Posts Tagged ‘Mishkan’

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

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11
Feb

Lighting The Candle

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Dedicated in honor of my dear friend Rabbi Shai Specht; A Shining Light: There is a powerful hint in this week’s portion to the common custom of lighting a candle before performing a mitzvah:

The work on the Mishkan gone was complete. The vessels were ready. This portion begins as the people are ready to learn about the service and the people who will lead the service. However, before God begins the instructions for the clothes of the priests and the actual steps of the service, God gives the mitzvah of lighting the candles. The candles are given after the physical structure is complete but before action begins.

This parallels the creation of Adam: Adam’s body was complete. And then the Lord “blew into his nose the spirit of life,” the Spirit of life being the soul, described by the verse as “the candle of God is the soul of a man.” The structure was complete and then the fire was lit.

We can derive from here the custom of lighting a candle before acting. The physical preparations are complete. The structure is whole. Now the time for action begins. The action in the Mishkan began with the light of the menorah. The action of the human being begins with the “candle of God,” the soul of the human being. The candle we light reminds us that our soul is the fire that energizes the actions that will follow.

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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11
Feb

Aaron’s Connection

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

It saddens me when I will observe a child or even an adult acting in a self-destructive way out of fear of how others will respond or look at his actions.  I do not see such actions as courageous, I see them as cowardice. So please, help me understand how do we know that when Aaron guided the Jews through the construction of the Golden Calf, that his intentions were intentions of strength, not of cowardice. How do we know that Aaron wanted to protect the people, as we are taught by the sages, rather than his being terrified?

There must be a key to Aaron’s personality and strengths in this week’s portion, the one that precedes the portion of the Golden Calf, and there is; “And you bring close Aaron your brother and his sons with him from the midst of the children of Israel to make him a priest for Me.” “From the midst of the Children of Israel,” can also be from the “inside of the people of Israel.”

Aaron was completely connected to the people. When one acts from weakness, or out of cowardice, he is not acting as one connected, but as one disconnected. If my attachment to other people causes me to act against myself, or in self-destructive ways, I am not connected from them, I am ripped away not only from them, but from myself as well.

Aaron is introduced as the High Priest coming from the inside of the Jewish people. He is permanently connected to them. All that he does, all that he will do, is a reflection of true connection, from the inside of the Jewish people. We therefore know that when Aaron acted at the time of the Golden Calf, he was still acting as from the “inside of the Jewish people,” completely connected. He was not acting in weakness, out of cowardice, he was acting from strength, he was acting from his connection. This is how we know that his intentions at the Golden Calf were only good.

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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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10
Feb

The Wave Offering: Available Today by Prof Gerald August

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Distance. Physical separation. The inability to use the sense of touch to express feelings for someone.

To bridge distance we have other senses. We see, we hear and we smell. These are senses that can express feelings for each other in very powerful ways. To see a dear one can bring a smile. Hearing friendly words can make us happy. A pleasant smell can make us shut our eyes and enjoy the nearness.

But we are not as close as possible. Touch is as close as possible. So what is the next best physical expression of touch?

We wave. We wave as a greeting. The wave signifies our wish for physical contact. It is the best we can offer when someone is not close enough to touch. It tells of our anticipation of expressing our affection in a handshake or a hug.

We wave when we say goodbye. A hug or kiss is a final physical expression of closeness. One person walks away. After taking a few steps, there is a turn, a wave and a wave back. There is no touching, but it is a physical act. It is a way to abnegate physical distance by a display of the wish for physical closeness. Even though they are not in touching distance, each person still wishes to touch the other. The sight of such a wave paints a portable picture that distance cannot dissipate. This picture may appear long after the ability to see each other is gone.

The wave offering in the Temple was different than any other. It was not an expression through food. It was the body expressing the desire to be close.

The wave is available today as an expression of connection. When someone waves at us, take a few more seconds to appreciate and savor what it means.

