Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'hisvadu es chatosom asher ossu v'heishiv es ashomo b'rosho" - If a person deflects the severity of his sin, and even when confessing he says that it is a sin that is commonly transgressed, hence the plural terms at the beginning of this verse, he should know that his guilt remains on his head. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 5, v. 17: "Umin he'ofor" - We find earth used for another mitzvoh as well, and that is for covering the blood of a ritually slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal. Commentators explain that the blood of these species is covered to teach a person that although he will now consume them, he should consciously do an act that will separate himself from their base characteristic of free-flight, birds, and unrestrained pursuit of their instincts, animals of the wild. Perhaps, here too, we add earth to the "sotoh" water concoction to teach the wayward woman that she should have been restrained at her time of great passion. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Ish o ishoh ki yafli" - The Ibn Ezra writes that "yafli" means "doing a wondrous act." By vowing to be a nozir, and thus having to restrain oneself from indulging in otherwise permitted acts, he has done something wondrous, as people actively pursue their lusts.

A person approached a holy Admor and disparagingly asked, "Rebbi, don't you admit that being an Admor is a lust as least as bad as any other despicable lust? Yours is a position replete with being honoured." The holy Admor responded, "You are quite right. However, there is one major difference between mine and your lusts. By being an Admor, I must through away all other lusts, while you can think that you are humble and do not pursue honour, and concurrently run after innumerable other "taavos."

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Lindor neder nozir l'hazir laShem" - Rashi (gemara Sotoh 2a) says that this parsha is specifically placed after the parsha of the "sotoh" to teach us that he who sees the degradation of the "sotoh" should abstain from wine. Why in the Talmud do we not follow this order, as we first have "maseches" Nozir and then "Sotoh"? The Torah follows the verse "Sur mei'ro vaa'sei tov" (T'hilim 34:15), as in earlier generations people were of the stature of pulling themselves out of the negative morass of their sins quickly and totally. Later generations were spiritually weaker and their slow process of turning away from bad could be so lengthy that they might never reach the point of "a'sei tov." (Imrei Emes in Pninim Y'korim)

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Nozir h'hazir laShem" - By his making himself a nozir, separating himself from that which is permitted to him, he creates an aura of sanctity that affects others to do the same, "nozir l'hazir." (Yashreish Yaakov)

Ch. 6, v. 5: "Kodosh yi'h'yeh" - Rashi says that his hair is holy. Just as he prohibited items and acts that the Torah permits, so too, that which is beyond his basic body, his hair, also becomes sanctified. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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