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
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
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.
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
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
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!
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
A project of
Chabad of Great Neck
Great Neck NY
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.