speaking of the festival of Succos and has summarized the section with the two verses (37-38). Yet in this verse it once again begins to speak of a festival of seven days. Why does the Torah add this second passage about the festival of Succos? Although this section adds the additional Mitzvos of the Four Species and the details of the Mitzvah of the Succah, all these things could have been included in the first section? Why does the Torah seemingly end the section on Succos and then begin a new section on the same topic? And why does the second section begin with the word “Ach” which is meant to exclude something? What is being excluded?

There are two reasons for the festival of Succos:

1- It is the continuation of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. In case Israel have been sentenced to exile, they exile themselves by leaving their homes into a Succah. The first section completes the atonement of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Therefore the Torah uses the terminology, “On the fifteenth of “this” month ie. the month of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. That is why there is no mention of joy in the first section. It is the continuation of the Days of Awe.

2- However Succos has a secondary purpose, namely when you gather in your crops. We need to thank Hashem for all the good He as given us. The second reason - rejoicing and thanksgiving - is the opposite of the first reason - voluntary, symbolic exile to atone for a possible verdict of real exile. For this reason the second section begins with the word “Ach” as an expression of the festivals alternate purpose, excluding the first reason and transforming the festival from sighing to rejoicing.

   (23:29-30) "V'Nichrisah M'Ameha..V'Chol Ha'Nefesh Asher Taseh Kol-Melacha B'Etzem H'yom H'zeh V'Havaditi. Es HaNefesh HaHu Mikerev Amoh-Any soul who will do work on this very day, I will destroy that soul from among its people." The Soforno writes that from the two expressions of dealing with someone who transgresses Yom Kippur, there are two types of punishments. For someone who eats the punishment may be Koros- spiritually cut off. He may just be a glutton. However one who works on Yom Kippur shows contempt for Hashem's wishes.

   (23:40) "Pri Eitz Hadar-The fruit of a tree of splendor." These words have the same numerical value as the word Esroigim. The verse could have said "Pri Hadar" but includes the word Eitz. This teaches us that the tree and the fruit have the same taste.

  (23:42) “Ba’Sucos Taishvu Shivas Yomim Kol-Hoezrach B’Yisroel-You shall dwell in the Sukos seven days, every native born Israelite”. What is the term “Kol-Hoezrach” meant to teach us?

  We don’t find this term by any of the other Moadim mentioned here.  The Kli Yakar writes that it has to do with the fact that Sukkos is a time of gathering in the crops. A time when a person can tend to forget Hashem, feeling that he has a full storehouse. This is the time when he needs the lesson of Sukkos. It is the lesson of leaving the protection of his home to dwell in the protection of Hashem. Since the land belonged only to those native born Israelites the Posuk says “Kol-Hoezrach”.

   But perhaps we can offer a different explanation. In Posuk thirty three, (23:33) the Torah begins to teach the Mitzvah of Sukkos through Posuk 36 at which point the Torah concludes  with “Ayleh Moadei Hashem-These are the appointed times of Hashem”. Referring to all of the Moadim listed in this Parsha beginning with 23:1. In 21:39 the Torah returns to Sukkos saying “Ach B’chamishe Asa Yom speaking here of the Sukkos of Achris Hayomim. In the future all the nations of the world will come to Yerushalayim to bring sacrifices on Sukkos. Any nation that will not be present will not have rain. But what the Posuk is hinting at here is that the real mitzvah of Sukkah will only be for the Jews. Because we know that after Hashem’s revelation in the Messianic age, all the nations of the world will complain that had they received the Torah they too would have kept the Mitzvos. So at that time Hashem will give the Mitzvah of Sukkah to them. But they will not be able to carry it out.  This is why the word “Kol-Hoezrach” is used in the second mentioning of Sukkos. Only the natural born Jews will truly be connected to the Mitzvah of Sukkos.

  The Zohar has a different take on this. The repetition and the mentioning of  “Kol-Hoezrach” is meant to include the Ushpizin that come each night. That is why the future tense is used. “In Succos you shall dwell” -will dwell in the future.

   (24:10) “Vayetze Ben Eisha Yisraelis Vehu Ben Eish Mitzri-The son of an Israelite woman went out, and he was the son of an Egyptian man.”  The Torah here tells us that they did not know what to do with this man who cursed Hashem using the Shem Hamiforesh. And that they put him under guard until they could hear from Hashem what was to be done with him. Later it time and it is above the time that was created. So the time of the giving of the Torah is not listed as a certain day of the month like the other holidays because the days of the month are times and the Torah which is “Above Time” is given on the “50th day” because the number 50 is “Above Time”.   Succos and Pesach are for seven days but Shevuous is one day to show us that Torah is “Above Time”. For if Shevuous would be seven days there would be a set time for learning Torah. Shevous can fall out on any day of the week, it has no set time or set day.

says that Hashem told Moshe to take the man outside and stone him. In between the Torah tells us the laws concerning one who curses Hashem. Then in posuk (24:23) “Vayotziu es Hamikalel el Mechutz Lamachaneh -U’Benei Yisroel Asu Kasher Tzivah Hashem es Moshe-They took the blasphemer outside the camp-and Benei Yisroel did as Hashem commanded Moshe.” It would seem that Benei Yisroel did the job that was commanded to Moshe. Why did Moshe need to ask Hashem what to do? We know that a person who curses his parents is stoned, how much more so if he curses Hashem? Why did Benei Yisroel need to do the job instead of Moshe? Plus why was it necessary for the Torah to tell us that Benei Yisroel did as Hashem commanded Moshe?

   We know that this son of an Egyptian man was born from the only illicit union that occurred during the entire servitude in Egypt. While Moshe was in Mitzraim he came across an Egyptian beating a Jew. He understood what had transpired. The Egyptian posed as this man and had slept with his wife. Now that the Jew had become aware of this incident the Egyptian was beating him. Moshe it says looked “Ko V’Ko” he looked into the future to see if any converts would come from him. After ascertaining that no one was to come from him, he killed him using the Shem Hamiforesh. In our parsha this Jew who cursed was the son of that union. That’s why the Posuk tells us his father was an Egyptian. When he was told that he could not pitch his tent in his fathers Shevet he went to the Beis Din who ruled that he had no right to pitch tent there since his father was not a Jew. At which point he found out that Moshe was the one who killed his real father using the Shem Hamiforesh. He therefore went out from the Beis Din and cursed Hashem. Moshe did not want to be the one who pronounced sentence on this Jew. It would come out that he killed the father and the son. That when he looked into the future to see if anyone would come out of this Egyptian he did see someone. This Jew! So by killing him himself he was assuring that what he had previously done held up. This is why it says that they asked Hashem what to do with him. This is also why it was Benei Yisroel and not Moshe that took him out to be stoned.

They used to lift and show the Lechem Haponim to the Oleh Regel and say to them this shows Hashem's love for you, the bread is taken away as fresh as it is set down.

   Why is it that they were shown this particular miracle of the bread that would stay fresh the whole week?

   The answer to this question is the same answer to the question of why did the Munn fall each day and not just once a year? Because like a king that loves his son, Hashem loves Benei Yisroel so much that he wanted them to come out each day to meet with him. The proof is that if the bread could stay fresh and warm a whole week later, then the Munn too could have remained fresh all year long. The Lechem Haponim was shown to the nation as a symbol of Hashem's love for his people.

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(14:2) “Zos Tihiyeh Toras Hamitzora B’yom Taharoso-This shall be the Torah of the Metzora on the day of his cleansing.”

   The Chovos H’livovos writes that when someone speaks Loshon Hora against his friend his Mitzvos are taken away and given to the person about whom he spoke. When the Torah writes “This shall be the Torah of the Metzora on the day of his cleansing.” it means that only after he becomes Tahor is his Torah really his. Up until this time it belonged to the one whom he spoke Loshon Hora about.

