Sunday, 12th Adar 5783/March 5, 2023
Parshas Ki Sisa-Rishon
- The census taking and Machatzis Hashekel donation:
- Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: “When you take a census of the Jewish people, each man is to give Hashem an atonement of his soul, in order so there should not be a plague amongst them when they are counted.”
- What to give: All those who are counted are to give a half shekel of the holy shekel which is worth twenty Geira. It is a donation to Hashem.
- From what age: Everyone from twenty years and up is to give the donation to Hashem to atone for their souls.
- Its use: The money is to be used for the Temple service and be a remembrance for the Jewish people to atone for their souls.
- The Kiyor:
- Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: You shall make a Kiyor sink and pedestal for washing. You are to fill it with water.
- Material: The Kiyur and its pedestal is to be made of copper.
- Location: It is to be placed between the Ohel Moed and altar.
- Its use to wash the hands and feet: The Kohanim are to use the Kiyor to wash their hands and feet upon entering the Ohel Moed, or upon doing service on the altar. This needs to be done so they don’t die in their Avoda.
- The Shemen Hamishcha:
- The ingredients: Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Take the following prime spices and make the anointing oil:
- Pure myrrh, 500 Shekel’s weight.
- Aromatic cinnamon, 250 shekel’s weight, brought twice [for a total of 500].
- Cane of aromatic spice, 250 shekels weight
- The Kiddah root, 500 Shekel’s weight.
- A Hin of olive oil.
- The above ingredients are to be mixed by a spice blender and be turned into a sacred anointing oil.
- Its use-What is anointed with it: The Ohel Moed and the Aron is to be anointed using this oil. Likewise, the Shulchan, Menorah, gold and copper Mizbeiach, and all their accessory vessels are to be anointed with this oil. The Kiyor and its pedestal is to be anointed with this oil. Through doing so, the vessels will become holy and anything that touches them will become consecrated. Likewise, Aaron and his sons are to be anointed with this oil and they will thus become consecrated to serve me as Kohanim.
- Not to use it or make a replica: Tell the Jewish people that no man may anoint himself with the above oil and no man may make a replica of the above oil. Anyone who makes a replica of it or who uses it on a non-Kohen, will be cut off from his nation [i.e. Kareis].
- The Ketores:
- The ingredients: Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: “Take the following prime spices and make the Ketores:”
- Spices and pure frankincense.
- All the above ingredients are to be of equal weight. The above ingredients are to be mixed by a spice blender and be turned into the Ketores incense. Some of it is to be finely ground, and some of it is to be placed before the Ohel Moed. It shall be to you a holy of holies.
- Not to make a replica: One may not create a replica of the Ketores for the sake of smelling it, under the penalty of Kareis.
- Appointment of Betzalel to build the Mishkan.
- Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: “I have appointed Betzalel the son of Uri of the tribe of Yehuda to perform all the work of building the Mishkan and its accessories. I have filled him with wisdom and understanding to perform all the work. I have appointed to work with him Ohaliav the son of Achisamach from the tribe of Dan. They are to make the Ohel Moed, the Aron, the Kapores, the vessels of the Ohel, the Shulchan, the Menorah, the Ketores altar, the Olah altar, the Kiyor, and all their accessories. They are to make the priestly garments, the anointing oil and Ketores, as I commanded.”
- Guard the Shabbos:
- A covenant between us and G-d: Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: “Tell the Jewish people that they are to guard the Shabbos as it is a sign and covenant between Me and them for all generations so that they know that I am Hashem who sanctifies you.”
- Punishment for desecration: One who desecrates the Shabbos is liable for death and is liable for Kareis, to be cut off from the nation.
- In commemoration of creation: One is to work six days and on the seventh day it is to be a complete rest, as in six days the world was created and on the seventh day I rested.
Tanya Middle of Chapter 33:
1. Praising G-d each morning for the recognition of His unity with us even now:
- The sages established that a person praise G-d each morning for having given him the recognition of G-d’s unity, as explained above, that the true unity of G-d exists even now, and that even now nothing exists other than him being that everything is nullified and united with Him, including the person himself, and hence already now G-d is actually dwelling in this world.
- Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu: The prayer in which this praise was established to be recited in is the prayer of, “Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu Umah Yafah Yerushaseinu.”
- This belief is an inheritance from our forefathers: In this prayer we praise G-d for our portion and inheritance is just like a person rejoices when he inherits a mass fortune that he did not have to work for, so too even more so one should infinitely rejoice over the inheritance that we received from our forefathers, which is the true belief in G-d’s unity that even now He dwells within us being that nothing exists other than Him.
