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Parshat Kedoshim

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
For further info, click here.

PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 51
13 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
38 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)
(In addition to the 51 mitzvot counted in this Parsha, there are 25-30 mitzvot mentioned in this Parsha that are counted elsewhere).

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 64

NUMBER OF WORDS: 868

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 3229

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Amos 9:7 - 15 (Ashkenazim);
Yechezkel / Ezekiel 20:2 - 20 (Sepharadim)

פסח שני Pesach Sheni is Sunday, 14 Iyar - April 29, 2018.

ל״ג בעומר Lag B'Omer is Thursday, May 3, 2018.

This Shabbat we study Chapter 3 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers."


פרשת קדושים
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode we discovered that the death of Aharon's two sons did not deter Aharon from his devotion to Bnei Yisroel. We took an amazing glimpse at the Avodah performed by the Kohain Gadol on Yom Kippur, we sent a goat to Azazel, and we cheered for the Kohain Gadol as he brought forgiveness to Klal Yisroel.

HOLY?
HOW?

As our Parsha opens Hashem commands the Jewish nation to be holy.

How? Well, this Parsha is a good hint, because it's jam packed with mitzvot, and mitzvot are the key to being holy.

Basically, Hashem is laying out a plan in the Torah for how a Jew should live.

If you follow Hashem's Mitzvot, you're on the holy side. If you decide to ignore them, you ain't gettin' the "Holy" award.


In this Parsha we're going to do a mitzvah countdown listing most of the mitzvot in this Parsha. Of course, the mitzvot are in the order they appear in the Torah.

See how many of these mitzvot you bat a homerun on!


MITZVAH #1
RESPECT
YOUR
PARENTS

This is one of those mitzvot that never seems to go away - that is because it never does!

According to the Torah, kids have to respect their parents, grandmothers have to respect great-grandparents, boys respect their fathers and mothers, fathers respect grandfathers and grandmothers...

I'm telling you it's a whole respect-a-thon that never ends! You've got to listen to 'em, you've got to let 'em finish their sentences, you can't call 'em Joe or Irving or Shelly (even if it's not their first names), you can't contradict 'em and you can't sit in their seat.

Sounds easy, but sometimes it takes a lot of work to bat a thousand with this mitzvah!


MITZVAH #2
DON'T
THINK
ABOUT
IDOL
WORSHIP

Don't think you think about 'em? Well, in olden times people used to think about idols all the time. The whole world was thinking idol worship in those days - this rock created the world... that blade of grass runs the universe...

It was nuts! But very tempting.

Imagine the feeling in your stomach when you see a big pie with whipped cream and you haven't eaten all day! That urge to grab it and slop the whole pie and the plate into your mouth in one shot is what Jews in the old days used to have to fight day and night. But their urge was for idol worship. Everyone around them was doing it.

These days...


MITZVAH #3
LEAVE
PART
OF YOUR
HARVEST
FOR THE
POOR

Poor CornerThis is a three-parter that can only be fulfilled in Eretz Yisroel.

Firstly, every farmer has to put aside a corner of his field for poor people.
This Mitzvah is called PAY-YA. How much of the field, you ask? Well, the average is one fiftieth of the field. If you're more generous, 1/40 and if you're feeling on the cheap side but you still want to fulfill the Mitzvah, 1/60th will do.

Now, let's say you've got a worker collecting stalks of grain and he drops one or two. You're not allowed to pick them up. Hashem wants you to leave them for poor people. This Mitzvah is called LEKET.

The third part of the Mitzvah is that once the stalks have been bundled up, if one bundle is accidentally left in the field it goes to the poor. This is called SHIK-CHA.

These three Mitzvot apply to grains, olives and grapes, but not greens or vegetables.


MITZVAH #4
DON'T
STEAL

The meaning of this mitzvah is pretty obvious. The real question is why this mitzvah comes right after PAY-YA.
The answer is that this is a warning to poor people not to take anything from the field except what has been set aside for them.

It's also a warning to farmers that if they take from the portion that's supposed to be left for the poor, that's stealing.


MITZVAH #5
DON'T DENY
AND
DON'T LIE

It's bad enough if a guy like Robbin' Rob steals a container of potato salad, but when he gets caught he should admit it and do teshuva.



MITZVAH #6
DON'T
SWEAR
FALSELY

If Dudley the dastardly money-holder denies you ever gave him money, you can take him to court. In court he swears on the Torah. Now, the mitzvah here is not to lie when you swear in court. If Dudley wants to do the mitzvah he'll come clean and won't swear falsely. Of course, with a middle name like "Dastardly," he's heading for "sinsville."