The offerings in the temple were a means to achieve a goal. So is the wave. The goal is a warm relationship.

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10
Feb

The Discover Magazine Chronicles: Only If He Likes Them

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Male seahorses have been lauded as the gallant “Mr. Moms” of the animal world, and pipefish, their close relatives, are devoted fathers too. The female pipefish injects eggs into the male, which then bears live young.

But recent research suggests these model dads are not being selfless: pipefish treat their offspring well only if they really like their mates.

A researcher mated Gulf pipefish in multiple trials. Previous studies had shown that the males, which breed with a single female at a time, show a preference for larger partners. A scientist found that offspring of these attractive females had higher survival rates than those of their less comely kin.

She suspects the males employ “cryptic choice,” a strategy of selecting the mother for their babies after mating has occurred. The father pipefish might do this by transferring more nutrients to broods mothered by attractive females and allowing less desirable broods to languish.

I suspect that the reason the dedication of the Mishkan began with an act of achieving atonement was to tell us that no matter how we behaved, no matter how God viewed our intentions or actions, He would continue to provide us with the highest level of nutrients  through this Tabernacle, or Temple. God does not decide whether to nurture us spiritually, based on our immediate behavior or ‘attractiveness, but based on our desire to repair what we have damaged. God constantly provides spiritual nutrients, but especially the nutrients necessary to achieve atonement.

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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10
Feb

The Discover Magazine Chronicles: An Attractive Home

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Male bowerbirds, like the males of so many species, more mates with displays of wealth. The mail collects up to 5000 stones, bones, shells, and man-made objects to build an elaborate court where he awaits potential partners. And also like so many other males, bowerbirds exaggerate what they’ve got.

Last September John Endler, an evolutionary ecologist at Deakin University in Australia, reported that bowerbirds seem to use their trinkets to create a carefully plotted optical illusion. The birds arrange objects by size from largest to smallest along an avenue leading to the court. This may make the court seems smaller, and the male larger, two females looking up the Avenue. Using this trick, called force perspective, males may will passing females with their deceptively large stature.

The Mishkan was also designed as an avenue leading to a court. However, rather than have the size move from larger to smaller, or from more significant to less significant, as do the bowerbirds, the Mishkan was designed to be small at first and then larger and larger, to have the less important vessels in front and the more important vessels as one approaches closer to the Holy of Holies, the greatest heights.

The attraction of the Mishkan was not that what we had was big only in proportion.  The Mishkan represented how one can become greater, larger, and more significant, the closer one comes to attaching to God.

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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9
Feb

The Limitations of Categorical Thinking

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships, Spiritual Growth

The following are logical problems, or “brain-teasers,” which contain the information needed for their solutions, but present it in indirect but relational ways. Consider the following relational statements:


  • The red book belongs to Ludmilla’s brother.

  • Ivan is Ludmilla’s brother.

  • Ludmilla has only one brother.


From this, of course, we can conclude that the red book belongs to Ivan, but it takes three bits of information to link “red book” and “Ivan.” Each statement establishes relationships by creating or limiting a category. “The red book belongs to Ludmilla’s brother,” for instance, shows that the owner of the book falls into the category of “brothers of Ludmilla.” The second statement gives us one member of that category, and the third statement limits the category to that one member. This example is simple enough that you probably were not conscious of the categorical thinking you employed in solving it, but the greater complexity of the following problems makes it important to attack them step by step, category by category.

 

Assignment: Keep a written record, or journal, of how you approach and solve each of the following problems. Be specific about what categories you are establishing, and why something fits into one category and can be excluded from another.

The Singles’ Bar

While sitting in a club where all single men tell the truth and all married men lie, a woman is approached by three men. She asks the first guy if he is married, but the music is so loud that she can’t hear his answer. So she turns to the second guy, who tells her, “The first guy said, ‘I am married,’ but he really is single.” Then she turns to the third guy, who says, “The second guy is single.” Determine the marital status of each of the three men.

