Thursday, 23rd Adar 5783/March 16, 2023
Chamishi when connected to Vayakhel
- The Eiphod:
- He made the Eiphod from gold, Turquoise-Ticheiles wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. Gold strings were cut from thin sheets of gold and woven with the Turquoise-Ticheiles wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. He made two shoulder straps, one by each end, and a belt which was likewise made of the same materials stated above.
- The Avnie Shoham: He placed the two Shoham stones into their gold settings and inscribed on them the name of the tribes of Israel. He placed the stones on the shoulder straps of the Eiphod, one per strap, as a remembrance.
- The Choshen:
- He made the Choshen from gold, Turquoise-Ticheiles wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. The Choshen was square, folded over, a Zeres in its length and width. It was filled with four rows of stones. The first row contained the following stones: Odem, Pitdah, and Barekes. The second row contained the following stones: Nofech, Sapir, and Yahalom. The third row contained the following stones: Leshem, Shevo, and Achlamah. The fourth row contained the following stones: Tarshish, Shoham, and Yashfeh. The stones were placed within gold settings. They had the names of the tribes inscribed on them, one tribe per stone for a total of 12 tribes and stones.
- The chains and rings that attach the Choshen to the Eiphod: They made two gold chains on the Choshen. They made two gold settings and two gold rings and placed the rings on the two [top] corners of the Choshen. They attached the chains to these two rings. The other end of the chains was attached to the gold settings and then attached to the shoulder straps of the Eiphod. They made another two gold rings for the bottom corners of the Choshen, and placed them in the interior of the Choshen. They made two rings on the bottom end of the shoulder straps of the Eiphod, symmetric to the bottom rings of the Choshen. They placed a Techeiles-Turquoise woolen string through the two sets of rings, and attached the Choshen to the Eiphod belt so that it not move.
Tanya Begining of Chapter 37
1. The revelation of the future error is dependent on our work now during exile:
- As stated in the previous chapter, the purpose of the worlds creation will become realized in the times of the Messiah and the resurrection in which there will be a revelation of the infinite light of G-d in this physical world.
- This future revelation of the infinite mind of G-d in this world is dependent on our work and service of G-d throughout the times of exile.
2. The mitzvah’s we fulfill draw G-dliness to the physical world and elevate its objects:
- The reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvah itself: The explanation behind why the revelation of the future era is dependent on our service of G-d now during the exile is because the reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvah itself.
- The mitzvah draws G-dliness below into objects that received from the side of evil: Every time one fulfills the mitzvah one draws down the infinite light of G-d from above to below, to become invested in this physical world. This light of G-d invest itself within the pure and permitted items that one used to fulfill the mitzvah which were previously under the rule of the side of evil, and had received their vitality through the evil. For example, the parchment which is used to write the tefillin and Mezuzos and Torah scroll, and an Esrog which is used to shake Daled Minim on Sukkos, and charity which is distributed to the poor, which was previously under the rule of the side of evil, now becomes penetrated with holiness and G-dliness.
- Only pure and kosher items can be elevated: Nonetheless, this ability to draw G-dliness below into the physical items only applies to items that are pure and kosher, as a sages teach us that only pure and kosher items that are permitted to be eaten can be used for the sake of the mitzvah. Thus, only the parchment made of skin of a kosher animal, and an Esrog which is not Arla, and money which was not stolen, is able to become penetrated with holiness and G-dliness through fulfillment of the mitzvah. The reason for this is because Arla and all other forbidden items, comes from the three completely unclean Kelipos which can never be elevated. The same likewise applies to all mitzvah’s that are fulfilled as a result of a transgression, that they cannot be elevated.
- How the pure items become elevated through the mitzvah: When one fulfills the will of G-d with a valid object, their vitality and energy found within that object becomes nullified and incorporated within the infinite light of G-d which is the will of G-d invested within this mitzvah. This is able to be accomplished being that the mitzvah’s which are the will of G-d do not conceal at all the infinite light of G-d.
3. The mitzvah’s elevate also the animal soul:
- Aside from the elevation of the physical object used for the mitzvah, the energy of the animal soul that is found within the limbs of the body which performs the mitzvah is also elevated, as this energy participated in the fulfillment of the mitzvah. This energy from the animal so hence becomes elevated from the side of evil and becomes incorporated in the holiness of the mitzvah which is the will of G-d and becomes nullified to the infinite light of G-d that is within the mitzvah.
- Mitzvah’s fulfilled through speech also elevate the animal soul: Furthermore, even those Mitzvos that are fulfilled through speech, such as study of Torah and the recital of the Shema and prayer and the like, elevate the energy of the animal soul. Although there is no true physical action or object which is under the governance of the side of evil which is involved in these Mitzvos, nonetheless, speech does contain some element of action and hence has ability to elevate some of the energy of the animal so.
- Speech versus thought: We find in Jewish law that speech is not like mere thought, and hence thought alone does not fulfill the speech related mitzvah’s. On this the sages state that the movement of the lips are considered like an action which have ability to elevate the animal soul. The reason for this is because it is not possible for the G-dly soul to make the necessary bodily movements required for speech such as the movement of the lips and mouth and tongue and teeth. This can only physically be done through the animal soul which is actually invested within the limbs of the body.
- The more intense the speech the greater the elevation of the energy of the animal soul: The more forcefully and intense that one speaks when fulfilling the mitzvah’s of speech, the more energy of his animal soul that is entered into this speech [and hence ends up elevating more of the energy of the animal soul]. Thus, Scripture states that one should speak with all of his bones, and the sages teach us that only if the Torah is studied with all 248 of one’s limbs is it properly preserved, and if not studied in this manner than it is forgotten.
