Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 2: "V'al yovo v'chol eis el hakodesh" - The gemara K'subos 50b says that one who supports his sons and daughters fulfills the verse "Ashrei shomrei mishpot osei tzedokoh v'chol eis" (T'hilim 106:3). Who does charity at all times? It is he who supports his sons and daughters. One might be misled into thinking that this great merit, one that is constant, will elevate him even though he is bereft of Torah knowledge and mitzvos. Our verse tells us, "v'al yovo v'chol eis," he cannot come only with the merit of "b'chol eis," supporting his children, but lacking other mitzvos, "el hakodesh," to a level of holiness. (The Holy Chozeh of Lublin in Toldos Yitzchok)

Ch. 16, v. 8: "LaAzozeil" - We know that wherever there is greater sanctity, there exists greater spiritual negativity as well, to allow for a balance of free choice. On this most holy day of the year when atonement abounds, there is corresponding involvement with the negative Azozeil. The letters of this word are Ayin-Zayin-Aleph-Zayin-Lamed, which are the first letters of "Zeh L'u'mas Zeh Osoh Elokim." (The Holy Admor of Kamarna) (This is a take-off on Koheles 7:14, where it actually says *HO*Elokim.)

Ch. 16, v. 16: "Hashochein itom b'soch tumosom - The Holy Baal Shem Tov once came to a community. He was greeted by the leaders and was told that there were two choices of lodging, one at the home of a great Torah scholar who was very haughty and arrogant. The second possibility was at the home of a friendly man who was a sinner. The Holy Baal Shem Tov said that he would prefer to lodge at the home of the sinner. His told his rationale. We are to learn how to behave from Hashem. Hashem tells us in this verse that He is willing to lodge even among people who are defiled by sins. However, when it comes to an inflated haughty person, Hashem says that He cannot reside with him in this world (gemara Sotoh 5a). (Rabbi Avrohom Chaim of Zlotshov in Pri Chaim on Pikei Ovos 4:4 in the name of the Holy Baal Shem Tov)

Ch. 18, v. 5: "Asher yaa'seh osom ho'odom v'chai bohem" - A person should train himself to derive his main life force from the study of Torah and doing mitzvos. (Chidushei HoRi"m)

Ch. 18, v. 30: "U'shmartem es mishmarti" - As the spiritual level of the generations declines, there is a need to add stringencies where matters were previously permitted. The extra merit of keeping these stringencies elevates the weaker generations and somewhat compensates for their spiritual decline. This is alluded to in our verse. "You should add a guarding to My already existent safeguard." (Hagaon Hechosid miVilna the GR"A) It seems that this explanation translates "es" as WITH.


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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