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Haftarah: Yehezkel 43:10-27

February 11-12, 2011 8 Adar I 5771


"And you shall make the robe of the ephod all of techelet." (Shemot 28:31)

The Me'il was the long robe worn by the Kohen Gadol, and it was made entirely of techelet colored wool. Why was the Me'il made of techelet? The Kli Yakar (quoted in Torah Ladaat) explains that according to our Sages (Gemara Zebahim 88b, last Sunday's Daf Yomi) the purpose of the robe was to atone for the sin of lashon hara. The significance of the techelet was that it resembles the color of the oceans. Man must take a lesson from the oceans which were created with the ability to flood the entire world (as we saw with the recent tsunami). However, Hashem commanded them to flow until the shores and forbade them from going beyond their boundaries. Just as the waters did not extend past their prescribed limits, so too, man, whose tongue was created with two restraining walls - one of bone (teeth) and one of flesh (the lips) - must not overstep those boundaries by speaking lashon hara. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

One of the eight garments that the Kohen Gadol wore was the me'il - the robe which was made of totally blue wool. It also had bells attached to the bottom so that when the Kohen Gadol walked it would be heard that he was approaching. The Torah emphasizes that these sounds should be heard when he enters the Holy Chamber and this way he will merit to live.

The Rabbis learn from here that although there are deep and esoteric reasons for these bells, on a simple level they are there to announce the arrival of the Kohen Gadol. We learn from here the importance of derech eress, common protocol. When we enter a room or a house, even our own, we should always knock so as not to startle others. If there are strangers inside, how much more so should we not enter without permission. Sometimes we think that since we're involved in a misvah it's OK to bypass derech eress. From the Kohen Gadol who is doing the biggest misvah we see otherwise. As the famous statement goes "Derech eress precedes the Torah." Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka

What is the only offering that can be brought before the Korban Tamid in the morning?

The Ketoret may be brought before the Korban Tamid. (Torahific)


Biographies fascinate me. These chronicles of the lives of famous people past and present, filled with background information and details of their rise to fame and fortune, inform as well as entertain.

The common denominator of all the various stories is that each successful person was blessed with an extraordinary talent which was utilized to achieve success. The Torah scholar was gifted with a photographic memory or an unusually clear understanding of complex or esoteric concepts - or both. The great composer was born with an ear for melody, while the scientist possessed an uncanny ability to understand the components of our complex environment. The inventor's unique perception of the world gave rise to inventions which would benefit mankind. No matter what the field, each of these high achievers was blessed with a Heavenly gift not bestowed upon most individuals.

Biographies inspire readers to admire those who succeed, but they also pose a danger. By attributing achievement solely to Hashem-given talents, such individuals can rationalize and blame their own lack of accomplishment on not being endowed with any exceptional attributes.

To be successful, however, people need not be born gifted. Even ordinary folks can rise to the top, as long as they are willing to commit themselves to doing even ordinary things in an extraordinary fashion. Housewife, student, carpenter, salesman - all must push themselves to do whatever they do in the best way possible. Extra effort in preparation and performance will yield above-average results.

You don't have to be extraordinary. You just have to do whatever it is you are doing, extraordinarily well. (One Moment With Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)

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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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