Shmini (Leviticus 9-11 )
Rabbi Kalman Packouz' popular Jewish weekly.
GOOD MORNING! Several years ago I returned from a meeting to find a Meter Maid (does anyone still use that name?) writing a parking ticket for my car. When she looked up, I smiled and said, "This is my car. When you finish writing the ticket, you may give it to me." She looked completely puzzled ... and then asked in disbelief, "You're not going to yell at me for writing the ticket?" "No," I replied, "I thought I had enough money in the meter. I was wrong. I'm late. I deserve the ticket." She stood in disbelief ... and then she tore up the ticket saying, "All day long people yell and scream at me not to write a ticket; I can't write a ticket to the one person who treats me like a human being."
Life is like a mirror. The people you see reflect back to you the way you present yourself. If you look happy, they will respond buoyantly. If you look upset, they will be cautious or concerned. If you want a joyous life try to be happy around others. It will be easier on them and more enjoyable for you. (Remember, everyone causes happiness ... some when they come, some when they leave.)
The Torah teaches us, "Love your fellow human being as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). It is often translated as "Love your neighbor as yourself." However, Rabbi Mordechai Gifter taught that while the words "neighbor" and "fellow human being" are often used synonymously, in everyday speech the word "neighbor" is used to denote someone living or located nearby, while the obligation of this commandment includes a complete stranger who lives far away.
The general rule for this commandment is that anything you would want others to do for you, you should do for others (Rambam, Hilchos Aivel 14:1). The great Hillel once taught a convert, "That which is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is the basis of the Torah." (Shabbos 31a). The Baal Shem Tov used to say, "Love your fellow man as yourself -- though you have many faults, nevertheless, you still love yourself. That is how you should feel toward your friend. Despite his faults, love him."
I once saw a handprinted sign written with a marker on a large piece of posterboard. It was on the wall of a 90 year old woman's apartment. I thought that you might enjoy it ... perhaps even benefit from it!
Torah Portion of the Week
Concluding the 7 days of inauguration for the Mishkan (Portable Sanctuary), Aaron, the High Priest, brings sacrifices for himself and the entire nation. Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aaron, bring an incense offering on their own initiative, and are consumed by a heavenly fire (perhaps the only time when someone did something wrong and was immediately hit by "lightning").
The Cohanim are commanded not to serve while intoxicated. The inaugural service is completed. God then specifies the species which are kosher to eat: mammals (those that have cloven hoofs and chew their cud), fish (those with fins and scales), birds (certain non-predators), and certain species of locusts. The portion concludes with the laws of spiritual defilement from contact with the carcasses of certain animals.
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based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And these you shall consider an abomination amongst the birds, they shall not be eaten; they are detestable .. and the stork" (Leviticus 11:13,19).
The Talmud (Chulin 63a) states that the Hebrew name for the white stork is chasida, because it acts with kindness, chesed, towards its friends.
The Ramban, Moshe Nachmanides, a great Torah scholar, writes that the birds enumerated in this portion are forbidden for consumption because of their cruelty. Why, then, should the stork be considered "detestable" and an "abomination"? It should be permissible since it does kindness!
The Chidushai Ha-Rim answers: The stork does favors only for its friends. Since it doesn't do chesed for strangers, it is considered not kosher. Chesed, kindness, must be done for everyone, not only one's friends!
CANDLE LIGHTING - April 5
(or go to http://www.aish.com/sh/c/)
Guatemala 5:57 - Hong Kong 6:16 - Honolulu 6:21
J'Burg 5:42 - London 7:23 - Los Angeles 6:58
Melbourne 6:49 - Mexico City 6:33 - Miami 7:22
New York 7:06 - Singapore 6:53 - Toronto 7:30
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless