The Tabernacle

The chapters of the tabernacle were always a challenge to the Bible’s readers since they are with many details that not always easy to understand. However, between the lines there are a few fantastic statements, one of them will be discussed today, as written:

“וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃”

“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”(Exodus 25:8)

For the question of how The Lord can dwell among the people, there’s a beautiful answer in the Midrash Exodus Rabbah 34:3.

In a nutshell, the Midrash tells about the relationship between God and his people as Shepherd and sheep, Guard of the vineyard and vineyard, and father and sons. These three metaphors are fantastic for a man can feel protected all day long as God dwells in him,

Have a lovely and quiet week, Eli

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When you can’t explain a picture

I love museums, especially museums that There are some ways to walk and choose the exhibits that you want. In the Bible sometimes you feel like you’re in a museum. The text is sacred. The words are the words of God. Every verse is one scene from a great picture.
However, some pictures cannot be described. Let’s examine these words-

וַיַּ֥עַל מֹשֶׁ֖ה וְאַהֲרֹ֑ן נָדָב֙ וַאֲבִיה֔וּא וְשִׁבְעִ֖ים מִזִּקְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃וַיִּרְא֕וּ אֵ֖ת אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְתַ֣חַת רַגְלָ֗יו כְּמַעֲשֵׂה֙ לִבְנַ֣ת הַסַּפִּ֔יר וּכְעֶ֥צֶם הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָטֹֽהַר׃וְאֶל־אֲצִילֵי֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א שָׁלַ֖ח יָד֑וֹ וַֽיֶּחֱזוּ֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וַיֹּאכְל֖וּ וַיִּשְׁתּֽוּ׃ (ס)

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God and did eat and drink”(Exodus 24: 9-11)

All we can imagine is a sight that was forbidden and God hen permission to 74 people to see it with food and drinks.

What else can we say? It’s a secret that no one knows exactly!

Have a blessed weekend!
Eli

The protection of the angel

When we read the beautiful laws of Exodus 23, there’s suddenly a description of an angel, the angel of God, of course, that has a mission from God, as written:

“כִּֽי־יֵלֵ֣ךְ מַלְאָכִי֮ לְפָנֶיךָ֒ וֶהֱבִֽיאֲךָ֗ אֶל־הָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַ֣חִתִּ֔י וְהַפְּרִזִּי֙ וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י הַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִ֑י וְהִכְחַדְתִּֽיו׃לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֤ה לֵאלֹֽהֵיהֶם֙ וְלֹ֣א תָֽעָבְדֵ֔ם וְלֹ֥א תַעֲשֶׂ֖ה כְּמַֽעֲשֵׂיהֶ֑ם כִּ֤י הָרֵס֙ תְּהָ֣רְסֵ֔ם וְשַׁבֵּ֥ר תְּשַׁבֵּ֖ר מַצֵּבֹתֵיהֶֽם׃וַעֲבַדְתֶּ֗ם אֵ֚ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵרַ֥ךְ אֶֽת־לַחְמְךָ֖ וְאֶת־מֵימֶ֑יךָ וַהֲסִרֹתִ֥י מַחֲלָ֖ה מִקִּרְבֶּֽךָ׃

“For mine, Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. (Exodus 23:23-25)

The angel just needs to walk with the people and they will feel more protected on their way to the Promised Land. However, maybe the idea of an angel is a kind of supervisor. After God will destroy the other people of Canaan, he just asks to be exclusive.

For this the people will be blessed with bread, water, and health – fair enough, isn’t it?

Have a blessed day, Eli

The sojourner- Hagger

The people of Israel went out from Egypt and came back to Egypt a few times in the Bible’s time. Abraham, Jacob, the Israelites, Solomon, Jeroboam, some people after the destruction of the First Temple were in Egypt for a while. And there they were foreigners or sojourners- Gerim in Hebrew. By the way, Ger today in Modern Hebrew is a person that wants convert himself to be Jewish.

One of the most beautiful laws is the one that we find in Exodus 22:20-

” וְגֵ֥ר לֹא־תוֹנֶ֖ה וְלֹ֣א תִלְחָצֶ֑נּוּ כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃”

“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

There are some ways to deceive people – with words or with money are the main two. Eventually, the basic idea for me is the feeling of any person that comes to a new place without the knowledge of the law of the place. This is the moment when we as society must be welcome for this person!

This is the way when the stranger will be part of us, and he won’t feel as we have felt in Egypt.

