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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 27, v. 20: "V'atoh t'tza'veh es bnei Yisroel " - And you shall command the bnei Yisroel - "T'tza'veh" can be interpreted as "you shall join," as some commentators explain the words "Ki malochov y'tza'veh loch," - because His angels He will have join you. With whom shall you join? "Es bnei Yisroel," with the bnei Yisroel, as is explained in the Holy Zohar, that a spark of Moshe's neshomoh enters each and every member of the bnei Yisroel. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 27, v. 20: "Shemen zayis zoch" - Pure olive oil - Rashi comments that pure oil is only needed for the menorah, but not for the meal offerings. There is a most profound lesson we can extract from this ruling. Unfortunately, people pursue physical upgrades and enhancements, but when it comes to spending money and effort in spiritual pursuits they get by on the cheap. This was the attitude of Kayin when he brought an offering to Hashem, as explained by Mei'am Loez and others, and is why Hashem did not turn to his offering. The fire that is kindled on the menorah is not for human consumption. The the contrary, it represents the spiritual, the "ner" of our "neshomoh." It requires the best, "zoch." When it comes to a meal offering, which is almost always consumed, then a lesser oil is satisfactory. Similarly, when it comes to our physical pursuits less is quite sufficient. As put so succinctly by Rabbi Feldman of Atlanta, "Give up (spiritually and take down (physically)."

Ch. 28, v. 3: "V'atoh t'da'beir el kol chachmei leiv asher mi'leisiv ruach chochmoh v'ossu es bigdei Aharon l'kadsho l'chahano li" - And you shall speak to all the wise of heart whom I have filled him with a spirit of wisdom and they shall make Aharon's garment to sanctify him to do priestly service for Me - The change from plural to singular and then back to plural deserves clarification. As well, why is the word "t'da'beir" used, as it connotes harsh words? The ChasaN Sofer explains that a craftsman who does outstanding work might readily have an intention to show off the results of his handiwork. This is not in place here as the priestly garments need to be invested with sancfstity. Our verse is saying that Moshe should admonish the craftsmen to only have the intention to create holy garments, and not for self-gratification. Tell each one of them that his skills are G-d-given for this purpose, and he should take no credit for his work.

Ch. 28, v. 8: "V'cheishev ho'eifode k'maa'seihu" - And the masterful sash shall be of the same working - The Kli Yokor, Nachal Kdumim, and others explain that these words allude to the sin of thoughts of idol worship. Although the thought of sinning is not considered as having actually sin, the thought of idol worship is different, as explained in the gemara Kidushin 41. This is "V'cheishev," and having a thought is "k'maaseihu," as if it were actually done. Coming on the heels of this garment is the "choshen mishpot" in verse 15. It brings atonement for wrongdoings in the realm of money matters. What is the connection? Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in Dorash Moshe explains that he who intentionally behaves improperly when it comes to financial matters is lacking in full belief that Hashem measures to the penny exactly what should and what should not be his, so there is no point in cheating.

Ch. 28, v. 19: "Leshem shvo v'achlomoh" - Rabbi Efraim Zalman Margolios was asked the following question: A great bochur was suggested for his daughter in marriage, but he had a brother who was extremely unsavoury. Should he proceed? Rabbi Margolios answered, "Leshem shvo v'achlomoh." Although this was most enigmatic, when asked for his intention he said, "Look to the name in him only, "L'shem shebo," "V'ach lomoh," why give thought to the brother?

Ch. 28, v. 20: "M'shubotzim zohov yi'h'yu b'milu'osom" - Indented settings in the gold shall they be with their filling them - There is a powerful lesson here. Gold is a very precious metal. Nevertheless, it is used as a setting for precious stones, and is ancillary to them. However, the precious of precious is the lettering that is etched into the precious stones. This teaches us that the most precious commodity is the letters of the Torah, "mipoz y'koroh" and even "mei'avnei cheifetz." (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

Ch. 29, v. 33: "V'ochlu osom asher kupar bo'hem" - And they shall consume them that which he receives atonement through them - Sh.O. O.Ch. #53 says that a person should not lead the prayer services without the approval of the congregation. If someone leads the prayers by force, the congregation is not to respond "o'mein" to his blessings. The Mo'gein Avrohom adds that it is improper to enter into s fray for any mitzvoh.

This is sourced from the gemara Yoma 39, which states that during the forty years that Shimon the Rigtheous serves as Kohen Godol there was a blessing in the Omer offering, in the two breads of Shovuos, and in the "lechem haponim." This was realized through Kohanim receiving only an olive volume of these breads and either he would be satiated or be satiated from only part of the olive volume and he would leave over the rest. After his years a curse was present in these breads and there was no longer satiation. When a Kohein would receive a bean's volume he would push to grab more. However, the modest Kohanim would simply refrain from taking any. Even though it is a mitzvoh to eat these holy breads, akin to "v'ochal osom asher kupar bo'hem," to avoid fighting over the small portions they refrained.

The story is told of a wealthy, very devoted communal person. He not only gave generously of his money for the smooth running of his community, but also of his time. One year close to Rosh Hashonoh the communal chazan passed on. Being a bit close to the High Holidays there was a pressing need to find an appropriate replacement in short time. Our communal leader announced that he would serve as chazan for this upcoming year. The problem was that his voice was akin to scraping fingers on a blackboard. He was not dissuaded by the pleas of the townspeople. Being a small town there was no official Rabbi, so the concerned members of the community went to an Admor who lived nearby for advice. He told them to immediately look for an appropriate chazan and not be concerned about the magnanimous offer of the communal leader. He told them that every year close to Rosh Hashonoh he came to the Admor for a blessing etc. and at that time he would dissuade him.

Our communal leader appeared for his annual visit to the Admor and told him of the plight of his community and proudly announced that he had "offered" to replace the deceased chazan. The Admor pointed out that he did not have a good voice, nor could he carry the tunes of the liturgy. The response was that he wasn't all that bad and the community could "handle it." He kept on mentioning the great honour and responsibility he undertook to go to the "omud" and to be the "baal tefiloh" time and again.

The Admor responded that we find the phrase "Tefiloh l" in three places, "Tefiloh le'Oni, tefiloh l'Moshe, tefiloh l'Dovid." These three, Oni, Moshe, and Dovid, have the first letters that are an acronym for OMuD. To merit being the "baal tefiloh" one has to either have the merit of Moshe, the greatest scholar and holy man, or Dovid, the "n'im zmiros Yisroel," to have a sweet voice, or an Oni, a poor man, whose spirit is broken and prays with a full heart. Now you are not a scholar or tzadik like Moshe, nor do you have a sweet voice like Dovid's. Your only rightful claim to the OMuD is if you would be an Oni. This can indeed happen between now and Rosh Hashonoh, as fortunes come and disappear in a flash. It would seem that if you insist to be the chazan for your community, you are destined to lose your fortunes before Rosh Hashonoh." Needless to say, our forceful would be chazan withdrew.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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