Home > Parshas Shemini, Uncategorized > A Pleasant Torah - Parshas Shemini 5769

A Pleasant Torah - Parshas Shemini 5769

Posted by Yosef Tropper
April 17, 2009 - כ"ד ניסן ה' תשס"ט
Hide Comments Views (48)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

 וזה לכם הטמא בשרץ השורץ על הארץ… (יא:כט).

“These creeping creatures are prohibited…” (11:29).

The Torah discusses the permitted and prohibited animals for human consumption. After this comes a list of the eight creeping creatures which convey tumah, ritual impurity, to one who touches them. The astounding question is that the one animal which represents impurity and would be expected to be on this list, is absent! The snake represents the root of all sin and perversion as his forbearer, the first serpent, caused Adam and Chava to sin, yet he is not on the list? Why is this so?

Rabbeinu Bechayah is perplexed by this question. He proposes the following answer which represents the beauty and goal of Torah living! The way of the Torah is defined as, “all its paths are pleasant and harmonious” (Mishley 3:17). Hashem did not declare one tamey for touching a snake for this could cause a hazard to human life. If it were to confer tumah upon touch this might deter someone from immediately killing a snake found in his proximity for fear of becoming tamey when touching it. Thus, any potentially dangerous animal was omitted from the list of those that are impure as a precaution to not cause any Jew to ever get hurt because of it. All eight creatures listed are harmless to humans. The Torah is kind and sensitive to man’s mentality and does not want to place his health in jeopardy for even the smallest fraction of time.

Rabbi Paysach Krohn recounts the story of a beloved and dedicated educator named Rabbi Binyomin Liftin who told over the reason that he dedicated his life to learning and teaching Torah.

As a young student, he set out to study under the great Rabbi Shimon Shkop. He feared the well known difficult entrance-exam required to join the prestigious Yeshiva. He spent an entire day riding the train to Grodna, preparing diligently the entire ride and finally arriving at the Yeshiva, feeling apprehensive, hungry and exhausted.

Not wasting any time, he immediately presented himself before the great Rosh HaYeshiva. It was then that he had the conversation that changed his life. Reb Shimon saw how long of a day it had been for him. He smiled at him and said, “I have only two questions for you… Did you eat yet? Do you have a place to sleep?” When Binyomin answered in the negative, Reb Shimon said, “then let’s get that taken care of immediately! We will speak in the morning when you are well rested! “Wow,” Binyomin thought, ever impressed with the care and concern he so strongly felt, “if this is what Torah stands for, then this is what I want to connect with!”

Reb Shimon’s two questions on that fateful day became the answer to the rest of his life!

The way of the Torah is the most pleasant and sweet. Praiseworthy and fortunate is one who has a part in it! 

Parshas Shemini, Uncategorized

  1. John Keebler
    April 18th, 2009 at 05:08 | #1

    First off, I am not Jewish and non demoninational, just trying to find my way in my sixth decade. This post by Yosfet Tropper really touched me.
    In all my associations with people of many faiths, I have never heard anyone refer so lovingly of their GUIDE BOOK. That is what I have come to see the Christian Bible and the Torah to be.
    The people, including myself, I have met over the years seem to consider BOTH guide books to be ONEROUS and too difficult to follow.
    Yosef has made my day BRIGHTER and my heart lighter with this most touching post. May God bless and keep you, Yosef Tropper.
    Very Best Regards


    Reply to John Keebler

  1. No trackbacks yet.