by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS SHABBOS SHUVOH - PARSHAS HAAZINU -YOM TOV SELECTIONS YOM KIPPUR 5761 BS"D
L'ILUY NISHMAS OVI MORI R' CHAIM B"R SIMCHOH Z"L HK"M
Ch. 32, v. 6: "Ha'lo hu ovicho KO'NECHO" - Rashi offers a few interpretations of the word KO'NECHO:
1) He has purchased you. (Kinyan)
2) He has placed you into the safety nest of boulders. (Kein)
3) He has rectified you with all manners of improvements. (Tikun)
The Moshav Z'keinim asks according to the translation that "He has purchased you," - Who was the vendor? He answers in the name of Rabbi Elozor of Vermeiza that when Hashem divided humanity into 70 nations he gave each nation over to an administrating angel. This included the bnei Yisroel, whose angel was Micho'el. Hashem purchased the right to administer the Jewish nation in exchange for giving Michoel the position of head angel and to be the Kohein in the heavens. Clarification of this latter point can be found in gemara M'nochos 110a Tosfos d.h. "U'Michoel sar."
v It is well known that Hashem told Moshe that there is no admonistering angel for the bnei Yisroel and they are directly headed by Hashem Himself. As well, it is known that after the sin of the golden calf Hashem told Moshe that there would now be an angel over the bnei Yisroel as there is for every other nation. Moshe prayed that this not happen and Hashem agreed to push this change off until after Moshe's death (See Shmos 33:12-18). This change of guardianship is more readily understood in the light of the words of Rabbi Elozor of Vermeiza. Hashem purchased the right to be the guardian over the bnei Yisroel because of His great love and connection to the bnei Yisroel. However, if they sin and fall in spiritual stature He then reverts to the original position, with the angel Michoel once again becoming their steward.
A most beautiful insight into the translation of "He is your NEST" is illustrated with a story related by Rabbi Chaim Berlin. When he served as the Rabbi of Moscow, a person came to ted with a story related by Rabbi Chaim Berlin. When he served as the Rabbi of Moscow, a person came to him with a most unusual request. He asked that Rabbi Chaim Berlin arrange for a mohel to perform a circumcision on his new-born son. However, he asked that it be arranged in a manner that absolutely no one, even the person's closest neighbours be aware that this ritual is taking place, as he did not want anyone to know that he was Jewish. Rabbi Chaim asked him for a background on his life so that he could fathom this strange request. The new father explained that he had become estranged from genuine Judaism at a relatively early age and continued to distance himself from it to the point that he only socialized with non-Jews. No one dreamt that he was Jewish as there was not a vestige of Judaism in his actions. Rabbi Chaim asked him why he was so interested in having his son circumcised if he kept none of the mitzvos. The man responded that although he had divorced himself from Judaism, nevertheless, he felt that his son should be given a chance to pursue his ancestor's religion and the door to this pursuit should not be closed. He felt this included his being circumcised.
Rabbi Chaim Berlin said that this episode gave him an insight into the verse in Shir Hashirim 1:15, "Einayich yonim," - Your eyes are as the eyes of a dove. What praise of the bnei Yisroel lies in these words? The gemara B.B. 24a says that if a baby dove that cannot yet fly and can only walk is found walking between two bird houses owned by different people, we can assume that if it is so far away from one of the bird houses that it cannot see it, then it came from the other bird house that is still within its sight, since it is the nature of a baby dove to walk only as far as it still feels secure, i.e. only within sight of its home. This, he says, is what is meant by the verse in Shir Hashirim. "Your eyes are as those of a dove." Even if a ben Yisroel ch"v leaves the fold of Judaism and does not keep the Torah and mitzvos, nevertheless, he does not distance himself to the point that he has lost the path of return. His home, his Judaism, is within sight, just as this estranged Jew did not want to close the door on his progeny's returning to genuine Judaism. Thus Hashem is our NEST, as we, just like the baby dove, even if we distance ourselves from Him, but not to the point that He is out of our sight.
