Welcome to Beyond Twelve
Gates. This coming Saturday night/ Sunday is the holiday of Purim. Purim is arguably the most joyous holiday on
the Jewish calendar. I often say that if one would have only two days a
year to attend synagogue, Purim and Simchas Torah should be your choices. If I can assist you
in observing Purim in any way, please let me know. Purim is
celebrated in the following 4 ways:
Megilla: On Purim we read the Book of Esther, which recalls the attempt of evil Haman (boo!) to
wipe out the Jews of Persia
Manos: We send food gifts to friends
and relatives ..at least two ready-to-eat foods in each package, delivered
by a proxy. The joy of the day increases as we send and receive
L'Evyonim: We don't forget
those with less...at least 2 gifts of money and/or food to the poor on
4) Mishteh: The merry, merry meal on Purim day ....an
easy mitzva to fulfill
Purim represents the height
of joy. Here are 7 different levels of joy.
Your metabolism changes so
that you can lose weight eating chocolate
You realize that your kid's
report card was really a bad dream
Your computer actually
crashes when the technician is there
Warren Buffet calls your
boss looking for you
You haven't put on weight
-- your clothes shrank
Your child calls from
college just to say hi
The IRS loses your name
Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20 -- 30:10
This week's portion is a
haberdasher's dream. Following on the heels of the elaborate details
of the construction of the Mishkan,
G-d describes to Moses the special garments which are to be worn by the
Kohanim during their service. The ordinary Kohanim would wear four
special garments, while four additional vestments were to be worn
exclusively by the Kohen Gadol (High
Priest). All of these
garments were woven and crafted from materials donated by the people.
portion then shifts its
attention to G-d's commandments regarding the inaugaration ritual for the
newly constructed Mishkan, to be
performed exclusively by Moses for seven days. The inaugaration
included Moses' adorning and anointing the Kohanim, and his bringing
offerings. On the eighth day, Aaron and his sons would assume their
offices as the Kohanim. After then describing the daily offering, the
offering to be brought in the Mishkan every
day of the year in the morning and afternoon, the portion concludes with
the command to build the last of the Mishkan's structures,
the golden altar upon which the incense would be offered every morning and
On the Shabbos before Purim, Parshas
Zachor (Deut. 25: 17-19) is read immediately following the
regular Torah reading.
It is a positive commandment to erase the memory of Amalek and to always
remember their evil deeds, and how they ambushed the Jewish people.
Our tradition teaches that Haman (of
the Purim story) was a descendant of Amalek; thus, the connection of Parshas
Zachor to Purim.
Is it better to believe
everything, or to believe nothing? Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said that if we
had to make a choice between being credulous or universally skeptical, it
would be better to be credulous. If one believes everything, even
that which is false and foolish, then he will also believe the truth, and
that will save him. One who cynically scoffs at everything will deny
even the truth.
The very first verse of
Psalms warns us against associating with scoffers. Hopefully, we can
believe intelligently. But if we have to err, then it is better to
err on the side of believing too much rather than denying too much.
As the Talmud
says, "It is better to be called a fool all my life, rather than to be
wicked for a single moment before G-d." (adapted from 'Living
Each Day', Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D.)
Quote of the Week
One of the nice things about
problems is that a good many of them do not exist -- Steve Allen
Joke of the Week
Yankel and Chaim were on their way
to a vaction in Hawaii,
and got into an argument about the correct pronunciation of Hawaii.
Yankel was sure it was 'Hawaii', but Chaim maintained that it was
'Havaii.' To resolve the dispute, they decided to ask the first
native they came across after their plane landed. Shortly
after picking up their bags in the airport, they approached a tall,
brown-skinned man. Yankel and Chaim said, 'Good afternoon, Sir.
We're tourists from Brooklyn,
New York. My name is Yankel, and my friend's name is
"Welcome to the
Islands," the man said. "My name is Kamakaʻeha Waiwaiʻole."
Excited to meet a native,
Chaim blurted out, "Would you mind telling us the name of your state?'
"Havaii! the man
said the native.