Illuminations #26, Adar 5775, Parshat Vayikra

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Illuminations #26, Adar 5775, Parshat Vayikra

Torah Gems

Rabbenu Behaye writes that there are many deep mystical secrets hidden in the sacrifices, which were given over only to a few pious individuals. The Hinukh also writes that there are deep secrets hidden in the sacrifices but that he will explain the sacrifices according to the simple understanding. He writes that a person’s heart is mainly drawn according to his actions. Therefore, if one is coming to purify himself from a sin, he can not purify his heart thoroughly through mere words of supplication.
Rather, he achieves purification through acting upon them and through taking a big task upon himself. He must get an animal, go through the trouble of getting it to the Temple, and do the entire process written in the Torah in the Parasha of sacrifices. Through these hefty actions he engraves within his soul the severity of the sin which he transgressed.
​The Hinukh brings a similar idea from the Ramban. The Ramban writes that due to the fact that sins are transgressed through thought, speech and action, Hashem commanded that the transgressor lean on the animal, which corresponds to action in the sin. He writes that supplications correspond to the speech aspect. The kidneys and innards are burned, which correspond to the thoughts.The feet that are burned correspond to the hands and feet of a person that do all his actions. The blood that is sprinkled on the altar corresponds to his blood that deserves to be spilled. Through all of this a person will come to think of how he sinned to G-d with his body and soul and he will realize that his blood deserves to be spilled and his body burned, if not for the mercy of Hashem who took a replacement in his place.

​Another aspect that is learned from the sacrifices that should arouse a person to repent is the similarity between man and animal, and that the only difference between them is the human intellect. During the act of sinning, in which man leaves his state of intellect, there is no differentiation between himself and the animal before him. He is therefore commanded to sacrifice the animal to engrave in his heart the idea that his action of body without soul is completely nullified. Through this, he will truly be able to repent.


Parsha Pearls

על כל קרבנך תקריב מלח

​Harav Haim Vital explains that the sacrifices uplift all of creation. When a person sins, that sin causes a blemish in the entire creation, and the person must now rectify that with the sacrifice and repentance. The creation is divided up into four groups: inanimate objects, things which grow, living things, and beings that have the ability to speak. Man (fourth category) sacrifices an animal (category of living). Along with the sacrifice, the man brings wine libations (which come from the category of things that grow), and also puts salt (category of inanimate objects) on it. Through this process, the person is able to uplift all four categories of creation.

Glimpses of Greatness

Hakham Moshe Hayim was the leader in Iraq around two hundred years ago. He was the grandfather of Hakham Yosef Hayim, the Ben Ish Hai. A quarrel regarding monetary matters was once brought before Rabbenu Moshe Hayim for a ruling. Rabbenu Moshe Hayim realized that the accuser was correct and that the defendant was willing to swear falsely.

Rabbenu Moshe Hayim in his wisdom told the defendant that the Shene Luhot Haberit (Tablets) are in Baghdad and that he would make him swear on them. When the man heard this he trembled in awe to swear falsely on the tablets that Moshe Rabbenu held. That much he wasn’t willing to do. The defendant therefore admitted that he owed the money, and asked Hakham Moshe Hayim if he could see the tablets. He responded that he surely could, and then took out the Shene Luhot Haberit, authored by the Shlah Hakadosh.


Halacha Weekly

Q:  What should a child who is religious do if he is still living in his irreligious parents’ house and they serve him non-kosher food? If he has no other way to access kosher food, should he make a bracha on the food they serve him?
A:  The Shulchan Aruch (Or HaChaim Chapter 196) says that one is not permitted to make a bracha on non-kosher food, meaning not the beginning or ending brachot.  He writes on (Chapter 390-9) that if someone is Be’Makom Sakana (in a dangerous or life threatening circumstance) then they may say a bracha on the food.
In the situation illustrated in the above question, it is not clear if the child is considered to be in a situation of pikuach Nefesh (meaning in a circumstance where he must eat the food they serve to stay alive) or not.  Therefore, the child should try to find something kosher, like bread, and make a bracha on it.  He should also try to talk to the parents and ask them to accommodate him with kosher food or at least not force him to eat non-kosher food. Hashem should help them to be Chozer BTshuva.

In honor of Rabbi &  Mrs. Shmuel Khoshkerman.
By an anonymous friend