When a person’s home became afflicted with Tzaras he would have to summon the Kohen to check if the house was Tameh. But first the house would have to be emptied of all of its contents to avoid making them Tameh. Rashi says that the Tzaras that afflicts a person’s house was really a blessing for Benei Yisroel because during the entire forty years that they spent in the Midbar the residents of Canaan hid their valuables in the walls of their homes. So when they would break the walls they would uncover the treasures hidden within.

   The question is if the Tzaras came because of a sin that was committed why would he receive a reward? Perhaps the reason that the Tzaras came in the first place was because this person was stingy with his possessions. If he were asked to borrow a saw he would answer that he has no saw. If we were asked to borrow a set of dishes he would answer that he had no extra set of dishes. Now when this house became afflicted and the entire contents had to be removed everyone was able to see his possessions. This was a correction for his stinginess. The treasures that were found also became a correction for him because he was not permitted to keep all that he found but rather since it belonged to all of Klal Yisroel he was required to distribute it all, a little at a time. This would help correct his stinginess by forcing him to be generous.  

   (14:21) "V'Im Dal Hu Vein V'Yado Maseges- If he is poor and his means are not sufficient." This seems somewhat redundant? The Chizkuni writes that there are two types of "Dal" one physical the other spiritual. The Kol Torah writes that he might be spiritually poor doing Mitzvos by rote.This teaches us that a rich man bringing a poor man's offering is not fulfilling his obligation. The word "Dal" can also mean his fortune has become depleted. This can be expected from someone who has been isolated from his community. He may still have means to live a rich life but not what he had become accustomed to.      

(14:33) "“Vayidabaer Hashem el-Moshe Vel Aharon Ki Sova el Ha’aretz-Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon when you enter the land.” Moshe and Aharon were not going to be entering the land. But Hashem wanted to attribute these to them and that's why Aharon is included.

   The Chasam Sofer offers a different explanation. He says that the posuk begins with “Vayidabaer Hashem el-Moshe Vel Aharon Ki Sova el Ha’aretz-Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon when you enter the land.” We know that since Moshe was a Levi and Aharon was a Kohen neither of them would be receiving a share of Eretz Yisroel. He therefore explains the verse to be speaking about the future.

   A person who contracts Tzoras is considered dead. “B’yom Taharoso-On the day of Purification” means it is as if he was resurrected. In the days of Moshiach after reincarnation when both Moshe and Aharon will be living in the land they will have received a portion of it. At that time all the treasures will all be revealed. This is why the verse uses the word “Tihiyeh” in the future tense.

   What does it mean to have Tzoras in the times of Moshiach and to break walls to find treasure? Perhaps we can say that it means in the days of Moshiach we will break through the barriers that prevented us from seeing how the Tzarus we had to endure really was a part of arriving at the point Hashem wanted us to be at all along. This is the treasure that awaits us all. Only the Jewish nation was subject to this type of outbreak. Only the pure Jewish nation received rewards. If not for Pharoh’s refusal to let Yisrael go, there would never have been the revelation of the 10 Macos. Only through the Tzarus were we able to arrive at the destination. The words “Toras Hamitzora equals 1411 in gematria the same as the words “V’Yadu Kol H’aretz Ki Yesh Elokim B’Yisroel-All the world will recognize that G-d (Elokim) is amongst Israel.”

   The word Metzorah comes from the words Motze Rah- to bring out evil. The Kli Yakar writes that there are three sins punished by Tzaras, Haughtiness, Loshen Hora and Ayin Hora. In order to purify oneself the Metzorah must shave off the hair from his head because he was haughty and wanted to be the head of everything. Next he must shave of his beard because it failed to guard his mouth, which it surrounds, from uttering Loshon Hora. Finally he must shave his eyebrows that failed to keep his eyes from Ayin Hora. He then shaves off all of the hair from his body then go to a Mikveh to purify himself and once again have off all of the hair from his body removed. This is to prevent him from once again speaking evil about another.

   The question is why must he repeat the shaving procedure and how does removing hair relate to his speaking evil? The Ben Ish Chai addresses these questions. He says that the person who speaks evil is lacking in his Emunah. He thinks that his fellow man is his competition. That whatever his friend has takes away from what he could have had. But the truth is that no man can touch even a thread of hair from someone else unless it was preordained by Hashem. When one looks at a persons hair it appears as one unit. Only when separated can we see that each hair was rooted in the skin. This is meant to teach this lesson. It only appears to be as one but in reality each follicle of hair has its own root. This process is repeated to drive home this message.

The atonement for the Metzorah is to bring a sacrifice of two birds. One bird is slaughtered and the other is set free. Rashi explains the choice of birds, as opposed to any other animal, is because birds are always chirping and chattering. Thus to cleanse the person who was always chattering to people, we slaughter the chattering bird. But if that is the case why do we need the second bird. If we are to set it free why bother going through the procedure in the first place? The answer is that there are two types of speech. The negative, destructive speech and the positive inspiring form of speech. There are many ways to use speech in a positive way. For Mitzvos, making Brochos, for learning Torah, The lesson we are to take from this is that it’s not enough to guard your tongue from negative speech. One must actively use the power of speech in a positive vain to make a difference in the world.

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                                         Tazria

   The Parsha begins with the laws of Tumeh. Just as the original creation of the world, humans were created after the animals, so too the laws of man follow the laws of the animals.(Rashi)

The words Tamey and Tahor have no real parallels in English or in any other secular language, and we have to delve more deeply into the Hebrew in order to even begin to comprehend how it can be applied to the concept of Kashrut. The following is based on the work Derech Hashem, authored by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto, better known as the"Ramchal,".

   The word Tamey originates in the Hebrew word Atum, which means "impermeable" or "sealed off." In the world of the immediate present it is all too easy to present the flavor of what the word implies. When the Torah employs the concept of being sealed off it does so in a spiritual sense; tamey refers to a person or creature or substance that is sealed off from the spiritual; it is impermeable to Divine emanation or light.

   When Hashem created the world, He was faced with a dilemma. If He created a universe completely open to His Divine light, such a universe would be overwhelmed by the brightness of this light and would cling to Hashem, unable or unwilling to separate. On the other hand, if creation was impermeable to Divine light it could not survive. A created universe has no inertia. It needs the constant input of the fresh energy that we describe as the Divine light in order to continue to exist.

   Besides, not only were these extremes impractical, they also defeated the purpose of creation. Hashem wanted the universe to contain the possibility of connecting to Him through a process of free choice. This required a built in possibility of separating from Him and still continuing to survive. Some restriction to the need for constant exposure to the emanation of the Divine light had to be part of the universe's basic design.

   So Hashem made a creation that is a mixture of Tamey and Tohar, of substances that are porous mixed with those that are impenetrable. The part of creation that is permeable to His Light is known as Tahor; but a portion was designed to exist in a state of spiritual darkness; the portion we call Tamey. Since both parts are combined into a single entity, creation as an entirety can function without either being totally overwhelmed by Hashem's emanations or in any way bereft of them.

   The Tamey portion of creation that is impermeable to the Divine light keeps the whole thing from fading back into the source, while the Tohar portion that is permeable can connect back to the source so that Hashem is able to keep creation going.

   Not only does this solve the problem of maintaining the universe in existence in a state of partial separation, it also offers the built in possibility of free choice. As anyone can connect to the Tamey, a part of the universe that exists only in a state of separation from Hashem, there is a built in existential alternative to clinging to the Divine Presence.

   Kashrut is an excellent way to bring this down to earth. We derive the energy for continued life from the things we eat. If we eat the Tamey, we are choosing to live in separation from Hashem by definition; if we wish to connect we must only consume that which is Tohar.

