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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 1: "Da'beir el Aharon b'haalos'cho es ha'neiros" - Speak to Aharon when you cause the lights to ascend - The gemara Yoma 24b says that the kindling of the menorah is not a Mikdosh service and may be done by a non-Kohein. The Rambam in hilchos bi'as haMikdosh 9:7 rules like this as well. If so, why does the verse say that Moshe should relate this mitzvoh to Aharon, as it may be done by a Yisroel as well? The Tosfos Y'shonim and Ritv"o on the gemara deal with this.

An answer is offered by Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok haLevi Halishtok, the son of the Holy Admor of Ostrovtza. The Ponim Yofos writes that on this day of the dedication the menorah and its contents were defiled because the bodies of Nodov and Avihu were in the Mishkon. Liquid offerings that became defiled require a separate pyre for their disposal by fire (see Rambam hilchos issurei haMikdosh 6:5 and Lechem Mishneh ad loc.)

Although the burning should be done on the altar, burning it somewhere else is also acceptable. The oil in the menorah would now be lit and two halacha matters would be accomplished. First, the straightforward mitzvoh of kindling the menorah, which may be done by a non-Kohein. But at the same time its burning is disposing of defiled oil. A "kodshei kodoshim" item requires a Kohein to burn it (gemara M'iloh 10a). This is why this particular lighting of the menorah was specifically a Kohein's mitzvoh.

Ch. 9, v. 23: "Al pi Hashem yachanu v'al pi Hashem yiso'u" - By the word of Hashem shall they rest and by the word of Hashem shall they travel - The Holy Shal"oh derives from these words that when a person relates that he plans to travel, etc., he should always include in his words that this will happen "im yirtzeh Hashem."

The Holy Chofetz Chaim announced in his community that he planned to leave Radin and reside in Eretz Yisroel. As we all know, this was not realized. He told his close people that he feared that it was a punishment for not adding on "im yirtzeh Hashem," which he otherwise always did say. ("Vaatzas Hashem hee sokum.")

Ch. 10, v. 2: "Assei l'cho shtei chatzotzros v'hoyu l'cho l'mikra ho'eidoh" - Make for yourself two trumpets and they shall be for you to call the congregation - The gemara M'nochos 28a says that all the vessels Moshe fashioned were usable by him and also for later generations, except these trumpets, which were only to be used by him, but not by anyone else. The call for assembling the congregation is for doing Hashem's will, and this is immutable for all generations. However, the vessels, the mediums to be used to bring them together and bring the word of Hashem to the masses often changes from generation to generation. The leaders of the later generations have to create their own mediums. (Rabbi Yechezkeil Abramsky)

Ch. 10, v. 9: "V'chi sovo'u milchomoh b'artz'chem" - And when there will come a war in your land - A number of Israeli army heads came to the home of the Tchebiner Gaon Rabbi Dov Weidenfeld, in an attempt to convince him to give his approval to have Yeshivah students join the army, given the difficult security situation. He responded with a parable. A wagon loaded with a very heavy load started its trek up quite a high mountain. After a while the horses were straining and the wagon slowed down greatly. It finally came to the point that they could no longer pull the wagon upwards. The wagon driver descended from the wagon and removed some of the heavier parcels in the hope that with a somewhat lighter load the horses would be able to proceed upwards. This helped for but a short while and again traffic was at a standstill. He decided that he would now remove the heaviest items of all, the wheels, which were made of iron and had the greatest weight of all. Obviously, without the wheels the wagon could not be drawn even if it were much lighter. This is the situation with the security of the land. True it is a daunting task, akin to a heavy load. However, Torah students are the wheels that allow for the progress and functioning of the Jewish nation. Without them even a very light load of security needs will not be secured. (Ish L'rei'eihu)

Ch. 11, v. 4: "V'hosafsus asher b'kirbo hisavu taavoh" - And the collection of riffraff that was among them lusted a lusting - Rashi says that this refers to the "erev rav" who left Egypt with the bnei Yisroel. Only the "erev rav" would lust something that they didn't have. The bnei Yisroel, who daily recite "She'ossoh li kol tzorki" realize that Hashem will surely respond positively to this blessing. Thus they will surmise that if they don't have certain items it is not "tzorki," that which I need. Nevertheless, "Va'yoshuvu va'yivku gam bnei Yisroel." They repented and cried. This is because even when a person does not sin, but sees that another person does, it is a sign from heaven that he is weakening in his resolve regarding that matter. This is a message from above to fortify himself against falling through in that relam. This is why they repented. (Rabbi Naftoli Ropshitzer in Zera Kodesh)

Ch. 11, v. 6: "Bilti el hamon ei'nei'nu" - Only to manna are our eyes - The bnei Yisroel miraculously received the most wondrous, delicious, healthiest food, the manna, and it was delivered to them in the desert, where there was no other food option. Nevertheless, they complained about the manna.

The Ibn Ezra Ezra writes that the continuous supply of manna for approximately forty years was a miracle that had no equal. We might have a deeper insight into his words when we take note of the comment of the Sforno on the words in T'hilim 78:22,24, "Ki lo he'eminu vEilokim v'lo votchu bishu'oso, Va'yamter a'leihem mon le'echol." The Sforno writes, "Ki lo he'eminu vEilokim v'im kol zeh lo mona mei'hem hamon b'chol yom" - Notwithstanding that they did not have proper faith in Elokim, nevertheless He did not refrain from supplying then manna daily. This could well be the intention of the Ibn Ezra when he wrote that this miracle had no equal as it was continuous for about forty years, meaning that there were numerous times where the bnei Yisroel's behaviour was such that they might not have deserved such a powerful miracle, and nevertheless Hashem provided them their needs even then.

Ch. 11, v. 29: "Umi yi'tein kol am Hashem n'viim" - And wishfully who shall give that all the nation of Hashem would be prophets - The Holy Admor of Satmar zt"l extracted from these words in his pithy manner: "And who will be able to give (financial support) if ALL the nation of Hashem would be prophets (holy people who generate no income)?"

Ch. 12, v. 7,8: "Lo chein avdi Moshe b'chol beisi ne'emon hu, Peh el peh ada'beir bo" - Not so My servant Moshe in all My house he is trustworthy, Mouth to mouth I will speak through him - How do these two verses flow one into the other? The gemara Yoma 9b relates that whoever would speak with Reish Lokish in the street would be so trusted that a business matter would be given to him on trust without witnesses present. This means that anyone who would see that Reish Lokish was willing to discuss a matter with him would conclude that the person was exceedingly trustworthy or else Reish Lokish would not have talked to him.

This is the flow of our verses. Moshe is trustworthy in all Hashem's house. A proof for this is that Hashem speaks directly to him.

We can similarly understand, "Baavur yishma ho'om b'dabri imoch v'gam b'cho yaaminu l'olom" (Shmos 19:9). (Yalkut Ho'urim)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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