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Thursday, February 25, 2016


1/2 shekel, golden calf and broken luchot.


·        The parsha begins by Hashem commanding Moshe about a few more things that will be needed in the Mishkan: the Kiyor (sink) which will be used to wash the Kohanim's hands and feet, incense, and oil of anointment.

·   In addition, Moshe instructs all of Bnei Yisrael to donate a half a shekel in order to complete the building of the Mishkan.

·   Next, the parasha tells us that Moshe received the Ten Commandments on stone tablets from Hashem and is planning to come down.

·   Bnei Yisrael had miscounted the 40 days and 40 nights that Moshe was supposed to be up with G-d, and when they see that he hasn't returned, they ask Aharon to build them an idol. Aharon tried to buy time and told them to come back the next day with gold

·   The next day, Aharon throws the gold in the fire and the idol is made. Moshe comes down when Bnei Yisrael are singing and dancing around the idol. When he sees this, he smashes the tablets to the ground which break them. Moshe destroyed the idol and commands the tribe of Levi to kill any Jew caught worshipping the idol.

·   The next day, Moshe goes up to Hashem and begs him not to kill all of Am Yisrael. Moshe receives new tablets and Hashem forgives Bnei Yisrael.


Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other.
( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat and bat (daughter...) and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)
 This week's parsha talks about machatzit hashekel.  If you look at the word מחצית, the middle letter is tzadi.  The 2 letters surrounding the tzadi are chet and yud- chai.  The 2 letters away from the tzadi are mem and taf- meit (dead).  If you come close to tzidkut or tzedaka- then chai you will live and also feel alive.  If you go further away- meit- it is like you are dead.
In this parsha it says venatnu- and they gave.  This talks about tzedaka.  It is spelled the same both forwards and backwards.  If  you give charity, you are sure to get back a reward.
Bnei Yisrael saw that Moshe was delayed,
They began to worry, they became afraid.
Who will be our leader?  Moshe isn’t here.
They ran to ask Aharon, they all started to fear.

Aharon wasn’t sure what to do with what he was told,
He told the Bnei Yisrael to bring him all the gold.
Aharon did not want to see the Bnei Yisrael fall,
He tried to take his time; he tried to have them stall.

Bnei Yisrael saw the image of a golden calf,
They sang and danced, with joy they all did laugh.
Hashem saw what was happening, he was very mad,
How could they not realize  the goodness that they had?

What did Hashem want to do? What did Moshe plead?
Look it up in your Chumash, go ahead and read.
This is a famous story, do you remember it?
What happened to Moshe with the luchot habrit?

·        This week’s parsha talks about the 39 melachot of Shabbat.  Before Shabbat write down the 39 melachot of Shabbat on pieces of paper.  Write down on another 39 pieces of paper a melacha connected to it.  For example:  We cannot plant flowers= zoreah (planting).  See how many melachot your kids could match.

·   Every person had to give a half a shekel no matter if he was rich or poor.   We learn that we should give tzedaka with happiness.  It does not matter how much you can give, as long as you do it with jow.  Involve your kids this week in giving tzedaka.  Whether it is making sure you give money in the tzedaka box or having the kids collect food for poor people and donate it to a needy charity.  The kids will feel the importance of giving to someone who is in need.

Thought of the week:
Imagine how special and dear the Luchot were. How often do we receive something written and shaped by Hashem? It must have been very difficult for Moshe to break such a priceless gift!

The Sforno points out that when Moshe broke the Luchot. he did not break the Luchot when Hashem informed him about the Egel Hazahav. Moshe only broke the Luchot when he saw the Jews dancing joyously in front of the Egel Hazahav. The Sforno explains that Moshe had planned to go down, convince the Jews to do tshuva and then elevate them back to their spiritual level of Matan Torah. When Moshe saw that the Jews were sinning joyously, he realized that it would not be possible for the Jews to return to their previous spiritual level and they were not worthy to have the Luchot made by Hashem.

The Sforno teaches us the power that joy infuses into a person’s actions and why it is important to be oved Hashem besimcha. By joyously fulfilling the mitzvot, the Jewish people demonstrate that they recognize how lucky they feel to be Hashem’s nation. If a person was singled out by the prime minister or president for a specific task, that person would be proud and happy to have been chosen, even if the task was difficult. So too we should be proud to be Hashem’s chosen people and we should keep this in mind when we perform the mitzvot!


Broken Luchot:
What you will need:
·  Cake pan of the luchos (or a regular 9x13 pan and cut in the shape of luchos)
·   Frosting (optional)
·   Cut the cake in half
Peach Cake:
Eggs, well beaten
1 3/4
Cup Sugar
1 Cup
Cooking Oil
2 Cups
1 Tsp
1 Tsp
2 Cups
Sliced Peaches [can use fresh or canned]
1/2 Cup
Chopped Walnuts
1 Tsp
Baking Soda

Mix thoroughly by hand.
Pour in greased and floured 13" x 9" pan or luchos pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

When the cake has cooled you can frost it by whipping a pareve dessert whip.  You can add a drop of black food coloring to give it a grey effect.
If you have chocolate molds of the alef beis, or luchos chocolate molds, you could make those and add it to your cake.
Enjoy!  Have a great Shabbat! 

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