   There is a Midrash which states if a person merits it, then they say to him, “you preceded all the works of Creation.' And if not then they say to him, 'the mosquito preceded you.”

We know that in Bereishis, the creation of man is last. So how can one say to a person "you preceded all the works of Creation?" We also need to explain what's wrong with being last. On the contrary, "saving the best for last" comes from an old saying of our Sages: "the last is most important!"

The Bais Yitzchak answers these questions, with a story of a gathering of philosophers   devoted to studying and understanding all of the components of the natural world. They determined that everything in the world has a purpose. As we know today, complex ecosystems depend upon the interactions of every plant and animal within them, and the disappearance of even a single species can throw an entire system out of balance.

   Other species are especially valuable in the service of man: horses and donkeys, for example. Various plants provide us with food; even poisonous varieties often have medical value when used externally.

   This conclusion was finally reached after great effort over a long period of time. They were delighted to have discovered a true structure in all that had been created, and were ready to celebrate. One of them, however, was not satisfied. When they had all gathered at the party, he stood up and reminded them that they had failed to determine the purpose of one extremely important species: Homo-sapiens. “What was the purpose of creating humans, and does the world need us?”

   So they chewed on that one for a while, and came up with no physical contribution made by humans to the rest of the world. We are not providers of natural resources -- we consume them. We cut trees and slaughter animals, destroying and eating while contributing nothing in return. Even human waste is useless, unlike the waste of many animals.

    What do we conclude from that? If we decide that there is no great purpose to Creation, that it represents merely the random quirks of natural selection, then we conclude that humans are indeed destroyers. But the real purpose of man is not physical, but spiritual. We know this, however, not because we invested years of study into the natural order, but because the Torah tells us that had no nation accepted the Torah, the Creation of the world would have had no purpose. We exist not to provide physical contributions to the world, but spiritual.

    When a person makes bread and separates challah from it, makes the blessing when slaughtering an animal, or makes a blessing upon kosher food on his or her table, this sanctifies the act of eating and consumption, and in so doing brings spiritual value to all the natural phenomena that went into the production of those foods. The person is then not a mere consumer or destroyer, but the provider of final perfection.

   This being the case, then we understand the Midrash with which we began. "If a person merits it" - if he or she invests in spiritual pursuits and brings spiritual perfection to the world, then they say "you preceded all the works of Creation." Meaning, the world was created for the sake of this person and what he or she has done with the physical resources it provides. So although the physical Creation of all else came first, the reason for it all, the initial consideration upon which all of Creation was based, was indeed this person. And if not, if a person ignores the purpose of Creation, then "the mosquito preceded you." Even the lowly mosquito was here on earth first, so what right do you have to come and dominate and destroy it, or any other thing, afterwards? Every one of us has the tools in hand to bring perfection to the world!

  (12:2) “Isha Ki Sazria V’Yalda Zachor V’tameh Shivas Yomim-If a woman conceives and bears a child she shall be impure for seven days.” The period of impurity differs for the birth of a male child versus that of a female. Many Torah critics complain of the Torah’s bias towards the male. But this concept of impurity needs clarification. Impurity sets in when a void of Kiddusha occurs. When a woman gives birth the soul she had been carrying in the form of that child leaves her creating a void of Kiddusha and tumah automatically replaces it. An example of this is in the body of man. Man has been endowed with a soul. But when a man dies and that soul leaves his body, a tremendous Tumah sets in. This is why a Kohein is not permitted to enter a cemetery. The Kohein represents man at his highest and most holy point. For him to be in contact with Tumeh would go against his role in this world to be a connecting point to Hashem.

   Another example is that of the Tumah one experiences upon waking up in the morning. There is a need to wash the hands to remove that Tumah. The reason is because when a person sleeps a part of his Neshama leaves his body. This is why 

sleep is considered one sixtieth of death. Since part of the Neshama leaves, a void is created which is immediately filled by Tumah.

   The first childbirth ever recorded in history was when Chava gave birth to Kayin. The name Kayin is explained to come from her declaration (Bereshis 4:1) “Kanisi Ish es-Hashem-I have acquired an attribute of Hashem.” Just as Hashem has the ability to create, woman now has exhibited that ability to create. It is for this reason that the period of impurity for a female child is twice that of a male. For when a female soul is removed from the mother a greater degree of Kiddusha is lost. A Kiddusha that is more likened to Hashem in its capacity to create, than a male.

   After the birth of a son, a woman is Tameh for seven days. The very next Posuk records that on the eighth day he should be circumcised. The close proximity of the seven and eight teaches us that the woman who observes the seven day Niddah laws will be blessed with sons who will be circumcised on the eighth day.

   The previous Parsha ended with the details of kosher and non-kosher animals. But for eating non-kosher animals one is not punished with Tzoras. Hashem causes that public rebuke for the gossip and slander that devours people and their reputations. We can see people being very careful about what they eat but lax about what they say. Yet Hashem does not bring Tzaras on someone who devours pork, only one who devours people.

Tzaras was not a physical disease, it was spiritual. It revealed a hidden aspect of creation that was unique to the nation of Israel. The words “Toras HaMetzora” equal 1411 which also equal “Vayeidah Kol H’Eretz Ki Yesh Hashem B’Yisroel-All the world will know that Hashem is with Yisroel.

   Tzaras was brought on the people in an era when few people spoke loshon hora. Yet today when there is little care taken about what people say we don’t see Tzaras? Tzaras was a divine warning to a person who was basically healthy; that he had done a bad thing It was a blessing as much as a punishment because it alerted him to a problem and forced him to deal with it. Now we live in a time where people are on a level where the sins that cause Tzaras are rampant. They don’t deserve this Divine reminder that something is wrong.

   (12:8) “V’Lokcha Sh’tai Sorim...Echod L’Olah V’Echod L’Chatos-Take two Turtle Doves..One for an elevation offering and one for a sin offering.” The actual order of the sacrifices is reversed? First we must remove the sin, only then can we come closer to Hashem through the elevation offering. Why then does the Torah write them listing the elevation offering before the sin offering? Perhaps we can say that coming closer to Hashem is the goal. Even though we must remove sin to get there, by listing the elevation offering first, we proclaim our intent from the start.

There are two forms of Loshon Hora. The Ohr Hachaim says one that is true but forbidden to say brings about Tzaras that is called Baheress, which comes from the word to clarify. The person wants to clarify his gossip. The second type is the slander which is totally untrue. This is punished by Seis a worse form of Tzaras. One is just on the surface the other is below the skin indicating that there is a more severe problem with the person.

   (13:13) "V'Roh Hakohein V'Hinei Kisiso Hatzoras es Kol H'Basar-The Kohein shall look and behold the affliction has covered the entire his entire flesh." Why does the Kohein declare the person pure when his entire flesh becomes covered with the affliction? The Kol Torah explains that the Moshiach will only come after all governments of the world become total heretics. This verse supports this as G-d's salvation is closest to man when his ordeal reaches its greatest intensity. It is then that the turning point in his destiny occurs.

   (13:33) “V’hisgaloch-He must shave.” The person wishing to become pure must shave his entire body. The word “Hisgalach” is spelled with a large letter Gimmel. The Otzer Chaim says that this is a hint to the law that permits taking a haircut on the 33rd. day of the Omer because this is the 33rd Posuk. The Arizal says that from here we Remez that a boy receives his first haircut in his third year corresponding to the large Gimmel which has a numerical value of three.

   (13:47) "Wool and Linen" (13:48) "Linen and Wool" regarding wool listed first it is the material further from the body. The Tumeh comes first on what is more distant from the person. In the second case the order is what's is more valued.

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Parshas Tetzaveh is usually read in the week of Zayin Adar- the seventh day in the month of Adar which we know is the Yartzeit of Moshe Rabeinu. It is also the day of his birth. Moshe was born in the year 2368 from creation. According to the Gra’ for every year in history there is a corresponding Posuk in the Torah and if we look at the events of that year we would invariably find a defining verse of those events. Now if we were to count the verses in the Torah from the beginning the 2,368th verse in the Torah falls out in this week’s Parsha as well. The verse is found in Chapter 29 verse 37 which speaks about the holiness of the Altar. “Anyone who touches the Altar shall become Holy.” This is the core of who Moshe Rabeinu.was. The lawgiver, the transmitter of the Torah, of Kiddusha. Like a flame that transmits light but is itself not diminished.

   Although there are two Parshious that speak of the instructions for building the Mishkon, it is Parshas Terumah that deals with the vessels such as the Aaron, Menorah, the Shulchan and the Mizbeach of copper used for the offering of sacrifices. The only exception is the silver Mizbeach upon which was brought the daily incense which is found in this weeks Parsha Tetzaveh. The Meshech Chochma writes that the Ketores was unique in that the Avodah can be done even without the Mizbeach. This is not so with the other vessels. One needs an Aron to to house the Luchos, a Menorah to light up the Mishkon, a Shulchan in order to place the Lechem Haponim, and a Mizbaiach to bring the sacrifices upon. If the vessel is missing then the service cannot be performed. In contrast, the Mizbeach of the Ketores does not require its vessel and the incense can be burnt even on the ground. This places the Mizbeach of the Ketores in a different category from the other vessels and is therefore set apart in another Parsha.

   Why is this so? Chazal say that the foul odor that emanates from one of the eleven spices does not hold back the obligation of including it together in combination with the other spices. The inclusion of the Chelbenah is meant to teach us that even one who has made himself distant from Hashem must nevertheless be embraced by the Kahal and we must try to be Mekarev him. The word Ketores means tied or connected. Even a sinner is still connected to Hashem no matter how low he may sink.

   This sends a message that even if Klal Yisroel has not made themselves the spiritual vessel worthy of receiving the Divine Shefah from Hashem they can still receive it because the deep connection has not been revoked. As the Posuk says (Vayikra 16:16) “HaShochain Itom B’Toch Tumosom-Who dwells with them amid their contamination” Even if Yisrael are Tamei, Hashem will still dwell within their midst. This is the power of the Ketores.

   That is the Segulah of the Ketores that is can save Yisroel from a plague. This was the gift given to Moshe by the Malachim when he was receiving the Torah. The secret of the Ketores that can ward off a plague. It was told to Aharon in the Midbar when a plague threatened Klal Yisroel. (Bamidbar 17:11) “Kach es H’Machtah..V’Sim Ketores V’Holech M’hairah el Ho’Aidah.” He was told to take a fire pan with incense and quickly pass through the people to stop the plague. At this time when a deathly virus is spreading over the world, we as Hashem’s nation clearly know that it is a message from Hashem. We also know that the Ketores is a Segulah to protect us from being stricken Ch’V. Unfortunately, in our own communities we have many Chelbanahs. Even in each individual there is some part of us that is also Chelbanah. We should embrace and make peace with all of our brethren, stop Machlokes and Ayin Haras towards one another and like the Ketores create a Reiach Nechoach for Hashem.

(27:20) "V'atom Tetzaveh-You shall command" The Kli Yakar asks why these words were necessary? It should just have written "Tzav es Benei Yisroel" as it does in Parshas Emore. (Vayikra 24:2) what is the significance of the word V'atoh? Additionally the Posuk goes on to explain that the oil would be needed to light the "Neir Tamid" using the singular, Neir even though the Menorah contained seven Neirous.? He explains that although the Shechina was in the Holy of Holies it was not visible to all, being behind the Paroches. In order to promote the idea that the Shechina was constantly amongst them there was a constant miracle needed in the Mishkon. This was the Neir Tamid which was a singular miracle. Only the western Neir remained burning continually.

   The Ramban writes that the word "V'atoh" comes to choose Moshe in particular to carry this out and not be done through a messenger. Why then was Hashem more particular about this commandment than all of the others?

   The Abarbanel explains that the word "Tetzaveh" is in the future tense. That Moshe will in the future command Benei Yisroel. However according to this explanation the whole verse is superfluous. What is Hashem conveying to him in saying that he is destined to command regarding the Menorah flames?

It seems that all of this can be resolved by what the Ramban writes in his explanation of this verse, that the phrase "to keep the flame burning continuously" refers to the Western flame that burns eternally. However, the rest of the flames did not burn continuously, but rather only from evening until morning. With this insight all the questions above will be resolved.        

   We can say that this whole Parsha does not intend to command about the flames of the menorah, the principal place for that command is in Parshas Emore. Here the principal command is about the western flame, to reveal to Moshe that even though the partition concealed the Aron there would be, in the holy place,, a continuous miracle that publicized that Hashem resided there. Moshe was like that western flame, for from it many flames are lit and the flame itself is not diminished. Similarly, the flow of the divine spirit emanated from Moshe to all the prophets who came after him, for Moshe's countenance was like that of the sun and from him the divine light emanated to all. Similarly, Moshe’s light emanated to the western flame, who's light, miraculously, was continuous, since he was the intermediary between the divine light and every type of light that existed miraculously. This became apparent from the very moment that he was born. The whole house became filled with light, indicating that he would become the first recipient of the heavenly light, and through his agency, this light would emanate to each place where something existed miraculously.

   For this reason the verse says "V'atoh-and you" that is, from you, from your essence and the abundance of light that is within you. The oil will be brought "to you" meaning, you will affect the transformation of it into miracle oil, to keep the flame burning continuously, referring to the western flame that burned continuously. This is the reason why this miracle was necessary because it was in the tent of meeting outside the partition that conceals the Ark of Testimony. The partition separated between the holy of holy's, the place that bears witness that the Divine Presence dwells within Israel, and the Tent of Meeting. Therefore the next verse says "Aharon shall set it up from evening until morning."

   Why was the oil brought to Moshe if it was Aaron who was to light the flame? Specifically for Moshe to transform that oil. The mission of both Moshe and Aharon was to unite Hashem with Israel. The Sefas Emes writes that Moshe went up to heaven and brought the light down in a spiritual sense and Aharon raised the physical upwards. As the Torah describes. "Aharon shall light the lights from evening to morning." From evening meaning form the darkness of this world to the light. Whereas by Moshe it says that "he judged the people from morning till night." From morning meaning from daybreak when the light begins to shine and dispel the darkness.

   This could also perhaps explaining how it was possible for Moshe to serve as the Kohen Gadol without being anointed and without wearing the High Priest vestments. For Aharon it was the clothes that made the man. But for Moshe it was the man who made the clothes Moshe did not need any special clothing to become the high priest. He was already on the highest level man could achieve. He was the source of the Kiddush that would be instilled forever in this world.

Finally after twenty generations of distancing Hashem’s presence from this world, there would be a place for the Shechina to reside once again amongst his creations. A new beginning was about to dawn of the Kesher between man and his creator. The words “Vatoh Tetzaveh” equal 913 as does the word “Bereishis”

   (28:1) “Metoch Benei Yisroel-From the midst of the Children of Israel.” This week’s Parsha deals with the next phase of the Tabernacle/Mishkon. After completing the details of the structure we now move on to the human aspect of the Mishkon. Hashem tells Moishe to bring near to himself, his brother Aharon from amongst the children of Israel. What is meant by including the words “from amongst the children of Israel?” Where else would he be brought from? The Kli Yakar writes that Aharon was amongst the children of Israel that were involved in the sin of the Golden Calf. Hashem was prepared to take his life were it not for the fact that Moshe was his brother. This is the meaning behind the words “bring near to yourself.” Moshe’s prayers for his brother not only saved him but helped establish him and his descendants as eternal carriers of atonement for the entire nation.

