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Purim, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sissa
Parshas Parah
18th Day Of Adar, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei
Parshas Hachodesh
25th Day Of Adar, 5742

Letter of the Rebbe - 25 Adar, 5742

Tzivos Hashem
Rosh Chodesh Nissan, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Vayikra
3rd Day Of Nissan, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Tzav
Shabbos Hagadol
10th Day Of Nissan, 5742

Letter of the Rebbe - 11 Nissan, 5742

Yud-Aleph (L1th) Nissan, 5742
80th Birthday Of The Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita

Yartzeit Of Tzemach Tzedek
Yud-Gimmel (13th) Nissan, 5742

Acharon Shel (8th) Pesach
22nd Day Of Nissan, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Shemini
24th Day Of Nissan, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzorah
2nd Day Of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5742

Tzivos Hashem
6th Day Of Iyar, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Emor
15th Day Of Iyar., 5742

Tzivos Hashem
Lag BaOmer
18th Day of Iyar, 5742

Convention Of N’Shei Ubnos Chabad
23rd Day Of Iyar, 5742

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar
29th Day Of Iyar, 5742

Tzivos Hashem
3rd Day Of Sivan, 5742

Erev Shavuos, 5742

2nd Day of Shavuos
7th Day of Sivan, 5742

Sichos In English
Excerpts of Sichos delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Vol. 13 — Adar-Sivan 5742


Shabbos Parshas Shemini
24th Day Of Nissan, 5742


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  Acharon Shel (8th) Pesach
22nd Day Of Nissan, 5742
Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzorah
2nd Day Of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5742
 

1. This Shabbos follows Acharon Shel Pesach (last day of Pesach), and is simultaneously Shabbos Mevorchim Iyar. Acharon Shel Pesach can fall out on either Shabbos (when the first day of Pesach is Shabbos), or, as this year, on a weekday. When Acharon Shel Pesach is on a weekday, the following Shabbos effects an elevation in all its concepts. On Shabbos it states “Vayechulu,” which has two meanings: from the word “Kilayon,” meaning self-nullification, negation of existence; or from the meaning “ta’anug,” delight. On Shabbos, all things of the previous six weekdays are elevated in both these ways of “Vayechulu.” Thus, when Acharon Shel Pesach is on a weekday, the service of the following Shabbos is expressed in the elevation of all matters of Acharon Shel Pesach to the loftiest degree.

Just as Shabbos elevates Acharon Shel Pesach, so too the service of Acharon Shel Pesach elevates Shabbos, effecting an increase in its service. Our Sages said: “Whosoever toils on Erev Shabbos will eat on Shabbos,” meaning that the eating on Shabbos follows and is due to the preparation made on Erev Shabbos. Although “Shabbos is sanctified of itself,” nevertheless, there is the concept of “to observe (literally to ‘make’) the Shabbos” — that through the service of Jews extra elevation is given to Shabbos. This is achieved through the service of the six weekdays — “whosoever toils on Erev Shabbos will eat on Shabbos.”

This is the service of Jews on weekdays — “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,” meaning, “that just as Jews were commanded about the positive precept of Shabbos, so too they were commanded about work.” That is, to work on the 6 weekdays is a positive commandment — and then G-d’s blessings follow: “the L-rd your G-d will bless you in all that you do.” Work on weekdays applies to all Jews, those who are of Zevulun, dealing with worldly matters, and those of Yissachar, whose main work is Torah study.

When Acharon Shel Pesach falls on a weekday, it is one of the six days of preparation to Shabbos. Thus, it is the service of Acharon Shel Pesach which allows the “eating” on Shabbos — “Whosoever toils on Erev Shabbos will eat on Shabbos.”

