Parshat Pekudei / Parshat Shekalim

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March 1, 2014 29 Adar I, 5774

Rabbi Frand on Parshat Pekudei
Part I Why Did Moshe and on the building. Save His Blessing For Rav Simcha Schepps, who Parshas Pekudei? was a Rosh Yeshiva in Torah VoDaas, shared an Parshas Pekudei is the interesting insight. Rav last of 5 Parshiyos in the second half of Sefer Schepps says that a more Shmos that contains the logical place to have given the Jewish people this Bracha details of how the Mishkan was built. If we would have been at the outset of the building of the feel a sense of Mishkan. The pasuk near the accomplishment at having learned these 5 beginning of Parshas Terumah says: "They shall parshas, we can make Me a Sanctuary so that imagine the joy the I may dwell among people experienced at them" [Shmos 25:8]. This the momentous Bracha of "May the Divine occasion in Parshas Presence of G-d rest in the Pekudei, when the work of your hands" would Mishkan was finally have been a very appropriate assembled for the first blessing to say at that time. We read in the parsha that "Moshe saw moment. Why does Moshe save it for the end of the all the work, and behold! - They had done process? Rav Schepps answers based on a pasuk in it as Hashem had Tehillim, with which most of commanded; so had us are familiar: "Who will go they done; and Moshe up upon the Mountain of blessed them. [Shmos Hashem and who will rise up 39:43]" Rashi quotes Chazal that the blessing to His holy place?" [Tehillim 24:3]. All the commentaries Moshe gave them was say that this pasuk alludes to "May the Divine Presence of G-d rest in the fact that there are two different challenges in life. the work of your There is the "Who will go up hands". Now that all is upon the Mountain of said and done, the Hashem?" This means who blessing was that the has the strength of character L-rd should rest His Presence on the people and the drive to go up to the Mountain of G-d? This is one challenge. But there is an even greater challenge than getting up there. The greater challenge is once you are already at the top of the mountain, to be able to stay up there. In fact, it is easier to climb to the top of the Mountain of Hashem than it is to remain there. Repetition and boredom set in. The day in, day out, monotony sets in. Remaining on the Mountain of the L-rd is a much more difficult task than going up there in the first place. In August / September, during Elul Zman in Yeshivos - everyone is enthusiastic. By the time we reach the end of Adar, only the elite are still standing at the peak of the Mountain of Hashem. It is like that in many areas of life. When we were Bar Mitzvah boys and we started putting on Tefillin, the ritual involved great excitement. When one has been putting on Tefillin for 40 or 50 years, some of that enthusiasm is lost. The truth of the matter is that this is the

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26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck, NY 11023 (516) 487-6100 way it is in most marriages as well. "The first year" is great. It is the honeymoon period. But when one has been married 10, 20, or 30 years, the excitement of that first year does not seem to persist. We cannot let that happen. The challenge is not only "Who will climb up the Mountain of G-d?" to reach the peak of the mountain. The challenge is even more so, "who will remain standing on His holy place?" So, at the beginning of the building of the Mishkan, everyone was enthused. Remember the context. They had committed the sin of the Golden Calf. The Almighty threatened to wipe them out. Moshe Rabbeinu prayed on their behalf and finally on Yom Kippur, he descended again from Mt. Sinai with the second Luchos. They started building the Mishkan on the day after Yom Kippur. Everyone participated with adrenalin and emotion. That is the phase of "Who will climb up the Mountain of G-d?" However, now that the Mishkan is built, the excitement dissipates. Now starts the day in, day out, repetitive routine. Morning, evening, morning, evening... We bring the same Korban Tamid, day in and day out. Therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu's Bracha to them is "May it be His will that His Divine Presence abide in the handicraft of your hands." In other words, may the initial enthusiasm be maintained throughout the ongoing phase of the Mishkan's daily operation. Part II Using the Term "House of Israel" Instead of the Term "Children of Israel" I heard the following thought in the name of Rav Nochum Lansky, one of the Roshei Yeshiva in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel. Parshas Pekudei marks the end of the Book of Shmos. The last pasuk in the Book of Shmos reads as follows: "For the cloud of Hashem would be on the Mishkan by day, and fire would be on it at night, before the eyes of all the House of Israel in all their journeys." [Shmos 40:38] Let us contrast the use of the wording "House of Israel" with the last pasuk at the end of the Book of Vayikra: "These are the commandments that Hashem commanded Moshe to the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai." [Vayikra 27:34] Similarly, the last pasuk at the end of the book of Bamidbar says: "These are the commandments and the ordinances that Hashem commanded through Moshe to the Children of Israel in the Plains of Moav, at the Jordan, by Jericho." [Bamidbar 36:13] Both the book of Vayikra and the book of Bamidbar end with the more commonly used expression Children of Israel (Bnei Yisrael), while the book of Shmos ends with the less commonly used designation "House of Israel" (Beis Yisrael). What is the nuance here? What is the Torah hinting at? Rav Lansky suggests that there is a tremendous symmetry here. How does the Book of Shmos begin? The opening pasuk reads: "And these