   This idea has its roots in Aharon’s ancestry. The Shem M’shmuel writes that when Avraham was cast into the fiery furnace by Nimrod, his brother Haron was watching on the side lines. He committed himself to following suit if Avraham was to survive. When Avraham emerged unscathed Haron allowed himself to be cast into the fire as well. His willingness to give up his life was admirable but was not as purely motivated as was Avraham. However although he did not survive his life sacrifice did not go in vain. Aharon was a reincarnation of Haron thus the similarity in the names.(Aharon/Haron) Aharon was to correct this by being placed in a similar life threatening situation.

   When Moshe was delayed in returning from Mt.Sinai with the Luchos the people gathered around Aharon wanting him to replace Moshe with an idol. After their experience at Sinai, where they heard the voice of G-d directly and their souls departed, they feared facing any encounter with Hashem without Moshe as an intermediary. One of the images they experienced on the chariot of Hashem was the image of a calf. Aharon's nephew Chur attempted to approach the crowd, but he was killed. When Aharon was confronted by the people he feared that they would stone him as they did his nephew Chur. His concern was that killing the Kohen Gadol would be a sin from which they would not be able to recover. Instead he chose to attempt delaying the making of the golden calf until the next day when Moshe would surely return. Had Aharon confronted the people he would have been able to restrain them. Hashem would have protected him. By risking his life to honor Hashem he would have corrected the shortcoming of his ancestor Haran.

   In the end he failed and that failure became the basis for all of his descendants to carry the atonement of the nation for all time. The words “Mitoch Benei Yisroel- From the midst of the Children of Israel” equal 1069 in Gematria the same as the words “L’chapare al Kol Benei Yisroel-To atone for all the Children of Israel.”

   This week we usually read Parshas Zachar. To remember how Amalek attacked Benei Yisroel when they left Mitzraim. There is a Mitzvah to blot out their memory. Hashem made an oath “Ki Yad al Kes Koh-His hand is upon the throne”so to speak Hashem's hand is on the throne making an oath. The words Kes Koh are each missing a letter, implying that the Shem and the throne are not complete as long as Amalek still exist. What does that mean?

   We learn that there are 39 Melochos that may not be performed on Shabbos, these are the Melochos that were performed in the building of the Mishkon. What is the connection? The purpose of the Mishkon is to provide a place for the revelation of the Shechina. It is a microcosm of the perfect world. In our Siddur there is a description of how Hashem created the world. Thirty nine words are used to describe it. These are the same actions used for the making of the Mishkon. When you use something in the physical world in the way it was intended to be used, the way Hashem wants it to be used, it’s as if you are transforming it into something spiritual.

   This is why there is a connection between the 39 Melochos and the Mishkon. Because the Mishkon was to be a model of a perfect world, the use of the Melochos for Kiddusha is tied with Shabbos, which is a taste of the future perfect world.

   The first example of this is related in the incident of the snake. When the Torah describes the first part of creation it uses only one of Hashem's names Elokim afterward when Adom and Chava were created the two names Hashem Elokim appear. Adam and Chava understood that the world consists of both spiritual and physical and that the physical is not just for their use but is to be uplifted, to be used for the spiritual. The name Elokim equals Hatevah in Gematria. When we speak about the relationship of Hashem to this world we are dealing with Tevah and how that Tevah is to be used. The snake told Chava “Elokim said not to eat from the tree.” And she answered him the same way using the name “Elokim” leaving out Hashem. Afterward it goes back to using both Hashem Elokim. That means when the snake spoke to her he was trying to say there is no spiritual, there is only tevah. This message has been carried over for centuries and is heard to this very day. The secular world today views anyone who believes in anything supernatural as a dreamer at best. There is no spiritual, there is only Tevah, Nature.  

   Many years later the story of Purim arose where an attempt was made to destroy Benei Yisroel. Haman, a descendant of Amalek, possessed the same aspect of tumah as the snake. The definition of Yisroel is Yoshar Kael, straight to Hashem. It is the placing of spiritual into everything physical. The goal is always Kiddusha. That’s why Amalek attacked Yisroel before they received the Torah to prevent them from having the very thing that they would use to put Kiddusha into this world. Haman is rooted in the Torah by the snake, that very place where the purpose of the world is defined. The mitzvah to wipe out Amalek is essential to the completion of the two words Kes Koh. Because until that is done Hashem's name and his throne is incomplete.

   This could be a reason why the name of Hashem is not found in the Megillah. When dealing with tevah (Elokim) we must perceive that it’s Hashem who runs everything. The Jews had seen miracles done for them in the past. But this was the first time that the Jews had tevah do miracles for them. It was so obvious that Hashem had a hand in what was happening that many gentiles wanted to convert. They saw there was no such thing as a lottery, no such thing as chance. Everything that fell into place wasn't just by accident. There was no reason to mentioned Hashem's name because the entire event was a revelation of Hashem.

   In last week’s parsha Terumah, all of the utensils that were to be used in the Mishkon are listed except one, the Mizbayach Hakitores which is in this week’s parsha. One reason given is that each of the utensils of the Mishkon represented a Kapora for a particular sin. The Mizbayach Hakatores represents the sin of Loshon Hora. Just as Loshon Hora creates a separation between men. The Tikun for that Avera also had to be separate. The Ramban offers a much deeper explanation. In parshas Terumah the various parts of the Mishkon are listed the walls the curtains the sockets. Then in this parsha all of the clothing for Aaron and his sons are mentioned. Then the anointing of Aaron and his sons and then all the Korbonos are listed. Finally at the very end it says to make the Mizbayach Hakatores after everything is already in place for the Shechina to descend. Why?

Having a place for the Shechina to dwell amongst man can be very dangerous. Not only do we have the divine presence in our midst we also have divine judgment. Being in such close proximity to the Shechina places man under extreme scrutiny. There needed to be a buffer between man and Hashem. Thats why the Mizbayach Hakatores was listed last because it was that buffer for the extreme justice of Hashem's presence. We see this later in the Midbar when Hashem was angry at Klal Yisroel and he sent a plague to punish them. Aaron was told to run through the camp with the incense to stop the plague. This was a secret given by the Malochim as a present to Moshe when he was leaving Har Sinai. The secret was that incense has the ability to stop a plague, to ward off death. That’s why the Mizbayach Hakatores was the last thing listed of the Mishkon. In that final stage, when all of the various ingredients are about to be switched on, a buffer was needed to be set into place.

   There are three things that were made for the Kohen Gadol which needed engraving. The Ephod, Choshen and the Tzitz. The term used by all three is Petuchey Chosem, the engraving of a seal. The Villna Goan says that there is an allusion here to a Gemarra that speaks of the three keys that Hashem holds control over. Chaya (birth) Motar (rain) and Techiyas Hamaisim (resurrection of the dead). Each of these three are directly controlled by Hashem and not given over to an agent- sheliach. The initial letters of each of these are Ches Tuf Mem. Which spell the word Chosem (seal). All three of these are Kodesh L'Hashem. The word Petuchei comes from the word Mafteach which means key.

   (28:21) “V’Ho-Avonim Tihiyenah al Shemos Benei Yisroel- The stones shall be on the names of Benei Yisroel...Pituchei Chosem.” The question is if the engraving was done like a seal then it had to be engraved backwards so that when it is stamped it can be read. How could the names be engraved that way? They would be illegible. Also why does the posuk say the stones should be on the names? It should have said the names should be on the stones! Rav Dessler answers these questions by saying that the stones were engraved on the bottom. That's why they had to be done backwards so that when you looked through the stones you could see the names correctly. Now the posuk reads well. The stones were on the names. The question is why was it this way?