The above applies to every year when Acharon Shel Pesach falls on a weekday. This year has a special distinction in that Acharon Shel Pesach is on Thursday, the closest day possible to Shabbos. Acharon Shel Pesach is always on the same day of the week as the first day of Pesach. Since the first day of Pesach can never fall out on Friday, Acharon Shel Pesach can also never fall out on Friday. Hence Thursday is the closest day possible to Shabbos that Acharon Shel Pesach can fall out on.

In further clarification: When Acharon Shel Pesach is on Sunday or Tuesday (it can never be Monday, Wednesday, or Friday), there is a big break between it and the following Shabbos. Since on these intervening days Jews are engaged in things that have no association with the service of Acharon Shel Pesach, there is an interruption between the service of Acharon Shel Pesach and the following Shabbos. But when Acharon Shel Pesach is on Thursday, although Friday interrupts between it and Shabbos, it is only a small (one day) interruption — and moreover, it is impossible to have a smaller interruption (since Acharon Shel Pesach cannot be on Friday). This closeness between Acharon Shel Pesach and Shabbos reflects on the bond and influence each has on the other.

The above distinction of this Shabbos is not a result of man’s service, but connected with the way the calendar falls out, fixed many generations ago (by Hillel). But after the strength thus given from above, a Jew must increase in his service in a yet loftier fashion.

We will comprehend the greatness of this Shabbos by first explaining the concept of Shevi’i Shel Pesach (7th of Pesach) and Acharon Shel Pesach. The seventh of Pesach is the culmination of the exodus from Egypt. A complete week has passed, and the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea on Shevi’i Shel Pesach was the culmination of the destruction of Egypt. Indeed, the revelation of G-dliness at the Splitting of the Sea was of the loftiest level — “a maidservant at the Sea saw that which Yechezkel and all the other prophets did not see.” Simultaneously, this lofty level was a revelation without any concealments whatever — “they pointed at Him with the finger” — it was a revelation seen by the physical eye. Although the physical and the spiritual normally have no connection, at the Splitting of the Sea the physical eye saw G-dliness — and to the extent that they saw “that which Yechezkel and all the other prophets did not see.” This leads us to understand the greatness of the Shabbos which follows Shevi’i Shel Pesach — for Shabbos elevates the previous weekdays in the two ways of “Vayechulu” mentioned above.

Besides the distinction of the Splitting of the Sea on the seventh of Pesach, there is the loftier distinction of Acharon Shel Pesach. Whereas Shevi’i Shel Pesach is associated with the redemption from Egypt, Acharon Shel Pesach is associated with the future redemption. Although each of these redemptions contain aspects not present in the other — and therefore even in the future redemption the Exodus from Egypt will still be mentioned (“As in the days of your going out from the land of Egypt I will show you wonders”) nevertheless, the future redemption is infinitely loftier. And thus we can understand the greatness of this Shabbos which follows (and elevates) both Shevi’i Shel Pesach and Acharon Shel Pesach.

The connection between Acharon Shel Pesach and the future redemption encompasses all matters of the future, including the “wonders” that will be shown then. The Rambam however, writes that “The only difference between this world and the days of Mashiach is servitude to the nations.” Seemingly, this means the Rambam holds there will be no “wonders” then, as he himself writes: “Do not think that in the days of Mashiach the regular conduct of the world will be abolished, or there will be anew thing in creation. Instead, the world will be as usual. And that which it states: ‘A wolf will dwell with a sheep, etc.,’ is a parable ... as are all similar things in the matter of Mashiach parables.”

However, the Rambam writes in a Letter that that which he wrote that “all similar things in the matter of Mashiach are parables” — “our words are not certain ... and if it will come to pass literally, it will be a miracle.” Thus the Rambam himself allows for miracles — “wonders” in the future. Moreover, in his Iggeres Temon, the Rambam writes that “the signs and wonders that will be shown through him (Mashiach) are the proofs for the truth of his lineage” i.e. the miracles wrought by Mashiach prove that he is Mashiach. The Rambam writes this although in his “Yad Hachazakah” (compilation of laws) he states “Do not think that the King Mashiach need perform signs and wonders...”

