Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 21, v. 8: "V'kidashto" - And you shall sanctify him - Included in "v'kidashto" is that we not make use of the Kohein for our personal needs. If so, how does one have a Kohein who is a slave?

2) Ch. 21, v. 20: "O gi'bein" - What exactly is this blemish?

3) Ch. 23, v. 24: "Bachodesh hashvii b'echod lachodesh" - In the seventh month on the first of the month - As is the rule with every other Yom Tov that we recite kiddush, on Rosh Hashonoh as well, we say "zeicher litzias Mitzrayim." On Pesach this is clearly understood. On Shovuos as well, it is either as a sort of continuum of Pesach, as explained in the Ramban on our parsha, or that the exodus from Egypt was predicated on our accepting the Torah, as per the verse in Shmos 3:13, "B'hotziacho es ho'om miMitzrayim taavdun es hoElokim al hohor ha'zeh." Sukos likewise has the Sukoh/clouds of glory connection. What is the remembrance of the exodus from Egypt aspect of Rosh Hashonoh?

4) Ch. 23, v. 38: "Milvad Shabsos Hashem - Besides Shabbosos of Hashem - To what does the verse refer when it says BESIDES?

5) Ch. 23, v. 43: "Ki vasukos hoshavti es bnei Yisroel" - Because in huts I have placed the bnei Yisroel - The "mesoroh" lists three verses that have the common word "ki." They are our verse, "Ki vorchov nolin" (Breishis 19:2), and "Ki ner mitzvoh v'Toroh ohr" (Mishlei 6:23).What is the common thread among these three "ki's?"



This question is raised by Hagohos Maimonis in hilchos avodim 3:8. Rabbi Meir Arik answers that the rule of "v'kidashto" does not apply to a Kohein who is a Torah boor, an "am ho'oretz." He brings a proof for his position from the gemara B'choros 26.


There is a school of opinion that this flaw involves the Kohein's eyebrows. Either they are so thick and bushy that they cover the majority of his eyes (Rashi), or that the Kohein has a double set of eyebrows, one above the other, or that his two eyebrows extend over the bridge of his nose to the point that they look like one long continuous eyebrow, hence the singular "gi'bein." (Medrash Habiur)

Rambam in hilchos bi'as Mikdosh chapter 8 writes that it means that the Kohein lacks eyebrows. Targum Yerushalmi and Yonoson ben Uziel both say that this blemish mentioned in the Rambam is "dak" of our verse.

Finally, there is the opinion that this means a hunchback, with the word "gi'bein" sourced from "gav."


Perhaps it is simply that historically the servitude in Egypt came to an end on Rosh Hashonoh, as stated in the gemara R.H. 10b. (Nirreh li)


This does not mean that we have just listed all the holidays (verse 37) and are now adding that there are other special days on the calendar, namely weekly Shabbosos. Rather, it is a continuum of "l'hakriv isheh" of verse 37. Besides the additional sacrifices offered on the Yomim Tovim there are also additional sacrifices on Shabbos, even when Shabbos and Yom Tov coincide. (Targum Yerushalmi Hasholeim, Ralbag, Rabbeinu M'yuchos)


The Chid"o in Pnei Dovid explains the connection. He relates that when he was a child an explanation for this "mesoroh" was asked of a "chochom" and he gave no verbal response, but instead, wrote the letters Yud-Kof-Lamed-Mem-Nun-Samech-Ayin-Pei on a sheet of paper. Pnei Dovid explains that there are three mitzvos that require placement or structure of at least 10 handbreadths height and no more than twenty cubits. They are Sukoh, that its walls be at least ten handbreadths tall, but no more than twenty cubits high, alluded to in our verse, "ki vasukos," "eiruv," that the placement of a visible object, a "koreh," delineating the division between a "movuy" domain and the public street, (actually for "shitu'fei m'vu'os," but these terms are used interchangeably in the gemara Eiruvin) be between these same two heights, alluded to in "ki vorchov nolin," and Chanukah lights, that they too be placed no higher than twenty cubits, alluded to in "ki ner mitzvoh." There is a difference between Chanukah lights and the other two insofar as the ten handbreadths ruling. By the other two below this threshold is not valid, but here at ten or above it is ALSO valid, although it is preferable to light below ten down to three, and below three is not valid (see Sh.O. O.Ch. #671:6 and Mishnoh Bruroh #27). This is the "mesoroh" connection. We now come to the cryptic Yud-etc. message. It stands for "Yud Kosher L'maloh Mei'esrim Ner Sukoh Eiruv Posul."

I truly hope that this beautiful insight is enhanced and not marred by the following addition: The connection among these three mitzvos, each having the parameters of ten handbreadths and twenty cubits is actually found in the word "ki" itself. Kof has the value of twenty, while Yud has the value of ten. (n.l.)



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

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