Shemini: Only the Humble Can Destroy the Chaya
The 14th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Menashe (ben Shlomo Zalman) Frankel of Lizhensk (1903-1965). Born in Yadlowa in eastern Galicia, he married the daughter of the Rav of Lizhensk and remained in Lizhensk. He was elected Dayan, and when his father-in-law was niftar in 1938, he became Rav of the city. Lizhensk was one of the first cities to fall to the Nazis in 1939. Rav Menashe escaped, but was sent to Siberia, then to Uzbekistan (Buchara). He settled in New York in 1948 and founded his own congregation, Ateres Shlomo.
” Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: These are the creatures, Chaya, that you may eat from among the all the animals, beheima, that are upon the earth (Vayikra 11:2).” The “eating” mentioned in this verse describes the destruction of the enemies of Israel who are compared to the Chaya, the beast that tears apart its enemies.
“These are the creatures, Chaya, that you may eat,” how?
By perfecting the attribute of humility, symbolized in this verse by the, animal, the beheima, meaning the one who has so much humility that he perceives himself as no more than a beheima.