2. The faith in G-d’s unity leads to the fulfillment of all 613 commands:
- All 613 commands are supported by faith: The sages state that Chabakuk established that the single mitzvah of faith encompasses and supports all the 613 commands that were given to the Jewish people.
- Faith in G-d’s unity leads to the fulfillment of all 613 commands: This means to say that one can view all 613 commands as if they were one command, which is the command involving the above faith of G-d’s unity, as through this belief of G-d’s unity will come fulfill all of the 613 commands.
- How-Treating the mitzvah of faith and its joy as the only mitzvah in the Torah: The above statement that all 613 commands are based on the command of faith can be realized through utterly rejoicing over the above faith and belief of G-d’s unity that even now one is completely united with G-d, and treating it as if this is the only mitzvah in the Torah, and that the fulfillment of this mitzvah alone is the entire purpose of his creation and the creation of all the worlds.
- This joy leads one to fulfill all the 613 commands: When one rejoices in the above then he can use the energy and vitality of this joy to elevate his soul very high and to overcome all of the internal and external challenges and obstacles that prevent him from properly fulfilling all the 613 commands [and hence it is found that this one mitzvah of faith leads to the fulfillment of all the other commands].
3. The joy in realization of one’s unity with G-d is similar to resurrection:
- On the above the verse states that “Bemunaso Yichyeh/ through faith one lives,” as this faith is literally like a resurrection, as it resurrects the soul with a great joy and vitality.
4. A double joy:
- This joy is a double joy.
- One is living with G-d: The first joy is the joy of the soul which comprehends how G-d is very close to him and literally lives with him.
Rambam, Hilchos Eidus, Chapter 7:
Chapter 7: Testifying regarding the signatures on a document
Halacha 1: May a relative testify?
- It is valid for a relative of the witness that is signed on the document to testify regarding its validity.
- Son testifying on father signature: For example, the sons of the witnesses who signed may testify that it is their father’s signature, if their father is not around, such as they died or went overseas.
- Two witnesses for each signature: In such a case, a third witness is still necessary to independently testify regarding each signature in order so there be two witnesses for each signature.
Halacha 2: Testifying on the basis of knowledge obtained while under age
- It is valid for an individual to testify on the basis of knowledge that he obtained when he was still a child.
- For example, an adult may testify regarding his father signature which he observed while a child.
- It is only valid to have a single witness testify regarding a signature that he saw as a child, if there is another witness who can testify regarding the signature that he saw as an adult. If, however, both witnesses testify regarding the signature as they saw when they were children, then the testimonies invalid.
Halacha 3: Two witnesses for each signature:
- Each signature must have two witnesses testify regarding its validity. One witness on each signature does not suffice.
- The witnesses must state that they recognize the signature, and that it belongs to the following person.
- It is valid to have one witness testify on both signatures, and another two witnesses testify on one of the two signatures, each one on another one of the signatures.
Halacha 4: May the witness who signed testify on the other signature
- It is not valid for a witness who signed the document to testify on behalf of his own signature as well as the other signature. He may only testify for his own signature.
- This applies even if another person also testifies to the other signature.
- May a relative testify on the other signature? Likewise, a relative of the first witness who signed cannot testify on behalf of the other signature if the first witness testified to his own signature.
Halacha 5: What to do if the only person who can testify to both signatures is one of the people who signed
- In the event that one of the signed witnesses have died and there isn’t a second witness available to testify on its behalf other than the other person who signed with him [and as stated in the previous law this is invalid], then he should not testify regarding his own signature and should only testify together with one of the witness on the signature of his friend who died,.
- Signing on a blank piece of paper in front of two witnesses: In such a case, his own signature should be verified in the following manner: He should sign his name on any item in front of two witnesses and throw it into the court until they recognize his signature and will no longer need him to testify regarding his own signature.
Halacha 6: May the judges who validate the document serve as witnesses for the signatures?
- In the event that two of the three judges recognize the two signatures on the document and can testify regarding it, then they may testify before the third judge, and then all three of them can sign the validation statement on the document.
- This ability however only applies so long as they have not yet signed on the statement of validity on the document. If, however, these two judges already signed then they can no longer testify before the third judge and have them also sign.
Halacha 7: What to do if there is testimony of both validation and invalidation regarding the signatures
- In the event that the two witnesses who signed the document have died, and two witnesses come forward to testify to the signatures with the claim that the two people who signed were invalid witnesses, then the document cannot be validated and cannot be used against the party of liability.
- This applies even if there are other manners available in which the court can establish the signatures to be authentic.