CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHIOS
PINCHOS 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 12: "LOCHEIN hin'ni nosein lo es brisi sholom" - The M.R. 21:1
remarks on these words, "B'din hu she'yitol s'choro," - He is deserving of
receiving his reward. In general there is no reward for mitzvos in this world as
per the gemara Kidushin 39b. If so, why is this different?
2) Ch. 25, v. 12: "Lochein emore hin'ni nosein lo es brisi sholom" - Why did
Hashem ask Moshe to convey to Pinchos that he and his children would enter
into the covenant of priesthood for all future generations, and not tell this to
3) Ch. 25, v. 12: "Brisi sholo-m" - The gemara Kiddushin 66b says that the
"vov" of "sholo-m" is "k'tiah," commonly translated as "cut." What is the Vov
supposed to look like?
4) Ch. 27, v. 3: "V'hu lo hoyoh" - And he was not part of Korach's
congregation. Why is this relevant?
5) Ch. 27, v. 5: "Va'yakreiv Moshe es mishpotoN lifnei Hashem" - When Moshe
was asked if there was an opportunity for the defiled people to bring a Korban
Pesach, he responded, "Imdu v'eshm'oh" (Bmidbar 9:8). Why didn't he say the
same to the daughters of Tz'lofchod?
Answer to questions on parshios Chukas-Bolok:
1) Ch. 19, v. 1: "Zose chukas haTorah asher tzivoh Hashem LEIMORE da'beir el
bnei Yisroel" - What does the word LEIMORE teach us, as we also have "da'beir"
right after it?
1) We derive from "zose toras ho'oloh" (Vayikra 6:2) that even when the Beis
Hamikdosh no longer stands and the offering of sacrifices ceases, the study
of the laws of sacrifices is considered as if those sacrifices have been
offered, and atonement is thus attained. Nowadays with just about everyone being
defiled by "tumas meis" why don't we also say that from the words "Zose chukas
haTorah ...... v'yikchu ei'lecho foroh adumoh" we may derive that one who is
defiled and studies the laws of "poroh adumoh," the red heifer, it is as if it
were processed and he has become cleansed of his impurity? The answer is that
since the law of "poroh adumoh" is unfathomable, so also is this concept of why
the learning of the laws of "poroh adumoh" does not afford one cleansing from
impurity unfathomable. This is the meaning of LEIMORE, "to say." The verse
tells us that the "chukoh" includes LEIMORE, that learning is not as if it were
actually done. (Rabbi Akiva Kornitzer of Cracow)
2) There is a minority opinion in the Rishonim that the reading of "parshas
poroh" is a mitzvoh of the Torah. Commentators are very hard pressed to find a
source for this. The seemingly superfluous word LEIMORE of our verse can be
interpreted to tell us to say it in the manner of reading this parsha in
public, as the next word "da'beir" suffices for Hashem's telling Moshe to give over
the information to the bnei Yisroel. (Rabbi Yehoshua Tronk of Kutna - Y'shuose
(A most interesting source for the reading of this parsha being a Torah
requirement is offered by the Torah Temimoh.)
3) Rashi mentions that the evil inclination and the nations of the world
inflame the bnei Yisroel by scoffing and questioning the logic of this and other
"chukim" mitzvos. Rashi says that we should respond by saying that they are
statutes given to us by Hashem and we have no permission to delve into their
reasoning, "ein l'cho r'shus l'har'heir acha'rehoh." However, this is only true
in response to the evil inclination and the nations of the world. As far as we
ourselves are concerned, we should strive to grasp any understanding that we
can, even into "chukim." (We see that Rashi immediately afterwards offers
insights of Rabbi Moshe haDarshon.) Thus we read the verse, "Zose chukas haTorah
asher tzivoh Hashem LEIMORE," to say to the evil inclination and the nations of
the world, that it is a statute. However, "da'beir el bnei Yisroel," to the
bnei Yisroel tell the laws and they may delve into it to the fullest level of
2) Ch. 20, v. 8: "V'nosan meimov" - What was the miracle of the wellspring
rock? Did it issue water miraculously from within itself, or was the miracle
that wherever the rock was, a wellspring would emit water from the ground nearby?
The Ramban on 20:8 says that the water came from the rock itself. Tosfos Yom
Tov on Pirkei Ovos 5:6 says that the water came from the ground. The Ramban's
position is strongly indicated from the gemara Shabbos 35a which says that it
was a "mayon hamitalteil" and from Rashi on the gemara P'sochim 54a.
3) Ch. 22, v. 2: "VA'YAR Bolok" - What is the translation of the word
1) Chizkuni - He HEARD, as we find in Shmos 20:15, "V'chol ho'om RO'IM es
2) Moshav Z'keinim - He SAW, as he was a minister of Sichon and actually saw
the miraculous victory over Sichon.
3) Kli Yokor - He SAW written in the chronicles (divrei ha'yomim) of wars of
the kings that the bnei Yisroel were miraculously victorious.
4) Rabbeinu Bachyei and Gur Aryeh - He PERCEIVED as we find in Dvorim 6:4,
4) Ch. 22, v. 18: "M'lo veiso kesef v'zohov lo uchal laavore es pi Hashem" -
Rashi says that from here we derive that Bilom had an unsatiable lust for
money. How do we derive this from his words? Why not just say that he was
strongly expressing his great dedication to follow the words of Hashem, even to the
tune of foregoing tremendous financial rewards? We find a similar expression
used by Rabbi Yossi ben Kismo in the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 6:10. He met a
person during his travels who offered him a position as the spiritual leader of
his community. Rabbi Yossi ben Kismo responded that he would not accept the
position, even if he were given all the silver, gold, and precious stones that
exist. We find no commentator disparagingly remarking that Rabbi Yossi ben
Kismo lusted riches, so what is the difference between the two?
1) Rabbi Chaim haKohein Rappaport answers that we find in the gemara B.K.
38b that Ulloh was not willing to pay a shiva call, nichum a'veilim, to Rav
Shmuel bar Yehudoh, saying that the bereaved was a Babylonian. They express
themselves with blasphemous words upon the loss of a relative. They say, "What can
be done". This indicates that if they were empowered to do so, they would
have kept the deceased alive, contrary to the wishes of Hashem. This is
mentioned in Y.D. #376:2 in the Ram"a.
Bilom, by saying "LO UCHAL," I CANNOT transgress the word of Hashem,
indicated that if he were able to, he would go against Hashem's will for the reward of
great riches. Not so with Rabbi Yossi ben Kismo. He simply stated that if he
were offered all the riches the world had to offer for living in a place that
is destitute of Torah, he would only live in a "mokom Torah." Hence there is
no indication of his having a desire for riches.
2) Rabbi Yossi was offered the money and turned it down, but Bilom was not
offered vast sums of money. He brought up the idea.
5) Ch. 23, v. 3: "Vayeilech shefi" - What is the translation of "shefi"?
1) Rashi says alone, quietly.
2) Rashba"m says a lame person.
3) Targum Yononon ben Uziel says as a snake, source of "shefi" being
4) Ibn Ezra says a high place.
5) Ibn Ezra in the name of Reb Yehudah Chosid, with magic (see Doniel 1:20,
6) The Alshich HaKodosh and the Chasam Sofer say that "Shefi" is Shin, Pay,
Yud, hinting at Bilom's conjuring in his mind the future plan of having the
bnei Yisroel sin with the bnos Moav. Through Shin, Pay, Yud, Shamnon - their
oil, Piton - their bread, Yayon - their wine, they were successful in causing
B'nai Yisroel to sin. (See Shabbos 17)
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