Close this search box.

Vertluch: Parshas Achrei-Mos/Kedoshim

The Ohr H’achaim in the beginning of parshas Kedoshim, explains why the Torah placed the mitzvah of fearing ones parents immediately after the mitzvah of ‘kedoshim tiheyu’-you should be holy. What is the connection between these two mitzvos that they are put side by side?

He quotes the mekubolim that say whenever a person feels challenged, the yetzer hora is about to get him, and he should try and visualize the image of his parents. The mekubolim say, that the image of ones parents alone is capable of increasing the level of kedusha in their children and will help in preventing them from doing aveiros. That is why the Torah places these two mitzvos side by side, because by virtue of truly fearing ones parents he will ultimately reach the level of ‘kedoshim tiheyu.’

Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Vilovsky, zt”l, known as the Ridbaz, was originally a Rov in Lita and then, towards the end of his life, moved to Chicago and continued as a Rov. Due to his advanced age and the bitter Chicago winters, it became increasingly difficult for him to leave his home. One night, in the midst of a bitter Chicago blizzard, the Ridbaz began putting on his coat and scarf preparing to venture out to shul. His family members protested saying that the conditions were hazardous and he would be compromising his health if he went out. He informed them that this night was the Yahrtzait of his father and he had to go to shul to daven with a minyan, at any cost. They objected even to this-saying that his father would understand if would see the weather. He turned to them and said; I will not allow anything, especially cold temperatures, to stop me from going to shul. He continued to explain…

When I was a young child my parents struggled financially. It got to the point that my Rebbi informed my father that he can’t continue to learn with me if he doesn’t get paid. My parents were devastated and were on the verge of telling the Rebbi to find another talmid. And then my father came up with a plan. After discussing it with my mother, they agreed to dismantle the brick oven that served as the heater in our home, sell it and use the proceeds to pay my Rebbi. That was a very cold winter. The family was constantly freezing, but happy to allow me to learn. Now you can understand why I won’t allow the cold temperature from stopping me. The image of my parents dismantling the oven, brick by brick, with smiles on their faces, knowing that this will allow their child to learn, will remain with me forever.

We as parents have the responsibility of living up to standards that will hopefully help our children overcome struggles that arise through life. Our actions are etched into their minds and form their memories. Let us hope that these memories will remain with them and will be helpful to them as they serve as the inspiration for the future generation.


Leave a Reply

Popular Posts