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A famous anomaly related to the part of this week is the omission of the name of Moshe in all reading.

We are informed that this is due to Moshe after Gd had learned, after the sin of the golden calf, that he intended to eradicate the whole nation by rescuing only Moshe. from whom a new nation would be born, that Moshe protested by declaring: forgive their sin … otherwise, erase me now from your book that you wrote.

Moshe was ready to give up his life and achievements for the sake of his beloved nation. G-D retracted while its decision allowed the nation to survive, but symbolically fulfilled Moshe's request by omitting his name from that party.

Why then did G-d choose this part specifically among many others to carry out Moshe's prayers?

The exact answer of G-d'eux to Moshe seems to contradict the tradition we have.

In his reply to Moshe, G-d tells him: whoever has sinned against me, I will erase it from my book.

The answer seemed to be a total rejection of Moshe's suggestion, G-d apparently claiming that only deserving sinners will be erased from the Book of Life. No other dialogue has been reported on this subject.

The third Belzer Rebbe, Reb Yissocher Dov, offers a brilliant interpretation to solve this dilemma.

Moshe sought to remove his fate from those mentioned in the Book of the Righteous rather than abandon his beloved flock. His intention was to be related to them in the Book of the Evil, if that was what was happening. G-d had a better idea, though. In agreement with Moshe in principle that they will be entwined forever, but rather than Moshe being inscribed among the wicked, Gd will make them all engrave in the destiny of the righteous with Moshe. When God says, "He who sinned, I will erase it from My book," he meant of the book of sinners, and I will rather be placed with Moshe among the righteous.

Where is justice in this? How can one forgive sinners simply by basing Moshe on the glove?

Until then, Moshe embodied the entire Torah. The nation had to do the same by respecting all its laws. When they failed miserably to the sin of the golden calf, it was a failed experiment. G-d therefore called for a new game plan, starting from scratch from Moshe. Moshe understood that it was just not viable, he could not continue without them because they were an integral part of him. Gd consented but explained to them the deeper consequence of this reality. It was no longer a teacher relationship with a disciple, but rather an incarnation of Moshe by the people. The lessons of the Torah would be taught through the lives, challenges and failures they would face and suffer. It would be a process within each individual, each with a "piece" of Moshe that should materialize in the life he leads and the way he reacted. Every soul, though intrinsically pure, should nevertheless strive to discover its brilliance. Gd would never give up, because he knew that ultimately the collective "Moshe soul" would accomplish his task.

The disappearance of Moshe from us is not a diminution of his presence, but rather the expression of his submersion within the "soul of the nation" who, by living his ideals, would become the most complete manifestation of "Moshe".

At the end of our party, the directive to build the altar on which incense would be brought is recorded.

The vessels of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, were not listed in the previous part? Why is it listed here among and after the discussion on priestly vestments and inaugural sacrifices?

The Midrash Tanchuma teaches that this altar and its service are distinct from all that preceded it.

Until then, all was done in the interest of man to serve, to consecrate and grow spiritually in this experience that redeems his failures. It certainly was not to satisfy a "need" of God, because everything is his and possessed by him.

Fragrant incense, in distinction, has been brought to bring joy to Gd and to display his personal satisfaction towards his servants. It is therefore placed separately at the very end.

Is it a "need" to fill? He who "possesses and governs everything" can not "need it".

The first comments point out that the word "incense", קטרת, is actually an acronym for the following words: ק-ושה, holiness;ט-רה, purity;ר-חמים, compassion;ת-קוה, hope.

How are these attributes and attitudes unique to incense?

In Israel, many schools have report cards with three categories of general comments assessing the child's position: וד טוב- very good, טוב- good and טוב- almost good. A cheerful teacher who had a particular student who was both highly challenged and very provocative, added a fourth category, יהיה וב- That will be fine!

God wants to be in a state of joy in order to feel his love and appreciation.

The fragrance that stems from the special formula unique to the Ketores, represent the inner essence of what comes from vaporized molecules, which is invisible and ethereal. Gd recognizes the inner essence of each of our beings, of our special souls, who yearn for closeness, even though, externally, they can not appear as such. God knows we are all coming to manifest this spark of Moshe that breaks out.

He feels and cherishes those who have attained holiness, and even those who have only eliminated impurity. His compassion includes the struggles of those who are still rooted in the contamination, trying to reveal themselves. And even those who seem to wander aimlessly, G-d always keeps the hope that indeed, יהיה וב, it will be fine!

Although incense represents G-d's personal and private joy, this fragrance can not, however, be kept private because it covers every space well beyond the Alter of Incense. It is intentionally that it is because it is this omnipresent presence of God that our "mose souls" can connect wherever we may find it, wherever we may be.

May we each create "smells" from the myriad of opportunities presented to us for the manifestation of new lessons in the Torah and Avoda, in the spirit of Moshe, our essence and our soul.

באהבה,

י יהודה טייכמאן

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