Roy Neuberger - Feb. 28, 2020

Why are the measurements of the Aron Hakodesh given in fractions?

“When it comes to ruchnius, a person should feel that he is never done… he should constantly strive to attain more … because there are no limits to the heights a person can achieve in the spiritual realm.” (Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky on Parshas Terumah)

Personally, when I am trying to learn Torah, the feeling of “incompleteness” is overwhelming! Am I able to comprehend? On the contrary, I feel far from understanding Hashem’s Torah … and yet I am going to continue to try to approach Him!

The Torah is infinite, and I am, lehavdil, me!

“Regarding material things [however]… he should feel that he has exactly enough.” Rabbi Galinsky tells a powerful story: “I was around eight years old and food (in Poland) was scarce. I was eyeing my sister’s plate, thinking it had a bigger portion, when I suddenly felt a slap, and heard my mother’s voice ringing in my ears: ‘Look at your own plate!’” (ibid)

Powerful mussar!

My friends, as the edifice of Esav continues to crumble, it behooves us to keep this perspective in mind. We have only one priority. It is not only good to concentrate on ruchnius; rather, it is necessary for survival. Last week, I cited a number of current phenomena – wildfires, epidemics, rising water levels – which threaten our physical world. There are also social phenomena, in which behavior patterns which are completely antithetical to the will of the Ribono shel Olam are becoming accepted throughout the world.

Is it surprising that anti-Semitism is rising along with rejection of Hashem’s will?

The process is logical. Those who flout Hashem’s law understand on some level that the Master of the Universe forbids them from acting in this way. Therefore, in order to rationalize their rebellious behavior, they try to pretend that Hashem either does not exist or that He does not involve Himself in the conduct of His world.

But this is not sufficient to assuage their guilt, because they know in their G-d-created soul that Hashem proclaims laws for this world. So they try to cover up their guilt by disparaging Hashem’s representatives in this world, namely, His Children, Am Yisroel. Thus, anti-Semitism arises among those who flout Hashem’s will. They denigrate us in order to try to discredit the Law which forbids their unlawful behavior.

And how should we react?

Rabbi Galinsky brings a beautiful moshul from the Chazon Ish: “When I go out at night, I notice that I have a huge shadow that follows me. [But] the closer I am to the streetlamp, the smaller the shadow gets. When I stand directly under [the streetlamp], the shadow disappears…. I learned from this that the … closer we get to the light, the more we confront our own insignificance.”

For survival and security, it behooves us to stay close to the Light. The closer we stand, the more invisible we will be to our enemies, because of the intense Radiance.

“May [Hashem] shine a new light on Tzion and may we all speedily merit its light!” (Shacharis)


Recent Posts


water Sephardi Chol haMoed Eve shield of Abraham Psalms bible Rabbis Jerusalem Prophecy Geula Balak Galil war Noah Holy land king Hagar hubris Avraham Rome enemies redeemer Moab Talmud alone High Holy Days Jew sanctity terrorist sun God Mount Zion brotherhood compassion Joseph Torah Abraham Mordechai evil inclination cholent pain flood danger murder Rebbe idolatry Torah scholars lights Gog Babylonia kinneret Sukkos prophets Zohar Hashem Bilaam shofar Jewish Samuel the Prophet survival Final redemption esrog Temple Jews Israel gossip prayers Repentence secret Sukkah Red Heifer India missiles bird Sabbath holy Sea of Galilee Judaism peace liberation Holocaust King David Western Wall Miraglim stones New Moon Rosh Hashanah Children of Israel Eglon evolution Jeremiah Garden of Eden Laban biblical eternity Blame redemption Bais Hamikdosh Sodom Day of Atonement Hasmoneans earthquake chaos prophet fear barley sin dreams Exodus Passover slaves Ten Commandments incense death Boaz violence Shavuos Tzuk etan Tu b'Shvat Maimonides yarmulke Golan world to come Tallis Moshaich Lunar eclipse Amalek Purim fragrance Yom Kippur Ishamael pray Jacob night America Earth Creator Western World rain evil Tisha b'Av Shushan High Priest miracle ethics purity cries blessing Canaan holiday Matriarchs Yaakov fires Protective edge kesuba kiddush Jewish festival seder angel synagogue Isaiah automobiles angels kosher Baku Red Sea media King Solomon Chanukkah Mount Sinai rosh chodesh Zion, Angel matzos rabbi Shabbos logic Adam Golus terror Ezekiel Tu b'Av sacrifices Edom locusts Ammon Temple Mount paradise Nation of Israel terrorism Esau Achashveirosh terrorists Amram spirituality Judgement Day Father in Heaven prophet Samuel mitzvos End of Days Macabees meraglim Zechariah Second Temple Sefiras haOmer forefathers Sarah Aharon Teshuva Abrahem miracles repentance bris milah salvation deluge tabernacle slavery heaven mikveh Pinchas Solomon Master of the Universe Pharaoh Rachel Greeks Yerushalayim Chofetz Chaim creation Genesis eternal mikveh, Sabbath chessed Moshiach soul darkness commandment minyan fault idol G-d moon prayer Solar eclipse Passover Seder Dead Sea Zion Miriam Psalm Terror Attack in Jerusalem shmittah leprosy Moses Haman Magog Holiness Golden Calf Divine presence Tefillin Benjamin Song of Songs spies Lot tablets three weeks Torah portion menorah Chafetz Chaim Malbim Faith resurrection mitzva Samuel Egypt Ishmael Babylon Europe plague David Ruth priests song Jewish People keys culture Jewish holidays Hebrew Chanukah United Nations Mount Hermon 2020 Vision Raiders of the Lost Ark Esther Leah materialism Angel of Death prayer book Rabbi Akiva messiah stars Parsha exile patriarchs Beit Hamikdash Rashi patriarchs'matriarchs persecution repent Rebecca Banias Holy Ark Holy Temple light Elul Ashkenazi Heavenly Mercy Ishmeal heavenly gates Isaac yeshiva Sages Midrash Matisyahu Rosh Hashana tears Maccabeans Day of Judgement self-worship judgement trees Shechina Judah tremors Moshe spiritual ancestors Land of Israel King of the Universe heavenly throne siddur