Strengthening the World by the Study of Torah

Our Sages speculate as to the reason why the Torah seems to repeat itself in the following passage: “Emor [say] to the priests, the sons of Aaron, ve’amarta [and tell them] …” (Leviticus 21:1). Our Sages have already explained at length that when the Holy One, blessed be He, addresses the angels, He never has to repeat Himself. In fact, since the angels lack a Yetzer Hara (evil inclination), they know only how to serve Hashem. On the contrary, when G-d addresses men, He is often obliged to insist in order to tear away the veil that the Yetzer Hara has put up in front of them.

The other explanation that our Sages give for this repetition is that in this way, Hashem wanted to be insistent with the elders in order that they watch over the young.

In this we see expressed one of the essential goals of existence, namely to continue inculcating faith in G-d in the coming generations, and to do so in order that the Torah should never be forgotten.

In bringing the young closer, our own faith is strengthened because we learn the quality of innocence from them, an utterly simple faith and love of the wondrous.

In addition, in teaching the very young, one finds the opportunity the repeat what one has learned. By this, one accomplishes (vis-à-vis one’s self) the mitzvah of “Emor … ve’amarta”. By doing this, one becomes accustomed to seeing oneself as “small” in one’s own eyes, which leaves no room for pride. The person who considers himself as knowledgeable enough not to need to review the Torah will be considered by G-d as arrogant, and all his understand won’t hesitate to leave him.

We notice, moreover, that the numerical value of the first letters of “Emor … ve’amarta” (aleph and vav) add up to seven. This seems like an invitation for us to consider Shabbat (which is the seventh day) as the day that is particularly well-suited for the study of Torah. It is a day when we can spiritually elevate ourselves ever higher in purity and holiness, and where we find, concentrated, the light of the seven days of the week.

It is written, “…all His work which G-d created to make” (Genesis 2:3). This was in order that, as our Sages say, “man could continue to create the world.” As for G-d, He truly had finished the work, to which He had nothing more to add. However it is Shabbat that the time begins in which man can realize why he was created, namely to strengthen creation by the study of Torah.

In addition, on Shabbat we should not be satisfied with studying alone, but rather we should take advantage of the holiness of this day to inculcate the fear of G-d into our sons and the entire family.

Our Sages tell us that at the time of the giving of the Torah, G-d did not accept anything for a guarantee other than the little children. This is why the Torah particularly invites us to watch over our children, the guarantors of Klal Israel, in order that they not go astray or cling to impure values that risk (G-d forbid) to distance them from their Creator.

Our Sages say: Ben mezakei abba (“the son gives merit to the father”). Even if the father is a Tzaddik, the son continues despite everything to spiritually elevate himself from one level to another. Knowing that our sons are our ultimate guarantee, we will have it at heart to properly educate them in the path of Torah and mitzvot. Thus the Torah will continue to exist, for finally that is the goal of this reciprocal guarantee. In this way we learn that thanks to the ahdut (unifying) Torah – the Torah that unites the fathers and the sons one another and together joins them to their Father in Heaven – peace will soon come to the world and the Geula will arrive shortly, for unity is the key to deliverance.


The Death of the Righteous
Book of Vayikra Index
Pride: the Source of all Sins


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