THEMES of Featured Ascent Lights

Facing Each Day
Washing one's face before prayer can shield us from worldly evils.
Since the destruction of the Temples, the "priest" is every Jew, and the daily prayers are said in place of the Temple offerings. The Priests must wash their hands and feet before the priestly service; likewise the Rambam dictates that it is appropriate for each of us to prepare ourselves for the morning prayers by washing face, hands and feet.
Covering the Head
Each of us is not complete but only a portion of the whole.
An animal's head is generally level with the rest of its body, showing that the intellect and the emotions of an animal are equal. A person' s head is higher than his body, reminding him to use his brains to control his emotions.
Strange Service
We must train ourselves to see others in a positive light.
Much of this week's Torah portion deals with the sin of the Golden Calf. One lesson learned from this is that idol worship is the root of all sins, and no one is completely immune from it. Some people fail in more overt ways, others more subtly.
Humbled to Greatness
The set of broken tablets prepared us to engage in Torah.
When Moses broke the Tablets, he made each and every single Jewish person feel lowly, broken hearted. And through this broken heart, he opened them up to the study of Torah without limitation for all time, making them a true vessel for the Torah they received.
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