Sunday, 5th Adar 5783/Februray 26, 2023
- The Menorah oil and lighting:
- Moshe is told to command the Jewish people to bring him clear [without sediment] crushed [the first drop of oil from the first crush] olive oil for illuminating the Ner Tamid [i.e. the Menorah]. The Menorah is to be placed in the Ohel Moed, outside the Paroches. Aaron and his sons are to make sure it is lit from evening until morning for all generations.
- Appointing Kohanim:
- Moshe is to bring close to you Aaron, and his sons to become priests for Hashem. Aaron, Nadav, Avihu, Elazar and Isamar shall be priests.
- The Bigdei Kehuna-Preistly garments:
- Make for Aaron your brother holy garments for glory. Speak with the wise, and they shall make the garments.
- The following are the garments:
- Choshen [breastplate]
- Eiphod [apron]
- Meil [robe]
- Kutones of checkered texture. [shirt]
- Mitznefes [turban]
- Avneit [belt]
- The material: The garments are to be made from gold, Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen.
- The Eiphod:
- The material: The Eifod is to be made from gold, Ticheiles-Turquoise wool, Argamon-Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an artist.
- The shoulder straps: It is to contain two shoulder straps, one by each end. It is to have a belt which is likewise made of the same materials stated above.
- The Aveni Shoham: You are to take two Shoham stones and engrave on them the name of the tribes, six on each stone, following their order of birth. The stones are to be inserted into gold settings. They are to be placed on the shoulder straps of the Eiphod, one per strap, and Aaron is to wear them on his shoulders as a remembrance
 Rashi 27:20
 Rashi 27:20; Menachos 86
Tanya Chapter 31:
Dealing with sadness and depression of one’s spiritual state
1. Not to be despondent over one spiritual state:
- It may happen, that resultant of one’s deep and lengthy contemplation [of one’s lack of battle in serving G-d properly and his transgressions in matters that he does not view as sinful, as explained in the previous chapter] which is done for the sake of breaking his heart and humbling his spirit, that one may come to a state of depression regarding his level of service of G-d. Nonetheless, one should not be dissuaded by this, as this type of depression is positive and good.
2. The root of depression-From the side of evil:
- All depression comes from the side of evil and not from the side of holiness, as the side of holiness contains joy, and the divine presence only resides when one is in a state of joy.
- The Mitzvah of Simcha-Not to think of one’s sins during prayer and Torah learning: It is for this reason that the Arizal stated that there is no place during prayer or Torah learning for one to contemplate his sinful behaviors, being that these divine acts must be done with joy which come from the side of holiness.
- Thinking of one’s sins during confession: The only time that is proper for one to think of his sinful behaviors, is during times of confession.
- Kelipas Nogah: Specifically, depression comes from Kelipas Nogah.
- The difference between good depression and bad depression: [Depression that is due to non-spiritual reasons comes from the evil side of Nogah, while] depression that comes due to spiritual reasons comes from the good part Nogah.
3. Using depression to destroy the Kelipos:
- Despite the above evil root of depression, it is necessary to be used for the sake of destroying and crushing the side of evil, as the sages teach us that the handle of the ax which is made from wood from the forest is what is used to take down its trees, and hence here too we need to use depression which comes from the side of evil for the sake of taking down the evil.
- The advantage of this depression: The advantage of this depression is that after one accomplishes the above destruction of evil one will be led towards joy, and on this it says that in every matter of depression there is benefit.
4. Difference between Atzvus and Merirus:
- In truth, there is a difference between depression and bitterness of heart and hence the broken heartedness that one feels due to his realization that he is lacking in service of G-d is not depression at all.
- The definition of depression: Depression is defined as a sadness which numbs and destroys the heart, making it desensitized and emotionless, [energy less, and careless for anything in the world].
- The definition of broken heartedness: Broken heartedness on the other hand, leaves energy in one’s heart to experience the bitterness.
