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Shabbat: Bringing Creation to its Fulfillment Adar II 16, 5776 · March 26, 2016 Seventh Reading: Leviticus 8:30–36

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.

Self-Made Exile - Esilio creato da noi stessi

Nothing is more empowering than the decision to do good despite all odds. Nothing is more liberating than stealing time from a busy day to immerse yourself in the ocean of Torah.

There is no greater freedom than ignoring the entire world while you converse with its Creator.


Take charge. Just do it. The world releases its stranglehold and recedes to the background. The universe becomes your servant. You are free.

Exile begins when we believe the world is a big place and we are its tiny prisoners.
Freedom begins when we believe in our purpose and do what we are here to do.

Finding God Amidst Tragedy ✡ "Benjamin Wept Upon His Neck

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
בראשית מה:יד

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!

Fish are not brought as sacrifices

Daily Wisdom

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.

Sunday: Getting Close Adar II 3, 5776 · March 13, 2016 First Reading: Leviticus 1:1–13

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

Torah Studies: Pekudei

Pekudei

Four of the last five Sidrot have dealt with the construction of the Sanctuary and its vessels by the Israelites. What is the difference between them that justifies their division into four separate Sidrot? There is a clear difference between the first two (Terumah and Tetzaveh) which concern the command itself, and the second two (Vayakhel and Pekudei) which concern its transmission and execution. 

But what distinguishes Vayakhel and Pekudei? And what links them so that they are often read together in the same week?

Weekly Aliyot Adar I 29, 5776 · March 9, 2016 Vayakhel Aliya Summary

Weekly Aliyot

Adar I 29, 5776 · March 9, 2016
Vayakhel Aliya Summary

General Overview: In this week's portion, Vayakhel, Moses gathers the Jews and relays to them all the details regarding the construction of the Tabernacle and its vessels. The actual construction is also described. This portion repeats many of the details described in the portion of Terumah, wherein G‑d instructed Moses how the Tabernacle and its vessels were to be constructed.

First Aliyah: On the day after Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Second Tablets, after successfully securing atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, he gathered all the Jewish people.

Pekudei Adar I 29, 5776 · March 9, 2016 Exodus 38:21-40:38

Pekudei
Adar I 29, 5776 · March 9, 2016
Exodus 38:21-40:38

Moses makes an accounting of the gold, silver and copper donated by the people for the making of the Mishkan. Betzalel, Ahaliav and their assistants make the Eight Priestly Garments -- the ApronBreastplateCloakCrownHatTunicSash andBreeches -- according to the specifications communicated to Moses in the Parshah of Tetzaveh.
The Mishkan is completed and all its components are brought to 

Daily Wisdom Thursday: The Elevation of Sensuality Adar I 30, 5776 · March 10, 2016 Fifth Reading: Exodus 40:1–16

Daily Wisdom

Thursday: The Elevation of Sensuality
Adar I 30, 5776 · March 10, 2016
Fifth Reading: Exodus 40:1–16


G-d then gave Moses specific instructions how to erect the Tabernacle. Included in these instructions was where to place the Laver – the urn from which the priests washed their hands and feet in preparation for officiating in their roles.

The Elevation of Sensuality

(וְנָתַתָּ אֶת הַכִּיֹּר בֵּין אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּבֵין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וגו': (שמות מ:ז

[G-d told Moses,]

“You must place the Laver between the Tent of Meeting and the Altar.

In the Garden of the Torah: The Power of the Individual Adar I 30, 5776 · March 10, 2016 Pekudei; Exodus 38:21-40:38


The Power of the Individual
Adar I 30, 5776 · March 10, 2016
Pekudei; Exodus 38:21-40:38

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXI, p. 250ff; 
Sefer HaSichos 5749, p. 313ff; 
Sichos Shabbos Parshas Pekudei, 5743; 
Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, 5752 

Contrast and Concord

What is the true importance of an individual? On one hand, our society often exaggerates the importance of personal gratification. In actual life, however, many people feel dwarfed by their surroundings, insignificant before the raging sea of experience to which contemporary life exposes us.
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