Posts Tagged ‘Ki Tisa’

17
Feb

Reading The Text: Haftarah Ki Tisa Part Four

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“Elijah said, ‘As God, Master of Legions, lives, before Whom I have stood, today I will appear to him!” Why does Elijah refer to God in this statement as “Master of Legions?” Why does he insert the phrase, “before Whom I have stood?” When did Elijah stand before God?

“Master of Legions,” indicates that Elijah is stressing that he too is only one of God’s servants. Although Ahab and perhaps many others blame him for stopping the rain and causing the drought, and they will soon witness great miracles and, the gift of rain, leading many to believe that it is Elijah who has the power over rain, therefore Elijah must stress that he is only one of the legions of God.

“Before whom I have stood,” I believe refers to the moment when he restored life to the dead child. Why at this moment? I believe that Elijah understands that in order to achieve what he desires, to bring Israel back to God, he will need a miracle as great as resurrecting the dead. He is telling Obadiah that would ever will follow will be as great as that awesome miracle.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

Reading The Text: Haftarah Ki Tisa Part Three

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Why did Obadiah think that Ahab would kill him if Elijah disappeared? Would the King not trust his servant that Elijah had appeared only to disappear? After all, Elijah had been successfully hiding for almost 3 years.

Obadiah explains his concern: “There is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to seek you, and they have responded, ‘He is not here!’ He had the kingdom or the nation swear that they could not find you.” Ahab did not trust the people when they claimed they did not know where Elijah was hiding. If Obadiah would now come to Ahab and say, “I saw Elijah,” only to have Elijah disappear again, Ahab would suspect that Obadiah had known all along where Elijah was. If he saw Elijah now he must have seen him before. He had been lying all along. That is why Ahab would kill Obadiah.

“Surely my master has been told what I did when Jezebel murdered the prophets of God.” Why was Obadiah so certain that Elijah had been told what he had done to protect God’s prophets? I believe that Obadiah is making a powerful statement to Elijah, one that is actually an argument in the merit of the people. An argument of why the drought should end and the people should no longer suffer:

When Obadiah says to Elijah “surely my master has been told,” he is saying, “Elijah, everyone knew where you were. You were attuned to what was going on. You were living out in the open. The people protected you. They lied to the King. The people risked their lives for you. They have great merit. Not a single person said a word.”

Let’s return to our first question. We asked why God commanded Elijah to make himself seen by Ahab rather than to appear to Ahab? We asked, “What is the difference between ‘being seen’ and ‘appearing’?  Obadiah’s last argument in the merit of the people explains the difference between ‘being seen’ and ‘appearing.’ Elijah had to send the message to Obadiah, to the people, and to Ahab, that he was prepared to be seen. Obadiah and the people new where Elijah was. Ahab suspected that everyone knew. The message was that Elijah was prepared to be seen. The time had come to bring everything out into the open.

I find it intriguing that the theme of the chapter so far is about Elijah being seen, when the final test of Elijah’s student Elisha, was whether Elisha could see when Elijah rose to heaven.

We also see that Ahab have to be primed to see Elijah, and probably to see what would follow in the great Confrontation on Mount Carmel. Was there an element of preparing the people as well to see, respond and react to the miracle they were about to witness?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

Reading The Text: Haftarah Ki Tisa Part Two

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Haftarah

“Obadiah was on the road and behold! Elijah was opposite him; he recognized him and fell on his face and said, ‘Is this you, my master Elijah?’” How strange! The verse already pointed out that Obadiah recognized Elijah, enough for him to fall on his face. Why then, would he ask Elijah, “Is this you?”  I believe that Obadiah was asking Elijah, You have been hiding for so long. It is one thing for you to appear before me, it is an entirely difference thing for you to be seen. Are you here to be seen?”

“He said, ‘What is my sin that you deliver your servant into Ahab’s power, to put me to death? As soon as I go from you, a spirit of God will carry you where I will not know, and I will have come to tell Ahab and he will not find you, and he will kill me!” Why would Obadiah  think that Elijah would send him on such a mission, to appear to Ahab and tell him that Elijah is there only to disappear?

Obadiah did not understand why Elijah did not come with him. If Elijah had truly come to appear he would have accompanied Obadiah to Ahab, rather then send Obadiah to summon Ahab. He was confused.