- Broken heartedness comes from the severities of holiness: Broken heartedness from spiritual matters comes from the level of Gevuros of holiness. This contrasts with joy which comes from Chesed of holiness. Now, the heart is able to handle both of these emotions as it contains both inside of it.
5. Occasionally bring oneself to bitterness:
- On occasion, one needs to arouse the severities of holiness and bring himself to bitterness to sweeten the judgments, which refers to his animal soul and evil inclination which is ruling over him, as the severities and judgments can only be sweetened with their root.
- On this the sages stated that one should always bring his good inclination to admonish his evil one. The intent of this statement is not that one should do so constantly, but rather on those occasions that it is necessary for his soul.
6. Taking advantage of depression over worldly matters:
- The most auspicious time for one to experience the bitterness of the soul for the sake of crushing his animal soul is when he is in any event depressed due to worldly matters, or due to an unknown reason.
- By doing so, not only does one take advantage of the opportunity to crush his animal soul and reexperience his godly soul, but furthermore he frees himself from his depression and worry of the worldly matters.
Rambam, Hilchos Sanhedrin, Chapter 26:
The prohibition against cursing a judge or any other Jew
Halacha 1: The prohibition against cursing a Jew
- A Judge, King, and Nassi: Whoever curses a judge of Israel, or the leader of the Sanhedrin, or a king, transgresses a negative command.
- A regular Jew: Furthermore, even one who curses a regular Jew transgresses a negative command.
- The prohibition applies even if the person did not hear and was not offended by the curse.
- A deaf-mute: One who curses a deaf-mute receives lashes.
- A child: One who curses a child who becomes embarrassed receives lashes.
- The dead: One who curses a dead person is exempt.
- A woman: One who curses a woman is liable.
- Two negative commands by judges: Whoever curses a judge of Israel transgresses two negative commands and is liable for double lashes.
- Three negative commands by a Nassi: Whoever curses a leader of the Sanhedrin, or a king, transgresses three negative commands, and is liable for double lashes.
- The son of a leader who curses his father: A son who curses his father who is a Nassi, transgresses four negative commands.
Halacha 3: Cursing oneself, and liability only when using God’s name
- A person who curses himself: Even one who curses himself is held liable for lashes.
- Cursing using one of God’s names: No matter whom one curses, one is only liable for lashes if one cursed the individual using one of the names of God, whether a nickname or a real name.
- Cursing using one of God’s names in a foreign language: One who cursed a person using God’s name in a foreign language, is nonetheless held liable.
Halacha 4: The need for witnesses and prior warning to be liable
- One is only held liable if he cursed in in the presence of witnesses who warned him beforehand.
- Cursed without warning: If there was no prior warning, then he is not liable for lashes.
- Cursed without mentioning God: If he cursed without mentioning one of God’s names, neither a nickname or real name, such as if he simply said “cursed be so-and-so,” then he is not liable for lashes.
Halacha 5: One who shames a Torah scholar or ignoramus
- A Torah scholar: One who curses or shames a Torah scholar, even if he is not held liable for lashes, is ostracized, and can be given rabbinical lashes by the court.
- An ignoramus: One who shames an ignoramus, is to be punished by the court in accordance to that which they see fit.
Halacha 6: Forgiving one’s disrespect and curse
- A judge and Nassi can forgive their respect, such as to forgo justified excommunications, although they do not have the right to forgive their curse.
- The same applies with anyone else, that lashes is given to one who cursed someone even if the person who was cursed already for gave them.
Halacha 7: Secular courts
- It is forbidden to go to a secular court even if they judge the same way as Jewish courts.
- Whoever goes to a Court of Gentiles for judgment is considered to have blasphemed the Torah of Moses.
- If he refuses to show up or pay: If one is unable to get a judgment through a Jewish court of law due to them not having any power to enforce the liable side, and due to that the liable side will refuse to listen to the verdict, then he is to first summon the person to a Jewish court, and if he refuses to come, he may then get permission from the Jewish court to bring him to a secular court.
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