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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 1: "B'haalos'cho es ha'neiros" - When you raise the flames of the lights - This was a command to Aharon. This is quite puzzling, as the gemara Yoma 24b says that the kindling of the menorah lights is not a service of the Beis Hamikdosh, and hence does not require a Kohein to do it (see Rambam hilchos bi'as mikdosh 9:7). This question is raised by Tosfos Y'shonim ad loc.

The Ponim Yofos notes that on the day of the command to Aharon to kindle the menorah lights the oil was defiled, as Nodov and Avihu had died in the Mikdosh.

Sanctified liquids that become defiled are to be burned in their own fire on the altar, and this is a mitzvoh of "sreifas kodoshim," disposal of sanctified liquids by burning (see Rambam hilchos issurei mizbei'ach 6:5 and the comments of the Lechem Mishneh). Thus, when the oil would be kindled there would be a two-fold accomplishment, the basic mitzvoh of lighting the menorah, and in this circumstance, the disposal of invalid sanctified liquids through burning. This second aspect requires a Kohein as stated in the gemara M'iloh 10a, which says that this is true when the item being burned is "kodshei kodoshim," which is the case with the menorah oil. (Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok haLevi Halashtok, the son of the Holy Admor of Ostrovtza)

There seem to be issues that might be contested. Is satisfactory to burn disqualified kodoshim liquids in the menorah, when they should really be burned on the altar? As well, the oil is not being burned in a "maarochoh," wood fuel, but rather, it is its own fuel.

Ch. 8, v. 1: "B'haalos'cho es ha'neiros" - When you raise the flames of the lights - Rashi says that when Aharon saw the tribal leaders donating sacrifices and offerings for the dedication of the Mishkon and he had not done so, he experienced mental anguish. Hashem responded that his act would be dearer to Hashem than theirs. The Ramban explains that one aspect of Hashem's consolation to Aharon was that there would also be a kindling of Chanukah lights, which would take place even after there would be no Beis Hamikdosh.

Aharon took note, not only of their donating offerings, but also of the accumulative affect it had. The Torah at the end of the previous parsha totals their offerings. We can multiply by twelve on our own, so what purpose does the Torah's totaling serve? It teaches us that as more and more was offered there was an accumulative positive effect. The lighting of the Chanukah menoros in future generations likewise served as a consolation to Aharon, as these was the aspect of mehadrin and mehadrin min hamhadrin, accumulative increases, just as by the dedication of the Mishkon. (n.l.)

Ch. 8, v. 16: "Ki n'sunim n'sunim heimoh li mitoch bnei Yisroel" - Because they are given are given to Me from among the bnei Yisroel - The intention of the double "n'sunim" is that they are given over to Hashem's service in the Beis Hamikdosh, and they are also "mitoch bnei Yisroel," that the bnei Yisroel are the recipients of tithing given to them to sustain them so that they may function in My service. (Sforno)

Ch. 11, v. 4,5: "Va'yomru mi yaachi'leinu bossor, Zocharnu es hadogoh asher nochal b'Mitrayim chinom" - And they said who will feed us meat, We remember the fish that we would eat in Egypt gratis - Their request to eat meat and then their reminiscing over the fish they once ate sees to be a non sequitur. Secondly, why couldn't they simply wish the manna into tasting like meat?

They could wish the manna into tasting like anything save a few vegetables. However, they were unable to wish the manna into tasting like something they never tasted. The taste of meat that was properly ritually slaughtered and salted tastes different from "n'veiloh" or "treifoh." They thus said that although they could recreate the experience of eating fish, something that they actually enjoyed in Egypt, as there is no difference between halachic fish preparation before or after the giving of the Torah, but they could not imagine the taste of kosher meat. (Kedushas Levi)

Ch. 11, v. 6: "V'atoh nafsheinu y'veishoh ein kol bilti el hamon eineinu" - And now our soul is dry there is nothing only to manna are our eyes - Since they were unhappy with manna being their only food, why did they say that their SOUL was dry? They should have said that their BODY was dry. In Vayikra 23:27 the verse says, "V'inisem es nafshoseichem." On Yom Kippur the bnei Yisroel were commanded to pain their souls. The Holy Zohar similarly asks why the verse doesn't say that they should pain their BODIES. He answers that since eating and drinking are prohibited on Yom Kippur people will be lacking many brochos that they would have otherwise recited had they been permitted t eat and drink.

This is the intention here in our verse. Had the bnei Yisroel received a normal variety of foods they would have recited numerous brochos. Having only manna available limited them to just one brochoh (or none) before and after the manna meals. (Tchebiner Rov)

Ch. 11, v. 8: "Shotu ho'om v'loktu" - The people spread out and they collected - The Holy Zohar translates "shotu" as "they acted foolishly." They had no need to put in so much effort to collect their manna. A person's livelihood comes to him without having to exert extreme effort.

The story is told of the shidduch of the Mahara"l of Prague. He became engaged to the daughter of a wealthy person when he was 15 years old. They agreed that he would continue to learn unhindered for a number of years and then enter into marriage and be supported so that he could continue his studies. In the interim his future father-in-law lost his money and became destitute. He notified the Mahara"l that he released him from any obligations, as he could no longer support him. The Mahara"l responded that he was not going to drop the shidduch, but the kalloh is free to pursue another marriage partner. She likewise said that she would wait. The kalloh opened a "sidewalk" baked-goods shop to help out her family. They remained as destitute as before. Ten years passed and the Mahara"l waited. A war ensued and soldiers entered their city and took over everything. One day a highly placed soldier came by and with his lancet he speared the largest bread in her display. She cried to him to return it as she was the lone support for her elderly parents. He told her he had no money to give her, but since he was sitting on two saddles, one atop the other, he would give her one of them. Her got off his horse and lifted a saddle and tossed it to the ground and rode off. The weight of the saddle smashing against the ground ripped open a pouch on its side, and to her surprise gold coins started pouring out. She brought this home and her father. He immediately notified the Mahara"l and their wedding took place shortly thereafter.

The Mahara"l attributed the turn of events to the kalloh's total devotion to marrying a Torah Scholar and belief in Hashem's providing. (Niflo'os HaMahara"l)

Ch. 12, v. 13: "Keil noh r'foh noh loh" - Hashem please heal her now - In our thrice daily weekday "amidoh" we entreat Hashem for three matters where we ask for "shleimoh," complete. They are, "teshuvoh shleimoh, geuloh shleimoh," and "r'fuoh shleimoh." What is the intention of "shleimoh," complete, in these three instances? Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth answers that they all mean the same thing. We find in hilchos teshuvoh 2:2 that the Rambam writes that the repentant must desist from sinning, not do it again, and the commitment to this is so strong that Hashem, Who knows the hidden recesses of the heart can testify that the level of commitment is such that the person would not ever commit this sin again.

Similarly, we pray for "r'fuoh shleimoh," that the illness should never return again, and for "geuloh shleimoh," that exile will never occur again.

It is interesting to note that the Rambam expresses complete repentance as "teshuvoh g'muroh."



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

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