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Haftarah: Yehezkel 45:18 - 46:18

MARCH 16-17. 2007 27 ADAR 5767

Rosh Hodesh Nisan will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 20.

Pop Quiz: What was the me'il (robe) of the Kohen Gadol made of?


"You shall not light fire in any of your dwellings on Shabbat day" (Shemot 35:3)

The Gemara (Gittin 52.) tells a story of a certain couple. This married couple would get into a fight every Friday afternoon. One time, the great Rabbi, Rebbe Meir Ba'al Haness paid them a visit. He ended up staying there for three weeks. As a result of this long visit, the Rabbi was able to bring peace to this home and put it on its right path. When this happened they heard the voice of the Satan sadly cry out, "Woe unto me for Rabbi Meir removed me from my home!"

From this short true story we learn that quarreling at home comes from the instigation of Satan. The house of quarreling is his home! The question is, why on Friday afternoon when Shabbat is about to begin? Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz z"l explains that it is well known that the Zohar writes that when the Torah says in the above quoted pasuk, "Do not light fire in your dwelling on Shabbat," it refers to the fire of arguments. Do not ignite fires of argument on Shabbat because Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shalom. It says in the Amidah of Shabbat Minhah, "Menuhat shalom, hashket vabetach - [Shabbat is] a day of rest, of peace, calm and security." Since Shabbat is set aside for calm and peace, the Satan puts all his effort to cause a fight just as Shabbat is about to begin in order to have a Shabbat of stress and arguments and unsmiling faces.

Let us kick out the Satan from our homes, at least on Shabbat. Don't allow him to rule over our homes. Forgive each other and start a new page. Let us hear his voice cry out, "They kicked me out of this house!" 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 every wise person among you shall come and do all that Hashem commanded" (Shemot 35:10)

The Ba'al Shem Tob offers an insight into the Torah's concept of wisdom from this pasuk. There is no wisdom as the wisdom of action. The most elevated form of all wisdoms, the highest aspect of being a wise person is not to be a wise person in theory alone, but rather to do all that Hashem has commanded us. A person who performs a misvah because of a sense of understanding, applying his "wisdom" in "agreement" with Hashem, is not serving Hashem in its true essence. He must learn to serve and do without "wisdom," and act because it is the command of Hashem. (Peninim on the Torah)


"All the women whose hearts stirred them up in wisdom spun the goat's hair" (Shemot 35:26)

Rashi says, "This was a special skill, for they spun the goat's hair upon the backs of the goats."

Hashem's instructions for the Mishkan do not require that the goat's hair be spun on the backs of the goats. Why does the Torah convey to us the way the women spun the goat's hair?

The Torah is teaching a very important lesson: When people possess special talents, it is important for them to remember that it is Hashem who blessed them with those talents and that they should be used to make this world a holy dwelling place for Hashem.

Therefore, since there were women who were blessed with the unique skill of spinning hair still on the backs of the goats, they utilized this skill for the holy purpose of making the Mishkan, in which Hashem would dwell. (Vedibarta Bam)


"These are the accounts of the Mishkan" (Shemot 38:21)

The Torah is careful not to repeat a word or write an extra letter; why are the parshiyot of Vayakhel and Pekudei a complete redundancy of Terumah and Tesaveh?

The Torah discusses at great length the episodes that took place when Eliezer goes to find a suitable wife for Yitzhak. When he meets with her family, the entire story is repeated. Rashi explains, "The ordinary conversation of the servants of the Patriarchs is more pleasing before Hashem than the Torah of the sons. Therefore, the section of Eliezer is repeated in the Torah, whereas many important principles of the law were given only by hinting."

The gravest sin ever committed by the Jewish people was the making and worshipping of the golden calf. It incited the wrath of Hashem to the extent that he considered, G-d forbid, annihilating the entire people. The Mishkan is referred to as the Mishkan of Testimony (Mishkan Ha'edut) because it serves as a testimony that G-d forgave the sin of the golden calf. Consequently, since the Mishkan accomplished forgiveness for His beloved people, He enjoys talking about it in great detail. (Vedibarta Bam)

Answer to Pop Quiz: Wool dyed with techelet.

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.

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