Monday, 3rd of Iyar 5783/April 24, 2023
Parshas Acharei Mos Kedoshim
Sheiyni when connected to Kedoshim
- The Cheliv of the Chatas is to be offered onto the altar.
- The escort of the Azazal goat is to wash his clothing and immerse, prior to entering the camp.
- The bull and goat Chatas are to be taken outside of the camp and burnt. The one who burns the bull/goat is to wash his clothing and immerse, prior to entering the camp.
- Yom Kippur laws: The above Avoda is to be done in the 7th month, on the 10th day of the month. On this day everyone is to oppress himself. On this day no Melacha may be performed by anyone. On this day Hashem grants us atonement for our sins. It is a Shabbos of complete rest [i.e. Shabbos Shabbason], a day of oppression, forever. The Kohen Gadol is to perform the above service each year.
- Not to offer a sacrifice outside of the Temple:
- One who does not bring the offering to the Temple, and rather slaughters it in the camp, or outside the camp, is liable for Kares. Since he did not bring the sacrifice before Hashem, in the Mishkan, it is considered like blood for that man. He has spilled blood and he shall be cut off from his people. The Jewish people are to bring the Karban to the Mishkan before Hashem, to the Kohen, and have it slaughtered there. The Kohen will sprinkle its blood and offer its fat as a satisfying aroma for Hashem. They shall no longer slaughter their sacrifices to the demons who they stray after. This is an eternal law for all generations.
Tanya Chapter 44
1. The second natural inherited love-Love for Hashem due to Him being our father:
- There exists a greater and more intense love than the love described above [which is a love for G-d due to Him being one’s life and spirit] which is likewise hidden in the hearts of every single Jewish soul, as an inheritance from our forefathers. This love is described in the Raya Mihemna [i.e. Zohar] as a love in which the son attempts to help his father and mother, as his love for them is greater than his love for his very own life, spirit and soul [and he is willing to give up his life to save them].
- Not just for Moshe: Now, [although the above statement in the Zohar refers to Moshe’s Divine service, in truth it includes all the Jewish people as] we all have the same father. [Thus, every Jew has an inherit love for G-d due to the fact that He is our father. Accordingly, this love surpasses the intensity of the previous love for life, as in this love one loves G-d, one’s father, even more than life itself, while in the previous love the love of G-d is a result of one’s love of life and is limited to the intensity of one’s love for it.]
What if I don’t have conscious feelings of love for my father, or at least not to the point of giving up my life for him?
Some people may question the above concept, that viewing G-d as one’s father will automatically arouse a powerful and rapturous love for Him, based on the state of their current relationship with their biological father here on earth. Some people have a tenuous relationship with their parents, at times caused by hard feelings of previous events, and it becomes very difficult to relate how viewing G-d as one’s father should automatically bring this intense love when they don’t see it expressed in their own lives. While all this may be true, the intent of the Zohar is in reference to a son who sees his father in a state of captivity and helplessness, and will try to do everything to help him. It does not simply refer to a normal day in the relationship of father and son. Now, the feelings invoked in a time that one’s father is in need is applicable even to sons who suffer from a bad relationship with their father. If, G-d forbid, the father enters into a state where he needs real help, such as a terminal illness, or passes away, a flood of emotion of love pours into the heart of even such a son. Thus, we see that every son truly contains a palpable love for his parent, and it is simply at times concealed due to life events. It is this level of love that every person has for his parent that one also has for Hashem. In fact, when concentrating on this idea, on how one truly has a deep passionate love for his parent and how then one also loves Hashem who is his father, it can also assist in reigniting the love of one’s biological father even during healthy times.
How is Hashem our father?
