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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 5, v. 4: "Va'y'shalchu osom el michutz lamacha'neh kaasher di'ber Hashem" - And they sent them out of the encampment just as Hashem commanded - The verse stresses that the motivating factor was the command of Hashem and not the natural tendency to quarantine someone who has a communicable disease. (Divrei Avrohom)

Ch. 5, v. 6: "Ish o ishoh ki yaasu" - A man or a woman when they will do - Since the verse says "o," or, shouldn't the verse have followed through with the singular "yaa'seh"? This teaches us how far reaching theft can be. Possibly, the victim will be left destitute and in turn he will turn to theft or lying to bring in some desperately needed income.

Thus the thief's sin becomes a multiple sin. (Ohel Yaakov)

Ch. 5, v. 6: "Mikol chatos ho'odom" - Of all the sins of the man - Ramban explains that the word "ho'odom" refers to the sin of denying a debt, a sin between man and man. When the verse continues with "limol maal baShem," this refers to his not only denying the debt, but also swearing falsely to that effect. This is a sin between man and Hashem.

The Baal Haturim explains our verse and following verses homiletically, starting with an explanation of the juxtaposition of our verse after the command to send a leper, a body-fluid defiled person, and a defiled by corpse person out of different levels of the bnei Yisroel's encampment. "Chatos hoODOM refers to the sins of ODOM Horishon, primary man. He, his wife, and the serpent sinned with the tree of knowledge, and all three were punished. The M.R. Breishis 20:4 says that the snake was afflicted with leprosy. The gemara Eiruvin 100b says that the woman was afflicted with body-fluid discharge called "zivoh," and mankind was punished with death. In the same order as their punishments are mentioned in the Torah, we also find that lepers, body-fluid defiled people, and corpse defiled people are sent out of encampments. The Torah mentions sending out male and female, just as Odom and Chavoh were sent out of Gan Eden. In the following chapter the Torah deals with the wayward wife, reminiscent of the snake's having relations with Chavoh (see gemara Shabbos 146a). Just as the unfaithful wife's thigh falls away (5:21), so too the snake lost its legs (Breishis 3:14, M.R. 20:5). The following chapter deals with the "nozir," who vows to abstain from grapes and grape derivatives, because the fruit Odom ate was fruit of the grapevine (M.R. 15:7).

Ch. 5, v. 6: "Mikol chatos ho'odom limol maal baShem" - Of all the sins of the man to transgress a sin in Hashem - When a person sins against another person it is also a sin against Hashem, Who commanded us to behave properly with each other. (M'oroh Shel Torah)

_ _ ADD TO MESHECH CHOCHMOH _ _ Ch. 5, v. 8: "Ho'oshom hamushov laShem laKohein" - The guilt payment that is returned to Hashem is to the Kohein - In verse 10 the Torah tells us that what one gives to the Kohein is the Kohein's. This seems quite obvious. See the explanations of Rashi, Rambam, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, and Sforno. The Meshech Chochmoh says that the last words of verse 10 are connected to our verse. When one steals from a convert, denies his owing him by oath, and then the convert dies and leaves over no heirs, when the thief admits his sin, the repayment goes to Hashem, Who in turn gives it to the Kohanim. A person who owes this debt might think that since he has to give the Kohein certain tithes, such as "trumoh," that he has the right to pay off his debt with "trumoh." Verse 10 tells us that "asher yakrivu laKohein LO yi'h'yeh," that which one must anyhow give the Kohein, is the Kohein's, i.e. must be given to the Kohein independent of the repayment.

Ch. 5, v. 10: "V'ish es kodoshov lo yi'h'yu ish asher yi'tein laKohein lo yi'h'yeh" - And a man his holy items will be his a man who will give to the Kohein to him it will be - This literal translation emphatically calls out for an explanation of this enigmatic verse. Rashi says that the first half tells us that the Yisroel who gives the Kohein his tithes has a level of ownership in the object, and that is that he may give the tithes to the Kohein of his choice. The second half of the verse is a blessing. He who gives all items that the Torah requires of him to give to the Kohein will have much wealth. These two thoughts seem to be independent one of another. Rabbi Shimon Sofer connects the two halves of the verse. The first half of the verse is to be explained as Rashi does. The gemara Gitin 82, based on the ruling that the original Yisroel owner has ownership of the choice of whom to give it to, says that therefore if the owner doesn't actually give the item to a Kohein, but instead designates a person to accept the item as an agent of a specific Kohein, upon the agent's receiving the item it belongs to the Kohein, even though the agent was not designated by the Kohein. This is called "zochin l'odom shelo b'fonov," - we may bring a benefit to a person even without his knowledge.

We now have a connection between the two halves of our verse. Note that the second half of the verse does not say that one who GIVES to the Kohein it is his, but rather, one who WILL GIVE. The verse first says that the original owner has the right to designate the recipient. Therefore he may also designate an agent to act on behalf of the Kohein to receive the item. Thus, even if the item was not given to the Kohein, but WILL BE GIVEN to him, it is already his, as per the dictum, "zochin l'odom shelo b'fonov." The words "lo yi'h'yeh" in the present tense seem to be a bit problematic according to this insight, as the point is that upon the agent's receipt the item is immediately the Kohein's, not that it WILL BE his.

Ch. 5, v. 31: "V'nikoh ho'ish mei'ovone" - And the husband is cleansed of sin - His sin is that he wrongly suspected his wife of infidelity, "chosheid bich'sheirim." The reason he is cleansed is that his wife was at fault, behaving in a very improper manner, even though she did not actually commit adultery. (Sforno)

Ch. 6, v. 11: "V'chi'per olov mei'asher choto al hano'fesh" - And he shall cleanse him from his spiritual sin - What spiritual sin is there in refraining from imbibing in wine? The "nozir" may not make "kidush" or "havdoloh" on wine. (Noam M'godim)

Ch. 7, v. 11: "Nossi echod la'yom nossi echod la'yom" - The gemara Brochos _ _ relates that Rabbi Elozor ben Azarioh was offered the position of head Rabbi at a very young age. He did not immediately accept, as he assumed that since he was so very young he would quickly be deposed, and was only being offered the position on a stopgap basis until an appropriate mature candidate would be found. He asked his wife if it would be worthwhile for him to take the position only to be thrown out shortly thereafter. She responded with a parable. It is worthwhile for a person to use a luxurious goblet today even though it will be broken tomorrow. This is alluded to in these words of our verse. Be a leader for a day even though tomorrow there will be another leader. (N'siv Ha'yosher)

Ch. 7, v. 14: "Kaf achas asoroh zohov" - One bowl the weight of ten gold coins - The Chasam Sofer related that in the days of king Carlos the 6th there was a shortage of gold in the mint. The king told the officer in charge of Carlos's "Fort Knox" to take gold that had no identifying imprint and use it to introduce gold coins into the market. Among the pieces of gold the officer took were two gold vessels. Almost all the gold he took was 24 carat, pure gold, and for the coins to be durable, and to also stretch this dear commodity, it was mixed with a sturdy alloy. When these two bowls were molten and mixed with cheaper metals, to the great surprise of the smelters, the gold would not mix with the other metals. This was reported to the king and he in turn told this to his "wise men." Upon researching numerous books they came upon the answer. They found in the chronicles of previous generations that an earlier king was able to get into his possession two bowls that were used in the Beis Hamikdosh. They were so pure and holy that they would not mix with anything else. (Likutei Chaim)



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

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