Torah Teaser – Parshat Acharei Mot Questions & Answers – May 06 2116

Supporting Your Children Is Not Enough To Get You Places “V’Al Yavoi B’Chol Eis El HaKodesh; Do not come any time you desire inyo the Kodesh HaKodashim.” (Acharei Mos 16:2) The Gemara in Kesubos (50a) asks on the pasuk (Tehilim 106:3), “Ashrei Shomrei Mishpat Oseh Tzedaka B’Chol Eis; How can a person give Tzedaka, ‘B’Chol Eis’ at all times?”
The Gemara answers that this refers to someone who supports his young children. That is called Tzedaka B’Chol Eis. There was once a man who refused to give tzedaka. He excused himself based on the above Gemara that he supported his children, which is tzedaka B’Chol Eis. “Why should I give to others as well?” he asked.
It is said that the Vilna Gaon answered him, “V’Al Yavoi B’Chol Eis El HaKodesh. True, supporting you children is Tzedaka B’Chol Eis, however, the Torah warns us that with this tzedaka only, we will not attain any level of kedusha, and we will not be admitted into the Kodesh.”

The Kohen Gadol’s Private Designer Collection Rav Avrohom Ben HaRambam in his classic work HaMaspik L’Ovdei Hashem has an entire Perek discussing the virtues of Prishus, abstinence. Towards the end of the perek he asks, if abstinence is so worthy a trait why doe the Kohen Gadol wear the most lavish of clothing dripping with precious stones and gold? He answers that purpose of his expensive attire is to cast an aura of beauty and awe over the masses who see him. Simple people are impressed by ones clothes and his garments command the highest degree of Kavod and Tiferes as the Torah demands. Proof to this he says is the Kohen Gadol’s clothing on Yom Kippur. Before entering the holiest place on earth to face the Melech Malchei HaMelachim he takes off his showy clothing and puts on simple white linen garments, the kind of clothing the King likes. And not a single living soul will be present for him to impress.

Aharon’s Children And The White Linen Bigadim Chazal ask why in the Parsha of Avodas Yom Kippur does the Torah starts by mentioning the death of Nadav and Avihu, the children of Aharon. Rav Chaim Kanievsky offers an explanation. He says the reason the Kohen Gadol does not go into the Kodesh HaKadashim with his bigdei kohen gadol is because they have gold in them and gold was used for the Eigel HaZahav. “Ein Kateigor Na’aseh Saneigor”, we cannot do Hashem’s service with the object that we sinned. Had we not committed the Chait HaEigel the Kohen Gadol would have entered the Kodesh Hakadashim with his normal bigadim instead of the four simple white linen garments. Rashi says in Parshas Eikev that Aharon’s two children died as a punishment for his role in the Eigel. Therefore before the Torah commands the Kohen Gadol, “Kesones Bad Kodesh Yilbash”, to wear the linen garments, it tells us that this was a result of the Chait HaEigel for which Aharon’s two children died.

Torah is More Precious than Pearls? “With these Korbanos Aaron will enter the Kodesh” The Pasuk in Mishlei says “Yikarah Hee MiPeninim” – The Torah is more precious than “Peninim”. The Gemara in Horios (13a) explains that the Torah is more precious than the Kohen Gadol entering the Kodesh HaKadashim (Pninim – The most inner part of the Bais HaMikdash). What is the significance of the comparison to the Kohen Gadol?
R’ Yisroel Salanter answers, there is no greater Jew than the Kohen Gadol; no greater day than Yom Kippur; and no holier place than the Kodesh HaKadashim. When the Kohen Gadol enters the Kodesh HaKadashim on Yom Kippur, it is the ultimate holiness. Still, the pasuk tells us, “Yikarah Hee MiPeninim” – the Torah is still more precious.

Can You Wait For The Big Doctor? There was once a sick person who had to travel a great distance to visit a big doctor in a far away city. The plan was, if the patient remains in stable condition, they would travel directly to the famous doctor without any stops on the way. However, if the patient’s health deteriorates, they will be forced to stop over in the small villages on the way to visit the local doctors to advise them how to proceed.
So is the way of Hashem. If a person’s sins are not too serious, he can hold out until Yom Kippur when he visits the famous doctor (Hashem) on the holiest day. However, if his spiritual health is deteriorating, and he won’t be able to last until Yom Kippur, Hashem sends him smaller Yom HaKippurims during the year – sicknesses, deaths of Tzaddikim etc. as a wake up call to do Tshuvah. This is what the Pasuk means: “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make atonement for the children of Israel because of all their sins once in the year.”If you are spiritually healthy, you will only need Yom Kippur once a year!

Jealous Spouses Molech was an Avodah Zara that was worshipped by giving one’s child to the priest who would then lead the child through 2 bonfires. The Torah is telling us that one should not give over his child for such worship.
The Pasuk places the prohibition of having relations with an Aishes Ish (a married woman) next to worshipping the Avodah Zara Molech. What is the connection?
Rabaynu Bachyeh answers, when one’s wife has an illicit relationship with another man, this brings about a jealousy in her husband. So too, when one worships the Molech, this brings about a jealousy in Hashem (Kaviyachol). Although it is not really within our comprehension to know what saying “Hashem is jealous” means, we do find this in other places concerning Avodah Zara. In Parshas Yisro, by the Aseres HaDibros, the pasuk warns not to worship Avodah Zara, and there too it says that Hashem will not forgive because he is “Kail Kana”- a jealous G-d.

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