Friday, April 12, 2013

Parshas Tazria Metzora

The Yalkut Lekach Tov cites the Be'er Yosef who asks a fascinating question. Why is it regarding tumah and tahara, impurity and purity that there are some animals, birds, fish and insect that are tameh and some that are tahor and they remain this why forever, their status never changes. Yet man changes status over and over again depending upon many factors he can become tameh or tahor from within or without?!

To answer this question he cites the Midrash quoted by Rashi, that Rav Simlai asked why did the Torah of man's tumah and tahara follow at the end after the Torah of the all the animal kingdom? He observed that just as man was created at the end so his Torah is stated at the end.

The Be'er Yosef based on the Zohar therefore explains that man was created at the end because he was given the segulos, abilities, powers and capabilities of all the animals. (It comes to my mind the teaching of our sages which opens the Tur you should be fierce like a leopard, fast and light as an eagle, run as swift as a gazelle and courageous and brave as a lion, man somehow can emulate the powers of each of these animals because Hashem imbued with them latently)

Thus depending on his actions he can be compared to them and to their state of tumah and tahara, thus while they are immobile and their state of purity or impurity is a permanent fixed and unchanging, man's depends on himself and his environment and contact with others and his relationship(s) with them.

This reminded me of a teaching I saw in the name of the heilige Rizhiner. The holy Reb Yisroel Friedman founder of the regal royal dynasty of Ruzhin asked: How is it that Teshuva pardons us from punishment for our sins and misdeeds? When a person acts inappropriately, that action no matter how much he might regret it, remains done. No amount of remorse and Teshuva can erase the fact that we acted and did that thing. Why then does Hashem not punish the Baal Teshuva? He answered by citing the sages teaching that man only sins if a spirit of foolishness called a ruach shtus enters into him. This, explained the heilige Rizhiner, transforms a person into a state and level similar to that of an animal, as the pasuk says that when we are lowly we are as beasts, "ke'behemos nidmu." When an animal acts like an animal you dont punish it. Even more so once a person does Teshuva, he transforms himself and uplifts himself back to the level of a human. So, who will you punish? Asked the Rizhiner. The animal and beast that "sinned" is gone, there is only a human standing before us now.

The main teaching which forms the common thread through all these ideas is, man is inherently similar to beasts and animals in our physical form and makeup. We are a strange dichotomy, formed of two opposing forces, an animal body and a G-dly angelic soul. If we harness the beast within and his powers, fierce as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, brave as a lion to serve Hashem, then we have channeled those forces into holiness. However if they take charge of us, then we are no better than the other animals who have them. Thus we rise or fall in our state of tumah and tahara while they stay the same. May we all go from strength to strength in Avodas Hashem. Good Shabbos

For those of you who have asked my sefer The Glaser Edition of Mipeninei Noam Elimelech is back in stock shipping from Amazon

Open your heart to the compelling words and thoughts of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk.

As the Rebbe of all Rebbes and the recognized third-generation leader of Chassidus, the Noam Elimelech is revered for his holiness and brilliance. His profound sefer of Torah elucidations has been diligently studied for centuries. But how many can truly understand his lofty teachings? In this groundbreaking English rendition of selections from the Noam Elimelech's classic sefer, Rabbi Tal Moshe Zwecker has opened the world of Chassidus - the world of the Noam Elimelech - to the English speaking public. With essays based on the weekly parashah and various appendices, including the famous "tzeitel katan" and stirring "prayer before prayer," everyone will be deeply moved and inspired by this important and profound work.


Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page

No comments: