Shabbos, 11th Adar 5783/March 4, 2023
1. The gold altar for incense:
· You shall make an altar for the incense offering.
· The material: It is to be made of acacia-shittim wood.
· Dimensions: It is to be made into a square, its length being one Amah, and its width also one Amah. It is to be two Amos high.
· Its particulars: It is to contain horns on each of its four corners, and the horns, as well as the entire altar, is to be covered in gold. It is to have a gold crown surrounding it. Make for it two gold rings beneath its crown, one on each corner. These rings will serve to hold the poles with which the altar will be carried.
· Its poles: You shall make poles of acacia-shittim wood which are covered with gold.
· Location: The altar is to be placed in front of the Paroches that is by the Aron.
· Its use: Aaron is to offer incense on it daily each morning when the lamps are cleaned, and every afternoon when the lamps are kindled. One may not offer on it a foreign incense or an Olah or Mincha or wine libation. Aaron will atone on it once a year from the blood of the Chatas offering. The altar is a holy of holies to Hashem.
Tanya Chapter 33:
1. Contemplating God’s unity to increase in one’s joy:
· There is another manner in which one can rejoice for soul especially at times that it requires rejoicing, and that is through contemplating God’s true oneness and unity. The following is the contemplation:
· All is naught before God: One is the contemplate that God fills all the worlds, the upper and lower worlds, including this physical world, and everything is considered nullified in His presence.
· God is alone just like He was before creation: God is alone in both the upper and lower worlds just like he was alone before creation. Prior to the creation of the physical world God filled all the space and the same applies now as well that He feels all the space without any difference at all, being that all the creations are nullified to Him.
· Like the nullification of letters of speech in their root: The nullification of all creations in the presence of God is like the nullification of the letters of speech and thought in their root and source in the essence of the soul. In their root and source, which are the 10 faculties of the soul, letters of speech and thought do not yet exist, and only their potential exists and hence they are nullified to their source. The same applies regarding all creation even after their creation by God.
· Like the nullification of a ray within the sun: The nullification of all creations in the presence of God is also like the nullification of the ray of the sun within the body of the sun. Although certainly the ray shines within the body of the sun even more than outside the sun, nonetheless, it is completely nullified to the sun itself, and is as if it does not exist. Similarly, the entire world with all its creations are nullified in their existence within the infinite light of God.
2. How contemplating God’s unity brings one to joy:
· Realizing that one is very close and unified with God: When one contemplates the above matter in depth and at length then he will come to a great rejoicing of the heart. The belief and faith that God fills even this world and that everything is a nullified to Him should cause one to rejoice in the realization that in truth he is unified with God at this very moment. This belief shows the Jew that he in truth is very close to God, [and he should therefore rejoice tremendously due to this realization of his closeness and unity with God.]
3. This is the entire purpose of man:
· The above realization that God is found everywhere, including here in this world, and that everything is nullified to Him, is the entire purpose of man’s creation, and the entire purpose of the creation of all the upper and lower worlds, to begin with. The purpose of the world’s creation is so God have a dwelling place below in this world [and this dwelling is realized and actualized when one recognizes the fact that at this very moment God already dwells here below.]
4. Rejoicing that even as a lowly person one can be united with the King:
How great is the joy of a simpleton and lowly person when he can become close with a king of flesh and blood and live with him together in his palace, and certainly how infinitely greater must the joy be when one comes to the recognition that he is living with the King of all Kings, Hashem.
Rambam, Hilchos Eidus, Chapter 6:
Chapter 6: Verifying the authenticity of a document
Halacha 1: Verifying the authenticity of a document
- The verification of the authenticity of a document is only rabbinically required.
- Three people: A tribunal of three is needed to verify the authenticity of a document.
- Ordinary people: Even three ordinary people may serve as judges in the tribunal and they do not have to be experts.
- Nighttime: The authenticity of a document may not be verified at nighttime.
Halacha 2: The ways to verify the authenticity of a document
- There are five methods in how to verify the authenticity of a document:
- If the judges recognize the signatures.
- Having the witnesses sign in front of the judges.
- Having the witnesses who signed testify to their signature in front of the court.
- If the witnesses cannot come before the court, then having other witnesses testify to their signature.
- Comparing their signature on the current document to their signature on other documents.
Halacha 3: The documents valid for signature comparison
- When using the last, fifth, method for signature verification is only valid when compared to the following other documents:
- Two documents regarding real estate ownership in which the owners have already benefited from for three years without any protest.
- Two Kesuba documents.
- From another document whose authenticity was challenged and was already verified in court.
- In all the above cases, we do not accept the above documents from the person who seeks to validate the current document as perhaps he has fabricated everything.
Halacha 4: Writing the method in which the document was validated
- It is not necessary for the court who validates the document to write on the document which of the above methods were used for verification, and simply writing that the court validated the document suffices.
- Nonetheless, the custom amongst all courts is to also write the method.
Halacha 5: Trusting another courts validation of a document
- A court never checks into the authenticity of another court’s validation of a document.
- Nonetheless, the witnesses may be checked after.
Halacha 6: If one of the members of the tribunal died before writing the validation statement
- If one of the members of the three-person tribunal died after the verification but prior to writing it into the document, then this should explicitly be written on the document validation statement.
Halacha 7: If one of the members of the tribunal was testified to be invalid prior to writing the validation statement
- If one of the members of the three-person tribunal was testified to be an invalid judge after the verification but prior to writing it into the document, then if new testimony arrives proving that he is valid to be a judge, then he may sign with his other two colleagues if they have not yet signed. If, however, they have already signed, then he may not join them with his signature unless the original invalidation was overturned.
Halacha 8: Details relating to validating the document
- Writing the statement before signing: It is permitted for the judges to write the validation statement prior to actually validating it, so long as they delay signing it until after the validation.
- Reading the document: There is no need for the judges to read the actual document in the process of validating it, and so long as they can verify the witnesses that are signed on it, it is irrelevant as to what is written on the document.
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