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What is the Value?

By: Rabbi Rafi Rosenblum

In Parshas Bechukosi, we read about the brachos that Hashem will send us if we keep the Torah, and about the klalos, chas v’shalom, that Hashem will send if we don’t. The Torah then records the laws of arachin. If a person wants to donate his or her value, or the value of someone else, to the Beis Hamikdash, they can accept upon themselves their arech. Depending on how old they are, and if they are a man or a woman, they would then need to give a set amount to the Beis Hamikdash. For example, a man from the age of 20-60 would need to give 50 shekalim. I once saw a beautiful idea why these laws follow the curses that Hashem says will come if we don’t follow the Torah. A lot of times, a person will be brought to sin because of a lack of understanding how special they are. They might think that they have no value, so therefore, their actions aren’t significant. To remind us just how special we are to Hashem, the Torah tells us the laws of arachin, with the message being – we all have tremendous, inherent value to Hashem. If we remember this, we won’t fall into the yetzer hara’s trap.

I would just like to add one idea. In addition to the laws of arachin, there is also a concept of nedarim. A person can take a neder to give his value to the Beis Hamikdash. In such a case, the person wouldn’t give a set amount; they would actually give their value (as determined by how much they would get on the slave market). Rav Moshe Feinstein comments on this and says that we see that while everyone has a set arech, it is possible for us to elevate ourselves to a higher value. As important as it is to remember that we have inherent value, it is equally as important not to become complacent. We always should be looking for ways to add to our value by continuing to push ourselves to higher and higher levels. As we prepare for kabalas haTorah, let’s try to take our inherent values and raise them to a higher level by adding just a bit to our avodas Hashem. I hope everyone has a fabulous Shabbos and we should all be zocheh to be able to bring our arachin and our nedarim to the Beis Hamikdash, bimhaira b’yameinu, amen.