Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 21, v. 8: "V'kidashto" - If a Kohein does not want to be treated in a preferential manner, are we still required to do so?

2) Ch. 23, v. 2: "DA'BEIR el bnei Yisroel v'omarto a'lei'hem eileh mo'a'dei Hashem" - The term DIBUR connotes tough words. Why is there a need for tough words as an introduction to the Yomim Tovim?

3) Ch. 23, v. 2,3: "Mo'a'dei Hashem asher tik'r'u, u'va'yom hashvii Shabbas Shabbosone" - How does Shabbos fit in with the Yomim Tovim that "tik'r'u," - you shall announce?" Rabbi Yonoson Eibeschitz answers that by the Rabbinical Court deciding which day is the beginning of the new month, Shabbos is affected. The sacrifices that are brought in honour of the Holidays affect the sanctity of Shabbos, since otherwise prohibited activities such as slaughtering and burning of the animals body parts, takes place on Yom Tov that falls on a Shabbos.

It is obvious how Shovuos, Rosh Hashonoh, Yom Kippur, Sukos, and Shmini Atzeres affect Shabbos if they coincide with it. However, how does Pesach affect Shabbos? It is only seven days long by Biblical level of law, and thus always has one day coinciding with Shabbos. As well its sacrifices are the same each of its seven days. If so, it seems that there is no difference which day of the week Pesach begins as far as affecting Shabbos.

4) Ch. 23, v. 15: "Usfartem lochem ...... sheva shabosos t'mimos" - This is the mitzvoh to count 49 days from the day of bringing the Omer offering until Shovuos. Why don't we make a "shehecheyonu" blessing when commencing this mitzvoh?

5) Ch. 23, v. 21: "Ukro'sem b'etzem hayom ha'zeh mikro kodesh yi'h'yeh lochem" - Why does this verse duplicate the CALLING of the Yom Tov, using both the word "ukro'sem" and "mikro?" Also, what is the intention of "b'etzem hayom hazeh," - in this very day?



Rashi says that one is required to sanctify a Kohein, even against the Kohein's will. The Rambam in his Sefer Hamitzvos likewise writes that we must still do so. The Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #128 writes that we need not give him special treatment. It seems that these two opinions are mentioned in the Tosefta Sanhedrin chapter 3, which says, "If a Kohein wishes to bathe with other people in the public bathhouse he may do so. Rabbi Yehudoh says that he may not, as per the word in our verse "v'kidashto."


The Rambam in hilchos Yom Tov 6:20 mentions that with the merrymaking of Yom Tov a person's guard against his evil inclination is down and he should therefore be extra careful to avoid the temptation of sinning. There is therefore a need to preface the Yomim Tovim with a warning, DA'BEIR. (Dvash V'cholov)


1) The slaughtering of the Paschal lamb on the fourteenth of Nison overrides the prohibition of Shabbos. Setting the first day of Pesach to begin on a Sunday will cause the desecration of Shabbos.

2) The cutting and processing of the Minchas Ho'omer involve acts that desecrate the Shabbos. This takes place on the second day of Pesach. Thus, if the first day of Pesach falls on a Friday rather than Thursday or Shabbos, Shabbos will be overridden by the processing of the Minchas Ho'omer.


1) We only say the "shehecheyonu" blessing on an occasion of happiness. The counting of the Omer reminds us that the Beis Hamikdosh no longer exists, as the mitzvoh is only Rabbinical today. (Baal Hamo'ore)

2) Since this mitzvoh is only done as a remembrance of what took place at the time the Beis Hamikdosh was standing, it is not intrinsically a Rabbinical form of the original Torah mitzvoh, so the "shehecheyonu" blessing is not said. (Ra"n)

3) Since if one missed counting at night may make it up by day, saying the words "lazman HA"ZEH" is inappropriate. (Ra"n)

4) Since this mitzvoh is only a preparation for another mitzvoh, that of bringing "bikurim" on Shovuos, it does not deserve the "shehecheyonu" blessing. (Avudrohom)


Rabbi Elozor Moshe Horowitz zt"l, Rov of Pinsk, answers that the verse alludes to the ruling of the Tu'rei Zohov in his one line preface to O.Ch. #474, that on the eve of Shovuos one should not make "kiddush" early, before it is completely night, so as not to contravene the requirement to have seven FULL weeks from the beginning of the "sefiroh" before the advent of Shovuos. This is alluded to by the words "ukro'sem b'etzem hayom ha'zeh," - and you shall herald in the Yom Tov ON THIS VERY DAY, by making "kiddush," and not any earlier. However, "tosfos Yom Tov" may be added, as this is independent of "kiddush." Thus the verse ends, "mikro kodesh yi'h'yeh lochem," - calling this day holy early by making "tosfos Yom Tov" is for you, without mentioning "b'etzem hayom ha'zeh."



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

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