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 YOM KIPPUR:

View Complete List

Admission
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

Uniquely Jewish
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Are We A Role Model for the World?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Our Ticket to the Hall of Fame
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

The Taste of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Picture Perfect
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

On A Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

A Lesson for Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Commandment of Confession
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

> Repentance: A Story
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Identical Deeds
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

ArtScroll

Your Personal Inner Sanctum
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

After Six Comes Seven
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Time to Return
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Yom Kippur - Getting In Touch With Ourselves
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774



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