Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Do We Love Too Much?
Do we love too much?
Apparently we do. Many marriages fail for a dearth of love; an equal number are suffocated by an overabundance of the same.
So desirous are we for connection, so hungry for communion with another human being, that we forget that for love to endure it must be complemented with an equal measure of restraint. So eager are we to give of ourselves to the one we love -- be it a spouse, a child or a friend -- that we often give without consideration of the needs and desires of the recipient of our love.
Give a Little Push
This week's Torah reading tells us that "... and the fire ... shall be kept burning in [the Altar] ... and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning" (Leviticus 6:5).
The Talmud points out that although there was a fire that descended from heaven, nonetheless a "human input" was required to keep the fire burning.
We could ask a question on this -- and, indeed, on the entire process of the Divine service which took place in the Temple and takes place in our everyday lives: what does G-d need our work for? Surely He could do everything Himself?
At the close of the Parshah of Vayikra, the Torah teaches that a person who denied under oath that he had another’s money in his possession, but later admitted having sworn falsely and having had the money all along -- such a person must return the money to its rightful owner, “. . . and he shall add to it a fifth (of its value); to him to whom (the money) belongs shall he give it on the day of his guilt” (Leviticus 5:24).
If the verse had not explained that the “fifth” must be given to the victim of the crime, we might have supposed that the thief should give the fine for Sanctuary use, in effect “giving it to G‑d” to atone for having sworn falsely with G‑d’s name. After all, the idea of the fine is not that the victim should receive a bonus for his loss, but that the thief be punished. So long as the money is taken away from the thief, the beneficiary is immaterial -- we might think.