Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 19, v. 2: "K'doshim t'h'yu" - Our parsha ends with "d'mei'hem bom." This teaches us that we are requires to sanctify ourselves even at the cost of our blood being spilled. (The Holy Admor of Kotzk in Emes Ve'emunoh)

Ch. 19, v. 2: "K'doshim t'h'yu ki kodosh ani Hashem" - The medrash says that once a person pursues levels of holiness he might think that he has totally cleaved with Hashem. Our verse therefore continues with, "ki kodosh ani Hashem." This teaches us that My holiness is above yours, "k'dushosi l'maaloh mikdushas'chem." We can interpret these words to mean, "My sanctity above, "k'dushosi l'maaloh," comes from your sanctifying yourselves below, "mikdushas'chem." (The Holy Rebbe Reb Ber, the Magid of Mezeritch) Alternatively, "k'dushosi l'maaloh," My sanctity is above in the heavens and has left the lower spheres, mikdushas'chem," because of your sanctity, which you think is to be equated with Mine. Haughtiness causes Hashem's sanctity to leave us. (Rabbi Mendel of Viznitz in Tzemach Tzadik)

Ch. 19, v. 3: "ISH imO v'ovIV tirO'U" - The verse begins in the singular form, but continues in the plural form. This is because through one man's fearing his parents he teaches his own child by example to do the same, thus two people will fear their parents. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 19, v. 17,18: "Lo sisno es ochicho bilvo'vecho, V'ohavto l'r'acho komocho" - Why regarding a brother is it sufficient to only not hate him, and regarding a friend is it required to not only not hate him, but to even love him? The Torah requires that we love everyone of our fellowmen. As long as one doesn't hate his flesh-and-blood brother, he will automatically love him, as they are brothers. When it comes to an acquaintance, it is insufficient to just not hate him, as this does not automatically engender love. We must consciously work on actually loving him. (Rabbi Zvi Hirsch of Lomza in Sh'eiris Menachem)

Ch. 19, v. 17: "Lo sisno es ochicho bilvo'vecho hochei'ach tochiach es ami'secho" - Before admonishing your fellow man make sure that it is not motivated by even the smallest vestige of animosity towards him, but rather only by true concern for his well-being. First make sure that "lo sisno es ochicho bilvo'vecho" before embarking on "hochei'ach tochiach es ami'secho." (Rabbi Yehudoh Leib of Polno'oh in Kol Aryeh)

Ch. 19, v. 17: "Hochei'ach tochiach es ami'secho" - Just as we derive from "himole yimole" (gemara Avodoh Zoroh 27a) that only one who is himself circumcised may circumcise another, so too, "hochei'ach tochiach" teaches us that only one who has been admonished, even if only by himself, may admonish another, "K'shote atz'm'cho v'achar kach k'shote acheirim" (gemara B.M. 107b). (Rabbi Hillel Paritcher in the name of the Tzemach Tzedek in Likutei Diburim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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