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Haftarah: Melachim II 11:17 - 12:17

MARCH 7-8, 2008 1 ADAR II 5768

Rosh Hodesh Adar II will be celebrated on Friday & Shabbat, March 7 & 8.


"And the Glory of Hashem filled the Mishkan" (Shemot 40:34)

In our perashah we are told that the Israelites successfully completed the building of the Mishkan. But, even more importantly we are told that the Shechinah (the Divine Presence) came and Its glory filled the building, just as Hashem said He would do. If one would see this he would truly see a kidush Hashem, a sanctification of Hashem's Name. The building was a beautiful building, with an abundance of gold and silver and the like, but that wasn't the cause of bringing the Shechinah. Any nation can build a golden temple and many did, but none can say that Hashem came down to dwell there. It was the love of Hashem that we felt and the joy of serving Him that brought about this great sanctification of Hashem's Name. Can this happen today?

A true story is told that took place not too long ago. (From the book Alenu Leshabeah quoted in Torah Lada'at) The story took place when the Yeshivah of Gateshead in England wanted to build its new building. When word got out that the Yeshivah wanted to build, a huge outcry of opposition arose from the neighbors. A town meeting was called to organize its opposition and make a petition against the Yeshivah. The first to arrive was the priest of the local church. The committee was happy to see him and couldn't wait to sign him up. However, they were in for a big shock. Not only did the priest refuse to sign, but he rebuked the people and rose to speak. "I want to tell you, that I wish our youth in England would reach the level of the ankles of the feet of these students!" The priest continued his praise, "Never did I see one student hit another like our kids do. I never heard them raise their voices to one another as our boys do. Do we have golden youth like these?" The priest was not satisfied with refusing to sign. He invited the Rosh Yeshivah to come to his home to receive a donation!

Can there be a greater Kidush Hashem than this - one created by Torah students serving Hashem? Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

"These are the reckonings of the Sanctuary" (Shemot 38:21)

Moshe made a reckoning of all the donations to the Mishkan to see that everything was accounted for. The Midrash says that he was surprised to see that there was some silver not accounted for, and sat there wondering where it went. He even heard some people murmuring under their breath about Moshe's wealth and whether it was connected to the lost silver. Ultimately, Hashem called out to Moshe reminding him where the lost silver was used, and everything was accounted for down to the last item.

We see from here an amazing lesson. People tend to suspect even the greatest among us, no less than Moshe Rabenu. There is a tendency in human nature to find fault in others. Although this is sometimes disappointing and maybe even disheartening, we should not lose hope in the goodness of human nature. In the long run, the innocent will be proven so, even if Hashem has to make a miracle to clear one's name. If a person knows that he's free of guilt, rather than despair, he should put his faith in Hashem to ultimately exonerate him. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


"And so Moshe finished the work" (Shemot 40:33)

The perashah concludes with the final account of the erection of the Mishkan. It mandates the precise placement of the Shulhan, table, the Menorah and the Aron Kodesh. The entire perashah is a study in detail, providing the exact description of each vessel and the specific verbs used to describe each activity necessary for creating these vessels. Examples include: "and he gave;" "and he placed;" "and he brought;" "and he spread out;" "and he screened."

Rav Moshe Swift z"l notes the Torah's emphasis on each activity. Every man has his own job to perform. One cannot be a silent partner in Jewish affairs. Each person must perform his endeavor of choice to his fullest potential. Some individuals must give, and some must take. Those who can work for the community are mandated to do so.

Everything in Jewish life has its own specified place. The Shulhan in the Mishkan was the place for the "bread." Bread symbolizes physical needs. The Menroah, alluding to faith, was their source of light. The Aron, which housed the Torah, was representative of Torah study and observance. There are so many functions to fulfill in a community. Each member should aspire to develop his G-d given potential to its fullest. Each one must occupy his own unique position within the community structure.

When individuals choose to cross the boundaries of their own designated role, discord arises. The Hashmonaim, who descended from the tribe of Levi, were to serve as the spiritual progenitors of Klal Yisrael. Instead, they chose to enter the field of monarchy, a position which was designated for the tribe of Yehudah. This resulted in their tragic decimation.

How unfortunate is it that in the field of Jewish education everyone perceives himself as the educator par excellence. The unsophisticated and ignorant offer the educator instructions in his profession. Were this to happen in any other profession, the person would be ridiculed. If each of us would seek to excel in our own field of potential, not trespassing on the roles of others, we would be much happier and more productive members of the community. (Peninim on the Torah)

Answer to Pop Quiz: The Tzitz (headplate).

A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.

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