Tetzaveh 5775

Friday, February 27, 2015

The 8 pieces of clothing worn by the Kohen Gadol were to atone for 8 different sins. These include the 3 cardinal sins (immorality, murder, and idolatry), lashon harah, and 4 character flaws that lead to other sins (such as haughtiness and injustice).
The Kli Yakar ties in the idea of how King Achashverosh tried to harness the power of these clothes. The Gemara in Megillah mentions how he wore all 8 pieces to the party he had at the beginning of the Purim story. Achashverosh thought that by wearing them, he would be protected from Divine punishment. However, he erred in thus regard since they only provide protection only when the Kohen Gadol wears them.

Mishpatim 5775

Sunday, February 15, 2015

In 23:2, the Torah tells us of an idea about going by the majority in different cases, but not for the wrong reason. The Ohr Hachaim has an interesting explanation. A simple majority was not enough to convict someone. For example, if there was a unanimous vote of guilty, there would be no conviction. Let's say that 22 judges vote guilty and the last judge wants to also; but if he does, there would be no conviction. He then decides to intentionally vote innocent for a conviction to take place. Alternatively, if the last judge thinks the ruling should be innocent he will intentionally vote guilty and nullify the conviction. The Torah is therefore teaching that you can't use your vote for your own intention.

Yitro 5775

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The first of the Ten Commandments states that Hashem is our G-d Who took us out of Egypt from the houses of slaves. Based on the extra phrase of "houses of slaves", the Kedushas Levi brings up the reason why the Jews weren't given the Torah before they were redeemed. One who worships out of fear is called a slave; one who worships out of love is called a child. If Hashem had given us the Torah in Egypt, we would've accepted it out of fear in the form of slaves. Once we were redeemed, we were able to accept it out of love as children. That is why the verse emphasizes "slaves;" Hashem gave us the ability to worship him out of love.

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