Day 50/50: Fifty is Cheirus – Freedom!

Day 50/50: Fifty is Cheirus – Freedom!

וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ  וְשָֽׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם 

And they shall make Me a MIKDASH and I will dwell in their midst.


Day 50 is Cheirus – Freedom! 

Dear Friends, 


For the last fifty days we’ve journeyed together, from the slavery in Mitzrayim in parshas Shemos, through kriyas Yam SufKabbalas Hatorah and the building of the Mikdash in parshas Terumah.


The number 50 is very significant in the Torah, for it represents Cheirus, Freedom. That’s why the Torah was given after 50 days of leaving Mitzrayim, for only Torah is true Freedom (as chazal tell us, al tikrei charus ela cheirus – don’t read “engraved”, but rather “freedom”). Also, on the 50th year of Yovel all the slaves are let FREE.


The MiKDaSH Acronym

We find many times “simanim” in shas, to help us remember the sugyos. I’d like to leave you all with a siman that can help us remember the most important yesodos we’ve learned.


For the last seven weeks, we’ve worked together on purifying ourselves from the impurity of Mitzrayim, and hopefully we’ve merited to make ourselves into a Mikdash for Hashem’s presence.


The word MiKDaSH, which also means Holy, is made up of the four letters, Mem, Kuf, Daled and Shin. This can be read as an acronym for the following four major yesodos:


1) Mem: Machlit: To be machlit means to make a strong decision. The Yetzer Hara constantly tries to make us doubt ourselves. He also tries to make the desires seem so important. We must be strong in our decision to fight until the end, knowing that a life of purity is a million times better than a life of tumah. We must believe in ourselves, that if we try hard enough we will succeed! And perhaps most importantly, we must trust in Hashem to help us and never stop davening, as chazal say, “If Hashem doesn’t help him (with the Yetzer Hara), he would never be able to succeed”. If Hashem gave us these tests, He trusts in us that we will succeed. He just wants us to daven and feel we need Him, because that is what builds the relationship!


2) Kuf: Katan: Keep it “small” and insignificant. The avodah of a bachur is to keep these desires “out of sight and out of mind”. Chazal remind us that this “eiver katan – small limb”, is hungry when it’s fed and satiated when it’s starved. The less we feed it, the less we need it. Urges are like waves, they come and go, peaking and then fading away. The less we give in to urges, the smaller they become over time.


3) Daled: Deles: Close the door. Make strong fences. Install good filters on all your devices (see here for help), avoid problematic websites (see the YESOD challenge), and avoid environments that can be triggering. And if you find yourself still slipping, use the TaPHSiC method to set up really strong fences!


4) Shin: Simcha: It is critical to always remain happy. There will be setbacks, but don’t dwell on them. Chazal say: “The Torah cannot be upheld, only through one who has stumbled in it first”, and le’havdil there’s a saying: “The man who never did anything wrong, never did anything.” Through the failures we learn how to make better fences and keep trying better strategies. We will lose some battles, but we will win the WAR. Remind yourself about the thousands of times you did say “No” to the Yetzer Hara. Every time is precious, and it all adds up to bring you to victory in the end. And the best way to stay happy is to keep busy with good things. The pasuk says, “sur mera va’aseh tov”. The chassidic masters stress that “sur mera – staying away from bad”, should be done through “aseh tov – doing good”. And chazal say there is no simcha like Torah. Throw yourself into learning with a geshmak and remember that Hashem tells us, “I have created the Yetzer Hara, and I created Torah as the medicine”.


🌤️ Today I shall…

…rejoice that I spent the last 50 days working on kedusha together with hundreds of others, and I will take away with me for life the “MiKDaSH” acronym, to remember the four main yesodos we learned.