View Full Version : Torah Parshas Ki Tisa
11. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
12. "When you take the sum of the children of Israel according to their numbers, let each one give to the Lord an atonement for his soul when they are counted; then there will be no plague among them when they are counted.
13. This they shall give, everyone who goes through the counting: half a shekel according to the holy shekel. Twenty gerahs equal one shekel; half of [such] a shekel shall be an offering to the Lord.
14. Everyone who goes through the counting, from the age of twenty and upward, shall give an offering to the Lord.
15. The rich shall give no more, and the poor shall give no less than half a shekel, with which to give the offering to the Lord, to atone for your souls.
16. You shall take the silver of the atonements from the children of Israel and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting; it shall be a remembrance for the children of Israel before the Lord, to atone for your souls." 17. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
18. "You shall make a washstand of copper and its base of copper for washing, and you shall place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and you shall put water therein.
19. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet from it.
20. When they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to serve, to make a fire offering rise up in smoke to the Lord,
21. they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this shall be for them a perpetual statute, for him and for his descendants, for their generations." 22. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
23. "And you, take for yourself spices of the finest sort: of pure myrrh five hundred [shekel weights]; of fragrant cinnamon half of it two hundred and fifty [shekel weights]; of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty [shekel weights],
24. and of cassia five hundred [shekel weights] according to the holy shekel, and one hin of olive oil.
25. You shall make this into an oil of holy anoinment, a perfumed compound according to the art of a perfumer; it shall be an oil of holy anointment.
26. And you shall anoint with it the Tent of Meeting and the Ark of Testimony, 27. the table and all its implements, the menorah and its implements, the altar of incense, 28. the altar of the burnt offering and all its implements, the washstand and its base.
29. And you shall sanctify them so that they become a holy of holies; whatever touches them shall become holy. 30. And with it you shall anoint Aaron and his sons and sanctify them to serve Me [as kohanim].
31. And to the children of Israel you shall speak, saying: 'This shall be oil of holy anointment to Me for your generations.
32. It shall not be poured upon human flesh, and according to its formula you shall not make anything like it. It is holy; it shall be holy to you.
33. Any person who compounds anything like it or puts any of it on an alien shall be cut off from his people.' "
34. And the Lord said to Moses: "Take for yourself aromatics, [namely] balsam sap, onycha and galbanum, aromatics and pure frankincense; they shall be of equal weight.
35. And you shall make it into incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, well blended, pure, holy.
36. And you shall crush some of it very finely, and you shall set some of it before the testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will arrange meetings with you; it shall be to you a holy of holies.
37. And the incense that you make, you shall not make for yourselves according to its formula; it shall be holy to you for the Lord.
38. Any person who makes anything like it, to smell it[s fragrance], shall be cut off from his people.
1. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
2. "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,
3. and I have imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship
4. to do master weaving, to work with gold, with silver, and with copper,
5. with the craft of stones for setting and with the craft of wood, to do every [manner of] work.
6. And, behold, with him I have placed Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and all the wise hearted into whose hearts I have instilled wisdom, and they shall make everything I have commanded you:
7. The Tent of Meeting and the ark for the testimony, as well as the cover that [shall be] upon it, all the implements of the tent,
8. the table and its implements, the pure menorah and all its implements, the altar of incense, 9. the altar for the burnt offering and all its implements, the washstand and its base,
10. the meshwork garments, the holy garments for Aaron the kohen, the garments of his sons [in which] to serve [as kohanim],
11. the anointing oil and the incense for the Holy; in complete accordance with everything I have commanded you they shall do." 12. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
13. "And you, speak to the children of Israel and say: 'Only keep My Sabbaths! For it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I, the Lord, make you holy.
14. Therefore, keep the Sabbath, for it is a sacred thing for you. Those who desecrate it shall be put to death, for whoever performs work on it, that soul will be cut off from the midst of its people.
15. Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever performs work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.' 16. Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant.
17. Between Me and the children of Israel, it is forever a sign that [in] six days The Lord created the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested."
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less (30:15)
People differ in their intellect, character and talents, in the quantity of their material resources and the timbre of their spiritual sensitivities. But all are equal in the very basis of their bond with G-d: the intrinsic commitment to Him that resides at the core of their souls. So while every man contributed to the making of the various components of the Sanctuary in accordance with their individual capacity, all gave equally of the silver of which its foundation was made. As regards the foundation of the relationship between man and G-d, the "rich man" cannot give more, and the "pauper" cannot give less.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)
And Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet... when they come near to the Altar to minister (30:19)
Every person, upon waking in the morning... should wash his hands with [a minimum of] a quarter-log of water poured from a utensil...
