Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Vayikra

Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann

All the Best!

The Rambam (Maimonides) (Hilchos Issurei Mizbeiach 7:11) writes that when one feeds or clothes the needy, he should give them his finest. And when one builds a synagogue, it should be more beautiful than his own home. An example of this is Abel, who presented Hashem with the choicest of his produce (see Genesis 4:4), which Hashem accepted, unlike the offering of Cain, which was rejected by Hashem, for it was not the best he had. The Rambam concludes by quoting a posuk in our parsha, "Kol cheilev le-Hashem - All of the choicest should be for G-d." This posuk dictates that if one sanctifies something for use in the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple), that too should be taken from his finest possessions.

It is well known that in Europe, among the most desirable pairs of tefillin (phylacteries) were those containing the parshios (portions of the Torah hand-written on parchment) of the renowned sofer (scribe) R' Moshe P'shevorsker, a disciple of the holy Maggid of Mezritsch. Not only was R' Moshe a saintly man, but he also took meticulous care in writing every letter of the parshios, constructing each one according to the very exacting refinements contained in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law). Furthermore, he wrote each word, and in particular the name of Hashem, with great kavannah (concentration and meaning). It was not easy to find a pair of tefillin written by R' Moshe, and those that were for sale were generally very expensive.

The Gerer Rebbe, R' Avraham Mordechai Alter (1866-1948), who was rebbe for more than forty years, owned a pair of R' Moshe P'shevorsker's tefillin. He treasured them, and had a custom of using them only once a year, on erev Yom Kippur.

Once, a poor young boy came to the Gerer Rebbe and told him that he couldn't afford a pair of tefillin. "Stay here a moment," said the rebbe, "and I'll see what I can do." Soon, the rebbe returned with a pair of tefillin in his hands. They were his own treasured pair, the ones with the parshios of R' Moshe P'shevorsker. "Here," he said, "I rarely use these tefillin. Take them, and use them in the best of health."

When the rebbe's family found out that he had given away his priceless tefillin, they were aghast. They protested and complained. "I don't understand," said the rebbe, "the Torah says kol cheilev le-Hashem one should give the very best that he has for Hashem's mitzvos." For the mitzvah of tzedakah, he had given away his very best. (Adapted from The Maggid Speaks).

Not too long ago, a sefer Torah (Torah scroll) was donated to our beis hamedrash (synagogue) by the father of one of our mispallelim. Although not a sofer by trade, he taught himself how to write, and personally wrote an entire Torah scroll. His wife, not to be left out, felt that she too would like to have a part in this great mitzvah. She sold her diamond engagement ring in order to buy a magnificent silver atarah (crown) for the sefer Torah. We were profoundly inspired by this amazing example of kol cheilev le-Hashem!


Text Copyright © 1999 Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

Leaving To Prey
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

The Essence of Song
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Miraculous Nature
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

> Song of Moses and Isreal
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

A Stiff-Necked People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

The Illusion of Independence
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Appreciation in Times of Pain
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

The Reason the Jews were not led through the Land of the Plishtim
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Mon or Man?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

ArtScroll

The Splitting Of The Sea and the Concept of Hidur Mitzvah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Closer to the Source
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

The Plague of Darkness of Every Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Enjoy the Ride
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Spiritual and Physical
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Planting Our Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

A Wise Person Takes Bones
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 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