13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
 
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The Impostor    

The Impostor



Parshat Shmini: The swine's administering angel had a terrible complaint in the Heavenly Court: why do his clients receive such bad press? Why are they discriminated against?

 



"…because he has a split hoof but he doesn't chew his cud." (Leviticus11:7).

 

Esau's administering angel, known as the “Samech-Mem”, demanded a hearing at the Heavenly throne. The Samech-Mem had a bitter complaint about one of his clients, the pig, who was also under his patronage. “Master of the World, Heavenly discrimination is an utter disgrace. My client is not the only non-kosher animal in the Torah. Yet, he is the brunt of every form of disparagement....”

 

Michael, Israel's heavenly defending angel, interjected, “Samech-Mem, it was your man Antiochus who defiled the Holy Temple with swine-blood sacrifices. You dare open your mouth?”

 

“Michael,” the Samech-Mem shot back, “shall we reiterate Israel's sins that led up to that?”

 

“That's irrelevant,” Michael exclaimed. “Besides, the Maccabees atoned for all those sins...” The Heavenly Court was in an uproar, with back-bencher Dark-Side accusing angels and holy-side defending angels yelling each other, with bursts of fire being thrown back and forth in the courtroom.

 

Suddenly, the Almighty's holy gavel banged down, piercing a hole in seven horizons and sounding like a hydrogen-bomb explosion. The Heavenly Courtroom became absolutely silent...

 

The Almighty summoned the Chief Archiving Angel who appeared in court with a thick dossier. With both the dark-side and the holy-side angels listening intently, the Chief Archiving Angel began reading the names and describing the annals of a long list of false prophets and rabbinical leaders who led the Jewish People astray and distanced them from Hashem rather than bringing them closer to Hashem. As a result of these false leaders, the true tzaddikim of the generation – from the time of Jeremiah the Prophet to the time of Rebbe Nachman – were incarcerated and persecuted in the worst manner.

 

When the Chief Archiving Angel completed his testimony, the Samech-Mem was given permission to speak. “Master of the World, I respectfully submit that the Chief Archiving Angel's testimony is irrelevant to this case, and is no way a justification for the disgrace and discrimination that my clients the pigs must withstand every single day. I demand an immediate change in their status and at least the same privileges of dignity that horses and camels receive.”

 

Michael received the privilege of rebuttal. The courtroom was as tense as a bolt of lightning the moment before it was given permission to strike...

 

“Master of the World, the Chief Archiving Angel's testimony was relevant to this case down to the last letter. The false prophets and the false rabbinical leaders are all identical to the pig. In Your holy Torah, we see two stipulations for an animal to be kosher – it must have split hooves and it must ruminate. Many species, such as dogs and bears, have neither of these two characteristics: they don't have hooves at all, but paws, and they don't chew their cud like cows and sheep do. Many other species, like the horses and camels, have one of the two kosher characteristics: they chew their cud but they don't have split hooves...”

 

“Aha,” yelled the Samech-Mem out of order, interrupting Michael. “You are making my case, Michael. My client has one kosher characteristic, just like the horses and the camels – he deserves at least equal privileges!”

 

“Absolutely wrong,” retorted Michael. “Whereas ruminating is an internal characteristic, depending on the type of stomach the animal has, the split hoof is an external characteristic. The horses and camels have the internal kosher characteristic, but they lack the external kosher characteristic. Your clients the swine are the only specie who are internally non-kosher yet possess the external characteristic of the split hoof and flaunt it as well. The false prophets and false rabbinical leaders do the same exact thing: internally, they are non-kosher – self-serving liars who neither love Hashem nor fear Him. They have distanced people from teshuva. They have lied to people, telling them that they need not fulfill the mitzvoth of Torah, claiming that they are outdated or irrelevant, Heaven forbid. Were it not for their task of testing the faith of the Jewish People, they would have no right to exist!”

 

As expected, Michael won the case and to this day, the swine remain an anathema to the Jewish People. Those false rabbinical leaders, who don the trappings and play the game as if they are truly holy, are assured to meet the ultimate bitter fate of Heavenly condemnation, suitable for a pig.

 

It's our job to search for and spread the light of the true tzaddik. When we do, then people won't follow the false leaders and their dazzling but false light. May we all be “kosher” people and may we merit truly “kosher” leaders, amen!

 

 

* * *

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