Divrei Torah
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue
sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some
of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning
of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.] The views and opinions
expressed in this article are those solely of its author(s).

As we began to read Sefer Vayikra this week, it is crucial that we understand
the laws discussed in this sefer. Sefer Vayikra discusses the laws of purity, Korbanos, as
well as other Kohein-related topics. One of the fundamental requirements of the purification
process is to immerse in a Mikva.

What is the meaning and depth to immersing in the Mikva waters?

The Chinuch suggests that the concept of Mikva is as follows: At the beginning of
creation, before Adam was created, the world was an ocean of water. Immersing ourselves
completely in the water of the Mikva is a symbolic act to remind us that we can now get
off to a fresh start, as if it is the beginning of the pure pristine world that once was.

I would like to suggest an additional point to this Chinuch: As we discussed several weeks
ago, water is associated with the Mida of Chesed. Many of the ritual  impurities are related
to sensual behavior or are byproducts of the sin of Adam and Chava, which contained
many sensual components to it. The Seforim teach us that sensual lusts and acts are the
force of chesed gone awry and channeled improperly. Hence, perhaps we have to surround
ourselves with water-the mida of chesed, life, and vibrancy- to remind us to redirect our
chesed and our dynamic energy towards the proper outlets and venues.

May we all take this lesson to heart; to always know we can get off to a fresh new start in
Avodas Hashem, and to remind ourselves to not abuse our passionate energy, but rather,
to channel it towards its proper medium.

{Editor's note: A short thought to think about as we enter into Sefer VaYikra, which
discusses the offering of Sacrifices: In essence, during the times of the Beis Hamikdash
(as well as today), a person who sinned should have really been put to death. Hashem, in
his Infinite Mercy, said that instead of facing the death penalty, a sinner would be able to
sacrifice an animal in his place (similar to our "schlugging kapparos" on Erev Yom Kippur,
where we say that the chicken's death should atone for any sins). But without Hashem's
mercy on us, a person would have been obligated to 'sacrifice' himself to Hashem. Now
that we don't have a Beis Hamikdash, we must look in our lives to see if there is
something that we can 'sacrifice' from our lives in place of an animal offering.}

Editor: Baruch Leib Gross
Daf Yomi
Bais Medrash Shomrei Mishmeres Hakodesh