A regular father fulfills many aspects for the child which causes the child to have a natural love for him. This includes: a) Producing the child and being the one responsible for his existence in this world. One thus owes his existence to his father. b) Investing time care and money into the upbringing of the child. While contemplating the above helps invoke the feeling of love a child has for his father, in truth the love is above logic or reason and is naturally imbedded in one psyche due to one being an extension of the soul of one’s father; he and his father are truly one and the same essence. The same applies regarding our relationship with Hashem. Hashem created our soul and body originally at birth, and at every moment thereon. We thus owe him our existence. He also cares for us, and provides us with all our needs, just like a regular father. However, while contemplating this assists in revealing one’s love for Hashem, in truth the love one has is a lot deeper than the above, and is above logic or reason, as we too, the Jewish people are an extension of G-d. We contain a G-dly soul which is an actual emanation of G-dliness, and is hence identical to the extension of a son from his biological father. This is why the above idea of Hashem being our father is only relevant to Jews, as only we contain such a soul. Gentiles for example, while they too have reason to view G-d as their father, as Hashem also created them and provides them, nonetheless this is more like the relationship of an adoptive son to his parent, and not like that of a biological son to his father. The adoptive son is not an extension of the soul of his adopted father and hence lacks that natural emotion which is above logic or reason, towards this adoptive father. Only a Jew contains that G-dly soul and is hence an extension of Hashem Himself.
Summary of points to contemplate:
· Hashem created me and creates me every moment, and is responsible for my existence just like my father.
· Hashem provides me with all my needs, just like my father.
· My soul is made of G-dliness and is an extension of Hashem’s light, thus making it an actual extension of Hashem. Just like my soul is an extension of my father’s soul, and I thus have a naturally infinite love for him, so too my G-dly soul is an extension of G-d Himself, and I thus have a naturally infinite love for Him, my true Father.
2. This love is received from Moshe:
- The light of Moshe shines in each generation: Although it is true, that it would be quite pompous and arrogant for one to attempt to reach even 1/1000 of a degree of love attained by Moshe Rabbeinu [whose love was described in the Zohar], nonetheless, a minute portion of Moshe’s goodness and light shines to the general population of Israel in every generation.
- It is thus stated in the Tikkunim that an emanation of Moshe is present in every generation, in order to enlighten them. [Now, although it was previously stated that this love is an inheritance from our forefathers, which is in reference to our patriarch Avraham, and not Moshe, this only refers to the love in general, that there is a general feeling of love inherited in the soul of each Jew due to that Hashem is our father. However, that this love reaches the intensity that one loves Hashem more than his own life, this indeed is a result of the service of Moshe and the ray that he shines within the souls of each generations.]
3. The state in which this love is found in every Jew and how to make oneself conscious of it:
- State of concealment: The above ray that shines by Moshe into the souls of each generation is in a state of great concealment. Nonetheless, to bring out this hidden love from its state of concealment to a revealed state of consciousness in one’s heart and mind is not beyond one’s reach at all. It is neither daunting nor a distance away, but is truly very close to one’s mouth and heart.
- How is this accomplished-Verbalizing the love? By one accustoming himself to verbally express with his tongue and voice this love, until it arouses the concentration of his heart and mind, to immerse his thoughts in the ideas that arouse this love. Meaning, that one’s mind deeply concentrates on the idea that Hashem is the life of all life, and that he is truly our father, and the source of our life. This then arouses the love for G-d, similar to the love of a son to his father.
- Now, when one accustoms himself continuously to express the above and meditate on it, this feeling will become part of his nature [and will be quite easy to re-enter into one’s consciousness daily even without much deep concentration].
The Divine lesson:
Find a quiet and relaxing place where you can be undisturbed with your thoughts, and retain privacy. Express and verbalize aloud the points discussed in how G-d is truly your father. If necessary, create for yourself a mantra that expresses these ideas, and say it over and over with concentration, until you begin consciously feeling a palpable love for G-d, your father, in your heart. Repeat this on occasion so the love remain fresh and easily arousable.
 Zohar 3 281a [Parshas Ki Seitzei]
 Zohar ibid
 Tikkun 69, 112a, 114a
 Based on a gloss of the Rebbe printed in Lessons in Tanya
1. The Talmud and its purpose:
- The position of the above-mentioned scholars: All the above-mentioned scholars were all considered leaders of their generation, with some of them serving as the heads of yeshivas and other serving as the leaders of the exile and other serving as members of the Supreme Court. Together with them were tens of thousands of other students who absorbed their teachings, and amongst these students were Ravina and Rav Ashi who lived in the end of the Talmudic era, and were the last of their sages.
