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The Mishkan and the Superbowl

Thursday, 30 January, 2014 - 11:31 am

I got a text message which said, “This Sunday will be the holiest day of the year according to the Religion of Sports, which is by far the most fervently adhered to religion in the United States. As relates to all religions, there are those who barely fulfill their obligations and others who are careful to follow even the most obscure customs. #Superbowl”

The laws of Judaism include three levels:  A) Law, B) Intent, and C) Custom. The law is the actual command of G-d as expounded by the Sages of old. The intent refers to my inner motive for why I am doing this act. The custom refers to the minute details of how something is done.

For example:  A) We are required to hear the Megillah on Purim.  B) When one reads the Megillah to assist others in their obligation, the reader must have the intention to include the others in his mitzvah.  C) There is a custom to fold the Megillah so it looks like a folded letter (the Megillah is referred to as a letter in Esther 9:26).

In the times of the construction of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle which was the mini temple the Jews used in the desert), tradition says that there was a beautiful animal (now extinct). What made this creature unique is that it was naturally multi-colored. Because of this, this animal’s skin was chosen to be used for the Mishkan as its primary roof cover.

The mishkan was made to be the home of G-d in this world. When we do a mitzvah we recreate a home for G-d. We want this home to be beautiful not just functional. Jewish customs are the colors of the mitzvahs. By paying attention to the Jewish customs, we ensure that this mitzvah home we are building will be multi-colored.

If you want your children to watch the Superbowl, don’t just suffice with the game itself; make sure you participate in the pre-game (like the intent of a mitzvah) and be sure to watch the commercials (that’s the custom).

If you want your children to celebrate Purim, don’t just stop with the meggilah reading, You should dress them up as well. Make sure that they see Purim as the colorful holiday it is.

 Have a great Shabbos and a great upcoming week

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