There is, however, no real contradiction. A general rule in Talmudic and Halachic study is that all effort must be made to avoid differences (in opinions). This applies even to differences between the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi. Although the method of study of each is completely different, nevertheless, wherever possible, effort is made to minimize disagreements — i.e. if possible, to arrive at the conclusion that both Talmuds are of the same opinion in regard to any given Halachah. Certainly then, if we have a seeming contradiction in the words of the Rambam himself (between that written in the “Yad Hachazakah” and in his “Letters”) we must do our utmost to resolve it.

We must say that the Rambam’s opinion is that there will be miracles and wonders in the times of Mashiach. Especially since the Letters in which he speaks of them were written for a large section of Jewry — those living in Temon — to lift up their spirits and to infuse them with the hope of the coming redemption; and the Rambam certainly gave them encouragement of truth.

The explanation of the seeming contradiction in the Rambam is as follows: There will be two eras in the time of Mashiach.

    1) The beginning of the time of Mashiach, of which it states: “the only difference between this world and the days of Mashiach is servitude to the nations.”

    2) The era following, when the regular routine of the world will be abolished, and the world will witness “wonders.”

This corresponds to the Talmud’s statement that there are two ways in which the future redemption can come:

    1) “If they merit it — I will hasten it,” “if they merit it — with clouds from heaven” — i.e. with miracles.

    2) “If they do not merit it — in its appointed time,” when Mashiach will come “as a pauper and riding on a donkey” — i.e. without miracles.

The first era is similar to the idea of “if they do not merit it,” when the world will be as usual. The second era is similar to the idea of “If they merit it” — “with clouds from heaven,” with miracles and wonders. Rambam in his Yad Hachazakah writes that the world will conduct itself as usual in the times of Mashiach, for the Yad Hachazakah is a compilation of Halachos. A halachah is something clear, without doubt. Thus the Rambam writes the only difference in the future will be the abolition of the servitude of nations, for it is absolutely clear that this will happen in the first era of the messianic age.

However, regarding the “wonders” that will take place, the Rambam does not render the clear Halachic decision that there will be miracles in the first era (about which the Rambam is talking), for it is not certain that the beginning of the redemption will be in the manner of “they merit it” — with miracles. It may be the redemption will be such that “they don’t merit it,” in which case the world will be as usual (and only afterwards, in the second era, will there be miracles). Hence the Rambam writes that “Do not think the King Mashiach need perform signs and wonders,” for since the redemption may be in the manner of “they do not merit it” — when the world will be as usual — it is impossible to demand of Mashiach to perform miracles.

On the other hand, even if the beginning of the redemption will be such that “they do not merit it,” nevertheless, eventually they will reach the level of “they merit it” — for “none shall be lost from Him.” Thus eventually the second era in the Messianic age will come, when the world will be changed, and Mashiach will certainly perform miracles and wonders.

In the light of all the above, we see that the distinction of Acharon Shel Pesach, which is associated with the final redemption, encompasses the idea of the “wonders” which will be then (at least in the second era). And from this we understand also the greatness of the following Shabbos which elevates the matters of Acharon Shel Pesach.

The previous Rebbe said that our service now is only to “polish the buttons on the uniforms,” so that we will be ready for the parade of Tzivos Hashem (all Jews), together with Mashiach, in front of the Commander-in-Chief — G-d. This tells us that in our days we are in the situation of “they merit it,” since the only service left is to “polish the last buttons.” Every Jew must hasten to finish his service, for we do not know when will be the final redemption — and perhaps through his service the last buttons of the last soldier will be polished — and G-d is waiting for it to be polished! Then immediately we merit the true and final redemption through our righteous Mashiach, who will take each and every Jew out of exile to our holy land and Bais HaMikdash, speedily in our times.