Ch. 32, v. 34,35: "Ha'lo hu komus imodi chosum b'otzro'soy, Li nokom v'shi'leim" - The Rambam in hilchos t'shuvoh 5:5 raises the famous question of how does a person have free choice to do either good or bad if Hashem knows beforehand all that will take place in the future. He answers that this is beyond our understanding, yet it is so. He ends by saying that therefore one is responsible for his actions and deserves either reward or retribution. This seems to be the simple understanding of the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 3:19, "Hakol tzofuy," - All is seen from before, and yet, "v'horshus n'sunoh," - permission is granted, allowing a person free choice to do good or bad, "u'v'tuv ho'olom nidon," - and the world is judged favourably. This is alluded to in our two verse. "Is this not hidden with Me, sealed in My treasuries?" My knowledge of what the future holds is hidden with Me and is not known to the individual. Therefore, "Li nokom" - it is proper that I will take revenge against the sinner, "v'shi'leim," and reward the one who does good. (Peninim Y'korim)
Ch. 32, v. 39: "Mochatzti vaani erpo" - In the Amidoh prayer (shmonoh-esrei) we say "R'fo'einu Hashem v'neiro'fei ...... ki s'hiloseinu O'toh." The words "ki s'hiloseinu O'toh" are most puzzling. Why do we mention that because Hashem will heal us He is our praise? Why not say this by any of the other middle blessings, i.e. because Yiou give us wisdom, forgive us, give us sustenance, etc.? Rabbi Yechezkel Abramski answers that it specifically because Hashem allows us to avail ourselves of doctors in pursuit of healing (Shmos 21:19) that there is the fear of attributing our healing only to the doctor and ch"v forgetting that it is truly Hashem Who has sent us our r'fuoh. We therefore beseech Hashem to send us healing because we will remember that "You are our praise" and we will attribute it to Hashem. In a similar vein I have heard a group of verses in T'hilim explained in the same manner. In T'hilim 107:18 it describes those who are so sick that they have lost their appetite and are on the threshold of death. Verse 20 says "Yishlach dvoro v'yirpo'eim," - He will send His word and will heal them, "vima'leit mish'chisosom," and He will chase away those who destroy them. This is usually understood as the sicknesses being chased away. However, it is possible to say that it refers to incompetent doctors who destroy the person with their modalities. Verse 21 says "Yodu laShem chasdo," - Their praises should have been to Hashem, however, v'nif'l'osov livnei odom," - His wonders of healing have been attributed to humans, the doctors.
Ch. 32, v. 46, 47: "Asher t'zavum es bneichem, Ki hu chayeichem" - If you will command your children to follow the dictates of the Torah, "Asher t'zavum es bneichem," and they carry out your wishes and are faithful to Hashem and His mitzvos, then you will continue to live, "Ki hu chayeichem," even after you pass from this world, as the gemara _ _ _(close variation to B.B. 166b) says, "Whoever leaves over righteous children it is considered as if he is still alive. (Imrei Shefer)
Ch. 32, v. 46: "LAASOSE es kol divrei haTorah hazose" - Our verse says TO DO, not to learn, "lilmode," or to fulfill, "l'ka'yeim." This teaches us to act and teach others TO DO. (Alfei Menasheh Tishrei 5759)
Ch. 32, v. 47: "Ki lo dovor REIK hu MI'KEM" - The gemara Yerushalmi Pei'oh 1:1 says that the Torah is not empty, and if it seems so to you, it is because you have emptied yourself from the Torash by not toiling in it sufficiently. Rabbi Sho'ul Katzenelenboigen of Vilna explains this with the gemara Chagigoh 9b that says, "One who reviews his studies 100 times is not comparable to one who does so 101 times." This means that having one more review brings one to a much greater level of comprehension of his Torah subject matter. If one studies and finds his Torah knowledge lacking, empty, it is empty because of MI'KEM, spelled Mem-Kof-Mem. The numeric value of this word is 100, indicating that he has not toiled sufficiently in reviewing the only 100 times. He explains the verse in Shir Hashirim 1:2 in a similar vein. "Yisho'keini mi'n'shikos PIHU." This verse is explained in the medrash to be alluding to Torah study. The verse seemingly should have said "Yisho'keini mi'n'shikos PIV." However, the term PIHU, spelled Pei-Yud-Hei-Vov, is used as its numerical value is 101, alluding to the need to review at least 101 times. Rabbi Noach Mindes in Par'p'ro'ose L'chochmoh explains the above gemara Yerushalmi Pei'oh with the words of the gemara Yoma 72b. The gemara derives from the verse "V'zose haTorah asher SOM Moshe lifnei bnei Yisroel" (Dvorim 4:44) that the Torah is an elixir. This is derived from the phonetic sound of the word SOM which sounds similar to SAM, elixir. If one merits and has the correct approach to Torah, it is an elixir of life for him. For the person who does not approach his torah studies properly it is an elixir of death. The Maharsh"a explains that the gemara is able to derive a connotation of two types of elixir from the word SOM, spelled Samech-Mem. If these letters' names are spelled out (millui) then we have Samech-Mem-Chof and Mem-Mem. The numerical value of the letters Samech-Mem is 100, as is that of the hidden letters of this word, Mem-Chof-Mem. We thus derive that the verse intends to teach us about two elixirs. Rabbi Mindes builds upon these words of the Maharsh"a with the gemara Shabbos 88b which says that for those who involve themselves in the Torah in the right direction, who study it for its proper sake, "lishmoh," it brings life, while for those who involve themselves in the Torah in the left direction, "shelo lishmoh," it brings death. Rabbi Mindes says that if we line up the letters of the word SOM, spelled out in full, "milluy," then the letters to the right are Samech and Mem, which spell SOM. The letters of the milluy, which appear to the left, as in Loshon Hakodesh we write from right to left, are Mem-Chof-Mem. Those who go to the right have SOM of life, and those who go to the left have Mem-Chof-Mem, of death. Mem-Chof-Mem spells MI'KEM. This is the meaning of the Yerushalmi, that if one finds emtiness in his torah, it is empty MI'KEM, because he has chosen the left of SOM, the MI'KEM.
