Tuesday-Daily Chitas [Chumash, Tanya] & Rambam Summaries [21st Adar 5783]

Tuesday, 21st Adar 5783/March 14, 2023

Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei

Shelishi when connected to Pekudei
  1. Making the Menorah:
  • He made the Menorah from pure gold with a base, branches, goblets, knobs and flowers all made from the original piece of one Kikar of gold.  
  • It had six branches, three from each side. Each branch was made with three goblets, and was decorated with a knob and flower. The base of the Menorah was made with four goblets decorated with knobs and flowers. Under each set of branches a button was made. Everything was formed from the same piece of gold. It had seven candles.
  1. Making the gold altar for incense:
  • He made an altar for the incense offering from acacia-shittim wood. It was made into a square, its length being one Amah, and its width also one Amah. It was two Amos high. It contained horns on each of its four corners, and the horns, as well as the entire altar was covered in gold. He made a gold crown surrounding it. It had two gold rings beneath its crown, one on each corner. These rings served to hold the poles with which the altar was carried with. The poles were made from acacia-shittim wood and were covered with gold.
  • He made the anointing oil and their spices, the work of a spice-blender.

Tanya Begining of Chapter 36 

1. The purpose of the world’s creation:

  • There is a well-known statement of the sages that the purpose of the worlds creation is due to that G-d desired to have a dwelling place below in this lower world.


2. The concept of higher and lower in relation to G-d is in terms of concealment of His divine light:

  • Before G-d, the entire concept of higher and lower is not applicable as He fills the entire world equally. Thus, the true meaning of this “lower world” in which G-d desires a dwelling place is not geographical, but rather from the perspective of concealment of G-dliness versus revelation.
  • G-d fills all the world’s even now, although this is concealed from creations: Before the world was created G-d was the only existence which filled all space in which the world was created. Furthermore, even now this holds true from the perspective of G-d. The only difference is from the perspective of the creations who are the recipients of G-d’s light through many garments and forms of concealment which hide G-d’s entity and existence. Even the higher Angels which are referred to as “Chayos” are not able to see G-d, as no creation can see G-d and live.
  • The chain descent of the world’s known as Hishtalshlus: The above mentioned garments and concealments which shield G-d’s light from the creations is the entire foundation of Seder Hishtalshlus, which is the gradational descent of the revelation of G-d’s light to the creations, and its increase concealment and darkness. The lower the level the more concealing garments it contains, which affects a greater concealment of G-d’s light.
  • Our world is the lowest level of concealment: This chain descent of concealment continued until its lowest level was created, which is this physical and gross world, of which there is no lower level of concealment of G-d’s light with a doubled and redoubled darkness. This is also why our world is filled with evil and impure forces which actually oppose G-d and deny His existence, stating and acting in a way that they are the only true existence.


3. The purpose of the descent in revelation of G-d’s light is for our physical world:

  • The purpose cannot be for the higher worlds: The purpose of the gradational descent of the world and the increasing concealment of G-d’s light and revelation was not done for the sake and purpose of the upper worlds, which experience a greater revelation of G-dliness than the lower world, as nonetheless these worlds are of no gain for G-d being that it is still a descent from the original revelation of G-d’s light that existed prior to the creation.
  • The lowest world which contains evil that can be subjugated and transformed is the ultimate purpose of creation: Rather, one must conclude that the purpose of creation is for this lowest physical world, and the purpose for its creation is because G-d desired to receive pleasure from the subjugation of the forces of darkness and evil and there ultimate transformation into divinity. Now, this G-dly experience of joy from the subjugation and transformation of evil is only possible to be accomplished in this physical world, which is the lowest of all the worlds and contains the evil that needs to be subjugated and transformed.
  • Filling the entire world with G-d’s light: The ultimate purpose is not just to subjugate the evil, but to shine the infinite light of G-d within this place of darkness and evil, and have it be revealed within this entire world.
  • This world will experience the ultimate revelation of G-d-Light shines greater in a place of darkness: Furthermore, this infinite light of G-d that we are tasked to shine within this physical world is of even greater quality and intensity than that which already shines in the upper worlds, as light contains a superior quality when it shines in an area of darkness. Likewise, even in the upper worlds their revelation of G-d is through many garments of concealment which prevent the infinite light of G-d from being seen in order so it does not become nullified in its existence. However, through our work in this physical world of transforming darkness to light, we will experience the shining of the actual infinite light of G-d.

4. The purpose of the Torah is to enable physical creation to receive G-d’s infinite light:

  • It is for this purpose that G-d gave the Jewish people the Torah which is called strength and power, as the Torah gives man the power and capability of being able to receive the reward of the future era, which is to bask in the revelation of G-d’s infinite light, without then becoming nullified in their existence [as would occur in the upper world if this revelation were to take place.]
  • No more garments: In the future, G-d’s infinite light will be revealed without any garments of concealment and nonetheless creations will be able to withstand this life due to the Torah which gives them the strength.


