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Parshas Tetzaveh - Shvi'i with Rashi

Today we learn about the golden Mizbeiach used for the Ketores.

Hashem tells Moshe that the Yidden should make a Mizbeiach for burning the Ketores. It should be made of wood, and covered with gold. This Mizbeiach was less than 3 feet tall, and less than 1.5 feet wide. It had rings on the side for poles to carry it.

The big copper Mizbeiach was in the Chatzer, by the Mishkan, but this golden Mizbeiach went in the Kodesh, inside the Mishkan.

The Mizbeiach Hazahav was very holy! It was only used for two things: To burn the Ketores in the morning and afternoon, and to put some of the blood of the Yom Kippur korban on it. We aren’t allowed to use it for anything else!



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In Kapitel Samach (6), the first of today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Lemaan Yeichaltzun Yedidecha, Hoshia Yemincha Va’aneini.” (We also say it by the end of Shmoneh Esrei.)

This posuk tells us why Hashem sometimes makes things hard for a person: “Hashem does this so that He can save them, and will help with His right hand and answer.” Really, the whole time Hashem wants to save the person, but he wants them to show that they believe in Hashem all the time, not just when things are easy. Then everyone will know they DESERVE their brachos!

Even though sometimes things are hard for us, it’s just because Hashem wants to give us more brachos later!



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Tes

We are learning how to get rid of timtum, so that the light of our neshama can shine in our heart and make us excited about the Elokus our neshama knows. We are doing this by thinking about how low the guf is, so it won’t be able to block the neshama anymore.

Do you have a bike or a scooter or a car?

You probably take very good care of your bike, but is it you? Are you your bike? No! Your bike is a vehicle, that helps you get to where you need to go.

That’s how it is by a tzadik. His body is like a car, that helps him do his Avodas Hashem.

But by a beinoni, or someone who is trying to be a beinoni, the body is not like a bicycle. The body is YOU! We sometimes even feel like the NESHAMA is something separate, that gives us koach and chayus!

We say this every morning in Birchos Hashachar — “Elokai Neshama Shenasata Bi,” “Hashem, the neshama that You put into me,” meaning that we are our guf, and Hashem put our neshama as something separate inside of us!

The real truth is that the pnimius of every Yid is the neshama. But when a Yid is feeling a little bit of gaava, remembering that we are not tzadikim, that we are regular people who are not perfect, will help us feel humble. This will make it easier for us to have an open heart to serve Hashem.



Yud-Alef Adar Alef

During davening, the best thing is for a person to think deep Torah secrets about Hashem, as explained in Kabbalah.

But what if someone doesn’t know all of these kavanos, or it’s too hard to remember them in the right place?

Then there is just one kavana to remember: Think about how you want Hashem to hear your tefillah, just as if you had all of the kavanos you’re supposed to have!



Mitzvas Lo Saasei #132

(Mitzvas Lo Saasei #132) If a kohen was thinking the wrong thing when he brought a korban, like if he planned to bring it on the Mizbeiach or eat it after the time he is allowed to, the korban becomes “Pigul.” The punishment for eating Pigul is Kareis.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in this week’s parsha, Parshas Tetzaveh! לֹא יֹאכַל כִּי קֹדֶשׁ הֵם



Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about what can make a Korban Posul:

Perek Beis: The blood of a korban needs to be sprinkled on the Mizbeiach in a certain way. If it is done wrong, it can make the Korban posul.

Perek Gimmel: What happens if a korban that became posul was brought onto the Mizbeiach, or it was put into the keilim of the Beis Hamikdash? Sometimes, once it is already on the Mizbeiach or in the keilim, we need to bring up the korban even though it is posul.

Perek Daled: We learn what happens to a Chatas and an Asham that can’t be brought as korbanos.



Hilchos Pesulei Hamukdashin - Perek Hey

We learn halachos about money set aside for a korban: If someone put money away to buy a Korban Chatas, but he passed away before he was able to bring the Korban, we have to throw the money into the sea so nobody can use it. If someone put away $10 for a korban, but the korban only cost $7, he uses the rest of the money to buy other korbanos.



