The Greatest Inequality

We begin sefer Vayikra dealing with the various offerings that were sacrificed in the Mishkan. Some of them were in the category of voluntary ‘donations’ to elevate the owners of those particular sacrifices. However, there were many obligatory sacrifices both on the individual level and communal offerings.

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You Are Welcome

Rashi cites the Talmud that the sin of the Golden Calf will plague us for all generations. The gravity of their iniquity was such that a deeply engrained flaw had penetrated into their construal. Although we had so passionately stated that we were primed and ready to accept the Torah without even knowing the details, shortly afterwards we seemingly dissented and displayed a lack of trust in Hashem. Even though we were under duress, having apparently lost our cherished leader, nonetheless, we failed to live up to our expectations. And that was forgiven but not forgotten!

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All for the Boss

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of our nation is that of the Golden Calf. Rashi explains that Moshe told the people that he was going to be gone for 40 days. However, they misunderstood how to count the 40 days and they included the day that he left. Since they were off by a day they expected Moshe to return one day earlier and when he didn’t they were terrified that they had lost their leader.

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All For You!

After the Torah gave us a detailed explanation of the components of the Mishkan and the magnificent garments that they donned, the ceremonial procedure to install Ahron and his children as the Kohanim to service the Jewish nation took place.

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20-20 Vision

The parsha concludes with Moshe ascending to Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah. En route, he was accompanied by Yehoshua. Rashi poses the question why was Yehoshua there? He answers quite profoundly that we see the devotion of a disciple. Moshe engaged Hashem and merited to directly receive the Torah from the ‘mouth’ of Hashem.

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The Upside-Down World

Yisro became enamored with the Jewish people. He was informed about the splitting of the Sea, the Manna, the war against Amalek and the well of Miriam. Surely, even one of those miraculous events would be sufficient to persuade anyone to join our team and definitely all of them together! However, Yisro comments that now he realizes the Hashem is the greatest of all the powers of the universe.

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What’s the Surprise?

We finally were liberated from brutal slavery at the hands of the Egyptians and we were ready  to move on to greater heights, serving Hashem with vigor, enthusiasm and passion. Would anyone have thought there would be misgivings about our attitude? Of course not, didn’t we leave the land of bondage without any food yet we relied upon Moshe and Hashem that we would be cared for?

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Why Tomorrow?

The Egyptian empire had been devastated and their nation couldn’t wait until we would leave and they could recoup from all of their losses. However, before we could leave, we were commanded to take from the Egyptians gold, silver and their various belongings. Rashi cites the Talmud that Hashem requested that we should honor this command and indeed take from the Egyptians their possessions.

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