Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha
"It shall be that when you eat of the bread of the Land, you shall set aside a portion for Hashem." (15:19)This is known as the Mitzvah of "Challah". Whenever someone made an omer (measurement) of dough from wheat, barley, oats, spelt, or rye, he was required to set aside a part of the dough to be given to the kohein (priest).(There are many laws pertaining to this Mitzvah. It is beyond the scope of this sheet to discuss all the laws. One should consult an orthodox Rabbi with any questions)
In Bereishis Rabbah 17, it states that this Mitzvah atones for the first woman's sin of causing Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Although men are also obligated in the Mitzvah, its preferable that a woman perform the Mitzvah. A question can be asked as follows: How does the Mitzvah of "Challah" atone for Eve's (CHAVAH) sin? What's the connection between the two, and what can we learn from it? I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem, as follows: In Sanhedrin 70a, Rabbi Yehuda maintains that the Tree of Knowledge was the wheat plant ................................................................When Eve caused Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, she in essence took from the world that which did not belong to her ,or Adam. G-d forbad them from partaking of the fruit of the Tree. Now, however, the only way to rectify this" taking" is by giving something back, namely a product made of wheat (OR Grain). The sin was done with wheat, now the rectification must come about through wheat. When a woman is performing the Mitzvah of "Challah" , she is giving a portion to the Kohain. This is in essence the returning of the fruit which was taken from the Tree of Knowledge. We can see from this Mitzvah the greatness of the Torah. How so? In the Mitzvah's of the Torah there is found a means by which rectification can be sought. Each person wants to intuitively correct that which ails him spiritually, but how? The Mitzvah's of the Torah are intrinsically imbued with the means by which this can be brought about. In every sin there is a component of "taking"................We all want and desire things.......this is our nature.....But, when we give of ourselves, there lies the means by which we can rectify our souls. A kind word or a generous smile to another are all acts of "giving". Let us all try to be givers whenever and however possible.......Have a good Shabbos...................
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