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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 4: "V'rochatz bamayim es b'soro ulveishom" - And he shall cleanse his body in the water and then wear them - The gemara Yoma 32a says that not only when the Kohein Godol changed from his regular eight garments into the Yom Kippur four garments or reverse, was he required to immerse in a mikveh, but also at the end of Yom Kippur, when he took of his priestly garments he was required to immerse in a mikveh, before dressing himself in his regular weekday clothes. This teaches us that not only when the Kohein Godol was about to embark upon doing holy service was he to elevate himself through immersion in a mikveh, but also when he was about to bring himself back to worldly physical activities he should prepare himself in sanctity to invest holiness even in his mundane activities. (Rabbi Shimshon R'foel Hirsch)

Ch. 16, v. 6: "V'chi'per baado uv'ad beiso" - And he shall bring atonement for himself and his household - The gemara Yoma 2a says that his household means his wife, and if the Kohein Godol did not have a wife on Yom Kippur he would be disqualified to do the service. Here we have the Kohein Godol on his highest level, not having eaten, after such preparation before entering the Holy of Holies that the Holy Zohar says that when he enters he is so elevated that he is not called a human, and yet without a wife he is disqualified. How poignantly a lesson that sanctity is not measured by separation, but rather by sanctifying the worldly. (Avnei Shoham)

Ch. 16, v. 30: "Ki va'yom ha'zeh y'cha'peir a'leichem l'ta'heir" - Because on this day He will bring atonement upon you to purify - With our set calendar Yom Kippur can only fall on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Shabbos Kodesh. Items that were created during these days during the seven days of creation do not become defiled (see mishnoh Keilim 17:14). (Hillel Omeir)

Ch. 16, v. 30: "Mikole chatoseichem" - From all of your sins - The Sforno explains this verse as follows: On this day the Kohein will bring atonement for you through his sacrificial service. However, this only cleanses a bit, "MIkole chatoseichem," FROM all your sins, from them but not totally. This is why fasting and refraining from work is required, as well as serious repenting. The true resolve of repenting can only be judged by Hashem, "lifnei Hashem tit'horu," in front of Hashem you can become totally cleansed.

Ch. 18, v. 26: "Ushmartem .. v'lo saasu mikole hato'eivose ho'ei'leh" - And you shall safeguard .. and you shall not do any of these abominations - What is added with "Ushmartem"? Verse 28 (also see 20:22) says that if you will ch"v do these abominations "V'lo soki ho'oretz es'chem." As mentioned in an earlier edition of Sedrah Selections, seemingly the verse should have said the opposite, that if you will sin by acting immorally the land WILL expel you. We can say that the intention of the verse is that an even greater punishment awaits the nation. Rather than expelling those who act immorally, the land will allow them to remain, and obviously they will bring down the moral standard, making it more and more enticing to sin in this realm. This is a truly terrifying punishment. This is the intention of "Ushmartem." We must safeguard the land by not allowing this to happen. (Taam Vodaas)


Ch. 19, v. 3: "Ish imo v'oviv tiro'u" - A man his father and mother shall fear - Ish connotes a male who has reached the age of majority, an adult. Even if one is an adult, is married, and has great family responsibilities, our verse teaches that he still has accountability to his parents. (Ksav Sofer)

Ch. 19, v. 17: "Hochei'ach tochiach es amisecho v'lo siso olov cheit" - Repeatedly rebuke your friend and do not bear on it a sin - When one repeatedly and soundly rebukes his friend, as is required by halacha if there is no positive response, there is a fear that the sin will be cheapened in the eyes of the one who reprimands. This is because he has been witness to the sin and has also experienced a feeble or no response for the better from his fellow man. This is why the Torah warns that the one who rebukes shall not bear a sin, meaning that he not fall prey to the same sin. We find that Y'rovom rebuked King Shlomo for causing the late offering of the daily tomid sacrifice (see T.K. Chapter #12). King Shlomo accepted the rebuke and we never again find that he allowed the tomid to be sacrificed late. Yet Y'rovom himself later set up calves in the northern area of Eretz Yisroel to dissuade the bnei Yisroel from making the pilgrimage to Yerusholayim and bringing their sacrifices there, a resounding negation of bringing sacrifices. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 19, v. 29: "Al t'cha'leil es bit'cho l'haznosoh" - Do not desecrate your daughter to cause her to act immorally - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel explains that one should not delay finding a proper marriage partner for his daughter, lest she be drawn to sin.

Ch. 19, v. 32: "Mipnei seivoh tokum v'hodarto pnei zo'kein" - For an elderly person you shall stand and you shall venerate the presence of an elder - If you see a VERY OLD person, "seivoh," who is standing while you are sitting, and you notice that he is having much difficulty in standing, stand up and state, "Sit in my place, 'tokum.'" If you see an ELDERLY person, "zo'kein," who standing while you are sitting, offer him your seat. The offer in and of itself is veneration of the elderly. (Moshav Z'keinim in the name of Rabbi Eliezer of Germaiza, the Rokei'ach)

Ch. 20, v. 10: "V'ish asher yinaf es eishes ish asher yinaf es eishes rei'ei'hu" - And a man who will commit adultery with a wife of a man who will commit adultery with his friend's wife - This seems like double talk. An answer has been offered in a previous edition of Sedrah Selections. Another answer: One might feel that the sin of infidelity is mainly targeted at misusing another's wife, as she is set aside only for him. If however, one knows that a certain married person commits adultery with another's wife, he might believe that this lack of fidelity on this person's part shows that he has no respect for this hallowed concept, and in turn does not deserve fidelity of his own wife. Therefore the Torah says that even if one commits adultery with the wife of a man who commits adultery with his friend's wife, nevertheless, even this is full-fledged adultery and they both deserve the death penalty. (Taam Vodaas)

Ch. 20, v. 22: "Ushmartem" - And you shall safeguard - Note the similarity between our verse and 18:26. Both are exhortations to avoid immoral behaviour. Why the following differences?

1) Here the verse mentions ALL statutes and ALL laws, while earlier ALL is left out.

2) Here doing the right thing is mentioned, while earlier it is left out.

3) Here there seems to be a superfluous pronoun, "a'tem," which seems to be included in the suffix of the verb "UshmarTEM," while earlier this word is left out. These are actually two questions.

4) Here "es'chem" comes before "ho'oretz," while earlier the order is reversed.

5) Here there is a general exhortation, while earlier "ezrach" and "ger" are specified.

6) Here there is a general ending of "the land to which I bring you to reside there," while earlier the verse leaves this out and says "as the land has expelled the nation that has been here before you." Any help with any of these differences would be greatly appreciated.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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