The covenant of the Oral Tradition

מרן הרב אשר וייס

ברית תורה שבעל פה   כתב לך את הדברים האלה כי על פי הדברים האלה כרתי אתך ברית ואת ישראל[1] Write these words for yourself, for according to these words have I sealed a covenant with you and Israel.   The Holy One did not enter a covenant with the Jewish people but for the…

May my prayer be accepted like incense before You

מרן הרב אשר וייס

תכון תפלתי קטורת לפניך[1]                   The Medrash states that of all the offerings, the קטורת, the incense is the most beloved before G-d.  Says the Medrash,[2] Know, that even once the Mishkan was completed with all its vessels, [and] he [Aharon] had brought up all the offerings, set out the altar, the table and…

“They shall make for me a Mikdash and I shall dwell among them.”

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ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם The Rishonim debate whether the third and final Beis HaMikdash will be built by human hands, like the first two, or will descend from Heaven as a structure of fire made by Hashem’s own hands, as implied by the verse, “מקדש ה’ כוננו ידיך- The Mikdash, Hashem, that Your hands…

…lest you forget the things your eyes have seen

מרן הרב אשר וייס

פן תשכח את הדברים אשר ראו עיניך[1]                 In this Parsha we return to the scene at Har Sinai, and we read again how Bnei Yisrael prefaced נעשה to נשמע.  We are commanded never to forget this momentous event, as the passuk states, “השמר לך… פן תשכח את הדברים אשר ראו עיניך”, beware and guard…

They prefaced “we will do” to “we will hear”

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  הקדימו נעשה לנשמע   R’ Elazar said: at the time Israel preceded “we will do” to “we will hear,” a Heavenly voice emanated and said to them:”Who revealed to My children this secret which the ministering angels use?” For it is written that this is the way of the ministering angels: “Bless Hashem, O…

Let them be prepared for the third day

מרן הרב אשר וייס

  והיו נכונים ליום השלישי Preparing for Shevuos             The days of counting the omer are the preparation for receiving the Torah.  The leaders throughout the generations have commented that the forty-nine days of the omer parallel the forty-eight qualities through which Torah is acquired. What is the essence of שלשת ימי הגבלה, the three…

Seeing the sounds

מרן הרב אשר וייס

  רואים את הקולות   G-d’s revelation through open and revealed miracles has the ability to affect man’s view and understanding of the world, to heighten his outlook on the world around him and his relationship to it.    Our Sages say[1] “שהיו רואין את הנשמע ושומעין את הנראה” they were able to see the sounds…

I shall sing to Hashem for He is exalted above the arrogant

מרן הרב אשר וייס

  אשירה לה’ כי גאה גאה Says the Medrash[1]: “Then Moshe chose to sing,” as the passuk states[2] ”Your throne was established from of old.”  Said Rav Berechya in the name of Rav Avahu, although You [G-d] have always existed, Your throne was not established, and You were not known in Your world until Your…

RENEWAL

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שהם עתידים להתחדש כמותה[1]  החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים ראשון הוא לכם לחדשי השנה,  This month shall be for you the beginning of the months,  it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.                 The Medrash states[2], R’ Levi in the name of R’ Yossi bar Ilai said ‘it is…

Four Expressions of Redemption

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לכן אמור לבני ישראל אני ה’ והוצאתי אתכם מתחת סבלות מצרים והצלתי אתכם מעבודתם וגאלתי אתכם בזרוע נטויה ובשפטים גדולים.  ולקחתי אתכם לי לעם והייתי לכם לאלקים וידעתם כי אני ה’ אלקיכם המוציא אתכם מתחת סבלות מצרים[1] Therefore, say to the Children of Israel: ‘I am Hashem, and I shall take you out from under…