Thursday, May 7, 2015

Emor 5775, May 2015; For You Yourself

"The sin of desecrating G-d's honor is so severe that even teshuva cannot fully atone for it." 
(Yoma caf-vav)
Learn about yourself;
 you never know what your
strengths might turn out to be!
We learn in this week's parsha the idea of desecration of G-d's name. Of course this is only a term for an action as performed by human; G-d's name itself can inherently only be holy.  But while we usually have in mind that "hillul Hash-m" consists only of public action not becoming of us, that's not so in Torah. One's expected standards behavior depend on her own status within the community and moreover are dependent on her own expectations for herself! (Chinuch Shiur, Mesillas Yesharim) R' Yochanan explained that for himself, being seen in public not wearing tefillin, or spending any time at all not studying Torah would be hillul Hash-m as it would not be up to the standards the community and he himself expected. (Yoma)

This may seem a burden, but it is also a challenge in a positive sense.  How do we each behave in our own eyes? Are we proud of our actions, our kiddush Hash-m in the sense of being who we were meant to be? It is a positive mitzvah to sanctify G-d's name! Not only by sacrificing our lives under horrible circumstances, but by living the lives we are given in the best way possible and by being ourselves, openly, comfortably, as G-d made us.

Rambam in Yesodei HaTorah teaches there are two aspects of kiddush Hash-m we can always do: to avoid transgressing halachah at any time, and to conduct ourselves as becomes a dignified Jew. But the Gemara goes farther as elucidated above; it is a kiddush Hash-m to treat oneself with respect, to appreciate oneself, to be true to oneself. Do something for yourself and remind yourself you are performing a mitzvah!

No comments:

Post a Comment