Man entrusts his soul [to G-d at night] tired and exhausted, and G-d restores it to him rejuvenated and refreshed so that he may serve his Creator with all his capacity, this being the purpose of man. Therefore we should sanctify ourselves with His holiness and wash our hands with water from a vessel before serving Him and ministering to Him, like the Kohen who would wash his hands from the Basin each day before beginning his service...
(Shulchan Aruch HaRav)
All dirt and all filth betake themselves to the "other side" (the forces of evil) which derives sustenance from them; therefore it is a mitzvah to wash the hands...
And you shall make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the perfumer (30:35)
Since many animals were slaughtered in the sacred place each day, their flesh butchered and burned and their intestines cleaned, its smell would doubtless have been like the smell of a slaughterhouse.... Therefore G-d commanded that the Ketoret be burned twice a day, each morning and afternoon, to lend a pleasing fragrance to the Sanctuary and to the garments of those who served in it.
(Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed)
Many of the commentaries object to this explanation of the function of the Ketoret; in the words of Rabbeinu Bechayei, "G-d forbid that the great principle and mystery of the Ketoret should be reduced to this mundane purpose." Chassidic teaching, however, applies Maimonides' words as a reference to the spiritual "stench" of the Animal Soul within man, whose sacrifice and dedication to G-d was the deeper significance of the animal offerings brought in the Sanctuary. This explains why the Ketoret was the most sacred component of the Yom Kippur service: the Ketoret represents the power of teshuvah, the sublimation of "foul odors" of man's failings and iniquities into the "sweet fragrance" of a new, invigorated bond with G-d.
See, I have called by name Bezalel... of the tribe of Judah... and I have appointed with him Ahaliav... of the tribe of Dan (31:2, 6)
No tribe was greater than Judah and none more lowly than Dan... Said G-d: "Let the one come and be associated with the other, so that no man may despise [his fellow] or be arrogant, for both great and small are equal in G-d's sight."
18. When He had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets, written with the finger of God.
1. When the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron, and they said to him: "Come on! Make us gods that will go before us, because this man Moses, who brought us up from the land of Egypt we don't know what has become of him."
2. Aaron said to them, "Remove the golden earrings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them [those earrings] to me."
3. And all the people stripped themselves of the golden earrings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron.
4. He took [them] from their hand[s], fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into a molten calf, upon which they said: "These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up from the land of Egypt!"
5. When Aaron saw [this], he built an altar in front of it, and Aaron proclaimed and said: "Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord."
6. On the next day they arose early, offered up burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and they got up to make merry.
7. And the Lord said to Moses: "Go, descend, for your people that you have brought up from the land of Egypt have acted corruptly. 8. They have quickly turned away from the path that I have commanded them; they have made themselves a molten calf! And they have prostrated themselves before it, slaughtered sacrifices to it, and said: 'These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up from the land of Egypt.' "
9. And the Lord said to Moses: "I have seen this people and behold! they are a stiff necked people.
10. Now leave Me alone, and My anger will be kindled against them so that I will annihilate them, and I will make you into a great nation."
11. Moses pleaded before the Lord, his God, and said: "Why, O Lord, should Your anger be kindled against Your people whom You have brought up from the land of Egypt with great power and with a strong hand?
12. Why should the Egyptians say: 'He brought them out with evil [intent] to kill them in the mountains and to annihilate them from upon the face of the earth'? Retreat from the heat of Your anger and reconsider the evil [intended] for Your people.
13. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your very Self, and to whom You said: 'I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens, and all this land which I said that I would give to your seed, they shall keep it as their possession forever.' " 14. The Lord [then] reconsidered the evil He had said He would do to His people.
15. Now Moses turned and went down from the mountain the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets inscribed from both their sides; on one side and on the other side they were inscribed.
16. Now the tablets were God's work, and the inscription was God's inscription, engraved on the tablets.
17. When Joshua heard the voice of the people in their shouting, he said to Moses: "There is a voice of battle in the camp!"
18. But [Moses] said: "[It is] neither a voice shouting victory, nor a voice shouting defeat; a voice of blasphemy I hear."
19. Now it came to pass when he drew closer to the camp and saw the calf and the dances, that Moses' anger was kindled, and he flung the tablets from his hands, shattering them at the foot of the mountain.
