Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Ki Savo

DIVING DEEP

Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden

"When you have finished tithing every tithe of your produce...you shall say before G-d your L-rd, 'I have removed the holy things from the house and I have also given it to the Levite, the convert, the orphan and the widow according to whatever commandment You have commanded me; I have not transgressed any of your commandments and I have not forgotten.'" (Devarim/Deuteronomy 26:12-13) At the end of the three-year tithing cycle, after ascertaining that all tithes were indeed distributed, all Jewish landowners are commanded to go to the Bais HaMikdash (Holy Temple in Jerusalem) and proclaim that all the tithes were given as we were commanded. This process is referred to as the "Confession of the Tithes." The verse appears to be a simple statement of compliance with the will of the Master of the Universe by saying that we have done everything that He commanded us to do. How can this be called a confession?

Rabbi Yissocher Frand (Rosh Yeshiva at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore) offers an insight into what we should be doing at this time of the year so close to the Day of Judgment.

We read in Eichah/Lamentations (3:40) "Let us search and examine our ways and return to G-d." What does it mean to "search our ways"? Some have a tendency of looking at themselves and saying, "I'm a pretty good person. I'm kind to people and stay away from sin." This is a conclusion readily reached with shallow introspection, looking only at the surface. However, by delving deeper (as uncomfortable as it may be) we will find numerous of flaws. Even if at one level of depth all appears to be "clean", we must always dig deeper and find those small ways that we can be better. This process is called "searching our ways."

A careful analysis of the text of the confession of the tithes finds this point embedded there as well. The proclamation is not "I did every commandment You commanded me." Rather the text states, "according to whatever commandment You have commanded me". This implies, "Although I gave out all the tithes within my obligation, I may not have given them in the best way. Perhaps I was late, or perhaps not with the best smile so the poor person feels dignified." There is always room for improvement. Thus it is the "confession of the tithes."

The month of Elul that precedes Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) is a time dedicated to introspection and taking spiritual inventory. No one of us enjoys having to admit to a friend that we wronged them; how much greater is the discomfort in confessing our misdeed before our Father, our King. We must maintain our focus on our goal - the continued growth and strength in our relationship with the Creator of the Universe - and the end result - the most sublime pleasure available: a relationship with the Divine!

Have a good Shabbos!

Please forward your questions for Rabbi Gilden to RabbiGilden@MilwaukeeKollel.org

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


Copyright © 2002 by Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden and Project Genesis, Inc.

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


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Body Language
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Taking Action
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

What Are We Mourning on the Ninth of Av
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

ArtScroll

A Question of Faith
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Dead First
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Listen to the Mussar
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

You Canít Get More Local or Global Than That!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

> Journey from Egypt to the World-to-Come
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Perceptions on the Parsha - Parshas Masei
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Darkest Corner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Seeing Punishment as Blessing
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

It Must Have Been a Miracle!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Setbacks and Comebacks
Shlomo Katz - 5764



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