Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

A Torah Thought for Teens - Parshas Shemini 5768
Back to Basics
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

  Rated by 3 users   |   Viewed 10514 times since 3/27/08   |   3 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend

Parshas Shemini opens with a series of pesukim describing the events that transpired on the eighth day of the inauguration of the Mishkan. The sequence begins as Moshe assembled the kohanim and the elders (Vayikrah 9:1) and informed them of the specific korbonos that were to be brought on the final day of the inauguration (9:2). Moshe then told Aharon (9:3) to share this information with all the Jews, and perhaps most importantly, to inform them (9:4) that the glory of Hashem’s Divine Presence will appear before them on that special day. The Torah (9:5) notes how Moshe’s instructions were faithfully carried out, and that all the Jews assembled and stood before Hashem.

A striking question arises, however, as we read the sixth pasuk in this progression. There does not seem to be any new information contained in that pasuk. The Torah relates (9:6) that Moshe addressed the assembled Bnei Yisroel and told them, “Zeh hadavar asher tzivah Hashem ta’asu, ve’yera alechem k’vod Hashem – this is the thing that Hashem has commanded you to do; [and] then the glory of Hashem will appear before you.” Moshe was informing them to simply follow the instructions previously given and told them that Hashem’s Presence would appear to them, of which they were already informed. Why would there be a need to repeat these commandments and to inform the Bnei Yisroel for the second time that they will see the Presence of Hashem?

Walking and Talking Torah

Several weeks ago, while preparing for this dvar Torah, I was having difficulty with the question noted above and I was unsuccessfully researching the meforshim (commentaries) looking for a deeper understanding of that pasuk. One Shabbos morning, I posed this question to my chaver Rabbi Shraga Solovietchik, who is a direct descendant of the illustrious “Beis Halevi,’ Rabbi Chaim Solovietchik z’tl.

He shared with me that this very question was posed to his great uncle, Reb ‘Velvel’ Solovietchik z’tl, many years ago. Rabbi Solovietchik was vacationing in Switzerland during the summer months and went out walking one day in the majestic surroundings of the Alps. His walking companion was an American businessman and the conversation turned to the sixth pasuk in Parshas Shmini. The man asked the Brisker Rov why Moshe Rabbeinu needed to repeat the instructions regarding the korbonos brought on the final day of the inauguration of the mishkan and why it was necessary for him to tell the Jews that they would see the presence of Hashem.

Reb Velvel responded that Moshe was sharing a poignant and important message with the Bnei Yisroel, and that some context was needed to fully understand the significance of his words.

Following the Torah’s Instructions

The Jews were on a spiritual plateau when they left Egypt and Hashem’s presence surrounded them. Sadly, this elevated state did not last for long as the Jews sinned by serving the ‘egel’ (the golden calf). At that point, Hashem’s Shechinah left the Bnei Yisroel and did not return until the mishkan was inaugurated. Understandably, the Jews were very eager to have the Shechinah back in their midst. When they initially heard from Moshe Rabbeinu (9:4) that the glory of Hashem’s Divine Presence would appear before them on that special day, they were naturally overcome with joy and assembled (9:5) to bask in the glow of the Shechinah. In fact, the Sifri comments on the level of their excitement and simcha as they prepared to greet the Shechinah.

Reb Velvel explained that at that point, Moshe realized that the understandable excitement of the Jews regarding the reappearance of Hashem was overshadowing the important mitzvos of that special day – the korbanos that were to be brought and the inauguration of the mishkan. To bring focus to the Bnei Yisroel, Moshe informed them, “Zeh hadavar asher tzivah Hashem ta’asu, ve’year alechem k’vod Hashem – this is the thing that Hashem has commanded you to do; [and] then the glory of Hashem will appear before you.” He reminded the Jews that should not concentrate on the byproduct of the mitzvah – Hashem’s Shechinah – but rather on the actions that would cause Hashem to rest His presence among them.

We were fortunate to have been given the Torah of Hashem. It is our mission in life to follow its eternal lessons and live meaningful lives. The spiritual byproducts of following Hashem’s Torah will surely come as a result of keeping it. We need not concentrate on the results. We ought to do what Hashem instructed us. His presence in our lives will surely follow.

Best wishes for a Gutten Shabbos

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 3 users    (3 comments)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593