by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS SHMINI 5768 BS"D
Ch. 9, v. 2: "Eigel ben bokor" - A young calf - The maximum age of this sacrifice is up to one year old. The Rokei'ach notes that the mathematical value of "ben bokor" is 354, one short of the value of "shonoh," a year.
The mathematical value of "eigel" is 103, the same as "ekov," the word used by Bilom, when he said Bmidbar 23:8), "How can I curse them when Keil has not done so Himself?" (Moshav Z'keinim)
Ch. 9, v. 8: "Va'yikrav Aharon el hamizbei'ach" - And Aharon approached the altar - After much hesitation Aharon was convinced by Moshe to do the priestly service. At this point in time both Moshe and Aharon officiated as Kohanim G'dolim. The gemara Megiloh 9b relates that one time the Kohein Godol became temporary disqualified from doing the service and Rabbi Yoseif ben Ulom of Tzipori was elevated to the position of Kohein Godol in the interim. When the regular Kohein Godol was again qualified to serve, Rabbi Yoseif was left in limbo. He could now not serve as a regular Kohein, as once he was elevated he could not be demoted. As well, he could not continue being a Kohein Godol concurrently with the regular one because having two people in this position would cause animosity. He was no longer able to do service as a Kohein.
How so then, were Moshe and Aharon Kohanim G'dolim concurrently? Rabbi Yeruchom Walfish answers that Moshe was not jealous of Aharon as he was actually just a Levi. Aharon was not jealous of Moshe, as the Torah testifies that Aharon was overjoyed when he was advised of Moshe's having the position of leader of the nation. This was an exception, while for all further generations, regardless of how selfless a person might seem to be, deep, deep in the recesses of his heart there will be animosity for a second person on the same unique level.
Ch. 9, v. 9: "Va'yakrivu bnei Aharon es hadom eilov va'yitbol etz'bo'o badom" - And the sons of Aharon brought the blood to him and he dipped his finger into the blood - In verse 13 by the "oloh" and verse 18 by the "shlomim" we find a different expression, "va'yamtzi'u," rather than "va'yakrivu."
1) The Meshech Chochmoh explains that by every "chatos" offering there is a requirement to place the blood upon the altar by dipping his finger into the blood and wiping it on the altar. Because this was a "chatos" with a special ruling, that its innards be burned outside the encampment, as is the rule with the unique "chato'os pnimios," the verse expresses itself with "va'yitbol" rather than the normal "va'yikach," as we find by other "chato'os." The terminology "t'viloh," says the gemara Z'vochim first chapter, teaches that this service is one of the four stages of blood offerings, akin to regular "holochoh," walking the blood to the altar. Since this was the day of Aharon's initiation into K'hunoh G'doloh, he wanted to do all four services himself. Since with his dipping his finger into the blood he has fulfilled "holochoh," he let his sons bring the blood. This was their "holochoh," and is therefore expressed as "va'yakrivu." In the other two instances, he only fulfilled "holochoh" through actually walking the blood towards the altar, therefore his sons made the blood available for him, "va'yamtzi'u," and he walked it.
2) Alternatively, he offers that since the "chatos" blood is placed high up on the altar, they had to bring it up to him, at the top of the ramp, "va'yakrivu," while the "oloh" and "shlomim" offerings have their blood placed on the lower half of the altar, so they just walked across the floor to him, "va'yamtzi'u."
3) The Ponim Yofos also offers two answers, one that he heard from someone else, and his own. The one he heard is that when Aharon would dip his finger into the blood, by a "chatos," the pan was "brought close" by his sons and they held onto it while he dipped his finger. By an "oloh" and a "shlomim," where the manner of placing the blood onto the altar is by throwing it directly from the pan, Aharon had to actually hold it. This is "va'yamtzi'u," as the gemara B.M. 4 says, that the term "m'tzioh" means that the item is in one's hand.
4) His own answer is that a "chatos" is slaughtered in the northern area of the "azoroh," and its blood offering begins at the south-west corner of the altar. This requires walking the pan of blood a distance, hence "va'yakrivu." An "oloh" and "shlomim" each have their first blood placement on the north-east corner of the altar, and in turn, they could be slaughtered close enough to the altar to not require any walking, hence "va'yamtzi'u," they made it available.
Ch. 10, v. 9: "V'sheichor al teisht" - And aged wine you shall not drink - The letters of these words are a mnemonic for, "V'im Shosoh K'dei R'viis Ossur L'hispa'leil, Tfilas Shikur To'eivoh."
(Tur Sh.O. O.Ch. 99)
The Prishoh ad loc. Adds that "teisht" also allows for a mnemonic reading of, "Tfilas shosuy tfiloh," meaning the prayers of one who has drunk (but is not drunk) is accepted.
Ch. 10, v. 10: "Ulhavdil bein hakodesh uvein hachole" - And to separate between the sanctified and between the secular - These words come on the heels of the previous verse, which discusses wine consumption. We thus have an allusion for using wine in the "havdoloh" ritual. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
As well, the word "hachole" is lacking the letter Vov, to indicate that one should also recite "havdoloh" when the weekday is not totally a non-consecrated weekday. This refers to "cholo shel mo'eid." (Yalkut Ho'eizovi)
Ch. 10, v. 10: "Bein hakodesh uvein hachole uvein hato'mei uvein hatohor" - Between the sanctified and between the secular and between the defiled and between the pure - Note that the order is the sanctified before the secular, but when it comes to the laws of purity, the defiled comes first. Following the order of our verse, Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi likewise set the order of the Mishnayos, with the beginning of the order of Kodoshim being maseches Z'vochim, Menochos, etc., and ending with Chulin. In the order of Taharos he begins with "Ovos hatumoh" and ends with "Tohor" in Oktzin. (Yalkut Ho'eizovi)
Ch. 11, v. 8: "Mibsorom lo socheilu" - Of their flesh you shall not eat - The Torah has just listed four species of animals that have only one sign of kashrus, but not the other, and has prohibited eating them. Rashi raises this question: How do we know that a species that is lacking both signs is also prohibited? Rashi answers that we can derive this through the logic of a "kal vochomer." If the Torah prohibits consumption of an animal that has one kosher sign, surely a species that has none is prohibited.
This bit of logic is good and fine for restraining us from eating, but how do we know that one who does so is culpable to receive lashes? We have a dictum that "Ein onshim min hadin," we do not mete out a punishment for a sin whose source is the logic of "kal vochomer."
The Gur Aryeh, Mahara"l of Prague, answers that the wituation os a species lacking either sign of kashrus is not included in the above rule. This is because the Torah specifies that one species does not ruminate, and in turn is not kosher, and another three species do not have split hooves, and in turn are not kosher. Since the Torah specifies that lacking this or lacking that is not kosher, we consider the species that is lacking both to be spelled out in the Torah prohibition.
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