MITZVAH #7
DON'T
HOLD BACK
MONEY THAT
BELONGS TO
SOMEONE
ELSE

If somebody loans you money or gives you money to hold onto, don't play games about giving it back like, "I'm thinking of a number from one to a million. Guess it or come back tomorrow."





MITZVAH #8
DON'T HOLD
BACK
WAGES

Let's say you make a deal with somebody to wash their car, expecting to be paid after the job. Three hours later, after huffing, spraying, hosing and squeegeeing, they say, "come back in a couple of days for the money," - that's holding back wages.

MITZVAH #9
DON'T CURSE
A
DEAF MAN

There are lots of ways to interpret this one, but simply put, watch what you wish on a person. Especially when you're mad at someone, you have to realize that your words can go a long way.



MITZVAH #10
DON'T TRIP
A BLIND MAN
BY
PUTTING
SOMETHING
IN HIS WAY

The simple explanation is this: If you are leading a blind guy down the street, don't purposely make him hit a wall.

The real meaning of this mitzvah is don't give wrong advice to trick somebody. For example, Reuven asks you what time the bus is coming. You know it's coming at 2, but you tell Reuven 3. Guess what? You've just "tripped a blind man."


MITZVAH #11
JUDGE
OTHERS
FAVORABLY

This is a real tough one!
Everytime you meet up with someone or pass by someone, you're bound to make some kind of judgment about him.
Hashem wants us to think of that person in a good way. Sometimes a guy's in a bad mood or has something on his mind that can make him do things he wouldn't usually do. Give him the benefit of the doubt.

MITZVAH #12
DON'T
SPREAD
STORIES
ABOUT
OTHERS!

This is a two-parter.
Firstly, we're not allowed to spread Lashon Horah. Lashon Horah is gossip that is TRUE but not nice.

Secondly, if Shimon says something about Reuven, don't repeat it back to Reuven. This leads to tons of trouble. You're better off just keeping it to yourself.


MITZVAH #13
DON'T HATE
ANOTHER
JEW

All Jews are brothers when they keep the mitzvot of Hashem. It is important to give each other respect and stick together. We always hope that other Jews will put their best foot forward and that we will all get along.

MITZVAH #14
SET 'EM
STRAIGHT

Since all Jews are brothers, we shouldn't be embarrassed to correct someone who doesn't know how to do a mitzvah properly:

"Excuse me, Mechel, but you can't use an eggplant for besomim."

"Please allow me to fix your Tefillin - you have it on your leg, but it goes on your arm."

"Shmuel, I couldn't help but to notice that you made kiddush on pickle juice and Hamotzi on a banana."


MITZVAH #15
DON'T
TAKE
REVENGE

Let's say that Dovie takes away your baseball during a game and ruins the game. Now, on Friday night at the Shabbat table you get an idea: "why not steal his matza ball from his soup! That'll teach him!"

-- Sorry, buddy, but that's called "revenge" and you're not allowed to do that!


MITZVAH #16
DON'T
REMEMBER
THE EVIL A
FELLOW JEW
DID

Remember the matza ball? Better give him an extra one because you forgot all about the baseball incident. Hashem commands us to forgive and forget about mean things people do to us. Why? Well, one reason is that we really don't want Hashem keeping track of the bad things that we do. This is one way to wipe the slate clean.
This is a tough mitzvah but we've got to do our best with it.

MITZVAH #17
LOVE YOUR
FELLOW JEW
AS
YOURSELF

This is a biggie! As a matter of fact, some Sages say that you can learn the whole Torah just from this one mitzvah! Hashem wants all Jews to get along. That means we must try to understand and help each other.
When Jews get along, Hashem is closer to us. When we don't, terrible things happen! The Bait Hamikdash was destroyed, because Jews couldn't get along with each other, so you see how much weight Hashem places on Jews getting along.

MITZVAH #18
DON'T MIX
TWO TYPES
OF PLANTS
IN THE
SAME FIELD

This one is for farmers in Eretz Yisroel. You can't plant two different foods together in one field. For example, you can't plant grapes and tomatoes or wheat and cucumbers together in one field. There are all kinds of rules about how far apart plants need to be.

Even outside of Eretz Yisroel you can't graft one plant to another to make a new kind of fruit, like taking a watermelon and mix it with a cucumber to make a water-pickle.