5. The purpose of creation, to reveal G-d’s infinite light, will be realized after the resurrection:

  • It is known that the purpose of creation will be realized in the times of the Messiah, particularly after the time of the resurrection. The reason for this is because specifically at this time the infinite light of G-d will be revealed to creations without any garments of concealment, and the creations will be able to withstand this level of revelation. This is the entire purpose and ultimate fulfillment of the world’s creation to begin with, to have G-d’s infinite light well within the lower realms, [and have these realms remain in their lower state without extinction].


6. The time period for receiving reward:

  • The purpose of creation will be realized in the times of the Messiah after the resurrection as stated above. However, this is different than the reward that is due to the creations for their service in bringing about the realization of G-d’s will of having a dwelling place below. Rather, the time period for the reward of creations will be later on in the seventh millennium.

Rambam, Hilchos Eidus, Chapter 16: 

Chapter 16: Biased witnesses Cont.

Halacha 1: A victim of robbery testifying regarding his stolen item

  • A victim of robbery may not testify regarding an item or property that was stolen from him, such as to testify that it does not belong to a third party who is also claiming ownership of the item, as the victim has a bias, as perhaps it is easier for him to retrieve the item from the robber than from the third party.

Halacha 2: If the stolen item was already sold

  • In the event that the robber already sold the stolen item, then since it legally now belongs to the buyer, and if the robber has died, the victim from whom the item was stolen may testify regarding it in relation to it not belonging to a third party who is also claiming ownership. If, however, the robber still alive, and he remains invalid for testimony due to his bias and stand for gain.
  • The same applies in a case that the robber has died and has inherited the stolen item to his children, nonetheless, the victim cannot testify regarding its ownership that it does not belong to a third party.

Halacha 3: A seller testifying regarding a sold piece of real estate

  • If one sold real estate he may not testify regarding it being owned by the buyer, in the event that a third party comes to take it from the buyer under the claim that he is owed money. This applies even if it was sold to the buyer without financial liability [in the event that it is taken as a lien against a loan].
  • The reason for this is because there is financial gain that stands for the seller with this testimony, as if the land remains by the buyer, his creditors may take the land without him holding any financial responsibility towards the buyer.

Halacha 4: A seller testifying regarding a sold animal

  • If one sold an animal he may testify regarding it being owned by the buyer, in the event that a third party comes to take it from the buyer under the claim that he is owed money.
  • The reason for this is because there is no financial gain that stands for the seller with this testimony.
  • Nonetheless, this only applies if in truth the case involves no financial gain for the seller, if however there is some possibility of financial gain for the seller, such as if he may be held responsible for refunding the sale, then he may not testify as he stands to gain from this testimony.

The general rule of invalidation due to bias:

  • The general rule is as follows: Every judge must discern and contemplate well as to if there is any bias or possible gain for the witness in his testimony.
  • A rare bias: Even if this potential gain is of great rarity to occur and therefore extremely unlikely to occur, nonetheless, the judge must invalidate the testimony of such a witness.
  • Judges thus must have great insight into the laws relating to business and commerce in order so we can probably discern any bias on the side of the witness.

The invalidation of a judge due to bias:

  • Just as we invalidate a witness due to bias of potential gain, so too, a judge is invalid to rule over a case in which he has a bias due to a possible gain that he received from the outcome of the case.
  • The same applies regarding all invalidations, that any invalidation which invalidates the testimony of a witness, likewise invalidate this person from residing as a judge over the case.

Halacha 5: No relatives in the  Court

  • Based on the above, a court may never contain two judges who are relatives of each other, [being that they are invalid to testify in each other’s behalf, and one who is invalid for testimony is likewise invalid for judgment as explained above].
  • This applies whether by a High Court of 71 judges or a small court of 23 judges.
  • The one exception to this is by the court of seven judges which presides over the enacting of a leap year, in which case the added judges may be relatives of each other.

Halacha 6: A valid judge is also a valid witness but not the opposite

  • Anyone who is valid to serve as a judge is also valid to serve as a witness.
  • However, not everyone who is valid to serve as a witness is valid to serve as a judge.
  • The following is a list of individuals who may testify in court as witnesses, but are invalid to sit as judges in cases involving capital punishment:
    • a friend of one of the parties,
    • an enemy of one of the parties,
    • a convert,
    • an emancipated slaves,
    • a very old man,
    • A saris [one who has never reached the signs of puberty and cannot have children]
    • a Mamzer/basterd,
    • one who is blind in one eye.

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