20. Then he took the calf they had made, burned it in fire, ground it to fine powder, scattered [it] upon the surface of the water, and gave [it to] the children of Israel to drink.
21. Moses said to Aaron: "What did this people do to you that you brought [such] a grave sin upon them?"
22. Aaron replied: "Let not my lord's anger grow hot! You know the people, that they are disposed toward evil. 23. They said to me, 'Make us gods who will go before us, because this man Moses, who brought us up from the land of Egypt we do not know what has become of him.'
24. I said to them, 'Who has gold?' So they took it [the gold] off and gave it to me; I threw it into the fire and out came this calf."
25. And Moses saw the people, that they were exposed, for Aaron had exposed them to be disgraced before their adversaries.
26. So Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said: "Whoever is for the Lord, [let him come] to me!" And all the sons of Levi gathered around him.
27. He said to them: "So said the Lord, the God of Israel: 'Let every man place his sword upon his thigh and pass back and forth from one gate to the other in the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his friend, every man his kinsman.' " 28. The sons of Levi did according to Moses' word; on that day some three thousand men fell from among the people.
29. And Moses said: "Initiate yourselves today for the Lord for each man with his son and with his brother so that He may bestow a blessing upon you this day. "
30. It came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people: "You have committed a grave sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I will obtain atonement for your sin."
[B]31. And Moses returned to the Lord and said: "Please! This people has committed a grave sin. They have made themselves a god of gold.
32. And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written." 33. And the Lord said to Moses: "Whoever has sinned against Me, him I will erase from My book!"
34. And now go, lead the people to [the place] of which I have spoken to you. Behold My angel will go before you. But on the day I make an accounting [of sins upon them], I will bring their sin to account against them."
35. Then the Lord struck the people with a plague, because they had made the calf that Aaron had made.
1. The Lord spoke to Moses: "Go, ascend from here, you and the people you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land that I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: 'I will give it to your descendants.'
2. I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites
3. to a land flowing with milk and honey; because I will not go up in your midst since you are a stiff necked people, lest I destroy you on the way."
4. [When] the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his finery.
5. And the Lord said to Moses: "Say to the children of Israel: 'You are a stiff necked people; if I go up into your midst for one moment, I will destroy you; but now, leave off your finery, and I will know what to do to you.' "
6. So the children of Israel divested themselves of their finery from Mount Horeb.
7. And Moses took the tent and pitched it for himself outside the camp, distancing [it] from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting, and it would be that anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.
8. And it would be that when Moses would go out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each one at the entrance of his tent, and they would gaze after Moses until he went into the tent.
9. And it would be that when Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and He would speak with Moses.
10. When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and prostrate themselves, each one at the entrance of his tent.
11. Then the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man would speak to his companion, and he would return to the camp, but his attendant, Joshua, the son of Nun, a lad, would not depart from the tent.
The people converged upon Aaron, and said to him: "Arise, make us a god..." And Aaron saw; and he built an altar before it (32:1-5)
What did Aaron see? He saw his nephew Hur slain before him. [As related above in Exodus 24:14, Moses placed Aaron and Hur, the son of Miriam and Caleb, in charge of the camp when he ascended the mountain.] When the people demanded an idol, Hur arose and rebuked them, whereupon they rose against him and killed him. They then came to Aaron, and said to him: "We will do to you what we have done to this man"...
Aaron tried to busy them with tasks. He said to them: "Remove the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives"--a most difficult thing, for the women, who saw all the miracles that G-d performed in Egypt, at the Sea and at Sinai, would surely not participate... When the women did not do as the men demanded, the men removed their own jewelry, as it says, "And all the people unloaded the golden earrings which were in their ears."
They wanted to build the altar together with Aaron, but he would not allow them, saying: "Allow me to build it by myself, for it is not befitting the respect due to the altar that another should build it." Aaron's intention in this was to delay matters, saying to himself: "By the time I build it all by myself Moses will come down." But when he had built it Moses had not yet descended.
What did Aaron do? He said: I shall postpone it until tomorrow, as it is written: "And [Aaron] proclaimed: Tomorrow is a feast to G-d!" His intention was to the true G-d, being certain that by the morrow Moses would come and they will serve G-d. But they "Arose early in the morning..."
(Midrash Tanchuma; Rashi
And G-d said to Moses: "Go down..." (32:7)
What is meant by "Go down"? Rabbi Elazar said: G-d said to Moses: "Moses, descend from your greatness. Have I given you greatness other than for the sake of Israel? And now Israel have sinned; then what do I want with you?"
