Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Checking Our Vital Signs

This past Shabbos (Parshas Nasso, Sivan 2, 5771), the Rebbe, shlit"a spoke about the importance of constantly "taking our vital signs", even ad nauseum. We need to be sure that we are alive. As preparation for accepting the Torah on Shavous, we need to ask ourselves if we are any different and in what have we grown since the "surgery" of yetzias Miztrayim.

In Parshas Nasso, the Torah enumerates three types of ritual impurity that render a person unfit to remain within the various camps of Klal Yisroel until they become pure again. One is tzoraas, a form of leprosy wrought upon one who has issue with any one of a number of midos. Lashon hara, haughtiness and anger are just some of the more well known transgressions that are the cause of this tumaa. Are we any better in our midos then when we left Egypt forty-nine days ago?

Another form of tumaa mentioned here is that of a zav. This impurity is generally caused by overindulgence in various appetites. Have we taken any steps in the right direction in this regard? Have we been successful in curbing some of the hedonistic tendencies that we so often ignore and allow to go by unchecked?

The third impurity that we must face before we are ready to re-accept the Torah is tumaas meis, a person who has come in contact with a dead body. Have we given up on any part of ourselves? Is there some aspect of our personality or fault in our character that we have come to terms with the fact that we will not grow or change in that regard? Are we alive? Are we responsive? When we have consigned any part of ourselves to stagnancy and death, then we become tamei meis.
In anticipation of Shavuos, we must answer these questions. Sefiras Haomer is intended to be a constant, at least daily, check-up of where we are with our spiritual health. When we can say we have indeed done something decisive to restore our purity and return to the camps of Klal Yisroel, that is when we are ready to answer will conviction "naaseh v'nishma", we will do and we will hear.

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