Ch. 32, v. 48: "B'etzem ha'yom ha'zeh" - Moshe is told of his impending death. The gemara Megiloh 13b tells us that Moshe died on the seventh of Ador. "B'etzem ha'yom ha'zeh" has the same numerical value as "Zeh yom Zayin Ador." (Kuntres Shmi V'sheim Avosai)
Ch. 32, v. 50: "Kaa'sher MEIS Aharon ochicho" - Here the verse says "as your brother Aharon DIED." In Bmidbar 27:13 it says "V'ne'esafto ...... kaasher ne'esaf Aharon ochicho," - You will be GATHERED ...... as your brother Aharon was GATHERED." Why the change from Meis to NE'ESAF? The Meshech Chochmoh answers that the gemara B.B. 116b says that one who leaves over a son who is of equal stature as himself, it is considered as if he hasn"t dies. Aharon left over his son Elozor who was considered his equal, as indicated by the verse in Bmidbar 27:31. Therefore in Bmidbar 27:13 the Torah does not want to express Aharon's passing with the term MEIS. However, later on in Bmidbar 31:21 Elozor ruled regarding the kashering of vessels, which he should not have done in front of Moshe, and fell from his level, as explained in the gemara Eiruvin 63a. From this point on, Aharon's son was no longer his equal, and when his passing is mentioned it may be expressed as MEIS.
I have a slight difficulty in understanding this since we have no indication that either of Moshe's sons was his equal, and yet the Torah expressed Moshe's impending death as "v'ne'esafto" in Bmidbar 27:13, as mentioned earlier. Perhaps out of respect for Moshe this was done to align the term used for Moshe as that used for Aharon in this same verse.
HAFTORAH FOR SHABBOS SHUVOH AND END OF HAFTORAH FOR MINCHA OF YOM KIPPUR
Michah 7:18,19,20: "Mi Keil komochoh......MI'MEI KEDEM" - The Bnei Yisos'chor, Elul maamar 2 #8, says that the thirteen attributes of mercy mentioned in Shmos 34:6,7, are called the lower attributes, and correspond to the higher thirteen attributes in Michah. In many machzorim, in the Tashlich service, where the verses of Michah are mentioned, the corresponding thirteen attributes of Shmos 34 are written on top of the verses of Michah. We also have the thirteen exegetical rules with which the Torah is explained, known as the "Breisa of Rebbi Yishmoel," which is part of the daily Shacharis service. These thirteen rules correspond to the thirteen attributes of mercy as well. The thirteenth attribute in the Torah is "V'nakei," meaning "Hashem will cleanse." The Gemaros Shvuous 39a and Yoma 86:1 bring Rebbi Elozor who asks the apparent contradiction in the verse. The verse first says, "V'nakei," Hashem cleanses, and immediately afterwards, it says, "V'lo Y'nakei," Hashem will not cleanse. Reb Elozor answers that Hashem will cleanse those who repent, and will not cleanse those who do not repent. The thirteenth rule of Rebbi Yishmoel is, " And also when two verses contradict each other, a third verse will come to answer the conflict." In some siddurim, we find the text, "V'CHAN shnei k'suvim," meaning that we have HERE two apparently contradictory verses, rather than the more common text of "V'CHEIN shnei k'suvim," and ALSO two verses, etc. The intention of "and HERE we have two contradictory verses," means that HERE at the thirteenth rule of Rebbi Yishmoel we have the corresponding thirteenth attribute of mercy, "V'NAKEI," which is contradicted by a second verse "V'LO Y'NAKEI." The third verse that answers the contradiction is the corresponding thirteenth attribute in Michah, "Mimei kedem," from days of yore. This, the Bnei Yisos'chor says, refers to t'shuvoh, which was created before the world was created (Medrash B'reishis 1:4, Medrash Shochar Tov Tehillim 90). This is Rebbi Elozor's answer to the contradiction. Hashem cleanses those who repent.
