Illuminations #111, Adar 5777, Parshat Tetzaveh

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Illuminations #111, Adar 5777, Parshat Tetzaveh

Torah Gems

The Torah teaches the laws of the Mishkan five times. Our Sages tell us this repetition is an expression of Hashem’s love for klal Yisrael. The following Midrash elucidates this concept:
A king sent his son to study with a master pedagogue. When the king came to check on the progress of his son, he asked the teacher, “Does my son eat? Drink? Sleep? Does he go to school and come home?” Surprisingly he did not ask the essential question, “How is my son advancing in his studies?”
Since the king had selected an expert and trustworthy educator, he was certain that his son would be provided with the finest education. Therefore, it was only necessary for the king to inquire if his son was fulfilling his required personal needs.
Just as the king worried that his son attended to his personal needs so that he would have the capacity to benefit from the efforts of his master teacher, Hashem reminded klal Yisrael five times to build the Mishkan so that they would be in the position to enjoy the delights of the Shechinah. In His abundant love for klal Yisrael, Hashem desired for the Shechinah to dwell among them. Therefore, He repeatedly urged the people to fulfill the required preparation – the construction of the Mishkan. However, it is clear that the phenomenon of the Shechinah actually dwelling among us is dependent only on Hashem. If we do our small part, Hashem -The Merciful King – will surely reveal His splendorous light to the Jewish people.
Hence, the divine service that we are charged with is a preparation to receive spiritual treasures. All that is required of us is to prepare and purify ourselves through Torah and mitzvos. If we strengthen ourselves in this, Hashem in His great love will bless and help us in the most wondrous ways!
– Based on Ohr Rashaz of the Alter of Kelm

Parsha Pearls

“And it (the m’eel) shall be on Aharon for officiating; And its sound shall be heard when he goes into the sanctuary before the Lord, and when he comes out…. (Shemos 28:35)”
The m’eel, one of the eight garments of the Hight Priest, was decorated with bells. Whenever the High Priest would enter the Beis Hamikdash, his presence would be announced by the jingling of the bells on his garment. Rabbi Yochanan learned from this the practice of always knocking on the door of his house before entering. This is one of the seven directives that Rabbi Akiva gave to his son Rabbi Yehoshua, “Don’t enter your own house suddenly ( that is, without knocking) ; all the more so, the house of your neighbor.”

Glimpses of Greatness

Rav Chaim Kornfeld, a Gerrer chassid who was known for his extraordinary mastery of all areas of Torah, once visited Rav Elyashiv on Purim. Rav Elyashiv turned to him and, in an uncharacteristic manner, with obvious intent to lift Rav Chaim ‘s spirit on Purim, said, “Tell me a chidush in a far-flung part of Torah that I don’t know yet.” Rav Chaim was delighted at this opportunity, and he began quoting teachings of the sages and halachos in obscure topics. Each time he began to say something, Rav Elyashiv, in the spirit of Purim, finished the sentence for him on the spot. Only on the eighth time Rav Chaim managed to say something that Rav Elyashiv did not know.

Halacha Weekly

Q. Can a Jewish child play with a doll? (I -5 – 186)

A. Rambam Hil. Avodah Zarah (3:1—11) says that it is prohibited to make a form for the sake of beauty even though it is not Avodah Zarah, as it says, ‘Do not make Me,’ as if to include the forms of silver and gold that are for no reason other than enjoyment, in order that one does nocome to err through them and make them in the form of Avodah Zarah. Therefore, one may not paint, not with wood or with lime, nor with a stone, the form of a man, if it is a form which is projecting outwards …, but if the form is hollowed out or the form is  in the form of a pattern like on a tablet, or the form of weavers that is woven, this is permitted. 

Maharit (2- Yoreh Deah 35) Rambam Z”L  says it is prohibited to make the figure of a person (in three dimensions) for the sake of beauty. This is with something which is fixed in place, lest a person err and say it is the actual person. This is not the case with figures made for temporary use for the sake of education or to play with, which are permitted. There is no suspicion that maybe one will come to err concerning them. And according to our practice, we learn that those figures which are made for children to play with …, one is permitted to make them. 

This week’s Illuminations is sponsored 

In honor of Rabbi and Mrs. Heshy Brody, שליט”א

Thank you for your devotion to Torah learning and our community 

Jean Claude and Carol Recca