MARCH 11-12, 2016 2 ADAR Ii 5776
"A hundred sockets." (Shemot 28:27) The Mishkan had a hundred silver sockets in which the wooden beams of the Mishkan stood. The Ba'al Haturim says that this pasuk is a source for the obligation to say one hundred Berachot a day. The silver sockets were the foundation of the Mishkan, so too the one hundred Berachot are a foundation of our way of life. It is proper to bless Hashem when we eat, when we drink, when we wake up, when we sleep and when we learn Torah, because it all comes from Him.
The Rambam (Laws of Tefillah 7:14) rules that the law obligates all people to bless Hashem one hundred times every day, including on Shabbat. He asks, "How does he do it? He eats some vegetables and he makes a berachah before and after, then he eats some fruit and he makes a berachah before and after, and he counts all the berachot until he completes the one hundred." The Brisker Rav notes that the Rambam says "and he counts all the berachot," which means that on Shabbat he must literally count them or else he won't know if he has enough berachot and he might end up missing out on this misvah, and one must be very careful with this law because this misvah contains the secret of attaining true fear of Hashem. The hint to this lies in the pasuk, "Mah Hashem sho'el me'imach ki im leyir'ah." The Rabbis say the word "mah" could be read "me'ah" (one hundred) berachot, which brings fear of Hashem. It's a well-known story that once a great Rabbi who was very sick came to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l and asked him what he should do to invoke mercy from Hashem at this time of crisis. The Rabbi answered that, "I don't know if I can tell this to others, but I know that if I was in that situation, I would be very careful with the one hundred berachot. I would say "Baruch" the right way, I would say "atah" the right way, and "Hashem" the right way. If I would succeed with that, it would be a great mussar for me." The other Rabbi said that when Rabbi Auerbach said these words, his face lit up like fire! Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Reuven Semah
"These are the reckonings of the Sanctuary" (Shemot 38:21)
Moshe made a reckoning of all the donations to the Mishkan to see that everything was accounted for. The Midrash says that he was surprised to see that there was some silver not accounted for, and sat there wondering where it went. He even heard some people murmuring under their breath about Moshe's wealth and whether it was connected to the lost silver. Ultimately, Hashem called out to Moshe reminding him where the lost silver was used, and everything was accounted for down to the last item.
We see from here an amazing lesson. People tend to suspect even the greatest among us, no less than Moshe Rabenu. There is a tendency in human nature to find fault in others. Although this is sometimes disappointing and maybe even disheartening, we should not lose hope in the goodness of human nature. In the long run, the innocent will be proven so, even if Hashem has to make a miracle to clear one's name. If a person knows that he's free of guilt, rather than despair, he should put his faith in Hashem to ultimately exonerate him. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
"These are the accounts of the Mishkan." (Shemot 38:21)
After the Mishkan and all its holy vessels were completed, Moshe told B'nei Yisrael, "Let me present to you an exact account of how I used the materials which you donated." He then gave a complete reckoning of how he had employed every ounce of gold, silver, and copper which they had contributed. The Midrash explains that Moshe felt it necessary to justify his actions before the Jewish people, since he had overheard remarks concerning his honesty and trustworthiness. It is interesting to note that when the people were summoned to participate in the sin of the Golden Calf, the Torah remarks that the people couldn't wait to remove their jewelry to "donate" it for the Golden Calf. Although the end result of their donations was merely one Golden Calf, they didn't complain, and they didn't ask for an accounting of their donations. Regarding the Mishkan, however, all that was demanded of them was a half-shekel per person; nevertheless they complained and spread rumors suggesting dishonesty on Moshe's part!
In reality every Ben Yisrael is inherently good and his genuine desire is to do good. Therefore, when he chooses to donate to a worthy purpose, it is his desire that his donation be used to the proper goal it is intended. However, when one falls into the clutches of desire and contributes toward an unholy or improper purpose, he is bothered and troubled to the point that if his money does not reach the ultimate goal he will secretly be thankful. Similarly, once the Jews parted with their jewelry for the Golden Calf, they no longer cared whether the ultimate purpose was realized. (Peninim on the Torah)
Forecasting is an American pastime. Who will win the World Series? Which political party will control Congress? Which stocks will perform and which will decrease in value? The list can go on and on ad infinitum.
In competitive sports, politics, and business, much of what is forecast doesn't come about, because the variety of factors that determine the ultimate result are beyond the scope of the forecaster to weigh. Also, the "givens" that go into the equation are beyond the control of the predictor. In personal relationships, it is even more difficult to accurately forecast a happy ending. In fact, sometimes a prediction itself determines the final outcome. Labeling a child, a spouse, or a co-worker may prompt behavior on the part of that individual which will lead to the realization of the prediction. Comments such as "You'll never amount to anything!" or "You can't cut it in a company like ours!" or "You're bad at that, and disorganized as well!" are examples of negative statements that can cause a person to lose self-esteem, and, consequently, to fail.
If you want to criticize in order to improve a situation, weigh your words carefully before you speak. Build, do not destroy. Don't label the person, but address the behavior. Do not create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It only takes a positive attitude to be constructive rather than destructive. (One Minute with Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)
A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.
Call to 646-279-8712 or email email@example.com (Privacy of email limited by the email address)
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