Posts Tagged 'Tabernacle'

Parshas Naso | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Naso | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 29, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:02 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:11 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Naso. In the Parsha we read of the sacrifices offered the first twelve days that the Tabernacle was consecrated. Each of the princes of the twelve tribes offered a personal sacrifice to consecrate the alter when it was inaugurated. Hashem told Moses to have each prince bring his unique sacrifice on a separate day, so that the time needed for all these sacrifices stretched out for twelve days. Each of these great men proceeded to bring the exact same amount of the exact same material for his sacrifice.  In an amazing and unusual change, the Torah describes each of these sacrifices is great detail and at great length. Twelve times the Torah repeats the exact same wording of a sacrifice, in great detail, with the name of a different prince.  The commentaries are all puzzled by this, as we know that the Torah is always very careful not to use extra words or even letters. We are taught that the point here is a lesson for all of us for life – that Hashem does not look at the simple physical aspects of what a person offers to Him. Each human being has their own feelings and emotions. The mitzvah of each person has a different mix of love, fear, joy, and dedication. Although to the human eye two sacrifices may seem to be the same, to Hashem they are totally different.

There is a second lesson that is taught here in these sacrifices. When the Torah describes the sacrifice of Nessanel ben Tzuar, who was the prince of the tribe of  Yissacher, it says twice the words “hikriv es korbano – he brought his sacrifice.” Why is this phrase repeated twice only by the sacrifice of Nesanel ben Tzuar?

The Kesav Sofer explains this, based on the fact that our Sages tell us that Nessanel ben Tzuar was the one who suggested to all the other princes that they bring this sacrifice. If so, he had a share in the sacrifice of each and every one of the princes. On the day that he himself brought his personal sacrifice, he had a double mitzvah – both for being the one who suggested that this be done, and also for being the one who actually did it. Therefore it says the words “hikriv es korbano – he brought his sacrifice” twice. On the day he offered a sacrifice, he is credited for both aspects of the mitzvah, both for actually doing it, and for being the catalyst to make it happen.

The lesson that we take from Nessanel, which is stressed at great length in other commentaries, is the great reward for us when we cause others to do something good. On is own merit, Nessanel would have gotten credit for only one sacrifice. Because he suggested that others do it he got credit for 12 sacrifices!!!

This is the importance and power of trying to always help others do mitzvohs. By doing that, we ourselves become elevated and closer to Hashem – much more than if we just focus on our own personal mitzvohs and connection to Him.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos and a Blessed Shavuos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

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Parshas Vayakheil/Pekudai | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayakheil/Pekudai | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 13, 2015 – Candle lighting 6:46 pm, Shabbos Ends 7:55 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

The Kollel connection this week is dedicated in honor of the birth of Baby Biron. Mazel tov to parents Naftoli and Tzirel Leah Biron, and to Grandparents Rabbi Asher and Chani Biron, and Rabbi Moshe and Malky Travitsky. We hope you can  join us for the bris next Thursday morning in the shul in Bensalem!!!

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Vayakheil and Parshas Pekudai. In the Parsha, we read of the donations that were made to build the Tabernacle. The Torah tells us that the princes brought their special donation – the priceless gems used on the shoulders and breastplate of the high priest. In truth, this was worth more than all the other donations that were made for the tabernacle. Yet, when the Torah tells us that this present was offered by the princes,  the word “nesieim”– meaning princes, is spelled missing a letter. The Sages tell us that this was a punishment to the princes, for being lazy when the time came to join the Jewish people and donate money to the building of the Tabernacle.

Why did these great men not join the rest of the Jewish people in providing the funds needed for the building of Tabernacle? The Sages tell us that the princes didn’t believe that the Jewish people would really  donate all the money needed to finish the building. Therefore, they said “Let everyone else give whatever they want. We will give the rest to finish off the Tabernacle.” At first glance this seems a strange. Wouldn’t any of us rejoice to get such an amazing offer for the project that we are trying to finish? It would be the greatest joy for the executive director of any institution to know that all their budget deficits are covered at the end of the year. Why are the princes faulted for making this offer?

Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz explains that the Torah is teaching us a lesson in human emotions. We may sometimes think that we are motivated to do something for a very good and noble reason; while in reality our motivation is for another reason. The princes thought that their reason was because in this way they would be helping more. The Torah teaches us that in reality, they really had other factors – in this case laziness – that prevented them from offering their donation right away.