Have a blessed day,

Eli

The ear that heard

The first law after the Ten Commandments is the servant’s law. It’s fascinating to see that this was the law that was chosen by God to be given to the Israelites. In this law, there’s a unique situation when the servant wants to continue his slavery after he declares that “he Love his Master” (Exodus 21:5. Only then he is going to be a servant his entire life (Rashi and others say that until the year of Jubilee). This law is only for Hebrew males. Let’s us see what happens to his ear, as written:

“וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ אֲדֹנָיו֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ֙ אֶל־הַדֶּ֔לֶת א֖וֹ אֶל־הַמְּזוּזָ֑ה וְרָצַ֨ע אֲדֹנָ֤יו אֶת־אָזְנוֹ֙ בַּמַּרְצֵ֔עַ וַעֲבָד֖וֹ לְעֹלָֽם׃”

his master shall take him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall then remain his slave for life. (Exodus 21:6)

Why the ear was chosen? Which ear? For this let’s see Rashi, who brought in his commentary the Midrash and the Talmud-

“הַיְמָנִית, אוֹ אֵינוֹ, אֶלָּא שֶׁל שְׂמֹאל? תַּ”לֹ אֹזֶן אֹזֶן לִגְזֵרָה שָׁוָה, נֶאֱמַר כָּאן וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת אָזְנוֹ, וְנֶאֱמַר בִּמְצֹרָע תְּנוּךְ אֹזֶן הַמִּטַּהֵר הַיְמָנִית (ויקרא י”ד), מַה לְּהַלָּן הַיְמָנִית, אַף כָּאן הַיְמָנִית; וּמָה רָאָה אֹזֶן לֵרָצַע מִכָּל שְׁאָר אֵבָרִים שֶׁבַּגּוּף? אָמַר רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי: אֹזֶן זֹאת שֶׁשָּׁמְעָה עַל הַר סִינַי לֹא תִגְנֹב, וְהָלַךְ וְגָנַב, תֵּרָצַע. וְאִם מוֹכֵר עַצְמוֹ, אֹזֶן שֶׁשָּׁמְעָה עַל הַר סִינַי כִּי לִי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים, וְהָלַךְ וְקָנָה אָדוֹן לְעַצְמוֹ, תֵּרָצַע.

” “His ear” means his right ear. Or perhaps this is not so, but Scripture means his left ear? Scripture, however, uses the term אזן here and it uses אזן in another passage, thereby suggesting an analogy based upon verbal similarity; viz., here it is said “and his lord shall bore his ear (אזנו) through”, and of the leper it is said, (Leviticus 14:25) “and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed”. — How is it in that latter passage? It is the right ear! So here, too, it is the right ear. —

What is the reason that the ear had to be pierced rather than any other limb of the servant’s body? Rabban Jochanan ben Zaccai said: That ear which heard on Mount Sinai, (Exodus 20:13) “Thou shalt not steal” and yet its owner went and stole and was therefore sold as a slave — let it be pierced! Or, in the case of him who sold himself from destitution, having committed no theft, the reason is: That ear which heard on Mount Sinai what I said, (Leviticus 25:55) “For unto Me the children Israel are servants” and yet its owner went and procured for himself another master — let it be pierced! (Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 21:6:3; Kiddushin 22b).

Why do you think about this commentary?

Share with us and have a great week!

Eli

What is the meaning of you shall not murder?

It seems to be that one of the most natural Ten Commandments to explain is the sixth one that says -YOU SHALL NOT MURDER”

However, the commentary of Eben Ezra is a little bit different, as written:

“לא תרצח. בידך או בלשונך להעיד עליו שקר להמיתו. או להיותך רכיל או לתת עצה רעה בזדון שתדע שיהרג. או שנגלה לך סוד שתוכל להצילו מן המות אם תגלהו לו. ואם לא גלית. אתה כמו רוצח”

In a nutshell, it says that you can’t use your hand, tongue, you can’t give a bad advice, you can’t gossip, you can’t hide a secret from someone that could be dying- unless you are a murderer.

What do you think about this commentary- is this an exaggeration of Eben Ezra?

Share your thoughts with us and have a blessed week,
Eli

When was the Torah given?

Everyone knows that the festival of weeks is also the date according to the Jewish tradition that the Torah was given it’s during the sixth day of the third month – that is called in Hebrew month Sivan.
However, when you read Exodus 19:1 there could be a problem since it’s written-

“בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה בָּ֖אוּ מִדְבַּ֥ר סִינָֽי׃

In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.”

The translation already solved the problem, but, in Hebrew, it’s written three months after they went out of Egypt…

The Midrash tried to solve this problem in many exciting ways:

In the Midrash there’s an explanation about the number three that’s related to Moses that that was the third son, and was in the Nile after three months, and the people of Israel had three Patriarchs. That Midrash tried to avoid the problem.

