Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 8, v. 2: "Da'beir el Aharon v'omarto" - Speak to Aharon and you shall say - The gemara Makos 11a says that "dibur" connotes harsh words, while "amiroh" connotes soft words. How are we to apply this to our verse, which contains both "dibur" and "amiroh?"

2) Ch. 10, v. 9: "V'chI sovo'U milchomoH b'artz'cheM" - And when you will come to do war in your land - Yalkut Shimoni #725 derives from this verse that we should pray "malchios, zichronos," and "shofros" on Rosh Hashonoh. Where is Rosh Hashonoh alluded to in this verse?

3) Ch. 11, v. 4: "Mi yaachi'leinu bossor" - Who will feed us meat - Tosfos on the gemara Arochin 15b d.h. "hisavu" asks, "Why did they ask for meat? Hashem had promised them meat in Shmos 16:8, 'B'seis Hashem lochem bossor.'" Rashi answers that they had a limited amount of meat earlier and they now asked for more. Rabbi Shimshon answers that the quails stopped coming at the time of "matan Torah."

Why would the quail no longer be available from the time of "matan Torah?"

4) Ch. 11, v. 8: "V'hoyoh taamo k'taam l'shad hasho'men" - And its taste was like the taste of an item mixed with oil - The gemara Yoma 75a says that the manna had the taste of any item one would wish. The exceptions are the five vegetables mentioned in this verse, which are deleterious for a pregnant woman. Could the manna take on the unique taste of a non-kosher item?

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



The Rambam in hilchos bi'as mikdosh 9:12 says that the actual lighting of the menorah lamps may be done by a non-Kohein. Based on this, responsa Beis Yitzchok Y.D. volume 2, 31:4 says that a woman may likewise kindle the menorah. We know that mitzvos commanded to women were related in a soft kind manner, "Ko somar l''veis Yaakov" (Shmos 19:3), while to men they are generally related in a harsh manner "v'sa'geid livnei Yisroel" (ibid). This explains both the double expression and the change from "dibur" to "amiroh." (Pardes Yoseif Hechodosh)

Responsa of Rabbi Avrohom Binyomin Silberberg 1:28 disagrees because he posits that the mitzvoh of lighting the menorah is time bound, from evening to morning, and this exempts women. Pardes Yoseif Hechodosh says that based on the Rambam's himself in hilchos t'midim umusofim 3:12, that there is a mitzvoh to light the menorah in the evening so that it remain lit until the morning, and again to light it in the morning so that it remain lit until the evening, it becomes an ongoing mitzvoh, so there is no exemption for women.

However, it seems that this is not sufficient to negate the position of Rabbi Silberberg. Although in total, the menorah should be burning by night and by day, there is a distinct mitzvoh to light it at night so that it should illuminate until the morning, and a separate mitzvoh to light it in the morning, and each of these mitzvos is limited to its specific time. For example, lighting the menorah in the evening even when the menorah has sufficient fuel to remain lit all day, does not satisfy the requirement to have it lit by day, and vice versa. If so, each mitzvoh is time bound. Some halachic authorities apply the same logic to the mitzvoh of reciting "Shma" both by day and by night, and still positing that women are exempt as each recital is a separate mitzvoh and is time bound.


Perhaps it is in the final letters of the first four words of our verse, Yud-Vov-Hei-Mem, whose numerical value is 61, the same as "ha'yom," which the Holy Zohar writes refers to Rosh Hashonoh. (Nirreh li)


The gemara Chulin 88b says that the requirement of covering the blood of a slaughtered bird with earth negates the possibility of slaughtering a bird when in the desert. One of the requirements of the earth used is that it is capable of providing nutrients that would allow plant life to grow. Desert sand does not have this ability. The law of "kisuy hadam" only began after the giving of the Torah.

If one were to ask, "The Ra"n writes that there is a way around this difficulty. Slaughter the bird and absorb some of its blood in your clothes. Later, wash out the blood with a minimum of water so that the water takes on the colour of blood, and then cover the blood-water mixture with proper sand. If so, why didn't they have quail even after 'matan Torah' and do as the Ra"n advises?" The answer is that the clouds of glory cleaned and pressed their clothing daily, removing all stains. (Y'dei Moshe)


The Chid"o in Chomas Anoch says that it could.


This word shows their implicit trust in Moshe's powers. They cried to Moshe to SAY to Hashem, "t'noh lonu vossor," 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 bossor." (Rabbi Yoseif Zvi Dushinsky)



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

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