Posts Tagged ‘Mishkan’

4
Oct

Aaron The Builder

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Aaron’s is the first visit of the Seven Guests to which I look forward without any nerves. He was the one who would look at a petitioner bringing a Sin Offering with only love and respect, not judging the man for his sin, but seeing only the person who wanted to repair. I can face Aaron even in my jittery Succah knowing that he will see it as majestic, filled with Hod.

I want to form a special invitation to him, so I examine the moment when Moses invited him to assume his role as Kohen Gadol, completing the dedication of the Mishkan. I’m not sure it will work, but I sing out, playing on Leviticus 9:7, “Come near to my Succah and elevate it with your presence and bring atonement for us!”

It worked! Aaron appears with a huge smile on his face.

“A little dramatic, but a lovely invitation. I heard from your earlier visitors that you want to join The Society of Builders. Why did you invite a Kohen?”

“I invited you because it was only after you blessed the people that the Divine Fire appeared and completed the Mishkan. You were the one who completed the building.I invited you so you can teach me how to complete my Succah.”

“It looks a little shaky, but it’s kosher. Why do you think it’s incomplete?”

“Because, I am incomplete.”

“So was I when I blessed the people just before the Divine Fire appeared. I was certain that the fire had not appeared because of my sin with the Golden Calf. It was my moving forward in the service despite my feeling incomplete, the true power of Hod, that allowed me to, as you say, complete the building,” he said as he faded away.

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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.

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3
Oct

Moses The Builder

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

I’m sitting in my sukkah despite it being soaked; there’s no way I would miss a visit from Moses. I cleaned up as well as I could, after all, this is the man who supervised the construction of the Mishkan. He had the Ultimate Architect, an awesome foreman/artist in Betzalel, unlimited supplies, and a huge team of workers. I, well, suffice it to say that my sukkah was constructed by someone who still believes in the Maginot Line! I have all my excuses ready if my visitor will be disappointed in my construction project. I admit that I prefer to keep the conversation focused on the failings of my little sukkah than to be tested by Moses. So, here goes!

I sing my invitation to Moses, and he quickly appears, sits down, slowly looks around, stares up for a few moments at my s’chach, and, smiles. “I see that I did a good job,” he comments. I stare openmouthed at him, happy that he considers my sukkah a “good job,” but wondering why he would take credit for my Leaning Tower of Canvas.

I wait for our great teacher to speak. “You’re the one who believes that the Mishkan serves a greater purpose than the Temple in Jerusalem, are you not?”

“Yes, Rebbi, I am.”

“Why?”

“I believe that the Mishkan allows us to create holy spaces wherever we are; create a Temple environment even while in exile.”

“Exactly,” he says, “what I constructed, the Mishkan, is eternal, and it is what helped you create a holy space even in this horribly constructed sukkah! I can say, looking at your sukkah, that I did a good job.”

I smile.

“Rebbi, may I ask a question?”

“Of course.”

“How did Rebbi accomplish that sense of the eternal in the Mishkan?”

“When the project was finished I blessed the people in two ways: ‘May the pleasantness of my Master, our Lord, be upon us, and may He establish our handiwork for us (Psalm 90).’ I taught them to have God as a partner in every action so that He would find our handiwork as a source of pleasantness, or Nachas. I then blessed them, ‘May you always have the desire for God to dwell among you,’ it’s only a matter of how much you desire God’s Presence in everything you do.”

Moses gave me a serious look and asked, “What have you done that will have eternal effect?”

I stop smiling.

“I believe that I have taught people to think on their own, to study your Torah as if you are speaking directly to them.”

“You are building thinkers; the most significant building project of all. Do more.” And, he left.

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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.

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28
Feb

The Ivy Room

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

James Joyce’s “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” mourns the state of Irish politics and people’s inability to maintain consistent beliefs. The group of men gathering in the once active and promising room of the national party, which used to be Parnell’s headquarters, show little enthusiasm for the candidate they apparently support, and instead bicker about trivial things.

The men in the story dwell on the past so much that almost no constructive action takes place. The men in the room are paralyzed in a cycle of inactivity and equivocation. At one moment one character bemoans another’s empty promise to send beer, while in the next moment he defends the same person’s sense of honor and recites his promotional speech.

The appearance of a priest indicates that this inability to devote oneself to a cause also applies to religion.

