Pekudei 5774

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Da'as Zekeinim equates the Mishkan to Creation. Each day of Creation corresponds to a specific posuk said about the Mishkan. For example, the luminaries in Day 4 correspond to the Menorah, which gives off light. Day 6 and the Creation of Man corresponds to Hashem telling Moshe to "bring Aharon and his sons to be priests" (28:1). How do we see Creation of Man in this posuk? I'd like to make a suggestion. Rashi points out in that posuk that Moshe was to bring Aharon once the Mishkan was completed. The comparison can be made to Man, where he was created once the rest of the world was completed. Once he is created, he has a duty to connect to Hashem using the physical world. This is what the priests do with the keilim of the Mishkan.

Vayak'hel 5774

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks compares Bnei Yisroel from last week to this week. Last week, Bnei Yisroel were gathered together in a state of chaos to make the golden calf. This week, they are gathered together in an orderly fashion to donate to the mishkan. Moshe took their original motivation and turned it into avodas Hashem. As Rabbi Sacks puts it, "If you want to bond human beings so that they act for the common good, get them to build something together." This is an important message for a community. We all must work together in an orderly fashion. We must put aside our own personal agendas for the greater good. We shouldn't shun others due to selfish motives. Together, we can help our community grow.

Tetzaveh 5774

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why is the golden altar for incense mentioned after the priestly clothing and priestly inauguration and not along with the other vessels in the mishkan mentioned last week? R' Gedalia Schorr gives the following explanation: The Hebrew word for incense, "ketores," comes from the word "kesher," connection. The ketores has the ability to connect the lower world with the upper world by turning the bad into good. This is why the incense contains a foul-smelling spice called galbanum, to turn its bad smell into a pleasant smell. Aharon and the priests worked "from evening to morning" (27:21), which is another term for turning the bad in this world to good. Since Aharon had this middah, the Torah saw it fit to connect the golden altar with the priests.
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