“A spirit of God will carry you where I will not know.” Was Obadiah prophesizing, without realizing it, that one day the spirit of God would carry Elijah up to heaven? If so, was there a reason that Obadiah would be granted such a prophecy at this specific moment? Was this moment actually the beginning of Elijah’s departure, being carried to heaven in a stormy wind?

“He said, ‘What is my sin that you deliver your servant into Ahab’s power, to put me to death?” Did Obadiah truly believe that Elijah intended for him to be executed? Did Obadiah suspect that his work as “the one in charge of the household,'” meaning his work for Ahab and Jezebel, meant that he was a sinner and deserved to die?

This would explain Obadiah’s desperate speech to Elijah: “As God, your Lord, lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to seek you and they have responded, ‘He is not here!’ He had the kingdom or the nation swear that they could not find you. And now you say,’ go tell your master Elijah is here!  As soon as I go from you, a spirit of God will carry you where I will not know, and I will have come to tell Ahab and he will not find you, and he will kill me! But your servant has feared God since my youth. Surely my master has been told what I did when Jezebel murdered the prophets of God, and I hid some of the prophets of God, 100 men, 50, 50 men to a cave, and I sustained them with bread and water. And now you say to me,’ go tell your master Elijah is here!’ He will kill me!”

Obadiah is arguing his merit: “I have risked my life to save God’s prophets. How did I sustain 100 men with bread and water? I used my position as the one in charge of the household. I cannot be criticized or punished for serving in Ahab’s palace. I used that position to do good. Does that not matter?”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

Reading The Text: Haftarah Ki Tisa Part One

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

I Kings 18:1-39: “It happened after many days that the word of God came, to Elijah, in the third year, saying,’ Go, be seen by Ahab; I shall give the gift of  rain upon the face of the land.”” God does not command Elijah to appear to Ahab, He commands Elijah to “be seen” by Ahab. What is the difference?

“Elijah went to be seen by Ahab, and the famine was severe in Samaria. Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the household… And Ahab said to Obadiah, ‘Go through the land to every spring of water and to all the streams; perhaps we may find grass and keep horses and mules alive, and we shall not be cut off without animals.’” How interesting that at the very moment that Elijah went to appear to Ahab, the latter summons Obadiah to join him in a search for water! Was this coincidental? I think not. I believe that the moment Elijah went out to be seen by Ahab that somehow Ahab received some type of mental message that the time had come for him to go and look. He assumed that he should go out to look for water. He did not know that he was going to look for that, or more accurately, for him, Elijah, the one for whom he had been searching for so long.

Why did Ahab summon Obadiah the one who was in charge of the household? I believe that the verses that follow explain Obadiah was chosen: “Obadiah feared God greatly. When Jezebel had been cutting down the prophets of God, Obadiah took 100 prophets and hid them, fifty to a cave, and sustained them with bread and water.” It seems to me that Ahab knew that Obadiah feared God, perhaps even suspected what Obadiah was secretly doing to save the prophets of God, and believed that Obadiah’s merit would help him find whatever it was for which he was looking.

We are beginning to get a hint of Ahab’s character: As wicked as he was, he picked up on the mental message that it was a time to look. He sensed Obadiah’s merit and believed it would help.

“Ahab said to Obadiah, ‘Go through the land to every spring of water and to all the streams; perhaps we may find grass and keep horses and mules alive, and we shall not be cut off without animals.”” I assume that if there was a famine, described by the verse as “severe in Samaria,” that everyone was out looking for water. Why did Ahab believe that Obadiah and he would be successful in finding something that no one else could find? Was this related to the mental message he received to go out and look? Was there a feeling deep inside that today, this time, he would find something. It seems that Ahab was prepared, or actually being prepared, to find something, something great. He was being prepared for the miracle on Mt. Carmel.

“They divided the land between them that they may traverse it; Ahab went alone in one direction and Obadiah went alone in another direction.” What a powerful image! The King, Ahab, goes alone in his search. He does not summon any of his many soldiers. He does not go out with any one of his thousands of servants. He goes out alone. It is as if he was convinced that it was he who would find something. Another indication that Ahab sensed that today something would happen.

“Ahab went alone,” perhaps alone here does not only mean that he went by himself, but it is stressing that Ahab went with out his wife Jezebel. Ahab suspected that it was Jezebel and her sins that were holding back the rain.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

That Special Shabbat

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

The final paragraph before the terrible and devastating sin of the Golden Calf is the story of how Israel guarded the Shabbat. These words describe Shabbat at its best and highest, after Revelation, after receiving the Torah, when all was perfect and pure, compared to Adam and Eve in the Garden before the sin. What a Shabbat it must have been.

