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Parsha Mitzvot: Acharei Mot: Mitzvah 184 – Concept 400

“With this shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary, within the curtain, in front of the Cover that is upon the Ark, so that he shall not die; for in a cloud will I appear upon the Ark-cover (Vayikra 16:3).” We are commanded to follow the procedure of Yom Kippur in the sequence prescribed in Acharei Mot; the offerings, confessions, sending the scapegoat, etc (Rambam, Hilchot Avodat Yom haKippurim – The Laws of the Yom Kippur Service).


The midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 21:5) teaches: This is what is meant in the verse, “For through wise strategies, you can wage war for your benefit; and salvation is in abundant counsel (Proverbs 24:6).” Rabbi Natan and Rabbi Acha said in the name of Rabbi Simone, “If you made bundles of sins, make corresponding bundles of Mitzvot!” If you sinned with, “haughty eyes (Proverbs 6:17),” use, “Let them be Tefillin between your eyes (Devarim 6:8).” If you sinned with, “a false tongue (Proverbs 6:17),” use, “Teach them to your children to discuss them (Devarim 11:19).” If you have, “hands spilling innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17),” use, “Bind them as a sign on your hand (Devarim 6:8).” “A heart plotting iniquitous thoughts (Proverbs 6:18), use, “And these words shall be on your heart (Devarim 6:6).” “Feet hastening to run to evil (Proverbs 6:18),” run after the Mitzvah of circumcision which is between the thighs. “”A false witness spouting lies (Proverbs 6:19),” “You are My witnesses, says God (Isaiah 43:12).” “One who stirs up strife among brothers (Proverbs 6:19),” “Search after peace and pursue it (Psalms 34:15).”

The Midrash is playing on the word, “Tachbulot,” by reading it as, “Chavilot,” or, bundles,  but how does this relate to strategies of war?

The Evil Inclination does not only fight to lead us to sin, he strives to prevent us from properly fulfilling Mitzvot. His primary strategy is to convince us that we have sinned so much that our Mitzvot are meaningless. Therefore, the best strategy is to make “Bundles of Mitzvot,” so we can believe that our good deeds matter.

This is the essence of the Service of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur when he enters the Holy of Holies with “Bundles of Mitzvot”: “Bizot,” “Zot” is used in the context of Torah, Milah, Shabbat, Jerusalem, the Twelve Tribes, Yehudah, Yisrael, Terumah, and Ma’aser (Vayikra Rabbah 21:6)

We can prepare ourselves for battle with the Evil Inclination, strategize, by creating “Bundles of Mitzvot,” that are so huge, they can gain us access into the Holy of Holies.

This is also the meaning of why Dayeinu concludes with, “He built for us the House of Choice to atone for our sins,” meaning to offer us countless opportunities to create Bundles of Holy Mitzvot, so we enter the Holiest realms. (Belzer Rebbe)

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