- The compiling of the Talmud: Rav Ashi compiled the Babylonian Talmud in the land of Shinar. It was compiled approximately 100 years after the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled by Rabbi Yochanon. The Talmud was later completed in the days of the son of Rav Ashi.
- The purpose of the Talmud’s: The purpose of both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud is to elaborate on the Mishna, and explain its deep and cryptic statements. Likewise, it comes to document the various new Torah laws that were adapted in each court of each generation from the days of Rabbeinu Hakadosh until the Talmud was compiled.
- The main source for Jewish law: The above two Talmuds, as well as the Tosefta, Sifra and Sifri, serve as the main source in Jewish literature for determining the forbidden versus the permitted, the impure versus pure, those liable versus those exempt, the invalid versus the valid, as was handed down from generation to generation all the way back to Moshe.
- Documents the rabbinical decrees: In addition to the above, the Talmud documents all of the decrees that were decreed by the sages and prophets in each generation for the sake of making a fence around the Torah.
- The legal mandate for making rabbinical decrees: This act of making decrees as fences around the Torah is itself based on an instruction that was heard from Moshe, as the verse states that one should make a guarding upon the guarding.
- Customs and institutions: In addition to the above, the Talmud also documents all the customs and institutions that were enacted in each generation, in accordance to what the court of that generation saw fit to enact. These customs and institutions are binding on every generation onwards as Scripture commands us not to swerve from their words neither to the writer to the left.
- New biblical laws based on the 13 principles of expounding: In addition to the above, the Talmud compiles all the laws and rules that were not received from Moshe but were rather discussed and accepted into law by the elders of the court of each generation based on the principles in which the Torah can be expounded upon.
- All of the above from the times of Moshe until his day was included by Rav Ashi in his compilation of the Talmud.
- Other books of Jewish law: There were also other books of Jewish law that were composed by the sages in the times of the Mishnah, and these include the following books:
- Rebbe Hoshiyah who was a student of Rabbeinu Hakadosh authored a commentary on the book of Bereishis.
- The Mechilta: Rebbe Ishmael authored a commentary on the book of Shemos until the end of the Torah. This book is known as the Mechilta. Rebbe Akiva also authored a book known as the Mechilta.
- There were sages who lived after their time that also composed books on the Torah. All these books preceded the writing of the Babylonian Talmud.
2. The post Talmudic era and its loss of rabbinic power:
- The sealing of the oral tradition: Based on all the above, it is found that Ravina and Rav Ashi and their colleagues were the last of the sages of Israel who recorded and documented the oral tradition.
- The expiry of making rabbinical decrees: They were also the last to enact decrees, institutions, and customs upon the Jewish people, as they were the last to have the capability of influencing for the rabbinical decrees institutions and customs to be spread throughout all the Jewish people and all their lands and settlements and be accepted by them.
- The dispersion of the Jewish people into exile: In the era after the court of Rav Ashi and his son who completed the Talmud, the Jewish people were dispersed into exile throughout all the lands, including very distant islands. The world also experienced many wars, and the ability to travel had become very difficult and dangerous.
- The state of Torah knowledge in the exile: The above exile and state of war caused the learning of Torah to be diminished, and diminished the number of students who would gather in the yeshiva to learn Torah. No longer were there tens of thousands of Torah students, and rather there were only a few individuals in each city and country who would gather to study the Torah, and understand the Talmud and the resulting Jewish law.
- The lack of ability to make decrees during exile: The courts of law that were established after the Talmudic era in each country were unable to spread their decrees and customs and institutions throughout all the Jewish people due to the distance of their settlements and the lack of ability of travel. Accordingly, no court of one country can enforce their institutions upon the residents of another country, as they do not have the status of the Supreme Court but rather of individuals. They also cannot instruct the court of another country to enact the same decrees that they enacted.
- Ability for a later generation to reject their interpretation of law: Likewise, if one of their leaders interpreted the law in a certain way, and a later court rejects this interpretation and interprets it differently based on the Talmud, then one is not obligated to adhere to the interpretation of the first leader. Rather, a person may follow whichever opinion seems more plausible in his eyes, whether it be the former or the latter.
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