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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 9, v. 2: "Kach" - Take - Rashi on Breishis 43:15 d.h. writes that when the intention of the word-form "kichoh" is to literally take, then Targum will say N-S-B. However, when the intention is to convince, i.e. to take with convincing words, Targum will say D-B-R. Here Targum Onkelos says "sav," meaning to physically take. Indeed, we must say that Aharon picked up each animal and sanctified it as a chatos, an oloh, etc. (Biu'rei Targum Onkelos)

Ch. 9, v. 2: "Kach l'cho eigel" - Take for yourself a calf - Rashi says that with offering this calf Aharon will affect an atonement for his involvement with the golden calf. How can he bring himself atonement for the golden calf with a calf? Does this not run contrary to the rule "ein ka'teigor naa'seh sneigor" (gemara R.H. 26a, T.K. 21:10), that a prosecutor cannot become a defendant? The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that with a careful analysis of what took place at the incident of the golden calf this is resolved. Aharon took no part in creating the actual golden calf. It took form through the magic invested in it by two of Paroh's advisors who left Egypt with the "eirev rav," Yeinos and Yambros (Medrash Tanchuma Ki Siso #19). It was also through these negative powers that it took on life and ate grass. Aharon did not believe in it as a deity. He only asked people for gold jewellery to be used and began a rudimentary etching of the gold (Shmos 32:24). Although he did this in the hope of biding time until Moshe would return from the upper spheres, nonetheless, this act was considered a fault, but specifically limited to amassing gold. It is for exactly this reason that the Kohein Godol may not enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur wearing priestly garments that contain gold (gemara R.H. 26a). The bringing of a live calf as an atonement for gold does not contravene "ein ka'teigor naa'seh sneigor."

The bnei Yisroel, on the other hand, sinned with some level of belief in or complacency with the golden calf as a living creature. Therefore their atonement for the golden calf cannot be with a calf, exactly because "ein ka'teigor .." This is why a specifically a goat is brought to affect their atonement. (I believe that this is contrary to the words of the T.K. and Targum Yonoson ben Uziel that the goat offering was an atonement for the sale of Yoseif, which involved slaughtering a goat and dipping Yoseif's coat into its blood.) He offers a second answer which posits that "ein ka'teigor .." only applies to atonement that takes place in the Holy of Holies. Look it up in its entirety. The Malbim offers that when the "ka'teigor" is slaughtered and burned, this does not run afoul of the rule "ein ka'teigor .."

Ch. 9, v. 8: "Va'yish'chat es eigel hachatos asher lo" - And he slaughtered the calf sin-offering that was his - In verse 2 Moshe tells Aharon to bring a CALF as a sin-offering and a RAM as an "oloh" offering. In our verse, when Aharon actually slaughters the "chatos" the fact that it was a CALF is mentioned. Yet in verse 12, where the slaughtering of the "oloh" is recorded there is no mention of its being a RAM. Why the difference? The calf is mentioned to stress that Aharon was keenly aware that it was brought to atone for the golden calf. This also explains why the Torah repeats "asher LO," information that was already included in "kach L'CHO" earlier in verse 2. (Oznayin laTorah)

Ch. 9, v. 11: "V'es habosor v'es ho'ore soraf bo'aish michutz lamacha'neh" - And the flesh and the skin he burned in fire outside the encampment - Rashi says that we find no other sin-offering that is totally consumed besides this one and the one mentioned earlier in 8:17, which was brought as part of the dedication process, and that this was a special directive from Hashem. The Mizrochi writes that there was another sin-offering that was totally consumed that is mentioned in Bmidbar 8:6, brought for the initiation of the Levites, but he writes that this is included in Rashi's words when he says that the initiation sin-offering was also totally consumed, i.e. this and any other initiation sin-offering.

The Abarbanel writes that the reason that this sin-offering was totally consumed is because Kohanim's offerings are to be totally consumed, as we find by their meal offering (Vayikra 6:16). The Oznayim laTorah finds this most puzzling, as the only exception is the meal offering and not any other offering a Kohein brings, be it voluntary or obligatory. He offers no answer.

Ch. 9, v. 22: "Va'yiso Aharon es yodov el ho'om va'y'vorcheim va'yei'red mei'asose hachatos" - And Aharon lifted his hands to the nation and he blessed them and he descended after processing the sin-offering - The T.K. #29 says that the actual order of events was reversed, that Aharon first brought the sin-offering and once he knew that the people were forgiven he blessed them. Knowing that they were forgiven brought Aharon great joy, and it was only when he experienced this that he blessed them. The T.K. derives from this that Kohanim should bless the bnei Yisroel when they are joyous. Indded, the text of the blessing is "v'tzivonu l'vo'reich es amo Yisroel b'AHAVOH." In the same vein, in the diaspora the Kohanim bless the bnei Yisroel only on Yom Tov, a time when they are joyous. (Yom Kippur's joy stems from it being a day of atonement.) Taam Vodaas offers that this is the reason for specifically having Kohanim administer the blessing, because they are well disposed towards the rest of the bnei Yisroel who give them their priestly presents. The Holy Admor of Kotzk says that the main ingredient in a blessing being fulfilled is the genuine intention of the one who gives the blessing, even if he is but a simple person. The A'teres Z'keinim on O.Ch. #128 writes in the name of the Holy Zohar that if the Kohein who gives the blessing has an enemy in the congregation, or if there is a congregant who hates the Kohein, then administering the blessing is fraught with danger.

Ch. 10, v. 4: "Vayikra Moshe el Misho'eil v'el Eltzofon bnei Uzi'eil" - And Moshe called to Misho'eil and to Eltzofon the sons of Uzi'eil - Since a regular Kohein may defile himself to his brother, why didn't Elozor and/or Isomor attend to the removal of the two dead brothers? Baa'lei Tosfos and the Raava"d answer that they had the status of Kohein Godol on the day of their initiation. Perhaps this is to be taken literally, as they too brought a "minchas chinuch shel chavitin," similar to the "minchas chavitin" of the Kohein Godol that is brought on a daily basis. Another way of explaining this is that although not literally Kohanim G'dolim, they were not allowed to defile themselves because it was at the time of the initiation of the Mishkon. A "chanukah," a beginning, cannot be diminished with defilement, just as we find by the "chanukas haMikdosh," where they only used pure oil for the menorah, although normally even defiled oil is acceptable. (Based on the words of Rabbi Yoseif Engel in his commentary Gilyonei haShas on the gemara Shabbos 21b)



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

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