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Parshat Ki Tisa

Dear STOCS Friend:


Parashat Ki Tisa discusses a mixture of different spices that make up a special incense known as Ketores. The Ketores was a key part of the daily worship in the Tabernacle and Holy Temple. Commenting on its importance the Midrash writes: “it is the most endearing of all the services in the Holy Temple.”

One of the spices that comprise this mixture is galbanum, which is the least pleasant aroma of all the Ketores spices. Though when mixed with the other ingredients it produced an almost Divine aroma. The Torah tells us the Ketroes is a “satisfying aroma” before God” (Numbers 28:2).

Why then is a foul-smelling spice added? The Torah is teaching us deeper lesson. According to our sages, offering the Ketores can prevent or stop tragedies from befalling the Jewish people.

Recently I came across a beautiful explanation. The galbanum symbolizes the Jew that is alienated from his or her brethren religiously.  The Jewish people are considered united ONLY when all Jews come together regardless of background, gender, knowledge, or observance.

The beautiful aroma of the Ketores is a sign of the Divine approval of the Jewish People as a united entity. Today Jews must rally together to bring about a symmetry that achieves total unity.

Almost 150 days have passed since the Hamas attack in October. Their intention was not to kill Israelis rather to kill Jews! On that fateful day, women, men, children, religious, non-religious were murdered for one reason, they were Jewish! Only by putting aside our differences whether it be political or religious, will Hamas be defeated.

May our newfound unity, be instrumental in protecting all Jewry from attacks in the future.

I look forward to seeing you in shul this Shabbas.


Shabbat Shalom




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