by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS ACHAREI MOSE 5768 BS"D
Ch. 16, v. 1: "Acharei mose shnei bnei Aharon" - After the death of the two sons of Aharon - The medrash says that when Iyov saw the death of two sons of Aharon he uttered the words, "Af l'zose yecherad libi" (Iyov 37:1). What specific concern did Iyov have with the death of Aharon's two sons? The gemara Sotoh 11a relates that Paroh had three advisors with whom he discussed the "Jewish problem," Bilom, Iyov, and Yisro. Bilom offered Paroh the final solution mentioned in the Torah. Upon hearing this, Iyov kept quiet, while Yisro ran away from the meeting. Iyov thought that he would not be punished for his remaining still, as after all, he himself said nothing negative, nor agreed to it. The gemara Sanhedrin 52a says that Nodov and Avihu were walking and having a discussion. Nodov told Avihu that he was tired of having these two old men, Moshe and Aharon, as the bnei Yisroel's leaders. "When will they pass on so that we can lead the generation?" Hashem responded, "Let us see who will bury whom." It is understandable that Nodov would die after such a remark, but why punish Avihu, who said nothing? We can derive from this that remaining mute, but agreeing by abstention, is also punished severely. This brought fright into Iyov's heart. Indeed, he was punished with many sufferings. (Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim)
Ch. 16, v. 2: "V'al yovo v'chol eis el hakodesh" - And he may not come whenever to the Sanctity - Entering a most hallow area is fraught with the danger of being judged very stringently. "Why is this person who has this and this flaw, in such a holy location?" It is only on Yom Kippur, when the soton's accusing mouth is stopped up, that the Kohein Godol may enter the Holy of Holies to process the incense offering. (Rabbi Chaim Vi'tal in Eitz Hadaas Tov)
Ch. 16, v. 4: "K'so'nes bad kodesh yilbosh umich'n'sei bad yi'h'yu al b'soro" - A holy tunic of linen he shall don and pants of linen shall be on his flesh - The gemara Sanhedrin 49b says that although the tunic is mentioned earlier, the pants should be placed on the Kohein Godol's body first, as our verse says that the pants should be against his flesh. If the tunic were to be donned first, the pants would not be directly against his body. Why then is the tunic mentioned first The N'tzi"v says that the tunic is holier. This is because it covers more of the Kohein's body. This is akin to a Sefer Torah being holier than tefillin parshios, and tefillin parshios being holier than mezuzoh parshios. The basis for this is simply that the one has more paragraphs in it than the next.
(It would follow that one not place a mezuzoh on a tefillin shel yad or shel rosh. However, if the parshios of the shel rosh tefillin are outside their housing, and thus are single parshios, a mezuzoh, which contains two parshios, may be placed upon a single tefillin parsha.)
Ch. 16, v. 21: "V'shilach b'yad ish iti hamidboroh" - And he should send it with a timely prepared man to the wilderness - In the "yotzros" of Yom Kippur, where the sending of the "so'ir lo'azo'zeil" is discussed, the common text is, "Shogru b'yad iti midbar az." Why is the word "ish" left out? The gemara Yoma says that "ish" teaches us that any person, even a non-Kohein may walk the scapegoat to the wildernees. However, the Kohanim instituted that only a Kohein do it. Since the practice was to only use a Kohein, "ish" is left out. (Rabbi Shlomo Gantzfried in Aperion)
Ch. 16, v. 23: "Ufoshat es bigdei habod asher lovash b'vo'o el hakodesh v'hinichom shom" - And he shall remove the linen garments in which he was dressed when he comes into the holy location and he shall leave them there - The Chasam Sofer interprets these words as follows: The Kohein Godol has just gone through a seven day separation period, when he has elevated himself spiritually. He has become somewhat disconnected from the nation. Although this is required for his unique services on Yom Kippur, now that he has completed this service, he shall remove the clothing of separation ("bod" = "l'vod), and leave this type of behaviour behind, and once again become connected to his nation.
Ch. 17, v. 13: "V'shofach es domo v'chisohu be'ofor" - And he will spill its blood and he shall cover it with sand - Why does the halacha of "kisuy hadam" only apply to animals of the wild and birds? Possibly this is to improve our characters. Birds continually come into people's produce fields and yards and snatch food. Animals of the wild sometimes give a person quite a scare when they are in the forest. A person who slaughters either a non-domesticated animal or a bird and leaves its blood open for all to view might effect a negative response. One might see it and feel quite pleased that the animal or bird is dead, as it causes him aggravation. By covering it, out of sight, out of mind. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 18, v. 5: "Ushmartem es chukosai" - And you shall safeguard My statutes - The verse in T'hilim 119:155 says, "Rochoke mei'r'sho'im y'shuoh ki chu'kecho lo doroshu," distanced from the evil is salvation because Your statutes they have not pursued. The Holy Chozeh of Lublin explains as follows: "Ezra" means help through the intermediary of a person, while "y'shu'oh" means help directly through Hashem. Supernatural salvation only comes to one who fulfills Hashem's statutes. Just as he does them although he does not understand them, so too, miracle take place for him, although they are beyond our understanding. A rosho only believes in the laws of nature and does not go beyond them. He likewise will not fulfill any statutes, as he only follows what he comprehends. Hashem responds in kind and sends him no "y'shu'os."
Ch. 18, v. 5: "Asher yaa'seh osom ho'odom vochai bo'hem" - That the person shall do them and live through them - Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld was asked why the Mahari"l writes that it is inappropriate to place an "eiruv t'chumim" to allow one to walk beyond the 2,000 cubits surrounding his home, to allow him to reach a minyan on Shabbos. This is based on the ruling that an "eiruv t'chumim" should only be used to enable the fulfillment of a significant mitzvoh. The question was, "Isn't prayer with a minyan a most important mitzvoh? We find in the gemara Brochos that Rabbi Eliezer emancipated his slave Tuvi to make him a full-fledged Jew to complete a minyan for prayer."
Rabbi Yoseif Chaim answered that the intention of the Mahari"l is not that it is a trivial mitzvoh, but rather, that in this given situation it is secondary to another consideration. It is logical to assume that one who has no minyan within the basic 2,000 cubit allowance does not live among bnei Yisroel, as he would likely have a minyan nearby. If he were to leave his family and walk a distance, he would be leaving the family in a compromised position, open to the whims of the neighbouring non-Jews. There is an element of danger in this. The Torah says, "vochai bo'hem." Therefore it over-rides the permission to make an "eiruv" to enable one to pray with a minyan.
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