MITZVAH #19
DON'T
WEAR
SHATNEZ

Here's one that come up every time we buy clothes. We're not allowed to mix the two materials, WOOL and LINEN. This mixture is called Shatnez.

This is tough because only a trained shatnez tester can really tell if there are a couple of linen threads mixed into wool fibers, or a button is sown on a linen garment with wool threads.


MITZVAH #20
THE LAW
OF ORLAH

Orlah to 3rd BirthdayHere's a law about trees that applies to Jewish farmers all over the world.

If you plant a tree, you can't eat from its fruit for the first three years. The fruit is ORLAH (forbidden).

However, outside Eretz Yisroel, if we do not know whether the fruit we are buying is ORLAH, we may eat the fruit. It is only forbidden if we know for sure that the fruit is ORLAH

The fruit of the fourth year has to be taken to Yerushalayim and eaten there.

This only applies, however, to the times when the Bait Hamikdash is standing.
These days, we exchange the fruits for a coin.


MITZVAH #21
WE
CAN'T EAT
OVER BLOOD

There are two explanations for this mitzvah.
The first has to do with eating the meat of a Korban before the blood has been sprinkled on the mizbayach (Altar).

Another explanation is that a person over bar-mitzvah age must daven Shacharit (pray the morning prayers) before eating breakfast.


MITZVAH #22
DON'T BE
SUPERSTITIOUS

Don't walk under a ladder because it's unlucky?
Not anymore, because that's being superstitious and being superstitious is against the Torah. Don't walk under a ladder because it might fall on your head. Thats OK.

Why don't we believe in lucky horseshoes, unlucky black cats? Because we put all of our faith in Hashem.
Hashem guides our lives and protects the Jewish nation.


MITZVAH #23
DON'T
CUT OFF
YOUR PAYOT

Payot are the sideburns on each side of the face. Hashem tells us not to cut them above our cheek bones, alongside our ears. Some people are really careful and let their payot grow long and twirly!

One reason for payot is to look and act different from the other nations.


MITZVAH #24
DON'T
TATTOO
YOUR BODY

I guess those dreams of having "MOM" tattooed on your arm will have to go!

Hashem wants us to keep our bodies clean and in good condition. We are forbidden to make any permanent markings on our bodies.


MITZVAH #25
SHOW
RESPECT
FOR THE BAIT
HAMIKDASH

When someone steps on the Har Habayit (Temple Mount) in Yerushalayim, he must take it very seriously because this is the place where Hashem has chosen to rest His Shechina. We must show great respect.
Even though the Bait Hamikdash no longer stands, this mitzvah applies to our shuls (synagogues). We must show great respect in a shul. That means keeping silent and not running around or being silly.

MITZVAH #26
DON'T
PERFORM
THE MAGIC
OF OV AND
YIDONI

In the times of the Torah, nations used to rely on magic. There are a lot of ways to make things in this world happen through magic and witchcraft. But Hashem forbids us to use such sorcery. Here are two popular trickeries in particular that Hashem forbids:
  • Ba'al ov - this guy had a neat trick. He threw his voice and made it sound like the voice was coming from somewhere else. Then he made dead bodies rise and tricked people into thinking that these bodies were talking.
  • Yidoni - This guy put a bone of a certain animal in his mouth and was able to make the bone talk! Then he would fall on his face and predict the future!

MITZVAH #27
SHOW HONOR
FOR THE
ELDERLY

When a Jew hits 70, he or she automatically commands respect. Even if the person is not a scholar. The fact that Hashem has allowed them to live so long means that they have experienced the ways of the world, and deserve our respect.

MITZVAH #28
HONOR
OUR
TORAH
SCHOLARS

A Torah scholar at any age is called a Zakain (Elder). That's because he is as wise as an old man. We must show great respect for a scholar. When he walks into the room we must stand up. We must also be careful not to contradict or interrupt our rebbes (teachers).

MITZVAH #29
DON'T CHEAT
WITH
WEIGHTS
AND
MEASURES

Ever see the scales they use in a fruit store or the flat scales in a meat store? It is very easy to readjust these scales so that they don't measure properly.

When a Jewish store-keeper buys a scale he must make sure that the numbers are accurate so that he won't cheat any of his customers.


Wow! That's a lot of mitzvot. But now we've got the key to being holy... Keep the mitzvot of Hashem and Hashem will protect you from harm.

Tune in next week when we check out the Shalosh Regalim in the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Mavin on Kedoshim


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