אחרי מות קדושים ים בס”ד
During the ימי הספירה, the weather is warmer and the יצה”ר is in full bloom, and so we temper the יצה”ר by learning פרקי אבות. This learning also prepares us for מתן תורה by giving us tools to perfect our characters. PParshas אתרי מות is a continuation of מצורה which ends withדוה בנדתו , a דוה בנדתו, a נדה that’s impure and not permitted to enter the בהמ”ק, and has to separate from her husband. The נדה goes through seven days of purification, which enhances her marriage, before reuniting with her husband. which results in them enhancing her marriage. Similarly the כהן גדול separates from his wife for seven days before יה”כ. This is always read in the ימי הספירה, when we prepare seven7 weeks for Matan Torah, by polishing our characters, and purifying ourselves. Shavuos is like יה”כ, in that they are both מתן תורה, when we received the first and the second לוחות, and both are referred to as the חתונה, the yidden being the wife of הקדוש ברוך הוא. On Shavuos we received the עשרה הדברות, with קולות חמשה, as it is written כל המשמח חתן וכלה זוכה לחמשה קולות, which are connected to the five parts of the נשמה. On יה”כ , there is also the ענין of ten and five, as the כהן גדול washed his feet 10ten times, went to the mikva 5five times, and changed his clothes 5five times. There are also 5five עינוים –eating, drinking, תשמיש המטה …, and five tefillos. The way we prepare for יה”כ is the way we prepare for Shavuos. The days of ספירה are ימי הדין, when 24,000 students of Rebbi Akiva passed away. Rav רב יוחנן בן נורי says that the days between Pesach and Shavuos are considered the משפט of gehenom, and therefore we have to conduct ourselves with יראת שמים, as. oOne of the ר”ת of אייר intimates רוצה יה-וה את יראיו . Parshas קדושים has 64 pesukim דין=64, where דין is יראה, dealing with the punishments of illicit relationships, whereas אחרי מות has in it the warnings. The way to be holy is to think of אחרי מות, where when our bodies are always never craveing physical pleasures.
We usually read the third perek of פרקי אבות in the week of אחרי- אחרי קדושים in a regular year, which begins with עקביא בן מהללאל who excelled in יראת חטא. It says in the Mishne that when the doors closed in the עזרה on ערב פסח, there was no one as great as עקביא בן מהללאל in יראת חטא. He is known for the Mishne that is
said at every Levaya that begins “ Look and study these three things and a yid will not come לידי עברה “ iethat is. a yid won’t even have a handle on חטא. First the Mishne says the three3 things- דע מאין באת ולאן אתה הולך…and then the Mishne repeats itself דע מאין באת מטפה סרוחה … Why not just say the second part and we would know also the first. The מדרש שמואל a talmid of the Ari HaKodesh says that the Mishne is divided in two parts- the נשמה and the גוף. The נשמה comes from אין, (דע מאין באת) from Hashem himself,. and iIf this is not sufficient to keep a yid from sin, then the Mishne continues with a more descriptive and frightening picture that the body comes from a putrid drop and is going to a place of dirt, worms and maggots. אחרי מות After death the body goes into the ground, and then we must give a דין וחשבון. When one delves into the subject of אחרי מות, then he could be קדוש. During the ימי הספירה, we have to remove ourselves as much as possible from the ערות הארץ. The yidden always lived amongst the most מקולקל nations. We read the pParsha of עריות here in אחרי, to prepare us in this area for Shavuos. The Torah teaches us of designated boundaries, that we must keep, in order to be קדושים. Just like there are specific times and places during the year that we enter into the מקדש, and sacrifice our קרבנות in certain places of the Mikdash, there are also specific yidden we are not allowed to come close- עריות. In Parshas אחרי פרשת אחרי מות, we read of the כהן גדול and all the עבודה of יה”כ. Every yid has the ability to be a Kohen, as it says ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש, and the בעל הטורים says every yid could become a כהן גדול, at least in the spiritual sense. In many parshios during the sefira, we read of the purity of mikve, preparing ourselves for the מקוה of the שער נ of Shavuos, which is similar to יה”כ where it says מקוה ישראל ה”.
