Daily Chitas [Chumash, Tanya] & Rambam Summaries [2nd Adar 5783]

Thursday, 2nd Adar 5783/Februray 23, 2023

Parshas Teruma, Chamishi

  1. The Paroches:
  • The material: You shall make a Paroches of Ticheiles wool, Argamon wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an artist.
  • The beams which hold the Paroches: The Paroches is to be placed on four pillars of acacia-shittim wood which are covered with gold. The pillars are to contain golden hooks and contain four silver The Paroches is to be hung on those hooks.
  • Its location: The Paroches and its beams are to be placed between the Kodesh and Kodesh Hakedoshim, where the Aron and its Kapores covering is kept. The Shulchan and Menorah are to be placed outside the Paroches, the Shulchan being positioned in the northern side and the Menorah on the southern side.
  1. The Masach screen in front of the Kodesh:
  • You shall make a screen for the entrance to the Ohel
  • The material: It is to be made of Ticheiles Turquoise wool, Argamon Purple wool, scarlet wool, and twisted linen. It is to be the work of an embroiderer.
  • The beams which hold the Masach: You shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia shittim wood which are covered with gold. The pillars are to contain golden hooks and contain five copper

Tanya end of Chapter 29

1. How crushing the animal soul causes the G-dly soul to once again experience G-d:

  • Evil is like darkness and has no true substance: The reason that shouting and crushing the animal soul has ability to then reveal the G-dly soul and have it experience G-d is because the side of evil really does not have any substance to it and is similar to darkness which is simply a lack of light and has no intrinsic substance of its own.
  • The moment one shines light the darkness disappears: Now, just as regarding light, the moment one turns the light on in the room the darkness is banished, so too regarding evil, the moment one shines the light of good the darkness disappears.
  • How can one say that evil has no substance if it gives vitality to the entire physical world? In truth, the side of evil contains much energy and power as it gives vitality to all living creatures including those from the complete side of evil, including impure animals and Gentiles. [Accordingly, how can one say that evil has no substance?]
  • The energy and life force of evil derives from holiness: [The answer to the above is that] in truth evil contains no intrinsic energy of its own and all of its energy and vitality comes from the side of holiness. Accordingly, it becomes completely nullified in the face of holiness, which is a source of energy, just as darkness becomes nullified once physical light appears.
  • If so, then how can it conceal the G-dly soul-G-d gives the animal soul power to overcome the G-dly soul? [According to the above it is not understood how the animal soul at all has the power to conceal the G-dly soul and prevent it from experiencing G-dliness if we just stated above that on the contrary it becomes completely nullified in face of G-dliness and light, and is not the G-dly soul G-dliness and light? However, in truth the answer is] that regarding the G-dly soul specifically G-d made an exception and allows the animal soul to conceal it and not be banished in its presence, in order to arouse man to strengthen himself to overcome it, and crush it on his own by humbling himself and destroying his pride.
  • If so, then how can crushing it remove its G-d-given power of concealment-Crushing one’s animal soul causes G-d to remove its power to conceal the G-dly soul: [Although G-d himself gives the power to the animal soul to conceal the G-dly soul, and therefore technically this power should remain and the concealment should remain even after one crushes the animal soul, the reason it does not remain is because] when man crushes his own personal animal soul, this causes an arousal above in heaven for G-d to likewise crush and lower the side of evil, and remove the permission he gave to the animal soul to conceal and overcome the holiness of the G-dly soul, and once it’s permission to overpower the G-dly soul is removed as a result of one crushing it, then it returns to its natural state and is nullified and cast away just as darkness is casted in face of physical light.


2. A source for the above concept from the sin of the Meraglim, and the Jewish resolve and faith expressed after G-d admonished them:

  • How can a complete lack of faith be followed by a complete and pure faith in G-d? A proof for the above concept that crushing the animal soul then in turn automatically reveals the G-dly soul can be found by the episode which discusses the sin of the Meraglim. In the beginning it says that the Jewish people exclaimed disbelief in G-d’s ability to conquer the land of Israel, and hence did not want to go up to Israel at all. Immediately afterwards, however, it says that they themselves decided to go up and conquer Israel on their own even though they did not receive permission from Moses to do so. It does not make any sense as to why they suddenly changed their beliefs regarding G-d’s ability to conquer the land. Nothing happened in between, such as a miracle to prove G-d’s ability, and the only thing that happened in between is that Moses told them that they would be punished by G-d for their lack of faith and that now they would not enter the land after all. How would this punishment by G-d and His promise not to bring them into the land restore their faith in Him that He can now conquer it?
  • The explanation: The explanation to the above question is as follows: The Jewish people themselves are pure believers in G-d and his infinite capabilities, however, the side of evil which is invested in their bodies arrogantly concealed over this belief and faith and hence caused them to express disbelief in G-d’s ability to conquer Israel. However, the moment that G-d admonished them and shouted at them for being such an evil nation, and promised to have them die in the desert, then these somber and morbid words caused their hearts to become crushed, and automatically this caused the side of evil to lose its power to conceal the G-dly soul, and hence the natural and intrinsic faith that the Jewish people have in G-d returned to their consciousness.


3.  A lesson regarding how to deal with questions on faith in G-d:

  • The questions on faith in G-d derive from the side of evil: From the above story with the Meraglim every Jew can learn a lesson that if he has thoughts of heresy and questions regarding his faith in G-d, in truth of these thoughts are simply coming from the side of evil which is overpowering is natural and instinctive faith.


