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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 12, v. 2: "V'yoldo zochor v'tomoh shivas yomim" - Tosfos on the gemara Krisus 10a d.h.

"Ko mashma lon" says that the gemara's conclusion is that "efshar lifsichas mokor bli dom," or else there would be no need for the law of seven days of impurity after the birth of a male child. The Rashboh has a text in the gemara which seems to make the need for the verse and the rule that "Ee efshar lifsichas " compatible.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger in his responsa volume 1 #158 answers the Rashboh's opinion by saying that if the woman who gave birth already had the status of nidoh and gave birth on the seventh day, there would be no extension of impurity by virtue of the emission of blood. The new law of birth creates a new seven-day period of impurity. If the woman had the status of zovoh, then the birth would only give her a ruling of "shomeres yom," one day of impurity, and the law of birth creates seven days of impurity.

Ch. 12, v. 3: "U'va'yom hashmini yimol bsar orloso" - The Medrash Rabboh says that the juxtaposition of the rules of family purity to the laws of circumcision teaches us that he who fulfills the laws of family purity will merit to PERSONALLY circumcise his son on the eighth day after birth. What is the intention of the words that indicate that the father will PERSONALLY do the circumcision? The Avnei Shoham answers with another M.R. which says that if parents do not abide by the laws of family purity, their sons will be born with tzoraas. The gemara Shabbos 132b-133a says that if the new-born son has tzoraas on the location that has to be cut to fulfill bris miloh, it should be done in spite of the restriction to not excise tzoraas, because of the rule "mitzvas assei docheh mitzvas lo saa'se." The gemara goes on to say that if another person is available to do the bris, he has priority over the father who wants to remove the tzoraas which cleanses his son from tzoraas impurity. The other person only has intention to do the bris and regarding removal of tzoraas is an "eino miska'vein."

This is the intention of our M.R. If the parents keep the laws of family purity, their child will be born without tzoraas, and there will be no tzoraas at the site of the miloh. Then it will not be necessary to use an outsider as a mohel, but rather the father can PERSONALLY do the circumcision. This is alluded to in the verse in Koheles 11:2, "Tein cheilek l'shivoh v'gam l'shmonoh." The M.R. says this means that if you keep the laws of the seven days (family purity), then you will fulfill the mitzvoh of the eighth day (bris miloh.)

Maharam Eisenstadt explains the verse in Koheles with the gemara Shvuos 18b, where Rabbi Chiya bar Abbo says that he who separates physically from his wife close to the onset of her expected monthly menses will merit to have male children, as the verse juxtaposes, "L'havdil bein hatomei u'vein hatohor (12:47)" to "Ishoh ki sazria v'yoldoh zochor." This is alluded to in the verse in Koheles. If you give a portion (an added separation before the onset of the menses) to the seven days of nidoh impurity, then you will merit to have a son whom you will circumcise on the eighth day. (Peninim Y'korim)

Ch. 12, v. 8: "Echod l'chatos v'echod l'oshom" - If you wonder why by the chatos of a poor person who was shogeg of krisus in parshas Vayikroh (5:7), the replacement for the sheep was TWO birds, while here it is only ONE bird for the oloh replacement, the answer is that we only would need one bird by the chatos as well. We have a second one to not deprive the altar of its portion. If only a bird chatos were to be brought, the altar would receive no burned portion at all. One bird for an oloh serves that purpose. Here there is an oloh in any case; just it is reduced to a bird for the poor person. This is a proof for the Ibn Ezra mentioned back in parshas Vayikroh. More on this Ibn Ezra in 14:21.

Ch. 13, v. 2: "B'or b'soro" - Why doesn't the verse simply say "b'oro" since the tzoraas affliction is on the surface of the skin? The Oznayim laTorah gives us three answers:

1) To teach us that although the affliction is only skin-deep it is not to be taken lightly, but should be considered a deep malady, as if it infected the flesh as well.
2) To indicate that there is a difference in the laws of tzoraas, depending on whether it appears on an open flesh area or a hairy area.
3) To indicate that the sin of the flesh (immorality) is a cause of the tzoraas.

