Friday, April 9, 2010

Parshas Shemini

In the year 2009 I ended off with Parshas Tzav, now I will continue posting about the Parshas, starting with Parshas Shemini, this weeks Parsha.

We are always taught not to judge a book by it’s cover. That the outside can be deceiving and it’s the inside that counts. That beauty comes from the inside, not the superficial outside.

Something To Say:

Any earthenware utensil into whose interior one of them will fall, everything in it shall become contaminated (11:33).

An earthenware vessel can be rendered tamei, ritually contaminated, only from its inside, even from its air space, without being touched. However, even if it is touched on the outside, it cannot be rendered impure. Commentators explain that it can never become impure by being touched on the outside because it has no value in and of itself. The vessel is only valuable as a container for the objects within it; its sole worth is a receptacle for something else.

Along the same lines, the Kotzker Rebbe said, “Man is like an earthenware vessel. His worth lies not in the outer vessel, but in the human qualities developed within.”

Just like a container has no value on it’s own, only to hold things inside of it. A person has a guf to hold the Neshama in. We praise a person if they are a good person on the inside, rather than if they have a good physical attribute. A person who wins a medal in the Olympics may be looked upon by others as a great person. But then if you were to see one of them start acting in a bad way it changes the way you look at them, and you realize that the way a person acts on the inside is what makes them really great.

Another way of looking at a container is to realize that a container can only function if it is complete and whole. Once there is a hole in a container than it can no longer hold anything in it. A container can then be compared to Middos, characteristics of a person. Where a person needs good Middos to be able to do other Mitzvos.

For the first time, I have so far been counting Sefira every night. During Sefira we are working on our Middos, So that we can be ready for Shvous, where we get the Torah.