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Torah --> Glossary --> Chassidus Parshas Emor

CHASSIDUS                        BS'D

DERECH HaBAAL SHEM TOV
Ahavas HaShem, Ahavas Yisroel, Ahavas HaTorah
THE WAY OF THE BAAL SHEM TOV
Love of G-d, Love of fellow Jews, Love of the Torah
by Moshe Shulman


Amor

I. Holiness

1. 'It shall be a holy convocation for you.'[Heb. l'chem] (V'yikra* 23.7)

The word 'for you' [Heb. l'chem] refers to temporal things. As
Chazal* say [with regards to Yom Tov*] 'half for HaShem* and half for
you.' [i.e. half of the day should be used in the service of HaShem,
and half should be used in enjoying the Yom Tov.] Therefore the verse
says, 'It shall be holy for you.' [This means] even in those things
that are in the class of 'for you' [i.e. temporal things] should also
be on the level of 'holy.' That is why the Torah* allows work related
to food preparation only. [This shows that one may prepare food as
this is something that should also be made holy.] (p. 54 sefer Toras
Chaim teachings of Rebbe* Chaim of Kosov.)

                                * * *

II. Starting to serve HaShem

2. 'Every native [born Israelite] shall dwell in booths. ' (V'yikra
23.42)

The Holy Rabbi Yehoshua Asher of Perisov [son of Rebbe Yakov Yitzchok
of Peshischa] said that this verse is a remez* that even the person
who has yet to enter into the service of HaShem. [The one for whom]
the sun has yet to shine upon. [Who] has only accepted upon himself
that from now on he will begin to serve HaShem with all of his heart.
The word 'native' [Heb azrach] refers to the future, [meaning] that
from today on he will begin to shine [Heb. hizrach] in the service of
HaShem. The verse is assuring him that he will merit to sit in
booths. This is the booth of HaShem which is a remez the holy light
from above [that shines on those who serve HaShem] as it says in the
seforim*. (p. 41 sefer Toras HaYehudi HaKodesh teachings of Rebbe
Yakov Yitzchok, the Yid HaKodesh of Peshischa and his descendants.)

                                * * *

III. What to take

3. 'You shall take for yourself on the first day.' (V'yikra 23.40)

The explanation [of this verse] is that a person should take himself
with sincerity.

He should be a 'fruit of a goodly tree' before HaShem. [The meaning
of this] is according to [what the Torah says] a man is a tree of the
field.

'Branches of a palm tree.' This is a remez to the fear [of HaShem.]

'And twigs of a pleated tree.] This is a remez for humility, the
level of a 'twig.'

'Brook willows.' This is a remez for self-mortifications, and
[immersions in] a mikvah*.

'And you shall rejoice before HaShem your G-d.' You should rejoice
when you perform the mitzvos to the point that you cause a joy and
inspiration Above, before HaShem your G-d. [You should do this until
it reaches] until the throne of glory. Then it will be that any bad
judgments that are prepared will be 'sweetened' because of the joy
Above [that came from your doing the mitzvos.] (p. 17 sefer Maamer
Mordechai teachings of Rebbe Mordechai of Nedvorna)

                                * * *

IV. Worrying

4. 'Speak to the priests the sons of Aharon and say to them you
should not contaminate yourself for a dead person amongst the
people.' (V'yikra 21.1)

It says in the Midrash Rabbah*, 'Rabbi Tanchum said, "The speech of
HaShem is pure speech"' It appears to me that we can explain this
Midrash* according to what it says in the verse, 'Only goodness and
mercy should pursue me.' [The meaning of this verse is that] a person
should always worry over his sins. If he should be bestowed [from
HaShem] with a great deal of good. He should worry that perhaps he is
one of those about whom it says, 'He repays them to his face in
this world'. And he should do tshuva*.

That is the meaning of the verse 'Only goodness and mercy should
pursue me.' [Goodness and mercy] should be considered by him as [if
they are] pursuing him. Perhaps HaShem is giving him his portion in
this world [and he has nothing left for the world to come.]

This is also what the verse says, 'The speech of HaShem is pure
speech.' The word 'speech' [Heb. amoros] is a soft language which is
a remez for mercy. They are to purify his soul. [This is because]
when he has a great deal of good and he worries because of that. He
will certainly see to it that he will rectify [his actions] and
purify his soul. This is the meaning of 'pure speech.'

This is also the meaning of 'Speak to the priests...' There is a
remez to the midah* of chesed* in 'Speak to the priests.'

This is only so that 'You should not contaminate yourself [lit.  your
soul] for a dead person amongst the people.' The meaning is that you
should not contaminate your soul even if you have to go amongst the
people. You should be careful to purify your soul. (p. 201 sefer
Tzamach Tzaddik teachings of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Viznitz.)

                                * * *

V. Purifying the soul

5. 'If a man will eat of the Holy things by accident, he shall add to
it a fifth [of it's value] and give the holy to the kohen.' (V'yikra
21.1)

The Holy Torah is giving us a remez to teach us musar* for the person
who has marred his soul [through sinning] by accident and how he can
correct himself.