The gemara Arochin 16a says: R' Yochonon says that there are seven causes for tzoraas:

1) Loshon hora. (Note the similarity of the words "motzi shem ra" and metzoroh.)
2) Murder.
3) Swearing in vain.
4) Sexual immorality.
5) Haughtiness.
6) Theft.
7) Stinginess. (Note the similarity of the words "tzaar ayin" and tzoraas.)
Rabbeinu Bachyei says that this last cause is indicated in the verse (14:35) which says, "asher lo habayis." The house is his, but not for the use of anyone else.

Ch. 13, v. 3: "V'sei'or ba'nega hofach lovon" - Rashi says that the negah came when the hair was not yet white. It turned white only after the negah made its appearance. Then Rashi explains that the word "sei'or," which literally means ONE hair, means a minimum of two hairs. Why does Rashi first explain "hofach," which appears later in the verse, before explaining the word "v'sei'or," which appears earlier? It is written in the name of the GR"A that he answered that the explanation of the word "hofach" brought about the interpretation of the word "v'sei'or." Is it not possible to say that the hair that is in the negah was once black and turned white, and only afterwards the negah came? Therefore Rashi says that "sei'or" means a minimum of two hairs. It should have said "hofchu" if the HAIRS, plural, turned white of their own accord. However, if we say that "hofach" refers to the negah turning the hairs white, the singular form is appropriate. Therefore Rashi explains "v'sei'or" afterwards as a backup to his proof.

I have had difficulty with this vort for a number of decades. The verb should be in the "hifil" form. As well, even if the word "sei'or" means plural HAIRS, this is the meaning, but not the literal form in the verse. If the word "sei'or" is used, then the verb should also follow in the single form. For example, the Talmud says that the word "eid," witness, means two witnesses unless the Torah specifically states "eid echod." Nonetheless, when the Torah says "v'eid EIN boh (Bmidbar 5:13), which means that there are not TWO witnesses, it does not say "EINOM boh," which is appropriate for the plural, meaning witnesses.

I have merited to come across the Haksav V'hakaboloh who asks this question and another one as well. He ends by saying that he believes these words could not have passed through the holy lips of the GR"A.

Ch. 13, v. 9: "Negah tzoraas ki si'h'yeh b'odom v'huvoh el haKoheiN" - Our verse begins and ends with the letter Nun, as does a verse in B'midbar Ch. 32, v. 32: "Nachnu na'avor chalutzim ... mei'eiver laYardeN," and in Dvorim Ch. 18, v.15" " Novi eilov tishmo'uN" - The Rosh in our parsha explains why the letter Aleph in "nachnu" is omitted. The Aleph is omitted to allow the verse to begin and end with the letter Nun. The Haftorah of our parsha relates the well-known story of Naamon, the chief officer of the army of Aram, being afflicted with tzoraas. He was advised by a captive Jewish girl to seek the help of the prophet Elishoh. Upon coming to Elishoh's home, Naamon's officers were advised by Elishoh that Naamon should immerse in the Jordan River. He reluctantly followed this advice and was instantly fully cured.

The Rosh quotes Rabbeinu Eliyohu who asks, "How did the prophet Elishoh know to suggest to Naamon to immerse himself in the Jordan River?" He answers that Elishoh reasoned, "Let Naamon, whose name begins and ends with the letter 'Nun' be brought to the Kohein (Elishoh). This is the fulfillment of Vayikroh 13:9, which begins and ends with the letter 'Nun'. The prophet will advise him and he should follow the prophet's advice. This is the fulfillment of Dvorim 18:15: which begins and ends with the letter 'nun'. The prophet advised that Naamon immerse specifically in the Jordan River. This is the fulfillment of our verse which mentions passing through the Jordan River. This verse also begins and ends with the letter 'nun'. We now see why the Torah omitted the letter 'aleph' and left us with the word "nachnu."