4.  Even the side of evil has no lack of faith in G-d:

  • Even the side of evil does not have any questions in its faith in G-d, and it was simply given permission to play devil’s advocate, and confuse man below with false arguments and questions, in order to increase man’s reward.
  • The side of evil is like a harlot hired by the king: This is similar to a harlot who was appointed by the king to try and seduce his son with false claims, in order to increase the sons valuing greatness in the eyes of the king, as part of the Zohar.

Rambam, Hilchos Sanhedrin

Chapter 23: Bribes, recusal’s, income, virtues and dangers

Halacha 1: Not to take a bribe.

  • It is forbidden for a judge to take a bribe.
  • This applies even if he plans to rule properly and vindicate the innocent and make the guilty liable.
  • A judge who does so is considered cursed.
  • Refunding the bribe: If a judge takes a bribe then he must return the bribe to the giver upon being requested.

Halacha 2: The giver of the bribe also transgresses.

  • The prohibition against bribes is both upon the giver and the receiver.
  • The receiver transgresses the prohibition against receiving bribes, while the giver transgresses the prohibition of Lifnei Iver.

Halacha 3: Nonmonetary forms of bribery

  • Inflating one’s reputation and costs for adjudication: It is forbidden for a judge to inflate his reputation for the sake of raising the value of the services and charging more money from the litigants in order to pay higher salaries to his attendees.
  • This is considered like a form of bribery, and was transgressed by the sons of Samuel.
  • Favors and Nonmonetary bribes: The prohibition against receiving a bribe applies to all forms of benefits and not just to money. For example, if a litigant had previously done a favor on behalf of the judge, then the judge should recuse himself from judging the case.
  • Examples of bribery favors: Thus, if a litigant helped a judge cross a river, then the judge should recuse himself from judging the case. Likewise, if a litigant helped clean the garment of a judge, then he should recuse himself from judging the case. Likewise, if a litigant cleaned a repulsive item from before the presence of the judge, then the judge should recuse himself from judging the case. Likewise, if a judge who is a Kohan received one of the priestly gifts from a litigant, then the judge should recuse himself from judging the case. Likewise, if an employee gave an earlier transfer of the income to his employer who is a judge, then the judge should recuse himself from judging the case.

Halacha 4: Must a judge who borrowed an item from a litigant recuse himself?

  • If a judge borrowed an item from a litigant, then he must recuse himself from judging the case.
  • This, however, only applies if the litigant is not able to in turn borrow things from the judge, if, however, the litigant can also borrow things from the judge then he is not required to recuse himself. [Thus, if it is common for each to borrow from the other, then he is not required to recuse himself.]

Halacha 5: May a judge receive payment?

  • It is forbidden for a judge to receive payment for judging a case, and if he does so than his verdicts are nullified.
  • If the judge loses income as a result: In a case that the judge had to stop earning money from his occupation for the sake of judging the case, then he may charge the litigants commensurate to the profit that he will lose as a result, or in turn asked them to hire someone in his place to earn his income on his behalf.
  • Even in the above case, it is forbidden for the judge to take any more money than he would have profited from his work.
  • How much should each litigant pay? In the above case, the judge must take an equal amount from both litigants, equally splitting the costs between them 50-50.
  • In the presence of each other: Each litigant must pay the judge in the presence of the litigant.

Halacha 6: Adjudicating a case for a friend or enemy

  • Friend: A judge may not adjudicate the case of a friend.
  • This applies even if he is not a very close friend.
  • Enemy: A judge may not adjudicate the case of an enemy.
  • This applies even if the enmity against the individual Is not so great to the point that he wishes evil to befall him.
  • The perfect litigants: Both litigants are to be absolutely equal in the eyes and heart of the judge. Thus, the best litigants for a judge to give pure judgment are those who the judge is not familiar with at all.

Halacha 7: Two judges who hate each other sitting together in judgment

  • It is forbidden for two judges who hate each other to adjudicate a case together being that this can lead to a false verdict as the hatred they have for each other will cause them to contradict the opinion of their friend.

Halacha 8: The fear of performing injustice that a judge must have

  • A judge must fear performing injustice to the point that he views as if a sword is drawn on his neck and the gates of purgatory lye before him.
  • The judge must contemplate that God stands before him during judgment and God will exact retribution from him if he deviates from the truth.

Halacha 9: The virtues and dangers of giving justice

  • The dangers of giving false judgment: If a judge gives false judgment, then he causes the divine presence to leave the Jewish people, and if he unjustifiably caused money to be paid from one litigant to another then God will ask for his life.
  • The virtues of giving true judgment: A judge who adjudicates a case truthfully, that it is considered as if he has fixed the entire world, and doing so causes the divine presence to reside in the Jewish people.
  • Not to abstain from adjudications due to fear of giving false judgment: A judge should not fear adjudicating a case due to the dangers of giving a mistaken judgment, as God only demands from a judge to judge in accordance to that which he sees.

Halacha 10: Viewing the litigants as evil and righteous

  • Prior to the start of the case, a judge should suspect that both litigants are evil and are making false claims, and should then adjudicate according to his perception of the truth. However, after the judgment is given and they have accepted the verdict, the judge should view both litigants as righteous, and judge them favorably.

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