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Parsha Mitzvot: Re’ei: Mitzvah 439 – Concept 344

“However, in all your soul’s desire you may slaughter and eat meat, according to the blessing that God, your Lord, will have given you in all your cities; the contaminated one and the pure one may eat it, like the deer and the hart.” (Deuteronomy 12:15) We are commanded to redeem dedicated animals that have become disqualified. (Rambam – Hilchot Issurei Mizbei’ach – Restrictions Concerning Sacrifices)

Although a contaminated person is forbidden to touch the flesh of a consecrated animal, the prohibition disappears with the redemption. He may eat from the same plate as a ritually clean person, even though he will contaminate the flesh and his companion. (Rashi)

One must learn how to elevate even the impure to the point when it can be on the same level, or plate, as the holy and pure. (Rabbi Yisrael Tchortkover – Ginzei Yisrael)

This Mitzvah/Concept addresses a common concern: “How should we deal with Spiritual failures?” People often feel that they achieved great heights on Yom Kippur only to fall soon afterward. Some of us have extended periods of powerful prayer and are devastated when we cannot maintain the intensity. This Mitzvah/Concept teaches us that the holy which became impure should be redeemed, not to achieve its previous level, but to not remain a negative in its “ruined” state and to use it as we would the mundane.

The person who can redeem such lost experiences will achieve the level described by the Tchortkover, the ability to elevate the impure to the point of making it holy.

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