Shaabbat Announcements Parshat Pekudei 5774 are the names of the Children of Israel who came to Egypt with Yaakov, each man AND HIS HOUSEHOLD (u'beiso) came." [Shmos 1:1] This book is about the genesis of the Jewish people. This is where we became a nation. But a nation is not a conglomeration of millions of people. A nation - at least the Jewish nation - is a nation of families. That is what makes us into an "am" [nation]. It is the BAYIS [household] that makes us into a nation. If we think back to the narrative of the Book of Shmos, we will see this emphasis on the BAYIS over and over again. "They should take a lamb for the HOUSEHOLDs of the fathers; a lamb per HOUSEHOLD" [Shmos 12:3]. The Korban Pessach was brought together with one's family. "Thus shall you say to the HOUSE (beis) of Yaakov..." [Shmos 19:3]. The formation of the Jewish nation is family by family. This is our strength. We hear so much about the dissolution of American society and how we are losing the structure of our society because the nuclear family is breaking up. Just as a chain is only as strong as its links, so too a nation is only as strong as its families. That is why the book of Shmos places such an emphasis on the building of 'Bayis' - faithful households. Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch notes that the halacha exempts a groom from going off to war during the first year of marriage. The rule of thumb is that whenever there is a clash between a mitzvah incumbent on the public (mitzvah d'rabim) and a private mitzvah (mitzvah d'yachid), the public mitzvah takes precedence. In light of this principle, Rav Hirsch asks why the personal mitzvah to rejoice with one's wife the first year of marriage trumps the public mitzvah to go out to battle with the nation. Rav Hirsch answers that building and cementing the relationship that is the foundation of a Jewish household IS a mitzvah d'rabbim (a mitzvah affecting the nation). This is a contribution to the entire community. We are only a nation by virtue of the fact that we are a nation of strong families. For this reason, the book of Shmos begins with the pasuk that emphasizes that the Jewish people came down to Egypt - "each man with his HOUSEHOLD" and ends with the pasuk which emphasizes "the entire HOUSE of Israel."

Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program 26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck , NY 11023 Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Youth Director Zehava & Dr. Michael Atlas, Youth Directors Mark Twersky, Executive Director Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, Program Director Dr. Scott Danoff, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board Dena Block, Yoetzet Halacha 516-320-9818

GNS February Chesed We will be collecting NEW and "GENTLY" used BLANKETS, SHEETS, AND BATH TOWELS TO BE GIVEN TO ONEG SHABBOS OF BROOKLYN. Please drop off your donations: Judy Lillien’s home, 35 Margaret Court, Great Neck If you need assistance and cannot bring it to us, please call Judy at 516 487 6845 (9am until 9pm) and we will pick it up from you. Thank you for your help in this Chesed Collection! Hindi Lunzer and Judy Lillien *Please do not drop off any clothing or any other items*

ONGOING CLASSES Rabbi Polakoff’s Thursday morning Ladies Shiur and the Power Chumash Shiur will continue to take place. Rabbi Lichter will be teaching both classes. GREAT NECK SYNAGOGUE PRESENTS SUNDAY MORNING SUNRISE Sunday, Mar., 9 all middle school boys grades 6-8. Shacharit: 8:30 am—breakfast/Class 9:10-10:00 am. Rabbi Daniel Schwechter. Dates: 4/6, 4/27, 5/4, 5/18, 6/1, 6/8.

