Friday, March 4, 2016

Parsha Vayakhel, stories, advances in Israel

Parsha Yayakhel

The last few Parshiyos have been about the theory of building the Mishkan. Either HASHEM instructing Moshe or Moshe instructing Betzalel and Uri what was needed. The practice work begins this week and the amazing feat of women threading goat’s hair on the animals into string cutting and threading, cutting and threading until the string was long enough.

35:1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.

Moses called… to assemble: Heb. וַיַּקְהֵל. [He assembled them] on the day after Yom Kippur, when he came down from the mountain. This [word] is a hiph’il [causative] expression [i.e., causing someone to do something], because one does not assemble people with [one’s] hands [i.e., directly], but they are assembled through one’s speech. Its Aramaic translation is וְאַכְנֵשׁ.

Rashi comes to give us a timeline since the Yetzias Mitzrayim and Matan Torah was in the year 2448, we are now Yud Aleph Tishrei 2449.

2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death.
Melacha on Shabbos not physical labor as one can move tables and chairs around a hall for a Kiddish or sweep up before and after a meal on Shabbos in a hotel. From Chabad:

There are thirty-nine general categories of labor that are forbidden on Shabbos. Each of these categories include a range of derivative laws and activities, some of which are described in "The Shabbat Laws." The melachot are generally divided into six groups, classified according to the Mishkan's activities with which they are associated.
Field Work
  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding Sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
Making Material Curtains
  • Shearing Wool
  • Cleaning
  • Combing
  • Dyeing
  • Spinning
  • Stretching the Threads
  • Making Loops
  • Weaving Threads
  • Separating the Threads
  • Tying a Knot
  • Untying a Knot
  • Sewing
  • Tearing
Making Leather Curtains
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Skinning
  • Tanning
  • Smoothing
  • Ruling Lines
  • Cutting
Making the Beams of the Mishkan
  • Writing
  • Erasing
The Putting up and Taking down of the Mishkan
  • Building
  • Breaking Down
The Mishkan's Final Touches
  • Extinguishing a Fire
  • Kindling a Fire
  • Striking the Final Hammer Blow
  • Carrying

From the OU in more detail:

Six days: He [Moses] prefaced [the discussion of the details of] the work of the Mishkan with the warning to keep the Sabbath, denoting that it [i.e., the work of the Mishkan] does not supersede the Sabbath. -[from Mechilta]

3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.'

You shall not kindle fire: Some of our Rabbis say that [the prohibition of] kindling was singled out for a [mere] negative commandment, while others say that it was singled out to separate [all types of labor]. -[from Shab. 70a]

My understanding is that fire is given as it perhaps is the most common Melacha. It was set as an example. There are 39 Melachos for example fire, etc. As one drives a car or takes transport today, cooking is done almost daily so having a flame or fire would be common.

4 And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD, whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, the LORD'S offering: gold, and silver, and brass; 6 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair; 7 and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia-wood; 8 and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense; 9 and onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and -for the breastplate. 10 And let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded:

All these valuable items were donated by Am Yisrael from the heart. This also countered the Egel HaZahav which only a few donated. All these precious materials were collected from the Egyptians before leaving.

11 the tabernacle, its tent, and its covering, its clasps, and its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark, and the staves thereof, the ark-cover, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table, and its staves, and all its vessels, and the showbread; 14 the candlestick also for the light, and its vessels, and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, and its staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt-offering, with its grating of brass, its staves, and all its vessels, the laver and its base; 17 the hangings of the court, the pillars thereof, and their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords; 19 the plaited garments, for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.' 20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and brought the LORD'S offering, for the work of the tent of meeting, and for all the service thereof, and for the holy garments.

The congregation donated and the princes waited to fill in the missing. Betzalel and Oholiav were going to build the Mishkan with other craftsman and wise ladies.

22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought nose-rings, and ear-rings, and signet-rings, and girdles, all jewels of gold; even every man that brought an offering of gold unto the LORD.

Since everything was from HASHEM, they know where their wealth came from and withheld only a few sentimental items or spiritual items such as candle holders, spice boxes, Kiddush cups.

… 30 And Moses said unto the children of Israel: 'See, the LORD hath called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.

Hur died on a Kiddush HASHEM at the golden calf and it was only fitting that his grandson would produce the works for HASHEM.

32 And to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of skillful workmanship.

Up until now was the metal work and the women did the cloth work.

