Achrei – Loving a Fellow Jew

By Shalom Olensky

 

This week in the Torah:

The High Priest performs the service of atonement, for the Jewish People, on Yom Kippur, in the HolyTemple.

In Mishnah and Halachah and in the present–day Yom Kippur Prayers:

A description of the great celebration the Jews made with the High Priest upon his arriving home at the completion of his duties.

The Rebbe asks:

Why the celebration?

One of the answers the Rebbe gives:

The purpose of the High Priest’s service on behalf of the whole nation must be brought back to effect each individual. This is represented by the emphasis on the High Priest’s return home – as an individual.

We must understand:

What exactly would be missing if the community’s atonement did not find expression in the life of each individual – as an individual?

Perhaps:

The truest unity is when it pervades diversity as well. Hence the unity of the Jews as a whole is greatest when it is felt even in the realm where Jews are diverse.

The lesson:

Love a fellow Jew not only for his equality to oneself but also for the unique gift only he provides humanity. This will also aid the coming of Moshiach Now!

(See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 32, Acharei)

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