Incidentally, in some siddurim all the verses in Tanach which begin and end with a 'nun' are listed in the Motzoei Shabbos prayers, and it is a great 'seguloh' to read them.

Ch. 13, v. 33: "V'his*G*aloch" - This is the 33rd verse in the verses dealing with tzoraas. This alludes to the cutting of hair on the 33rd day of the S'firas Ho'omer (O.Ch. #493:2). The large letter Gimmel alludes to the three days of "hagboloh," when it is permitted to cut one's hair. "V'hisGaloch" is numerically equal to "L"G yomim bo'omer" (with the kolel), which is 452. Tof-Nun-Beis equals 452, which stands for "Tista'peir B'erev Nun, Cut your hair on the eve of the fiftieth day," which is Shvuos. This is the custom of the Ari z"l. (Pardes Yosef)

Ch. 13, v. 49: "Y'rakrak o adamdam" - The Toras Kohanim 5:14:2 says that the double letters indicate depth and strength of colouring, green of greens and red of reds. However, we find the mishneh N'go'im 1:2 which says that adamdam is like wine which is poured into water. This seems contrary to the above T.K. The Pardes Yosef answers that the mishneh refers to the nature of "pisoyon," spreading of the negah, just as wine spreads its colour through water. The T.K. is referring to the depth of colour.


Ch. 14, v. 21: "V'im dal hu v'ein yodo ma'seges" - The gemara Yoma 41b brings a disagreement regarding one who is wealthy and brings the sacrifice designated for a poor man to offer. One opinion is that he has fulfilled his responsibility, and the other that he has not. However, regarding the sacrifices required for the purifying process of the metzoroh, everyone agrees that he has not discharged his responsibilities by bringing the sacrifice of a poor man.

R' Yaakov haLevi Landau, the son of the Noda Bihudoh, explains that since one of the seven causes of tzoraas (gemara Arochin 16a) is stinginess, by displaying this trait at the time of purification, we see that the metzoroh has not rid himself of this negative midoh.

The Chinuch in mitzvoh #123, dealing with the details of the laws of bringing an "oloh v'yoreid" sacrifice, says that if a poor man brought the sacrifice which is appropriate as an offering for the wealthy man, he has not discharged his obligation, and must bring that which is required of a poor man. Commentaries ask that this seems to be contradictory to the mishneh in N'go'im 14:12, which clearly states that if a poor metzoroh brought the sacrifices of the wealthy person, he has fulfilled his obligation. The Imrei Emes answered this question with the few succinct words; "This person is lacking a korbon."

Rabbi Menachem Ziemba zt"l Hy"d explained the words of the Imrei Emes. The Chinuch is discussing the sin-offerings of one who has defiled the Sanctuary or the sacrifices. The wealthy person is required to bring a lamb as a chatos. The poor person is required to bring two birds, one as a chatos, and one as an oloh.

When bringing the korbon of the wealthy person, which is only a chatos, the poor person has not brought an oloh, thus not fulfilling his requirements. However, the mishneh in N'go'im discusses a metzoroh. A wealthy metzoroh brings three animals, one for a chatos, one for an oloh, and one for an oshom. The poor person, likewise, brings three korbonos, a bird for a chatos, another bird for an oloh, and an animal for an oshom. Hence he has brought all three types of korbonos that are required of him even if he brings a wealthy man's korbonos.