But all that power and holiness was soon forfeit, when Israel sinned with the Golden Calf. Would there ever be such a Shabbat again?

Each Shabbat morning, when we describe Shabbat as taught by Moshe, we recite the paragraph that describes that last perfect Shabbat.

It is as if we say, that it has not been lost. It is still possible and within our reach. We strive for that Shabbat – the final one before we stumbled and fell – a Shabbat of Perfection.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

Crown of Oil

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“With it you shall anoint the Tent of Meeting and the Ark of Testimonial-Tablets.”

Rashi, based on the Gemara in Keritut 5, explains that all the anointing with Moshe’s oil were made like a Greek “X” except that of kings which were like a crown.

Even the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting had to be anointed with oil. Even the Ark had to be anointed. They were not holy until that moment of anointing. The Holy Ark was not ready to receive the tablets until it was anointed.

Moshe’s oil lasted forever. It was used all during the First Temple until it was hidden together with all the Holy Vessels of the Temple.

The anointing oil was the physical expression that it was God’s choice to imbue the Mishkan and the Ark and all the vessels with His Presence. It was God’s seal of approval. It was, so to speak, God’s kiss.  The oil that would last Lanetzach – for all eternity – was God’s blessing that all this oil touched would maintain its holiness forever.

Until the moment the oil touched its surface, the Mishkan was a physical structure. Once the oil touched it became something more, something eternal.

I wonder, what is the oil we can use today?

And, there’s more…

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Feb

The Shining by Prof Gerald August

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

We are told that when Moses spoke to the people his face would shine. What does this mean?

There are people we look up to as role models. We see their good acts and say to ourselves, I would never have thought to do this. Will I now do this? They shine in our eyes.

Yet the people we look up to usually say, “What is the fuss about? It is no big deal” Are they covering up what they really think about themselves, or is something else going on here?

I have written about Jae who sends a present to her parents on her birthday to thank them for the gift of life. Not many people do that. I’ve written about Joel who has raised money for trees in Israel for 40 years. Not many people do that. I have written about “Uncle Barry’ who lent his Mercedes to an acquaintance, even though the man had not asked for it. Not many people do that.

I know these people think this is not a big deal, even though most people would not do it or think of doing it. In these areas they are on a higher level than others.

So who is correct? Our awe, or their “so what” attitude? I believe both are correct.

We need role models to show us how to be better people. We just have to look through an ethical lens to see all the good deeds around us. We will see the shine in what they do.

But what about the role models? They are like Moses. He did not see his shine. He is who he is. So it is with our role models. What else can they be but who they are?

And this explains why Moses was called a humble man. Rabbi Sol Roth taught me the definition of humility. It means you know you do great things, but you do not think you are greater than anyone else.

When we admire people, they become an inspiration and a source of ideas on how to improve our actions. See these people as gifts.

When I think of friends who inspire me, I try to improve my behavior. And when I think this way, whether my friends are taller or shorter than me, I always have to look up and strain my neck when I gaze at their shining moral height.

Share
17
Feb

Hands and Feet

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“From it, Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands together with their feet.” Rashi, based on the Gemara in Zevachim 19b, explains that the Cohen places his right hand on his right foot and washes them and then follows the same procedure with his left hand and foot.

We can picture the image of the Cohen bowing before the Kiyor – the Laver – in order to sanctify his hands and feet before serving in the Holy Temple.

Why must he sanctify both hands and feet at the same time? Why not hands and then feet? It would be simpler and certainly more dignified than crouching before the Kiyor?

The way I run or walk to perform a Mitzvah is an equal part of the Mitzvah. I will run to synagogue to pray if I truly believe that I am about to have a private audience with the creator of the world.

I will run to wash my hands before eating bread if I understand the power of Netilat Yadaim.

I will run with my feet, and I will act with humility, crouched down as a crawling baby, before performing a Mitzvah.

And there’s more…

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
16
Feb

Thought Tools by Rabbi Daniel Lapin: The Husband Always Rings Once

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

A couple we know was showing my wife and me around their newly built house.  I always feel a little awkward when proud homeowners display their master bedroom.    Because the bedroom is the special place for intimacy and privacy in a marriage, being there makes me feel like I’m trespassing. I don’t want to be in the sanctuary of someone else’s marriage. I usually can’t wait to escape the forced tour and get out to some other part of the house.