2. It is now appropriate to once again urge about the campaign to unite all Jews by each one purchasing a letter in one of the Sifrei Torah being written for this purpose. Each Jew possesses a letter in the Torah, and through actually purchasing a letter, he or she is revealing that connection. Through this letter the blessing from Above comes to a person, starting with blessing for success in the study of Torah. Hence each Jew must increase in his Torah study, both the exoteric and esoteric.

Increase in Torah study is emphasized in the verse (Tehillim 81:11) “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Our Sages (Berachos 50a) explain that this verse refers to “words of Torah” — that Torah study should be in the manner of “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”

The idea of “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” extends also to physical matters — “Open your mouth wide to request all your needs (in prayer) — and G-d will fulfill your requests.” Prayer is the idea of requesting physical needs, and this verse teaches us that one must “Open your mouth wide” even in regard to requesting the most minute detail. The prayers uttered everyday are the means by which the general drawing down of blessings effected on Rosh Hashanah are translated and drawn down into the day’s particular needs. When a person’s prayer is in such a way, then “I will fill it” — G-d fulfills a person’s requests in all particulars with an ample hand.

The words in Ch. 81 preceding “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” are “I am the L-rd your G-d Who brought you up of the land of Egypt.” The connection between the two will be understood through reference to Rashi’s commentary on a verse in this week’s parshah. On the verse (Vayikra 11:45) “For I am the L-rd Who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your G-d,” Rashi comments that “Everywhere (else) it is written ‘I have brought you out’ and here it is written ‘brought you up;’ in reference to this it was taught at the school of Rabbi Yishmael: [G-d said] ‘If I had brought up Israel from Egypt only for the reason that they do not defile themselves with swarming things as do the other nations, that would be sufficient for them, for they have this elevation (excellence); this is the meaning of the term ‘I have brought you up’ [i.e. elevated you].”

So too in our case: The meaning of “I am the L-rd your G-d Who brought you up from the land of Egypt, open your mouth wide and I will fill it,” is that the going up from Egypt was sufficient if only for the concept of “open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Moreover, it is an expression of “elevation,” as seen from the use of “brought you up” (and not “brought you out”). And just as the going up from Egypt was sufficient if only for the reason of “opening your mouth wide” with Torah, so too it was sufficient if only for the reason of “open your mouth wide” in regard to praying for one’s physical needs.

The lesson from the above: Each Jew must increase in his Torah study, both the exoteric and the esoteric, both in quality and quantity — “open your mouth wide.” This is particularly true since we are in a land of plenty, and can engage in Torah study and mitzvos without any obstacles.

However, there are those who claim they have no time to dedicate themselves properly to Torah study — for they are completely immersed in physical matters. Such a person is busy thinking up business swindles to gain more money — so he can then buy wall-to-wall carpeting! His neighbor has wall-to-wall carpeting — he must also have it.

Behind the Iron Curtain, there are Jews who are in an extremely precarious position, to the extent that they must have self-sacrifice for every aspect of fulfillment of mitzvos. Nevertheless, they do not think or worry about their physical wants, but their whole desire is only to be able to fulfill another mitzvah. And when they are allowed (after great difficulties) to fulfill a mitzvah, they experience the most intense joy, greater than the joy a Jew in Brooklyn experiences on Simchas Torah.

There are Jews who cannot put on tefillin — for they have no tefillin! When they do manage to procure tefillin, they cannot go to the synagogue to put them on, for if they catch him, they will fire him from his job, and he will not be able to earn even the most meager of livelihoods. So he must hide and put on the tefillin in his house. His house consists of but a single room, and even then he cannot lock the door to put on tefillin, for if he does so, it might excite suspicion that he is conducting activities detrimental to the state. He has no choice but to put on the tefillin in a corner of his room such that his neighbor will not see him — for his neighbor may be an informer and report him to the authorities who will imprison him together with criminals — where he will be beaten.

Despite all this, such Jews behind the Iron Curtain make no calculations of what the next day will bring; and their whole desire is only to be able to put on tefillin.