This explanation of the Imrei Emes seems to make the Chinuch disagree with Ibn Ezra which was mentioned in parshas Vayikroh. I take the liberty of presenting the Ibn Ezra and the commentary of the Meshech Chochmoh again. The seeming disagreement is very apparent. < The Meshech Chochmoh says that according to this Ibn Ezra we can understand why there is a need for a special teaching that THIS "olas ho'ofe" cannot be processed at night. Although no sacrifices may be processed at night, but since the whole purpose of bringing this "oloh" was to offer the altar its portion; there is good reason to believe that this would be an exception. The burning of "olos" may be done at night, as mentioned in the first mishneh of Brochos regarding burning of parts of korbonos at night. Similarly, one might think that the complete processing of this particular "oloh" might be done at night. Therefore we need a special comparison to its accompanying offering, the "chatos ho'ofe", that it may only be done by day. The Meshech Chochmoh had a visitor on the day that the above Torah thought came to his mind. The Meshech Chochmoh told his guest that he had taken a short midday nap that day and had a dream in which the Rashboh appeared to him and told him that the Meshech Chochmoh had answered the question posed to the Rashboh in a far superior manner.>> A possible way of avoiding a Chinuch-Ibn Ezra disagreement might be by saying that after there is a verse advising us that there is a requirement to process the "olas ho'ofe" during the daytime, by comparing it (hekish) to the "chatos ho'ofe," this gives the "olas ho'ofe" an intrinsic value as an independent korbon, not just as a way to avoid depriving the altar of its portion of the korbon. This independent korbon is missing when the poor man brings the korbon of the wealthy person.

Ch. 14, v. 35: "U'voh asher lo habayis V'HIGID laKohein" - Compare to 13:3 where the one who is physically afflicted with tzoraas also goes to the Kohein, but the word "v'higid" is not mentioned. The Holy Chozeh of Lublin had a chosid who was extremely poor. Whenever he went to his Rebbe, his wife reminded him to advise the Rebbe that he was very poor, and possibly the Rebbe would give him a blessing for a decent livelihood. However, when in the presence of the Holy Chozeh, the chosid totally forgot about his physical depravations and only discussed his spiritual pursuits. This happened time and again. Once before he departed to the Chozeh, his wife decided to come along, as she would not forget to plea to the Rebbe for their physical needs. When she related their situation to the Rebbe, he responded that regarding one's physical flaws (ni'gei haguf), it is not necessary to relate the details to the Kohein, as it does not say "v'higid" by the tzoraas of the body. However, regarding the afflictions of the home (problems with livelihood), it is necessary to relate this to the Kohein, as it says "v'higid" by "ni'gei batim." (Gan Yosef by the baal Pardes Yosef)

Ch. 15, v. 19: "V'ishoh ki si'h'yeh zovoh domoh" - The gemara Nidoh 58b derives from the word "domoh" that the nidoh impurity only comes about through blood emission and not through stains of blood found on garments. This only brings impurity by rabbinical decree. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says that even a small stain which can be attributed to killing a small bug does not alleviate the impurity unless the woman knows that she killed a bug which was on her garments. The Rabonon are more lenient and say that a small stain is always attributed to a bug, even without knowing that a bug was killed. Rabbi Shimon said to the Rabonon, "According to my opinion, 'ein keitz.'" Rabbi Elchonon Ashkenazi explains this expression with the gemara Y'vomos 62a and Breishis Rabboh 24:2 which say that the son of Dovid (Moshiach) will not come until all the souls kept in the storage area called "guf" are placed into newborn Jewish children. Since it is very common to find stains of blood on garments, it will be close to impossible for a woman to purify herself from the state of nidoh, and no children would be born. Hence, "ein keitz," Moshiach would never come.

Answer to last week's question: << If chazir will become permitted in the future, as mentioned by Rabbeinu Bachyei, then if it is mixed with even more than 60 equal parts of kosher food, it should still be prohibited because of the rule, "Dovor she'yeish lo matirin afilu b'elef lo botil." >> One of the 13 basic tenets of our faith is that the Torah will never change. If so, how could chazir become permitted? The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh says that the chazir will change and chew its cud. The Torah clearly states that this is the reason for the prohibition of its consumption. The piece of chazir which mixes with kosher food is from a dead chazir which will never become kosher, hence it does not fall under the rule of "dovor she'yeish lo matirin."

Which species of animal has totally split hooves and chews its cud, and is still not kosher?

The "Sh'su'oh." See Dvorim 14:7.


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