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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah ©
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Tetzaveh

Quiet Stops a Fight

“You spoiled girl! You always cry and get your way.”

“You big bully! You always intimidate people to get what you want!”

“So what? That is better than crying. Your whining breaks my eardrums.”

“So what? That is better than pinching. I have black and blue marks from you.”

And so the fight went on and on, each side insulting the other. It looked hopeless. Then something wonderful happened. The girl looked up on the wall and saw a picture of a man. The face half smiled at her. The kind, merciful eyes looked down upon her. Rav Yisrael Meir, the Chofetz Chaim, was watching her fight with her brother. She was embarrassed. She knew how many times the Chofetz Chaim had warned against the destructive power of machlokes (senseless fighting). What should she do?

“Your tears could make a river.”

She said nothing.

“You cry like a little baby.”

She kept quiet. Guess what? Her brother stopped insulting her. He saw that she was not fighting back. There was no one to argue with, so he stopped.

“You see, I’m right. I got the last word.”

With that he walked away. She cried soft tears of happiness. She had won. She had stopped the fight. She looked up at the Chofetz Chaim. He was still smiling at her.

“Thank you, Rav Yisrael Meir. Thank you for saving me from this fight.”

“Its head-opening shall be folded inward” (Shemos 28:32). The Kohen’s robe had a hem around its neckline. That hem was tucked inside the robe. The Chofetz Chaim, in his sefer Shmiras Halashon relates that this verse hints at a very important subject, mentioned by the Gemora (Chullin 89a). A different verse states, “He suspends the earth upon nothing (i.e. space)” (Iyov 26:7). The word for nothing is “blima”. It is very similar to the word “bolem” - to restrain. On whom does the world stand? On one who restrains his mouth in the midst of an argument. He suppresses his urge to talk back, and does not let one word cross his lips. That is the way to end an argument, and uphold the world.

Kinderlach . . .

Does anyone like to fight? Does pointless arguing accomplish anything? No. How do we rid ourselves of this terrible habit? Keep quiet. If you find yourself stuck in a senseless fight, do not say anything. It may be difficult at first. Here is a thought to mechazek (strengthen) you. You are holding up the world. Fantastic! Do you realize what you have accomplished? You have turned a very destructive situation into something that helps everyone. Do a tremendous chessed (act of kindness). Close your mouth, and hold up the world.

Royal Wardrobe

“Here is your Chumash test, Nachum.”

Nachum looked at the grade with disappointment.

“I knew all of the material except the Bigdei Kehuna (Priestly Clothing). Rebbe, I find it hard to motivate myself to learn this subject. I cannot relate it to real life.”

“I can help you with that, Nachum. The clothes of the Kohanim are as relevant today as they were in the times of the Mishkan.”

“Really? In what way, Rebbe?”

“The verse states that the Bigdei Kehuna are for ‘honor and splendor’ (Shemos 28:2). The Ramban explains that the royal garments of the kings who lived in the days of the Torah resembled the Bigdei Kehuna. He goes into great detail describing each article of clothing and its royal counterpart. However, the Priestly garments had one major difference. They were used to perform Hashem’s Avodah (service), and as such, the Shechina (Divine Presence) rested upon them. The clothing was worn for His ‘Honor and Splendor’. The Bigdei Kehuna also added to the honor and splendor of the Beis HaMikdash. Lastly, Klal Yisrael, Hashem’s Holy nation was glorified by these garments.”

“That is beautiful.”

“You asked about the relevance to today. I will answer you. Are we not ‘a nation of noblemen and a holy nation’ even today? Are we not Hashem’s representatives here in this world? We have the merit to uphold His Honor. Therefore, although we have no Bigdei Kehuna in our days, nevertheless we must still wear clothing which honors our Creator.”

“I never considered clothing in that light, Rebbe.”

“It goes even deeper. The Malbim relates that the garments described by the Torah are the external clothing of the Kohanim. They dressed their bodies in these special clothes. Similarly, their souls needed proper garments to serve Hashem.”

“What is the Malbim referring to, Rebbe?”

“The middos (character traits) of a person are the spiritual clothing of his soul. Good thoughts, mannerisms, and qualities make beautiful spiritual clothing. These garments were not made by artisans, rather by the Kohanim themselves. How? Hashem commanded Moshe to ‘make’ these holy garments. The Malbim explains that he was commanded to teach the Kohanim how to ‘metaken’ (fix up) their souls and their middos. Therefore, they made their own spiritual garments which would adorn their souls with glory and splendor, as is fitting of an emissary of Hashem.”

“What a beautiful wardrobe.”

Kinderlach . . .

We are “a nation of noblemen and a holy nation.” Therefore, our clothing must fit our royal status. The laws of tsnius (dignity) call for clothing that modestly and humbly honors it wearer and The Creator. That is one part of the wardrobe. The other part is how we behave. Our middos, the garb of our souls, must be as refined and dignified as our external garments. Anger, chutzpah, jealousy, and other bad character traits are beneath us. Members of the Royal Family cannot wear such lowly spiritual clothes. If you think about it kinderlach, you will see that they go hand in hand. Tsnius is a state of mind, which affects our whole being, inside and out. Refine yourselves. Wear the royal wardrobe.

Parasha Questions

When was the ketores burned? (30:7,8)

What did the golden zer (border) symbolize? (Rashi 30:3)

What time of the day was the korbon tomid brought? (29:39)

Which korbonos were brought to sanctify the Kohanim? (29:1,2)

What went on Aharon HaKohen and his sons’ right earlobe, thumb, and toe? (29:20)

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