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ואת בת היענה ואת התחמס... ואת הנץ למינהו

The bas ha’yaanah, the tachmos… and the netz according to its kind. (11:16)

The economic situation in Europe between the two world wars was severe. The Jews, who during good times lived from hand to mouth, found this period to be especially disastrous. People worked from dawn until late at night to earn enough to barely support their family. These were the lucky ones who had jobs. The others suffered the pangs of hunger and deprivation. The Chafetz Chaim, zl, was visiting the Polish manufacturing city of Lodz. A large Jewish population made their home there. Understandably, when a person of such distinction visited, lines of people came to greet him, seek his…

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וישמע משה וייטב בעיניו

And Moshe listened, and it was good in his eyes. (10:20)

Having just tragically lost his two sons, Aharon HaKohen was an onein, one who had just lost a close relative and, thus, could not partake of the sacrificial offerings. Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu that, despite Aharon’s aninus, he was permitted to eat of those sacrifices that had been offered exclusively for the Mishkan’s consecration. Moshe erred by extending this Heavenly dispensation to all korbanos. Aharon was, therefore, correct in not eating from the other sacrifices. Moshe chastised him for not listening to his instructions to eat from all the korbanos. Aharon was very proper, respectfully replying to his brother, “If…

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וישא אהרן את ידו אל העם ויברכם וירד מעשות החטאת

Aharon raised his hands towards the people and blessed them; then he descended from having performed the sin-offering. (9:22)

Negativity can destroy the most auspicious objective. It can undermine the most hopeful prayers. It can impugn the integrity of the most promising career. Some people thrive on negativity, because they cannot handle success. They know that as long as they are negative, they are safe. This is, of course, not the Torah way. Indeed, this is the method employed by the yetzer hora, evil-inclination, to undermine the individual’s efforts at prayer. One should not ignore his own shortcomings, but, when he is speaking with Hashem, he should focus on the positive. Concerning the above pasuk, the Tiferes Shlomo says…

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ויאמר אל אהרן קח לך עגל בן בקר לחטאת

He said to Aharon, “Take for yourself a yearling calf as a sin-offering.” (9:2)

Aharon HaKohen brought a Korban Chatas, Sin-offering, comprised of a yearling calf to atone for his part in the chet ha’eigal, sin of the Golden Calf. Klal Yisrael also brought a calf to atone for their role in making the Golden Calf. Their calf, however, was not a Korban Chatas, but, rather, a Korban Olah, Elevation/Burnt-offering. Why is there a distinction between their korbanos? Horav Yisrael Belsky, Shlita, explains this, based upon the distinction between the varied functions of the Olah and Chatas. A Korban Chatas atones for the maaseh aveirah, actual deed of performing the sin. The sinful act…

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