Secrets of the Torah with Rav Berland: Parshat Vayekhel, 5777



“And you will make the water container brass and its basin brass, out of the Mirrors of the Legions”[1]

(Translated from the book Aish Moharan from the teachings of Rav Berland Shlit”a[2])


The Midrash Tanachuma[3] says, that when Moshe saw the Mirrors from Egypt brought by the women as donations for the building of the Mishkan (the Holy Tabernacle) he frowned at them.  Moshe said, “All you women should take sticks and break those Mirrors!  What type of place do you all think is being built here?!?! How could you all think of bringing those Mirrors for the Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple) the holiest place on Earth?”

Moshe was astonished at these women and said to them, “Bringing mirrors to the Mishkan, this is totally disrespectful and outright rude!  Don’t you know, mirrors are the most impure things in the World.”  Yet Hashem said to Moshe, “Moshe, you are mistaken those are not mirrors those are tears!  You see mirrors but I see tears since these are not mirrors at all but rather tears and weeping.  By every one of these Mirrors these righteous women shed rivers upon rivers of tears.”


Every Jew knew that any moment the Egyptians could come for one’s children and throw them into the Nile.  Therefore, the women shed rivers of tears in their complete Emunah (belief-faith) in Hashem that Hashem is capable of anything, Hashem can do a miracle and have the children come out from the Nile.  This is the reason that Hashem said to Moshe Rabeinu[4], “You see mirrors, but I see tears.”  Now each person has to wash and cleanse his hands with these Mirrors!


Nadav and Avihu were holy and pure Jews yet they did not know about Moshe’s prophecy from Hashem that these Mirrors were really rivers of tears shed in complete Emunah by righteous women.  Rather they only paid attention to Moshe’s first response to the women and their mirrors and only held according to Moshe’s first response and continued to believe those mirrors were completely impure and there was no need to wash one’s hands[5] by those impure mirrors before entering the Tent of meeting (Ohel Moed).

Nadav and Avihu scoffed at those mirrors on the Washing Sink and said, “Every apartment building staircase has mirrors, what is this place, an apartment stairwell?  Why on Earth are there mirrors before entering the Mishkan, so the Kohanim[6] can check their hairdo before entering?  Why should there be such a thing?”

Nadav and Avihu were in the height of holiness and purity and they ran and took upon themselves Moshe’s first response to the women and their Mirrors.  They did not know about the prophecy Moshe received from Hashem to take these Mirrors and to use them for the Washing sink.  Furthermore, Nadav and Avihu said, “Even if Moshe gave into the women and used these mirrors, we are so holy we are not going to give in.”

Therefore[7], they did not want to wash their hands from the Washing sink and died sacrificing their strange fire.

make a prayer



PLEASE merciful and forgiving G-d, give us the merit to reveal every detail of glory in every Jew, give me the merit to only see the eternal glory in everyone which is the same glory you see in everyone, as it is written, “Yisrael that within you I am glorified.”  Since the pride of Hashem is in every Jew and in every kosher movement of every Jew.

“Have pity on my soul! Instead of judging each Jew favorably in order to perform what is written in the verse, “Judge each person favorably.”  I am doing the complete opposite…Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the World, full of kindness, please allow me to merit to reveal the hidden Torah that is found in the soul (Neshama) of every Jew.  And through this I will reveal all of the secrets of the Torah.

“And please give me the merit in your abundant kindness to judge all people favorably always.  Even when I see a complete wicked and evil person never the less, I should look and ask until I will find in him also a good point until I should merit to judge him favorably and to place him onto a favorable judgment in truth and to bring him to complete teshuvah (repentance) by judging him favorably.

“Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the World! In the merit and the strength of the true Tzadikim (righteous ones) who always are constantly mentioning the good in the Nation of Israel.  The ones who deal and who toil in all their strength to search, to seek, and to find merit and goodness in every Jew in the Nation of Israel, even in the lowly of the low.  In the merit of these Tzadikim and in their strength please give us the merit also to come to finding good points in every Jew in complete truth and full emunah.


The Rav sent out his students to collect Tzadaka door to door, and during this time the Rav would have students write stories about what happened to them while out collecting, and the Rav would read some of these stories during his Torah classes.

One time, in a Torah class, the Rav read the following story; two students arrived at an elderly woman’s apartment.  As she opened the door, the students could immediately feel this was not a normal woman.  She invited the two students inside and she sat and spoke with them about the Yeshiva, its programs, and Judaism in general.  And it became clear that despite the fact she was not dressed modestly according to Jewish Law, she was extremely spiritual.

She offered the Rav’s students a cup of tea, and when she served them the tea, she brought out three cups each filled with tea and placed two cups in front to the students and the third in front of an “empty chair” at the same table.  The students could not believe it! They looked at one another in shock!  Who was the third cup of tea for? Perhaps she had misplaced it and meant to put it by her own seat?

When she returned to the table one student asked her, “How many Yeshiva students are here?” and she replied, “What, you can’t see?  There are two students and a Rabbi.”  The students were stunned what Rabbi was with them?  One of the students asked, “What does the Rabbi look like?”  She replied, “He has a white beard, and white peyas (sidelocks), he is tall…” and as she was speaking, one of the students took out a picture of the Rav and she immediately said, “Yes, that is the Rabbi here with you!”


Rabbi Noach[9] Weinberg[10] z”l would say, “My goal is for every Jew to be doing outreach because once every Jew is trying to strengthen the Judaism of his fellow Jew then we all are on the right track.”  And this type of outreach was done by Avraham (Abraham) as Rav Berland Shlit”a[11] wrote, “And Avraham throughout his 175 years continued to spread Torah without being tired, without food, and without drink.  And he was the spiritual water source providing life both spiritually and physically, for all the creations of the World.  Avraham would go from city to city starting Yeshivas in each place he went.”