34 And He has put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the craftsman, and of the skillful workman, and of the weaver in colors, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any workmanship, and of those that devise skillful works.

He was the chief tailor with the women making the threads and he and his staff assembling the heavy curtains for each curtain based on the thickness and length needed a number of men to lift and move. In the Temple it took 300 men to Tovel (dip or soak) in water the curtains for the water tension and weight make them extremely heavy as I calculated just based on the weight of the water without the cloth.

36:1 And Bezalel and Oholiab shall work, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the LORD hath put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all the work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD hath commanded.' …

The Unknown Rabbinical Authority by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

Photo of the Rav in the original story: Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach was born and spent his entire life in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Central Jerusalem. His father, Rabbi Chaim Yehudah Leib Auerbach was a leading Kabbbalist of his generation and the founder and first head of the Kabbalah Yeshiva, Sha'ar HaShamayim. 
R. Shlomo-Zalman became one of the most knowledgeable and important decisors of Jewish law in Israel in the latter half of the 20th century. Jews from across the spectrum of observance and, famously, from the secular academic, medical and scientific communities as well, flocked to his home for "daat Torah" - authoritative Torah perspective on all aspects of life.
He was beloved by all who knew and knew of him. Local police estimated that at least 300,000 people attended his funeral. As he was relatively unknown to the general Israeli public, the secular public was astounded by the turnout. Media reporters searched through their encyclopedias and computerized newspaper archives for information about him and why he merited such respect. However, the encyclopedias did not mention him at all, and his name appeared in the archives a few times, incidentally.

This oversight stunned the journalists, many of whom admitted being ashamed of their ignorance. 

Rabbi Meir Lau, then the chief rabbi of Israel, received a phone call from a reporter in a helicopter asking who was this person that 300,000 people came out for. Rabbi Lau answered that part of his greatness was precisely that so many people did not know anything about him. He refused to go to any event with a political overtone and was accepted by all the religious communities. 

* * *

After 54 years of marriage, his wife, Chaya-Rivkah, passed away in 1994. At her funeral R. Shlomo-Zalman was heard to utter the following remarkable words: "It is customary to request forgiveness from the deceased. However, I have nothing to ask you forgiveness for. During the course of our marriage never did anything occur that would require either of us to ask the other's forgiveness…"

When Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman passed away one year later, a beggar in his neighbor-hood sobbed in anguish: "Now who will say 'good morning' to me every day?" 

During the mourning period, the Auerbach family recounted a story that occurred one night at a very late hour. A knock was heard on the door of their home in Shaarei Chesed. A chassan and kallah (bride and groom) entered, neither of whom were from religious homes, with a difficult question. Their wedding was a week away, and it had suddenly been revealed that the kallah was disqualified for marriage according to Jewish law [through no fault of her own - a problem of lineage -ed.], and it was forbidden for them to marry.
They imploringly questioned Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman, "What should we do?" The leading authority in Jewish Law gestured with his hands in despair that there was nothing he could do. 

Then he turned to the forlorn couple and said, "You're asking me what to do, and I know that there's nothing to be done; how can I provide permission for someone forbidden to marry? There is only one thing in my power to do for you: I can cry."
The acclaimed Torah scholar took all of his Torah which he learned his entire lifetime, all the holiness of his heart and all the purity of his soul, and burst out in heart-rending weeping. 

Less than twenty-four hours later, the chassan and kallah appeared again at the Auerbach home. They told the rabbi that a man had suddenly arrived from Argentina who knew the kallah's family well. He testified that the information they had received previously was false and that thekallah was not forbidden to marry! 

Shortly before Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman passed away he advised a young family member, "Learn well. Eat well. Sleep well. And always smile."

Sources: Compiled and adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from // (Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen)
// (as translated from Aleinu Leshabeach)

Biographical note: 
Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach [23 Tamuz 5670 - 20 Adar, 5755 (July 1910 - March 1995 C.E.)] was born and spent his entire life in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Central Jerusalem. He was one of the most knowledgeable and important decisors of Jewish law in Israel in his generation. Religious Jews from across the spectrum of observance and, famously, from the secular academic, medical and scientific communities as well, flocked to his home for Torah perspective on all aspects of life. Local police estimated that at least 300,000 people attended his funeral.
(I was among them and heard Rav Shach give a Chespid.)

Editor's note: A well-written biography in English of Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach is "And From Jerusalem His Word" by Hanoch Teller (Feldheim).