SEDER HO'AVODOH OF MUSSOF OF YOM KIPPUR - "K'sheh'hoyoh Hashem yotzei mipi Kohen Godol, When the Holy Name of Hashem EMANATED from the mouth of the Kohen Godol" - The Shulchan Oruch of the Ari z"l explains why the words "Yotzei mipi Kohen Godol" are used rather than "K'she'omar Kohen Godol" - when the Kohen Godol SAID Hashem's name. He says that the Kohen Godol did not actually say Hashem's name but rather only opened his mouth and the name of Hashem miraculously emanated from his mouth. With this he explains a difficult verse in Shmos 20:24. "B'chol mokom asher AZKIR es sh'mi..." The literal translation is: In every place that I will cause My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you." Rashi says that to understand this verse we must switch around the phrases and explain as follows: Wherever I come to bless you, that means the Beis Hamikdosh - you may mention My name. This teaches us that in the Beis Hamikdosh, Hashem's name is pronounced exactly as it is written. We have two difficulties here. One is that we have to switch around the phrases, and the second is that the word AZKIR is not well translated. Rashi explains it to mean that you, the Kohen, may mention My name, but the verse says AZKIR- I will cause My name to be mentioned. According to the Ari z"l's explanation, everything flows smoothly because Hashem is saying His name through the conduit of the Kohen Godol's mouth.
Yom Kippur never falls on a Friday or a Sunday. If it would we would have Shabbos and Yom Kippur back-to-back. This would create the following problems: 1) One who would die late Friday afternoon or on Shabbos could not be buried for two days.
2) In the days when there was no refrigeration vegetables would wither.
This is a ritual where one takes a live object, commonly a rooster for a male and a chicken for a female, and says a prayer, entreating Hashem to forgive his/her sins and symbolically having any evil decrees transferred to the bird. Others use a fish or another live animal. It is then slaughtered and then it (or its value) is given to the poor. Some use money and afterwards give it to charity. One should not use a species that is acceptable as a sacrifice on the altar at the Beis Hamikdosh, such as pigeons.
The earliest sources for this custom:
1) Rashi on the gemara Shabbos 81b D.H. "hai farpisa" says that there was a custom to place seeds into a planter before Rosh Hashonoh and once it sprouted, it was swung over the heads of people and a prayer was said that a year of life should be granted.
2) The gemara K'suvos 5a asks, "If Yom Kippur falls out on a Monday, shouldn't the Rabbis adjust the calendar to push off Yom Kippur lest someone come to inadvertantly slaughter a bird on the previous Shabbos?" Rashi says that it was everyone's practice to slaughter many birds for the very large erev Yom Kippur meal. However, Rav Amrom Gaon says that people would slaughter birds on the eve of Shabbos. This is obviously too early for the erev Yom Kippur meal and must have been the practice of slaughtering KAPOROS. (Otzeir Ha'yoshon)
The one who will slaughter the bird should be the one who waves the bird above the head of the owner. (Tzeidoh la'derech)
If the bird is found ritually unfit for consumption through improper slaughtering, "n'veiloh," another bird should be used. (Knaf Raananoh) If it is found to be a "treifoh," having a physical disorder which renders it not kosher, there is a doubt if another bird is required, so money equal to its value should be given to the poor. (S'dei Chemed on Yom Kippur vol. 1, #13)
SEDER AMIDAS YOM KIPPUR - FROM THE TEXT OF THE STANDING SILENT PRAYERS:
"Ki Atoh SOLCHON l'Yisroel u'MOCHOLON l'shivtei Y'shurun" - Why are the words SOLCHON and MOCHOLON used, rather than "Ki Atoh SOLEI'ACH l'Yisroel u'MOCHEIL l'shivtei Y'shurun?"
