Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 2: "Hakapo'res asher al ho'orone" - One should repent, "kapo'res," before he begins to study Torah, symbolized by the Holy Tablets that are contained in the Holy Ark. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 16, v. 2: "Ki be'onon eiro'eh al hakapo'res" - Those who believe in "Torah sheb'al peh" explain these words to mean that only after the Kohein Godol enters the Holy of Holies should he light the incense, which will in turn create a smoky cloud. Those who do not believe in the oral law say that the intention of these words is that the Kohein Godol light the incense before he enters the Holy of Holies (see gemara Yoma 19b, 53a). The words of the written Torah are exact, while "Torah sheb'al peh" is not always clearly evident from the actual words of the Torah. This is symbolized by the smoky cloud created by lighting the incense. This is the disagreement over where to ignite the incense and create the smoky cloud. Those true to "Torah sheb'al peh" say to light the incense in the Holy of Holies, right in front of the Holy Ark, which houses the Holy Tablets, the symbol of the written Torah. The Rabbinic interpretation of the Torah goes together with the Written Torah. They are both true and inseparable. The non-believers say to light the incense in the outer room, creating the smoky cloud there, and only then to bring it in to the Holy Ark. This alludes to their false opinion that the Oral Torah is not part and parcel of the Torah, and that the Oral Torah is the independent innovation of the Rabbis, who bring it from the outside to the Holy Ark and the Holy Tablets, the Written Torah. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 3: "B'zose yovo Aharon" - Aharon shall come with THIS, the prohibition to come whenever he wishes of the previous verse. After hearing that he may not enter at his whim, he is humbled, and this in itself prepares him to enter. (Rabbi Yisroel of Modzitz in Divrei Yisroel)

Ch. 16, v. 4: "Bad kodesh" - Doing mitzvos when no one sees you doing them is holy. (Rabbi Mordechai Yoseif of Radzin in Tiferes Yoseif)

Ch. 16, v. 16: "V'chi'per al hakodesh" - Even the holy acts a person does require atonement. They are sometimes done with the intention to show off, or some other ulterior motive. (Agro D'kaloh)

Ch. 16, v. 16: "Hashochein itom b'soch tumo'som" - Hashem rest His Holy Spirit within the bnei Yisroel even if they are ch"v defiled (gemara Yoma 56b), but not if they are haughty. (Baal Shem Tov)

Ch. 16, v. 22: "El Eretz g'zeiroh" - The scapegoat is brought to the earth, which has a decree against it, "aruroh ho'adomoh." Man is made of this earth, so how is he expected to be perfect? This claim itself brings atonement. (Rabbi Yekusi'eil Yehudoh Grunwald of Siget in Yeitev Lev)

Ch. 16, v. 30: "Ki va'yom ha'zeh y'cha'peir a'leichem l'ta'heir es'chem mikole chatoseichem" - Through the sanctity of the day you will have some atonement. However, there is some residue of the sin still present. To rid yourselves of this you must purify yourselves as well, "a'leichem l'ta'heir es'chem." Then it will be a total cleansing, "mikole chatoseichem." (Rabbi Boruch of Mezhbizh in Botzina Dinhora)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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