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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Emor

Living Bitachon

In Parshas Emor we find a lengthy passage that details the korbanos of the various moadim throughout the year. Just after discussing the offerings and Yom Tov of Shavuos and before it introduces the offerings of Rosh HaShannah, the Torah places a seemingly unrelated verse. The pasuk tells us of the commandments of leket, shikchah, and pe’ah. These are various categories of grain from the harvest that the owner of the field must leave for the poor as a gift. What do these unique forms of charity have to do with the holidays, that the Torah would place them here? Rashi provides the answer, citing Chazal: This is to teach that anyone who gives leket, shikchah, and pe’ah to the poor in the proper way, it is considered as if he built the Beis HaMikdash, and sacrificed korbanos therein! Let us examine, then, what this correlation between gifts of the poor and Festival offerings is. Is this just a great mitzvah, and therefore the reward is great, or is there is a deeper meaning in giving these gifts to the poor that is tantamount to offering korbanos in the Beis HaMikdash? The answer is that by placing this directive to give freely and generously to the poor in the context of korbanos, the Torah is teaching us what it means to make a korban part of our lives. As we discussed in the past, when one brings a korban, for example an olah, the point of the offering is to demonstrate with an action the belief (or the striving toward the belief) of a deeper understanding of Hashem and his sovereignty. We live mired in the pursuit of parnassah, many times losing sight of the fact that everything is from Hashem and nothing we can do can directly affect money. Ultimately Hashem provides for a person as He sees to be good, and our entire arena of the quest for parnassah is only hishtadlus. When a person brings his animal for a korban, thereby “wasting” it in the service of Hashem, he is forced, and in fact is meant, to feel that his loss is of no consequence. Hashem is the true Giver and can replace the monetary aspect of this animal in an instant. This is the level that Hashem desires of one who comes forth with an olah. And then, Hashem wants this new attitude of bitachon to spill over to all of our actions. When we are approached by a person in need, we should not be burdened by him or be worried that if we provide his needs ours will remain lacking! Hashem is sending this poor man, and asking us to trust that He will provide! We should give charity freely and generously, for we should truly feel that Hashem can replace our money in an instant! This is the message of leket, shikchah, and pe’ah in our parshah. When one finally reaps his crop, and is ready to celebrate the work of his hands, this is a prime time for a person to perhaps lose focus, and believe that money comes to a person by his own means. The Torah is telling us; give the gifts to the poor properly. Do not be miserly or bitter. For when you succeed in withstanding the trials of the harvest with true bitachon, it is as if you have brought a korban. You will have brought the message of the korbanos into reality, and have reached these lofty madreigos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

Nahar U_Pashtei Parshas Emor 5781
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