We know that the Torah begins with the letter Beis and ends with the letter Lamed, which spells Lev (heart). This represents that every Jewish heart encompasses all the letters of the Torah. But as long as there is Amalek, doubt, Yetzer Hora, the heart becomes a heart of stone. As it say's in the Navi “Vehasirosy es Lev Ho'even.” In the future Hashem will remove the heart of stone from man. The Choshen represents that as long as there is a connection to Hashem the light from the letters will be able to shine through the stones.

   On Purim we know that King Achashverous made a party at which he brought out the Bigdey Kehuneh. As if to show that there is no longer a connection to Hashem. The seventy years of the prophecy that the Temple would be rebuilt, was over and there would be no salvation. He showed the Choshen saying there is no light. There are no letters to light. The king sent out a decree to kill all the Jews and we know that the decree of the king cannot be overturned. In the Magillah whenever it says “the King” without mentioning the king's name it means the ultimate King, Hashem. So there was also this decree in heaven. But Hashem said as long as there is that tiny spark of a Jew in his Neshama he can be saved. That's what the Gemarra in Magilah means when it say's “Layihudim Hayisa Orah.-By the Jews there was light.” The Gemarra explains that Ohr means Torah. Then why didn't it say “Layihudim Hayisa Torah?” The Pshat is that they saw the Ohr of the letters shining through, they saw the spark of the Neshama that remains in every Jew. That's why it could be said that there was a Techiyas Hamaisim here on Purim.

   We find that although Hashem saved Klal Yisroel on Purim, there is no mention of Hashem’s name in the Megillah! All of Hashem’s manipulations were done B'nistar (hidden). Moshe's name is also not mentioned in this week’s parsha yet it is there B'nister. There are letters that are Giluy (open) and letters that are Nister (hidden). The Nister letters of Moshe's name equal 101 the same as the amount of posukim in this week’s parsha.

What does this number represent? The Zohar says that a tzaddiik that has passed on is found in all worlds to a greater degree than when he was alive. Why? There are two answers. First while the Tzaddik is alive his life force was clothed in a physical body, so only a glimmer could be perceived. However after he has died this limitation ends and it is possible to experience his essence. Secondly the demise of a Tzaddik involves the elevation of his spirit and soul to its root and source. This elevation is reflected in all worlds, including this physical one. Therefore at the time of Moshe Rabeinu’s passing he ascended to a level far loftier than can be encompassed by a name.

   This concept of Moshe Rabbeinu being present even after death is alluded to through an interpretation of the Chazal in Megillah 12. When Haman's lots fell on the month of Adar to be the designated month of genocide of the Jewish Nation, he was ecstatic for he realized that Moshe Rabbeinu died in Adar. To him this meant a bad Mazal and omen for Yisrael. The Gemarrah says but he failed to realize that Moshe Rabbeinu died in Adar and was born on the same day! Two questions are quite bothersome. One, this statement that he did not realize that Moshe died and was born in Adar is only partially true. He did know that Moshe died in Adar, and it was only his birthday that he didn’t realize. Secondly, even if he was born on Adar it still doesn't erase the fact that he nevertheless died on Adar which still makes this month one of bad Mazal. To answer these two questions the Seforim explain that our Chazal when they use the term "being born" in Adar it does not mean born in the sense of physical childbirth. But Rather the term used here of being born means after death he was reborn in the manner that he spiritually was on earth in order to help all those who learn Torah. That is what Chazal mean when they say that Haman did not realize that Moshe died and was born again immediately. Had he realized this interpretation of being born he would have said that Adar is the worst month to annihilate the Jews. This also answers the order of Chazal when they said that Haman did not realize that Moshe died and was born on this month. The death and birth order should have been reversed according to the time line. However, now that we understand that the term birth of Chazal is after death, the order is perfect.  

Chazal tell us that “Haboh Litaheir M’sayiin Oso-If a person attempts to do good they help him.” Who exactly is meant when they say they? It means that Hashem sends Tzaddikim who have mastered that particular character trait. Moshe Rabeinu is said to be assisting us in every generation. How do we merit receiving such assistance? The Gemmarah says that one who relearns something 100 times does not compare to the one who learns something 101 times. If a person goes beyond the norm, if he stretches himself more than what is expected of him, if he goes beyond the 100 times to the 101st, then he merits divine assistance. Then he merits the hidden part of Moshe Rabeinu to assist him.

(29:1) “V’Zeh Hadovor Asher Taseh Lohem L’Kadesh Osom-This is the matter that you shall do for them.” The verse uses the word “Dovor”which means word, something not found by the other offerings. This alludes to a time when the sacrifices would no longer be brought, when the temple no longer will stand, prayer would be used in place of the offerings. (R.Behaya)

(29:45) “V’shochanti B’toch Benei Yisroel-And I shall dwell amidst the Children of Israel.” The verse should have read “V’shochanti B’tochem-I will dwell amongst them.” What is the purpose of writing “Amidst the Children of Israel?” Hashem’s holy name consists of four letters that were only pronounced once a year on Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies. It is common practice for Hashem’s name to be shortened to the letters “Yud” two times. The last letter of Benei and the first letter of Yisroel comprise Hashem’s name via two “Yuds”. Between the words Benei and Yisroel we find Hashem’s name.

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Parshas Terumah begins a series of Parshiyot that deal exclusively with the building of the Mishkon. For the next five weeks up until the end of Sefer Shemos every detail and every item connected with the Tabernacle is recorded. This great length and attention to detail may seem very odd when we consider the Tabernacle was only a temporary structure.

   The answer seems to be quite profound. If we look at the history of  Israel to this point we find a long series of complaints. They complained right from the start as soon as Moshe began to intervene which made their situation worse. They complained at the crossing of the Red Sea, and again when there was a lack of water. Within weeks of the revelation at Sinai they made a golden calf. If all of these miracles were unable to bring these people to a mature response what could? Then Hashem said let them build something together. This simple command transformed a nation. During the entire time of the construction of the Tabernacle there were no complaints. The people contributed gold, silver and bronze. Some gave their time and skills. They gave so much that Moshe had to order them to stop. It thus comes out that it is not what G-d does for us that transforms us. It is what we do for G-d. The building of the Mishkon was the first project Israel undertook together. It gave them a chance to give back to Hashem a little of what He had given them. This concluded the birth of our nation and is perhaps the reason it concludes the book of Shemos.

   This week’s Parsha begins the instructions for building the Mishkon. The Shelah Hakodesh writes that originally when Hashem created the world His principal residence was in this world. Because of that He provided unification between heaven and earth. This allowed for an unimpeded communication and transfer to our world of sources of blessing from the inexhaustible pools of the upper regions. This is alluded to in the verse (Bereishis 2:1) Vayechulu Hashomayim V’ha’aretz V’chol Tzivo’om- Hashem concluded the creation and all of their array.” This means that each part of the lower universe was also a part of the higher universe and thus contributed to the other’s existence. The conduits supplying sources from one region to the other worked perfectly without hindrance.

   All of that changed when Adom sinned with the Eitz Hadas Tov V’ra. The balance between the two worlds became disrupted. This resulted in the conduits between heaven and earth being broken; the sources of supply to earth were interrupted and Hashem’s presence withdrew creating a separation between the upper and lower regions. For ten generations this withdrawal continued with the presence of Hashem moving further back from the terrestrial region until the advent of Avraham Avinu who began the process of mending the tear in the spiritual universe. Once again, the Presence of Hashem was drawn towards earth step by step. The book of Shemos is called the book of redemption. But that redemption was not complete with the mere freeing of Israel. Only with the restoration of the Divine presence on this world could the process be deemed a success. The building of the Mishkon continued the process of reuniting these two worlds and preparing a place for Hashem’s presence to once again reside on this world.

   The parsha begins with the command  “Vayikchu Li Teruma Me’ase Kol Ish Asher Yidvenu Leibo-Take for me Terumah from every man whose heart will motivate him.” Hashem wants to dwell in each and every heart. Therefore only money received with the purest of intentions could be collected. This would begin the process of mending the separation between heaven and earth caused by the sin of the Eitz Hadas Tov V’ra. The Gamatria of the words Kol Ish Asher Yidvenu Leibo (972) is equal to M’eitz Hadas Tov V’ra.

   (25:2) "Vayikchu Li Terumah Me’ase Kol Ish Asher Yidvenu Leibo-Take for me Terumah from every man whose heart will motivate him.” The verse should say "give for me Terumh" not “take Terumah? What it means is that when you give, it's as if you are the one receiving because the giving is going towards such an important cause, building a structure to house the presence of G-d!

   The Kli Chemdah writes that since there wasn't enough gold for all of the various vessels Hashem made it that what they gave went according to what was in their 

hearts. It became more, based on their desires. Therefore the term "Take for Me" refers to the strong desires to do the will of Hashem.

   (25:5) "Oros Tachoshim-Tachashim skins"  The Tachashis was an animal that only lived during that period then became extinct. Why did this animal become extinct? The multicolored skin of this single horned animal was so beautiful that Hashem had it removed from this world so that it would not  ever be used for secular purposes.

   (25:8) "V'asu Li Mikdosh V'Shochanti B'sochom-Build for me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in you." The Ohr Hachaim asks why the Torah refers to the Sanctuary as "Mikdosh " in one place and as "Mishkon " in another? He answers that the command to build a place for the Shechina  is not limited to one period of time but it's really incumbent upon us all, at all times. However once the Beis Hamikdosh was built it became forbidden to create alternate sites to serve Hashem.  Speaking about the Tabernacle that was built in the Midbar, the Torah uses the term "Mishkon" to infer that this was a temporary situation.

   (25:8) "V'asu Li Mikdosh V'Shochanti B'sochom-Build for me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in you." The Torah goes to great length detailing the construction of the Mishkon. Why do we need all of these details?

     The answer lies in another phrase of the Torah. One that is mentioned in the Torah no less than twelve times!

"El H'mokom Asher Yivchar Elokechah L'shakein Shemo Shom-The place I shall choose to rest my name." The actual place where Hashem says He will rest His presence is never mentioned. Shiloh or Jerusalem, places where the Divine presence eventually did rest, are never mentioned. Perhaps the idea is as follows. Hashem wanted to dwell in each and every individual heart of man. When the Posuk says "V'Shochanti B'sochom"  it means literally in You! This is why no specific place is mentioned. Twelve times an offer was made for each tribe to rise to the challenge of being worthy to house the Divine Presence. When none were found, plan B was to build the Mishkon.

  This is perhaps why the numerical value of the words " "V'asu Li Mikdosh V'Shochanti B'sochom- Build for me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in you” are equal to the phrase "'El H’mokom Asher Yivchar Elokechah L'shakein Shemo Shom-The place I shall choose to rest my name."  (2120-2121)

   The Mishkon was a microcosm of a perfect universe. Every item represented another opportunity to reach perfection. All of the detailed materials used, are mentioned to enable Klal Yisroel to correct particular character flaws.

Gold, the purest metal, symbolized purity of the heart. Physical pleasures should be with proper intention. As one comes closer to Hashem there is a progression from copper to silver to gold.

Linen represents the plant world. Plants vegetate all day. They eat and produce.

Wool represents the animal world,

Sheep the more developed mammal, dyed with the blood of a worm, a lower form of life. This represents the animal world from the highest to the lowest.

Animals have brains, but they mostly think about food and reproduction. That’s why their heads are on the same level as their bodies because that’s what they think about.

The human being stands erect, with the mind above the body. 

The Outer courtyard prepares us to come closer to Hashem. We symbolically slaughter the animal in ourselves, we sprinkle blood (our life force) on the altar, dedicating our lives to serving Hashem.

The Ramp is in the upward direction, symbolizing raising ourselves to Hashem.

The inner sanctuary:

The Table symbolizes the physical development of the nation.

Wood symbolizes constant growth.

Bread represents the basic necessities of life.

Incense are the luxuries of life, all dedicated to Hashem.

The Menorah symbolizes the spiritual development of the nation. Made of solid gold with completely pure intentions. The Menorah is in the form of a tree with branches and flowers depicting our spiritual growth.

The Torah included all of these details because by learning about the Mishkon we can understand what it takes to bring Hashem into our midst.

  In the last years of his life, Sir Issac Newton mastered the Hebrew language and 

was studying the details of the construction of the Tabernacle to gain insight into the secrets of the cosmos. His notes on this subject can be found today in the Israeli Museum.

     (25:11) "V'tzipisah Oso Zahav Tohar M'Bayis Umichutz-You shall cover it with pure gold within and without." The Ark was constructed of three boxes. Gold was used as the outer and inner box, while wood was at the core in between. Pure gold would not have been strong enough to withstand the tremendous weight of the cover with the two Cheruvim upon it. It was therefore necessary to have wood at its center for support. On a deeper level the Kli Yakar writes that the wood alludes to the phrase referring to Torah as a Tree of Life to those who hold on to it. "Eitz Chaim He L'Machazikim Bo" It does not say L'lomedcha-to teach Torah but rather L'Machazikim to strengthen, support Torah learning. Coating it with gold within and without refers to the revealed and hidden parts of the Torah. The coating alludes to the fact that not everyone can comprehend the depths of the Torah however this teaches that every person can still have a share in Torah either through learning or supporting Torah.

   (25:24) "V'tzipisah Oso Zahav-And it should be covered  in gold." The table should covered in gold. The word "Zahav" is an acronym for the three blessings of Bircas Hamozon. Zayin for Zon, Hey for H'aretz and Beis for Boneh. (Rabeinu Bachya)

   After listing the thirteen materials to be collected for this purpose the first thing the Torah commands is to build the Aron, the cabinet which contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments. On top of the Aron two gold Cherubim were placed. The pair was made of one block of gold. They had an angelic appearance with their spread wings touching, and they faced one another. It was from the space between the two Cherubim that G-d communicated with the Jewish people. They had wings pointed upward; they faced each other and had faces like children. The reasons are as follows. The wings represent the laws pertaining to man and his creator. They faced each other to represent the laws between man and their faces were like children to show that the chinuch of the children is above everything.

    It is somewhat strange that Judaism should prescribe a pair of Cherubim, rendered in human form, in the holiest of places. After all, what is the difference between the Cherubim and the golden calf? Why should one represent Divine communication, and the other desecration?

  Rashi teaches us that the reason that the Cherubim were not idols was that G-d commanded us to construct them. This teaches us that the reason that the Cherubim were allowed was that G-d commanded us to construct them. Conversely, the reason that the golden calf was considered idolatry was that G-d did not command us to construct it. The word mitzvah means "command"; the phrase avodah zarah means "strange worship," that which was not commanded.  What was the significance of the Cherubim? The first mention of Cherubim in the Torah is in the verse describing the eviction of man from the Garden of Eden: (Bereishis 3:24) “Man was evicted and Cherubim were placed East of the Garden of Eden, and a revolving burning sword was placed in order to guard the path to the Tree of Life.”

