Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 18, v. 3: "K'maa'sei eretz Mitrayim .. lo saasu" - The Torah is exhorting us to accept the authority of our leaders. Don't do like the STORIES of Egypt, for example, when Doson and Avirom said to Moshe, "Mi somcho l'ish." (Mo'ore Voshomesh)

Ch. 18, v. 3: "K'maa'sei eretz Mitrayim .. lo saasu uchmaa'sei eretz K'naan .. lo saasu" - This parsha is read on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Since we entreat Hashem for forgiveness we want to mention our merits. By reading this verse, where Hashem forbids us to behave as do the Egyptians and the descendants of Eisov and others who occupy Canaan, we show that even if we did not behave properly, we are nonetheless much better than the Egyptians, bnei Eisov, etc. (Zichron Aharon)


Ch. 19, v. 2: "K'doshim ti'h'yu" - Rashi says that this parsha was taught to an assemblage. We see that not only when one is alone can he attain holiness, but even when among many people. (Bendiner Rov in Y'cha'hein P'eir)

Ch. 19, v. 13: "Lo solin" - The Rebbe Reb Zisha's daughter was engaged to be married. Setting aside from his meager income, the Rebbe finally amassed sufficient funds to buy some fair quality material and pay a tailor for his work. When the tailor advised the Rebbe's wife that the dress was ready, she went to his tailor shop to pick up her daughter's dress. She lifted up the dress and scanned it from top to bottom, very pleased with the results. She said, "And now, let me pay you." The tailor let out a slight groan. After repeated requests for an explanation for his groaning he told the Rebbitzen that he too had a daughter who was to soon be married. The bridegroom was visiting when the tailor was close to finishing his work on this dress and thought that his future father-in-law was tailoring this gorgeous garment for his kallah. When advised that it was in the finishing stages for a customer, the bridegrooms face fell, obviously very disappointed. The tailor was so poor that he could not even purchase material from which to cut a dress.

Upon hearing this, the Rebbitzen did not hesitate. She immediately put it back onto the counter and told the tailor that it would be her gift for the kallah. The tailor was more than pleased and thanked her profusely. When she came home and related the story to the Rebbe, he immediately asked if she also paid the tailor his wages. His wife was incredulous. "I gave him the expensive material as a present, and I have to pay him for his work on his 'own daughter's' dress as well?"

"Yes," said Rebbe Reb Zisha. "Once you picked up the dress it was yours and you owed him every last coin for his work. Independent of this was your decision to give the dress as a present."

Ch. 19, v. 18: "V'ohavto l'rei'acho komocho" - Immediately after this we find the prohibition of certain mixtures in breeding, agriculture, and clothing materials. This teaches us that even though we are to love our fellow man, we cannot indiscriminately befriend just anyone. Oft times we are to distance ourselves from certain people for fear that they will influence us in a most negative manner.

Ch. 19, v. 18: "V'ohavto l'rei'acho komocho" - "Komocho" can be sourced from the word form Kof-Mem-Hei, as in "komah l'cho vsori" (T'hilim 63:2, - my flesh desires for You. You should love your friend as much as your desire, "komocho," to have him like you and treat you with kindness. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 19, v. 30: "Umikdoshi tiro'u" - The Sforno says that included in this mitzvoh is to properly hallow a place that is dedicated to Torah study or prayer. The second world war brought devastation upon the Ashekenazic Jewish world, while the Sfardic communities fared noticeably better. This can be attributed to the fact that among the Sfardim absolutely no idle talking or lightheadedness is tolerated during their prayers. Respect for their houses of worship and worship itself provided a shield for them. (Rabbi Yaakov Landa who heard this from the Imrei Emes)

Ch. 19, v. 36: "V'hin tzedek yi'h'yeh lochem" - The gemara B.M. 49a derives from "hin tzedek" that your YES should be righteous, i.e. that one only speak the truth. It is not enough to feel that "honesty is the best policy," but to totally internalize this as the only proper behaviour. This is the intention of the following words, "yi'h'yeh lochem," that honesty should become "lochem," part and parcel of your makeup. (Taam Vodaas)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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