My Name is Hashem (lit. “the Name”; a Hebrew term we use to refer to G-d). I am here, there and everywhere. All you have to do is find Me.
Take the Purim story, for example. That was all Me doing that. If you look carefully, you can find Me at King Achashveirosh’s party causing him to kill his wicked Queen Vashti. And there I am – just behind the scenes – as Esther gets chosen as the new Queen and Mordechai overhears Bigsan and Seresh’s assassination plot. Can you see Me?
And try finding Me next to the wicked Haman as he convinces the King to allow him to destroy my Chosen People. Yup, that’s Me over there! Check Me out on Main Street in Shushan...
KORBANOS (RITUAL SACRIFICES): ARE THEY A THING OF THE PAST?
The first Torah portion in the Book of Leviticus, Parshas Vayikra, deals primarily with the various animal sacrifices that were required to be offered on the Altar in the Tabernacle to atone for a number of sins.
Now I know that many of you who are reading this are likely repulsed by the very idea of offering animal sacrifices and sprinkling their blood on an altar, and are glad that ever since the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Judaism has done away entirely with the “sacrificial cult” and it’s not coming back.
Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you:
I was having a very hard time finding something relevant to write on this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Pekudei. After all, most of the parshah simply recounts how Moses and Betzalel made all the Priestly Garments, how the Jewish people brought the Tabernacle Tent and its utensils in front of Moses for his approval, and how Moses finally erected the Tabernacle and initiated its Service.
But then G-d sent me a gift in the guise of a beautiful lesson from Rabbi Chaim ben Attar (b.1696 – d. 1743) in his commentary Ohr HaChayim on the following verse:
“All the work of the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, was completed, and the Children of Israel had done everythi...
Every year a half-shekel gift was collected from the Jewish people during the Hebrew month of Adar to pay for the communal offerings in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, as mandated by the Torah in Exodus Chapter 30:11-16. And even though we longer have a Temple, this chapter – known as Parshas Shekalim – is read publicly in synagogues on the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the month of Adar, in commemoration of the Torah’s commandment to participate in the offerings. [This year we read Parshas Shekalim on Saturday March 5th.]
Once we’re reading about shekels, I thought it would be appropriate to write something about money, or more specifica...