Ancient Paths

Mussar

Shenei Luchot HaBerit, Torah Shebikhtav, Sefer Vayikra, Torah Ohr, Kedoshim 97


Instead, the land should enjoy a Sabbath “on which one could eat” (25,5-6). This is an allusion to the statement of our sages that he who toils on Sabbath eve will have what to eat on the Sabbath (Avodah Zarah 3a).

The words: לך ולעבדך, “for you and your servant” in the same verse may be understood as telling us that when G–d provides sustenance for the צדיק i.e. לך.He will also provide for the person who is not a צדיק. We have a tradition that a צדיק is able to save a number of souls from their suffering in purgatory. By merely passing by the gates of purgatory (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 8) he can “kidnap” them and secure their entry to the Hereafter. We know this from Elisha, whose bones conferred life on a person even after he himself had already been dead for some time (Kings II 13,21). When the Torah (25,8) emphasizes וספרת לך, “Count for yourself,” this is an allusion to how we interpret Hillel’s maxim “if I do not do it for me who will?”

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