Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 8, v. 2: "B'haalos'cho" - Rashi says that there were steps, "maalos," in front of the menorah. In mishnayos Tomid 3:9 it says that there was a STONE in front of the menorah upon which the Kohein stood when he would cleanse the lamps in preparation for the next kindling. Although the actual lighting of the menorah is permitted to be done by a non-Kohein, the cleaning of the lamps in preparation for the next lighting must be done by a Kohein. This gives the cleaning, "hatovas ha'neiros," the status of an "avodoh," an assignment that must be done specifically by a Kohein. If that is so, how may he do it while standing on an elevation? Torah law requires a Kohein to have his feet firmly planted on the floor of the Mikdosh during any "avodoh."

2) Ch. 9, v. 5: "Va'yaasu es haPesach borishone b'arba ossor yom lachodesh" - The gemara P'sochim 66a relates that one year the eve of Pesach came out on a Shabbos. The Kohanim of the family of Bnei B'seiro were not sure if the slaughtering of the Pesach lamb was permitted, since slaughtering is generally prohibited on Shabbos. The gemara says that Hillel, who had recently immigrated from Bovel said that it was permitted as this is derived from "B'mo'ado," in its set time (Bmidbar 9:3). Why were they in doubt? We see in our verse that the bnei Yisroel sacrificed the Korban Pesach in their second year in the desert. The M.R. Breishis 3:9 relates that on the first of Nison of that year the inauguration of the Mishkon began. The M.R. goes on to say that the first day of the Mishkon dedication was a first regarding ten matters. Three of them were that it took place on the first day of the first month and was also on the first day of the week, Sunday. Since the first of Nison was a Sunday, it follows that the fourteenth was a Shabbos. Our verse clearly states that the Korban Pesach was sacrificed on that day.

3) Ch. 9, v. 6: "Va'y'hi anoshim" - And there were men - The change from singular to plural is problematic.

4) Ch. 11, v. 4: "Hisavu taavoh" - They lusted a lust - People who lived a most miraculous existence, and had manna, the food that had almost every flavour imaginable likely didn't have a simple lust for meat, a sort of "where's the beef" request. What were they after?

5) Ch, 11, v. 13: "Ki yivku olai leimore t'noh lonu vosor" - When they cry to me saying give us meat - The word "leimore" seems superfluous.



1) Perhaps this is why the maseches Tomid points out that the steps were a stone block. Possibly this stone was permanently in place in front of the menorah, and as such, has the status of the floor of the Mikdosh, as did all the tiled stones that created the surface of the Mikdosh floor. We find that certain stones were purposely elevated above the surface and still had the status of "karka haMikdosh." They were called "itz'tabo'os" and served the purpose of elevating the Kohein above the regular surface. On erev Pesach so many sacrifices were slaughtered that the floor was flooded with the sacrificial blood. This rising blood could easily soil the bottom of a Kohein's garments, rendering them unfit to wear when performing the service. Therefore "itz'tabo'os," stone tiles that were higher than the surrounding tiles, were built into the floor of the Mikdosh. They were also halachically considered the Mikdosh floor surface.

2) Another possibility is that the lighting did not have the status of "avodoh," a priestly service, and could be done by a non-Kohein or a Kohein whose feet aren't directly on the floor. However, the elevation was also used for cleaning the lamps, which surely could only be done by a Kohein. As well, some say that the elevation was needed so that if the Kohein Godol would do the service, he would be elevated above the lamps and thus would not have to lift his hands above the Tzitz, which contained Hashem's Holy Name. This indicates that he was required to wear his priestly garments while lighting. This revolves around a disagreement between the Raava"d and the Shaagas Aryeh about the Kohein Godol wearing his priestly garments while not actively performing an "avodoh."


1) The Paa'nei'ach Rozo'nei'ach Rozo asks this question. I understand his answer as follows: This proof is far from conclusive, since there are other opinions that the first day of the inauguration took place on a different day of the week. The bnei B'seiro were not sure on which day it factually took place. Only after Hillel's proof from a verse that it is permitted, did they accept the opinion that it began on a Sunday.

2) In Shmos 12:25 the Torah prefaces the mitzvoh of sacrificing the Korban Pesach for future generations with the words "V'hoyoh ki sovo'u el ho'oretz." Rashi there comments that the mitzvoh of sacrificing the Korban Pesach only begins once the bnei Yisroel enter Eretz Yisroel. He adds that the Korban Pesach that was sacrificed during the second year of the bnei Yisroel's wandering in the desert was brought only because of a specific command by Hashem (Bmidbar 9:2). This gives us a very clear answer to the question posed by the Paa'nei'ach Rozo. Although it was clear to the people mentioned in the gemara P'sochim that in the second year in the desert the Korban Pesach was slaughtered on a Shabbos, this does not prove that it is permitted in all generations, since the bringing of that Korban Pesach was unique (as was Pesach Mitzrayim) in that it was before the bnei Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel. Included in this unique command might have also been that the slaughtering of the sacrifice pushes aside the Shabbos. This is clearly not a precedent for future times, thus necessitating a proof from a verse. Tosfos on Kidushin 37b d.h. "Ho'il" also says that Pesach Midbor was an exception, brought in response to a specific command from Heaven.


1) Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that "va'y'hi" has as its antecedent a singular defilement, "tumoh." It would seem that the verse should have said "vaT'hi," to match the female word "tumoh."

2) Alternatively, he offers that the singular form alludes to the ruling that if a majority of the populace was defiled the Paschal offering could be brought in a state of defilement.

3) Paa'nei'ach Rozo answers that Misho'el and Eltzofon, who were the two defiled people, were EACH defiled to only one person, to Nodov and Avihu. This likewise required clarification, as nevertheless, there were two people who were defiled and they came together to Moshe to pursue the possibility of offering a Paschal sacrifice.

Rashi in his commentary on Iyov 42:15 writes that it is not uncommon to find a verse that changes from the singular to the plural (See Rashi on Yehoshua 2:4, Rashbam on Breishis 1:14).


Numerous commentators explain that they had a spiritual request. They found that the manna was so spiritual that it affected them in a positive manner. They had a greater natural tendency to gravitate towards the spiritual. They were upset with this new situation. They requested the most physical of foods, meat, so that they would have a natural craving towards physicality, and would hopefully, still follow the Torah's dictates.

Their mistake obviously was that when Hashem gave them a more spiritual environment, even if it came easily, without as much effort, they should attempt to function and accomplish as much as they can WITHIN this environment.

This explanation of their complaint seems to be found in T'hilim 78:18, "Va'y'nasu Keil bilvovom lishol ochel l'NAFSHOM." They asked for food that they felt would further their "nefesh," their spirituality.


"Leimore" shows their implicit trust in Moshe's powers. They cried to Moshe to SAY to Hashem, "t'noh lonu vosor," and his request would surely be honoured. Moshe, in his great humility, felt that his request would not be honoured, as his merits were insufficient. This is why he said "Mei'ayin li bosor." (Rabbi Yoseif Zvi Dushinsky)



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

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