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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states: “And they (the Cohanim) shall observe my charge, and they shall not bear sin for it” 

Rashi, the commentator, explains that this verse is a warning to the priests (Cohanim) not to eat trumah (tithes from crops given to the Cohanim) while they are in a state of tumah (spiritual impurity). Why the special warning and what can we learn from it?

Even though eating trumah is the fulfilment of a mitzvah for the priests, they must be very careful not to do so in a manner that will transform the potential good into a transgression. Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz commented that we learn from here an important principle: even when a person is involved in doing the Almighty’s service, he must be very careful that no transgressions should come from it.

To reiterate, our lesson: whenever you are engaged in doing a good deed or involved in a worthwhile project, be on guard that the good you do is complete and does not include any transgressions. (And remember to say ‘thank you’ when appropriate!).

Dvar Torah#2 by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states: “And the Almighty said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the priests, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let no (priest) defile himself amongst his people ” (Lev. 21:1).

The Chozeh of Lublin explained this verse to mean that Moshe was told that the priest should be worthy of being the descendants of Aharon (Aaron, the High Priest). Just as Aharon had the trait of loving and pursuing peace, so too, they should work on acquiring this trait. Therefore, the latter part of this verse warns them that even though they should try to make peace between people whenever they can, they must be careful not to defile themselves in the process. At times they might come into contact with extremely aggressive and violent people, and they should not become too close to them lest they become negatively influenced by their faults.

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony