Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 25, v. 6,7: "Lochem l'ochloh l'cho .. , v'livhem't'cho" - Does this not seem to indicate that you will eat before your animal, contrary to the rule that one must first feed his animals (gemara Brochos 40a)?

2) Ch. 25, v. 33: "Va'asher YIGAL" - This verse refers to a person BUYING a field from a Levi. Why is the word YIGAL used, which means redemption, rather than YIKNEH since there is no redemption taking place?


3) Ch. 26, v. 6: "V'nosati sholom b'artz'chem" - Rashi says that without the blessing of peace all the other blessings are meaningless, as it says (Yeshayohu 45:7), "Yotzeir ohr u'vorei choshech osseh sholom u'vorei es HAKOL." Upon looking into the verse quoted, you will notice that the last words are not "es HAKOL," but rather "u'vorei ra."

4) Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem losova" - Rashi (Toras Kohanim) says that this is the blessing of eating a small bit and being fully satiated. Since our verse tells us that Hashem responds to our fulfilling His mitzvos with an abundance of physical needs, what need is there for the blessing of being satiated with just a bit of food, since much food abounds?

5) Ch. 26, v. 11: "V'nosati mishkoni b'soch'chem v'lo sigal Nafshi es'chem" - If Hashem is ready to place His holy dwelling place amongst us, is it not obvious that His Will won't expel us?

Answer to questions on parshas Emor:

1) Ch. 21, v. 8: "V'kidashto .. kodosh yi'h'yeh loch" - Rashi (gemara Gitin 59b) says that we sanctify the Kohein by giving him the first turn and honouring him to lead the grace after meals.

These days those whom we consider as Kohanim are people who have had this status from generation to generation, i.e. the previous generation tells us that the fathers of today's Kohanim received the first "aliyoh," that they "duchaned," gave the priestly benediction, etc.

If a complete stranger comes to a community and claims that he is a Kohein, do we believe him? If yes, to what extent?

1) The Shulchan Oruch E.H. 3:1 says that these days if a stranger claims that he is a Kohein we do not believe him, neither regarding the privilege of receiving the first "aliyoh," nor regarding "duchaning."

2) The Ram"o writes that we do allow him to do either of these two rituals, since the main concern we have is that if we trust him to do either of these two rituals there is the fear that he will gain the status of Kohein in the eyes of the masses, and one might offer him "trumoh," which may only be consumed by a Kohein. Since "trumoh" is not offered to any Kohein nowadays, we allow him the privileges of the first "aliyoh" and "duchanen."

3) The Chelkas M'chokeik, a commentator on the Shulchan Oruch writes that the basis of the Ram"o's ruling is the writings of the Rama"k. However, the Rama"k only permitted his receiving the first "aliyoh," because even a Yisroel may receive the first "aliyoh." It is only by Rabbinical injunction to avoid discord that it was instituted to give a Kohein the first "aliyoh," as per the mishnoh Gitin 59a. We therefore trust him, as the worst-case scenario is that he will only have transgressed a Rabbinical ruling. However, regarding "duchanen," if a non-Kohein does this ritual, he will have transgressed a Torah law, an "issur a'sei," as per the gemara Ksubos 24b. The Rama"k therefore does not allow a person to "duchan" based only on his own say so that he is a Kohein. The Beis Shmuel, another major commentator on the Shulchan Oruch, likewise agrees with the Chelkas M'chokeik.

4) The Chasam Sofer questions even his being allowed an "aliyoh" as a Kohein when there are other "established" Kohanim present. How can his "doubtful" right to "v'kidashto" push away their "definite" privilege of "v'kidashto"? The Chasam Sofer justifies the position of the Rama"k, Chelkas M'chokeik, and Beis Shmuel with an insightful approach to the mitzvoh of "v'kidashto." He says that the mitzvoh of "v'kidashto" is not centred on the so-called Kohein factually being a Kohein, but on our showing reverence to "K'hunoh," priesthood. If we believe that a person is a Kohein and sanctify him by giving him the first "aliyoh" because of this belief, even if factually it is not so, we have properly fulfilled "v'kidashto." However, this is not true regarding other matters, i.e. giving him "trumoh," allowing him to "duchan." Regarding these and other matters, the Torah requires an halachically acceptable Kohein. It would seem that according to these words of the Chasam Sofer, one who claims that he need not sanctify a Kohein because there is the possibility that he is not truly a Kohein, as his mother might have conceived through a non-Kohein, an issue dealt with earlier in this verse by the M'lo Ho'omer, is rebutted. Even if he is halachically not a Kohein, i.e. we do not apply "haloch achar horov," as long as we sanctify him because we think he might be a Kohein, we have sanctified the institution of K'hunoh.

