Ki Tisa 5773

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Gemara in Shabbos (118b) states that if we keep Shabbos perfectly two times in a row, then Moshiach would come immediately. However, the Yerushalmi says we only need to keep Shabbos perfectly once. The Kedushas Levi resolves this contradiction. In actuality, it only takes one Shabbos for Moshiach to come. When we properly keep Shabbos, it leaves an impact on our Avodas Hashem for the rest of the week; we worship Hashem with a pure heart. This then leads into the following Shabbos, which is then properly followed again, but this time with our "renewed" Avodas Hashem.

Tetzaveh 5773

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There are two clothing pieces of the Kohein Gadol that the Torah describes to be "crafted by weavers" ("ma'aseh choshev"): the ephod (apron) and the choshen (breastplate). Why specifically these two? The Kli Yakar explains because they both atone for sins connected to one's thoughts, which in Hebrew is the same root as "choshev". The Ephod atones for idolatry; idolatry affects your faith and therefore affecting your thoughts. The choshen atones for corrupt judgment; a judge's thoughts are affected by his feelings in his heart.

Terumah 5773

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Parsha begins with Hashem telling Moshe to take donations from Bnei Yisroel for the building of the Mishkan. This seems to say that Bnei Yisroel was forced to donate. But didn't they give with a "nediv lev," a motivated heart? R' Moshe Feinstein writes that when one gives tzedakah he shouldn't do it because Hashem told him to; he should give because he himself wants to give. Using his yetzer tov a person implants in himself a feeling of giving tzedakah out of his own good intentions.

Mishpatim 5773

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Towards the end of Mishpatim the Torah retells the story of Matan Torah. In 24:3 Moshe tells Bnei Yisroel of various laws. Rashi notes that these were laws taught right after they crossed the Red Sea. But why is Moshe reteaching these laws? The Kedushas Levi explains that Moshe wasn't reteaching them because the posuk says he "told" them rather than "commanding" them; he was giving Bnei Yisroel encouragement in doing the Mitzvos and how it kivyachol gives Hashem pleasure. It's important to give positive reinforcement to one who needs it in his service to Hashem; it rekindles the spark to do Mitzvos with happiness.
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