Dvar Torah for Parshat Kedoshim


Based on Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom Nos. 119, 120

"V'ahavta l'reiakha k'mokha, Love your fellow as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18).

We are all familiar with the Talmud's story of the prospective convert who came to Hillel and asked to be taught the entire Torah while he, the convert, stood on one leg (Shabbat 31a). Hillel told him, "What you don't like don't do to your friend." It's easy to knock the other person down, but that's not what you would want someone to do you. These excerpts from the Rebbe's conversations underscore how much we have to control our negative inclinations and foster in their stead true compassion for others.

[Rabbi Nachman said,] "...When people hold on to this." He indicated with a gesture how important a thing it was, to hold on to this. Namely, when a person maintains this feeling of great desire that his friend should be a kosher Jew, a tzaddik, even if he himself is not, God forbid. This is a very great level... I [Reb Noson] recall that he also said that he would be satisfied - his own failure in serving Hashem (God) not withstanding - as long as somebody else was successful. This is a very great thing to hold on to."

To me this seems rather obvious. For certainly I have a great interest and desire that every Jew should be a genuine tzaddik. Even if I won't be, at least my friend - every Jew - should be a great tzaddik. This is the true love and compassion that we have to have for one another....

But I know that there are those people who, if they fail in their devotions, God forbid, or worse, who actually indulge in pleasure or sin, that hate those who serve Hashem. They pick fights with them, discourage them and disgrace them in any number of ways. Some even tell others that they too will end up amounting to nothing....

This is due totally to jealousy. Because they fell they want others to fall. In fact their feeling should be just the opposite....

Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom # 119

...and even if one knows [that he's on a very low level], he should nonetheless encourage his acquaintances. It's easier to encourage someone else than it is to encourage oneself "because an unaided prisoner cannot escape from jail" (Berakhot 5b).

Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom # 120

So, as Hillel told the convert, "Now, go learn the rest!"

agutn Shabbos!
Shabbat Shalom!