Pearls of Rashi – Re’ah

This week we read the Torah portion of Re’ah. This portion tells us to[1] “Keep the month of spring, and make the Pesach offering to Hashem. For in the month of spring, Hashem brought you out of Egypt at night.” Rashi cites the words “keep the month of spring” and explains the meaning of these words. “Before (the month of) Nissan arrives, watch that it should be fit for spring, capable of producing ripe ears of barley by the sixteenth of the month. These would be needed to offer as the Omer meal offering. And if not, (if it is not yet spring,) proclaim it a leap year[2].”

Everything in Torah can be understood on many different levels. There is the simple meaning of each verse. However, each of these verses can also be understood according to an infinite amount of levels, each higher and deeper than that which preceded it. We would like to explain the above verse with Rashi’s comments in a manner which will provide us with a lesson in the service of Hashem.

During the winter all growth is hidden; it is asleep. It seems to us as if there is no growth whatsoever. During the spring the beauty and greenery suddenly awaken. We become aware that nature was temporarily gathering its strength. Now, in the spring, it appears in all of its glory.

The same was true during our exile in Egypt. It was a bitter time, both for the physical body and the soul. We started out the 49th level of impurity. We were able to lift ourselves up in a mere 50 days to a level which allowed us to receive the Torah directly from the Almighty Himself.

This provides each of us with a lesson. At times we may (G-d forbid) undergo a period during which there appears to be no growth. Everything around us appears to be frigid and lifeless. We must realize that this is just a temporary state. We are merely gathering the strength needed to “spring” into life. We must certainly never become despondent. We need to be constantly aware that we are now able to step up, to rise to the complete and true redemption with our righteous Moshiach immediately, now.

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos and healthy summer.

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Igros Kodesh Volume 4, Letter 994

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, Devorim 16:1.

[2]. In the Jewish calendar, a leap year refers to a year in which one month is added. This allows enough time for the barley to ripen.

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