Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 19, v. 2: "K'doshim ti'h'yu" - Rashi says, "Havu frushim min ho'aroyose umin ho'a'veiroh." Learn to be separated and elevated when doing a mitzvoh, from immorality and sins. Just as when one does these acts he does them in as clandestine a manner as possible, so too, you should sanctify yourselves by doing mitzvos out of the public view. (Rabbi Yisroel of Modzitz in Divrei Yisroel)

Ch. 19, v. 10,11: "Le'oni v'la'geir taazove osom, Lo tignovu" - The juxtaposition teaches us to not give charity with ill-gotten goods. (Tiferes Shlomo Admor of Radomsk)

Alternatively, make sure that people provide the poor with basic sustenance. Otherwise they will be forced into abject poverty and might resort to stealing. This is alluded to in T'hilim 72:13,14. "Yochose al dal v'evyone, Mitoch u'meichomos yigal nafshom." (Mahar"i Karo)

Ch. 19, v. 10,11: "Ani Hashem Elokeichem, Lo tignovu" - The cantellation for the word Lo is most unusual. It is a "tipcha," a partial stop, as also evidenced by the word "Tignovu" not being "Signovu. It is as if the verse were saying, "NO, you shall steal." The last words of the previous verse are "Ani Hashem Elokeichem." I am your G-d. "LO," if not, "tignovu," you will surely steal. There are so many opportunities for a person to steal, especially small things, stationery from an office, unauthorized use of a copy machine, etc. etc. Chances of getting caught are miniscule. It is only the awareness of conforming with Hashem's wishes that will stop a person from stealing. (Nirreh li) Alternatively, the gemara B.K. 79b says that a covert thief, a "ganov," is worse than an overt one, a "gazlon." The former fears man more than he fears Hashem, while the latter at least equates them. The Torah therefore tells us here to remember that "Ani Hashem Elokeichem," and that by covertly stealing you are denigrating Hashem greatly. The prohibition of "V'lo sigzole" (verse 13) does not add "Ani Hashem" or the like. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 19, v. 11: "Lo tignovu" - Although the Torah already has stated "Lo tignove" in the Ten Commandments, that was in the singular form, to the common man, "DU zostl nisht ganvenen." There is the person who creates corporations and other sophisticated business ventures through which he swindles people. He is the CEO and the like. The Torah tells him, "the sheina Yid," in the plural respectful form, "IR zolt nisht ganvenen." (Yismach Moshe in Chasidim M'saprim) It is related that Rabbi Shlomo Kluger said this as an admonishment to a Torah scholar who plagiarized someone else's Torah thoughts.

The GR"A says that kidnapping, the prohibition of theft in the Ten Commandments, is not common, hence the command is in the single form. Monetary theft is unfortunately very prevalent, hence the plural form.

Another explanation: Don't steal back that which was stolen from you, hence the plural form (see gemara Brochos 5b story of Rav Huna). (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 19, v. 14: "V'lifnei i'veir lo si'tein mich'shole" - A person is blinded by his evil inclination. He does not keep Torah and mitzvos. Don't help him along on his blind path by being an enabler to sin further. Instead stand in his way. It is prohibited to help someone commit a sin. This is true "lifnei i'veir." (Rambam in pirush hamishnayos Shviis 5:6)

Ch. 19, v. 17: "Hochei'ach tochiach es ami'secho" - When you rebuke your friend your chances of success in his seriously accepting your words are greatly increased if you include yourself in the rebuke. Mention that you too, fall short. Translate "es ami'secho" as WITH your friend. (Rabbi Yoseif Dovid of Olik in G'dulas Mordechai)

A slight variation: "Hochei'ach," rebuke yourself, and only then "tochiach es ami'secho." (Toldos Yaakov Yoseif)

Ch. 19, v. 17: "V'lo siso olov cheit" - Even if you have reprimanded your friend and he has not accepted your reproof, do not hold this against him. You probably did not rebuke him properly. (Rabbi Yechezkeil Shraga of Shinov in Divrei Yechezkeil)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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