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Parshas Acharei Mos & Kedoshim:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Acharei Mos & Kedoshim:

This weeks Parsha is Achrei Mos & Kedoshim.

We find in Pasuk(19:17-18) that the Torah commands us not to hate our brother ( fellow Jew) in our hearts, yet one must still reprove a Jew who has done something wrong.

The next Pasuk than continues and tells us than one must love his fellow Jew as himself.

Comes the Dubno Maggid (Mishle Yakov) and explains the meaning of the Pasuk when it says:

"one should reprove his fellow Jew, in order not to bear a sin because of his friend."

He gives a Mashal to a drunkard that drinks constantly, and he always fills himself up with wine from his cup. This is one type of person.

While there is a different type of person that he himself doesn't get drunk, yet he calls others and gets others drunk.

What's the difference between the two types of people?

The only difference is that the one who drinks, and doesn't get others drunk, gets enjoyment from his getting drunk.

While the one that gets others drunk, he gives others enjoyment from the wine, and to himself, he looses from the expense.

Comes the Maggid and explains, the same is true in our Pasuk. One that has sinned and he is punished for his wrong doings, at least he tasted the taste of the sin, so he is punished for it. He also feels that he deserves the punishment, for he has sinned.

The same is not found by the one who gets others to sin, in this case, his friend tasted the sin, so it is like this one enjoyed the sin, while his friend that gave him to drink only lost out.

Therefore the Pasuk tells us not to hate our brother in our heart, than it tells us, to rebuke our straying brother.

For if one does not rebuke him, we know that when one is able to rebuke, and he doesn't, he is also caught for the sinful act. And he looses (gets an Aveirah) even though he himself didn't taste the sin.

Like it says in the Gemarah (Shabbos 149:b), "Rav Yaakov ... said, whenever one causes a fellow Jew to do a wrongful act, and is therefore punished because of him, he does not enter into the Mechitzah of Hakadosh Baruch-Hu".

However, when one rebukes his friend, one must make sure that the rebuke is coming from his heart. For the Chazal say, that only words that come from the heart, enter one others heart. One must build up in himself, his inner feelings. That he should feel love for others, only then when he rebukes, his motivation will be pure, and thus bring a positive influence on others.

On this Pasuk, comes Rav David Feinstein and asks, why does the Pasuk say twice,

"Hochayach Tochiach...", why doesn't the Pasuk just say once to rebuke your friend?

This ties in to what we said above, that in order for one to give others rebuke, he must first chastise himself for all his own wrong doings that he may have done, to ensure that his behavior is the way the Torah tells him to be. Only then will he be able to rebuke his friend properly, and leave an everlasting impression on his friend.

One must nevertheless be careful not to remind one that is returning to the right path, about his previous misdeeds, only those that have not yet turned to the correct path, one is required to give rebuke on another's wrongful ways.

Right after the Torah tells us to rebuke our straying brother, it tells us to love ones fellow Jew as himself.

Comes Rav Shimon Scwab and explains that when one rebukes his fellow Jew it should be done in a way that will bring him closer to his fellow Jew, and to a better relationship between the two individuals.

This can happen only if the rebuke is delivered with great concern over the receivers dignity and honor. One should be sad that he has to rebuke his fellow Jew, and not mad that he has to do the process of rebuke.

If one feels that the other person will not listen to his rebuke, comes the Kesav Sofer and says that just like there is a Mitzvah to tell others rebuke, when they will listen to your rebuke. So to there is a Mitzvah not to say rebuke when one is *certain* that others will not listen. For it is better for one to be Shogeig and not Meizid.

Continues the Ksav Sofer and explains that this is what the Pasuk is telling us when it repeats "Hocheiach Tocheach...", that when one wants to give rebuke he must make sure that this rebuke will not make his fellow Jew increase in his sin, because of this rebuke. And when the Pasuk says " Loh Tisa Alav Cheit..", Tisa means to carry, meaning one should make sure that the sin does not increase.

In the next Pasuk(19:18) the Torah commands us to love our fellow Jew as one loves himself.

There are many explanations on this Pasuk, one of the most popular statements on this Pasuk is that of Rebbi Akivah who stated that this commandment is one of the main concepts of the Torah.

On this comes the Chasam Sofer and writes that this means that one has the obligation to share with others his Torah knowledge.

One who has Torah knowledge should also take off some of his learning time to help teach others Torah.

The Torah requires us to love our fellow Jew, just like one loves himself.

One may think, "is it realistic for the Torah to demand this of us?"

How is one to accomplish this?

Comes Rav Twerski and explains that we must look at the first half of the Pasuk,

not to take revenge, and not to harbor in oneself, a grudge.

