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Bechukotai: The Ropshitzer: A Higher Level of Mitzvah

The 11th of  Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, author of Ayalah Sheluchah and Zera Kodesh, (1760-1827). When R’ Naftali decided to join the chassidic movement he chose Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk as his mentor. He subsequently became a dedicated chasid of the Chozeh of Lublin, the Maggid of Koznitz, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rymanov. Foremost among his talmidim is Rav Chaim of Sanz. His son, Rav Yaakov, was the author of the sefer Zerah Yaakov.


“If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments (Vayikra 26:3).” Even those commandments, Mitzvot, which we believe we understand, we must fulfill because God commanded us, not because we understand or agree, but as a “Chok,” a decree of the King, Blessed be He. (Zerah Kodesh)

We must, of course, try to understand the lessons of each Mitzvah, but our objective should be to observe each Mitzvah simply because God desires it. This challenge increases as we understand increasingly deep levels of Torah and Mitzvot, for we begin to relate with our intellect. We must therefore constantly strive to observe with our entire being, not just our intellect, but as a servant obeys the King.

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