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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS ACHA'REI MOSE 5774 BS"D

Ch. 16, v. 2: "V'al yovo b'chol eis el hakodesh" - And he shall not come at anytime to the holy - The gemara explains the words "Osseh tzedokoh v'chol eis" to refer to the person who financially supports his wife and children. One might think that he has reached the apex of sanctity through totally involving himself in a livelihood. Another person might forsake all his financial responsibilities to his wife (a contractual responsibility in the kesuboh) and children and totally immerse himself in Torah study and other mitzvos, and think that he has thus reached "el hakodesh." The golden middle is the correct path. (Korbon He'oni)

Ch. 16, v. 3: "B'zose yovo Aharon el hakodesh" - With this Aharon may enter the Holy - The previous verse says "V'al yovo b'chol eis el hakodesh." With this, the control he exhibits of not entering just any time, he becomes elevated and may enter on Yom Kippur. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 16, v. 3: "B'zose yovo Aharon el hakodesh" - With this Aharon may enter the Holy - He actually enters the Holy of Holies so why does the verse not say "el kodesh hakodoshim?" Although in our jargon the inner chamber is called the "kodesh hakodoshim" the verse says that he is only entering the "kodesh" because there is a location that is even holier. This is on top of the "kaporres," from whence the words of Hashem emanate to Moshe. (N'tzi"v)

Ch. 17, v. 4: "V'el pesach o'hel mo'eid lo heivi'o dom yeichosheiv lo'ish hahu" - And to the opening of the tent of meeting he has not brought it it will be calculated as if that man has spilled blood - The ante-deluvian law was that no one was allowed to slaughter an animal. When the Torah introduced permission in parshas Noach it was limited to when all applicable laws were adhered to and otherwise the law reverts to ante-deluvian law. This is why when a person slaughters his offering outside the Mikdosh compound it is as if he spilled innocent blood. (Sforno)

Ch. 18, v. 2: "V'omarto a'lei'hem ani Hashem Elokeichem" - And you shall say to them I am Hashem your G-d - It seems from these words that Moshe was commanded to say "I am Hashem your G-d," something that sounds as if Moshe is ch"v saying that he is Hashem. The gemara Sukos says that we say on Sukos "Ani Voho hoshio na." this is explained as two Holy Names of Hashem derived from the three verses that are in a continuum in parshas B'shalach that each has 72 letters, and through a system 72 groups of three letters each are derived. They are called the 72 letter Holy Name of Hashem. This is the intention here as well. Tell the bnei Yisroel that "Ani Hashem Elokeichem," three words that are all Hashem's Names has said (Haksav V'hakaboloh) Obviously this is quite a chiddush. I wonder if based on this insight a sofer should sanctify this word with kedushas Hashem.

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Asher yaa'seh osom ho'odom vochai bohem" - That a person shall do and shall live in/from them - Don't do mitzvos by rote! Put life and spirit into your mitzvos. (Holy Admor of Kotzk)

He will live INSIDE them. Even when a person just plans to execute a mitzvoh, a holy spirit from above descends and envelopes him. This sanctity intensifies when he actually does the mitzvoh. He literally exists inside the cocoon of the mitzvoh. (Nefesh Hachaim)

One is to put his whole life into the fulfillment of mitzvos. The mitzvoh itself puts life back into the person. This is why Nodov and Avihu died. Although they put their whole being into bringing fire to Hashem, they nonetheless died because there was no command to do so. (Chdushei Hori"m)

One should draw his raison d'etres from mitzvos and from no other source. No "I really come to life when " (Chidushei Hori"m)

One should draw his life sustenance from the Torah. This also refers to "olom ha'zeh." If you want to have a happy, meaningful "olom ha'zeh," work on preparing for your "olom habo." (Nisoyon hachaim)

Live only through Torah and mitzvos. Without them life is devoid of any meaning. The Rambam writes that there are three sins for which a person should rather give up his life than transgress, and he is prohibited from offering his life rather than transgressing any other of the mitzvos. If he gives up his life for any other mitzvoh it is as if he has committed suicide. Rabbeinu Yeruchom says that one may be stringent and give up his life for another mitzvoh as well. The Ram"o and Sha"ch write that a holy upright Chosid may give up his life for a lesser mitzvoh if he is sure that it will bring a sanctification of Hashem. This opinion seems quite hard to comprehend, as the gemara clearly states only three cardinal sins. Based on our verse that a person draws his life's sustenance from mitzvos, we have a bit of a grasp of this opinion. (Yismach Moshe)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Vochai bohem ani Hashem" - And shall live in/from them I am Hashem - When a person does mitzvos with enthusiasm then "ani Hashem," Hashem is present. (Rabbi Aharon Hagodol of Karlin)

Ch. 18, v. 6: "Ish ish" - A man a man - This is one of four places in our parsha that we find this expression. By the other three the verse goes on to say "mi'beis Yisroel," but not here. This is because in the other places the law under discussion only applies to the bnei Yisroel. Here, where the verse is discussing sins of improper unions, goyim are also included, and hence no "mibnei Yisroel." (Tosfos Brochoh)

Ch. 18, v. 21: "Umizaracho lo si'tein l'haavir lamolech" - And from your children shall you not give to pass through molech - This prohibition is mentioned in the middle of the list of forbidden unions to teach us that even if a person ch"v begot a child from a union that carries the penalty of excision, and the child is a "mamzeir," nevertheless, the Torah prohibits offering the child to molech. (Taama Dikra)

Ch. 18, v. 21: "Umizaracho lo si'tein l'haavir lamolech" - And from your children shall you not give to pass through molech - The greatest bond a person has is to his family. His children are his greatest love. Molech's service was to give up one's greatest love to this deity. Hashem does not want this. He wants us to nurture our greatest bonds. (Mei Hashilo'ach)

Ch. 18, v. 28: "Kaasher ko'oh es hagoy asher lifneichem" - As it has expelled the nation in front of you - Hashem had an original plan to create the world with strict judgment and later, when it came to the actual creation, He brought mercy in as well. The closer to the source of creation the stricter it is. We find this in other matters as well. The Holy of Holies does not allow fir the entry of even a Kohein, and even the Kohein Godol, who is allowed to enter, it is only at restricted times, with much preparation, i.e. offering of korbonos and ketorres. There were areas of the Mikdosh campus where only Kohanim were allowed, but only with preparation, and then there were areas where even bnei Yisroel were allowed. The further from the source, the more lenient in what it can absorb, i.e. the less "din" and more "rachamim." Eretz Yisroel is so holy that it cannot maintain sinners, but "chutz lo'oretz," which is not holy, can endure sinners. (Arvei Nachal on parshas Breishis)

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See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a


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