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Lesson of Korach

The Punishment of Korah- by Sandro Botticelli (1480–1482) in the Sistine Chapel.

The Punishment of Korah- by Sandro Botticelli (1480–1482) in the Sistine Chapel.

In this story, we must ask ourselves a very hard question: Sine Korach was a great and righteous person, how could he have fallen so low and so quickly?

The Midrash says that it was all because of Korach’s Wife, who said to him something like, ” look, Moses has all the money. He says he’s building a tabernacle but actually he just wants the money for himself. Korach’s wife was constantly nagging him. It is written: ” A woman can build or a woman can destroy.”  (more…)

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The Lesson of Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Acharei Mot- Kedoshim

Acharei Mot

On Yom Kippur we read the opening verses in the Chapter Acharei Mot, which relate to the events that took place after the death of Aaron’s sons. Thus during the reading of Acharei Mot on Shabbat, we have the opportunity to receive the power of Yom Kippur., and through this power, to cleanse every form of negativity within us. But as with everything , there are terms and conditions in spirituality; If we don’t go halfway to connect with the Light, the Light will not come halfway to meet us. It is written: “God is your Shadow.” (Psalms 121:5) The Light is out shadow, and as we go so our shadow goes too. It’s as if we were looking into the Mirror. When we move towards or away from the glass, the reflection becomes larger or smaller- seemingly closer or farther away. If we move even slightly closer to the Creator, the Creator comes towards us the rest of the way- but we must always take the first step.  (more…)

The Lesson of Tazria- Metzorah

Lashon hara

Lashon hara

 

Tazria

The Chapter of Tazria describes afflictions of the skin and reveals the cause of these afflictions  Most people are very careful about what goes into their mouths, but how many are careful about what emerges from their mouths.? what we say can be as negative and destructive as bad food is for our bodies. In Aramaic, the word for leprosy (tzara’at) correlates to the verbal negativity, as in evil speech ( lashon hara). But negativity in speech isn’t limited to what we actually say; it can also relate to what we don’t say, what we hear, what we don’t hear. The fact is, most of the time we talk and talk and talk, but we don’t listen to what other people are telling us.

The importance of listening to others is something that people on high spiritual level have always understood. Regardless of whether people are right or wrong, we have a responsibility to listen to them. If we don’t fulfill responsibility, how can we expect others to listen to us?  (more…)

The Lesson of Ki Tisa

The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin

The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin

The creation and worship of the Golden Calf is a story of sin. Ki Tisa teaches us an important lesson about the power of Satan and the true nature of sin. In Truth, we will all fall. This is not a shortcoming, nor is it a mistake. Satan i a powerful challenger because the reward is so great! What we fail to notice is how many times Babe Ruth (The famous baseball player) had to come to the plate before he hit that home run. Often, our greatest triumphs come at the heels of our most painful failure.

Because we are destined to sin with the Golden Calf, the creator, in His great love for us, also gives us the Red Heifer- the atonement for that sin. The story of the Red Heifer that we read in the biblical chapter of Chukat is the tool for this purification. The story of the Red Heifer, takes us back tot he time before the sin of the Golden Calf, and by means of this connection, we become cleansed.  (more…)

The Lesson of Terumah

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle

” And I will sanctify the Tabernacle of the congregation…And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.”

The Tabernacle was built to give the children of Israel a physical location where they could connect to the Creator. So why is it written: “And I will dwell among the children of Israel” and not  I dwelled within in”, meaning the Tabernacle (Mishkan)?

The Tabernacle- and later, the Holy Temple- were not brought into being so that the Light could be revealed there. They are actually manifestations of the Light that is revealed in each and every one of us. Each person must build a tabernacle within themselves so that the Light of the Creator can “dwell” within. When a critical mass of people has built this internal edifice, only then will the Holy Temple be revealed to us.  (more…)

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