subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM


Ch. 21, v. 1: "Emor v'omarto" - Say and you shall say - Rashi, quoting Toras Kohanim explains that the double expression conveys the concept that the adults are warned to warn the children, "L'hazhir hagdolim al haktanim." If the intention is simply that the adults are held responsible to warn the minors, should not the T.K. have expressed itself with, "Shehagdolim yazhiru haktanim." "L'hazhir hagdolim" seems to indicate that the adults themselves are being warned, rather than simply being held responsible to teach the minors.

We know that it is insufficient to just TELL our children what is right and what is wrong. We make a much bigger impact with our behaviour than our lectures and admonitions. A chosid once came to the Holy Kotzker with a kvittel that contained the request that the Holy Admor pray for the petitioner's son to grow up a G-d fearing scholar. The Holy Rebbe responded that if this was all the effort the father was expending towards this end his son would likely follow in his steps and submit a kvittel to his Rebbe for the same for the next generation. If however, his son would see his father studying Torah with enthusiasm, diligence, and great effort he would follow suit.

This is an insight into, "V'chol ho'om ro'im es hakolos" by the giving of the Torah. The nation SAW in its homes afterwards the actualization of all the lofty levels that were spoken at Mount Sinai.

This is the intention of the T.K. The adults are warned to act in a befitting manner that their lessons and warnings to the next generations should be effective. (Rabbi S.Z. Horowitz - Beis Aharon)

Ch. 22, v. 32: "V'lo s'chal'lu es sheim kodshi v'nikdashti b'soch bnei Yisroel" - And you shall not desecrate My Holy Name and I shall become sanctified within the bnei Yisroel - On certain days of Yomim Tovim we read starting from verse 26, "Va'y'dabeir, Shor o chesev o eiz." Since the intention is to relate the Yomim Tovim, which actually begin from either 23:1 or 23:4, why do we begin the reading from 22:26?

In 22:32 we have the verse "V'lo s'chal'lu es sheim kodshi v'nikdashti b'soch bnei Yisroel." When it is not Yom Tov we go about our daily lives in specific limited locations, i.e. workplace, school, Beis Medrash, Beis Yaakov, etc. Although it is not a solitude location, nevertheless it usually has a set amount of people to whom we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. When it comes to Yomim Tovim, and there is much time off from our daily grind, we often find ourselves in locations and situations where others who do not usually see us, now do. It is therefore of the utmost of importance that we preface the Yom tov reading with the words of our verse to exhort everyone to sanctify Hashem and not ch"v to desecrate His Holy Name through our behaviour in the public arena. (n.l.)

Ch. 23, v. 15: "Usfartem lochem" - And you shall count for yourselves - Rabbi Akiva Eiger's uncle, Rabbi Zev Eiger wrote him a letter with a question that had made the rounds in his community. During the days of "sfiras ho'omer" someone forgot to count a day and it was already the following day. However, he remembered that he had written a letter to someone and in the heading he added to the date that it was so and so many days to the omer, as is the custom. The question was if the writing was a sufficient manner through which to have it considered as if he had actually counted the omer. Rabbi Zev wrote his nephew that he believed he had a resolution for this query based on the gemara Megiloh 18b. the gemara says that he who is writing a megilas Esther and has had intention to fulfill the mitzvoh does indeed fulfill it, but if not, he has not. The gemara goes on to explain that the scenario is one of a person having a complete megiloh in front of himself from which he was transcribing another one, all the while verbalizing the words he is transcribing. Now if writing is considered verbalizing, why is it necessary for the gemara to give a scenario of having a megiloh in front of himself and reading from it? Let it suffice that he is writing a megiloh by heart. Once he has written the whole megiloh it is as if he read the whole thing. We see from this that writing is not enough.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (see his response #29) rebutted this proof. He said that saying the words of a megiloh is not sufficient. It has to be read from a complete megiloh. We might possibly say that writing is equivalent to reading, but reading as one writes is not valid, as it is from an incomplete megiloh. "Sefiras ho'omer" has no such requirement, so we might still be able to equate writing to verbalizing.

Ch. 23, v. 15: "Mimochoras haShabbos" - From the day after the day of rest - The gemara M'nochos 66a says that this means from the day after the first day of Pesach. The Meshech Chochmoh has six explanations for the first day of Pesach being expressed as "Shabbos" in our verse.

Attention has to be given to an earlier verse, 23:11, where it similarly says, "Mimochoras haShabbos y'ni'fenu haKohein."

Ch. 23, v. 16: "Tis'p'ru chamishim yom" - Shall you count fifty days - We only count 49 days and Rashi offers one way of explaining our verse so that it does not contradict the reality of only counting 49 days. We find a similar phenomenon with administering 39 lashes, where to Torah clearly states "arbo'im ya'kenu," and it similarly means one less.

The Rebbe Reb Bunim explains that when lashes are administered the sinner might have no remorse or contrition, and simply feel that since he has gone through the painful and humiliating experience of being publicly lashed he is totally cleansed. The Torah therefore expresses itself with "Arbo'im" so that he should feel that he has not received the full 40, and thus he will find it in his heart to also repent.

We might similarly offer here, where the counting towards the date of the giving of the Torah is a time of preparation and spiritual elevation, that a person might feel that after 49 days of this spiritual endevour he has reached the pinnacle of sanctity. The Torah therefore expresses itself with 50, and not 49, to teach a similar lesson. (n.l.)

Ch. 24, v. 10: "Va'yeitzei ben ishoh Yis'r'eilis" - And a son of a women who was a bas Yisroel went out - Among numerous explanations, Rashi cites that of Rabbi Brechioh, that this man "went away" from the previous parsha of "lechem haponim." Upon hearing that the showbread was baked and then left for over a week until it was consumed by the Kohanim he disparaged the show bread, saying that it is most inappropriate for the King's bread to be served cold and stale. This led to his blaspheming.

The verse in Shmuel 1:21:7 says, "Lechem cham b'yom hilokcho." We derive from this that the showbread, although having been on the Shulchon for a week was as fresh as when it was baked, actually having visible steam escape from it. If so, how could this person deride the bread when the freshness was visible?

The name "lechem haponim" means more than that its shape was one of many facets. It also indicates that the bread reflected the FACE, the attitude, of its viewer, akin to, "K'mayim haponiml'fonim" (Mishlei 27:19). If one views these holy objects with a warmth and enthusiasm, he sees the steam rising from the bread. One who has a harsh cold attitude sees stale week-old bread in front of him. (Imrei Emes)



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

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel