Out of This World

Categories: Acharei Mot, Parsha

Art by Sefira Lightstone

A WEEKLY TORAH THOUGHT FROM RABBI MORDY

In addition to giving us a series of laws, this week’s Parsha (Acharei Mot) opens with its title. These words, literally, “After the death…” refer to the laws being taught after the deaths of the sons of Aaron the High Priest. They passed away prematurely because they entered the Holy of Holies (in the Tabernacle) unauthorized; this was only permitted by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. What’s so wrong? Were they just a couple of college kids running amok after a night of partying? Of course not. Commentary tells us that they were inspired. They were on a spiritual high and they let it get away from them. They were in such a heightened spiritual state that they wanted their souls to expire and return to heaven, the ultimate spiritual state. But they were wrong, regardless of their intention. The very reason for our existence is to be spiritually inspired, yes, but only so we can feel empowered to do, to act, to bring goodness and G-dliness into the world. But that the operative words are: Into the world. Once we enter a phase where we need to go beyond the physical and just feel the need to be isolated on a mountaintop, we’re going the wrong direction. And that was their mistake.
These are difficult times around the world. Yes, there is good to be found but it just seems to be getting crazier and crazier. We must never “join the club” and we must never throw up our hands. In fact, the world situation only intensifies the need for us to bring goodness right here, into the world.  And may our collective efforts bring the ultimate “better,” the complete redemption. Good Shabbos!

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