However, in this case, I stood in their master bedroom gawking.  I could not believe my eyes.  There was no wall between the master bathroom and the bedroom.  This wasn’t an en suite bathroom, this was an in bedroom bathroom.  No wall, no curtain, no fancy electro-chromic glass (yes, Agatha, that is glass that becomes opaque when you flick a switch turning off an electric current). No door, no nothing.  No privacy.  I gulped and fled.  Too much information.  TMI, as my kids say.

The public library was my next destination.  I perused some architectural and home design magazines.  It didn’t take long for me to discover that there was indeed an entire avant-garde movement for open plan bathroom bedrooms.  One particularly lurid example showed photos of a Hollywood couple (obviously) who placed the porcelain privy, tub, and sinks on a circular raised platform in the middle of their bedroom. “We have a very close marriage,” they smirked to the journalist.  I’ll say.  But I fear the duration of that marriage might be inversely proportional to its privacy quotient.

Getting married does not mean each spouse forfeiting all privacy.  Maintaining mystery and protecting privacy is vital to a durable and happy marriage.  Ancient Jewish wisdom teaches that no matter how close the relationship, boundaries still exist.  For instance, if their wives are home, husbands should announce their arrival by knocking or ringing the doorbell.  This little courtesy is a gesture of respect to wives and reminds husbands to give their wives necessary space.

Consider this section of Scripture describing the special vestments and garments made for Aaron, the high priest.

You shall make on the hem (of the robe) pomegranates

of turquoise, purple, and scarlet wool on its hem all around

and gold bells between them all around.

(Exodus 28:33)

It must be on Aaron in order to minister,

its sound shall be heard

when he enters the sanctuary before God…

(Exodus 28:35)

Now wait a moment. Only Aaron is to enter God’s holy sanctuary, so who needs to hear the sounds of the gold bells tinkling? Ancient Jewish wisdom’s explanation is that they are for God to hear.  Aaron needs some method of announcing himself so as not to walk in unexpectedly, and the sanctuary was not equipped with a doorbell.

Does this make sense? God would know what Aaron was doing and when he was entering.

Like so many other details in Scripture, the idea here isn’t to give dressmaking design minutiae; it is a message to human beings for all time.  If Aaron is forbidden from walking in unannounced upon an all-knowing God, how much more should all of us avoid marching in unannounced upon a human being?  It is for this reason that knocking on a door before entering has always been standard procedure in the western, Bible-based cultures although it was unknown in many other early cultures around the world.

New military recruits are denied privacy precisely to diminish the individual personalities and weld them all into a single unit.  A marriage is not a military unit made up of people who have willingly renounced their individuality.  A marriage is a holy unit made up of precious individualism and separate but complimentary identities.

Knowing when togetherness results in the unity of a couple and when privacy and individuality are necessary are among the many crucial marriage sculpting techniques that the Bible reveals.  I explore more ideas in my audio CD program Madam I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden. I invite you to save money this week while putting yourself or someone you love on the path towards a more fulfilling marriage.

Thought Tools

by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

www.RabbiDanielLapin.com

Share
16
Feb

Eyes Shut By God

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Prayer

We described the Children of Israel as wondering what would happen when they were not looking, when their eyes were shut. They were not the only ones. Moses too, was placed into a similar situation. He asked God, “Show me, please, Your glory.”  and God responded, “a human being cannot see My face and live.”

Moses entered the cave, and waited for God’s great revelation. God said, “I will place my hand over your face.”

Moses did not shut his eyes. His eyes were shut by God. There are some things a human being cannot see.

What is the difference between a shutting our eyes and having God cover them? When we shut our eyes we only see darkness. When God covers Moses’ eyes, Moses was granted a sense of the Infinite.

We cover our eyes while reciting the Shema. The idea is not to shut our eyes and wonder what is there when we are not looking. We are reenacting God covering Moses’ eyes, granting him a sense of the Infinite.

If we shut our eyes, we will be so busy wondering what is there when we are not looking that we will not “Shema,” hear, the message of the prayer. However, if our eyes are covered by God, we will step into a different plane, we may not see, but we will certainly hear.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share