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Holy Bodies

Recently I was reading about a Jew who was veeeery far from his roots. He requested that when he dies his body should be cremated and the ashes should be placed in his favorite cigar box. And so it was. In contrast, when a Torah observant Jew is buried complete respect is accorded to his corpse. There is a prohibition called "nivul hames" [defiling the corpse]. Even though the person is dead and [apparently] feels nothing we nevertheless treat him with dignity. Why??? He is DEAD? Forget about him! Cremate him and put him in his favorite cigar box!!

The answer is very fundamental. The Torah teaches that not only are our souls holy but our bodies are as well. Guf Kadosh!!! This sanctity does not leave even after death.

The gemara relates [Menachos 43] that King David was in the bathhouse and was concerned that since he wasn't wearing tefillin or tzitzis he wasn't doing any mitzvos. Then he remembered that he had a bris milah and he felt much better. EXCUSE ME! You are in the shower King David. What are you worrying about mitzvos for. This is not the time or place! Not only that, but the mitzva of circumcising was done looooong ago. It is over! What does it mean now?

Rav Shlomo Volbe explained [Da'as Shlomo page 303]: King David was bothered. Is my BODY holy. The answer is - yes! The bris milah is on the body. A body is holy and almost all mitzvos are intended to elevate the body more and more. [The gemara says that a Jewish woman is considered as if she has a bris "isha ki'man di'mehalia dami". Women: You too are holy!] Eat cholent and kugel on Shabbos and fulfill a mitzva. Get married and live with your spouse and fulfill a mitzva. Live in a beautiful country [Israel] and fulfill a mitzva. That is the purpose of the Torah. Sanctify the body!

The pasuk says "Vi'anshei Kodesh Tihiyun Li" - You should be holy PEOPLE. The Kotzker Rebbe explained that Hashem is saying "I have enough angels up here. I want holy PEOPLE. Sanctify your BODIES. Eat with holiness, sleep with holiness, interact with others with holiness and work with holiness. Angels are purely spiritual beings. They are not the ultimate goal of creation. Humans are."

ANSHEI Kodesh!!!

Great week sweetest friends!!!!!!!!!!

Actually your friend is a lot better then his father the atheist he is a practicing reform Jew

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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