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Shabbat, 27 Adar 5777 / March 25, 2017

Shabbat: Inclusiveness

Shabbat: Inclusiveness

Seventh Reading: Exodus 40:1–38

On the 1st of Nisan, 2449, Moses erected the Tabernacle according to G‑d’s instructions. As mentioned previously, one of the Tabernacle’s furnishings was the Inner Altar, on which was burned a daily offering of incense.
וַיַּקְטֵר עָלָיו קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֶת מֹשֶׁה: (שמות מ:כז)
[Moses] burned an incense offering on [the Inner Altar], as G‑d had commanded him. Exodus 40:27

One of the ingredients of the incense was galbanum. Because of its foul smell, this herb alludes to the wrongdoers of our people. The fact that galbanum was an essential component of the incense teaches us that all Jews are an essential part of the Jewish nation, even if their behavior is sometimes inappropriate.

We must therefore never exclude one of our fellow Jews from the community, even if there are aspects of their behavior that would seem to justify this. In fact, our sages teach us that any public prayer or fast from which sinners are intentionally excluded will not be effective! This is because, by virtue of their Divine souls, every Jew possesses inestimable worth and is in fact full of good deeds. Each of our unique personalities plays a crucial role in the destiny of the Jewish people and the world in general.1

Likutei Sichot, vol. 21, pp. 179.
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (11 Nissan 1902–3 Tammuz 1994) became the seventh rebbe of the Chabad dynasty on 10 Shevat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century, a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah, and fluent in many languages and on scientific subjects. The Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet, having sent thousands of emissaries around the globe, dedicated to strengthening Judaism.

Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, author and anthologist, and is editor-in-chief at Chabad House Publications of California. He is the author and translator of Apples from the Orchard, gleanings from the writings of the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1534–1572) on the Torah, and is the author and editor-in-chief of the Kehot Chumash produced by Chabad House Publications, featuring an interpolated translation of the Torah with commentary adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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