Dvar Torah Bo 5764

In this Portion we are given some of the laws of Chametz. The torah says: VELO YERA’E LECHA CHAMETZ VELO YERA’E LECHA SE’OR BECHOL GEVULECHA, “no Chametz nor leaven shall be seen in your possession in all your borders”. This command not only forbids the eating of Chametz but even owning it. That is why we clean the house of all Chametz and why we sell that which we do not want to throw away.

There is a famous story told about Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of the town of Berditzev. One day on Erev Pesach towards the evening when Chametz is already forbidden, he asked his Shamash to come with him. Outside in the market place he met a non-Jew and asked him quietly if he could get him some item that had to be smuggled into the country. The man answered without hesitation that he could, he could get him anything that the government had forbidden.

Then the Rabbi took the Shamash to the street where the Jews lived and he met a Jew who was going to the Mikva to purify himself before the holiday. He stopped him and asked him if he could get him some Chametz. “Chametz”, he cried, “how could you suspect that I have Chametz when it is almost Pesach and it is forbidden to possess any Chametz”.

Then the Rabbi looked up to heaven and said, “Hashem, look at your people the Jews. The government has so many police and inspectors to guard against smuggling and yet you can get any forbidden item you want. The Jews, on the other hand, have no police but when the Torah says something is forbidden they do not have a drop of it”.

This shows us that when a Jew believes in the Torah he needs no one to guard over him to keep it. He will be his own guarantee to keep it. We do not need any police to supervise us.

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