Wednesday: Eliciting the Supernatural
Adar II 20, 5776 · March 30, 2016
Fourth Reading: Leviticus 10:12–15
Moses comforted Aaron and his sons over the death of Nadav and Avihu. Even though it is normally forbidden for a priest who is in mourning to officiate, Moses instructed Aaron and his two surviving sons to continue with the sacrificial service – including eating their designated portions of the sacrifices – as an exceptional case.
Eliciting the Supernatural
(וַאֲכַלְתֶּם אֹתָהּ .
Shabbat: Bringing Creation to its Fulfillment
Adar II 16, 5776 · March 26, 2016
Seventh Reading: Leviticus 8:30–36
The installation rituals were repeated every day for a full week.
Bringing Creation to its Fulfillment
(כִּי שִׁבְעַת יָמִים יְמַלֵּא אֶת יֶדְכֶם: (ויקרא ח:לג
[Moses told Aaron and his sons,] “[G-d] will install you [by these rituals] for seven days.” Leviticus 8:33
When the world was first created, G‑d’s Presence rested on earth. But the misdeeds of successive generations banished it to further and further spiritual realms.
What Is Purim?
The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”The story in a nutshell:
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen.
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Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
וַיִּפֹּל עַל צַוְּארֵי בִנְיָמִן אָחִיו וַיֵּבְךְּ וּבִנְיָמִן בָּכָה עַל צַוָּארָיו
Biblical scholars point out that Joseph wept over the destruction of the Temple that was in the future territory of Benjamin, while Benjamin wept over the fall of the Tabernacle of Shilo, found in Joseph's future territory. Why did each brother weep over the other's tragedy, surely their own was enough to mourn!
Tuesday: Elevating the Four Kingdoms
Adar II 5, 5776 · March 15, 2016
Third Reading: Leviticus 2:7–16
All sacrifices were salted just before they were burned on the Altar.Elevating the Four Kingdoms
(עַל כָּל קָרְבָּנְךָ תַּקְרִיב מֶלַח: (ויקרא ב:יג)
[G-d told Moses,] “You must offer up salt on all your sacrifices.”
All four kingdoms of creation are incorporated in the sacrifices: Salt is the mineral element; the oil, wine, and flour that accompany sacrifices are the vegetative element; the animal itself is the animal element; the person offering the sacrifice and the priest officiating at the sacrifice are the human element.
Today's Day - Adar II 4, 5776
Roman Ghetto Abolished (1798)
In 1555, Pope Paul IV segregated the Jews of Rome in a walled quarter
surrounded by gates that were locked at night. The ghetto and the Jews were
then subjected to various forms of degradation as well as restrictions on their
During the French
was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte. On the 4th of Adar (Tuesday, February 20,
1798) the Ghetto was legally abolished.
Monday: Spiritual Walking, Flying, and Swimming
Adar II 4, 5776 · March 14, 2016
Second Reading: Leviticus 1:14–2:6
The five types of animals that could be brought as sacrifices were cattle, goats, sheep, pigeons, and doves.
Fish are not brought as sacrifices
Spiritual Walking, Flying, and Swimming
(וְאִם מִן הָעוֹף עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ לַה' וגו': (ויקרא א:יד
[G-d told Moses,] “If someone’s sacrifice to G-d is an ascent-offering of fowl.”Leviticus 1:14
Mammals allude to those among us whose animal nature is relatively pronounced.
And he had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther.
וַיְהִי אֹמֵן אֶת הֲדַסָּה הִיא אֶסְתֵּראסתר ב:ז
va-y'-hee o-mayn et ha-da-sa hee es-tayr
Esther is the name that comes to mind as the Jewish heroine of the Purim story, however, in the Megillah, we find that her given name is actually Hadassah.
Why was Esther's name changed, and why has the second name gone down in fame throughout history? If we look at the meaning of the word Esther, we can see why.
Sunday: Getting Close
Adar II 3, 5776 · March 13, 2016
First Reading: Leviticus 1:1–13
After the Tabernacle was erected on the 1st of Nisan, 2449, G‑d called Moses into the Tabernacle and began instructing him regarding the procedures for the sacrifices.
There are four broad categories of sacrifices: ascent-offerings, peace-offerings, sin-offerings, and guilt-offerings.
G‑d first taught Moses the procedures for ascent-offerings.
Getting Close - (אָדָם כִּי יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן וגו': (ויקרא א:ב