Lebn Mit Der Tzeit

In today’s Chumash, the very end of Parshas Tetzaveh, we learn about the Mizbeiach Haketores, the golden Mizbeiach where the kohen would bring ketores to Hashem.

The meforshim ask, why does the Torah tell us about it here?

In Parshas Terumah, we learn about most of the keilim in the Mishkan, like the Menorah and the Shulchan. In Parshas Tetzaveh, we learn about the Bigdei Kehunah, the special clothes the kohanim wear when they are doing their avodah.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Torah to teach about the Mizbeiach Haketores together with all of the other keilim? Why does the Torah only tell us about it now, at the end?

The Rebbe explains the reason:

When the kohen would bring the ketores, it was a very private time. Only the kohen was allowed to be there — nobody else, not even malochim! And when the kohen would bring the ketores, Hashem’s Shechinah would rest in the Mishkan. This type of Avodah is so special, it shows that the whole Avodah of the Mishkan is complete!

This is also an important lesson in our Avodas Hashem!

Just like with the Mizbeiach Haketores, the best way to do our Avodas Hashem is privately, just us and Hashem. Sometimes we do a mitzvah because we want other people to see that we are good, or we want someone to take a picture of us doing it and show it to other people. But the best way to do a mitzvah is when we don’t care if nobody is watching, and we don’t show off our mitzvos to other people — we do them just for Hashem.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef, parshas Tetzaveh


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The Power of a Yid's Tefillah

The Frierdiker Rebbe told the following story:

The Baal Shem Tov once saw that there was a terrible decree on a certain community of Yidden. He discussed with the holy talmidim what they should do. The Baal Shem Tov and the talmidim fasted, but they could not take away the gezeira.

They went to the Rav of the city, and convinced him to make a taanis. The Rav didn’t know about this decree in Shomayim, but he agreed anyway.

During the fast, the community gathered in shul to say Tehillim. During the hours of Tehillim, when the men and women were crying out to Hashem, the Baal Shem Tov saw that the gezeira wasn’t changing at all.

But afterwards, the Baal Shem Tov shared good news with his talmid R’ Nachum Horadonke: The gezeira was gone! All of the talmidim were very happy to hear that this community was no longer in danger.

Later, the Baal Shem Tov sat with his talmidim and told them what had taken away the gezeira in the end. The Baal Shem Tov told them that it was because of the tefillah of a simple woman.

This woman sat in the Ezras Noshim together with all of the other women. Most of them were crying and saying Tehillim, but this simple woman couldn’t even say these holy words.

She said, “Ribono Shel Olam! You are our Father! Your children are crying in front of You! Ribono Shel Olam, I have five children. When they all scream, I can’t handle it! And You, Hashem, have so many children! Even if You have a heart of stone, You must answer them! Please, Father in Shomayim, answer Your children!”

The Frierdiker Rebbe ended off, saying that this story teaches us how much the word of a Yid can make a difference. It shows us how precious is a chapter of Tehillim. Even if the Yid is sitting on the other side of the world saying a word of Torah or a kapitel Tehillim, it has the koach to bring parnasa for Klal Yisroel.

From Likutei Diburim



Saying Brachos With Kavana

When we daven or bentch, we are careful not to do things that will distract us from having kavana.

The Alter Rebbe tells us that lechatchila, we shouldn’t do any distracting kinds of things when we say ANY bracha, like brachos before we eat or Asher Yatzar.

לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח ר׳ דניאל יצחק ע״ה בן ר׳ אפרים שי׳ מאסקאוויץ
שליח כ"ק אדמו"ר נשיא דורנו למדינת אילינוי




R’ Yitzchok ben Eliezer said: You should know that when Moshe Rabbeinu made the Mishkan and all of the keilim, did all the melacha and brought the korbanos, the Shechinah did not come rest in the Mishkan. The Shechinah did not come down until they brought the Ketores!

Hashem told the Yidden: “My children, be careful with the ketores, even more than with all of the other korbanos. With the ketores, you have a kapara in this world, and also Le’asid Lavo, when Moshiach comes!”

See Chumash Torah Sheleimah parshas Tetzaveh, p. 247

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