Also the Moharosh[12] told over that, “Rav Levi Yitzchak said, ‘It is extremely important to speak with friends about serving Hashem.’ And Levi Yitzchak himself saw that those who spoke with friends each day would receive a special light.”

However, how can we prepare ourselves to speak the proper words that will reach the heart of our fellow Jews?  Rebbe Nosson[13] explains, “In the beginning everyone needs to receive from the Tzadik.  Meaning that before everything else it is most important to connect to the Tzadikim so that the Tzadikim will fill him with light…and afterwards also by speaking with his friend it is possible for each person to shine light in his friend’s heart and to wake him up to the service of Hashem.”

Therefore, to spread Torah with[14] “powerful words, comes through connecting oneself to the Tzadikim,” and when a person connects himself to the Tzadik his words pass on the essence of the Tzadik.  Just like the two students of the Rav that literally revealed the Rav as they went out to strengthen the Nation of Israel door to door.


Is a person required to give “Kimcha Dipischa” (donations for Pesach)?  Yes.  Rav Barclay[15] writes, “a person who has been living in the community for thirty days is obligated even if he does not intend to stay there permanently.  A person who moves to a community with the intention of settling there is obligated immediately.”

If everyone in my community is in a position to give “Kimcha Dipischa” does an obligation still exist to give it? Yes.  Rav Barclay[16] writes, “It would not be an honor to Hashem (G-d) to recline in happiness at the Seder table while the poor lack food to eat.  Neglecting to give charity when one is capable is a serious transgression.”


simchat rabeinu

Simchas Rabeinu has a “Kimcha Dipischa” fund that helps poor Jews all over the world with their Passover needs.  You can do the Mitzvah of Kimcha Dipischa through Simchas Rabeinu by visiting: TODAY! 

Visit to make a secure donation online, or call 617-651-1798 or 058-320-2091 or 44-207-048-6585 to make your tax deductable, secure, and BENEFICIAL donation today!


 HaRav Eliezer Ben Etyah and the Rabbaneat Shlit”a, Matisyahu Yisrael Ben Rachel Malka, Ester Rachel Bas Nurit, Menachem Ben Ester Rachel, Moshe Ben Ester Rachel, Sarah Bas Ester Rachel. Ezra ben Avraham z”l.

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[1] שמות פרק לח פסוק ח ~ ויעש את הכיור נחשת ואת כנו נחשת במראת הצבאת אשר צבאו פתח אהל מועד:

[2] אש מוהר”ן פרשת ויקהל עמוד רצט

[3] מדרש תנחומא פרשת פקודי סימן ט ~ כיון שאמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה לעשות את המשכן עמדו כל ישראל ונתנדבו מי שהביא כסף ומי שהביא זהב או נחשת ואבני שוהם ואבני מלואים הביאו בזריזות הכל, אמרו הנשים מה יש לנו ליתן בנדבת המשכן, עמדו והביאו את המראות והלכו להן אצל משה, כשראה משה אותן המראות זעף בהן, אמר להם לישראל טולו מקלות ושברו שוקיהן של אלו, המראות למה הן צריכין, א”ל הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה משה על אלו אתה מבזה, המראות האלו הן העמידו כל הצבאות הללו במצרים טול מהן ועשה מהן כיור נחשת וכנו לכהנים שממנו יהיו מתקדשין הכהנים, שנאמר ויעש את הכיור נחשת ואת כנו נחשת במראות הצובאות אשר צבאו באותן המראות שהעמידו את כל הצבאות האלה, לפיכך כתיב ונחשת התנופה שבעים ככר נחשת הכלות, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא בעוה”ז נתנדבתם למשכן שהוא מתכפר עליכם, ולעתיד לבא אני מכפר עליכם ואוהב אתכם נדבה שנאמר (הושע יד) ארפא משובתם אוהבם נדבה, אמרו אין לנו לא משכן לא מקדש תהא לפניך תפלת פינו נדבת המשכן, אמר דוד נדבות פי רצה נא ה’ (תהלים קיט).

[4]  (our teacher)

[5] ויקרא רבה פרשת אחרי מות פרשה כ סימן ט ~ [נדב ואביהוא] שנכנסו בלא רחיצת ידים ורגלים

[6]  Jews Serving in the Holy Temple

[7] ויקרא רבה פרשת אחרי מות פרשה כ סימן ט ~ ר’ מני דשאב ורבי יהושע דסכנין ור’ יוחנן בשם ר’ לוי אמרו בשביל ארבע דברים מתו בני אהרן ובכולן כתיב בהם מיתה…וע”י שנכנסו בלא רחיצת ידים ורגלים שנאמר ‘ורחצו ידיהם ורגליהם ולא ימותו’ וכתיב ‘בבאם אל אהל מועד ירחצו מים’

[8] This prayer is from Reb Nosson’s book Likeutey Tefilos and Rav Berland’s book Tefilah Liani

[9] I heard this from Rabbi Noach Weinberg z”l in the year 5766 (the summer of 2006)

[10] Rabbi Noach Weinberg z”l was the founder and original Rosh Yeshiva of Aish HaTorah.

[11] מכתב מהרב ברלנד שליט”א מודפס בדעת הצדיק עלון א פרשת וישלח תשע”ו

[12] ספר אילן החיים אות רנט

[13]  קצור לקוטי מוהר”ן הישן תורה לד סעיף ג

[14] לקוטי עצות צדיק אות פז

[15] Guidelines – Pesach by Rabbi Elozor Barclay, Chapter 1 question 8 page 17

[16] Guidelines – Pesach by Rabbi Elozor Barclay, Chapter 1 question 9 page 18



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