The men in the room are stirred into quiet reflection on their unremarkable contribution to politics. After they applaud his speech, the men sit in silence, respect, and perhaps, guilt. The men of “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” realize they that they are not the ones to lead the charge. Instead, they will sit year after year, impotently wearing their ivy. The story mourns the death of firm political opinion in general.

I often find myself feeling as if I too am sitting in the “Ivy Room.” I join passionate conversations and debates about service of God, only to find that moments after the conversation has ended people’s passion has dissipated. We discuss lofty ideas and ideals, and yet so many of us just sit around like the characters in Joyce’s story. We speak of our concerns, our ideas, our goals, our dreams, only to quickly forget and reinsert ourselves into our lives without any of what we discussed. I hate sitting in the “Ivy Room.”

I can understand motion is strange blessing to the children of Israel upon viewing their completed work for the Mishkan: “May it be your will that God’s Presence dwell in this place.”

Moshe is blessing them with the will and desire to have God’s Presence rest in the building for which they have worked so assiduously. He is blessing them that the Mishkan never become the “Ivy Room.”

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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.

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24
Feb

“An Honest Day’s Work” by Prof. Gerald August

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

The Tabernacle was built with raw material and labor. The material came from anyone willing to give of their possessions to the building. Labor came from Betzalel, the master craftsman, and other craftsmen. They built a place where The Divine Presence dwelt. Did they gave an honest days work? For such an important project with the whole community watching closely, it seems reasonable to assume they were honest in their labor.

In our lives at work, what is our obligation under Jewish thought? The answer is given in a strikingly direct teaching by the Sages of the Talmud. When someone comes before the heavenly court for judgment, the first question to be asked is: Were you honest in business?

An example of not giving an honest day’s work is exemplified by people who spend time at work using the computer to play games or otherwise waste time. Of course, you are allowed a few breaks, but overall do you put in a productive day?

Another area of honesty has to do with deception. The meticulousness of Torah thought in this area is highlighted by a story about Rabbi Aaron Kotler, of blessed memory, who was raising money for a new building for his yeshiva. He was shown an artist’s rendition of the building. It would be used when soliciting funds, so the donors could see what they were paying for. As he looked at the drawing, he noticed a small flowerbed near the entrance to the building. He asked if it was certain that the flowers would be planted. He was told, no, but this made the place look nicer. He immediately told the artist to take it out! If it was not certain the flowers would be there, it would be dishonest to tell donors their money would be put to this use.

The concept of the giving heart is mentioned in the building of the Tabernacle. Is there a place to do more at work than just your job?

A good example is my friend Leah. She was working at a residence for special needs people. Her duties involved doing food preparation and cleaning the bathroom. When she was cleaning, she made sure the place was spotless, unlike some of the other people who did this. This was her job, and she gave an honest day’s work. She also noticed that some of the food was not appropriate for those residents who were diabetic, and would point that out to her bosses. It was not her job to be a dietician, but her giving heart wanted to take care of the residents. By bringing these problems to the attention of the senior staff, she also protected her employer from possible lawsuits if people got sick.

The Torah portion mentions the givers of the material and the workers. Together they made the Tabernacle possible. In our time, there is no Tabernacle, But even today the willing heart and honest work can blend to create a place where The Divine Presence dwells.

Next week is Adar I, and the yartzeit of my mother. This is in her memory.

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24
Feb

Wisdom

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“See I have called them by name Betzalel (Exodus 31:2).” This had to be mentioned as it was quite impossible to find amongst the Jews, who had been bricklayers of the most primitive kind, anyone who could possibly excel in the disciplines required to master the task  of constructing such a portable Sanctuary. Even if by chance there had been the odd individual who had some expertise in one of the many arts and crafts needed for this project prior to becoming enslaved, he would long ago have forgotten it. When the Torah lists the various disciplines in which experts were required for this work, this teaches us that only someone Divinely inspired could possibly have mastered all of these arts. (Rabbeinu Bachya: Terumah)

It’s worthwhile when considering Betzalel’s Divinely inspired wisdom, used to construct the Mishkan, to review Chapter 28 of the Book of Job:

“For there is a source for silver, and a place where gold is refined.

Iron is taken from the soil, and copper is smelted from stone.

He sets a limit to the darkness, and, He investigates the end of everything:

the source of gloom in the shadow of death.

A river bursts forth from its normal flow, to where it is unknown to human feet; it rises and surges over people.

There is a land where food once grew; but its place was transformed, resembling a fire.

