Vol 12.11 - Acharei Spanish French Audio Video
(5744) Explanation of Rashi ( Lev.18:2) "I am the L-rd, your G-d: I am the One Who said at Sinai, “I am the L-rd, your G-d” (Exod. 20:2), and you accepted My sovereignty upon yourselves at that time;"
This week we read two Torah portions, Acharei and Kedoshim. In most years, the Torah portions of Acharei and Kedoshim are read together. In fact, they share the common theme of holiness.
The portion of Acharei opens with G-d's command to Aaron, warning him that he may not "come at all times into the Sanctuary." (The High Priest was only allowed to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.) Acharei thus deals with the highest level of sanctity (the service in the Holy of Holies), on the holiest day of the year (Yom Kippur), performed by the Jew on the highest level of holiness, the High Priest.
The portion of Kedoshim also begins with a command concerning holiness: "You shall be holy, for I am holy." Every Jew is obligated to emulate G-d and strive for the highest degree of holiness. But, practically speaking, how is this possible?
The answer lies in the Torah's directive "You shall be holy," the wording of which also implies a promise: "You will be holy!" G-d assures every Jew, "for I am holy" - for the simple reason that your holiness is derived from Mine. Every Jew possesses a "veritable portion of G-d Above," a Jewish soul that is a part of the Infinite. Every Jew is thus capable of rising to even the highest levels of holiness.
As the Torah teaches, the ultimate objective is not what happened to Aaron's two sons, Nadav and Avihu, who achieved such a state of spiritual arousal that their souls could no longer tolerate the confinement of their physical bodies. The highest level of Divine service transcends even this.
In the Midrash, our Sages interpreted the verse "You shall be holy" as meaning "My holiness is superior to yours." In other words, no matter how high a spiritual level a Jew may attain, he should always remember that G-d is Infinite and thus higher.
This contains a practical lesson for every Jew to apply in his Divine service, regardless of his present spiritual standing: The greatest tzadik (righteous person) can always rise higher, while those on the lower rungs of spiritual achievement must never despair of improvement. The directive of "You shall be holy" applies to everyone. G-d gives every Jew the strengths and abilities he needs to ascend. And when a Jew takes the first step and makes the effort to sanctify himself, G-d takes him by the hand and helps him achieve his goal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lypZ3L4sDmk (Video - R' Schapiro)
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|