The Sefas Emes utilises a cryptic comment of the Zohar to explain the inner meaning of the Machlokes of Korach. The Zohar Hakadosh explains that Korach was aiming to fight ‘Shabbos & Sholom’ His argument was designed to wreck the unity and harmony of Creation itself. The architect of his demise had therefore to be Creation itself. ואם
Category: Oneg Shabbos
Fruit and vegetables grown in Eretz Yisroel are special and holy, and until they have been tithed are “Tevel” and may not be eaten. These unique mitzvos can only be carried out fully with all their relevant details in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, although they are nonetheless still relevant in the post- Churban period.
In spite of the incredible opportunity this presents, the Torah commands in this week’s parsha (Vayikra 25:36-37), ‘You shall not take from him interest or increase, and you shall fear your G-d, and let your brother live with you. You shall not give him your money with interest, nor shall you give your food with increase.’ Simply put, we are commanded not to take interest on loans.
The famous story is told in the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah) about a pedlar who travelled around the neighbourhood of Tzippori, offering for sale the elixir of life. From his study, Rebbi Yanai heard the pedlar proclaiming: מאן בעי סם חיים “who wants the potion for eternal life? Rebbi Yanai asked him for a sample. The pedlar refused saying “People like you do not need it”. After much importuning however, he consented to show it R’Yannai. He took out a book of Psalms and, opening it, pointed to the text: מי האיש החפץ חיים ... נצור לשונך מרע ... סור מרע וגו’ “Who is the man who desires life?... guard your tongue from evil…” on seeing this R’Yannai exclaimed: כל ימי הייתי קורא פסוק זה ולא הייתי יודע היכן הוא פשוט עד שבא רוכל זה והודיע מי האיש החפץ חיים “All my years I have read this verse without knowing the simple explanation of the words, and now this pedlar has shown me their meaning.”