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B”H

   Shalom and Bracha!

   This Shabbat we read the portion of Terumah, which begins the discussion concerning the construction of the Temple in the desert. Since the Torah is not simply a history book, and every portion has lessons for each of us at all times, we will look at some lessons from this week’s portion.

  Hashem commanded that on top of the Ark, which held Tablets with the Ten Commandments, a golden cover should be placed with images of two angels facing each other. When Hashem spoke to Moshe, the voice came from in between the angels. The Talmud teaches that there was a unique miracle that occurred with these angels. The angels represented the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people. When Hashem was pleased with the Jewish people, they faced each other. When He was angry with the Jewish people, they faced away from each other. Although they were close in proximity, the facing away from each other showed that there was a distance.

  Often, we spend time interacting with Hashem. We go to a synagogue, attend a Torah lesson or do an act of kindness. However, our “face” is in the other direction. Our face represents our excitement, intent and interest. This behavior is much like the angels who rest in close proximity but face away from each other. If we desire that Hashem should “show us His face” and treat us with love, care and attention, then when we are interacting with Him, we must turn our face to Him. This is also an important lesson in our relations with people. Often we spend time with people but we don’t “face” them. Our minds and hearts are elsewhere. This is also why we forget about each other; we never “faced” each other. During the communist oppression, a teacher in an underground Hebrew school came to the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneerson, to ask blessings for his students. Because of fear of being caught, he committed their names to memory rather than writing them. During his meeting with the Rebbe, he forgot one of the names. The Rebbe asked him, “How can you forget a Jewish child?” and told him the child’s name. At the time, the Rebbe had hundreds of underground schools with thousands of students, but each of them had his full “face.”
 

A further lesson

  The Torah teaches that the Kaporet was Mikshah, which means that rather than molding the angels and soldering them to the Kaporet, the entire Kaporet with the angels were beaten from a single piece of gold. This is a deep lesson concerning our bond with Hashem and the Torah. Our soul is a part of G-d. When we connect to Hashem, it is not the unity of distinct beings. We are in fact one entity. The Kaporet rested above the ark because through the Torah we perceive, reveal and develop our divine nature.

 

  The Menorah was also Mikshah, beaten from one piece of gold. This was tremendously complex, bearing in mind that there were seven ornate branches of perfect size and measure. The seven branches represent the different facets of the Jewish people. One could view Jewish as numerous units fused by a common goal, cause or belief. The Menorah teaches us that we are Mikshah, one entity drawn in many directions.

  As we study the construction of the Temple may we immediately see the construction of the Third Temple with the coming of Moshiach.

  Shabbat Shalom,

  Rabbi Biggs

Dedicated in memory of Juliet Bat Dinah Matalon. May Hashem grant her perfect bliss in Gan Eden and may she be bound in the bond of eternal life with Hashem

B”H

Adar - A Time to Rejoice

The month of Adar has begun! The Talmud teaches that from the beginning of Adar we increase in joy. This is because Purim falls on the 14th and the 15th of the month, and Purim is the day Haman had wanted to destroy the Jewish people and instead was transformed from sadness to joy. The Megillah stresses that the dread that preceded Purim and the joy that followed affected the entire month.

The Mitzvah to rejoice in Adar carries with it a tremendous blessing. There is a verse in the Megillah “These days of Purim shall be remembered and enacted. The Baal Shem Tov explains that through proper remembrance, Hashem reenact the blessings of the day. Particularly in a time like ours, when many people need difficulty to be transformed to joy, this blessing is pertinent and critical.

How do we reach joy?

Focus. We must focus on all of the blessings we have and thank Hashem for them. We must share good news and seek good news from others. Our thoughts are the first emanation of our souls, which are bound to Hashem. When we radiate positive energy, we bring positive energy. The focus on good leads us to becoming more productive and opening new channels. Focus can be on many things: the gift of life, our special bond to Hashem through Torah, the blessings we have in friends and family, the freedoms and opportunities we have in religion and life. Gratitude is the greatest form of humility.

Faith. Hashem watches over each one of us. He provides us what we need rather than what we think we need. All of His acts are part of the grand scheme of Moshiach’s coming which is the ultimate good for all of us and each of us. We see this in the Megillah. What seemed to be the darkest hour of the Jewish people with no hope for a future was in fact the eve of tremendous blessings, joy and success. We are placed in this world to trust Hashem. When we truly rely on Hashem and accept that what we perceive as negative is truly good, the hidden good becomes revealed. Think good and it will be good.

Action. Seek opportunities to enjoy and spread joy. When we rejoice with others, sharing in their joy and them sharing in ours, it multiplies the joy and blessings. This is reflected in the Mitzvot of Purim, sending gifts of food to friends and charity to the poor and having a festive meal. Pre Purim parties are a great way to set the tone, particularly if we use them to maximize the people who share in the Mitzvot of Purim. The study of Torah brings joy. Host a Torah class at your home. Each of us can be a beacon of joy and thereby breaking the cycle of negativity and ushering in a period of joy and prosperity.

May Hashem speedily in this Adar grant the greatest joy with the coming of Moshiach!

Chodesh Tov V’smeach! Have a wonderful and joyous month!

Rabbi Biggs

Dedicated in memory of Avraham Ben Nematollah Hertzl (Eskandar) Yadegar on the occasion of his Yahrtzeit. May his soul rise from height to height and may Hashem grant joy and blessings to his entire family

A project of Chabad of Great Neck

400 East Shore Rd.

Great Neck NY 11024

516 4874554       fax 516 4874807

Purim is the 7th and 8th of March! With Purim coming up, please think of ways to see that as many Jews as possible can participate in the Mitzvot of hearing the Megillah, giving Mishloach Manot (gifts of food), gifts to the poor, and the Purim feast. Haman referred to the Jewish people as divided. By helping others perform the Mitzvot of Purim we negate his words and demonstrate unity. This is particularly relevant this year when we are faced with Haman’s protégé in his homeland.


 
   
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