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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Vayakhel 5784
Ki Sissa 5784
Titsave 5784
Teruma 5784
Mishpatim 5784

Vayakhel 5784

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YouParsha for Vayakhel/Pekudei http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONUw7jDmY_w. Normally they are read together. Why?

This week's Parsha is Vayakel/Pekudei Exodus 35:1 - end. Moshe was commanded to convey three pieces of information to the Jewish people: Build the vessels required for the sanctuary, construct the sanctuary, and to command the Jewish People again about the Shabbos. Moshe actually commanded them to keep the Shabbos, build the sanctuary and make the vessels. There is a rule that the order in which things are written in the Torah is specific and lessons can be learned.

Hashem utilizes two forces to create the world, Soveiv, an encompassing force, and memalei, an internalized force. The force of memalei is contained and contracted to fit into that which it is enlivening. Soveiv is not as contained as it effects an organism only superficially. The difference between the two would be the difference between existing and enlivening. If a person’s arm were missing the memalei, the arm would be paralyzed. If it were missing the soveiv, it would cease to exist. The first process of creation involved the containment of Hashem’s infiniteness. This containment involved a concealing of the infinite and revelation of the finite. From that point on, there was further containment and contractions of G'dliness until life could be contained by the limits of this physical world. In more complex terminology, the soveiv preceded the memalei.

Hashem commanded Moshe to first form the vessels of the sanctuary as they represent the inner parts of the body, memalei. The Holy Ark is analogous of the brain. The menorah, table and inner altar represent the internal organs of the body. The outer altar and the washstand represent the external organs. Moshe was then commanded to make the walls and curtains of the sanctuary. These represent the soveiv, as they surround the other vessels. Moshe was next commanded to command the Shabbos, as the source of Shabbos is higher than creation. Hashem’s logic was to explain to Moshe that which he could understand and relate to first. Once that was conveyed, the deeper concepts could be grasped.

Moshe, once he understood the sanctuary's representation of creation, wanted to convey it as it presented itself. First, the Shabbos, then the soveiv, encompassing energy, then the memalei, the internalized force.

Shabbos is beyond nature. It makes no sense that a person should devote 15% of their week to non-productivity and remain profitable. We are told that our wealth comes not from our efforts, but from the blessings of the Almighty. Those who keep the Shabbos receive a life force greater than any force present in creation.


Two women took their argument to the local Rabbi for adjudication. After each presented their side of the story the Rabbi ruled in favor of one of the litigants. The other woman began hurling curse after curse on the Rabbi. The rabbi's wife hearing these horrible expressions queried the Rabbi as to why he just sat there and allowed himself to be abused. The Rabbi responded, "She does not mean it." Upon hearing this, the woman began an entirely new tirade. The Rabbi's wife again asked her husband to do something to this woman. He responded, "I will show you she does not mean it. Madam," he addressed the angry woman, "Would you like to have sons like me?" The woman looked heavenward and said, "Halivai, it should only be," and resumed her verbal assault on the rabbi.

With that the rabbi turned to his wife and said, "I told you she does not mean it."


In memory of Chaim Elozar ben Dovber HaLevi Niftar Lag B'Omer 5783

May their families be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


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