Parshas Acharei Mos-Kedoshim 5780

A gitten erev Shabbos! This week’s parsha is Parshas Acharei Mos- Kedoshim. One particularly interesting concept is brought up among the various mitzvos in these parshiyos. This concept is that of being sanctified to Hashem, as it says in several pesukim that Hashem has sanctified Klal Yisroel to Him, because He is holy. This is a curious concept on the whole, first in regards to the idea of making people holy, and second as to how Hashem being holy should have anything to do with us being holy, considering that we are lowly flesh and blood far from the exalted heights of the Heavens.

The Gemoro in Sotah, at the end of the first perek (14a) states that the Torah begins and ends with gemilus chasodim, acts of kindness. The first is when Hashem made from Adam and Chava the garments of skin, and the kindness at the end is when Hashem buries Moshe Rabeinu a’h. The word קדוש, holy, shows separation from mundane things. If the traits of Hashem were similar to those of flesh and blood, then most likely He’d have told Adam and Chava to take a hike; He wouldn’t have granted them some form of clothing after they broke His command. Moshe Rabeinu got angry, which is tantamount to avodah zarah according to Chazal, and yet Hashem still buried him. The Tanya says that the עכו”ם will not do anything for someone else unless it benefits them directly in the end. This is how a Yid is separated to avodas Hashem and declared holy.

Yidden are directed to act as Hashem acts, this is one p’shat on the whole concept that we must be like Hashem. Just like Hashem did kindness with those who made Him unhappy, so we must also treat those who may not fulfill all of our expectations with kindness and assist them however needed. There’s a story from R’ Shayeleh Kerestirer zy’a related to this. There was a Yid who was a a little “touched” who came to the rebbe and ended up practically living in his house for a long time. This Yid even ended up smoking on the roof of the house on Shabbosim for weeks. The rebbe’s chassidim came to him and said this other Yid would scare others away. Reb Shayeleh said to them that he didn’t care if everyone else ran away, the important thing was that one Yid who needed help was taken care of, even if he wasn’t so perfect.

The ikar of Klal Yisroel’s kedusha relies on this avodah of gemilus chasodim. There’s an idea in relation to hilchos tzedakah that when you’re planning on giving tzedakah, especially for tshuva, that you should give to someone whether or not you know if this person needs it. Chesed is the Sefirah where things are starting to get physical existence, yet things are still more spiritual than corporeal. From these ideas, we can see that giving tzedakah to everyone who needs money, to one degree or another, is incredible. The key thing to keep in mind is that tzedakah leads to breaking all barriers, according to sifrei chassidus and kabbalah. If you can keep in mind that through giving tzedakah, you’re fulfilling Hashem’s directives.

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