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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha

This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L


"He (Mosha) went out the next day and two Hebrew men were fighting. He (Mosha) said to the wicked one, "Why would you strike your fellow?" (Shemot 2:13)

Rashi comments based on Sanhedrin 58b that even though the second man was not actually stroke, the striker is called "wicked" just for raising his hand to strike. (Please refer to Rashi and Sanhedrin for further details.) A very curious question can be asked as follows: It's readily understood that the striker can be called "wicked" only if the second man was actually hit, but why is he called"wicked" for just lifting his hand to strike. By just lifting his hand no damages were incurred. Can he then be possibly called 'wicked"? I would like to BEZRAT HASHEM provide an original answer. Damages were incurred but to whom? The person lifting his fist to strike had done a tremendous damage to his very own spiritual well being. He did not see the Tzelem ELOKIM (G-dliness) in his friend. When Mosha encountered the person ready to strike his fellow, Mosha was shocked. Mosha could not fathom or entertain the thought that anyone could do such an act. Mosha, thereby, considered this person wicked. However, there is much more to this act that warrented the distinction of being wicked. The striker showed a callous disregard for his own spiritual self. Mosha reasoned how could the striker not be cognizant of his ("TZELEM ELOKIM")own inherent greatness that he could possibly damage his soul by such a callous act.From this episode we can learn a very important lesson. A fundamental concept in spirituality is knowing that we have a soul, and further knowing the greatness of that soul. We must care for its well being just like we would care for a precious gem or expensive watch. Would a rational person trample on his gold watch, so why would someone callously trample on his or her soul.The first step to greatness is knowing the greatness that lies within, namely the soul. How do we care for our own soul? Have a Good Shabbos.


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