Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old School Blogging

They just used the word "registry" in an NPR announcement and it made me sad. I'm listening to "Wasteland - A Companion" in a full preview.  The first song just ended - Clean Slate - and it was good.  The second one - Primitive Girl - just started and it's from a different planet, and it's got a nice backbeat. The NPR review says his writing bears the weight of mistakes made and life lived - and they mean it in a good way.

Mom, before she went to heaven, used to tell me that I write things here that I shouldn't.  Like that.  I don't have Shabbos plans.  i guess I'll be home.  Have gone away all the recent weks I can remember - Staten Island, Bayside, Fairlawn, Teaneck, Elizabeth.  Dad will be at my brother's home along with all the kids and a bunch of their friends.

Pesach is coming and with it a lot to prepare for.  Also, spring and change.

I see some people around me who are different people, or maybe they're just pretending to be, than they were several years ago. In some ways I feel like I've changed and I'm pleased about that and in some ways I feel I haven't changed and I'm proud about that.  And that sentence can be shuffled and vice versa-ed around.

I was just asked via email to write for my school's Dvar Torah weekly.  So I sent them this:

Tzav: Where The Olah’s Offered By Rabbi Neil Fleischmann

We're told that the asham - guilt offering, and the chatat - sin offering, are presented in the same area as the olah - heavenly ascendant offering.Why is this the way that the place is described? G-d is much more than
capable of saying things straight. So why doesn't the line in the Torah simply state - "Slaughter the chatat and the asham, on the northern corner of the mizbeach," rather than describing their locations in relation to the olah?

The Kli Yakar says these korbanot are all offered in the same spot in order to circumvent embarrassment. Someone who brought a korban for a mistake he made (asham, chatat) would probably be experiencing
discomfort. The last thing a person needs at this difficult time is to have others seeing him in the sin section and gossiping ("look who's bringing a chatat…you'll never believe… I thought he was frum…")

By putting the olah - which is an optional offering that isn't necessarily brought due to sin - and the chatat, and asham together in the same space, the Torah is decreasing the obviousness of why someone is there,
thus allowing an individual to remain clean in the eyes of peers. The phrasing of the text makes it clear that these karbanot are placed where they are in order to be sensitive to the needs of the one who brings a korban and to protect him from the insensitivity of others. Phil Chernofsky points out in connection with this idea that one reason for why we daven Shmoneh Esrei quietly is so that no-one hears the confessions and private wounds of his friend. How sensitive to people's feelings G-d is and wishes for us to be.

Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin observes that while the conception developed above focuses on the perception of others, there is another viewpoint, developed by the Rebbe of Sokotchov which is more concerned with the
makriv - one offering the sacrifice himself: The Chachamim say (Vayikra Rabbah 7:3) that the olah comes to atone for inappropriate thoughts.

(That the olah comes as a rectification of thought related sins is also made clear from Iyov 1:5, in which Iyov brings olot corresponding to the number of his children, as he wonders if his sons have erred by cursing G-d
in their hearts.) The word "tzafon" - Hebrew for north - comes from the shoresh - root "tzfafun," meaning hidden, because this direction is hidden from the sun. The olah, which addresses internal, thought oriented sins, is appropriately brought in the area most associated with the hidden.

Going to call it a night for now.

May G-d bless this night, help us to do it right, bless our breathing too, bless everything for me and you.  Rhyming is easy it's reason that's hard, like how you spell being like The Bard (Shakespearean is common, theough Shakespearian is equally legitimate), and why that entered my life, how a simple word can cause strife.  And here I am writing again, humming McCartney's Jenny Wren, waiting to get get my clean slate, like in that M. Ward song - great.  It takes faith to walk away, also to stay.  I'm going to push publish now with a little, grateful bow.

2 Comments:

Anonymous lavender garden said...

You are very, very cordially invited to spend Shabbos with us. It would be our pleasure. Please let us know asap. the whole family would be thrilled.

March 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

i should maybe not admit what time i'm seeing this or that i just got home. beli neder i will come another time, please G-d. thanks.

March 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM  

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