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Parshas Vayikra ~ Torah Gems

V’yikra

I. Conceit

1. ‘Neither leavening nor honey shall you burn… As a first-fruit offering you may use them, but they may not go upon the altar’ (V’yikra* 2.11-12) ‘Leavening’ and ‘honey’ are a remez* for conceit that ‘burns’ in a person like a fire offering brought on the altar. It causes a person’s heart to wax and he desires to be a leader of people even though he is not worthy of it. For this reason the verse says that you shall not burn of it as a fire offering to HaShem*, i.e. to serve HaShem with conceit. ‘Only a first fruit offering’, i.e. in the beginning, when one starts to come close to the service of HaShem.  Then one may serve with ‘conceit’ [in order to give him a push in that direction.]  But after he has begun, ‘to the altar above one may not offer it [conceit] as a pleasing offering to HaShem’. This is because HaShem has no pleasure in those who are conceited or arrogant. As it says, ‘An abomination to Hashem are all those people with arrogant hearts.’ [This is true] even if he has only a little bit of conceit. This idea can also be found with the Tzaddikim* who have been serving HaShem for a long time. They serve HaShem with both ‘conceit’ and ‘humility’. Before they approach to HaShem to do a great mitzvah, or to learn Torah* or to pray they are on a level of being ‘far’ from HaShem. [It is as if they are only now starting to serve Him.] At that time it would not be possible for them to approach Hashem if they didn’t have a little ‘conceit’.  That is because the Yetzer HaRah* comes and tells him that he is not worthy of this great mitzvah or this type of service to HaShem [or to teach others the way of serving HaShem.] Therefore he must ‘raise his heart up in the service of HaShem.’ This is what Chazal* say, ‘Why was Adam created alone? In order to say that for me the world was created.’ If you have this in mind, then wFrom: [email protected](Moshe Shulman) Subject: CHASSIDUS v. 1 # 11 To:  [email protected]                            V’yikra I. Conceit 1. ‘Neither leavening nor honey shall you burn… As a first-fruit offering you may use them, but they may not go upon the altar’ (V’yikra* 2.11-12) ‘Leavening’ and ‘honey’ are a remez* for conceit that ‘burns’ in a person like a fire offering brought on the altar. It causes a person’s heart to wax and he desires to be a leader of people even though he is not worthy of it. For this reason the verse says that you shall not burn of it as a fire offering to HaShem*, i.e. to serve HaShem with conceit. ‘Only a first fruit offering’, i.e. in the beginning, when one starts to come close to the service of HaShem.  Then one may serve with ‘conceit’ [in order to give him a push in that direction.]  But after he has begun, ‘to the altar above one may not offer it [conceit] as a pleasing offering to HaShem’. This is because HaShem has no pleasure in those who are conceited or arrogant. As it says, ‘An abomination to Hashem are all those people with arrogant hearts.’ [This is true] even if he has only a little bit of conceit. This idea can also be found with the Tzaddikim* who have been serving HaShem for a long time. They serve HaShem with both ‘conceit’ and ‘humility’. Before they approach to HaShem to do a great mitzvah, or to learn Torah* or to pray they are on a level of being ‘far’ from HaShem. [It is as if they are only now starting to serve Him.] At that time it would not be possible for them to approach Hashem if they didn’t have a little ‘conceit’.  That is because the Yetzer HaRah* comes and tells him that he is not worthy of this great mitzvah or this type of service to HaShem [or to teach others the way of serving HaShem.] Therefore he must ‘raise his heart up in the service of HaShem.’ This is what Chazal* say, ‘Why was Adam created alone? In order to say that for me the world was created.’ If you have this in mind, then w in the Torah or Chazal.] Then his heart within him is gripped with fear and his soul feels broken in pieces. The wicked to whom doing a serious sin comes as easily to him as doing a lighter one, should be like the Tzaddik to whom the smallest of things is as if it were the most serious sin. And the Tzaddik’s soul mourns over them [as if they were the most serious offenses], and he is filled with a great fear because of them. (p.  54 sefer Noah Elimeilech teachings of the Rebbe Reb* Elimeilech of Lizensk)                                 * * * 3. ‘When [Heb. asher] the prince [Heb. nasi] will sin and do one of the mitzvos that HaShem commanded not to do, unintentionally, and he is guilty.’ (V’yikra 4.22) Chazal say that the word ‘when’ [Heb. asher] in this verse has the same meaning as the word ‘praised’ [Heb. asherei]. [They understand the verse as saying ‘praised is the generation where their prince sins and brings an offering. We] need to understand why it first says in this verse ‘unintentionally’ and then it says ‘he is guilty’ which implies that he acted intentionally? We can explain this verse as a remez to an idea that is well known. The midah from ‘conceit’ is the source of all sins. Because of ‘conceit’ a person can come to violate every prohibition in the Torah. The Torah has many verses that teach us this. The verse says, ‘Your heart will rise up and you will forget HaShem your G-d.’ Forgetting HaShem is the cause of sins as it says, ‘Be careful that you should not forget HaShem your G-d and you will not observe His mitzvos.’ [We see that forgetting HaShem causes him to sin.] Chazal also say, ‘Everyday his Yetzer* overpowers him. If HaShem would not help him, he would not be able to overcome it.’ However if he is conceited then Chazal teach that HaShem says ‘Me and him cannot abide in the same place.’ HaShem removes Himself from him, and he is left in the power of his Yetzer HaRah which will overpower him, and do with him what it wants. The person who is overcome by ‘conceit’, HaShem humiliates and puts him in the hands of his Yetzer HaRah. Then this person comes to do a sin by error. If he repents HaShem will raise him up.  However if he does not repent, and he does not examine his actions to understand why HaShem was not standing by his side, but HaShem allowed him to come to an accidental sin, he will fall further. He will then fall into a intentional sins. This is the meaning of the word ‘when’ in this verse. ‘When the prince’ i.e. when he holds himself great like a prince, and is conceited, then he will come to sin. HaShem will cause him to do an unintentional sin. And if he does not examine his actions then he will fall further, and he will do an intentional sin. That is the meaning of ‘and he is guilty’. And if he will repent then HaShem will raise him up [even if the sin was intentional.] (p. 221 sefer Orach L’Chaim teachings of Rebbe* Avraham Chaim of Zlotchov.)                                 * * * III. Countering the Yetzer HaRah 4. ‘And he shall slaughter it on the Northern side of the Altar before HaShem.’ (V’yikra 1.11) This verse is talking about the Yetzer HaRah. The Torah is telling us how to slaughter it. The verse explains that there are three ways [the Yetzer HaRah comes to a person]: 1.  ‘Side’ refers to sexual desires.  2.  ‘Altar’ refers to desires for food. [The altar refers to this] because the table is called an altar. 3.  ‘North’ refers to desires for money as the verse says ‘From the north comes gold’. This verse is teaching us that he should make himself holy in these three things and he will be able to come ‘before HaShem.’ (p.  107 Vol. 1 sefer Ner Yisroel teachings of Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin and his children. This is from the holy Rizhiner.)                                 * * * IV. Rebbe Yitzchok of Boyan 5.  Rebbe Yitzchok of Boyan was the third son of Rebbe Avraham Yakov of Sadigora, the son of the Holy Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin. He was also the son-in-law of Rebbe Yochanan of Rachmistrivka, the son of Rebbe Mordechai of Chernoble. After his father died, he was Rebbe together with his brother in Sadigora for a few years until he moved his residence to Boyan, and founded the Chassidic dynasty that exists until today.  The present Boyaner Rebbe, who leads the many Boyaner Chasidim all over the world, lives in Israel and is the son of Rebbe Yitzchok’s granddaughter. His yortzheit is the 16th of Adar (February 23 and March 25 this year)                                   * Reb* Yosel Horenshtein told the following story: Once he was in Sadigora during the summer months when the Boyaner Rebbe’s father was still alive. The Boyaner Rebbe was preparing to go to a vacation spot where there were the baths [that many people used to go to for health reasons.] After the morning prayers the carriage was waiting to take the Boyaner Rebbe, but he was busy going around and taking leave from his brothers and brothers-in-law. Reb Dovid Arntinburg noticed that the Boyaner Rebbe’s hat was not in it’s proper place, but was pushed up. He went to the Rebbe and said to him, ‘The Rebbe’s hat has moved and it is not in it’s normal place.’ To which the Rebbe answered, ‘How can I move my hat down since my father (the Sadigora Rebbe) moved up my hat when I took leave of him, and he gave me a kiss on the forehead.’ (p. 96 vol. 6 sefer Ner Yisroel teachings from Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin and his descendants)                                   * One time he (Reb Yosel) and his brother went in to the room of the Boyaner Rebbe to ask his advice with regards to the new shul that they had built in their town. They wanted to paint the shul, but there were differences of opinions among the people praying there. Some said they should paint it a single color and others said they should paint it multiple colors.  They wanted to hear what the Rebbe had to say on this matter. The Rebbe answered them, ‘You are asking about painting?  Maybe it should be painted that they shouldn’t talk during prayers.’ (p. 100 vol. 6 sefer Ner Yisroel teachings from Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin and his descendants)

Zechisom Yugan Aleini v’Al Kol Yisroel

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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.)
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Copyright (c) 1997 by Moshe Shulman ([email protected]) All rights reserved.

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