Straightaway Moses became powerless and had no strength to speak. But when G-d said, "Let Me alone that I may destroy them," Moses said to himself: "This depends upon me," and he stood up and prayed vigorously and begged for mercy. It was like the case of a king who became angry with his son and began beating him severely. His friend was sitting before him but was afraid to say a word until the king said, "Were it not for my friend here who is sitting before me, I would kill you." Said the friend to himself, "This depends on me," and immediately he stood up and rescued him.
Rabbi Abbahu said: Were it not explicitly written, "Let Me alone that I may destroy them," it would be impossible to say such a thing: this indicates that Moses took hold of G-d like a man who seizes his fellow by his garment, and said to Him: "Master of the Universe! I will not let You go until You forgive and pardon them."
(Talmud, Brachot 32a)
Why, O G-d, should Your wrath burn against Your people? (32:11)
When Israel committed that act, Moses arose to appease G-d and said: "Master of the Universe! They have given You an assistant, and You are annoyed with them? Why, this Calf which they have made will be Your assistant: You will cause the sun to rise while it will cause the moon to rise; You will look after the stars and it will see to the constellations; You will cause the dew to descend and it will cause the winds to blow; You will make the rains come down, while it will be responsible for the growth of plants."
Said G-d to him: "Moses! You err as they do! For there is nothing real in it."
Said Moses: "If this be the case, 'Why should Your wrath burn against Your people?'"
12. Moses said to the Lord: "Look, You say to me: 'Bring this people up!' But You have not informed me whom You will send with me. And You said: 'I have known you by name and you have also found favor in My eyes.'
13. And now, if I have indeed found favor in Your eyes, pray let me know Your ways, so that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your eyes; and consider that this nation is Your people."
14. So He said, "My Presence will go, and I will give you rest."
15. And he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go [with us], do not take us up from here.
16. For how then will it be known that I have found favor in Your eyes, I and Your people? Is it not in that You will go with us? Then I and Your people will be distinguished from every [other] nation on the face of the earth."
And G-d regretted the evil which he thought to do to His people (32:14)
Moses absolved his Creator of His vow. When Israel made the Calf, Moses began to persuade G-d to forgive them; but G-d said: "Moses, I have already taken an oath that 'He that sacrifices unto the gods... shall be destroyed' (Exodus 22:19), and I cannot retract an oath which has proceeded from My mouth."
Said Moses: "Master of the Universe! Did You not grant me the power of annulment of oaths? (see Numbers 30:3)? If a jurist desires that others should respect his laws, he must be the first to observe them. Since You have commanded me concerning the annulment of vows, it is only right and proper that You should follow this procedure Yourself."
Whereupon Moses wrapped himself in his tallit and seated himself in the posture of a rabbinical judge, and G-d stood before him as one asking for the annulment of his vow; for so it says, "Then I sat in the mount" (Deuteronomy 9:9)...
What did Moses say to Him? A most difficult thing. Rabbi Yochanan said: The difficult thing he said was: "Do You now regret Your vow?" G-d replied: "I regret now the evil which I said I would do unto My people." When Moses heard this, he proclaimed: "Be it absolved for You, be it absolved for You. There is neither vow nor oath any longer..."
Blot me out of Your book which you have written (Exodus 32:32)
Moses' name appears in every Parshah in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers (the Book of Genesis predates Moses' birth; Deuteronomy consists wholly of a first-person narrative spoken by Moses). Every Parshah, that is, except for one: the Parshah of Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20--30:10), which includes not a single mention of Moses' name. The reason for this is that Moses said to G-d: "If You do not [forgive Israel], blot me out of Your book which you have written." For the censure of a righteous person, even if made conditional on an unfulfilled stipulation, always has some effect.
While Moses' name does not appear in the Parshah of Tetzaveh, Moses himself is very much present: the entirety of Tetzaveh consists of G-d's words to Moses. Indeed, the Parshah's first word is ve'attah, "and you"--the "you" being the person of Moses.
Indeed, the word "you" connotes its subject's very self, while a person's name is a more superficial handle on his personality. This means that Moses is more present in this Parshah--that is, present in a deeper, more essential way--than any mention of his name could possibly express.
This is fully in keeping with the Baal HaTurim's explanation (cited above). Because Moses was prepared to forgo mention of his name in the Torah for the sake of his people, he merited that his quintessential self--the level of self that cannot be captured by any name or designation--be eternalized by the Torah. It is this level of Moses' self that is expressed by his "nameless" presence in the Parshah of Tetzaveh.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)
17. And the Lord said to Moses: "Even this thing that you have spoken, I will do, for you have found favor in My eyes, and I have known you by name."
18. And he said: "Show me, now, Your glory!"
19. He said: "I will let all My goodness pass before you; I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you, and I will favor when I wish to favor, and I will have compassion when I wish to have compassion."
20. And He said, "You will not be able to see My face, for man shall not see Me and live."
21. And the Lord said: "Behold, there is a place with Me, and you shall stand on the rock.
22. And it shall be that when My glory passes by, I will place you into the cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
23. Then I will remove My hand, and you will see My back but My face shall not be seen."
Shimon ben Azzai said: I found a scroll of genealogical records in Jerusalem and therein was written... that [King] Manasseh slew Isaiah... He brought him to trial and then put him to death. He said to him: Your teacher Moses said, "For no man shall see Me and live," and you said, "I saw the L-rd sitting on a throne, high and exalted" (Isaiah 6:1)...
How, indeed, do we resolve the contradiction between these two verses? In accordance with what was taught: All the prophets looked into an opaque glass (seeing but a reflection of the Divine), but Moses looked through a clear glass.
(Talmud, Yevamot 49b)
1. And the Lord said to Moses: "Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones. And I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.
2. Be prepared for the morning, and in the morning you shall ascend Mount Sinai and stand before Me there on the top of the mountain.
3. No one shall ascend with you, neither shall anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain, neither shall the sheep and the cattle graze facing that mountain." 4. So he [Moses] hewed two stone tablets like the first ones, and Moses arose early in the morning and ascended Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand.
5. And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and He called out in the name of the Lord.
6. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: v u v h, v u v h, God, Who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth,
7. preserving loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; yet He does not completely clear [of sin] He visits the iniquity of parents on children and children's children, to the third and fourth generations."
8. And Moses hastened, bowed his head to the ground and prostrated himself,
9. and said: "If I have now found favor in Your eyes, O Lord, let the Lord go now in our midst [even] if they are a stiff necked people, and You shall forgive our iniquity and our sin and thus secure us as Your possession."
Hew for yourself. Heb. פְּסָל לְ. He [God] showed him [Moses] a sapphire mine from within his tent, and He said to him, “The [sapphire] chips shall be yours,” and from there Moses became very wealthy. -[from Tanchuma 29, Lev. Rabbah 32:2] Hew for yourself. You broke the first ones. You hew others for yourself. This can be compared to a king who went abroad and left his betrothed with the maidservants. Because of the immoral behavior of the maidservants, she acquired a bad reputation. Her bridesman [the person appointed to defend the bride should any problems arise] arose and tore up her marriage contract. He said, “If the king decides to kill her, I will say to him, ‘She is not yet your wife.’” The king investigated and discovered that only the maidservants were guilty of immoral behavior. He [therefore] became appeased to her. So her bridesman said to him, “Write her another marriage contract because the first one was torn up.” The king replied to him, “You tore it up. You buy yourself another [sheet of] paper, and I will write to her with my [personal] hand [writing].” Likewise, the king represents the Holy One, blessed is He. The maidservants represent the mixed multitude. The bridesman is Moses, and the betrothed of the Holy One, blessed is He, is Israel. That is why it says: “Hew for yourself.” -[from Tanchuma 30]
Had Israel not sinned with the Golden Calf, they would have received only the Five Books of Moses and the book of Joshua. Why? Because, as the verse (Ecclesiastes 1:18) says, "Much wisdom comes through much grief."
(Talmud, Nedarim 22b)
Both the [Second] Tablets and the broken Tablets, were placed in the Ark.
(Talmud, Bava Batra 14b)
The First Tablets, which were given in great fanfare and noise, were destroyed, while the Second Tablets, given in private, endured. For there is no better trait than modesty.
G-d... long-suffering and abundant in love (34:6)
When Moses ascended to heaven, he found G-d sitting and writing "forbearing." Said Moses to G-d: "Master of the Universe! Forbearing to the righteous?" Said G-d: "Also to the wicked." Said Moses: "Let the wicked perish!" Said G-d: "See now that you will need this." When Israel sinned, G-d said to Moses: "Did you not tell Me to be forbearing only toward the righteous?" Said Moses to Him: "Did You not say to me, 'Also to the wicked'?"