To the degree that one can keep himself away from resentment onto others, to this same degree one allows his Neshamah to mix with others.

As we know, our Neshamah represents the true inner person, thus we and our fellow Jew become one, and therefore self-love becomes inseparable from love of others. For we know that our Neshamah is spiritual which is part of Hashem.

Thus spiritually we are all one and it is only our physical bodies which separate us one from another.

When we get to a level where one is able to give up the physical there is nothing left to prevent our complete love for others.

Rav Levy Yitzchak from Beritchev would explain this Pasuk as coming to tell us, just as one loves himself, even though one has shortcomings, so to shall one love his fellow Jew even though he may have some shortcomings, especially if his shortcomings are not of his own making.

Comes Rav Henach Levovitz and explains that there are two types of people that love their neighbors.

One type loves their friends because he feels that he is part of them, that they are just like him. They are "part of the Chevrah".

This type of person will never come to love everyone as he is commanded to, he will only love his small group of friends since he doesn't find other people to be a part of him.

However, there is another type of person that loves those around him because he has in himself the Midah of loving another as himself.

This type of person will also learn how to love all, since they already got used to the correct Midah of loving ones fellow Jew, with his close surroundings.

One might think that as long as one feels love towards others, he has fulfilled his requirement. This is not so, one must show through his actions and comments to others that he manifests love towards them, in his heart and not only in his mouth.

This type of true love for his fellow Jew will also bring one closer to Hashem, and thus feeling more of a part in Clal Yisroel.

Let us all take our statement, "Love your fellow Jew like yourself" and make it into action.

One must try even harder during the Sefiras Ha-Omer to try and increase ones "Ahavas Yisroel".

As it says in the Gemarah (Yevamos 62:b), 12,000 pairs of students of Rabbi Akiva died between Pesach and Shevuos, because they did not give the right respect to one another.

Let us try our best during at least the counting of the Sefira, to love our fellow Jew a sincere love in our heart during these days, and by doing this, may we merit to bring the Moshiach closer in our days.



Orlah - Fruit Trees:

This weeks Parsha tells us of the commandment of when one plants a fruit tree, in the first three years, it is forbidden to eat or have any benefit from the trees fruits. Yet in the fourth year, all its fruits are holy to Hashem. And in the fifth year, one may eat the fruit (after taking off the relevant Terumah and Ma'aser).

There are many laws involved with this commandment, I will only discuss a few.

The three years that one must count, at times it could be more and at times it may be less than three whole years. The reason for this is, the year starts in this case, in the month of Tishrei. And if one planted on the 16th of Av or after that, we start the year from the coming Tishrei. Therefore one would have to wait longer than 3 years. If one plants before the 16th of Av, meaning if one plants 43 days before the end of the year(Tishrei), these 43 days count for a full first year of the counting for Orlah. The reason for this is because it takes 13 days for the tree to start taking root, and 30 days of a year is considered as a year.(Rambam )

However, when we reach the Fourth year, the fruits are holy, and they have a similar law as Maaser Sheini.

On the fourth year, the fruits have a law of Revai, and this holiness runs all the way till Tu-Bishvat of the fifth year. While others say that in a case where one counted 3 complete years of Orlah, one just goes to the 1st of Tishrei, of the 5th year.

There is a Machlokes if Revai (The fourth year) also applies in Chutz La-Aretz.

Orlah only applies to a fruit tree that was planted for its fruit.

If a fruit tree was not planted for its fruit, yet it was solely planted as a fence or for its shade, and this is obvious that that is what it was planted for, one is allowed to eat the fruits, right away and he doesn't have to count the years of Orlah.

However, if one plants a fruit tree for a Mitzvah(Lulav, Esrog...), the tree still has a law of Orlah, and thus one can not use the Esrog during the Orlah period.

However, one may use a Lulav that came from a palm tree within the three year period. This law is true by Lulavim, because they are not considered a fruit, while an Esrog is considered a fruit. And one is only allowed to use an Esrog on Succos which is prepared to be eaten (not Orlah, and that Terumah and Ma'aser was taken).

Orlah applies to Jewish & Non-Jewish produce, in Eretz Yisroel, as we are commanded by the Torah. Orlah also applies outside Eretz Yisroel, yet it only applies as a Rabbinical decree. Therefore, outside Eretz Yisroel, if one is in doubt if a fruit is from a tree that is still considered Orlah he may eat from it.

However if one is certain that a fruit is Orlah in Chutz La Aretz, one is also forbidden to eat that fruit.

When a fruit that is Orlah gets mixed up with other fruits that are not Orlah, if there is more than 200 non-Orlah fruits opposite each fruit that is Orlah, it is Batel.

(Please do not use the above for Halacha, when a Halachik question arises, one should ask his local reliable Rabbi).