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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.

Tzav 5779
Vayikra 5779
Pekudei 5779
Vayakhel 5779
Ki Sissa 5779

Pekudei 5779

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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This week's YouParsha Pekudei https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKyw2t_sHAw&t=14s The Copper Washbasin

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This week we will read the Parsha of Pikudei, Exodus 38 - end. The end of the Parsha describes how the Miskhan, the portable sanctuary in the desert, was finally completed. Upon its completion, the cloud of glory rested upon the structure, signifying that the Almighty had forgiven the Jewish people and now wanted to dwell among them.

We are told to make a Mishkan to facilitate Hashem dwelling among, or within us. The various vessels of the Mishkan are analogous to various parts of our bodies. The Holy Ark, which contained the tablets of the covenant, represents our brain. The Holy of Holies, where the tablets were stored was the nerve center of the entire creation. It was forbidden to enter the Holy of Holies except under very strict circumstances. The reason being that the great revelation of G'dliness was too intense for the average person.

Outside the Holy of Holies was the Holy, represented of the torso. In the Holy were the Menorah, table and golden altar. The Menorah was on the right side and represented the desire for the spiritual. The table was on the left side and represented material pursuits. It is explained that the heart is divided into two, the right and left side. The right side is the dwelling place for the good inclination, the left side for the evil inclination. The evil inclination is not necessarily bad, just not holy. We are instructed to serve G'd with all of our heart, both the desire for the mundane as well as the desire for the spiritual. The gold altar was in the center. Incense was offered on it. The effect of incense is not tangible. It is just a smell, symbolizing the most lofty levels of spirituality. The very essence of a person's heart relates to Hashem on a level more sublime even than spirituality, for spirituality is also a created entity.

Outside of the Holies was the courtyard. In it were the great altar and the various and sundry tools and vessels required for the sacrifices. The great altar is representative of the liver. Called the great organ, because of its size, the liver enables the rest of the body to perform properly. The purpose of sacrifices was to establish a smooth working relationship with the Almighty. This has been discussed fully in the past.

Just as it was that the Divine Presence was felt when the Mishkan was erected properly, so too, is the Divine Presence felt within each one of us when we have truly dedicated ourselves as a sanctuary for Hashem.

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1918. Civil war raged between the Reds and the Whites in Russia. After a few months of bitter street fighting, the Reds finally took the upper hand. That is when the Communists began forcibly ruling over the millions of Russian citizens.

In order to firmly establish their position, the Communists compiled a long list of rules to regulate the lives of the citizens. They couldn't congregate in the evening, and even during the daytime no more than a few people were allowed to gather, lest they attempt to conspire against the government.

Beginning in 1919, the government cracked down harder and harder. They established laws limiting the activities and authority of religious institutions. They began to dog the footsteps of rabbanim and often conducted searches in their homes for possible proof of rebellion.

One day they came to the home of Rabbi Sholom Dovber of Lubavitch, the Rebbe Rashab, in Rostov. A group of soldiers armed with rifles broke into the Rebbe's home to search for anti-revolutionary material. The members of the household were ordered not to move from their places. The sight of the armed soldiers was terribly frightening, and the Rebbe remarked to those standing around him that it would only be right if the soldiers at least removed the bayonets from their rifles.

Those who had come to the house stood in terror, watching silently as the soldiers turned the house over in their search. None of them dared repeat to the soldiers what the Rebbe said. Another moment went by, and then Rabbi Yaakov Landau, the young rabbi who was a household member in the Rebbe's home, courageously spoke to the commanding officer and asked him to consider the Rebbe's honor and remove the bayonets.

The officer could have easily ordered that the young man be beaten for his nerve, yet amazingly, the officer told his soldiers to respect the Rebbe's wishes.

But the search was not over. The soldiers continued looking, and one of them found a box of tobacco the Rebbe used on Passover. The soldier wanted the box and put it in his pocket. The Rebbe observed the theft and moaned, telling those around him that the box was precious to him, and that he was willing to redeem the Passover snuff box, which was made of tin, for a different one made of silver.

The household members standing around thought it wasn't an auspicious time to get into an argument with soldiers over something so insignificant. Again it was Rabbi Yaakov Landau who put his life on the line, and as a loyal Chasid he acceded to the Rebbe's request. He turned to the officer again and asked him to tell the soldier to return the box.

Again those present were certain that the officer, a wicked man whose hatred for the Jews burned in his eyes, would order Rabbi Landau's arrest, but incredibly, he turned to the soldiers, red-faced with anger, and said that whoever stole the box had to remove it from his pocket at once and put it on the table, otherwise he would be sorry. Within seconds one of the soldiers grudgingly removed the box from his pocket and placed it on the table.

The Rebbe looked pleased until he noticed that the box cover had been opened. His face was downcast again and he said that since the box had been opened he didn't need it anymore, since the soldier might possibly have had a drop of chametz in his pocket.

King David said in Psalms, "You recompense a man according to his deeds." As the soldiers left the house, a bullet from one of the soldier's rifles accidentally shot the soldier who had stolen the box, and killed him on the spot!

This difficult episode left its mark on the Rebbe Rashab, who said that he could not continue to live with the Communists. Shortly thereafter, on the second of Nissan, 1920, the Rebbe Rashab passed away.

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Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store (free of course) and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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