In contrast, there are Jews who live in a land of plenty — both physical and spiritual, who have no obstacles to Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos. Being in a democratic country, the government does not oppose them, and they can learn Torah and fulfill mitzvos as much as they want. Yet, they bemoan their lack of wealth, and because of this cannot dedicate themselves to service of G-d as is fitting.

Others claim that when the Jews left Egypt G-d showed them miracles and wonders, and therefore they accepted the Torah unhesitantly. If so, they claim, why doesn’t G-d show miracles today? If He would do so, and supply them plentifully with all their needs, then they would be able to dedicate themselves to Torah and mitzvos properly.

G-d entreats Jews to fulfill the Torah properly — “if you will walk in My statutes.” But this Jew sets forth ‘conditions,’ saying G-d should show him miracles. G-d gives him “bread to eat and clothes to wear,” gives him the possibility to fulfill Torah and mitzvos without any opposition or obstacles, and amidst plenty. Even if it seems to him that he lacks things (physically or spiritually), and perhaps it is so — this is only if he compares himself to non-Jews in New York. But if he would compare himself to Jews in Moscow....

Jews living behind the Iron Curtain, in Moscow, Odessa, Petersburg, etc., are just as important as him, perhaps more so. But they do not demand of G-d to show them miracles; they do not even request basic necessities — their whole wish is to be able to obtain a ‘kezayis’ (the minimum Halachic requirement) of Shemurah Matzah. During the whole of Pesach he is ready to eat only potatoes and similar things (which have no suspicion of chametz); he wants only a ‘kezayis’ of Shemurah Matzah to fulfill the mitzvah. When he is allowed to get it, it is a “kosher and joyous festival of Pesach” for him — in every meaning of the word.

It is completely impossible for him to go in a “procession” with song and melody; even self-sacrifice won’t help in this case. Self-sacrifice helps to jump from the roof to the ground, but not from the ground to the roof. Likewise, it is impossible to publicly organize a farbrengen, for it can lead to death. All their desire is to be able to put on tefillin, wear tzitzis (at least in a hidden fashion).

In contrast, a Jew who lives here has food and clothing, and has no obstacles to practicing Judaism. Yet, when he is asked to register Jews in the writing of a Sefer Torah, first he must eat and sleep and go for a walk — and when he will have a little free time, then he will do a ‘favor’ and register one or two Jews in the Sefer Torah. And when he does this, his self-esteem knows no bounds!

Our intention here is not to speak against Jews, nor are we referring to anyone in particular. The purpose is, first and foremost, to emphasize that the time has come for the “exile within an exile” of Jews behind the Iron Curtain to cease. Over fifty years ago, it was still possible for Jews there to engage in the dissemination of Judaism; but now it is impossible. It is not because of a non-Jew, for non-Jews do not have any power over Jews in matters of Judaism. It is G-d Who does not permit Jews to fulfill Torah and mitzvos properly!

Thus it is an “exile within an exile.” Besides the mitzvos which all Jews cannot perform in exile, Jews behind the Iron Curtain cannot keep even those mitzvos which other Jews can. G-d must therefore first abolish the “exile within an exile,” allowing those Jews to engage in Torah and mitzvos amidst plenty. With them the general concept of the redemption will begin! If we beg and demand of G-d to take us out of exile, certainly those Jews are in an “exile within an exile” need to go out from exile.

The previous Rebbe, after he left Russia in 5688, said that when Jews on the other side of the border (i.e. in the free countries) increase in their Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos, this effects and gives Jews who are still behind the Iron Curtain the possibility to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos properly. This is comparable to a cup filled to overflowing: the water spills over and falls below, to the lowest place — lowest referring to their possibility of studying Torah and performing mitzvos.