Another Midrash spoke about the time in the year that the Torah was given in the zodiac. This is the time of Gemini, which means in Hebrew twins. The Torah was given in this time since if Esau, who was the twin of Jacob, will come to convert himself to be JEWISH this time will be useful to him.

Another way is to claim that the first word of Exodus 19:1 should be read instead of in the month as the month came (the third…)

What do you think about the Midrash- was the problem solved?

Have a blessed weekend,

Eli

The best advice ever

One of the heroes of the Bible to me is Jethro. The reason is not that he was strong or appeared in many chapters. Sometimes one sentence can change the life of many people as the words of Martin Luther King-“I HAVE A DREAM” changed.
When our hero saw how Moses judged the people from morning to evening he just said these words:

” וַיֹּ֛אמֶר חֹתֵ֥ן מֹשֶׁ֖ה אֵלָ֑יו לֹא־טוֹב֙ הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתָּ֖ה עֹשֶֽׂה׃”

“Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.” (Exodus 18:17)

The hero is also the one that knows how to say the correct words in the correct time.
After these words, and more, Moses didn’t judge the people alone. Moses could have more time for his family, although I don’t know if he used this time.
Without Jethro’s words- Moses wouldn’t have power to the
people, as Lennon sang!

Have a beautiful day, as U2 sang\

Eli

More complaints about water

Water, water, water.
How important is water. Water was the answer to the first question of what the world is.
The sons of Israel seem to have a Roman with water, as we have read and will read in the 
Future to come.
In this chapter, one more time, there’s a challenge to Moses, as written:

וַיָּ֤רֶב הָעָם֙ עִם־מֹשֶׁ֔ה וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ תְּנוּ־לָ֥נוּ מַ֖יִם וְנִשְׁתֶּ֑ה וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה מַה־תְּרִיבוּן֙ עִמָּדִ֔י מַה־תְּנַסּ֖וּן אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃ וַיִּצְמָ֨א שָׁ֤ם הָעָם֙ לַמַּ֔יִם וַיָּ֥לֶן הָעָ֖ם עַל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר לָ֤מָּה זֶּה֙ הֶעֱלִיתָ֣נוּ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם לְהָמִ֥ית אֹתִ֛י וְאֶת־בָּנַ֥י וְאֶת־מִקְנַ֖י בַּצָּמָֽא׃ וַיִּצְעַ֤ק מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֣ה לֵאמֹ֔ר מָ֥ה אֶעֱשֶׂ֖ה לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה ע֥וֹד מְעַ֖ט וּסְקָלֻֽנִי׃

“So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”(Exodus 17:2-4)

It’s exciting that the people or some of the people and not all of them (Eben Ezra) spoke to Moses in Plural since Aaron was with him and when there’s a complaint it comes in the singular. However, only Moses spoke with God, only Moses was afraid that the people will stone him.

Moses survived this complaint. In numbers 20 he won’t.

Have a beautiful day with blessed water-Mayim in Hebrew.
Eli

The first Shabbat in the Wilderness.

Exodus 16 continues with more complaints of the Israelites. It seems that they want to come back to Egypt since there’s a memory of a pot of meat that was eaten there.
However, God provided the people the Manna and also commanded them not to gather the Manna on Shabbat as written:

“וַיֹּ֤אמֶר מֹשֶׁה֙ אִכְלֻ֣הוּ הַיּ֔וֹם כִּֽי־שַׁבָּ֥ת הַיּ֖וֹם לַיהוָ֑ה הַיּ֕וֹם לֹ֥א תִמְצָאֻ֖הוּ בַּשָּׂדֶֽה׃ שֵׁ֥שֶׁת יָמִ֖ים תִּלְקְטֻ֑הוּ וּבַיּ֧וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֛י שַׁבָּ֖ת לֹ֥א יִֽהְיֶה־בּֽוֹ׃ וַֽיְהִי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י יָצְא֥וּ מִן־הָעָ֖ם לִלְקֹ֑ט וְלֹ֖א מָצָֽאוּ׃ (ס) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה עַד־אָ֙נָה֙ מֵֽאַנְתֶּ֔ם לִשְׁמֹ֥ר מִצְוֺתַ֖י וְתוֹרֹתָֽי”

“And Moses said, eat that today; for today is a Sabbath unto the Lord: today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it, there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?”(Exodus 16:25-28)

The first Shabbat in the wilderness was before The Ten Commandments was given to the people. Some of the people have not understood yet the idea and for that reason, we can see that they went out to gather the Manna. God from his side just spoke with Moses about the commandments that weren’t kept and that’s it. No punishment yet.
And the text doesn’t continue…

How would you end this passage?

Share with us…

Have a great week!

Eli