Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 18, v. 4: "Es mishpotai taasu v'es chukosai" - You should perform the "mishpotim," mitzvos which you have an understanding, with the same attitude as "v'es chukosai," mitzvos which are beyond your intellect, simply because they are Hashem's command. (Rabbi Moshe Yechiel of Ozsherov in B'eir Moshe)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Ushmartem es chuko'sai v'es mishpotai" - You should eagerly anticipate, as in "v'oviv SHOMAR es hadovor" (Breishis 37:11), the opportunity to fulfill Hashem's statutes and laws. (Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov of Sadigura in Ner Yisroel)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Ushmartem es chuko'sai v'es mishpotai asher yaa'seh osom ho'odom vochai bo'hem" - Your guarding His statutes, doing His laws, and your daily activities that are required to keep you alive, should all be done in the service of Hashem. (Rabbi Yehoshua Heshel of Monostritch in Divrei Yehoshua)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Asher yaa'seh osom ho'odom vochai bo'hem" - Don't do the mitzvos in a dead mechanical manner. Put life into them. (Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk in Pardes Yoseif) You should draw life from your excitement of fulfilling mitzvos. They are your raison d'etre. (Chidushei Hori"m in Sifsei Tzadik)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Vochai bo'hem ani Hashem" - The Holy Zohar volume Shmos page 32b derives from the words "tnu oze lEilokim" (T'hilim 68:35) that we give strength to Hashem kavyochol by performing His mitzvos. Thus guarding Hashem's "chukim" and doing His "mishpotim" gives Him life. (Degel Machaneh Efrayim)

Ch. 18, v. 6: "El kol sheir b'soro lo sik'r'vu l'galos ervoh ani Hashem" - The gemara B.B. 111b says "'sheiro' zu ishto." Even when a person has relations with his own wife, it should not be with the intention of pursuing and fulfilling his lusts, "lo suk'r'vu l'galos ervoh." Rather, his intention should be to fulfill the wish of Hashem, "ani Hashem." (Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchov in Kedushas Levi)


Ch. 19, v. 2: "Kol ADAS bnei Yisroel .. k'doshim t'h'yu" - You will only be successful in becoming sanctified when you are unified, an "eidoh." (Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel of Apt in Oheiv Yisroel)

Ch. 19, v. 2: "Adas bnei Yisroel .. k'doshim t'h'yu" - An "eidoh" is a group of 10 bnei Yisroel, as per the verse "Elokim nitzov baADAS Keil)" (T'hilim 81:1). When 10 bnei Yisroel assemble the Holy Spirit of Hashem rests upon them (Pirkei Ovos 3:7). Therefore Hashem tells us to be holy when we are an "eidoh," so that He not be forced to rest His Holy Spirit upon a group of people that is not holy. (Rabbi Mordechai Yoseif of Ishbitze in Mei Hashiloach)

Ch. 19, v. 2: "K'doshim t'h'yu ki kodosh ani Hashem" - Rashi says that Hashem tells us in this verse that although it is required of the bnei Yisroel to be holy, they should realize that the highest level of sanctity that they can possibly achieve is still below that of Hashem's sanctity. This is alluded to in these words themselves. The word "k'doshim," which is directed to the bnei Yisroel, is spelled lacking the letter Vov between the Dalet and the Shin, indicating a limited sanctity. The word "kodosh," which refers to Hashem's sanctity, is spelled in full, with the letter Vov between the Dalet and the Shin, indicating a complete sanctity. (Rabbi Sholo-m of Belz in Midbar Ko'deish)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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