As we already said, we learn פרקי אבות during the ימי הספירה as an aid to our character refinement. It is interesting that מסכת אבות is in סדר נזיקים. In בבא קמא there are the ארבעה אבות נזיקין which are השור הבור המבעה וההבער, where the שור is mostly spoke of. The שור is composed of שן רגל וקרן. The שן refers to the wrong desire to eat- תאות אכילה. The רגל refers to הרגל and the קרן to the horn of bad middos. By learning אבות, we work on ridding ourselves from these נזיקים that we are born with, and the שקר of this world שן קרן רגל , the acronym of שקר. The month of Iyar has the מזל שור, and so we must work on the שור המזיק and strengthen ourselves. ספיר, the stone
of יששכר on the חשן, means to polish. The Ari HaKodesh says that Iyar is כנגד יששכר, which intimates to us that we must polish ourselves in order to remove our bad character traits.יששכר Yissacher excelled in the learning of Torah, through which we perfect ourselves by delving into and internalizing. It says in the Gemorra that סדר נזיקים is called ישועות, ie. that is a yid should have a ישועה from his נזיקים h- is נזיקים. מצמיח קרן ישועה=929=מסכת אבות The קרן is the worst of שור since it’s כונתו להזיק. The way to humble the דין is through יראה.
Parshas אחרי מות is unique in that it begins with וידבר, an expression of harshness, and the very next pasuk begins with ויאמר, an expression of compassion.
Rebbi Akiva said that ואהבת לרעך כמוך is the כלל גדול בתורה. The question is asked this כלל includes the mitzvos בין אדם לחברו, however what of the mitzvos בין אדם למקום. One answer is that Wwhen a yid loves and honours his fellow yid, he’s honouring the part of Hashem that is in him, ie. that is he’s honouring his spiritual side. Therefore loving one’s neighbour like himself, is synonymous to loving Hashem ואהבת את יה–וההויה אלה–יך=907=ואהבת לרעך כמוך אני יה–וההויה . There were two לוחות side by side, each with five commandments, one of מצוות בין אדם למקום and the other of מצוות בין אדם לחברו, teaching us both are equal and dependant one on the other. Every yid is a child of Hashem, and if you love Hashem, you love his children.- אהבת ה” and אהבת ישראל are one ענין. During the ימי הספירה we work on humility, which leads to יראת ה”, which then leads to and is a necessity for אהבת ה”. When one has love that is not bridled by fear, then that love gets misplaced, and leads to sin, as we see so clearly in the “civilized” U.S.A. today, which is similar to the מצרים of old- ויחן שם ישראל=955=רוצה הויה את יראיו
ויחן שם ישראל=955=רוצה ה” את יראיו .Amalek attacked the yidden on the way out of Egypt- בדרך בצאתכם ממצרים,when the yidden were leaving the place of love w/o fear, as Amelek is ולא ירא אלה-ים.
The yidden were headed to י”ם the place of יראה שלם. The quicker we get out of מצרים, the quicker we get to י”ם. Without the ירא we’re left with מצרים=380=שלים.
Parshas מצורה ends with the lowest Jew, and immediately we begin אחרי מות with the highest Jew, the כהן גדול. The מצורה has to
separate himself from his fellow yidden, and אחרי warns Aharon not to emulate his sons who never married, and separated from the world. The מצורה, after his purification is anointed with שמן, just like the כהן גדול was anointed with שמן. The Torah is teaching us that a yid can transform himself from the lowest Jew to the highest. At the end of אחרי, after speaking of the holiness of the כהן גדול, the parsha speaks of עריות, teaching the great lesson that a yid should always grow, and אל תתאמין בעצמך עד יוםם ממותך. The parsha of אחרי and the parsha of קדושים are in a way opposites, in that אחרי אחרי ממותת teaches us not to separate too much from the world, whereas קדושים teaches us to separate. There is a happy balance, like on Har Sinai, where there was פרישה, but also הגבלה. The אור החיים says that נדב ואביהוא were on a tremendously high level of קדושה. Their mistake was that they came too close, as it say בקרבתם לפני ה” וימתו .Their love of Hashem was so great, that it superseded their fear, and so they died. Every yid is born with a אהבה מסתרת, which was inherited from אברהם אבינו, and this love has to be channelled properly, that is not into עריות. Fear of heaven has to be learned, and worked on. It says אשה יראת ה”, hinting that the only way to save us from אשה, is through יראת ה”. The parsha begins with the warning to Aharon ואל יבא אל הקדש that is not to get too close. By Avraham on the way to the עקידה, it says – וירא את המקום מרחק, and at the end of יתרו כ:יח it says ויעמד העם מרחק and inמשפטים כד:א והשתחויתם מרחק. The proper balance is needed in coming close to Hashem, but not too close.