Not Entirely Identical Twins

A man is sitting with two women, seemingly identical twins. One of the women always tells the truth, the other always lies, but the man does not know which one is which. The women have served him a pair of drinks, one of which contains a tasteless, odorless, but deadly poison, the other the cure for a fatal disease he has contracted. Before choosing which glass to drink, the man may ask one question of one of the women. Can you formulate a question that would guarantee the safety of the drink chosen?

The Flower Show

Jasmine, Rose, and Lily each had an entry in the county fair’s flower competition. Coincidentally, the flowers they entered were a jasmine, a rose, and a lily, but not in that order–in fact, none of the three competitors entered her namesake flower. If, in addition, you know that Jasmine did not enter a rose, can you figure out which flower each woman entered?

Class Reports

Five students in the Hebrew literature course (Dror, Hava, Eitan, Maya, and Zvike) have been assigned reports on five modern Hebrew writers (Oz, Agnon, Rahel, Yehoshua, and Bialik). Each student has a different writer, and each report will be made on a different day of the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). From the following information, determine which student will be reporting on which day about which author:


  1. The report on Agnon will be given on Monday, and the report on Oz will be given on Wednesday, but the report on Rahel will not be given on Thursday, and the report on Bialik will not be given on either Sunday or Thursday.

  2. Neither Zvike nor Dror nor Maya is doing the report on Yehoshua, but Eitan is doing the report on Rahel.

  3. Zvike is not giving his report on Monday, and Dror is not giving his report on either Monday or Wednesday.


Studies have shown that people find it easier to distinguish between similar hues that belong to different color categories than between hues that fall within a single color category. A bluish green and a greenish blue, for example, are easier to tell apart than a bluish green and a yellowish green.

Ironically, the holiest place on earth, a place where the rules are absolute, the Mishkan or Temple, was designed specifically to prevent categorical thinking, at least its limitations.

Consider the twelve stones, each a different color, on the Choshen – the breastplate of the Cohen Gadol.

Consider the variety of colors on the Mishkan’s multiple coverings.

Consider that God, Infinite and beyond any physical boundaries, Who insists that we avoid idol worship and any physical representations of Spiritual forces, asks us to build a physical house for Him, chock full of physical items, each representing a spiritual idea.

Consider that God empowers people who less than a year earlier were slaves and idol worshippers to build this home for Him.

Consider that God offers us atonement through a calf; a reminder of the Golden Calf.

The Mishkan, despite its formidable rules, sections, and boundaries, does not allow for categorical thinking. Torah, with all its wisdom, structure and laws, fights against the limitations of categorical thinking. Judaism, with all the same qualities, pushes us to battle such limitations.

The instructions for constructing the Mishkan and its vessels prepare us for…clothes.

The Vilna Gaon (Even Sheleimah, Chapter One. See too, Maharal of Prague, Tiferet Yisrael, Chapter 3 on, “And Abraham was old, coming in days.”) teaches us that we create new garments for our souls with each moment of life we maximize. Each moment offers unique opportunity to repair the “damaged sparks of our souls.” (Or HaTorah of Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Chaver, #99) We won’t be able to dress ourselves in those moments if we fall into the trap of categorical thinking.

We must take a fresh look at all we do, pray, say, study, and think. When we define someone’s religious identity by a Kipah, Tichel, wig, or hat, we are thinking categorically. When we stereotype others by external qualities we are thinking categorically. We are limiting them, ourselves, our lives, our moments, our garments.

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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9
Feb

First Clothes

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

We cannot read of the clothes of the High Priest or those of the regular priests without thinking back to the first garments in the Bible; those made by Adam and Eve to cover their recently discovered nakedness.

They used clothes only to cover themselves. They found dignity only in hiding embarrassment and shame. They had yet to understand that clothes, which had not previously been necessary, despite the fact that they were a response to a sin, could still be a source of dignity.