Connection: Seasonal-Monday, 20 Adar (2016: Feb. 29) is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Auerbach.

A Gem from Rabbi Kochavi Shlita. This week is Parsha Shekelim. Mechetzit HaShekel (from half a Shekel). Mem-Chet-Tzadee-Yud-Tav if a person goes and is close to a Tzaddik (Tzadee) like the letters Chet and Yud then he is Chai and lives but if one is far away from the Tzaddik like the letters Mem and Tav then he dies Mayt.

The Hebrews by Alan Magill thanks to Judith

In retrospect, what a beautiful French Canadian woman said to me on the Atlantic City Boardwalk many, many, many Summers ago should have made perfect sense.  But at the time, it threw me for a loop.  “Alan, what” she asked, with fractured syntax but clear intent.

Only hours before I was unattached, living the dream of a writer in that city by the sea, thrilled by what I was discovering by my words on paper and less than happy by my failure to make connections with people in the real world.  I certainly wasn’t thinking about religion.  Yes, I was Jewish, but since my Bar Mitzvah a decade ago I had rarely stepped inside a synagogue.

Only hours before that question about religion, I was sitting in the lobby of a fancy hotel watching a baseball game on a television that my small boarding house type establishment didn’t provide.

Suddenly, the play by play man’s voice was drowned out by the sweet sound of young ladies laughing, speaking French words hurriedly.  I looked up and saw these ladies walking through the lobby and out the door, no doubt excited by what awaited them.  I was surprised to see that one of them had stayed behind, and she looked so the rest of the ladies had abandoned her.

That wasn’t nice.  I would do something about that.  No one deserves to be alone.
I was painfully aware of that myself.

I walked over to her smiling, and she smiled back.  Ahhhhhh!!!!!  A connection, that I so very much wanted, appeared to be in the offing.

“Are you new to Atlantic City?” I asked.  Her face screwed up in consternation.  She was struggling to make some sense of what I had said. 

“Knew,” she said, in her strong French accent  “I know, he knows, he knew?.”

“No,” I said, smiling.  “Never mind.”

Through a lot of back and forth I learned that she was from a tour group from Quebec and that she understood English by conjugating verbs into a form that she understood, and that she was from a small farm and that the other girls in the group, from the bigger cities, had nothing in common with her and wanted nothing to do with her.  I certainly wanted something to do with her...I wanted to help her...I wanted to make her feel at home...wanted her to feel that she belonged.

I motioned with my arm that she should come with me out the door and that I would show her around.  “Please,” I said smiling, and her smile met mine in the sweetest connection I had known since I had come to Atlantic City a month ago.

As I showed her the sights, we got to know each other a little better.  I asked her name and when she said it was Joanne, I told her that I had a friend named Joanne back home and that I had bought her flowers for her birthday. 

“Bought?,” she said, concentrating hard.  “I buy.  He buys.  He bought.”

“Yes!” I said.

“Yes!” she said.   We laughed.

And that’s the way the whole night went.  Me talking and her conjugating all my verbs.  I was flattered.  Unlike everyone else who seemed to be in a rush, she took the time to listen and cared about every word I said.

I took her on rides at amusement piers, we played games of chance, I bought her an ice cream, I helped her pick our postcards and we did all the things that people do in the excitement of having first met.

By now, it was late at night and there was a full moon.  I led her to a bench looking out at the ocean.  We listened to the waves gently lapping to the nearby shore.  From a distance I heard a radio playing a Frank Sinatra song, “Strangers in the Night.”   I was at peace and I felt so connected to her.

I looked in her eyes and she into mine.  If ever two strangers had met, this was it.
I imagined us friends and even more than friends.  I moved closer to her and she held her gaze on me.  This was one of the happiest moments of my life.  We were in total sync.

Then she asked THAT QUESTION.  “Alan, what”

I was stunned.  Where did that come from?  Just when everything was going so well.
What scared me was that I had to think – only a half second to be sure – before I could come up with the answer.

“Jewish,” I said.

Gone was her smile.  Her face screwed up in consternation.

“Ooooooooish?,” she asked.

“No...Jewish,” I said.

“No understand,” she replied.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Here I was feeling so connected to her and she didn’t even know the slightest thing about who I was.  And what’s worse, I didn’t appear to know that much about it either.

