Illuminations #127, Elul 5777, Parshat Ki Seitzi

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Illuminations #127, Elul 5777, Parshat Ki Seitzi

Torah Gems

In this week’s parsha, the Torah commands us, “If a man commits a sin whose judgement is death, he shall be put to death, and you shall hang him on gallows. Do not leave his body hanging…for a hanging person is a disgrace to God” (21:22-23). Rashi explains that the reason leaving a body hanging would be a dishonor to Hashem is because Bnei Yisrael are made in the image of Hashem. Rashi expounds on this idea with a mashal. There were once identical twins who took different paths in life. One of the brothers became a king and the other was a thief and was hanged for his behavior. Whoever walked by and saw the thief hanging mistakenly thought it was the king that was being hanged. We see that even in a situation where a person committed such a severe offense and received the punishment of hanging, he still holds his Divine image and is considered “a twin brother of the King.”

Every one of us has an element of kedusha inside of us. We must firmly believe and acknowledge that it exists. Holding on to this belief is the first step in the process of teshuvah. We need to recognize that our true essence is kedusha rather than having despair for the aveiros that have accumulated. By having this recognition, it will bring a person to abandon his negative behavioral habits and return to Hashem and to the life of kedusha.

Parsha Pearls

When one recites Kedusha, there is a minhag to look to the right and to the left before saying “kadoshkadoshkadosh”. The reasoning behind this is because we are declaring, “We will sanctify His name in this world just as the angels sanctify Him in the Heavens.” The melachim dwell in total harmony and therefore sanctify Hashem with complete unity. If we follow in the ways of the melachim, then we must confirm that we are at peace and in total unity with everyone around us. Therefore, we turn to the right and the left to ensure that we live in harmony with everyone beside us. If we do this every time we say kedusha, imagine how much more it applies on Rosh Hashana

Rava says, if one overlooks others’ transgressions, Hashem will overlook his sins, as the pasuk states, “He pardons sin and overlooks transgression.” Whose sins does He forgive? The one who overlooks another’s transgression.

Rosh Hashana is around the corner and we have these two significant reasons to make an even bigger effort to overcome our negative middos and emphasize our positive traits.

Before Shacharis, we should take upon ourselves to love our fellow Jews and look past their offenses. This is a sure way to guarantee a positive judgment.

Glimpses of Greatness

A person once came to the Chofetz Chaim and told him that he had recently given over a sermon in a specific shul. The congregants in the shul were extremely unaccepting toward him and paid very little attention to what he had to say. The Chofetz Chaim asked him to explain what his method of delivery was. The man went on to explain that he shouted and screamed at the crowd. “That is exactly the problem,” the Chofetz Chaim said. “When you put on tefillin or perform similar mitzvos, you do not raise your voice or scream. So too with rebuke. It’s not necessary to raise your voice. If you are sincere in your actions and words, your message will penetrate the most stubborn heart.”

Halacha Weekly

Q.  If one lives comfortably in Israel, is it permitted to leave Israel to increase existing business? [2-3-47]

A. Rambam, Z”L(Melachim  5-9) writes that [if one already lives in Israel] it is prohibited to leave the land of Israel and go to the Diaspora to live from that point onwards, except in order to learn Torah, or to find a woman to marry, or to save property from the hands of non-Jews. If one does leavefor these reasons, one must return to the land of Israel; likewise [it is permitted to leave Israel temporarily] for the sake of business.

Mishneh Berurah (531-14 citing Magen Avraham) writes that it is permitted to leave the Land of Israel to travel to the Diaspora in order to increase business [in Israel]. Machatzit haShekel (531-7, R. Shmuel Kellin, Z”L)  writes that even if a person has great wealth and leaves the land in order to increase his wealth further this is permitted.   Another reason is explained  in the SeferMoadim u’Zemanim (5-346, R. Moshe Shternbuch)  that explains leaving on business is considered a mitzvah matter because it is for the benefit of the land , because through the increase of business this will increase and strengthen the permanence of the settlement of the those who already live in the land.