chumash4ss.jpg (17308 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to this week's Parsha| Previous Issues



Ch. 6, v. 2: "Tzav" - Rashi says that the word "tzav" indicates alacrity. More care and effort must be displayed when there is a "chisorone kis." These two words are usually translated as an out of pocket (financial) loss. Numerous explanations are given as to why this is pointed out by the "Korbon Oloh."

The Sfas Emes explains this quite differently. A common reason for bringing an "oloh" sacrifice is to have an atonement for improper thoughts. Other actions which are done through the organs have a safeguard. For example, if one is tempted to view something inappropriate, he has the eyelids to shield the eyes, to smell something enticing, the nostrils can be pinched close. To avoid hearing improper speech, the gemara Ksubos 5a,b explains in detail how one can seal his ears with parts of his body. The mouth, which can do untold damage, even has two coverings, the teeth and the lips. However, the mind has no physical covering. To keep oneself from improper thoughts requires extreme effort and care.

This is what Rashi is pointing out. The word "tzav" is used specifically by the "Korban Oloh" which atones for improper thoughts. Much care must be exercised with sins of the mind, because the mind has a "chisorone kis," it is lacking a covering which can shield it.

Ch. 6, v. 3: "V'lovash haKohein mido vad" - The gemara P'sochim 65b and Z'vochim 35a derives from the word "mido" that the priestly vestments must be "k'midoso," a custom fit for the Kohein. Why is this pointed out here, and not earlier in parshas T'zaveh by the creation of the garments?

Horav B'tzalel haKohein of Vilna answers that in parshas T'zaveh the verses discuss the vestments which include the avneit (sash). If the Kohein's eifode or m'il were too long, this could be adjusted by having them lifted and kept in place with the avneit. The gemara Z'vochim 18b says that the avneit holding the other garments in place at their appropriate size is considered as if the avneit has cut off the excess, "meigiz gei'iz." So even if some of the garments aren't a true custom fit, there is a way to compensate. Therefore the Torah does not mention the rule of "k'midoso" in parshas T'zaveh. Our verse discusses the Kohein wearing his garments for the service of removal of ash from the altar, "haromas hadeshen." During this service the Kohein only wore two garments, and did not wear the avneit (gemara Yoma 23b). Therefore it is absolutely necessary for him to wear these garments "k'midoso," exactly his size, as there is no way to compensate for a garment that is too long. That is why it is mentioned here.

Ch. 6, v. 20: "Kol asher YIGA bivsoroh yikdosh" - All that will come in contact with its flesh shall become sanctified. In 7:19 we find a similar expression regarding contacting impurity, "V'habosor asher YIGA b'chol to'mei lo yei'o'cheil," and the flesh that will come in contact with any impurity shall not be eaten. Rashi on our verse brings the gemara Z'vochim 97a which says that to become sanctified by contact with sacrificial flesh actually means more than just contact. It means to ABSORB from the flesh. This is derived from the word "bivsoroh," IN its flesh, absorbing that which was inside. If the verse only meant contact then it should have said "b'soroh." In 7:19, where contracting impurity is discussed, even simple contact is sufficient to transfer the impurity.

The Holy Admor Hazokein of Lubavitch points out that this teaches us an important lesson. For one to absorb sanctity requires more than just casual contact with those who are holy. It requires ABSORBING their elevated traits. However, to fall spiritually, to become impure, it is sufficient to just come into casual contact with that which is unholy.

Ch. 6, v. 21: "Uchli cherres asher t'vushal bo yishoveir" - Rashi explains that the flavour of the sacrifice which was absorbed into the walls of the vessel in which it was cooked become "nosar," left over beyond their halachically prescribed time. Since that which is absorbed into the walls of an earthenware vessel cannot be totally extracted, it must therefore be broken and never used. Hagaon Rabbi Yosef Shaul Natanson asks that according to the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam which is mentioned in Tosfos on the gemara Chulin 75a that even the passage of one night is sufficient to spoil the flavour of absorption, "taamo nifgam", this flavour would then not pass on any prohibited flavour into future sacrifices which would be cooked in the earthenware (or for that matter any material) vessel. If so why is it necessary to break the earthenware vessel (Also why is it necessary to kasher the copper vessel)? He answers this question with a Mishneh in Pirkei Ovos (5:5) which says that among the ten miracles that occurred on a regular basis in the Beis Hamikdosh was that the flesh of the sacrifices never spoiled, even if left for two days and a night as with the flesh of a "Korban Shlomim." If this was so, then the flavour which was absorbed from the flesh of the sacrifices in the walls of the vessels in which they were cooked, also didn't spoil. However, they did become "nosar," necessitating the breakage of earthenware vessels.