Suddenly my connection to my Jewishness became very important to me.  Here was a young lady from a distant small farm who had never heard of us and I was going to make sure that before we parted she would know who we were.  I remembered something about how we’re supposed to be “A light unto the nations.”  Well, now it was time for me to shine some of that light on her.

I conjured up every bit of learning that I could recall from my after-school rabbi who I went to for one year to learn my Bar Mitzvah parsha and whatever else he could get in.

I was telling Joanne, “You know, the people from Abraham, Issac and Jacob!”

“,” she said.

“We were slaves in Egypt.  G-d sent Moses to lead us out.  G-d brought ten plagues upon the must have heard about us!”

“I’m sorry...No!”

I told her about the parting of the Red Sea, how we were saved and how the Egyptians drowned.  I told her, with great joy in my heart, how G-d led us to Mount Siani where we got the Ten Commandments.

Joanne  just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language, which of course I was.

“Oh well,” I said, conceding defeat.  “I guess everyone hasn’t heard of us Hebrews.”

A flash of recognition in her eyes.  “Hebrews,” she said.

“It’s familiar?” I asked.

“Yes, Hebrews!” she said with great emotion.

“This is great.  You’ve heard of us.”

Bubbly, she stated, “Hebrews, and then added, “He bring.  He brung.  He brew.”

I wanted to laugh very hard, but I knew that wouldn’t be fair to her.
I just smiled and she smiled back.

And now looking back at this many decades later, I see that Joanne’s non-sequitur question about religion made perfect sense.  "He bring, He brung, He brew"...  Through all of the verb tenses -- past, present and future -- I am a Jew.    Now, married, religious and committed to Yiddishkeit I see that on that night and many other nights that Hashem was watching over me, and leading me away from connections that were not in my best interests toward those connections that are truly part and parcel of who I am.  

From Henia O. the Jews of Jamaica and Yiddisher Pirates a 35-minute film.

From Svia: Kids kicking cancer a treatment that gets them through the grueling treatments with breathing and martial arts:

From Judith: It was a little more than two years after this that the chosson/chatan, Tuvia Yanai Weissman, was himself murdered a few days ago while heroically trying to save others from being murdered by terrorists with his bare hands:

The holiness of the city cannot hold violations of Shabbos and the people emigrate to Tel Aviv from Yerushalayim:,7340,L-4770388,00.html

Apple using Israeli brains but the terrorist do not boycott their encoding:,7340,L-4771871,00.html

No matter what your opinion is of Rabbi Y. Mizrachi this is a nice film:

Cellphone records will prove guilt or innocence in this case because one could not be in two places at once. It might be revenge on the general:,7340,L-4773653,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

He will not be back for more attacks:

Arab who stabbed his wife shot and killed as he attacks cops:

IDF prepares for the next Lebanese War. The starting assumption is that Hezbollah currently has no interest in launching the Third Lebanon War. Its operations stretch from Yemen to Syria, where 7,000 of its fighters remain and where it lost 1,300 of them to the Syrian Civil War.,7340,L-4771607,00.html

Zvi HaCohain ben Batya, the guard who was unarmed, knew the attacker as a worker and opened up the mall for him and was heading for the store where the attacker worked. The Arab claimed that he had to prepare for Friday Morning shopping for Shabbos at the store. He then pulled and ax and with blows to the head and limbs fled. The family of the terrorist fearing their house would be destroyed, turned their son in.

Sunday evening a driver in Natzeret was reported to the police who flagged him down. He speeded up seriously injuring the policeman. Elsewhere the army destroyed the house of a terrorist who ran over and killed a policeman.

Remember the Chevron Sniper that killed Shalchevet Pass? Possibly caught:,7340,L-4772387,00.html

A navigation mistake endangers soldiers:

Two terrorist breach the security at Eli and attack family. The father is injured by their knives but they are neutralized before they could do further damage.

Hamas kills one of their own was he a spy for Israel or some sex scandal?,7340,L-4773696,00.html

Soldier attacked with stones near the Yeshiva that respected me in my uniform and this has nothing to do with the Yeshiva. One of my teachers was the Rosh Yeshiva, in his 80’s I guess, had the highest respect for me and my Yiddishkeit so the article is giving out a black eye to a wonderful Yeshiva. I was accepted by all in my uniform and afterwards:

He talks right but he would give away land if he had the chance:

Female terrorist does a car ramming one injured:

Jews no longer fight terror in Israel says ex-Lechi soldier:

Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli