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This week’s perasha begins Vayik-chu Li Terumah. And let them take for me a portion or a donation. With these words begins the first Jewish fundraiser for the building of the mishkan - the tabernacle in the desert. And unlike almost any other fundraiser in our history, this one ended three days later with Moses telling the people, "we don’t need anymore, we have enough".
When it comes to building beautiful edifices, the Jewish people have always given generously. Solomon built the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem and the Romans referred to the second Temple as one of the wonders of the world. We continued this tradition over the next two millennia to this day with splendid synagogues built throughout the world.
But can setting aside
In this week’s parsha, we find the commandments to build the mishkan and all the vessels that were contained therein, including the ark, the menorah and the altar. But interestingly enough, as the parsha enjoins us to offer our contributions, it interrupts the sequence by teaching us the ultimate purpose of the mishkan - “so that I may dwell in your midst.” Thus, by connecting the purpose of the sanctuary with the command to build it, the Torah is imparting to us a profound teaching which is at
The parashah opens with a most unusual expression, "V`eileh hamishpatim asher tasim lifneihem - And these are the commandments that you shall place before them." (Exodus 21:1)
Normally, the Torah instructs Moses with the words, "speak", "command", or "teach" - so why is Moses here commanded to "place"?
Rashi, whose commentaries are a key to understanding Torah, gives a brief but cryptic explanation: "Placed in front of them like a set table." But this leaves us even more puzzled. Our revered
"We have to do something!" With those words, as we just completed Havdala in the Synagogue, a dear friend handed me an article from one of the local papers.
The article began, "Dear Neighbor,
We may not know each another or daven in the same shul, but until recently we had so very much in common. Like you, I dedicated the early part of my adult life to pursuing my education and attaining my advanced degrees. Like you, I davened with kavanah and was ultimately rewarded with a wonderful spouse
Yogi Berra may have been an 18 time all-star, won ten world series rings – more than anyone in Major League history, caught Don Larsen’s perfect game, managed both the Yankees and the Mets, but he will probably be remembered more for his Yogisms; his quotable quotes which have entered the vernacular of every day speech. Among his famous sayings are "It ain't over till it's over”, "You can observe a lot by watching”, and my favorite, "It's like déjà vu all over again”. Berra explained that this