We can understand from this how important it is for every Jew to increase in all matters of Torah and mitzvos in the manner of “Open your mouth wide.” Even if until now they did engage in all these matters properly, nevertheless, they must increase in them with more and more strength. It is a matter of “pikuach nefesh — saving of life” for those Jews behind the Iron Curtain. For through the increase in Torah and mitzvos here, we effect an increase there; and when spiritual life has been increased, physical life is increased. This is an additional reason to effect increased enthusiasm in all matters of propagation of Judaism in general and Chassidus in particular.

May it be G-d’s will that very speedily the “exile within an exile” be abolished, and the general exile be eradicated, when the promise “the people who walk in darkness saw great light” will be fulfilled — “And G-d will be for you an everlasting light,” in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach.

3. The beginning of parshas Shemini talks of the eighth day of consecration of the Mishkan, and the sacrifices brought then. There are a few difficulties in the plain meaning of the verses in this section. Ch. 9 verse 8 states: “And Aharon drew near to the altar, and slaughtered the calf of the sin-offering which was for himself.” verse 9 continues: “And the sons of Aharon delivered (“Vayakrivu”) the blood to him.” Verse 12 states: “And he slew the burnt-offering; and Aharon’s sons presented (“Vayamtziu”) to him the blood.” Both verses 9 and 12 talk of the same action — Aharon’s sons giving the blood of the respective sacrifices to their father to put on the altar. Why then does it use a different expression in each case: “Vayakrivu — delivered” in verse 9; and “Vayamtziu — presented” in verse 12?

A further difficulty. Rashi, on the words “And Aharon’s sons presented to him” (“Vayamtziu”), comments that “Vayamtziu” denotes “handing over” (“Hoshatah”) and “preparing” (“Hazmonah”). Rashi never says anything superfluous. What is the difference between “handing over” and “preparing” — they seem to be the same action. And even if they are two separate actions, why doesn’t Rashi make the same comment on verse 9 regarding the word “delivered” (“Vayakrivu”), since in both verses (9 & 12) it is seemingly the same action (of bringing the blood to Aharon)?

The explanation is as follows: At the beginning of parshas Vayikra (1:5), it states: “The sons of Aharon, the kohanim, shall deliver (“Vehikrivu”) the blood.” On the words “shall deliver” Rashi comments: “This is the ‘receiving’ (of the blood), which is the first (rite after slaughtering); but it really implies the meaning of “bringing,” and hence we learn that both of them [receiving of the blood and bringing it to the altar] (are performed) by the sons of Aharon.”

In other words, there are several rites in offering a sacrifice. The actual slaughtering of the animal was permitted to be done by even a non-kohen. However, from the “receiving” of the blood of the sacrifice into a vessel and onwards, all the rites are the duty of the kohanim. In other words, the word “delivering” really implies the rite of “bringing” the blood received in the vessel to the altar to be sprinkled. But since between the slaughtering and the “bringing” there must have been a “receiving” of the blood, it follows that the rite of “delivering” the blood (in the verse “and the sons of Aharon, the kohanim, shall deliver the blood”) encompasses both the rite of “receiving” and the rite of “bringing” — and hence both must be done by kohanim.

This is the meaning of “delivering” wherever it is found in Scripture. Thus verse 9 of our parshah — “And the sons of Aharon delivered the blood to him” — also means both the rites of “receiving” and “bringing.” Verse 12 however, which states “And Aharon’s sons presented (“Vayamtziu”) to him the blood” has a different meaning — as Rashi states, it denotes “handing over (and preparing).” That is, the sons of Aharon only gave (“handed over”) the blood to Aharon, without the rite of “bringing.” In other words, the sons of Aharon were close by (for whatever reason) and did not need to “bring” it to Aharon — only to “present” it to him.

To emphasize the difference between “presented” and “delivered,” Rashi, in his explanation of the word “presented,” adds that it denotes “(handing over) and preparing.” Preparation means getting a thing ready for use straight away, without any further actions. Thus the verse “and Aharon’s sons presented to him the blood” is immediately followed by the words “and he sprinkled it against the altar round about.” That is, the sons of Aharon prepared the blood for Aharon in such a way that he could immediately sprinkle it, without any further preparation.

