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Showing posts from March, 2018

Shabbat HaGadol - Parashat Tzav 5778, March 23, 2018

This Shabbat, the Shabbat immediately preceding Pesach, is customarily given a special name, “Shabbat HaGadol” – the Great Shabbat. Indeed, on this Shabbat HaGadol, we read a special Haftarah ending with the verse, “Behold! I send you Eliyahu HaNavi, before the great (gadol) and awesome day of Hashem.”

The Midrash offers another rationale which may explain this unique appellation given to this Shabbat before Pesach. A great miracle, explains the Midrash, occurred on that Shabbat before Pesach. It was the “Shabbat of a Great Miracle.” Like our Pesach, the exodus from Egypt occurred on the 15th of Nissan. The exodus occurred on a Thursday. Thus, the Shabbat prior to the exodus from Egypt occurred on the 10th of Nissan. The Jewish People had a unique obligation on that 10th of Nissan – the year of the exodus. Each family was commanded to take the lamb that they would be slaughtering for the korban pesach and to tie it to their bedpost in anticipation of that upcoming momentous night. Begi…

Righteous Righteousness - Parashat Vayakhel-Pekude 5778, March 16, 2018

This week’s double parasha, Vayakhel-Pekude, presents the building of the mishkan – the portable Tabernacle.

Through their donations, the Jewish People provided the material and labor needed for the construction of the mishkan. Indeed, the people’s generosity led Moshe to end the call for donations.

The Torah writes:

All the wise people came – those completing all the sacred work, each of them from his work that they were doing – and they said to Moshe, saying, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for the labor of the work that Hashem has commanded to perform.’ Moshe commanded that they proclaim throughout the camp, saying, ‘Man and woman shall not do more work toward the gift for the Sanctuary!’ And the people were restrained from giving.

On the surface, this final verse is difficult to understand – why were the people restrained from giving to this holy cause of building the mishkan? Even if enough supplies had been given, certainly there existed a need for operational funding! Why…