Silver Anniversary!

I have had the privilege to present Torah ideas through the Shabbat Shalom Message for the past twenty-five years. This week completes our twenty-fifth cycle of messages, and throughout this time I missed only two weeks! The list has grown to over 22,000 recipients!

I consider it a great merit and an enormous responsibility to provide and share Torah ideas, information and inspiration to so many readers of varied backgrounds. Torah is so unique and beautiful because every Jew can relate to and appreciate a Torah idea or concept on their own level.

King Solomon in Proverbs states that Torah is light. Rabbi Gedalia Schorr o.b.m. explains that just as a prism or crystal placed in front of a light produces a stunning array of hues, rays and colors, so too, the one source of light of the Torah that G-d gave to Moshe, is invested with a multi-faceted array of depth, meaning and ideas for all of us to learn from.

Just as the prism’s colors are linked to the source of light behind it, so too, Torah ideas can only enlighten us when they are based on the original authentic light of Torah that G-d taught to Moshe.

The Prophet Malachai calls Torah – Emes – truth. In fact, the blessing we recite over the Torah includes the words, Toras Emes – the Torah of Truth. The truth of Torah can only be realized when it is approached from an objective point of view – that is, what is the Torah/G-d teaching us. But it cannot be realized when coming from a subjective point of view or personal agenda.

Because of this, it is a tremendous responsibility when sharing commentaries and ideas on Torah that they be written clearly and genuinely. I am deeply thankful to Rabbi Shmuel Flam for reviewing and editing the content and to Mrs. Madeleine Jacobs for her superb job of checking it grammatically.

My heartfelt thanks to my wife Malki for all her encouragement and support!

To the readership, thank you for your comments, encouragement, critique and support. It is greatly appreciated!

Thank you Hashem for everything and beyond!

In this week’s Parsha, G-d instructs Moshe to produce special anointing oil, delineating the ingredients, which include, myrrh, cinnamon, fragrant cane, cassia and olive oil, along with their specific weight and method of production.  This special anointing oil was to be used to consecrate the holy vessels of the Temple and to anoint Aaron, his sons, subsequent Kohain Godols, and Kings of Israel.

The Torah severely forbids anyone else from creating such an oil in these measurements.

The Talmud teaches us that many miracles occurred when Moshe created this special oil. Even though a Hin measure of olive oil was poured into the mixture of spices, the final measure of liquid remained a Hin, even though, naturally, some liquid would evaporate in the cooking process and some would be absorbed into the ingredients. Additionally, even after the oil was used for anointing, the oil always remained a Hin measure!

If so, asks Rabbi Moshe Feinstein o.b.m., why does the Torah forbid us to make an exact replica of Moshe’s anointing oil? After all, it is impossible for anyone to replicate since its production was miraculous.

Rabbi Feinstein first postulates that perhaps it would be possible for one to produce it through the powers of the occult.

Rabbi Feinstein then shares an insight that the Torah is addressing a person who brazenly thinks he is on the level of Moshe, and is confident that he too can produce the same miraculous potion as Moshe. The Torah forbids anyone from doing this. In fact, one who thinks he is capable of doing so is coming from a heretical and haughty position, for this is something that only Moshe could achieve and to equate oneself to Moshe is presumptuous and heretical.

The greatest honor that one can decorate themselves with is humbly and confidently following the direction and ways of our timeless Torah!

   In these worrying, concerning and uncertain times that we are experiencing; we turn to Hashem in prayer. – Prayers display our belief and trust that it is only He who can provide and direct remedy to stave off virus and disease from us and the entire world.

   No matter how distant one may feel, as a loving Father, G-d eagerly awaits each person’s prayer!

  May our prayers be answered speedily! Amain!