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30.09.2012 15:14    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: torah  simchat torah  parashah  

Rabbi Cowen's Corner (Notes on the Parsha)


The Waters of Life

Myths about Mikveh:

Myth:They are dark and dirty places!

The truth is: Modern, elegant mikvahs are becoming the rule. Its ritual pool and genuine rainwater storage tanks are kept under strict hygienic control insuring that the water remains clean and clear. The preparation rooms are immaculate and spa-like. Mikvahs are built in compliance with the highest aesthetic and halachic standards.

Notes on the Parsha

The reading for Shabbat Chol HaMo'ed Sukkot is special and is taken from the book of Shemot, parashat Ki Tissa. HaShem grants Mosehe's request that His presence only dwell amongst the Jewish Nation. Moshe follows this request to be shown HaShem's glory. HaShem agrees, but informs Moshe that he will only be shown the "back," and not the "face."

HaShem instructs Moshe to carve new tablets upon which HaShem will engrave the Ten Commandments. Moshe ascends Har Sinai with the new tablets, where HaShem reveals His glory to Moshe while proclaiming His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.

HaShem seals a covenant with Moshe, assuring him again that the Divine Presence will only dwell with the Jewish Nation. HaShem informs the Jewish people that He will drive the Canaanites out of the Land of Israel from before them. HaShem directs the nation to destroy all forms of idolatry from the land, not to make any images of gods, to refrain from making any covenants with the current inhabitants of the land, to sanctify male firstborn humans and cattle, and not to cook meat together with milk.

We are commanded to observe the three festivals -- including the holiday of Sukkot, "the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year." All males are commanded to make a pilgrimage to Yerushalayim to "be seen by HaShem" during these three festivals.

On Simchat Torah, we complete yearly cycle of the Torah and begin right away with the first portion of Beresheet. Chag Sameach!


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