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A Small Bite of Shabbos Delight
This week we learn, live and read the Torah portions Achrei - Kedoshim, and we read (and learn) the third chapter of Pirkei Avos.

Wednesday, the 14th of Iyar, is Pesach Sheni.

Both Achrei and Kedoshim contain themes of the sanctification of Hashem's name. (See Sichos in English vol. 44, pgs 275-285).

Although not the ideal, the death of the sons of Aharon was the first example of a Jew giving up his life because of love for G-d - Kiddush HaShem.

This unbounded expression of love for HaShem gave the Jewish people the potential to sanctify G-d's Name - through life within this world - in all the generations that followed.

For this reason, this passage was chosen to introduce the portion describing the Yom Kippur service.

The sanctification of Hashem's Name by Aharon's sons generated the potential for Aharon and the subsequent High Priests to carry out the service of Yom Kippur.

Kedoshim contains the commandment to sanctify ourselves, a service that can be carried out because of the influence of the service of Aharon's sons.

The previous Rebbe eloquently expressed, how Mesiras Nefesh and self sacrifice does not mean that one has to literally give up one's life to fulfill this Mitzvah.

Nowadays, self sacrifice can mean an extra five minutes of learning at the end of a Shiur - Torah class, that was supposed to last an hour; it can mean adding a few coins every day to one's daily Tzedakah.

Self-acrifice can also mean loving a fellow Jew, a major Mitzvah in this weeks' Torah reading, who for some reason or other, one has a difficult time to love.

These seemingly minute, "going the extra mile" expressions of Mesiras Nefesh, is how one can practically carry out self sacrifice on a daily basis.

The enduring message of Achrei-Kedoshim, for all times and for all places, is that one is never satisfied with one's spiritual growth, but there is a constant drive and determination to go beyond the call of duty.

When doing so, one mirrors HaShem, and one becomes holy, because HaShem is holy - sanctifying oneself and the world around us.

Good Shabbos.
Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus

THE MOSHIACH WATCH: Pesach Sheni came about because Jews who were impure etc couldn't bring the first Pesach, the Paschal offering.

They asked Moshe למה נגרע, why should we miss out on this Mitzvah?

HaShem indeed responded that they can bring the paschal offering on the 14th of Iyar - Pesach Sheni.

This teaches us, that when something is lacking in our Yiddishkeit, we must speak up.

The Jewish people lack (today) the (physical) Bais HaMikdosh, and the revelation of the Divine Presence.

We must learn from the Jews who said למה נגרע - why should we miss out?

We too, must ask HaShem למה נגרע, why should we miss out from all the benefits that come with Moshiach and the Redemption?

Moshiach, NOW!

9 Iyar 5777