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Leviticus 12:2 – Two Pockets in Life

28 Nissan 5783 – 19 april 2023

“If a woman will conceive and give birth to a boy…”

This chapter begins by discussing various laws pertaining to the birth of human beings. The previous Torah portion concluded with laws about animals. Rashi, in his commentary to this verse, says that this order follows the sequence of the creation of the world in the first chapter of Genesis where animals were created before humans.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 38a) provides one possible reason for this. In case a person ever grows arrogant, he should remember that the gnat was created before he was.

Of course, there is another way of viewing man’s creation after all else was created – to teach us that we are the crown of creation!

Indeed, it is necessary to simultaneously contemplate both of these perspectives.

R’ Simcha Bunim of P’shischa used to teach that a person needs two pockets in life. In one pocket, there should be a slip of paper quoting Abraham: I am but dust and ashes! (Genesis 18:27). But the other pocket needs to have a note quoting the Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a) that: The entire world was created for me!

By Rabbi Michael Skobac

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