Parshas Pikudei 5776
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March 11, 2016
Volume 12 Issue 19
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Dvar Torah


A Matter of Perspective

  By Rabbi Yosef Prupas

The Rabbeinu Bechaya explains the double usage of the word "Mishkan" in the first verse of this week's Parsha, as alluding to the "earthly Mishkan" and the spiritual Mishkan/universe- created by G-d. He then lists tens of verses that use similar wording in the building of the Mishkan and the creation of the world, drawing clear connection between the two. With this in mind, we present the following essay from Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner (Pachad Yitzchak, Shabbos 6):
"Im tashiv m'Shabbos raglecha, asos chetzeicha b'yom kadshi... v'chibatito m'asos drachecha, mi'mtzoh cheftzicha v'daber davar, az tis'aneg al Hashem...etc." "If you restrain your foot on Shabbos; refrain from accomplishing your own needs on my holy day... and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs, or discussing the forbidden - then you will 'delight' in G-d." (Isaiah 58:13 -14)
Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner asks why these laws were selected from the many laws of Shabbos to express the reward of "then you will delight in G-d?" These laws are not the fundamental 39 melachos (forms of labor) forbidden on Shabbos!?
To answer this question, Rabbi Hutner poses another: We find in the Mincha prayerof Shabbos the request "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]."We don't find such a request regarding any of the other mitzvohs in the Torah?
In many places in the Torah we find exhortations to act, that are not counted as "mitzvahs". For example, the Torah tells us "Sheishes yamin ta'avodu." "You shall work for six days" (Shemos 20:9). Yet, there is no actual mitzvah to work for six days. The commentaries explain that this "commandment" alludes to the concept of "B'chol darchecha da'eiu." "In all your ways know Him" (Mishlei 3:6)." This is expressed in the Mishna as "Kol ma'asech yiyu l'shem shomayim." "All your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The juxtaposition of "Sheishes yamim ta'avodu" and "v'yom hashvi'i Shabbos (and the seventh day is Shabbos)", hints to this lofty perspective regarding one's daily routine. Yet the fact that this lesson is not readily apparent, creates the need for further explanation.
The Mechilta teaches that a guiding principal when studying Torah is that all the commandments reflect the actions of G-d. Therefore, when the Torah commands us to "Rest on the seventh day," the definition of "rest" mirrors the "rest" of G-d. This task is quite difficult, for G-d rested from creating a world. The solution is found in the Mishkan. The common denominator between Mishkan and World, is that both were created as a place to serve G-d. Refraining from the "work" necessary in the building of the Mishkan is therefore a true reflection of G-d's "rest" from creating the world.
This understanding results in another profound concept. The only way the world can be entirely similar to the Mishkan, is if the world too is viewed solely as a place to serve G-d. The solution to any disparities in the link between the Mishkan and the world, is through the lens of "B'chol drachecha de'iu - sheyiyu kol ma'asecha l'shem shomayim," "In all your ways know Him - all your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The startling ramification of this viewpoint is that the connection between Mishkan and Shabbos is entirely dependent on our understanding of the role of the seemingly mundane of this world. This also helps us better understand the "commandment" to work for six days of the week, as well as the six days being an introduction to Shabbos!
We can now explain the very unique request of "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]."We now realize that the whole world depends on this understanding. Lacking this fundamental concept, our service of G-d doesn't begin!
Let us now revisit the question posed at the beginning of this essay. The Talmud in Tractate Avodah Zara states, "Mi shetarach b'erev Shabbos, y'ochal b'Shabbos," "one who exerts himself on the eve of Shabbos, shall reap its benefits on Shabbos." The quality of the honor given to Shabbos - on Shabbos, is entirely dependent on the work we put in before Shabbos. If we strive to maintain the understanding that everything of the mundane in "the six days" has one purpose - to be a part of serving G-d - than we can also understand this about the entire day of Shabbos. Everything included. The parts of Shabbos that seemingly have no spiritual relevance, the walking, talking, eating and thinking must also be devoted to Hashem's service. The prophet Yeshaya tells us that to understand the world as a place solely to serve G-d, every part of Shabbos should be distinguished in its role of honoring Shabbos. Therefore, the prophet Yeshaya reveals to us the necessity to change the way we walk and talk, the time we eat, how we greet people, how we dress... all in the spirit of Shabbos. It is in this "minor" aspect of Shabbos, that the reward of "Az tis'aneg el Hashem," "then you will 'delight' in G-d,"is entirely dependent on. For it speaks to the Jewish people's fundamental role in the universe. Recognition of this idea sets one on the right path of getting closer to G-d - the ultimate delight of this world and the next, a Shabbos Mei'ein Olam Habah!