They didn’t realize that the fact they could do something for themselves, something to cover their shame, was in and of itself, and act of achievement. The first clothes were a message that we can repair the world and ourselves. They found the solution, their first garments, in the leaves of the very tree from which they sinfully ate; the fig tree.

When we dress only to hide ourselves, or to fit in, when we dress with the idea of Tzniut – personal modesty – being only to hide, we are copying Adam and Eve in their first moments of shame. We are dressing without an awareness of our dignity.

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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9
Feb

The Discover Magazine Chronicles: Magnetic Shift

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

Every 200,000 years were so, the Earth’s poles trade places. Typically it takes several thousand years. But when geologists Scott Bogue of Occidental College and Jonathan Glen of the US geological survey examined 15 million-year-old Nevada lava, they found evidence that the planet’s magnetic field shifted several top thousand times faster than normal at least once.

When lava cools, it locks away a record of the Earth’s magnetic field. Examining glob was that cold and two consecutive years, Bogue and Glen found the field swung 53° from East to North, about 1° a week. They thought they had erred, but more detailed tests confirm the pattern, which they announced in September 2010. The only other evidence for rapid field change comes from Oregon lava analyzed in 1985.

Bogue thinks the quick shift took place near the end of a millennia long polarity reversal, when a slow magnetic drift accelerated dramatically for reasons unexplained. “I suspect it’s a very herky-jerky unsteady process,” he says.

Further study could help geologists understand the turbulent motion of the Earth’s liquid core, which generates the magnetic field and may initiate its flips.

I suspect that the 12 stones on the breastplate of the Cohen Gadol, the high priest, represented 12 different magnetic points. They allow for constant movement of the magnetic shift. They allow each of the 12 tribes to be at the source, the Magnetic Point of the spiritual workings of the universe, at different times.

The two stones on the high priest shoulders, the “Avnei Shoham,” each with the names of six tribes engraved on them, allow a different sort of magnetic shift, that between one half of Israel and the other.

The Cohen Gadol, in order to properly represent all the people, had to experience each Tribe as the Magnetic Point of Israel. He could not be fixed in his perceptions, in a single unmoving place. His inner compass had to adjust to each Tribe as the focal point of the nation.

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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8
Feb

Preparation

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

“And they shall take the gold, and turquoise, and the purple, and the scarlet wool and the linen,”

The Seforno explains that this verse teaches us that they had to have proper Kavana – awareness and Intention – even when they were gathering the materials for the Priestly Garments.

The Talmud, in Bava Metzia 85b describes a debate between Rabbi Chanina and Rabbi Chiya. Rabbi Chanina said to Rabbi Chiya, “How can you argue with me? Do you not know that even if, Heaven Forbid, Torah would be forgotten by Israel, that I could restore it with my erudition and wisdom?”

Rabbi Chiya responded, “How can you argue with me who has worked to ensure that Torah would never be forgotten from Israel? Rabbi Chiya planted flax and when it grew, wove nets. He used his handmade nets to capture deer, which he slaughtered, tanned and made into the finest parchment. He wrote the five books of the Torah and then went to a city which did not have any Torah teachers and taught one each of five children one of the books of the Torah from the text he had written, and one each of six boys, one of the six orders of Mishna, by heart. He then charged each child to teach all the others what he had been taught.

Rabbi Chiya did not have to grow the flax. He did not have to make the nets or catch the deer, or tan the hides or even write the Torah scrolls. His plan was not dependent on those steps.

But as the Seforno taught, the preparation for the Mitzvah is as important as the Mitzvah itself. Rabbi Chiya’s efforts succeeded not only because of the great wisdom of his plan, but because he sanctified each step of the preparation, as did the people who collected the material that would be used for the priestly garments.

This is why people pick up their dough and say; “This shall be for Shabbat.” This wine will be for Shabbat. This piece of meat will be for Shabbat.

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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