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At Least Half of the Mystery is Solved in the Green Acres Fire Escape (Video)   •   Parshas Tzav / Shabos HaGadol - Happy Thanksgiving!   •   Matza Baking, Music And More In Jerusalem's Kikar Safra )Video & Photo Essay)   •   The Latest On New York Fire, Building Collapse: No Gas Odors, No Leaks Were Reported   •   Mentally Stable At 38,000 Feet: Can You Trust Your Pilot?   •   US: Chicago-area Cousins Planned US Terrorist Attack   •   Houthi Crisis Sheds Light On Anti-Semitism And Plight Of Jews In Yemen   •   Sen. Schumer Announces Cosponsorship Of Bill Requiring Congressional Review Of Iran Deal   •   Update on East Village, NY Gas Explosion: 12 Injured in East Village Building Explosion, Collapse   •   Israeli Flag in Milan Defaced With Red Paint Simulating Blood   •   Spain Moves Closer To Granting Citizenship To Sephardic Jews   •   NYC Building Collapses, Engulfed In Flames; 12 Injured, 3 Critical (2 Videos & Photo Essay)   •   This Monday: Baltimore Jewish Community is Urged to Attend a Shabbos/Yom Tov Fire and Life Safety Presentation   •   Watch Live Feed: Fire Rages After Massive Manhattan East Village Explosion   •   Building Collapse in Manhattan After Explosion   •   Co-Pilot Was 'Very Happy' With Germanwings Job   •   Sassoon Fire Casts Spotlight On Shabbos Food Warming Practices   •   Pesach Expenses - A Halachic Overview   •   Israel Fears For Safety Of Yemen's Remaining Few Jews   •   Iran Demands Immediate Halt To Military Actions In Yemen   •   UPDATED Baltimore Shiva info for Rebbetzin Tichyeh Schochet, z'l,: Rabbi Rafael Posner  will be sitting shiva for his daughter beginning Friday, March 20, at his home 6701 Park Heights Ave. Apt. 2A.  

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Parshas VaYikra - Keep It Honest

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock.”

The word used for “any Man’ in the Torah is ADAM. The usual noun used for man is is ISH - so why does the Torah say ADAM?


Rashi tells us that there is an important lesson here: when one brings a sacrifice to the Temple in Jerusalem one should recall ADAM - the first man. Adam couldn’t steal anything, because everything was his. He couldn’t be unethical because he was a lone inhabitant. Anything that he would set aside as a sacrifice to G-d was pure and holy - nothing was tainted. So too when we consider making a sacrifice; we should only sacrifice our honest own. What we bring should be holy and pure.


Sometimes one wishes to absolve and exonerate oneself from his or her guilt so they take a bad thing like non-kosher money and attempts to make it into a good thing. Whatever the psychology is - the money is tainted. It isn’t kosher and in the words of Rambam (Isurei Mizbeach 5;7) G-d actually hates it!


We find a similair phenomena in last weeks Parsha with the building of the Tabernacle.


The Seforno comments that the greatest manifestation of God’s presence occurred not during the very grand First or Second Temple in Jerusalem, but rather during the Mishkan in the desert.


The reason was that the Mishkan was fashioned and built by people of the highest caliber - God-fearing, devoted, and of inspired hearts. It was built with absolute purity. The builders were pure and the gold and silver that were used in its construction was untainted and pure. The Mishkan was relatively simple; but it was pure.


“By contrast, was the Temple erected by Solomon. Since most of the work was performed by laborers from Tzor, it was eventually destroyed, all of it having been lost totally. The building itself was in need of regular, almost annual, repairs, The second Temple was built by a dream that a gentile named King Cyrus dreamed that it was his duty to build a temple to the G’d in heaven.None of it lasted .” (Sforno Pikudei)


The Maharsha (Ketubos 88) speaks of people that would amass non-kosher money (such as through gezel akum) and then donate it to synagogues and places of Torah learning. He tells us that these structures will not last; they will not work.


When the idea to build the great Yeshivah of Volozhin was first conceived, the Vilna Gaon told Rav Chaim of Volozhon, that if all the money that goes into this building is brought from pure sources, it would be impossible for anyone who enters the building to have a wrong thought. No one will utter an idle word, and it will last forever.


This is true when we build our Synagogues, schools, our homes and when we make the sacrifices that we all make. Make them pure and they will last; make them pure and they will work.

Hilchos Bedikas and Bitul Chometz

On the night before Pesach eve we search for Chametz.  One must check as soon as it is dark,  and it is forbidden to start to eat or do any work  (from) half an hour before the night. (KSA 111:1)