The story is told of a great person who many years ago, (before the dangers of smoking were known), when cigarettes had to be rolled by hand, who felt a deep craving for a cigarette in the middle of the night. He awoke, and decided that it was too much indulgence in this world for him to take the cigarette and make it. Then he thought to himself, “this may be laziness that I don’t want to get out of bed and roll a cigarette”. In the end, he decided to get out of bed, roll the cigarette, and then not smoke it!!

The practical lesson that we learn from this is to always try to think over what we are doing twice. We can never assume that our reasoning for doing something is pure. We always have to think it over a second time, to analyze why we are doing or reacting in the particular manner that we want to.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Terumah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Terumah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

February 20, 2015 – Candle lighting 5:23 pm, Shabbos Ends 6:32 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Terumah. In the Parsha, we read of the collection of funds that was done for the Tabernacle in the desert. There are several very important points that our commentaries raise from this parsha. First of all, the famed commentary Bais Halevi points out that the topic of raising money to give to the tabernacle is deliberately put next to the portion of last week (mishpatim) that deals with financial laws. This is not coincidence. The Torah is teaching us that when we want to donate money for charity, we have to make sure that it is money that is earned honestly. We can’t donate money that is earned by stealing from others. The ends don’t justify the means. We can’t just give to charity by taking money from others.

When the Torah instructs us regarding donating money to the Tabernacle, the wording used is that they should “take” a donation. Why is the word “take” used, and not the more easily understood word to “give”? Don’t we give donations, rather than to take them? The Bais Halevi makes another point here. We often think that when we put money in the bank, we are taking money that we will have for ourselves; When we donate money, we are giving money away. In truth, it is just the opposite. As much as we may try to save money, when a person passes away and goes to the afterlife, none of their money comes with them. On the other hand, when  we donate money to charity, that is something that will remain as a merit for us forever. In reality, we are taking something for ourselves.

One more point: The Torah tells us that the poles that were used to carry the ark had to stay on the ark all the time. One was not allowed to take them off the ark. Why was this so? The other utensils also had poles, but they were removed when the utensil was not being carried. Why did the poles of the ark have to always stay on them? The Meshech Chochmah explains that the poles of the ark represented those who support the Torah. The connection between the ark and the poles represents the fact that those who study Torah and those who support it, are considered one unit. The law that the poles could never be removed represents the constant obligation to support Torah that never ceases.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Bamidbar | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Bamidbar | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 23, 2013 – Candle lighting 7:57, Shabbos Ends 9:06

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Bamidbar.  In Parshas Bamidbar the Torah teaches us about the flags that were set up for each tribe in the desert. Rather than having one national flag for the entire Jewish people, each tribe had its own individual flag. In this week’s parsha we learn that these flags were set up in the second year from when the Jews had left Egypt. A classic question asked by our commentaries is, why would Hashem have had them wait a full year – till the second year from the Exodus, to command us to set up the individual flags for each of the tribes? Why couldn’t the commandment to make flags for each tribe be given as soon as the Jewish people left Egypt?

In a beautiful thought, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky tells us that the flags given to each tribe could have presented a challenge for the Jewish people. We all understand that when Americans see the famous picture of marines putting up the flag on Iwo Jima, there is a patriotic feeling that is aroused in them. When a Russian sees the Russian flag raised over Crimea, he feels a patriotic flow of emotion. In the case of the tribal flags that the Jewish people had, however, there was a danger of having bad feelings aroused. Since these flags were tribal ones, it was very possible for each tribe to feel that their flag or symbol separated them from the totality of the rest of the Jewish people. Therefore, the first year that the Jewish people were in the desert they were not given the mitzvah to make these flags – so as not to cause any feelings of separation between Jews.

The second year, there was a new factor to take into consideration. We know that the Talmud describes the unifying factor the Temple has on our prayers. When a Jew lives to the North of Jerusalem, he turns to the South to pray. When a Jew lives to the South of Jerusalem, he turns to the North to pray. If he or she is to the east, they face west, and if they live to the west, they face east. The end result is that every Jew all over the world is facing the same direction to pray. This is an amazing factor that expresses and causes unity among all Jews.

