Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 9, v. 21: "V'naaloh he'onon v'nosso'u" - In 10:5 the verse says "Us'ka'tem tru'oh v'nossu." Do they travel by virtue of the trumpet signals or the movement of the clouds of glory?

2) Ch. 11, v. 5: "Zocharnu es haDOGOH" - What is "dog" and what is "dogoh?"

3) Ch. 11, v. 22: "Kol d'gei ha'yom yei'o'seif" - We find that the bnei Yisroel demanded of Moshe to supply them with meat. Yet we see that Moshe mentioned to Hashem that if there were a possibility to amass the fish of the sea, then the bnei Yisroel's demand would be met. The Mogein Avrohom and the Machatzis Ha'shekel on O.Ch. #249 (s.k. 6) both say that one should make sure to serve meat at a meal celebrating a bris miloh. MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l said that if one were to serve fish instead, he would also be considered as having served meat. A proof for this is that we find that the bnei Yisroel demanded meat and Moshe said that by serving them fish their demand would be fulfilled. We see that fish is also considered meat.

Shulchan Oruch Y.D. 13:1 rules that fish require no ritual slaughtering, shechitoh. This is derived from our verse which says that if bnei Yisroel were to receive meat it would require shechitoh, "Hatzone u'vokor YISHOCHEIT lo'hem." However, by fish it says "yei'o'seif," that they only require gathering.

Besides the obvious prohibition to not consume non-kosher fish, as detailed in parshios Shmini and R'ei, are there any circumstances where kosher fish may not be eaten?

4) Ch. 12, v. 8: "Peh el peh ada'beir BO" - The verse should have said "ada'beir LO."

5) Ch. 12, v. 10: "V'hi'nei Miryom m'tzoraas" - And behold Miriam is afflicted with tzoraas - Aharon was a partner in this wrongdoing. Was he also afflicted as was Miriam? ANSWERS:


The sounding of a "tru'oh" with the trumpet announces to the bnei Yisroel that they will be travelling. They took apart their tents and bundled their possessions in preparation. Upon seeing the "cloud of glory" move, they began travelling. The trumpets were Moshe's and the "cloud of glory" was in the merit of Aharon. The Masas Ha'melech says that this is alluded to in T'hilim 77:21. The verse reads, "Nochiso katzone a'mecho b'yad Moshe v'Aharon," - You have guided as sheep Your nation (in the desert), through the hand of Moshe and Aharon.


Rashi says that the word DOGOH means either vegetables or fish. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that DOG means fish, while DOGOH means spoiled putrid fish. The Egyptians gave only the spoiled fish to the bnei Yisroel for free. He brings a proof for his translation from the book of Yonah (2:2) where it says, "And Hashem brought a large DOG (fish) to swallow Yonah, and Yonah remained in the belly of the DOG for three days." In verse 3 it says that Yonah prayed to Hashem from the belly of the DOGOH. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the earlier verse was speaking about a live fish. In the next verse, after Yonah was in the fish's belly for three days, it died. The living conditions became impossible as the fish started deteriorating. Yonah prayed to Hashem for help. Thus we see that DOGOH means a dead fish.

The Rabbeinu Bachyei is contrary to the Yalkut Shimoni remez #550 which explains that the DOG was a male fish, which was roomy. Later it spit out Yonah and a female fish swallowed Yonah, hence the word DOGOH. Yonah prayed for relief while in the female fish as it was crowded and malodourous, as it held 3,650,000,000,000 developing baby fish.


1) There is an opinion that fish require shechitoh. It is to be found in M.R. Breishis 7:2. "Yaakov of the village of Gvuroi ruled in Tzur that fish require ritual slaughter." I have no idea where the place of the shechitoh would be or if it would require the cutting of one or two "simanim."

2) The Kesef Mishneh brings the opinion of Rav Saadya Gaon that fish which die on their own may not be eaten. The Rambam in hilchos shechitoh 1:3 says that fish which die in the water may be eaten. The Hagohas Beis Yosef on Knesses Hag'doloh Y.D. #13 questions if the Rambam would permit consuming fish that died on land. It would seem obvious that if fish were caught in a body of water and left to die on land, that this is considered not dying by themselves, but rather being killed by a person. This is literally "yei'o'seif."

3) The Bach's text of the words of R.S.G. is that live fish may not be eaten. The Rambam permits eating live fish.

4) There is an opinion that fish and meat are not to be eaten together.


The Commentators point out that Hashem was saying that He spoke THROUGH Moshe, BO. This is called "sh'chinoh m'da'beres mitoch grono shel Moshe," - Hashem's voice emanates from the throat of Moshe. Hashem was chastising Aharon and Miriam for equating their level of prophecy with that of Moshe. They received a prophecy that was given over in their own voices only.


There is a disagreement if Aharon also contracted "tzoraas," brought in the gemara Shabbos 97a. The verse does not openly state that he did, although it says "va'yichar af Hashem BOM" (verse 9), indicating that His anger was directed at both of them. Even according to the opinion that Aharon was also afflicted, the Mabi"t says that it lasted only for a fleeting moment, while Miriam's was of longer duration, as clearly stated in verse 15. Why was Aharon not punished as severely as Miriam, especially considering that the one who receives "loshon hora" is considered more guilty than the one who spoke it? Perhaps Miriam was guilty of both speaking "loshon hora" and of incorrectly equating her level of prophecy with that of Moshe, but Aharon was only guilty of accepting the "loshon hora" but was in a way equal to Moshe in that he also merited to have "sh'chinoh m'da'beres mitoch grono." In our Yom Kippur musof prayers we say "K'she'hoyoh Hashem yotzei mipi Kohein Godol," - When the Holy Name of Hashem EMANATED from the mouth of the Kohein Godol" (mishnoh Yoma). The Shulchan Oruch of the Ari z"l explains why the words "yotzei mipi Kohein Godol" are used rather than "k'she'omar Kohein Godol" - when the Kohein Godol SAID Hashem's name. He says that the Kohein Godol did not actually say Hashem's name but rather only opened his mouth and the name of Hashem miraculously emanated from his mouth. With this he explains a difficult verse in Shmos 20:24, "B'chol mokom asher AZKIR es sh'mi ......" The literal translation is: "In every place that I will cause My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you." Rashi says that to understand this verse we must switch around the phrases and explain as follows: Wherever I come to bless you, which means in the Beis Hamikdosh, you may mention My name. This teaches us that in the Beis Hamikdosh Hashem's name is pronounced exactly as it is written. We have two difficulties here. One is that we have to switch around the phrases, and the second is that the word AZKIR is not well translated. Rashi explains it to mean that you, the Kohein, may mention My name, but the verse says AZKIR, I will cause My name to be mentioned, and not TAZKIR. According to the Ari z"l's explanation, everything flows smoothly because Hashem is saying His Own Holy name through the conduit of the Kohein Godol's mouth.

According to the Ari z"l Hashem also spoke through Aharon's throat, albeit only on Yom Kippur. Nevertheless, he also achieved this level, and was therefore punished less severely.



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

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