Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#104 - The Holy Ones

Today, I begin writing this post on the 5th day of the week of Parshat Kedoshim. The reason that I word it this way, rather than today's Hebrew date, is for more than one reason. Well first of all on a personal note, I was born on the 5th day of the week of Parshat Kedoshim, and it is the first time that this occured since I began, as in non-leap Hebrew years, Parshat Kedoshim is read together with its preceding Parshat Acharei-Mot on Shabbat, but on this leap year, these two Parshiyot are read separately.

Another major significance of the 5th day of Parshat Kedoshim relates especially to Seder Kodoshim of the Mishnayot. First to note, while normally, when people write the name of this week's Parsha in Hebrew, it is written with a Vav, but the truth is that in the Torah, the name of this Parsha is in fact written with a Vav. Thus, this is spelled the same way as the name of the 5th order of the Mishnayot - Kodoshim; it's just that they are pronounced differently because of their respective vowels. Also, according to Kabbalah, the six orders of the Mishnayot correspond to the six days of Creation. Hence, correspondingly to the fifth day of the week - which is today - is the Order or volume of Kodoshim, which is about the offerings and Temple service that the Cohanim performed in the Temple.

Another connection of the number five related to Seder Kodoshim is the 5th Chapter of its first tractate - Zevachim, which is all about the animal sacrifices. This Chapter, which is recited daily in the Korbanot/Temple Offerings section of our morning prayers, begins with Eizehu Mekoman Shel Zevachim - "Where is the location in the Temple of the (slaughtering of) sacrifices?" Kodshei Kodoshim Shechitatan Ba'Tzafon - The Holiest Sacrifices are slaughtered in the north side". The purpose of reciting a chapter of Mishnayot in our daily prayers is to ensure that we have a dosage of daily Torah learning, and as the Mishna Berura explains, this chapter of Mishnayot (one of the few in all of the Mishnah) does not contain any arguments or differences of opinion between rabbis about what the Halacha is, unaltered from how this was transmitted from Hashem to Moses on Mt. Sinai, calling this "Mishna Berura", a clear Mishna (or teaching). Hence, this chapter of Mishnayot represents the concept of Shalom/peace, without any arguments or differences - even when it comes to deciding what the Halacha/Jewish law is.

At this point, it's worthy to note that the name of one of the tractates of Seder Kodoshim - Tamid, which is all about the daily sacrifices, known as the Korban Tamid - is the same Gematria as the name of this order of the Mishnayot - Kodoshim. In fact, there are those who have a custom to recite daily one of its seven chapters, corresponding to the seven days of the week. This is the concept of learning Torah - Tamid, which means always, but in this context, the best translation is the word constantly or consistently, for just as there were two daily animal offerings in the Temple - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon - of which its Torah section is also recited in our morning prayers (some also recite this in the afternoon prayers), so too, the Mitzvah of learning Torah is a mandatory Mitzvah to be performed EVERY SINGLE DAY - daytime & nighttime.

You see, there are those who may be able to spend a lot of time learning Torah one day, but then they are all tied up to things the next day. It's very nice for some to learn a lot of Torah one day instead of doing trivial matters. However, what is of crucial importance is that we learn Torah - EVERY SINGLE DAY, even if we learn just a little bit of Torah one day, but it has to be a constant & consistent matter. Indeed, we learn this concept from the Korban Tamid which was brought EVERY SINGLE DAY - with no exception, even on the Sabbath & Jewish Holidays when it is forbidden to start a fire, but was done so in the Temple for certain sacrifices.

(middle of construction, come back later)

24 Nissan, 5771 - Fifth Day in the Week of Parshat Kedoshim

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