Pearls of Rashi – Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos

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In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Siso, we are told of the sin of the golden calf. After Moshe’s many heartfelt, unrelenting prayers, Hashem finally forgave the Jews. He taught Moshe how to pray on behalf of his nation; by reciting the thirteen attributes of mercy. Moshe then asks Hashem to[1] “Please show me Your glory … Hashem responds,[2] that “You will not be able to see My face.”

Several verses later, G-d explains[3] that “You will see My back, but My face will not be seen.” Rashi, citing the words from the verse “You will see my back” explains that Hashem “showed him the knot of (His) Tefillin.”

Everything in Torah is precise. Hence, these two subjects, Hashem teaching Moshe how to pray for the Jews, and Moshe’s request to see Hashem’s glory, must be related to each other. What is the connection between the two?

Hashem showed Moshe the knot of His Tefillin. Regarding Tefillin it says[4] “It shall be to you as a sign upon your hand and as a remembrance between your eyes.” In other words, Tefillin serve to help us remember Hashem. How is this relevant? What is the correlation between memory and holiness?

The explanation is, that it is the nature of every Jew to believe that[5] “In the beginning Hashem created the heaven and the earth.” Furthermore, it is a part of the nature of every Jew to believe that G-d is creating the world every moment. This being the case, how is it possible for a Jew to ever sin? The firm belief that Hashem is creating oneself now should prevent him from sinning!

Granted, at times there may be circumstances that cause a Jew to sin. Nonetheless he is aware that those circumstances were also created by G-d at this very moment. The answer is, that it is only possible for a Jew to sin if this “slips his mind” temporarily.

Since Tefillin help to remove the cause of the sin, the forgetfulness, the result of the forgetfulness is also removed and the Jewish Nation is forgiven.

By strengthening ourselves in the Mitzvoh of Tefillin (and all of the other Mitzvos) we will certainly attain complete atonement. As a result of this, we shall certainly bring Moshiach now!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos and a happy Yom Tov!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 21, Page 237

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בתו וחתנו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 33:18.

[2]. Our Parshah, Shemos 33:20.

[3]. Our Parshah, Shemos 33:23.

[4]. Parshas Bo, Shemos 13:9.

[5]. Parshas Bereishis, Bereishis 1:1.

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