by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NOSSO 5768 BS"D
Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'hisvadu es chatosom asher ossu" -And they shall confess to the sin that they committed - What is added by "asher ossu?" Would we entertain the idea that one should confess a sin that he has not committed? The gemara Brochos 5a says that if a person notes that he is suffering he should assume that it is the result of his sinning and he should do a serious accounting of his actions to locate the sin/s and rectify matters. If he cannot find a sin he should assume that it is because of his being idle of Torah study.
This is puzzling. If he is aware of idling away his time and not studying Torah, why is this called "he did not find?" He did find that he sinned by not studying Torah when he should have. The Chid"o explains that the intention of the gemara is that the sin of "bitul Torah" is not that he did not study Torah, but rather the reverse, that he studied Torah when he should have been idle of studying Torah, for example if he walked through alleyways that had smelly refuse and still studied Torah there. The intention of the gemara is that he did not consider this a sin because, after all, he was studying the Torah. If he finds no other sins, he should assume that he has this sin.
This is the intention of the words "asher ossu" of our verse. They shall confess to the sin of DOING that which is normally a mitzvoh, but under certain circumstances they should have refrained. (Ben Poras Yoseif)
Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'hisvadu es chatosom asher ossu v'heishiv es ashomo b'rosho" - And THEY shall confess to the sin that they committed and He shall return the item of guilt in its principal - Why does the verse begin in the plural and end in the singular? The Admor Rabbi Mordechai of Nish'chiz answers that this is the Torah's way of bemoaning the reality of many people confessing to wrongdoing and STATING that they will make amends. However, when it comes to action it is unfortunately only the few who actually do it, hence "v'heishiv" in the singular.
Ch. 5, v. 12: "Ish ish ki sisteh ishto" - Any man whose wife will stray from the proper path - Rashi explains the juxtaposition of parshas Sotoh to verse 10, which relates that a person should give the proper tithes to a Kohein. If you don't give as required to the Kohein you will ultimately appear in front of the Kohein with your wife for the Sotoh ritual. What is the correlation of these two seemingly disparate matters?
The gemara Taanis 9a says that we derive from the words "A'seir t'a'seir" (Dvorim 14:22) that one who properly gives his tithes will become wealthy, "a'seir bishvil shetis'asheir." However, the gemara B.M. 59 seems to offer another scheme for becoming wealthy, to heap honour upon one's wife. A person might say to himself, "Why should I give away so much to the Kohein? Instead I'll buy expensive presents for my wife and it will also bring me wealth." This is the connection. If one "cheaps out" on the priestly tithes, and instead uses it to bedeck his wife, he will ultimately run into trouble and end up in front of the Kohein. (Toldos Odom)
Ch. 6, v. 23: "Omore" - Say - This word is spelled in full, with the letter Vov between Mem and the Reish. Yalkut Ho'eizovi offers symbolism in this. Vov has the numerical value of six. There are six bleesings in the priestly benediction, "Y'vo'rech'cho, v'yish'm'recho, yo'eir, vichuneko, yiso, v'yosem l'cho sholo-m." It also corresponds to six attributes or presents from Hashem, "Toras Hashem, eidus Hashem, pikudei Hashem, mitzvas Hashem, yiras Hashem, mish'p'tei Hashem" (T'hilim 19:8 and onwards). It corresponds to the six sections of the Talmud. Likewise, when the Kohanim administer the blessings they spread out their fingers in a manner that there are six sections. This corresponds to the six generations that Hashem blessed, Odom's, Noach's, Avrohom's, Yitzchok's, Yaakov's, and the generation that wandered in the desert.
The Yalkut then goes on to say that the four spaces among the grouped fingers symbolizes the four lines of space between each line in the "luchos." (I have not come across this anywhere else, but there is a similarity in a Torah scroll. There are four large spaces dividing among the five books of the Torah, and they each are four blank lines.)
The Yalkut adds that there are five spaces in total among the finger spacings when we include the space between the two thumbs. This alludes to "Meitzitz min hacharakim," He scrutinizes between the spaces. "Hacharakim can be read as "Hei charakim."
Ch. 6, v. 24: "Y'vo'rech'cho Hashem" - One might translate this as, "May Hashem bless you," meaning that the Kohein is blessing the nation with a prayer that Hashem bless them. This is not guaranteed, as the bnei Yisroel's behaviour might not merit their receiving a blessing. The Kohein says, "May Hashem bless you," but it is not a sure thing.
However, the Baal Haturim on the first verse in parshas B'chukosai cites the medrash that says that the blessings of B'chukosai begin with the letter Alef in the word "Im," and end with the letter Tof in the word "kom'miyuS." He adds that although the concept of Alef to Tof indicates a total blessing, spanning the complete Alef-Beis, and indeed these verses contain the letters of the Alef-Beis, they are all present save the letter Samach. This is because there are 60 letters in the "birkas Kohanim" and the blessings of B'chukosai are predicated on "Im b'chukosai teileichu," while the Kohanim's blessings are unconditional.
It would thus seem appropriate to say that the Baal Haturim would translate, "Y'vo'rech'cho Hashem" as "Hashem will surely bless you." (Nirreh li)
(There is a medrash Breishis that says that there is no letter Samach in "maaseh breishis" - although there is a Samach in the word "hasoveiv," the medrash deals with this - and a medrash that says the same about parshas "bikurim.")
Shoftim Ch. 13, v. 4: "Umoroh lo yaa'leh al rosho" - And a blade should not come upon his head - Later in this parsha we find Mono'ach meeting the "man" who told his wife that she would bear a child who would be a nozir. Mono'ach asked him, "Mah yi'h'yeh mishpat hanaar umaa'seihu." Since he was advised that the child would be a nozir, what was he questioning? As well, why did the angel tell him that any grape extract would be prohibited, and not tell him that all aspects of "n'zirus" would be prohibited?
We find a disagreement between Tano'im in the mishnoh Nozir if a person specifies and accepts upon himself some of the nozir prohibitions, but not all of them, that he is committed to every aspect of "n'zirus." However, the gemara says that this is disputed by Rabbi Shimon, who posits that he is not a nozir unless he accepts everything.
Since Mono'ach heard from his wife that the child would be prohibited to remove hair from his head, Mono'ach was not sure if any aspect of "n'zirus" would be binding. This is why he said that he would discuss with the man what would be the law concerning the child and his actions, i.e. what would and wouldn't be prohibited. Indeed, the angel only added that the child would be prohibited to eat or drink any grape derivative, but left out the prohibition against defiling oneself to a corpse. This is the unique law of a "nozir Shimshon. (Tiferes Hakodesh)
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