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  • #1967260
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Acharei Mos: Tainted Ideals*

    On יום הכיפורים the Kohen Gadol brings three different korbanos: one for his own personal sins, one for the sins of the entire nation, and one specifically for the sin of טומאת מקדש, allowing the בית המקדש to become impure, a sin which is attributed to the Kohanim. What is it that makes this particular sin so severe that it needs its own special atonement on יום הכיפורים?

    R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that the בית המקדש is symbolic of the highest ideals of the Jewish people, of perfection itself. And so by having a מקדש in their midst, the Jewish nation proclaimed both its loyalty to pure Jewish ideals and its desire to draw closer to perfection. Despite whatever shortcomings we may have had, the ideals remained intact.

    However, once we allow the בית המקדש to become defiled, we show that we do not cherish and look up to the Jewish ideals in their purest form. We have allowed the actual way that we live our lives to water down our ideals. And once that happens, we have no ideals left to guide us and urge us to be better. We have nothing left to go back to. This is is why such a dramatic rectification is required specifically for this sin.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1969738
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Emor: Live Life

    We know that a Kohen may not become טמא by coming into contact with a dead body. But why is that?

    R’ Shamshon Rephael Hirsch explains that in many other religions, a priest’s job only relates to death. These religions think that religion is only an explanation for where we go when we die, but not a set of instructions for how we should live our lives while we’re here.

    We believe just the opposite. Once somebody has died, it’s too late for them to change. Our religion is all about improving ourselves while we still can. The Kohanim are forbidden from dealing with the dead in order to emphasize that our religion is about life, not death.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1969778
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Acharei. the highest level of kedusha is still the neshama. The Chasam Sofer explains that the mishkan can not be built on shabbos but for pikuach nefesh, for saving life, shabbos is violated. The thirteen midas of Hashem are against the thirteen midas of derivatuon of the Torah, kel is qgainst a kal vechomer. What is this kal vechomer? I think when we take the wrong sefer torah out by mistake we roll, mish, as not to show it to be defective, so how we should watch not hurt a Jew who has a holy chelek alokai mimaal, heavenly neshama.

    #1969811
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Maybe the remez is in tbe yotzer of Parashas Parah, המת בבית אינו טמא when the dead is in the house, it is not tomei יצא ממנו אותו מטמא if it left from it, makes it tomei. What is the meaning? They say it talks about a dead fetus in the mothers womb. The tomei arrives only after it left but when it is there, it is too late.

    #1971687
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bechukosai: Just Do It

    In the middle of the frightening
    קללות that we are told will befall us if we stray from the path of Torah and mitzvos, the Parsha tells us of a positive development: וְהִתְוַדּ֤וּ אֶת־עֲוֺנָם֙, Klal Yisroel will admit to their sins. And yet, the קללות continue on after that pasuk. If we admit to the mistakes we’ve made, why don’t our troubles end there?

    The Vilna Gaon explains that admitting what you’re doing is wrong is only half the battle. Realizing your mistakes is only helpful if you correct them afterwards. It is not enough to find where we’ve fallen short of living up to our ideals; we must fix the issue if we want anything to change.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1971693
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rambam’s view is that teshuva is not the mitzva but viduy as you cannot tell a person to do teshuva if one does not realize that a mistake was made. However. once teshuva is done, a new person is born on whom the kelolas don’t apply.

    #1974344
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bamidbar: Free For All

    The Medrash tells us that Torah is compared to a desert; just as a desert is הפקר לכל, free to all, so too the Torah is only given to one who makes themselves available to all, מי שמפקיר עצמו לכל.

    Perhaps we can suggest that this why our Parsha, which is focused on counting all of the Jews, begins with mentioning the midbar. Just like the desert is accessible to all, only somebody who is there for every single Jew can become a teacher and leader of the people.

    The Torah is not given to any one individual; Hashem promised it to the nation as a whole. The best way to ensure that Hashem gives you access to the light of the Torah is to approach learning Torah not for your individual satisfaction, but as a representative of the people.

    וכמש״כ המהר״ל באבות: ולפיכך אמר “מי שלמד על מנת ללמד, מספיקין בידו ללמוד וללמד”. כי כאשר כונתו שתהיה התורה בעולם, כאשר ראוי לפי האמת שתהיה התורה בעולם, מספיקין בידו ללמוד וללמד כפי כונתו שרצה.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1975648
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Torah is compared to water which is available for free and flows from high to low to those who are humble. Emes mearetz titzmach, the truth grows from the ground, for those who lower themselves to the ground. So why don’t people find it? Said the Baal Shem Tov because keiner will sich nisht einbeigen, no one wants to bend down.

    #1978245
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bahaloscha: Souls on Fire

    We know that when Ahron HaKohen lit the menorah, he had to light each flame until it was עולה מעלה, strong enough to rise on its own.

    R’ Moshe Feinstein points out that Kohanim were the teachers of the nation, as it says יורו משפטך ליעקב, and Ahron was the leader of the Kohanim. He suggests that we therefore learn a lesson about how to inspire the next generation from this particular halacha.

    It is not enough to educate our children to just do what they are told; one day, nobody will telling them what to do. We must inspire our children to the point that they want to what is right by themselves. We need to instill in them a passion for yiddishkeit that will continue to burn within them for their entire lives. Only when that flame is burning on its own can it continue on without us.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1978515
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות explains the Chasan Sofer that the center is the Rebbi that the talmidim look to, seeing him as heavenly angel. so he stays humble by recognizing that his strength comes from the takmidim and the talmidim rely on the rebbi.

    #1981993
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Korach: Keeping the Balance

    When discussing the Terumah that must always be given to the Kohanim, the Torah refers to it as ברית מלח עולם. Why is salt used as a metaphor for the everlasting?

    Rabeinu Bachya has a fascinating explanation. He says that since salt is produced by cooking water, salt is a mixture of water and fire. So too, Hashem’s promises are eternal because they are composed of both מידת הרחמים (represented by water) and מידת הדין (fire).

    R’ Aaron Lopiansky explains that if Hashem only gave us exactly what we deserve (דין), we couldn’t survive. But if Hashem gave us everything without our deserving it, we would become spoiled instead of productive. The balance is crucial.

    A similar idea applies in our own lives. If we do what is right only out of a sense of obligation, we will eventually run out of willpower. If we do it only out of idealism and inspiration, we will eventually get disheartened. There needs to be a balance of different motivations, יראה and אהבה, for us to keep at it.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #1982006
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The pain for sins is derived for a kol vechomer from a non-jewish servant being freed with the loss of tooth or eye. It is also derived from the fact that salt softens meat, so does pain over sins. In the first case a lot of pain must be tolerated but when compared to salt, to much salt destroys the meat. Similarly to much pain destroys. That is the meaning in mitzraim, voezkor es brisi, the covenant of salt. They have suffered already too much. so it is time for the redemption.

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