The Height and the Depths by Mr. Baruch Speiser


דבר אל בני ישראל איש או אשה כי יעשו מכל חטאת האדם... “Speak to the children of Israel:  When a man or a woman commits any of the sins of mankind...”(5:6). 

This verse, along with many others in Torah, is read superficially — when man sins, he shall do the following prescribed measure to rectify it.

 How unfortunate it is that the implications of this verse and others (see Vayikra 4:2, “...Nefesh Ki Techetah Bishgagah...”) are completely overlooked.

 The verse clearly states the understanding that Hashem has of the human psyche.  It does not state, “if you sin,” rather, it states “when you sin...”  The profound application of this concept is designed not to humiliate us, but rather to remind us of the shortcomings of humankind.

 However, the understanding that man is bound to sin eventually is not the end-all, be-all difference between the great splendor of man in comparison with the rigid life of Seraphim and angels.  The gift of Bechira Chofsheet, free choice and self-driven will, is a double-edged sword.  While it is clear from the above verse that it is expected for man to stumble somewhere in his long journey in life, it is likewise expected for mankind to have his moments of glory and greatness.  In the same vein, just as it is inevitable that an individual will eventually come to sin, it is equally as fortuitous that his or her soul will transcend the body’s physical desires and accomplish a greater good of devout and pious nature. 

 Yet that is not necessarily the case.  As Hashem Himself explained to Noach, “...Ki Yetzer Lev Ha’adam Rah Mi’neurav...” (Bereishit 8:21), mankind is evil from its inception.  Where does the Chumash point man toward his aspect of godliness?  Furthermore, if man is sowed with seeds of evil and is expected to sin, then how can it be that he was created in the image of G-d?  Is it possible, Chalilah Vechas, that we imply that our darker natures are a reflection of our Almighty Creator?

 In light of such a heavy and intense question, the answer can be found in the nature of Parshat Naso.  It is a lengthy portion that steps from the lows of the wayward woman to the heights of Nezirut and Birkat Kohanim.  Even if Hashem could be ascribed with human attributes, He is not evil.  He is rather, as if to say, a grandiose magnification of the deviance from human logic. 

 Hashem is completely incomprehensible in human terms, but even more so, it is beyond the ability to comprehend why He created the world.  Hashem does not need us.  He is unique in His uniqueness, and does not require the existence of the human race to reflect upon it.  Rather, it was He who introduced this world, a world that has a dichotomy in existence between the path of good (which, ultimately, is rational, due to the great reward which accompanies it), and the path of evil (which is completely illogical in sight of the punishment that accompanies it).

 Hence, it is clear now.  It is necessary for man to recognize that evil was created in mankind alone.  It is not a part of Hashem’s nature, if such were possible to say.  The existence of evil is due only to the fact that man is destined to do it.  It is this destiny, the fact that man is expected to accomplish evil, which makes man so great.  It is the rebound, the recoil, and the uprising from sin that makes man so great.  He is overcoming the illogical portions of his entity and rising to the occasion, demonstrating that he, too, can perform the dichotomous nature of Hashem.  Just as the world’s inception started from the illogical and can achieve great spiritual heights, so too mankind has the ability to overcome his own internal natures. 

 Hence, the Chumash comes to remind us:  “When you sin...”  And Hashem will smile when you correct your ways and demonstrate the power of man over angels - the ability to carry the world from its state of chaos to higher order.

The Ultimate Beracha in the Ultimate Language by Oren Levy

The Case of the Substitute Chatan by Yakir Schechter