A Mitzvah’s messages

May 28, 2016  

It’s the old, “I’d like to say a few words before I speak” line. Bear with me… I recently spent Shabbat with a daughter and grandchildren while my son-in-law the doctor was in miluim (reserve duty).

My eight-year-old grandson asked me to learn with him in shul after Mincha. Momentarily surprised, I found out that those who stay to learn get a snack of some sort. Sure enough, after a pleasant Pirkei Avot session, my chavruta received an ARTIK, an ice pop. Turned out that he didn’t like its taste at all and dumped it in the nearest garbage pail, thereby making our learning more LISHMAH than expected. MASHAL L’MA HADAVAR DOMEH? To what can this be compared? IM B’CHUKOTAI TEILEICHU… If you will keep My Torah and Mitzvot.

HaShem says to the Jewish People: If you will be faithful to Me and keep the Torah and Mitzvot, then I will give you all kinds of wonderful things… (just read the beginning of the sedra) including – and you will dwell securely in your Land. One wouldn’t expect people to say ‘No thank you’ to G-d for prosperity and peace. But how many Torah loving and observing Jews seem to say ‘Thanks but No Thanks’ for the opportunity to dwell in the Land?

For Naveh not to like the ices is one thing, but not jumping at the opportunity to live in Eretz Yisrael… We could go on and on about this topic (and we often do), but for this week, we leave it to you to ponder… MAASEIR B’HEIMA Space in this TT is extremely tight – several items were omitted and this Lead Tidbit about the Chinuch’s mitzva #360 (Tithing of animals) has been greatly shortened. The mitzva of Maaseir B’heima culminates with the offering of the animal as a Korban and the eating of its meat in a state of ritual purity (TAHARA). It might surprise you that the mitzva exists TODAY, without a Beit HaMikdash or Mizbei’ach.

Because of this ‘little’ glitch in the complete fulfillment of Maaseir B’heima, the Shulchan Aruch instructs us NOT TO DO THIS MITZVA. How unusual – and sad – that the source of our day-to-day Halacha should also tell us not to do a mitzva. This is an easy mitzva not to do. One with enough newborn calves, kids, and/or lambs simply does not bring them together and count them out, etc. No negative results from not doing the mitzva – except not doing a mitzva. Food for thought.


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