Thursday, February 15, 2018


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Terumah
1 Adar 5778/February 16, 2018
2 Rosh Chodesh Adar

I don’t know if there’s anything worse than being a sock. Socks are put on hastily in the morning and have the inauspicious task of wrapping around a person’s smelly foot. They quickly become smelly, and often get wet. Then, at night, they are pulled off, and in the best situations cast into a hamper, if not just left on the floor. 
Of all articles of clothing, socks have the highest mortality rate, and the shortest life span. They can easily develop fatal holes which no longer enables them to protect the big toe, or they can become stretched out. For those who are sensory, socks take even more abuse, constantly getting pulled up and stretched out.
Another thing about socks, is that they are only worth anything if you have two of them. Their value lies in their being a pair. I think everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of socks never returning from the wash. The washing machine becomes like a black hole and Bermuda Triangle for socks. You put them in with the rest of the clothing, but then when you take out the clothing, somehow a few socks seem to escape, and are never seen again. The greatest tragedy is for its fellow sock who now remains widowed and alone. If you’re like my family, then you have a drawer full of widowed socks, that will continue to remain there dormant forever, or at least until something impels us to clean the drawer.
In the Mishkan, and subsequently in the Bais Hamikdash, the holiest of all the vessels was the Aron which was placed in the Kodesh Kodashim (Holy of Holies). Atop the Aron was affixed the golden Keruvim, and from within them emanated the voice of G-d, as it were. The Torah relates about the Keruvim, the two angelic faces of children, “their faces was each to his brother.”
The Mishkan was covered by a few layers of yerios – curtains/tapestries. The Torah relates that the yerios were not constructed as one long cloth. Rather, it was made into two parts, and then they were connected to each other. In the words of the pasuk, “Five curtains shall be attached – a woman to her sister – and the (other) five curtains shall be attached – a woman to her sister.”
What incredible imagery. The holiest place on earth was created by keruvim facing each other, and the Mishkan was covered by curtains connected – each woman to her sister!
Last week, Mevorchim Chodesh Adar, we read Parshas Shekalim, which details the mandatory half-shekel tax that every Jew contributed annually.
The commentators explain that the half-shekel represents that although every individual is valuable (or invaluable), our ultimate worth is when we bond together. That, in fact, is the introduction to the subsequent special reading of Parshas Zachor, read the Shabbos before Purim. Parshas Zachor recounts our defeat over our nemesis, Amalek, and our obligation to remember his virulent hatred, his mission to destroy us, and his ultimate desire to obliterate all G-dliness from the world. Such evil can only be overcome with the synergistic power of our unity.
Sadly, there is a beautiful demonstration of this concept, in an article in Times-of-Israel, February 6, 2018, by Jacob Magid:

HAR BRACHA, West Bank — Less than a month after her husband Raziel was gunned down in a terror attack outside the Havat Gilad outpost, Yael Shevach arrived in the neighboring Har Bracha settlement Tuesday to console Miriam Ben-Gal, whose husband Itamar was murdered in a stabbing terror attack on Monday.
In a statement on the widows’ meeting outside the Ben-Gal home, Yael Shevach said the two traced the eerie similarities in their respective tragedies:
“Both Raziel and Itamar loved life; they both loved to dress and eat well. Raziel was killed on his way home from a circumcision, and Itamar was on his way to a circumcision. Raziel’s sister will be getting married in less than a month, and Miriam’s sister will be getting married in less than a month,” Yael Shevach added. “We are both educators, both Raziel and Itamar were Torah scholars, and both of us feel that we were chosen for this role,” Yael Shevach said, explaining that “role” as one responsible for strengthening the settlement movement in their husbands’ honor.
Raziel Shevach was shot dead by Palestinian terrorist on January 9. The father of six had known Ben-Gal, a father of four, through mutual friends.
Hours after 29-year-old Itamar Ben-Gal was stabbed to death while hitchhiking at the Ariel Junction in the central West Bank on Monday, Yael Shevach posted on Facebook that she felt “as if she gained a new sister.”
“We will get through this together. Alone,” she wrote.

The only way to adequately achieve “Zachor” - remembering and overcoming the heinousness of Amalek from time immemorial until contemporary times, is through the message of “Shekalim” – through unity and with chizuk from each other.
The miracle of Purim occurred when the Jews gathered together, adhering to Esther’s clarion call to Mordechai: “Go, gather all of the Jews…” That unification was the beginning of the end for Haman.
Purim is a national celebration of sanguinity and faith. It is that spirit which Amalek can never destroy!

Chodesh Tov & Good Chodesh
Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,

              R’ Dani and Chani Staum