The Holy Admor Rabbi Yisroel of Ruzhin answers with the gemara Bovo Metzia 33a which derives from the word "roveitz" (Shmos 23:5) to exclude a "ravtzon." There is a mitzvoh to help a fellow man with his load-bearing animal which has buckled under the weight of its load. However this only applies if the animal buckles occasionally, as indicated by the word "roveitz," meaning - it buckles. However if the animal constantly does so when it carries a load, it has the status of a "ravtzon," meaning a "buckler." This is an appellation that indicates an occupation, a reliably constant activity. When a friend's "buckler" is in need of help, there is no mitzvoh requirement to come to its aid.
Similarly, had the text of our prayer been MOCHEIL and SOLEI'ACH it would indicate that Hashem sometimes forgives and pardons. However, by saying MOCHOLON and SOLCHON, we are stating that Hashem is a constant and reliable FORGIVER and PARDONER.
SEDER HO'AVODOH OF MUSSOF OF YOM KIPPUR
"K'she'hoyoh Hashem yotzei mipi Kohein Godol," - When the Holy Name of Hashem EMANATED from the mouth of the Kohein Godol" - The Shulchan Oruch of the Ari z"l explains why the words "Yotzei mipi Kohein Godol" are used rather than "K'she'omar Kohein Godol" - when the Kohein Godol SAID Hashem's name. He says that the Kohein Godol did not actually say Hashem's name but rather only opened his mouth and the name of Hashem miraculously emanated from his mouth. With this he explains a difficult verse in Shmos 20:24. "B'chol mokom asher AZKIR es sh'mi ......" The literal translation is: "In every place that I will cause My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you." Rashi says that to understand this verse we must switch around the phrases and explain as follows: Wherever I come to bless you, which means the Beis Hamikdosh, you may mention My name. This teaches us that in the Beis Hamikdosh, Hashem's name is pronounced exactly as it is written. We have two difficulties here. One is that we have to switch around the phrases, and the second is that the word AZKIR is not well translated. Rashi explains it to mean that you, the Kohein, may mention My name, but the verse says AZKIR, I will cause My name to be mentioned. According to the Ari z"l's explanation, everything flows smoothly because Hashem is saying His Own Holy name through the conduit of the Kohein Godol's mouth.
PARSHAS EMOR SECTION DEALING WITH YOM KIPPUR
Vayikroh 23:27: "ACH be'osor" - ACH denotes limitation (see Rashi Eruvin 105a, P'sochim 5a, 71a). Other Yomim Tovim are honoured with holiday clothing and festive foods. On Yom Kippur, where eating and drinking are prohibited, honouring the Yom Tov is limited to wearing holiday clothing. (Baalei Tosfos in Hadar Z'keinim)
Vayikroh 23:31 "Kol m'lochoh lo saasu chukas olom l'doroseichem" - The Meshech Chochmoh asks why the verse only mentions the restriction to work as a statute for all time, and not the restriction to eat or drink. He answers that since King Shlomo waived the restriction to eat or drink on Yom Kippur when the Beis Hamikdosh was completed, the prohibition to eat and drink is not for all times. Therefore our verse only mentions the restriction to work as a law for all times.
I have a bit of difficulty with this from Vayikroh 16:31 which says, "Shabbas Shabbosone hee lochem v'ini'sem es nafshoseichem chukas olom." We see the Torah mentioning that the law applies to all times regarding both the restraint from work and to afflict oneself (fasting). Perhaps the word "l'doroseichem" missing in 16:31 and appearing in 23:31 makes a difference.
Vayikroh 23:32: "Shabbas Shabbosone" - The Kli Yokor explains the double expression of "shvisoh" used for Yom Kippur. He says that Shabbos brings with itself a rest from the external activities of the body, namely creative work. It does not, however, contain a rest from the internal urges of a person, which are heightened by eating and drinking, which charge the blood and fat (dam v'cheilev). The prohibitions to eat or drink on Yom Kippur bring a second form of rest, that of the internal urges. This seems to explain why the double term is not used by Yomim Tovim, but Shabbos does have the double term in numerous places, as mentioned above, in spite of having no eating or drinking restrictions. The Kli Yokor might have to explain this by saying that Shabbos has a total restriction including carrying and "t'chumin," which some say does not apply to Yom Kippur. Any insights would be appreciated.
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