Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Matos

Clean-Up Time

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

"Elazar the Kohen (Priest) said to the men of the legion who came to the battle, 'This is the decree of the Torah which G-d commanded to Moshe: Only the gold and the silver, the copper, the iron, the tin, and the lead - everything that comes into the fire - you shall pass through the fire and it will be purified...'" (Bamidbar/Numbers 31:21-22) The Torah has many Divine decrees, commands that are humanly unfathomable. What makes the purging of non-Kosher content from captured vessels "THE decree of the Torah"?

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1) expounds that there is a fundamental lesson in appreciating the ability to cleanse an object of absorbed contaminants. G-d has given us the Torah and its mitzvos (Divine commands) as a guidance system for self perfection and spiritual elevation; He gave us our physical selves and all of our possessions to facilitate our achievement of this lofty goal. When we choose not to capitalize on these opportunities, we become sullied by our pursuit of the mundane and the inappropriate. But no matter how much our souls become choked by the filth of our material quests, we are free and have the capability to cleanse ourselves of all this spiritual grime, to renew ourselves and rededicate ourselves to our Divine relationship as if we had never sinned. This, explains Rabbi Feinstein, is the decree of the Torah: never surrender to the errors of the past, never capitulate to prior failure. The commitment to return to G- d's path affords us the opportunity to purge the poisons of the past and move forward refreshed and renewed.

The current three weeks of mourning and reflection preceding Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the Destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem and many of the great calamities that have befallen the Jewish nation, give us pause to contemplate the teaching of our Sages that any generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is considered as if it had destroyed it (Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1). We have already started the period of contemplation and self-improvement that will continue through Elul and the High Holyday season. As we reflect on the ten months passed since last Rosh HaShana we see many accomplishments in our spiritual growth, but are discomforted by the many lost opportunities, shocked by the build-up of spiritual "filth". No matter how thick the grime, we can get through it. Rosh HaShana is but a couple months off; it is time to start cleaning!

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) 1895-1986; Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem in New York City; the leading Halachic/Jewish legal decisor of his time and one of the principal leaders of Torah Jewry through much of the last century


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 

ARTICLES ON YISRO AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

What Happened
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Illusion of Jealousy
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Spring to Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Divine Presence of Mind
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Fruits of Holiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

What a Difference a Choice Can Make
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Patience For One's Parents
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Make Kugel Not War
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

The New Year for Trees
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

ArtScroll

Growth in Torah - Getting Over the Baby Steps
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

"Lo Sachmod": Two Approaches
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

The Birth of the Blues
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

> The Path Up Sinai
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The Misplaced Letter
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Just Follow Orders: Advice for the Gabbai; Advice for the Jew
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Planting Our Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information