Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dvar Torah for Parshas Kedoshim

       The pasuk says at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim, “דַּבֵּר אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם קְדשִׁים תִּהְיוּ“Speak to the entire congregation of the Children of Yisrael and you shall say to them, ‘You shall be holy” (Vayikra 19:2). This is the theme of the entire parshah; every one of the many mitzvos listed in this parshah is connected to the idea of the nation of Yisrael acting in a holy manner.
       The very next pasuk says, “אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם…” “Every man should fear his mother and his father, and you should observe my Sabbaths. I am Hashem, your God” (19:3). Rashi asks, what is the connection between these two mitzvos? He explains that the pasuk is teaching you that the obligation to honor and respect your parents only goes as far as what the Torah allows you to do. If your parent tells you to go against the Torah, for example, to desecrate the Shabbos, you are not obligated to listen. In fact, the pasuk is saying even more than that, you are obligated not to listen.
       The Kli Yakar asks the obvious question that comes out from this: why does the Torah use Shabbos as an example of when to not listen to your parents more than any other mitzvah? He explains that both Shabbos and Kibbud Av V’Eim have the same purpose behind them, to make sure a person recognizes where they came from. The reason we are obligated to respect and honor our parents is because we must be grateful to them for bringing us into this world and everything that comes with that. When we keep Shabbos, we are showing our recognition that we believe in Hashem as the creator of the world. He created everything and everyone, including you and your parents. Before you recognize anything your parents did for you, you must recognize He who did for them, Hashem. Though our obligation to Hashem is the same with any other mitzvah, due to this similarity, Shabbos is the best example to use when discussing our obligation to parents.

Shabbat Shalom!        

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