Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 2: "S'u es rosh kol adas bnei Yisroel" - Count/Elevate the head of all the congregation of bnei Yisroel" - After a most devastating set of admonitions in parshas B'chukosai the bnei Yisroel needed to have their spirits lifted. This was accomplished by saying that their heads would be lifted by having a census. This showed that each and every person is important. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 1, v. 4: "S'u es rosh .. ish rosh l'veis avosov hu" - Which person shall you hold in great esteem, he who is also held in great esteem by his family. One can put on a fa?ade for the public, but he can't fool his close family members. (M'leches Mach'she'ves)

Ch. 1, v. 4: "Ish rosh l'veis avosov hu" - The word "hu" seems to be superfluous. This teaches us that the one to be appointed head of his family group should not be given the position because of power, charisma, influence, campaigning, and the like. Rather it should be based solely on his own intrinsic worth, "hu." (Shaa'rei Simchoh)

While on the subject of who deserves to be elevated to a position of authority, the gemara Shabbos 114a says that a Torah scholar deserving of becoming a communal leader must know all of the Talmud, even the minor tractate Kalloh. This can be explained in a humourous but true manner as follows. A person usually sets aside time to study the Torah and amasses more and more knowledge as time passes. If one is to become a communal leader he likely will have no time to study any more. He therefore should have all the Talmud in his repertoire before embarking on becoming a communal leader. (Rabbi Shmuel Kroizer)

Ch. 1, v. 54: "Ish al macha'neihu v'ish al diglo" - Even though one is supposed to be part of the communal group, "ish al macha'neihu," he should still retain his unique flavour, "ish al diglo." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 17: "Macha'nei haLviim b'soch hamachanos" - The Special sanctity of the Levite encampment was imbibed by the other encampments. (Likutei Yehudoh)

Ch. 3, v. 4: "Va'yomos Nodov v'Avihu lifnei Hashem b'hakrivom aish zoroh lifnei Hashem .. uvonim lo hoyu lo'hem" - We can translate "aish zoroh" as "false fire," putting on a display of energy and emotional enthusiasm beyond what they truly felt. This is justified if one unfortunately has either limited or no emotion in doing a mitzvoh, but wants to instill a feeling of emotion into doing mitzvos into his children. Under such a circumstance this is permitted. Because neither Nodov nor Avihu had children acting this way was a false veneer with no justification. (Rabbi Osher of Riminov)

Ch. 4, v. 5: "V'horidu es poroches hamosoch" - The Kohanim are exhorted to lower and remove the curtain, the barrier, between the bnei Yisroel and Hashem. (Rabbi Yechezkeil of Radomsk in K'nesses Yechezkeil)

Ch. 4, v. 19: "V'choyu v'lo yomusu b'gishtom es kodesh hakodoshim" - When they come to do holy acts, mitzvos, they should be alive, full of energy and enthusiasm, and not dead, lifeless rote. (Rabbi Chaim Meir of Viznitz in Imrei Chaim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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