Dvar Halacha
Laws of Purim   
Part 2
 By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi
Beginning from the time the brachos are recited before the Megillah through the time that all the brachos are recited after the Megillah is read, it is forbidden to interrupt, for anything that is not "Megillah related"  (Shulchan Aruch  692:2).  Therefore, one needs to be extremely careful not to talk at all while listening to the Megillah, including  divrei Torah (Mishneh Berurah 692:9). If one did talk which resulted that he did not hear even one word of the Megillah, he did not fulfill his obligation (Mishneh Berurah 690:19 & 692:9).  It is important to note, if a person is in doubt whether he heard every word of the Megillah, we do not say safek derabbanun l'kula (with regard to a doubt in a rabbinical halachah we are usually lenient), since the reading of the Megillah is not a halachah derabbanan, and one would be required to hear it again (Koveitz Halachos, Purim [Piskei Reb Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a] 8:14 based on Mishneh Berurah 692:16.  However see Aruch Hashulchan 687:4 that seemingly disagrees).
If one misses hearing a word from the baal korei, he can read that word to himself (Mishneh Berurah 690:19).  Therefore, it is essential that each person listening has a Chumash or Megillah in front of him during the laining, since it is very likely that when children are making noise by Haman, it is nearly impossible to hear each word.  As an aside, the Mishneh Berurah [690:26] holds that it is preferable for each person to have a kosher Megillah as opposed to a Chumash, since if one reads a word it is preferable to read from a kosher Megillah than from a Chumash.
One should not answer Baruch Hu U'varuch Shemo to the brachos of the Megillah, since some Poskim hold it is considered a hefsik (interruption) (Aruch Hashulchan 273:6).  If one did, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation (Koveitz Halachos 12:5 based on Mishneh Berurah 124:21).
In order to fulfill one's obligation, a person needs to have in mind that he wants to be yotzei with the baal korei's reading (Shulchan Aruch 690:14).  If he did not, he is not yotzei (Mishneh Berurah 690:48 & 60:10).  People sitting in shul waiting for the Megillah to be read, are most probably having kavannah to be yotzei and therefore would not need specific intention to fulfill their obligation (Mishneh Berurah 690:49).
There is a well-known customfor children to bang or make noise when the word "Haman" is read.  This is based on the Posuk [Devarim 25:19] "Timcheh es zaicher Amalek (you shall erase the memory of Amalek") (Rama 690:17).  The Rama adds that one should never make fun of any minhag, since they were established for a reason.  The Mishneh Berurah [690:59] brings different opinions whether one should make noise or not.
The minhag is to read four Posukim out loud that refer to the redemption (Rama 690:17).  They are:  1) Ish Yehudi,2) U'mordechai yotzei, 3) La'yehudim hoy'sa ora and 4) Kee Mordechai [many Megillos have these Posukim bolded].  This is in order to keep the children awake and to pay attention to the reading, which is included in the mitzvah to educate the children to publicize the neis] (Mishneh Berurah 689:16).
Many congregations have the minhag to recite the names of Haman's ten sons out loud and in one breath, to allude that all ten of them died at the same time (Shulchan Aruch 690:15).  If one did not, he nevertheless fulfilled his obligation (Rama 690:15).
After the Megillah reading, everyone is required to say Arur Haman, Baruch Mordechai, Arura Zeresh, Barucha Esther (cursed is Haman, blessed is Mordechai, cursed is Zeresh, blessed is Esther) (Shulchan Aruch 690:16). If at all possible, one should hear the Megillah read in the havara (pronunciation) that he is accustomed to.  If he did not, he hasnevertheless fulfilled his obligation (Koveitz Halachos 11:5).

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