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.
"G‑d said to Moses: Say to the priests, Aaron's sons, and you shall say to them: 'Let no priest become ritually impure through contact with a dead person...'"
Why does the verse repeat the bit about "saying"?
"The Torah uses the redundant wording to enjoin adults with regards to minors."
The first "say" is addressed to Moses. The additional "and you shall say to them" is an instruction to the priests to instruct their young. (In grammatical terms, the colon belongs after the words "Aaron's sons," not after the words "to them.")
From the Heart
This week's Parshah speaks about how we should approach another person if we feel the need to point out some aspect of their behavior that is bothering us or may seem unacceptable.
The Baal Shem Tov tells us that another person is like a mirror -- if we find ourselves noticing faults in others, it is because they exist within ourselves. It is not such a foreign concept -- it is common in psychological terms to speak of one person "projecting" their own faults onto another. It is incumbent upon us to realize that when we see a fault in somebody else, it is only because we need to work on ourselves.
This fits well with the time-period we are in, Sefirat Haomer. During this traditional period of semi-mourning, we commemorate the loss of Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 disciples. The Torah tells us that each of them was so sure that he was right, and so determined to share this wonderful news with his fellow, that he lost sight of his fellow’s needs and wishes.
Sickness stalked the streets of Vilna in 1848; an epidemic had struck, and dozens of townsfolk had succumbed. Every house was filled with the dead and dying. Depression and despair were rampant.
In times of sickness and sorrow, the mind craves answers. People want to know why things are going so spectacularly wrong, and if there is anything they can do to change the situation. People look for someone to blame.