This is the intention [of the verse:]

'If a man will eat.' [If he will] lose his portion in holiness
through some sin that he has done by accident. (The Merciful One
should help us.) The verse is telling us that he has [something he
can do] to correct his portion of holiness, [i.e. his soul] which he
has marred through his unintentional sin.

'He shall add.' [Heb. v'yosef] The letters of this word are the same
as 'Yosef' which refers to the midah of Yesod [attachment to HaShem.]

'It's fifth.' These are the five holy midos that are above Yesod,
which is the sixth midah, that of Yosef. [He should attach himself to
all of these midos.]

If he merits to this then 'He shall give the holy to the kohen.' Then
it shall be in his power to give over the holy portion in him [i.e.
his soul] that he has marred, to the Tzaddik* of his generation, who
is a kohen to G-d. [He does this] in order to repair his soul. It
should be as it was before he sinned. HaShem should help us that we
should merit to do tshuvah, truthfully with a complete heart, and to
be shined upon with the light of life. (p. 26 sefer Imrei Baruch
teachings of Rebbe Baruch of Viznitz.)

                                * * *

VI. Recognizing that everything is for the good.

6. 'Speak to the priests the sons of Aharon and say to them you
should not contaminate yourself for a dead person amongst the
people.' (V'yikra 21.1)

The person who serves HaShem is the called a 'priest.' He sees that
everything that happens in this world is not by accident, but is the
result of HaShem's guidance. It is [likewise] known [to all] that the
will of HaShem is to do good for all of his creation. For a person
such as this [who recognizes that all is from HaShem] it is possible
that he will come to complain about HaShem's actions if he sees that
something happens which does not appear 'good'.

However [it is not the same] for the person who thinks that things
just happen [without HaShem's guidance.] He will not come to have
such complaints when he observes things that appear contrary to
HaShem's will. [This is] because he thinks that all things can just
happen by chance.  However the one who thinks that everything is from
HaShem can have complaints.

For that reason the verse warns the priests, i.e. the servants of
HaShem, that they should not contaminate themselves. This means that
they should not have complaints about the actions of HaShem.  The
reason is] that it will contaminate them. i.e. their complaints about
HaShem [will contaminate them.]

The main source of these complaints [against HaShem] comes from
seeing things that appear contrary to His compassion, whether it be
some type of loss, or the withholding of some good. (As is known from
the Zohar*.)

Therefore HaShem commanded, 'speak to the priests and say to them'
quietly (as the Zohar says.) Softly speak to the servants of HaShem
that they shouldn't have complaints against HaShem when they see
things that appear to be contrary to His compassion. The reason is
that he always has in mind the good. Even when He acts in a way that
seems opposite of His mercy, it is also for the good. (p. 122 sefer
Mi Hashiloach teachings of Rebbe Mordechai Yosef of Izbitza)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Glossary:

Arizal: Hebrew initials of the words: Adoni Rabbenu Yitzchok    Zechorono LeVaracha our master Rabbi Yitzchok. Better known as    Yitzchok Luria the great 16th century Kabbalist
Chazal: Hebrew initials for: Chochmenu Zichrona Levaracha (Our sages of Blessed memory) Used to refer to Rabbis of the Talmud.
HaShem: Noun used in place of G-d. Lit. The Name
HY'D: Heb. HaShem Yimkom Domov: HaShem should avenge their blood.
Mishleh: One of the books of the Tenach, called in English Proverbs.
Mitzvah (mitzvos): One of the commandments of the Torah.
nashama: Hebrew word for soul.
peshat: A method of Biblical interpretation based on finding the simple meaning in the Torah.
Rashi: The primary commentary on the Tenach.
Rebbe: Leader of a Chassidic group or a teacher
Shabbos: Tractate in the Talmud
Shemos: Second book of the Torah. Called Exodus in English
Talmid (Talmidim): Disciples of a Rebbe.
Talmud: An ancient work of Jewish law.
Tehillim: Hebrew name for Psalms.
Torah: a. First 5 books of the Jewish Bible
           b. Also refers to the whole of Jewish law
           c. also common term for a chassidic teaching
Tshuva: Hebrew word for repentance
Tzaddik (Tzaddikim): lit. Righteous. Another name for a Chassidic Rebbe.
Yetzer: lit. Inclination. It is Jewish belief that every Jew has both an evil and good inclination within him, that are at 'war' to see which of them the person will follow.
Yetzer Tov: Heb. Good Inclination
Yetzer HaRah: Heb. Evil Inclination.
ZT'L: Hebrew initials of the words: Zechor Tzaddik LeVaracha (The memory of a Tzaddik - Righteous person is a blessing.)
ZY'A: Hebrew initials of the words: Zechiso Yagan Aleinu (His merit should protect us.)

**************************************************************
Copyright (c) 1997 by Moshe Shulman (mshulman@virtual.co.il)
All rights reserved.
Issur Hasugas Givilv

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Note

 

A '*' next to a word indicates that it is translated / explained in the glossary at the end.

 

Three '*' (* * *) in the text indicates a break between two sections.

 
 A single '*' (*) indicates a separation
between different teachings on the same subject.
 
Anything found between '[' and ']' are my comments and do not appear in the source material.
 
Everything else is from the original as is cited at the end of the article.


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