Pearls of Rashi – Acharei

This week we will read the Torah portion Acharei. Near the end of the Parshah, we are taught of prohibited relationships. The Parshah concludes with the words[1] “you shall observe My charge, not to commit any of the abominable practices that were done before you, and not become defiled by them. I am the Hashem your G-d.”

Rashi cites the words from the verse “and not become defiled by them. I am the Hashem your G-d,” and explains as follows. “But if you do become defiled, says Hashem, ‘I am not your G-d and you will be cut off from Me. What benefit will I have from you? Moreover, you will deserve annihilation.’ Therefore, the verse says ‘I am the Lord, your G-d.’”

We know how particular and precise Rashi is with his language. It would seem that it would have been much clearer to have written “I have no benefit from you.” Why does he express this in a seemingly round-about manner, “what benefit will I have from you?”

King Shlomo (Solomon) tells us[2] that “Hashem has made everything for His sake; even the wicked for the day of evil.” How can we say that the wicked were created for Hashem’s sake? This is explained in Chassidic thought[3]. The purpose of the creation of the wicked is in order that “he should repent of his evil, and turn his evil into “day” and light above.”

How is it possible for one to reach this level? How can one repent, and turn his evil into light? The answer is, that this is a result of contemplating that Hashem (as so to speak) is asking him, “what benefit will I have from you?”

It is obvious that Hashem has pleasure from each of us. The proof is that He created us! At times this benefit is hidden; it can temporarily become concealed by dirt. The way to reveal the inherent goodness in each of us, is by deep thought into what he can do to benefit (as so to speak) Hashem.

Through our combined thoughts into bringing pleasure to G-d, and our combined actions in so doing, we will certainly bring the complete and true redemption now.

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 22, Page 101

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR FATHER
Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
*
DEDICATED BY HIS FAMILY
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
*
יו”ל ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 18:30.

[2]. Mishlei 16:4.

[3]. See Tanya Chapter 27.

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