It was a place whose stones were sapphires, and it had dust of gold;

a route not known to the buzzard,

that the vulture’s eyes has not seen.

Lions whelps did not traverse it and lions did not pass over it.

But God stretched out His hand to the flint and overturned mountains from the root.

He split open river channels in the rocks.

His eyes saw every precious thing.

From the waters of the deep He fashioned rivers;

He brings secret things out into the light.

But as for wisdom:

Where can it be found?

Which is the place of understanding?

Mankind does not know it’s worth;

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

The Depth says, ‘It is not in me! And the Sea says, ‘It is not with me!’

Precious gold cannot be exchanged for it and its price cannot be weighed in silver.

It cannot be compared to Ophir gold or to precious shoham or sapphire.

Gold and glass cannot approximate it, nor can its exchange be in golden articles. Corals and Crystal cannot be considered;

the pursuit of wisdom is more precious than pearls.

The pitdah of Cush cannot approximate it; the purest gold cannot be compared to it.

Wisdom: from where does it come?

Which is the place of understanding?

It is hidden from the eyes of all living things and is concealed from the bird of the heavens.

Doom and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard its reputation.’

Only God understands its way,

and He knows its place.

For He peers to the ends of the world;

He sees what is under the entire heavens,

making a prescribed weight for the wind,

apportioning water with a measure,

when He makes a set allotment for the rain and a path for clouds of thunder.

Then He looked and recorded it;

He prepared it and perfected it;

and He said to man,

‘Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and refraining from evil is understanding!”

Can you find how many of the materials used in the Mishkan are included in this chapter?

Can you find the allusions to the symbolism of the Mishkan’s parts in the verses?

This chapter, applied to the Mishkan, would describe the Sanctuary as a representation of Wisdom. Thus, we can understand why God would speak to Moshe from inside the Holy of Holies.

Why choose someone other than Moshe to construct the place of Wisdom?

See if you can find the references to the Garden in Eden.

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.

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22
Feb

Perspective

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“He gave him the ability to teach, him and Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.” (35:34)

Rashi comments, based on a verse in Iyov, “The One Who does not favor leaders, nor lets a noble be given recognition over a pauper.” (34:19) The verse equates Betzalel, of the greatest tribe, Judah, with Oholiab, of the tribe of Dan, one of the lesser tribes, the descendants of one of Jacob’s maidservants.

I recently viewed a NASA video that explains perspective:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

Here’s another one from an advertisement for a BBC show: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large

What seems large and small to us, does not appear the same way to the One with Infinite perspective.

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.

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21
Feb

Something To Say

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“Moses assembles the entire assembly of Israel.” (35:1) Rashi explains that Moshe did not actively assemble the people. He used words to have them gathered.

Which words did he use?

If he said, “Please assemble”, Rashi would not be making an important point. He still gathered them by instructing them to assemble.

It was the day after Yom Kippur, when Moshe had descended from Sinai with the second set of Luchot – Tablets. He brought the people a tangible expression of God’s forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf. Everyone understood the significance of these Tablets that replaced the first Luchot that Moshe shattered.

They were ready for the next step. They understood that a new stage had begun. They were waiting, expectantly, for Moshe’s instructions.

All he had to say was, “I have something to say.” They had been waiting for just such words, and the simple phrase was sufficient to gather the people.

It is interesting that this verse introduces the commandment of Shabbat. Perhaps there is a connection between the message of that first Rashi and the message of Shabbat:

We should rush to Shabbat, not because of force or demand, but with the same spirit of expectancy with which the people ran to hear Moshe’s words.

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.

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21
Feb

Parallels to Creation

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“Moses commanded that they proclaim throughout the camp, saying, ‘Man and woman shall not do more work toward the gift for the Sanctuary!’ And thep eople were refrained from bringing.” (36:6)

The Hebrew word for refrained is “Vayikalei” which sounds just like and looks just like, “Vayichal” which begins the paragraph about Shabbat in the story of Creation.

Although translated there as “And He (God) finished”, Rashi tells us that the word also means to refrain.

God did not finish the work of Creation, as much as He refrained from doing more. There is no limit to God’s Will or abilities. The cessation of work was an act of refraining from doing more. “I could do more, but I will stop,” just as it was for the people building the Mishkan.

As with God in the story of the first Shabbat, the people could have done more. They wanted to do more, but they refrained, they held back at Moshe’s command. The people were truly emulating Creation as they built the Mishkan.

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.

And there’s more.

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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.

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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.

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