Friday, May 19, 2006

Bein Adam LaMakom

Rashi on Parshas Bechukosai, on the Passuk of וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי דֶבֶר בְּתוֹכְכֶם, וְנִתַּתֶּם בְּיַד-אוֹיֵב quotes the Toras Kohanim that there is a cause-effect relationship between the two halves of this phrase.
Since there would be pestilence, and the Halachah (Bava Kama 82b) is that one may not leave a corpse unburied overnight at all in Yerushalayim*, the pallbearers carrying the deceased out of the besieged city would be attacked by the enemy.
[See Chiddushei R' Meir Simcha M'Dvinsk to Bava Kama there who understands that this Halachah must be kept even at some risk of life. R' Yechiel Michel Tuckachinsky in Ir HaKodesh VeHaMikdash vol. III Perek 11, while not relating directly to the words of RM"S, has serious doubts about that]
The question is - we are talking about terrible sinners, who have committed the most serious Aveiros. And this particular Halachah they keep? [See Sifsei Chachamim to Rashi here]
Some suggestions:
a) It is reminiscent of what a certain Gadol said about the situation of Yahadus in recent times: "Many people think that lighting a Yahrzeit candle is a Mitzvah De'Oraysa and everything else is a Minhag Tov". When it comes to a Meis - people want to keep all the customs. [Interestingly, the Gemara in Bava Kamma says that this Halachah is a "Gemara", which Rashi there explains as "a tradition which has no reason". Apparently, when it comes to the Meis,even sinners will be Makpid on the minutae which have no reason, but when it comes to everything else, they say they need to know the reason.]
b) [And here's the reason for the title of the post]:
It is possible to get so caught up in the maintenance of the Kedushas HaMakom of Yerushalayim, that that becomes the focus of one's Avodah, while forgetting all other avenues of Avodas Hashem. Instead of there being a commitment to "Bain Adam LaMakom", there is a singular emphasis on "Bain Adam La(physical)Makom".
Perhaps it is Min HaShamayim that we generally read this Parashah before Yom Yerushalayim, as a reminder - yes, we have been Zocheh to be able to go to the Kosel, to the Old City of Yerushalayim. But there is a danger of getting engrossed in this holy Makom, and forgetting about the Mekomo Shel Olam. We should continue to bear in mind the unfortunate reality of Galus HaShechinah, and do what we can to allow Hashem to return to Tzion.
Speedily. We could sure use it.
"Yerushalayim Orah Shel Olam, U'mi Orah Shel Yerushalayim, HaKadosh Baruch Hu."
Good Shabbos.
*There is some discussion how this differs from the regular Halachah of not leaving a deceased unburied overnight, which applies universally. One approach is that in Yerushalayim it is prohibited even Lichvodo (to accord honor to the Meis). [Shitta Mekubetzes Bava Kamma there, and Radva"z to Rambam Beis HaBechira 7:14]. There are others.


Blogger chardal said...

"Yerushalayim Orah Shel Olam, U'mi Orah Shel Yerushalayim, HaKadosh Baruch Hu."

It is telling that the only people who celebrate Yom Yerushalaim now at days are those people who see it as having religious significance. The seculars have abandoned it completely.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An equal dnager is those who make antizionism a mainstay of thier yiddishkeit and simalarly foreget the proper focus.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Bari said...


9:54 AM  

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