Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 12, v. 2: "V'yoldoh zochor v'tomoh" - What is the cause of defilement after giving birth? The gemara Taanis 2a says that although Hashem gives out keys (sends out intermediaries) for many functions, there are three keys which He does not relinquish, but rather He personally intervenes in carrying out these three functions. They are the keys for rainfall, the resurrection of the dead, and birth. This explains the words in Breishis 30:22, "Va'yiftach HASHEM es rachmoh." Since Hashem's Holy Presence is in attendance at every birth, upon leaving, there is such a void of sanctity that it brings about defilement. This is similar to the defilement caused by a dead body, which is caused by the departure of the sanctity of a Jewish soul. (The Holy Admor of Kotzk)

Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimole" - The number seven represents that which within the confines of physical nature, while the number eight denotes that which above the constraints of natural order. By removing the "orloh," the unwanted portion, on the eighth day we connect the circumcised child with that which is above nature, bringing him to more easily strive for heavenly pursuits. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 12, v. 6: "Keves ben shnoso l'oloh u'ven yonoh o sor l'chatos" - The sacrifices offered by a woman who has given birth are a throwback to the cause for women going through a most painful birthing process, the primary sin of Chavoh. She both sinned in the realm of thought by believing the enticing words of the snake, and also in the realm of action by actually eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree, hence an "oloh" to atone for the sin of thought, and a "chatos" to atone for the sin of action. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 13, v. 2: "B'ore b'soro s'eis" - If a person sins in the realm of flesh, i.e. physical lusts, the root of this is haughtiness, "s'eis," he elevates himself. (Rabbi Aharon of Zelichov)

Ch. 13, v. 3: "Nega tzoraas" - As a result of speaking badly of others one is visited by a "nega" skin affliction. Instead of speaking pleasantly and creating a pleasant effect, "oneg," the speaker of "loshon hora" takes the letters of "oneg" and causes himself a "nega." Instead of being able t enjoy the company of a group of friends, "atzerres," he switches these letters around and has to reside in solitude with his "tzoraas." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 13, v. 13: "Kulo hofach lovon tohor hu" - Once the affliction has spread over his complete body, he can no longer deceive himself into thinking that all is in order. He is surely on his way back to mending his shortcomings. Once he faces this direction he is already pure. (Adaptation of thought mentioned in Gur Aryeh by Mahara"l of Prague)

Ch. 13, v. 45: "V'to'mei to'mei yikroh" - It is the tendency of a person who has a certain nature to attract people of the same nature. The impure person will call out to another impure person. (Holy Zohar on parshas Va'yishlach)

Ch. 13, v. 55: "V'hi'nei lo hofach ha'nega es eino'mei hu" - Behold the word "nega" has not switched the position of its letter Ayin. Had it done so we would have "oneg," pleasure. However, the afflicted garment has not changed, so it remains, "to'mei hu." (Itu'rei Torah)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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