Ch. 7, v. 5: "Oshom hu" - Rashi tells us that these words teach us that if the owner died, the sacrifice must be sent to pasture and only upon receiving a disqualifying injury may it be sold and its value be offered as a "Korban Oloh l'keitz hamizbei'ach." Rashi says that it is incorrect to say that the word "HU" teaches us that a "Korban Oshom" is rendered invalid if slaughtered with the intention of processing it for the wrong sanctity, "shelo lishmo," since "HU" is stated after the burning of certain of its parts, indicating that this does not teach a disqualifying ruling, since the burning itself, if not done, does not effect the basic kashrus of the sacrifice.

The Trumas Hadeshen asks on Rashi, "How could Rashi even entertain that there is a rule of "shelo lishmoh possul" by a Korban Oshom? Rashi himself says on the words "kachatos ko'oshom" (6:10), that from this we derive that a Korban Oshom is still valid "shelo lishmoh." He answers that even if "shelo lishmoh" does not invalidate a Korban Oshom, this might only be true by an oshom that is somewhat voluntary, like "Asham Nozir," which although obligatory once one has becone a Nozir, but becoming a Nozir is voluntary. By a Korban Oshom which is obligatory, as "Asham g'zeilos," "shelo lishmoh" invalidating is still a possibility. Therefore Rashi has to disprove this.

Ch. 7, v. 15: "Todas shlomov b'yom korbono yei'ocheil" - We see from this verse that a Korban Todoh is actually a Korban Shlomim, but with some variations. They are that the time allowance for consumption is limited to only that day and the next night, and that forty breads must be baked to supplement the sacrifice. Why is the Korban Todoh different in these manners? Since the intent of bringing a Korban Todoh is to offer thanks to Hashem for being saved from one of four most dangerous situations (disease, incarceration, travel over a large body of water, travel through a desert, see T'hilim 107:21,22 and gemara Brochos 54b), these differences from a standard Korban Shlomim maximize the pronouncing of thanks. Since much more must be consumed in a shorter span of time, one must ask his acquaintances to join him. He therefore will express his thanks among a large group of people.

This is indicated in T'hilim 116:17,18. "L'choh ezbach zevach TODOH u'v'sheim Hashem ekroh. N'do'rei laShem asha'leim negdoh noh L'CHOL AMO." I will offer a TODOH sacrifice ...... in front of ALL HIS NATION.

There is a specific chapter (#100) in T'hilim which we say in place of a Korban Todoh. It is not said on days when a Korban Todoh could not be brought in the Beis Hamikdosh, such as during Pesach. The Rokeach points out that this chapter contains forty-one words, corresponding to the Korban Todoh and its forty breads. As well, the name of Hashem, YKVK, appears four times, corresponding to the four breads, one of ten of each of four types, which are given to the Kohein, Hashem's representative.


B'DIKAS CHOMETZ: B'dikas chometz should preferably begin at the BEGINNING of the night of the fourteenth of Nison. The first mishneh in P'sochim begins with the words, "Ohr l'arba osor bodkin es hechometz l'ohr ha'neir." The gemara derives from the word "ohr" that one should speak in a refined manner. Why is this terminology placed here? I heard that the use of the word "ohr" by b'dikas chometz actually serves a purpose in the laws of b'dikas chometz as well. The word "ohr" literally means LIGHT. This indicates to us that we should begin checking for chometz at the beginning of the night, when there is still a glimmer of light in the western sky.


The Yerushalmi P'sochim 10:1 says: Rabbi Levi says that one who eats matzoh on the eve of Pesach is enlikened to one who has relations with his betrothed fiancÚ while she still resides in the home of her parents.

