Thursday, March 20, 2008

Elevating Thought

(Picture courtesy of

וְהַכֹּהֵן--הַמַּקְרִיב, אֶת-עֹלַת אִישׁ: עוֹר הָעֹלָה אֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיב, לַכֹּהֵן לוֹ יִהְיֶה

"And the kohen who offers a person's olah-offering - the hide of the olah-offering that he offered, to that kohen, his shall it be." (Vayikra 7:8)

Degel Machaneh Ephraim, Parshas Tzav:

As a sefer Torah has a mantle, a person's thoughts also have a garment to cover them. I heard from my grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, that each of a person's thoughts contain a complete world. After a person hears words of mussar from a tzaddik, takes them to heart, and acts on them by improving himself, his bad thoughts turn to good thoughts. When the Torah says that the kohen offers a person's olah-offering, this means that the kohen (i.e. the tzaddik) extracts all of the bad thoughts and elevates the good thoughts by bringing them to Hashem. The bad thoughts that initially adhered to the person's good thoughts are considered to be the hide of the olah-offering.


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