Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 21, v. 1: "Emor .. v'omarto" - Rashi says that "v'omarto" teaches us to have the adults warn the children, "L'hazhir hagdolim al haktanim." We can interpret these words to mean, "To warn the great leaders, "g'dolim," to be careful about even small sins, "al haktanim," and that they should not incorrectly assume that since they are involved in major spiritual activities small sins are insignificant. (Noam Elimelech)

Alternatively, the adults should be cautioned to behave in a befitting manner, so that the children should learn from them how to properly act. (Rabbi Chaim of Tchernovitz in B'eir Mayim Chaim)

Alternatively, to require the great people to cast their spiritual glow, "l'hazhir," upon the people of smaller stature. (Rabbi Chaim Mayer of Viznitz in Imrei Chaim)

Alternatively, to require those who consider themselves as great people to diminish their stature in their own eyes. (Rabbi Chaim Mayer of Viznitz in Imrei Chaim)

Ch. 22, v. 32: "V'nikdashti b'soch bnei Yisroel" - If necessary, a person is required to even forfeit his life for the sanctification of Hashem. When a person has an urge to do something that is contrary to the Torah and pushes away the urge simply because it is against the Torah, this is also considered "mesiras nefesh." (Baal Hatanya in Torah Ohr parshas B'shalach)

Ch. 23, v. 2: "Asher tik'r'u OSOM" - OSOM is spelled defectively, without a letter Vov, allowing for it to be read ATEM. The gemara Rosh Hashonoh 25a derives from this that the Rabbinical courts decide when the new months begin, effectively creating the calendar dates, and they actually decide on which day the holidays take place. The gemara says that their rulings are binding even if they are mistaken in their calculations and are factually wrong; "ATEM afilu shog'gim afilu muto'im." Since in Dvorim 14:1 it says "Bonim ATEM laShem Elokeichem," and it literally says ATEM and not OSOM, surely you are still Hashem's children, even if you sin and are "shog'gim or muto'im." (S'fas Emes)

Ch. 23, v. 40: "Va'anaf eitz ovose" - These words refer to the "hadasim." In Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. 646:6-9 it states that if the "hadasim's" leaves are totally died out they are invalid. If however, they are only wilted they are acceptable. If the majority of the "hadasim's" leaves are totally dried out but we are left with a group of three fresh leaves at the top of each of the three "hadasim" stalks, they are also acceptable. However, if they are wilted they are invalid.

We can allegorically applied these rulings to the worldwide situation of the bnei Yisroel. When the majority of the bnei Yisroel is fresh, i.e. committed to the Torah's values, then even if they are somewhat flawed, it is acceptable by Hashem. If however, the majority is totally dried out, i.e. behaving in a manner that has no semblance of one who fulfills the Torah's precepts, then the few who are faithful must be fresh, totally committed to Hashem's Torah with no shortcomings, to be able to protect the bnei Yisroel. (The Holy Chofetz Chaim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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