Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do You Really Want Me?

Parsha for the Table
Vol 2 Issue 18
Parshas Terumah

עשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם
"And they shall make for me a Mikdash, and I will dwell among them."

The commentators point out an anomaly in this possuk. It doesn't say I will dwell there, rather, "I will dwell among them." In other words, the purpose of the Mishkan was not for Hashem to dwell there, rather it was the means for us to be close to Hashem. Some of the commentators have made mini-sefarim explaining how each part of the Mishkan represents a different part of the body (i.e.- the Malbim). The message is clear. Each individual has to perfect himself through Torah and mitzvos in order to be close to Hashem.

But for all this intellectual talk, there is something that I think is missing. The desire. Before we can even begin to discuss what it takes to have Hashem's presence rest upon us individually, we have to first really want that closeness to Hashem. Even if only on a superficial level, we have to be able to say, "Hashem, we want to be close to You, all the time!" Only then will it help to get all the other details right that lead us there.

Have a great Shabbas.
Rabbi Bader.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"More questions"

Parsha for the Table
Vol 2 Issue 17
פרשת משפטים

"More questions"
(24,3) Moishe tells a small group of mitzvos.(7 mitzvos bnei noach, shabbos, kibud av vaim, para aduma, and the "dinim" that they learnt in Marah-Rashi) and we answer "Na'aseh"
(24,7) Moishe reads to us the entire Sefer Breishis until Matan Torah, and the "Mitzvos" that were commanded at Marah (Rashi), and we answer "Na'aseh v'Nishma"

If I have right pshat in the pasuk, we are loaded with questions.
1. Why did we only say Na'aseh the first time, and Na'aseh v'Nishma the second time?
2. What is the difference between dinim of Marah and the commandments of Marah?
3. What is the purpose of having a two-part process?

Have a great Shabbos
Rabbi Bader

Friday, February 9, 2007

"Can G-d be shot down?!!!!"

Parsha for the Table
Vol 2 issue 16
Parshas Yisro
לעלוי נשמת יוסף בן אלטר איסר

"Can G-d be shot down?!!!!"

"On wings of eagles" Hashem took us from Mitzrayim (19,4 ). Rashi explains that this eagle flies higher then any other birds and consequently is only afraid of the arrows of people. It says "Better I take the arrows then my kids." So to Hashem absorbed the Egyption arrows in the "clouds of glory" when it was in-between the chasing Egyption army and Klal Yisral.

Question: When the eagle places its babies on its back, it is sacrificing its own safety. How that be compared to Hashem, who by definition cannot be hurt.
Sorry, I'm stumped. Any ideas?

Friday, February 2, 2007

Wife problems? Kidnap her!

Parsha for the Table
Volume 2 Issue 15
לעילוי נשמת חנה בת ר' מרדכי גימפל
Wife problems? Kidnap her!

Klal Yisrael leaves Egypt after witnessing tremendous miracles from Hashem. A short while later they find themselves facing the Yam Suf with nowhere to turn but up. Why did Hashem so suddenly put them in such a dire situation?
The Midrash tells us a story that sheds some light on what is happening.
There was once a King who was traveling when he happened upon a woman being attacked by ruffians. He and his soldiers subsequently saved her. She was very appreciative and began to spend time with the king. The King found her company pleasing and decided to marry her. After some time, she started to ignore the King. So the King hired a new band of ruffians to stage a kidnapping. She screams. He saved her. Relationship saved.
When Klal Yisrael left Mitzraim they began to take Hashem for granted. Hashem caused the change of events to lead them to call out to Him. What's eye opening about this Medrish is not that Hashem wants us to call out to Him; rather he wants us to have a consistent and honest relationship with Him.
Have a great Shabbos.
Rabbi Bader