Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 3: "Rav lochem ki kol ho'eidoh chulom k'doshim" - The greatness that you have attained, "rav lochem," is not to your credit. Rather it was bestowed upon you in the merit of the holy congregation that you are to serve, "ki kol ho'eidoh chulom k'doshim." (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 16, v. 4: "Va'yishma Moshe va'yipole al ponov" - Rashi says that Moshe fell on his face as he had no further defense for such behaviour. It was their fourth distasteful act. Is this a result of accumulative sinning or is there a connection from one sin to the next? Regarding the previous sin of the golden calf we may say that Moshe offered a defense of, "You have commanded only ME to not create a false god, since the command prohibiting such an act was said in the singular form, "Lo y'h'yeh L'CHO elohim acheirim" (Shmos 20:3). However, once Korach claimed that the complete congregation was equally holy because they all heard "Onochi" and "Lo y'h'yeh l'cho," this defense fell away and retroactively the sin of the golden calf was activated. (Rabbi Boruch of Vizhnitz in Imrei Boruch)

Ch. 16, v. 5: "Asher yivchar bo yakriv eilov" - These words allude to the dictum of the gemara Makos 10b, "B'derech she'odom rotzeh lei'leich boh molichin oso," - in the path that a person wishes to go, he is led. (Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk in Ohr Pnei Moshe)

Ch. 16, v. 29: "Y'musun ei'leh" - The word "ei'leh" seems superfluous. However, it teaches us that they are not beyond repenting. Only THESE people are deserving of a supernatural death. If they repent, they will not be the same people, as per the Rambam in hilchos teshuvoh 2:4, and will be saved. (Rabbi Avrohom of Tshechinov in Siach Sarfei Kodesh)

Ch. 16, v. 30: "Chaim sh'oloh" - It is conceivable that a person thinks that he is full of spiritual life, "chaim," while in reality he has sunk to the lowest level, "sh'oloh." (Rabbi Yoseif Yitzchok of Lubavitch in Hayom Yom)

Ch. 18, v. 7: "Avodas matonoh e'tein K'hunas'chem v'hazor hako'reiv" - Only if you realize that your being elevated to the level of a Kohein is a Heavenly present are you a proper Kohein. Otherwise you are considered "v'hazor hako'reiv." (Imrei Emes)

Ch. 18, v. 20: "V'chei'lek lo y'h'yeh L'CHO" - When a person prays to Hashem for his physical sustenance, it should be requested as a need for the community, and not as a need for oneself only, as indicated by these words of our verse. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 18, v. 29: "Es mik'd'sho mi'menu" - When a person feels that he has elevated and sanctified himself, "es mik'd'sho," he should still realize that the levels attained were only possible with the help of Hashem, "mi'menu." (Rabbi Eliezer of Tornograd in Noam M'godim)

Ch. 18, v. 31: "Vaachaltem .. chei'lef avodas'chem b'Ohel Mo'eid" - Your eating should be so sanctified that it can be a fair exchange, an equally elevated activity, as your prayer, your service in the Sanctuary. (Noam Elimelech)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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