Ki Tetzei

Ki Tetzei 2021 Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו
Discovering the Holy Presence in The Holy Land

He Shall Not Enter the Encampment

This parsha describes the prohibition on certain individuals rendered impure to remain within the encampment of Israel. Our Sages interpret this “encampment to refer to “Levite encampment” which today applies to the Temple Mount alone. Regarding the Temple Mount, the Torah commands us to “have awe of the Temple”, upon which are Sages explain that one is not meant to have awe of the Temple itself but rather awe and reverence towards God Who rests His Presence within the Temple. This obligation of awe and reverence entails that one may not enter the Temple Mount with leather shoes or with the dust on his feet or with a walking stick or a visible money pouch/wallet. This law also entails that one may not spit there, except through a kerchief or the sort. It seems that, just as we just explained, this attribute of awe on the Temple Mount also has a connection to the types of “impure” people excluded from this location. These people are those who have impurity that departs from their very bodies, such as the zav/a, a baal keri, and a nida. Interestingly, our Sages learn that even a corpse itself, the highest level of impurity, may enter the Temple Mount, but yet the fore-mentioned individuals may not. The reason provided for this is that these individuals are explicitly mentioned in the pertaining verses and that a fortiori (kal vehomer) may not be learned in this case from a corpse since there is a stringent aspect among these individuals more than a corpse, i.e that impurity emerges from their very bodies, unlike other impurities. Based on our previous understanding that the Temple Mount, the “entrance” towards the Temple area, emphasizes the aspect of reverence and honor due to the Temple in general, we can explain that the inclusion of these individuals who have impurity emitting from their very bodies may be considered less honorable towards the sanctity of this site, even though their essential level of impurity is lesser than other impurities which are allowed within these boundaries. In the past, we have shown how the Torah’s commandment to honor our parents also entails honoring our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, which also means honoring their place of rest, Hebron. Here too, we see how the sparks of honor towards high spiritual presence in the Temple are essentially embedded in Hebron, the City of Patriarchal Honor.

Real Stories: Six-Day War:
Sgt. Shlomo Afini’s number is for the crew of a tank that knows how to overcome every malfunction and obstacle. Another glitch occurred; the tank chain began falling off the wheels after apparently sustaining an injury, a wonderful target for enemy fire. I knew I had to get out of this truss quickly and keep moving. I explained to the guys the source of the glitch and said it could be overcome. At that moment they looked at me as crazy. To this day, I can’t explain how we’ve been able to fix the chain; I try to recreate those dramatic minutes. We were exposed to enemy fire. Shells were whistled and detonated around.. Throughout the repair, I was sure that it was another second, and I or one of the crew members would be shot to the ground dead, but everything went well. We worked as lunatics. I am convinced that if a similar malfunction had hit us at our practices, we would not have been able to overcome it at all, or at best, the repair time would have been many times longer. I attribute this whole thing to a miracle, and the fact that it was indeed a miracle: shortly after, at the end of the battles in Bir-Flaff, the tank groaned, the chain slowly coming off the wheels and this time completely disconnected from the tank. Armor p. 56

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