Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 21, v. 13: "V'ho'Elokim inoh l'yodo" - Rashi brings the gemara Makos 10b which tells us that although one can escape the judgement of the courts, no one escapes the judgement of Hashem. If one were guilty of intentional murder and deserved the death penalty, and another killed someone by accident and deserved to go into exile into a city of refuge, but there were no witnesses for either act, then Hashem will bring about circumstances so that these two people will come together. The one deserving exile to the city of refuge will be climbing a ladder (either downwards or upwards but the rungs of the ladder sag as he steps upon them), and the one deserving death for intentional murder will be below. The man on the ladder will fall upon the murderer in front of witnesses. The murderer will be killed, thus getting his just punishment, and the one who fell upon him will now be forced to flee to a city of refuge. Since the death penalty due a murderer is beheading and someone falling onto him is a form of stoning, then he received a punishment which was stricter than he deserved, since the mishnoh Sanhedrin 7:1 (49b) says that stoning is stricter than beheading. Why is this fair?

2) Ch. 21, v. 30: "IM kofer yushas olov" - Rashi near the end of parshas Yisro (20:22) brings a Mechilta in the name of Rabbi Yishmoel, that "IM" always means "IF, R'SHUS," except for the following three places, which are all requirements: 1) IM mizbach avonim ta'a'seh li (20:22)

2) IM kesef talveh es ami (22:24)

3) IM takriv minchas bikurim (Vayikra 2:14). In these three places, IM means "when you will do," a requirement. Rashi on our verse says that this "IM" is not IF, "TOLUY," dependent upon one's choice, but rather a must, as "Im kesef talveh." This Rashi seems to contradict the Mechilta he himself quoted in 20:22 and 22:24, that there are only three places that "IM" means "as you will do."

3) Ch. 22, v. 13: "V'nishbar o meis" - Why was the "nishboh," seized, possibility not mentioned, as it is mentioned in verse 9, when discussing the laws of the paid guard?

4) Ch. 22, v. 30: "U'vosor BASO'DEH treifoh" - The law of "treifoh" is not limited to the field. Rashi says that it is a common occurrence for an animal to be torn asunder in a field. This is one of four places in our parsha where Rashi says that the specifics of a verse are not limited to that case only, but a common occurrence is used as an example, "di'beir hakosuv b'hoveh." Rashi brings two proofs for this concept, from Dvorim 22:27 and 23:11.

The other three places are:

1) 21:28, "V'chi yigach SHOR," not only an ox, but any animal, etc.
2) 22:17, "M'cha'sheifoh lo s'cha'yeh," not only a female witch, but a male as well.
3) "Kol almonoh v'yosom lo s'anun," not only a widow and an orphan, but anyone.

Why does Rashi not bring a proof for "di'beir hakosuv b'hoveh" at the earliest opportunity? Why does he wait until the fourth time this appears in our parsha? Why aren't the first three cases sufficient proof for "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" for our verse?

5) Ch. 24, v. 6: "Chatzi hadam" - Rashi says that an angel split the amount of blood EXACTLY in half. The gemara Eruvin 15b and Chulin 28b states that it is possible for a person to divide something exactly in half. If so, why was an angel needed?

Answer to questions on parshas Yisro:

1) Ch. 18, v. 4: "V'sheim HO'ECHOD Eliezer" - Why doesn't it say "v'sheim HASHEINI" as it does in Bmidbar 28:4 "v'es ha'keves HASHEINI?"

1) Since this name incorporates the name of Hashem, "Ki ELOKEI ovi b'ezri," just as Hashem is ONE, the expression "the one" is used. (Tosfos Hasholeim)

2) Moshe loved him as if he would have been an only son. (Tosfos Hasholeim)

3) The Medrash Tanchumoh says that Hashem quoted the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer regarding the acceptable age of the red heifer (poroh adumoh). Moshe heard this and begged Hashem for Rabbi Eliezer to descend from him. Moshe also had this in mind when naming this son. Since this specific name was a wish of Moshe, he is called "the one." (Tosfos Hasholeim)

4) The Mechilta says that Yisro agreed to give his daughter in marriage to Moshe only on the condition that he not circumcise his first son. Moshe agreed. Eliezer, however, was circumcised. Therefore he is called "the one." (This is only according to one opinion in the gemara N'dorim 32a.) When an angel came to kill Moshe, Tziporoh had Gershom circumcised. This is also the reason for the Rabbis placing the name Rabbi Eliezer into the first mishnoh of the chapter that deals with circumcisions, Rabbi Eliezer d'miloh (Shabbos chapter 19). (Tosfos Hasholeim)

2) Ch. 18, v. 21: "Sorei alofim ... mayos ... chamishim ... asoros" - Rashi says that they are 600, 6,000, 12,000, and 60,000. Excluding these administrators from the count of the remainder, there should have been 600, 5,994, 11,868, and 58,153.

1) The administrators ministered over the lesser administrators. (Rabbi Yosef Bchor Shor Baal Tosfos)

2) The administrators were all from the tribe of Levi and from the non-Lviim who were over sixty years old, who were not in the count of the 600,000. (Tosfos Hasholeim)

3) The "sorei asoros" administered over nine, not ten, and so on. (Baalei Tosfos in Hadar Z'keinim)

3) Ch. 19, v. 6: "Eileh hadvorim" - Rashi says, "Exactly these words, no more and no less." Why is this stressed by the giving of the Torah over any other prophecy that Moshe was told?

1) Since Moshe realized that the whole purpose of creation was dependent upon accepting the Torah, and that this would also be the greatest treasure that is imaginable for a nation to receive, there was a fear that Moshe might ENHANCE the words of Hashem to entice the bnei Yisroel to accept the Torah. (Emes L'Yaakov)

2) Moshe was about to become the transmitter of the Torah. It was absolutely necessary to warn him that he would be deserving of this position only if he would not alter the word of Hashem by even one iota. (Emes L'Yaakov)

4) Ch. 19, v. 9: "V'gam b'cho yaaminu l'olom" - The Rambam in hilchos Yesodei haTorah (8:1,2,3) explains how the prophecy of Moshe can never be refuted, as stated in this verse. The Rambam expounds and expands this idea in his famous "I'geres Teimon," stating that he who denies in the truth of Moshe's prophesies, without a doubt his ancestors were not present at the time of the giving of the Torah. How is it then, that throughout the generations, there were bnei Yisroel who did not believe in his prophecy? This question is exacerbated when it applies to someone who was actually at Har Sinai, namely Korach.

1) The Holy Admor of Satmar answers that the non-believers are the "eirev rav" or their descendants. This does not seem to answer Korach. Perhaps Korach believed in Torah and Moshe as Hashem's agent, but still he knowingly campaigned against Moshe's appointment(s).

2) The K'hilas Yaakov answers that one can become a non-believer by studying heresy.

5) Ch. 19, v. 13: "HEIMOH yaalu vohor" - Who are the antecedents of the pronoun "heimoh?"

1) The Ibn Ezra says in the name of Rabbi Shmuel ben Chofni that this was permission for Aharon and the seventy Elders ONLY, to ascend the mountain. The rest of the bnei Yisroel were restricted from ascending because of a residual sanctity that remained on the mountain until the building of the Tabernacle.

2) The Mahari"l Diskin says that it seems to be the opinion of Rabbi Saadioh Gaon that not only was permission granted for all of the bnei Yisroel to ascend, but possibly it was even a COMMAND, to indicate that the sanctity had ceased.



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

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