WITHIN THE FAMILY Mazal Tov to Magda & Sam Yehaskel on the engagement of their daughter Rachel to Yaacov Bresher son of Wendy & Chaim Bresher. Mazal Tov to Rebbetzin Elaine Wolf on the birth of new great-granddaughters born to Noam & Brachi Wolf and Dani & Aviva Feder. Mazal Tov also to grandparents Dr. Dahvid & Leah Wolf.

HORMONES & HALACHA “Dedicated to refuah shleimah of Rav David Eliyahu ben Avrina” Tuesday, February 25th, 8 p.m., Great Neck Synagogue Yoetzet Halacha Dena Block continues the interesting "Conversations" series at the home of Kimmy Soleimani, 6 Road on the Hill in Great Neck. Topic: "Hormones & Halacha. A Jewish Woman's Guide to Contraception." Contact Yoetzet Halacha Dena Block for personal and confidential responses to your questions relating to taharat hamishpakha (Jewish family law), mikveh, intimacy, fertility and other concerns connected to halacha and women's health. You can reach her at or (516) 320-9818.

SHALVA DINNER Cynthia, Jeff and Maxine Wiesenfeld will be honored at a gala celebration to benefit Shalva on Sunday, March 9 at Chelsea Piers. the lavish Indian-themed event will also honor former hostage Gilad Shalit., and entertainment by Israeli star David Broza. For information, call 212-725-0900

JERUSALEM MARATHON Maxine Wiesenfeld, Daniel Rabizadeh, Amalia Kaufman and Alex Hollander will be running with TEAM SHALVA in the Jerusalem Marathon. Alex is undertaking this project in memory of his aunt, Sharon Sokol Heisler and grandmother, Judith Sokol who both faced tremendous challenges in their last years of life. He is also participating in this mitzvah in honor of his father Robert Hollander. No amount is too small! All donations are tax deductable. You can sponsor any of these runners by going to the following link: sponsor.php.

SAVE THE NEW DATE: The NSHA Annual Journal Dinner celebrating its 59 year will take place on Monday evening May 19th at Citi Field honoring Stephanie & Ruvane Vilinsky, Hannah K. Flamenbaum & MEN'S CLUB SUN., March 2. 3:00pm: Come and join the Men's Club at an Charles W. Segal and Sassoun Sassouni. Those wishing to place an ad, make a reservation or serve on the dinner commitIce Hockey game at the Nassau Coliseum, to view the tee, please contact Arnie Flatow at or call NY Islanders playing the Florida Panthers. Tickets $30.00 the Business Office at 487-868 ext 2. each. Please call Steven Blumner 639-8941. SUN., March 30, 10:00 am: After many years, we are pleased to have Rabbi Marvin Tokayer return to GNS. He is an interesting and dynamic speaker and he will be speaking on his favorite topic, "Jewish Heroes of Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia". All welcome. TEHILIM Rabbi Polakoff is improving daily, but is still in need of our Tehillim. If you would like to be part of a group that says Tehillim at home for his Refuah, please let Cindy know. In order that we cover all of the chapters, you will get an assignment that you should say daily, until he is no longer needing our Tefilot. Please let Cindy know ASAP if you want to be part of the group so that we can get started right away. Cindy Hodkin: SISTERHOOD PURIM CARDS Celia Lemonik has designed the most beautiful Purim cards to send for Shalach Manot! The Sisterhood is selling them at $3 each, or 10 for $25. Please support your Sisterhood and place your orders today! For any questions, or to order, please contact Vivian Kron, or Judy Lillien at

SAVE THE DATE Yeshiva Har Torah will celebrate its 25th year with a dinner on March 8 at the Sands in Atlantic Beach. Among the honorees are Rabbi Gary & Beaty Menchel and our members Ada & Dov Berkowitz. For more inf please contact Alan Steinberg.


Saturday, 29 Adar I Nadine Eckstein for Lila Gittleman Frederick Shaw for Selma Shaw Monday, 1 Adar II Joyce Dacher for Marvin Wolfman Wednesday, 3 adar II Milton Mitzner for Pearl Ducker Thursday, 4 Adar II Steven Berkowitz for Jack Berkowitz Lev Dynkin for Shasha Mindel Lider Friday, 5 Adar II Brenda Parver for Ida Altman Shellie Zuckerman for Aaron Feinerman

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