The Maggid of Mezeritch says referring to the beginning of the ש”ס, which is the first Mishne in Brachos beginning מאמתי, that we have to read the ק”ש with אימה, with fear. The משנהends כדי להרחיק את האדם מן העבירה, a similar concept to the first Mishne in פרקי אבות, which says that we must make a fence to the Torah עשו סייג לתורה, in order that we not come even to ידי עבירה. The first time the Torah speaks of the mitzvah of יראת ה”, is here in קדושים, which is normally read in Iyar, the month of יראה. The previous Parsha- מצורה, speaks of the arrogant person, the root cause of מצורה, whose tikun is humility, ענוה. This ענוה leads to יראה, which is the main theme of parshas קדושים, as it says ויראת מאלה-יך many times in the Parsha. Moshe said to כלל ישראל that the purpose of standing before Har Sinai was – בעבור תהיה יראתו על פניכם ואל יחטו
After Pesach, כלל ישראל fell from the שער נ of קדושה that Hashem brought us into, as a מתנה that isאחרי מות . The word מות does not always refer to death, but also refers to falling in מדרגות. Then the yidden had 50 days to become קדושים on their own חמשים יום=454=קדשים . On י אייר, the day referring to נצח שבנצח in the sefira, is the יהרציי”ט of Eli HaKohen, the day the משכן of שילה was destroyed. The next מקום המקדש was the בהמ”ק in ירושלים, and so … בירושלים=598=נצח שבנצח, which fits with what the Gemorra says in ברכות:נח, thatוהנצח זו ירושלים . The goal of ימי הספירה is to get to י”ם, which in the times of יציאת מצרים, was הר סיני. What Har Sinai was then, י”ם is today. אחרי מות is read on יה”כ both in שחרית and in מנחה, and when we read this Parsha, the light of יה”כ visits us, as is said that the קריאה is מעורר the זמן. Parshas קדושים ends in a strange and negative way, speaking of a person involved in sorcery. The previous pasuk והייתם לי קדשים …ואבדל אתכם מן העמים להיות לי would have been a nice and positive way to end the parsha. From this last pasuk we learn that all other types of witchcraft, the punishment is death, and whenever it says דמיהם בם, the punishment is סקילה. The ידעני is the person that feels he has to know everything. The ידוע was an animal that was attached to the ground. The תפארת ישראל says it was an orangutan. The ירושלמי says ברנש דטור that the only way to kill it, was by detaching it from the ground. The Gra says that עשו hunted the ידוע, as it says of him ידע ציד, as he wanted the bone of this animal (sorcery) to predict the future. The ones that go to fortune tellers, lack בטחון, יראת ה”and תמימות. Yaacov Avinu was the איש תם, not interested in sorcery. Amelek was an expert in sorcery. The Ari HaKodesh said the month of Iyar is כנגד יששכר, the experts in עיבור החודש והשנה, the יודע בינה לעתים. The צירוף אותיות of אייר is derived from the pasuk in Yirmiyahu -יתהלל המתהלל השכל וידעי – יה-הו. The main theme of Iyar is to strive to obtain ידיעת ה” as opposed to the “ידיעה” of the ידענים. Yidden could overcome astrology, override anything subject to the physics of this world. The בעל הטורים says that the last pasuk of the ידעני is a המשך of the previous pasuk- I am Hashem. I have separated you and elevated you above all the nations. There is no need to go to the ידעני. The ידעניis the opposite of what a yid is supposed to be doing in the month of Iyar – השכל וידעי. The ידעני is trying to look into the future based on time and מזל, whereas a yid is interested in ידיעת ה”.
