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@AOL.COM


Ch. 14, v. 6: "V'toval osom v'eis hatzipore hachayoh b'dam hatzipore hash'chutoh" - And he shall immerse them and the live bird in the blood of the slaughtered bird - TheChizkuni says that when the live bird is let free, "v'shilach es hatzipore hachayoh al pnei haso'deh," it will fly back to birds of its species. They will see that it has different colouring than they have and will kill it. He says that this has the advantage of not having another metzora bringing it as his offering, which is disqualified, as per the verse "v'chi'per OLOV" (verse 20), that it should only be used for HIM and not for another person. Not only was one bird killed directly, "v'shochat es hatzipore ho'echos" (verse 5), but another one was indirectly killed. Symbolically,this is exactly like the result of loshon hora. Not only is the victim of the negative talk harmed, but there is usually the spin-off affect of others hearing it, also included in loshon hora, and relating to more and more people, causing more and more untold misery. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 21: "V'im dal hu v'ein yodo ma'se'ges" - And if he is destitute and his hand does not attain - By the "oleh v'yoreid," sliding scale offering, of the woman who gave birth, the Torah says "V'im lo simtzo yodoh" (Vayikra 12:8), - and if her hand will not find. Why here is it described as "does not attain," and there "will not find"? The metzora of our verse brings his offering from his own personal funds. If he is too poor to afford the regular offering his "hand does not attain" it. The woman who gave birth does not bring the offering from her own funds. Her husband is responsible to supply it. If he cannot afford it, his wife's hand has "not found it." (Beis Av, Rabbi Elyokim Shlesinger shlit"a)

This also explains why in our verse we give the metzora the title DAL, a poor man, while by the lady who gave birth we only say that her hand has not found the ability to bring the regular offering, but she is not given the status of DALOH. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 21: "V'ein yodo ma'se'ges" - And his hand does not attain - Why is his inability to bring a regular offering expressed in the present tense "ein .. ma'se'ges," while by the woman who cannot afford a regular offering after childbirth the verse expresses it in the future tense, "v'im lo simtzo"? Perhaps our verse alludes to the aspect of repentance done when the metzora brings his offering. The gemara Arochin 16a lists a number of causes for tzoraas. Among them is stinginess. If this is the cause for tzoraas, besides bringing the offering, the metzora must also repent for his having been stingy in the past. It is very likely that Hashem has made him poor in the manner of repayment in kind, "midoh k'ne'ged midoh." Since he does not share his wealth with others, Hashem takes it away and he is poor. Thus, when he is in the process of repenting and bringing his offerings, the Torah says that he PRESENTLY cannot attain the more costly offering, as once he will repent and be more generous, Hashem in kind will likely shower more income upon him, hence he cannot afford it at the present time only. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 14, v. 22: "V'hoyoh echod chatos v'HOechod oloh" - When the Torah mentions the bird for a chatos it simply says that one is a chatos, but by the oloh the Torah says that THE one is an oloh, with a definitive Hei. We find the Torah discussing pairs of birds as chatos and oloh offerings in four other places, all in Sefer Vayikra. In 5:7 by the sacrifice for "shvuas bituy" of a poor person they are mentioned, but without the definitive Hei by the oloh, in 12:8 by the sacrifice of a poor woman who had given birth, but again without the definitive Hei by the oloh, in 15:15 by the sacrifice of a "zov godol," and with the definitive Hei by the oloh, as in our verse, and in 15:30 by the sacrifice of a "zovoh g'doloh," again with the definitive Hei by the oloh.

This too can perhaps be explained based on the Ibn Ezra and Paa'nei'ach Rozo, who posit that even though a wealthy person only has to bring a chatos, a poor man, who brings a bird chatos, must also add an oloh, so as not to deprive the altar of its burnt offering.

Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Brisker points out another instance of the definitive Hei before the word "echod" by a sacrifice. In Shmos 29:39, by the parsha of the daily oloh sacrifices the verse says "Es ha'ke'ves HOechod taa'seh vaboker," and when mentioned in Bmidbar 28:4, where the Torah again discusses the daily oloh sacrifices the verse leaves out the definitive Hei, and only says "Es ha'ke'ves echod." He explains the difference as follows: In Shmos the Torah discusses the daily oloh sacrifices in the context of the dedication, although stating in verse 42 that this is a daily sacrifices for all generations. The halacha is that if for some reason the morning oloh was not brought on the day of dedication it negates bringing the afternoon one as well, therefore the definitive Hei by the morning offering. After the Mishkon/Mikdosh has been dedicated, if one day the morning oloh is not brought, the afternoon one is still brought. This is why in Bmidbar, where it discusses the daily oloh sacrifices not in the context of the dedication, the letter Hei is omitted, as the morning sacrifice does not negate bringing the afternoon one.

Armed with this point of information that the definitive Hei indicates that the offering is an absolute must, we may well explain the appearance or lack thereof in these five places. In 5:7, by the offering of the poor man by "shvuas bituy," the Torah omits the Hei because the bringing of an oloh is not absolutely necessary, even for the poor man. If he were to bring the sacrifice of a wealthy man he would only bring a sheep or a goat as a chatos and no oloh since the only reason he brings an oloh is to not deprive the altar, as per the Ibn Ezra and Paa'nei'ach Rozo. (This is not in keeping with the opinion of the Imrei Emes in his answer for the Chinuch. See Oroh V'simchoh on this parsha.) In 12:8 the Torah again omits the definitive Hei. This is simply explained because the verse does not even discuss the OFFERING of the birds, but rather, their sanctification. The verse says that one should sanctify the oloh ahead of the chatos. Sanctifying in this order is not absolutely necessary, as if one were to reverse the order the sacrifices would still be totally acceptable. In 15:15 and 15:30 the poor "zov's" and "zovoh's" offering of an oloh is absolutely necessary, as the original offerings of the wealthy person include an oloh. Truth be told, this would be so very obvious that there would be no need for the Torah to even accentuate this point. It is only because by "shvuas bituy" the oloh is not a must, that the Torah by "zov" and "zovoh" tells us that here the oloh is a must.

We have just explained the 5 places where the bird OLOH is mentioned with or without the letter Hei. What remains to be explained is why by "zovoh g'doloh" in 15:30, the verse accentuates the bird CHATOS with a definitive Hei, something that we do not find in any of the other four places. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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