2) Ch. 21, v. 10: "V'haKohein hagodol mei'echov asher yutzak al rosho shemen hamish'choh u'mi'lei es yodo lilbosh es habgodim es rosho lo yifro u'v'godov lo yifrome" - Couldn't the verse have left out the words "asher yutzak al rosho shemen hamish'choh u'mi'lei es yodo lilbosh es habgodim" and simply have stated that the Kohein Godol should not let his hair be unkempt and should not rent his garments as signs of mourning?

1) The N'sivos Olom answers in the name of the Rshash that the Torah is giving us the reasons behind the restrictions. Because the Kohein Godol had his head anointed he is not permitted to have his hair unkempt, and because he has dressed himself with the unique apparel of a Kohein Godol he shall not rent his clothes in mourning.

2) Perhaps on a simple level, this is the first time the Torah mentions the procedure of installing a Kohein Godol. (Nirreh li)

3) Ch. 21, v. 19: "Shever regel o shever yad" - If the Kohein has a bone fracture in his leg or hand he is disqualified from serving. Similarly if the sacrifice has a bone fracture it is disqualified as mentioned in 22:22. Why does our verse describe the fracture as "shever regel o shever yad" and in verse 22 as "shovur?"

When a person suffers a fracture it is limited to the area of the break, "shever regel o shever yad," since the break can be stabilized and healed. The person is therefore not considered broken, "shovur." However, when an animal suffers a fracture it cannot be stabilized. The animal does not give its leg or arm (front leg) respite. The fracture will never heal and it is not only the particular bone that is broken, but rather, the complete animal is considered fractured, "shovur." (Shomati)

4) Ch. 23, v. 13: "U'minchoso shnei esronim so'les" - we say in the "musof" prayers of Yom Tov, "U'minchosom v'niskeihem kimdubor - And their meal offerings and libations as is stated, shloshoh esronim lapor, u'shnei esronim lo'oyil, v'isorone la'keves, - three tens (of an eifoh) for an ox, two tenths for a ram, and a tenth for a lamb," clearly detailing the volume of flour for each type of animal, while regarding the libation of wine we say, "v'ya'yin k'nisko, - and wine as is appropriate for its libation" without itemizing the different volumes for an ox, ram, and lamb?

The Baa'lei Tosfos ask this and answer that since we find an exception in the volume of the meal offering of the lamb accompanying the Omer, which is double the usual amount, "SHNEI ESRONIM SO'LES," it is necessary to enumerate the amounts for each type of animal. Since there is never an exception to the volume of the libations, half a "hin" for an ox, a third of a "hin" for a ram, and a quarter "hin" for a lamb, it is sufficient to say "v'ya'yin k'nisko, - and wine as is appropriate for its libation."

5) Ch. 24, v. 12: "Lifrosh lohem al pi Hashem" - Rashi says that the incident of the blasphemous son of Shlomis bas Divri and that of Tz'lofchod took place in the same period of time. However, the two cases differed in that by Tz'lofchod the court knew that he was deserving of death, but not which of the four types of death administered by the court, as the verse says (Bmidbar 15:34), "ki lo forash mah yei'o'seh lo." In contrast, by the blasphemer, they didn't even know if he was deserving of death (T.K. 24:237), as it says here, "lifrosh lohem."

(We find the same words, "mah yei'o'seh lo," by the incident of Moshe being cast into the "suf" where his sister Miriam stood at a distance to find out "mah yei'o'seh lo." We can similarly interpret this to mean that she knew that he would definitely be saved, but stood and watched to see what form of rescue would take place.) Why didn't they know that he was culpable of the death penalty? Since one receives the death penalty for cursing his father or mother, surely for doing so to Hashem one deserves death as well.

1) The Rosh answers that since blasphemy is so severe, possibly there is no death penalty, so that the transgressor should receive no atonement. Moshe was advised by Hashem that He would be kind and equate His honour with that of a human father or mother and mercifully allow for the death penalty and an atonement on this ephemeral world.

2) The Kodosh miRadosh (a Rishon) answers that they had already been taught the rule that "ein onshin min hadin" (Vayikra 20:17, gemara Makos 14a).



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

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