Below are some highlights from the Torah portion being read in Israel this week. Visit our website http://villageofhopejusticeministry.vpweb.com/blog.html, to access the full content, post your comments and participate in our in-depth study of the Torah portion.
Please note that until August 6th, the Torah reading schedule for communities outside of Israel will be a portion behind the schedule for those living in Israel.
Gavriela Frye, Village of Hope & Justice Ministry
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 .
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.
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.
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?
The stuff you own ends up owning you.
You put your heart and soul into getting it, and now your heart jumps at the thought of it slipping away.
It becomes the tether that ties you to the ground. You could give it all away and live as a hermit.
But you will be no more than a coward. A slave who runs away is still a slave.
Until he becomes his own master.Here’s how to become your own master:
Each time money comes to you, show it who’s boss. Prove you hold the power to set it free.
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.
Today is: Thursday, Adar I 30, 5776 · March 10, 2016
Rosh Chodesh Adar
Today's Laws & Customs• Rosh Chodesh Observances
Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of "Adar II" (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the
It’s natural and healthy to desire material things. If nobody cared about material things, nobody would go to work, nobody would raise a family, and the earth would be a pretty desolate place.
It’s when those desires burn inside you, when they eat you away, and eat away your passion for the stuff that really matters—that’s when they are undermining your very dignity as a human being.
Save your fire for the big stuff. Braised brisket, designer jeans and shiny Lamborghinis are not your purpose of being.
Tuesday: Positive Stubbornness
Adar I 28, 5776 · March 8, 2016
Third Reading: Exodus 39:22–32
One of the high priest’s garments was the golden Forehead-plate.
(וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת צִיץ . . . וַיִּכְתְּבוּ עָלָיו מִכְתַּב פִּתּוּחֵי חוֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַה': (שמות לט:ל
[The artisans] made the Forehead-plate, and inscribed upon it “Holy unto G-d.”
The high priest was required to wear the Forehead-plate because the forehead represents stubborn determination. We all naturally wrinkle our forehead muscles whenever we resolve to see something through despite all odds.