(Talmud, Sanhedrin 111a)
10. And He said: "Behold! I will form a covenant; in the presence of all your people, I will make distinctions such as have not been created upon all the earth and among all the nations, and all the people in whose midst you are shall see the work of the Lord how awe inspiring it is that which I will perform with you.
11. Keep carefully what I am commanding you today: Lo! I will drive out from before you the Amorites and the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Perizzites, the Hivvites and the Jebusites. 12. Beware lest you form a covenant with the inhabitant[s] of the land into which you are coming, lest it become a snare in your midst.
13. But you shall demolish their altars, shatter their monuments, and cut down their sacred trees.
14. For you shall not prostrate yourself before another god, because the Lord, Whose Name is "Jealous One," is a jealous God.
15. Lest you form a covenant with the inhabitant[s] of the land, and they [the gentiles] go astray after their gods, and they offer sacrifices to their gods, and they invite you, and you eat of their slaughtering, 16. and you take of their daughters for your sons; then their daughters will go astray after their gods and lead your sons astray after their gods. 17. You shall not make molten gods for yourself.
18. The Festival of Unleavened Cakes you shall keep; seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes which I have commanded you, at the appointed meeting time of the month of spring, for in the month of spring you went out of Egypt.
19. All that opens the womb is Mine, and all your livestock [that] bears a male, [by] the emergence of ox or lamb.
20. And a firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; if you do not redeem it, you shall decapitate it; every firstborn of your sons you shall redeem, and they shall not appear before Me empty handed.
21. Six days you may work, and on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing and in harvest you shall rest.
22. And you shall make for yourself a Festival of Weeks, the first of the wheat harvest, and the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year.
23. Three times during the year shall all your male[s] appear directly before the Master, the Lord, the God of Israel.
24. When I drive out nations from before you and I widen your border, no one will covet your land when you go up, to appear before the Lord, your God, three times each year.
25. You shall not slaughter [or sprinkle] the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, and the offering of the Passover feast shall not remain overnight until the morning.
26. The choicest of the first of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Lord, your God. You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk."
27. The Lord said to Moses: "Inscribe these words for yourself, for according to these words I have formed a covenant with you and with Israel." 28. He was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights; he ate no bread and drank no water, and He inscribed upon the tablets the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.
29. And it came to pass when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand when he descended from the mountain and Moses did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while He had spoken with him
30. that Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses and behold! the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
31. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the princes of the community returned to him, and Moses would speak to them.
32. Afterwards all the children of Israel would draw near, and he would command them everything that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
33. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he placed a covering over his face.
34. When Moses would come before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the covering until he left; then he would leave and speak to the children of Israel what he would be commanded.
35. Then the children of Israel would see Moses' face, that the skin of Moses' face had become radiant, and [then] Moses would replace the covering over his face until he would come [again] to speak with Him.
When Moses went in before G-d to speak with him, he removed the veil... and [so he] spoke to the children of Israel that which he was commanded... [After that] Moses put the veil upon his face again (34:33-35)
Moses did not use his "veil" when teaching Torah to the people--even though the divine radiance emitted by his face was overpowering for them--covering his face only after he finished communicating G-d's laws to them.
This teaches us how we are to approach the various involvements of life.
The study of Torah and the observance of the mitzvot should always be approached without inhibition or constraint. No matter how lofty and overwhelming the endeavor may seem, here we are in our element, since G-dliness is the natural habitat of the Jew.
But when it comes to our other, everyday pursuits, we are treading on alien, spiritually dangerous ground. Here we must use a "veil," qualifying and filtering our involvement with the material world. Enjoined to exploit the positive potential that resides within each of G-d's creations, we must exercise great caution in doing so, shielding ourselves against the negative effects of excessive involvement in material things.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)
03-10-2007, 10:14 AM
10. And He said: "Behold! I will form a covenant; in the presence of all your people, I will make distinctions such as have not been created upon all the earth and among all the nations, and all the people in whose midst you are shall see the work of the Lord how awe inspiring it is that which I will perform with you. ...
23. Three times during the year shall all your male[s] appear directly before the Master, the Lord, the God of Israel.
24. When I drive out nations from before you and I widen your border, no one will covet your land when you go up, to appear before the Lord, your God, three times each year.
Could this be Israel's true "Roadmap to Peace?" (34: 23-24) I seem to remember hearing reports about the "enemies" fleeing from the advance of IDF forces, and large parcels of land being captured in each of Israel's defensive campaigns since1948. Of course this was before "politicians" gave many of the captured areas back to the "enemies." Please don't allow the Golan area to be returned.
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