   As a result of man's sin, the Cherubim enter the world, in order to protect the Tree of Life. We have noted the identification between the Tree of Life and the Torah. It is therefore interesting to note that in the Mishkan the Cherubim protect the Ark which contains the Torah, and in Eden the Cherubim protected the path leading to the Tree of Life/Torah. Before the sin of Adom and Chava, the Cherubim were unnecessary; they appear only as a result of the sin. Perhaps we may draw the following conclusion - the Cherubim represent none other than Adom and Chava themselves, young and innocent and naked in the Garden of Eden. Only as a result of their sin did they become aware of, and embarrassed by, their nakedness. The new, "sophisticated" perspective of Adom and Chava, born of partaking of the forbidden fruit, gave them a different, perhaps distorted view of the world. After the sin, they knew that they were naked; they needed to clothe themselves, to hide from G-d.

  It is fascinating that the Hebrew word for clothing is beged, which shares the same root as the word "rebellion." The clothing which man wears is a reminder of the 

rebellion and the resultant distancing from G-d.  At the top of the ark, in place of this couple, pathetically attempting to hide from G-d, now stood a male and a female, representing Adom and Chava before the sin in a state of total innocence before G-d. Specifically from this place would the word of G-d emerge and reverberate.

   The two Cherubim were made of one piece of gold, just as Adom and Chava were initially joined together as one. The Cherubim therefore symbolize the ultimate return to one's self. Throughout the generations the Kohen Gadol would enter into the Holy of Holies, on Yom Kippur, the day on which the Jews were finally forgiven for the sin of the golden calf. Yom Kippur, more than any other day, symbolizes rebirth, regained innocence, as the Kohen Gadol saw before him this perpetual message of innocence - a hope for the future through the image of the past.

   The Midrash writes that the donations given to the building of the Mishkon relates to the Posuk “Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe Morasha Kehilas Yakov.” What does this have to do with the giving towards the Mishkon? The word Morasha (inheritance) can be read as Morasah, as a marriage to the Torah meaning that the Torah is married to Klal Yisroel. But what does this really mean? When a person is engaged he is always at the parent’s house. After the wedding they receive visits from the parents. This is a Moshel to the giving of the Torah.  Before the giving of the Torah we had to come to Hashem. After the Torah was given the Torah is here for us. Moshe would have to go up to the mountain to receive the Torah. It was Moshe's Avodah that brought Hashem close.

  Before the Torah there were people who knew Hashem. A person could work on himself to see insights into the creation. Avraham knew Hashem by studying the world. He understood that there must be a Baal of the universe, a master. This world did not come about by itself. He had to delve into the physical world to realize the spiritual. This was the only way for a person to have any kind of recognition of Hashem. But it was only on the level that the person could attain. Now that we have the Torah, Hashem is always with us. We don't need to dwell on our own in thought. Through learning a person can develop an understanding of the world. There is a Moshel of a king who was marrying off a daughter. He wanted to stay close to her so he said build a room for me where you live so that I can visit you there. This is the Moshel for the Mishkon. That we make a place for Hashem to be among us since the Torah is in our midst.

     The incident with the Eigel actually took place before the commands to build the Mishkon. Why then are these Parshiyos of Terumeh and Tetzaveh placed before Ki Sisa? The Oznayim L’Torah says that this is to inform us of Hashem’s way of supplying the cure before inflicting the plague. But why is this Parsha right after Mishpatim? Benei Yisroel heard the Halochos of returning loans and wanted to go back to Egypt to return the gold and silver they had borrowed. Hashem said they should donate to the Mishkon instead. Had there been any question as to their right to keep these possessions Hashem would not have allowed their use for the construction of his place of dwelling.

    There were three crowns of gold that were in the Mishkon. The Aron - the Ark, the Mizbeach -the Altar and the Shulchon- the Table. The Aron represents the crown of Torah, the Mizbeach represents the crown of Kehunah - the Priesthood and the Shulchon represents Avodah-the Temple service. Each one is mentioned differently in the Torah. When the Aron is described all of the measurements are in fractions. When the Mizbeach is mentioned the measurements are all whole. By the Shulchon there is a combination of both whole and fractioned measurements. The Kli Yakar explains the reason for this. The Aron has fractions because since it represents the Torah and man must never feel as though he has completed his learning. The Mizbeach has measurements that are whole because by offering sacrifices the Mizbeach serves to make man whole through the pardoning his sins. The Shulchan was a combination of whole and fractions because it was the source of Brachas-blessings in the world. A person should always feel happy with his lot in life (whole) and on the other hand (as a fraction) always strive to be more complete.

    The Posuk says they should use the skins of the Tachash. Rashi explains that this 

It says that any animal that is to be used for Hashem has to be able to be one that can be eaten. They ask then why this Tachash is not listed with the animals that are permitted to be eaten? They answer that it is not listed because it’s sole purpose was for Mishkon, having fulfilled that purpose it was destined to become extinct.

   The Lechem Haponim was on the Shulchan. The Ramban says that when Hashem created the world, he created something from nothing. That was the only time. After that all miracles were done by using existing matter and transforming it or expounding upon it, rather than creating something from nothing. When Hashem places Bracha into the world he uses existing matter to bring out the Brachas. Man did not have to work. All of his needs were attended to. But after the Chet not only was he cursed but the earth was cursed as well. In committing the Chet man took what was Hashem’s Bracha and perverted it. He took the physical blessing of the material and misused it. This is why the earth was included in the curse.

   Through the Mitzvos we are commanded Hashem allows us to be partners in restoring the world to what it once was. In fulfilling His will we reveal Godliness once again to the physical world. The word Mitzvah contains the letters Mem Tzaddik Vav Hey. If we take the first two letters and transpose them through Atbash (A form of Gematria that replaces the first letters of the Aleph Beis with the last letters. Aleph=Tuf, Beis=Shin) we have the letters Yud Hey. Combined with the last two letters, Vav Hey, reveal Hashem's name

   Hashem created the physical world for Yisroel and they were to use the Torah to instill spirituality into the material. They were to fix up the Chet of the world. The Mishkon was to be a place of pure Kiddusha. A model of how a perfect world should be. The Lechem Haponim was the source of all Parnosa in the world. Hashem used it as the root through which his Brachas could materialize.

   (25:31) “V’Asisa Menoras Zahav Tohar-You shall make a Menorah of pure gold.” When Moshe was told to make the Menorah, Rashi says he didn’t understand how it should be done. Hashem told him to put the gold in the fire and it would make itself. Later on Rashi says when Moshe couldn’t make it Hashem showed him a vision of the Menorah in fire. It would seem to be a contradiction. The answer is that they are both right. First Hashem showed him the vision. Moshe had to begin the process. When he still couldn’t make it Hashem made it form by itself. The Menorah represents the light of knowledge. This lesson applies to any person who attempts to learn Torah, first he must make the initial effort to learn, then Hashem gives him the needed help to acquire the knowledge.

   The obvious question asked by the Sefas Emes is that if the Menorah was impossible to make, why did Hashem tell Moshe to make it, and why did He show Moshe a diagram of it in fire? The answer holds one of the keys to the universe. A key of which the secular world is totally unaware. It is the secret of Ratzone-Will or desire. By Hashem showing Moshe the Menorah He ignited within him the desire to accomplish even the impossible. Only after he had acquired that Ratzone was he able to attempt the impossible. The secular world is opposed to us reaching our true potential. They wish to limit our desire to become something more, or to ask the question: “What can I do to advance myself in the eyes of my creator.” As a result we live in fear of expressing our desires for something better.

   By turning on that Ratzone a person is able to connect with a reality beyond our limited selves. To a reality of connection with Hashem where anything becomes possible. Thus the expression “Aiyn Dover Omed Lifnei HaRotzone-Nothing stands in the way of desire.” This is the lesson Hashem was teaching Moshe Rabeinu. Ratzone is the secret to the success of Am Yisrael.

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