This, Rav Kamenetsky explains, is exactly why the commandment to make flags could only take place in the second year of the Exodus. Once we had the Tabernacle built, and we had the unifying factor that would bind all Jews together in place, we could now show the individual power of each tribe. As long as everyone was headed in the same direction, with the same goal of serving Hashem in mind, we were fine to have the individual flags that stood for each tribe’s unique strengths. Just as the limbs of a body have their own individual jobs, but all work together for the same cause, hopefully each Jew sees their own individual personality as part of one great power that serves Hashem together.

Hopefully, as we think about this concept of unity accomplished by having the Tabernacle to bring us together, we can all find the commonality we need in our times to bring the Jewish people. Certainly we  have a lot of different strengths, and a lot of different ideas. If we can use them all for one common goal of serving Hashem, they will hopefully unite us together as one.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Pekudai/Shekalim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Pekudai/Shekalim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

February 28, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:32, Shabbos Ends 6:41

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in honor of the birth of a new baby boy to Tomor and Maital Tawil of Bensalem. Mazel tov, may the only have nachat from him and their entire family, and may the brit milah be on time!!!!!    

This week we read Parshas Pekudai.  It is also Parshas Shekalim, when we read of the yearly obligation that every Jew had to contribute a half shekel coin to the temple. This half shekel coin was given to pay for the daily sacrifice (Korbon Tamid) that was offered in the Temple twice a day. By having each Jew give a half shekel to this fund, each Jew had an equal share in the sacrifices in the Temple.

When the Torah tells us of the obligation to give a half shekel, the words “Terumas Hashem” – a giving to Hashem, are used three times. Rashi (Exodus 30:15) explains that there were three different donations that were given at that time. One was the yearly half shekel coin given to buy the animals for the daily sacrifice. Second was the general donations made to build the Tabernacle – which had no set amount. Each Jew would give the amount that they wanted to. Finally, there was a third donation – a second (one time) donation of a half shekel coin made by each Jew. This one time donation was used to make the adonim – the bases that held up the Tabernacle.

When we examine these three separate donations, a question emerges: We can easily understand the difference between the support given for the daily sacrifice, as opposed to the donations given to build the Tabernacle: When one builds a building, people are much more eager to contribute. The reality was that there was no need to tell each Jew to give a specific amount to build the Tabernacle. The Jews, in their excitement, gave so much to build the Tabernacle, that the appeal actually had to be stopped shortly after it began. Unfortunately, when it comes to ongoing expenses for Synagogues or yeshivas, this is not always the case. People are much less excited to donate money for a synagogue or Yeshiva’s utility bill, than they are to donate for creating a new building. Therefore, when it came to the money needed for the daily sacrifice, the Torah requires each person to give a set amount.

Based on this, we have to understand why the funds needed for the adonim, the bases, were given by the Jews with a set amount. Why couldn’t they just be donated by whichever Jews wanted to give for it, just like the rest of the Tabernacle was?

The Chofetz Chaim says a beautiful thought. True, the money for the adonim, the base that held up the Tabernacle, could have been raised by just asking for Jews to donate what they wanted to. Some generous philanthropists would have grabbed the opportunity and donated the whole thing. However, the Torah didn’t want that to happen. Hashem wanted every single Jew to have an equal share in the great cause of making the base, the very thing that held up the Tabernacle. Therefore, He instructed every Jew to give an equal amount to construct those bases.

The Chofetz Chaim writes, that the same concept exists in supporting Torah in our time. As we are approached by institutions of Torah to support them, we must appreciate that doing so is an opportunity for us to share in Torah study. Hashem wants every Jew to be able to share in the great mitzvah of Torah study. The merit is so great, that He does not want it to be left just to those Jews who are studying, but to give that opportunity to every Jew. Like the Jews who gave their half shekel coin to pay for the adonim, the base of the Tabernacle, when we help support Torah study we must appreciate that we are helping the greatest cause and the base of the survival of the Jewish people.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Vayakhel | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayakhel | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

February 21, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:24, Shabbos Ends 6:33

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in memory of Bluma bas Shmuel Hacohen, Laurel Levson of blessed memory, mother of Steve Levson. May Hashem comfort Steve, Bruce, and Karen and their families, among all the mourners of Israel and Jerusalem!    

