Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Emor

The following is a brief summary of some of 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.

In Vayikra 21:1 the Torah states that Moshe is told Emor and V'Amara - he is essentially instructed twice to tell the Kohanim these laws. Rashi teaches that the double language is meant to teach that parents have an obligation to their children to keep them away from something. This occurs three times in the Torah - by not eating unkosher food, by not eating blood and here in relation to the Kohanim. But the question must be asked - why must it be mentioned here?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Keller in the Sefer Chidekel who explains that the Torah is telling a parent that besides telling a child that he can't eat treif or blood because its bad for their neshomos, they should also know that they are special and they should see themselves that way. R' Frand gave the example (which I would assume did not come from R' Keller) that just because everyone else is playing baseball in the cemetery - you cannot do this. Why? Because you are the Kohain and are special and different.

This manifests itself often when your child asks - why is it that I can't do... everyone else is allowed to do it (if you are a parent you can fill in the blank yourself).

This obligation to teach not only deals with instructing not to do something wrong, but to also teach him or her that the child has a special quality and that it should be developed.

This is why the Torah uses the double term here - to teach that besides telling a child that he should not do something wrong, but also that he is special and should view himself that way.

R' Frand also said a vort on the pasuk in Vayikra 22:29 which states that when a person brings a Karban Todah (sacrifice of thanksgiving) --  "Lirtzonchem Tizbachu" -  he should do so willingly. 

But these sacrifices are for a person who was healed from an illness or survived an accident. These are sacrifices that people want to bring. Why does the Torah need to instruct us that we should bring them willingly?

Rashi gives an answer that the pasuk is talking about a time frame for bringing the sacrifice. But the Ksav Sofer has a different answer - he says that when a person is sick and gets better he can have the attitude - he would rather not have had the illness and then would not need to be healed. But the point of the karban Todah being offered willingly is to teach that the person should also thank Hashem for the trouble. Because a person who went through this illness and by being healed has developed a closeness with Hashem. The karban Todah is a way of saying thank you to Hashem both for the illness and for being healed.

R' Frand told a story of R' Boruch Sorotskin who was a Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe and went through cancer and had a remission and then it came back. He reportedly said that if you asked him before he was ill if he would raise $1 million dollars to avoid being sick he would have said yes. But after going through the illness and being healed he said that he would not give away the experience even for $1 million dollars because he learned so much from the experience. This is someone who has learned the lesson of the Karban Todah.

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