In the verse “And the sons of Aharon delivered the blood to him,” the rite of sprinkling is not stated immediately afterwards; but first “and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it upon the horns of the altar” and only then “and he poured out the blood at the base of the altar.” In other words, the action of the sons of Aharon when they “delivered” the blood was not in the manner of “preparing;” for afterwards Aharon had to divide the blood — “and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it upon the horns of the altar,” and in addition “he poured out the blood at the base of the altar.”

4. When the Mishkan was built, there were eight days of dedication. On the eighth day, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, three goats of sin-offering were brought. One was the he-goat of the dedication service; one was the goat brought by Nachshon, Prince of the tribe of Yehudah (and on each subsequent day a Prince from each of the tribes brought an offering); the third was the goat of (the additional service of) Rosh Chodesh.

In parshas Vayikra Ch. 10 verses 16-20, we learn of the following: The first two goats were eaten by the Kohanim as Moshe had instructed; whereas the goat of Rosh Chodesh was burnt — contrary to Moshe’s instruction. Aharon and his two sons were mourners for Nadov and Avihu, Aharon’s other two sons, who had been killed that day (for offering a “strange fire” before G-d). The Halachah is that a kohen who is a mourner may not officiate at a sacrifice — and if he does it becomes unfit and must be burnt (instead of being eaten). Moshe had told them that in this case, even though they were mourners, it was a special commandment to nevertheless eat the sacrifice. Hence he asked them: Why didn’t you eat the sacrifice of Rosh Chodesh?

Rashi, on Ch. 10, verse 19, states that Aharon answered him that: “If you have heard (this special instruction) regarding holy things of a specific time, you should not be lenient regarding holy things of future generations”: In other words: the first two goats — that of Nachshon and that of the eighth day of dedication — were once-only events, never to be repeated. The sacrifice of Rosh Chodesh however, is brought every Rosh Chodesh, in all years. Hence, maintained Aharon, the instruction given to Moshe that they should eat the sacrifices even though they were mourners, was a special directive for the special sacrifices of the unique time — the dedication of the Mishkan. But that does not mean one should learn from this to also be lenient (i.e. to allow mourners to eat from the sacrifice) for a sacrifice that was special or unique — the Rosh Chodesh offering.

There is a lesson to be learned from this Rashi in regard to the education of children. During a person’s lifetime, there is a difference between his childhood (the time before he becomes obligated to fulfill mitzvos) and adulthood. This difference can be compared to the difference between sacrifices of “a specific time,” (childhood, which is only of a specific duration) and those regarding “future generations” (adulthood, when a person’s service is fixed and continuous, similar to the sacrifice which was brought every generation, not just a once-only event). of course, even during childhood (“a specific time”), one must endeavor to ensure that the child engages in Torah study, fulfillment of mitzvos, and in general, things of a holy nature — “holy things of a specific time.”

Since we are dealing with childhood, at times we are lenient in certain things associated with diligent Torah study, and in certain things we are not so particular (for example, we are not so strict to limit free time as much as possible). For since it is “holy things of a specific time” only (childhood), we can afford to be lenient.

Rashi, the teacher of all Israel, teaches us that “If you have heard (this special instruction) regarding holy things of a specific time, you should not be lenient regarding holy things of future generations.” When we are lenient with a child’s conduct in holy matters, it must be made known and emphasized to the child that these leniencies in certain things are only temporary (for “a specific time”), during childhood. But it cannot apply, G-d forbid, to the future (“future generations”) — “you should not be lenient regarding holy things of future generations.” Hence, in regard to something that is an education for generations, one must be most particular in all details — since it affects generations.


  Acharon Shel (8th) Pesach
22nd Day Of Nissan, 5742
Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzorah
2nd Day Of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5742
 
  
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