Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Acharei Mos Kedoshim

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

[Due to the curfew in effect in Baltimore, R' Frand said an abbreviated parsha vort as he needed to complete the shiur with enough time for people to get home before the 10 PM curfew. If you are looking for other vorts from R Frand on this week's parsha, feel free to search my blog for prior shiurim on Acharei Mos Kedoshim. Or you could just buy one of his parsha books].

In Vayikra (16:30) the Torah writes Ki Bayom Hazeh Yichaper Aleichem ... - loosely translated as, because on this day you will get atonement from all of your sins, to cleanse you from all of your sins, before Hashem you will become pure.

The Mishna in Meseches Yoma teaches based on this pasuk - praiseworthy are the Jews before Who you purify yourself and Who purifies you - Our Father in Heaven. 

R' Frand quoted his 5th Grade Rebbi - Rabbi Hollander who writes in his sefer that he once heard R' Aharon Kotler ask - how is it praiseworthy that Hashem purifies us? Isn't this beneath His dignity that He would bathe and purify us of our sins? He answered based on a teaching of R' Akiva who states that we are being cleaned by our Father and that Hashem acts as our father when he cleans us from our sins.

R' Frand linked this to a Gemara in Taanis 25 which discusses how it had been three years without rain and R Elazar went down to lead the prayers. He prayed 24 berachos and still no rain came. Afterwards, R Akiva went down to lead prayers and he began with Avinu Malkeinu - we have no King other than you. By the time that he finished the second Avinu Malkeinu it had begun to rain.

R' Frand said that this was R' Akiva's derech and we can see this in the fact that he wrote the Avinu Malkeinu prayer said on fast days. In so doing, R' Akiva publicized that Hashem deals with the Jews not only as their King, but also as their Father.

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