The Abudrohom explains this analogy. Just as one must first have seven blessings made before marriage, and if these blessings are omitted the Ma'seches Kalloh chapter 1 says that taking a wife without the seven blessings is akin to approaching her while she is in a state of "nidoh," so also with the matzoh on the eve of Pesach, since he has eaten the matzoh before making seven blessings , first, which occur in the order of the Seder. (Some explanation is needed to arrive at seven blessings before the eating of matzoh.)

1) The Baal Halochos G'dolos in his commentary on the gemara P'sochim chapter 10 says in the name of Rashi that the prohibition was instated so that by abstaining for a short period before the time of the mitzvoh one shows a love for the mitzvoh.

2) The Rambam hilchos chometz u'matzoh 6:12 says that the reason is to separate between eating of matzoh which is "r'shus," voluntary and not a mitzvoh, and eating of matzoh on Pesach, which is a mitzvoh.

3) The Kolbo says that the reason is that by eating matzoh on the eve of Pesach one displays a character of being ravenous.

4) The Pri Chodosh O. Ch. #471 says in the name of the Rokei'ach that since the verse says, "Bo'erev tochlu matzos" (Shmos 12:18), we derive from this that it is prohibited to eat matzos before the night of Pesach.

Perhaps a Chassidic style vort can be added to the Rokei'ach's explanation. "BO'EREV" can also be translated as "with sweetness" (as in the blessing "v'haa'rev noh"). With SWEETNESS shall you eat matzos. If you indulge on the eve of Pesach, you will not eat the matzos at night with enthusiasm. This would equate this explanation with the next offering from the M'iri.

5) The M'iri in his commentary on the gemara P'sochim says that by refraining from eating matzos on the eve of Pesach one will then eat the Matzos shel mitzvoh on the night of Pesach with a great appetite.


1) The Ramban in his commentary to the rulings of the Rif on gemara P'sochim chapter 3, called "Milchamos Hashem," says that it begins on the night of b'dikas chometz.

2) The Magid Mishneh on the Rambam hilchos chometz u'matzoh at the end of chapter 6 says that the Rambam's opinion is that it begins at the beginning of daybreak of the 14th of Nison.

3) The Rosh on gemara P'sochim chapter 3, siman #17 says that it begins at midday of the 14th of Nison.


The Sfas Emes on gemara Sukoh 35a d.h. "b'gemara assia" says that one must own the matzoh.


1) It is included in the blessings of kiddush in which we have already said "Zeicher litzias Mitzrayim."

2) It is included in the blessings of the Maariv prayers where we say some of the details of the exodus and say the blessing "go'al Yisroel."

3) It is said at the end of relating the story of our exodus from Egypt in the blessing which ends with the words "go'al Yisroel." Even though we have a rule that we make a blessing on a mitzvoh before doing it (first chapter of gemara P'sochim), this is an exception. Just as a convert makes the blessing on his immersing in the mikvoh after his immersion, since before the immersion he was still not Jewish, here too, one is to perceive himself as if he had left Egypt now, at the end of "magid." Likewise it is appropriate to make the blessing at the end of the mitzvoh of "magid" and not earlier.

4) We don't make a blessing because one should perceive himself as if he had just left Egypt. Before relating the story, one is as if he was not yet freed, and at that point it is inappropriate to make a blessing.

5) The Rashboh says that we don't make a blessing on a mitzvoh that has no clear parameters. Since the mitzvoh of relating the exodus from Egypt can be fulfilled through just a few short sentences as well as through lengthy discources lasting many hours, no blessing is said.


Relating the experience of the exodus from Egypt is possibly our most potent tool in carrying over to the following generations our history and special purpose in fulfilling Hashem's wishes through his Torah as the Jewish nation. This opportunity should not be passed up. It must be maximized. This can be done with proper preparation of sections of the Hagodoh, related at the level that one's children, guests, etc., can comprehend.

While in attendance at the Seder of my father-in-law o"h, I heard him say that we find no other mitzvoh were the Torah teaches us details of how to practically apply the mitzvoh according to different situations. The mitzvoh of "magid" is detailed to the point that the Torah tells us how to respond to each of four different types of sons. This is something that we could theoretically figure out on our own. The Torah's detailing this shows us how very important it is to reach each person on his own level.

The word "MAGID" appears in the Torah once. Where?


Back to this week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,

provided that this notice is included intact.

Jerusalem, Israel