- Energyless learning of Torah and prayer causes forgetfulness: The reason the Torah can only be retained in one’s memory if he studies it with all 248 of his limbs is because forgetfulness comes from the coarseness and evil of the body and animal soul, and hence when not all 248 of the limbs were involved in the study of Torah, these limbs will influence one to forget that which he learned. However, when one studies Torah or prays with all of his limbs, then they all become included within holiness, and are weakened, hence disabling their effect to cause one to forget his Torah learning.
Rambam, Hilchos Eidus, Chapter 18
Chapter 17: Eid Zomeim-the punishment of a false witness
Halacha 1: The retribution given to a false witness
- Whoever testified falsely and is known to have testified falsely, is considered an Eid Zomeim and is liable to have done to him whatever he wanted to do to his fellow.
- This retribution is a positive command of the Torah.
- Capital punishment: For example, if his testimony would’ve deemed the defendant liable for capital punishment than he is now liable for capital punishment.
- He is liable for whatever form of capital punishment the defendant would have been liable for, whether stoning, strangulation, burning, or beheading.
- Lashes: If his testimony would’ve deemed the defendant liable for lashes, then he is to have lashes given to him, in accordance to his stamina and capability.
- Monetary payment: If his testimony would’ve deemed the defendant liable for payment, then he is required to pay that amount to the defendant.
- Splitting the cost: Each false witness is to split the amount of money between them, [and hence if two false witnesses would’ve made the defendant liable to pay $1000 due to their testimony, then each is to pay $500].
Halacha 2: Determining false testimony and liability for retribution
- Not all testimony which is deemed invalid due to being false, is under the definition of an Eid Zomeim which becomes liable for the above retribution. There is a difference in this regard between Hakchasha and Hazama.
- Hakchasha-A group of witnesses contradict the testimony of the original witnesses: If a second group of witnesses comes along and testifies to the contrary of what the first group of witnesses testified, the first group of witnesses are not deemed as false, as we have no way of knowing which group of witnesses are telling the truth.
- For example, if the first group of witnesses say that someone did such and such, and a second group of witnesses say that so-and-so did not do such and such, then no group of witnesses here are considered false.
- Hazama-A group of witnesses testify that the original witnesses did not witness anything: If a second group of witnesses comes along and testifies that they have no idea what happened, but they know for certain that these two witnesses in the first group did not see what they are testifying about being that they were with them on that day, then the first group of witnesses are deemed as false and are liable for retribution.
- For example, if the first group of witnesses say that someone borrowed money or killed an individual, and a second group of witnesses say that they have no idea what happened, but the first two witnesses definitely did not see it being that there with them throughout that whole day, then the first group of witnesses are considered false.
- If however in this exact case the second group of witnesses explicitly contradict the testimony of the first two witnesses and state that there was no lending that took place or that there was no murder that took place being that they were altogether that day, then the first group of witnesses are not liable for retribution being that they contradicted the actual testimony and not just the witnesses themselves.
Halacha 3: The Torah chose to believe the last group of witnesses
- There in truth there is no logic for why we choose to believe the last group of witnesses over the first group of witnesses, and this matter is a scriptural decree.
- If the first group contains more witnesses than the second: The last group of two witnesses is always believed even if the first group of witnesses contain many more witnesses than their group.
- Thus, if 100 witnesses testified regarding a certain matter and then two witnesses came and said that all hundred of them were with them on that day, then all 100 are considered false witnesses and liable for retribution.
- The same applies regarding witnesses who contradict each other’s testimony, that we do not follow the majority and even 100 witnesses has the same power as two.
Halacha 4: No warnings required for liability of retribution
- Although in general a person must be warned prior to becoming liable for punishment, false witnesses do not need to be warned before hand.
- Hazama after Hakchasha: If a second group of witnesses contradicted the testimony of the first group of witnesses, and then a third group of witnesses came and stated that the first group of witnesses were with them on that day, then the first group is still liable for retribution even though their testimony was already deemed invalid by the second group.
Halacha 5: In the presence of the false witnesses
- Hazama: In order to deem false witnesses liable for retribution, the contradictory testimony of the second group must take place in the presence.
- Hakchasha: Nonetheless, the testimony of a second group of witnesses to invalidate their testimony through contradicting their testimony, is not required to take place in their presence.
Halacha 6: If the murder victim walks into court
- A first group of witnesses which had their testimony thrown out of court due to having a second group of witnesses contradict their testimony, does not become liable for retribution even if it becomes determined without a shadow of a doubt that they lied, such as if the murder victim that they testified that was killed actually walks into the courtroom.
- Lashes: They are not even liable for lashes for transgressing the prohibition of false testimony. Nonetheless, the court can impose a penalty of rabbinical lashes as they see appropriate.
Halacha 7: Announcing the identity and punishment of the false witnesses
- Witnesses who were found to have testified falsely and became liable for retribution, must have their identity and transgression announced to the public. Letters of their guilt are to be sent to every city, stating their names and the retribution that they received for their false testimony.
Halacha 8: If the witnesses confess to fabricating the testimony
- Witnesses who confess to having fabricated their testimony are not liable for retribution.
- They are not even held liable for paying the defendant the sum of money that they desire to cause him to lose.
- However, if they confess in front of a second court having been found liable for retribution in the first court, then they must pay the money.