Tuesday, December 14, 2021

not just a hidur

 בֶּן־אָדָ֗ם [כְּתׇב־] (כתוב) לְךָ֙ אֶת־שֵׁ֣ם הַיּ֔וֹם אֶת־עֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה סָמַ֤ךְ מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶל֙ אֶל־יְר֣וּשָׁלַ֔͏ִם בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה

The Chasam Sofer (Derashos, 8 Teves,  5593) is midayek in the use of the word  סָמַ֤ךְ.  Why not say צר על יְר֣וּשָׁלַ֔͏ִם?  

Derech derush, he interprets the pasuk in Eikev  כִּ֤י תֹאמַר֙ בִּלְבָ֣בְךָ֔ רַבִּ֛ים הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה מִמֶּ֑נִּי that the might of the enemy forces comes מִמֶּ֑נִּי, from our own failures and shortcomings. 

Here too, the navi is telling us that sadly, the enemy was able to rely on us -- סָמַ֤ךְ -- to help them in their destruction of Yerushalayim.

In last week's parsha (45:14) we read that Yosef cried on the neck(s) of Binyamin.  Rashi quotes the Midrash that neck(s) is written like it is plural because the neck alludes to the Beis haMikdash.  Yosef was crying over the destruction of both batei mikdash that stood in Binyamin's portion.

Why is the Beis haMikdash compared to the neck?  R' Shteinman in Ayeles haShachar writes that we shecht an animal by cutting the simanim in the neck; that is the source of the animal's chiyus.  So too, the Beis haMikdash is not just a nice thing to have, a "hidur mitzvah" that lets us serve Hashem better.  Beis haMikdash is our chiyus!  

If only we lived day in and day out with that attitude.

R' Shteinman quotes the din (San 18b) that the kohen gadol cannot sit on the beis din that decides whether to add an extra month and make a leap year because he has a vested interest in the outcome.  Adding an extra month pushes Yom Kippur later, and the k"g would be stuck doing the avodah outdoors in much colder weather.  

Even though the beis din debating whether to make it a leap year or not might be meeting in the middle of the winter, during Teives or Shevat, the kohen gadol's mind is on Yom Kippur.  That is the highlight of his year, the highlight of his life, and so he lives with that experience in mind 365 days a year. 

If Beis haMikdash is our chiyus, it means we should feel its absence 365 days a year.  It's shouldn't just be something to think about on a fast day or when a chassan breaks a glass under the chuppah and then put out of mind the next day or the next minute.  The fast days are just booster shots to help maintain our year round focus.

The enemy is relying on us,  סָמַ֤ךְ מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶל֙ אֶל־יְר֣וּשָׁלַ֔͏ִם, on our indifference and acceptance of status quo.  It's up to us to prove them wrong. 

1 comment:

  1. as Yaqovs neck turned to stone when esau bit it so to a Bas kol cried out 'Aino ele eitzm vavonim' when his grandchildren destroyed the BM. the BM connects us to Heaven as the neck connects the body to the mind