This week we read Parshas Vayakhel.  In the Parsha, the Torah describes to us the special people who had made donations for the Tabernacle. The Torah uses two descriptions for these generous people: One who is “Nediv lev – of a giving heart” (Exodus 35:5), and one who is “Nesao libo – his heart lifted, or motivated him” (Exodus 35:21). In his most beautiful work, Growth Through Torah, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin quotes our commentaries who explain that each one of those descriptions teaches us a most important lesson.

Nediv lev – of a giving heart teaches us an attitude when it comes to giving. Do we give with our heart or with our wallet? Rav Simcha Zissel of Kelm explains that we are being taught a most important lesson in our attitude to giving. It is not enough for a person to just be generous with his or her wallet. The Torah expects us to be generous in our heart. That is, we have to want to give to others, not just to give as we are forced to do so. When we do arouse ourselves to make a donation, we have to try to arouse feelings in ourselves of caring and feeling for the person we are helping, or the cause that we are contributing to.

Nesao libo – his heart lifted, or motivated him teaches us how we can become giving people. In truth, Nachmanidies points out, we have to understand how did any of the Jews construct the items in the Tabernacle? They were not trained in Egypt to be artisans, to work with gold, silver, or other items. In Egypt they had done menial, physical, back breaking labor. How did they get this talent? Nachmanidies explains that this talent was given to them by Hashem, given to those who rose to the occasion and said “I want to and will do it”. Once they made that commitment, Hashem made it happen. They found themselves able to actually do the work that they had no previous training or experience with.

This concept is a most important lesson for us. How often do we think of moving up a level in our commitment to Hashem, ready to start another mitzvah, or to do one that we already do a little better, but we hold back, uncertain if we are really ready to do so? This idea of grabbing the moment, of allowing our heart to lift us, to seize the moment we feel ready to move forward, and to just go for it, is the lesson taught to us by those who constructed the Tabernacle. May we all get that encouragement to move forward, to grab opportunities to improve and to grow in our service of Hashem.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Terumah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Terumah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 31, 2013 – Candle lighting 4:59, Shabbos Ends 6:08

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

This week we read Parshas Terumah.  In the Parsha, we read of the instructions that Moses was given to raise the funds needed for the construction of the Tabernacle in the desert. Moses was told to ask people for their donations of all the materials needed, such as gold, silver, copper, wool,… When enough would be donated to construct the Tabernacle, the construction would begin. At first glance, we could ask, why did Hashem want the tabernacle to be constructed based on our donations? Couldn’t He have just as easily showered down whatever gold, silver, and other material was needed from heaven?

A second question also arises from the manner in which the materials for the construction were raised. Even if Hashem wanted us to donate it, there is still a question regarding the way it was donated. We know that there are two types of donations that were requested of the Jewish people when they were in the desert. One was a flat rate donation of half a shekel that every Jewish man had to give. It made no difference whether one was poor or rich, the requirement was that every Jewish person had to participate equally in this donation. This type of donation was used to raise the money for the silver sockets that held up the very beams of the Tabernacle, and to buy the animals used for the daily Tamid sacrifice that was offered in the Temple. The clear message of this was that for the base that supported the whole Tabernacle, and for the merit of the daily Tamid sacrifice, every Jew had to be represented equally.

When it came to the actual construction of the Tabernacle, the  Torah made no such requirement. Every Jew gave according to what he wanted to give. “Kol nidiv lev” – everyone gave according to the generosity that they felt in their heart.  Why was this the way the Tabernacle was built? Wouldn’t there have been a beauty of having everyone participate equally in the building of the Tabernacle?

The commentaries explain that the building of the Tabernacle had to be done from generosity of Jews that was not  a requirement to give. The very essence of the Tabernacle, and the cause that brought Hashem’s presence to be there, was the love that the Jewish people showed for Hashem. That love was demonstrated and borne out by the Jews donating the material that was needed for the Tabernacle. Precisely because there was no amount that they had to give, rather they gave what they wanted to give, there was a bond of love created by them with Hashem.

This lesson is one that is eternal. Often we ask ourselves, “Do I really have to do this”? The answer may well be no, I don’t. But then we rise to the level of saying – “but I want to do it!!!” The love of the Jew for his or her Creator, that propels us to do things that we may not have had to do, could very well be the instrument that connects us with our Creator and insures our very survival as Jews.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.


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