Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 21, v. 1: "Emor .. v'omarto" - Rashi (gemara Y'vomos 114a) says that this double expression teaches us the responsibility of "l'hazhir hagdolim al haktanim," commonly translated as "to warn the adults to be responsible for the behaviour of the minors." We can also say that it means to warn the great people, "g'dolim," to be very careful to avoid every sin, even the seemingly insignificant ones, "haktanim." (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 21, v. 6: "K'doshim yi'h'yu .. v'lo y'chal'lu" - If they are to be holy, isn't it self evident that they shouldn't desecrate? This teaches us that the Kohanim have a higher bar for "chilul Hashem." What is acceptable as proper behaviour for the common man could easily be a "chilul Hashem" for a Kohein (see Rambam hilchos Y'sodei haTorah 5:11). (Yismach Yisroel)

Ch. 21, v. 11: "L'oviv ul'imo lo yitamo" - The Chinuch mitzvoh #270 explains that the Kohein Godol should be so spiritually elevated that he is somewhat disconnected from even his parents. The Torah therefore can demand of him to not involve himself in defilement as part of his mourning process. Another approach is that the Kohein Godol, who serves as the intermediary between each member of Klal Yisroel, should feel so joined with each and every ben Yisroel, that his parents are not any closer to him than any other person. (The Holy Admor of Kotzk)

Ch. 21, v. 13: "V'hu ishoh bivsu'le'hoh yikoch" - The Kohein Godol offers his wife quite limited quality time. He is very involved in Mikdosh activities. Likewise, she will not have interesting vacations with him in exotic distant destinations, nor visits to their relatives or children who live outside Yerusholayim, as he is prohibited from leaving Yerusholayim by virtue of his daily "minchas chavitin" offering. He should therefore only marry a virgin, who will have a special commitment and affinity for him only (see gemara Sanhedrin 22b). The Torah wants to maximize his wife's satisfaction with this very challenging marriage. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 21, v. 19: "Shever ro'gel o shever yod" - The fracture of an animal is called "shovur" (Vayikra 22:22), a broken animal, while by a person it is only a broken leg or arm. The person is complete. It is only the localized organ, the leg or arm that is broken. If he allows his spirit to be broken he is like the animal. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 31: "Ushmartem mitzvosai" - Anticipate the opportunity to do My mitzvos. (Sifsei Kohein)

Ch. 22, v. 32: "V'nikdashti" - Kidush is only given on Shabbos or Yom Tov. But Kidush Hshem should take place daily. (Rabbi Yitzchok Zundel Karelitz, brother of the Chazon Ish in P'eir Hador)

Ch. 23, v. 11: "Mimochoros haShabbos" - This means the day after the first day of Pesach, contrary to the interpretation of the tzidokim, who said that it means on a Sunday. The gemara M'nochos 65b brings exactly 8 refutations from 8 different Rabbis to their incorrect interpretation. The influence and strong following of the tzidoki and baitusi teachings, to only follow the literal words of the Torah, and pay no heed to the explanation of our Rabbis, "Torah sheb'al peh," came to an almost total close at the time of Chanukah, when we fought for the "light of Torah," embodied in the menorah, symbolizing "Torah sheb'al peh." Perhaps we have exactly eight refutations in the gemara, corresponding to the eight days of Chanukah. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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