Parshas Behar

IYAR, 5779

 Interpreting Artifacts

As in the gift of Manna, so it is in the memory of artifacts

After the exodus from Egypt, Hashem gifted the Jews with manna, ’heavenly bread’, to consume during their travels in the wilderness.

Hashem furthermore commanded Moshe:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה הֹ' מְלֹ֤א הָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ לְמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם לְמַ֣עַן יִרְא֣וּ אֶת־הַלֶּ֗חֶם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽאֱכַ֤לְתִּי אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר בְּהֽוֹצִיאִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם

“Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.”

Like the saved Manna, the Torah is providing us with a template to preserve the meaning of the Holocaust artifact.



Dear Friend,

Rav Meir Simcha HaCohen (1843–1926) was a prominent leader Lithuanian Jewry. He was the rav of Dvinsk for nearly 40 years and is known for his sefarim Meshech Chochma and Ohr Somayach.


כִּ֚י יוֹבֵ֣ל הִ֔וא קֹ֖דֶשׁ תִּֽהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֑ם מִ֨ן־הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה תֹּֽאכְל֖וּ אֶת־תְּבֽוּאָתָֽהּ

בִּשְׁנַ֥ת הַיּוֹבֵ֖ל הַזֹּ֑את תָּשֻׁ֕בוּ אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־אֲחֻזָּתֽוֹ

{ ויקרא יב-יג }

 "For it is the Jubilee, it shall be holy for you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

During this Jubilee year, you shall return each man to his property."  

The משך חכמה derives a fundamental idea from these pesukim. Why does the Torah command us to leave the produce of the fields hefker during the year of Yovel? Perhaps the answer is that the Torah understands the challenges that the יצר הרע presents. It must be very difficult for a person that purchased and harvested a field, to give it up to the יורשים after the Yovel. Therefore, to make it a bit easier, the Torah commanded that the produce is hefker, thus the owner does not feel the loss of his field as strongly. This is an example of דברה תורה כנגד יצר הרע.


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