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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

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Behalosicha 5784
Shavuos Naso 5784
Bamidbar 5784
Bechukosai 5784
Behar 5784

Bechukosai 5784

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This week's YouParsha Bechukosai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW6HOZb0BcY When


This week, we read Parsha Bechukosai Leviticus 28 - end. Appraisals - how to appraise the value of one’s pledges to the Temple is one of the topics of the Parsha. These laws are discussed in the Talmud section of Erechin. Rabbi Hillel of Paritch (1795-1864) was one of the many scholars to join the Chabad Chassidic movement. For many years, he was a devoted disciple of the second and third Rebbes of Chabad.

As a young man of 19, Rabbi Hillel heard of the founder of Chabad Chassidism - the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and sought to meet with him, but was duly informed that "children" could not meet the Rabbi.

Reb Hillel had a plan. He heard the Alter Rebbe would be traveling and staying in a certain inn. He snuck into the room, hid under the bed and promptly fell asleep. Rabbi Hillel prepared himself with some of his achievements in Talmudic study. The young scholar was studying Erachin, and had a scholarly question to discuss with the Rebbe.

From his hiding place, Rabbi Hillel heard the Rebbe enter the room. Before he could make a move, he heard the Rebbe exclaim: “If a young man has a question regarding ‘Appraisals,’ he had best first appraise himself!” The prodigy under the bed fainted. When he awoke, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was gone.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, told this story, and then asked, "How are we to apply this story to our lives?" If a person pledges to give to the Temple, but instead of citing a sum he says, “I promise to give the value of this individual,” we are to follow a fixed rate set by the Torah, in which each age and gender group is assigned a certain value. Why employ a flat rate that lumps together so many diverse individuals? An accomplished scholar should be considered more valuable than a simple laborer. The Torah states that we all stand equally before G-d, “from your heads, the leaders of your tribes, your elders ... to your wood choppers and water carriers.” How can a person truly view his fellow as his equal when he is so obviously superior to him in talent and achievement?

This is the meaning of the Alter Rebbe’s remark to Rabbi Hillel. If you have a question regarding “Appraisals,” if you find it difficult to relate to the Torah’s evaluation of human worth, you had best take a long, hard look at yourself. An honest examination of your own character and behavior will show how much you can learn from every man, how much there is for you to emulate in those who are supposedly “inferior” to yourself.


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In honor of the yahrtzeit of Chaim Elozar ben Dovber HaLevi Lag B'Omer

May his neshama experience a lichtiger Gan Eden.


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