by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS PINCHOS 5767 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 11: "Pinchos" - Rabbi Moshe of Coucy, the Sma"g, asks why this first chapter of our parsha is separated from the final part of parshas Bolok, the earlier part of this incident, where Pinchos killed Zimri and Kozbi. He answers that whenever we have an act of zealotry take place we may not immediately judge if it was done properly or improperly. This takes thought and deliberation. A new parsha, a separation, takes place before we see that he acted totally correctly and received a great reward.
Ch. 26, v. 39: "LiShfufom" - To Shfufom - This verse contains six words, each of which there is a letter Pei. This is unique, as it does not occur anywhere else in the Torah. The verse continues with, "mishpachas haShufomi," and should have said "haShFufomi." In Divrei Hayomim 1:8 it is called "ShfufoN." In parshas Va'yigash he is called Mupim, while his brother is called Chupim there and Chupom here.
These changes allow for homiletic interpretation. Shfufom teaches that the tribal ancestor, Binyomin, died sinless, by the bite of the viper, "shfifon," as per the gemara Shabbos chapter "Ba'meh v'heimoh." "Shufom" alludes to Yaakov's being in mourning over the loss of Yoseif, as per the verse, "v'al sofom yaa'teh" (Vayikra 13). Mupim alludes to "y'fei ayin," that his brother was very handsome. Chupim likewise is an allusion to an aspect of mourning, "chofeh rosh."
The letter Pei appearing in each word indicates the PEH, the mouth that could have spoken, but was restrained. It appears six times to allude to the six people of this family kept quiet. Rochel did not tell Yaakov that she transmitted the signs they made between themselves to avoid a switch of brides, and she also did not tell her father that she took his idols. (I don't grasp this last point, as it would be self-incriminating.) Binyomin did not reveal that his brother was sold. (More on this shortly.) Sho'ul did not reveal to Dovid about his kingship. Michal, Sho'ul's daughter, did not reveal Dovid's kingship to her father. Yonoson did not reveal to Sho'ul that Dovid left to the Plishtim.
Mordechai and Esther did not reveal information to Achashveirosh, Mordechai his relationship to Esther, and Esther her nationality.
As just mentioned, Binyomin did not reveal that Yoseif, at the age of 17, was sold by his brothers. In turn, we find the name Binyomin spelled in full, with the letter Yud between the Mem and final Nun 17 times. As well, from Alef through Pei there are 17 letters.
As mentioned earlier, every word in our verse also contains the letter Mem. This alludes to kingship, "Malchus." The verse of "Ashrei" begin with the letters of the Alef-Beis, and go in order. The verses beginning with Kof, Lamed, and Mem, which spell our MeLeCH, each contains the word "melech" in some form. (Rokei'ach)
Ch. 28, v. 2: "Korboni lachmi" - My offering My bread - Sacrifices are called Hashem's bread to teach us that if a person distributes bread to the poor it is as if he has offered all the different types of sacrifices. (Rabbeinu Efrayim)
Ch. 28, v. 2: "Tish'm'ru l'hakriv li b'mo'ado" - Shall you safeguard to offer to Me at its set time - Even when the Beis Hamikdosh is not standing we should anticipate its immediate reconstruction. This is "tish'm'ru," You should anticipate, as in "V'oviv shomar es hadovor." (Sfas Emes)
Ch. 28, v. 3: "V'omarto lo'hem" - And you shall say to them - This verse is the most often read verse in all the Torah in the public congregational reading. Although the words "Va'yda'beir Hashem el Moshe leimore" is read more often, but it is not that a specific verse in its exact location is read more often than ours, but rather that the same words appear many times, but in different places.
Ch. 28, v. 6: "Olas tomid ho'asuyoh b'har Sinai" - The daily oloh offering that was done at Mount Sinai - The mitzvos that are done on a daily basis can easily fall victim to rote. The Torah therefore tells us to do it as if it were done at Mount Sinai when the Torah was given. "B'chol yom yi'h'yu v'einecho kachadoshim." (Rabbi Mendel of Kosov)
Ch. 28, v. 9: "Uv'yoM haShabboS shneI chvosiM" - And on the Shabbos day two sheep - The final letters of these four words form TaMIM, complete. Although all animals are checked for blemishes before they are offered, perhaps those offered on Shabbos were checked more thoroughly for wholesomeness, so that Shabbos would not be desecrated by slaughtering a blemished animal. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 28, v. 11: "Uvroshei chodsheichem" - And in the beginnings of your months - This is expressed in the plural to teach us that we are commanded to not only bring these offerings on Nison, the head of all the months, but also on the "heads" of all the months. (Minchoh Vluloh)
The Tur seems to be diametrically opposed to this explanation. He says that "Uvroshei chodsheichem" on its own means on the heads of your months, the heads are the numerous months Nison of numerous years. It is only with the additional information in verse 14, "zose olas chodesh b'chodsho," that we know that the heads of every month require these offerings.
Ch. 29, v. 35: "Ba'yom hashmini Atzeres ti'h'yeh lochem" - On the eighth day there shall be congregating for yourselves - Rashi comments that Hashem says, "Koshoh olai pridas'chem," your being separated from Me is difficult." Commentators explain these words as: It is difficult for Me to see that you are separated one from another. Why would this point be stressed on Shmini Atzeres? Perhaps it is because it is only natural that people feel somewhat distanced one from another because of their extremely varying levels of sanctity. However, during the days of Sukos, when the "simchas beis hasho'eivoh" took place, all people merited to "draw ruach haKodesh," as per the Tosfos on the gemara Sukoh 50b d.h. "Chad," they then felt very connected. As soon as Sukos is over, on Shmini Atzeres, there was again this gap, and this is what Hashem is bemoaning. Possibly, this is a major theme of the day and an explanation of its appellation, "Atzeres," joining into one harmonious group. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 29, v. 36: "Par echod a'yil echod" - One ox one ram - The gemara Sukoh 55b says that the previous 70 sacrifices offered throughout the seven days of Sukos are brought for the benefit of the 70 nations, and the single ox and ram are brought on the eighth day for the bnei Yisroel. This is symbolic of a king saying to his really close friend to make a simple small meal for a private get-together. Given all of the above, it nevertheless seems as if Hashem is not pleased with our offerings, since they are so limited.
The Dubner Magid explains with a parable. A business man was away from home for extended periods of time a number of times a year. He had his own children at home, as well as his step-children from a second marriage. Whenever he came home he brought with him expensive gifts for his step-children and simple gifts for his biological children. A friend questioned this unusual behaviour. He explained that upon his return all the children were pleased, but the step-children much less than his own children. To fully excite his step-children he brought them large gifts. His own children were very pleased to have him back home, much more so than the step-children. A token gift was sufficient for them. The "nimshal" is self-understood.
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