The topic of ידעני is mentioned three times in parshas קדושים- in
pasuk יט:לא, in pasuk כ:ו and the last pasuk in the parsha. Immediately after the first time the ידעני is mentioned in יט:לא is the pasuk מפני שיבה תקום והדרת פני זקן. What’s the connection? In pasuk כ:ט it says אביו ואמו קלל דמיו בו where Rashi says that we learn that the punishment for cursing ones parents is סקילה from the אוב וידעוני. Again what’s the connection? The ידעני disconnects himself from his past, from his parents and from the אבות. He is looking to, and worrying about the future. The yidden are the complete opposite. They connect themselves to the past (we learn מסכת אבות), and trust in Hashem with no worries of the future. The Rambam says that the mitzvah of אנכי ה” is to come to know Hashem by learning Torah. The more a yid knows of Hashemידיעת ה” , the more he fears Hashem, however we can’t get too familiar- we must stand back a bit. The הפטרה that we read on Shavuos, speaks of the מעשה מרכבה, which is ידיעת ה” where הנביא יחזקאל saw the throne of Hashem. One of the acrynom’s of אייר is אברהם יצחק יעקב רחל, which are the four legs of the מרכבה.
The first week of sefira, during Pesach, is really not when we begin the tikun of sefira. Therefore ספירה is really six weeks, similar to the six weeks of שובבים. The עבודה of both periods are also similar, to purify ourselves and develop our יראת שמים leading to us becoming holy – עמר=310=שובב says the אמרי נועם that is whatever we accomplish in the days of שובבים, we accomplish in the days of the עמר. At the end of שובבים, we learn how the yidden stood from far, and at the end of sefira, which is Parshas במדבר, we end with the pasuk ולא יבאו לראות כבלע את הקדש ומתו, that the yidden shouldn’t come to see when Aharon and sons entered the ק”ק, to lower the vessels, when they travelled. The ק”ק is called the חדר המטות, which the children are not permitted to enter. It saysשלום שלום לרחוק ולקרוב where both the coming close and standing from a distance, are necessary ולקרוב=344=לרחוק. By the מלאכיםit says they were רצו ושוב, that is they ran to Hashem, and then retreated.
The יצה”ר or Amelek, refers to in one of the acrynoms of Iyar איבי ישבו יבשו רגע, who tries to prevent the yidden from reaching י”ם and acquiring יראת ה” and ענוה and ידיעת ה”. Amelek attacked the yidden in the month of אייר, the time the yidden were preparing for מתן תורה. This is the time of תמימות תהיינה, to be submissive to Hashem. Pesach is the י”ט of Avraham aiding the yidden to develop
tremendous love of Hashem. This leads into the ימי הספירה and Shavuos, the י”ט of יצחק, the time we must develop our fear of Hashem. ומקדשי תיראו where מקדש is י”ם – during the ספירה, we elevate ourselves from the physical leaving of מצרים to the level of מצרים” leaving us”. Therefore אחרי מות is the warning of עריות and קדושים- the punishments. Every yid was present when hearing קדושים תהיו. We’re born טהור as is written לב טהור ברא לי אלה-ים …but the יראת ה” we need to work on, הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים, in order to become קדושים.
The last passage of the Gemorra that speaks of what will take place in עקבתא דמשיחא is – אין לנו להשען אלה על אבינו שבשמים We cannot rely on anyone or any government, just Hashem himself. We must spend our precious time in this world in searching out the knowledge of Hashem as we say in the תהילם after sefira- למנצח בנגינות מזמור שיר …..לדעת בארץ דרכך
In Parshas קדושים יט:לא which speaks of the warning not to go to the ידעני, to fortune tellers, the pasuk ends אני ה” אלה-יכם. Rashi says דעו את מי אתם מחלפין במי -know who you’re switching with whom. Rashi usually doesn’t use the word דעו. We have the Torah and the צדיקים and the guidelines to take us through this dangerous world. The time will come quickly בעזרת ה”, that the world will be full of the knowledge of Hashem ומלא הארץ דעה את ה”.
In order to come to הר סיני and receive the Torah, it is imperative that all the yidden are unified and united. This requires us tolerating, loving and respecting all yidden- =1222= ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר לא תשנא את אחיך