Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 7, v. 3: "Gam mei'ofe hashomayim shivoh shivoh" - Rashi says that these words refer to the kosher species of birds only. Even though the verse does not spell this out, we can infer this from the ruling by animals, where seven were to be taken from the kosher species only. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH explains that the Torah does not explicitly state that from the non-kosher bird species pairs should be brought because the majority of bird species are kosher (gemara Chulin 63b), but by animals where the majority of species is non-kosher (ibid.) the Torah does specify. MVRHRH'G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l goes a step further. He notes that the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates the word GAM of our verse as "b'ram" - however, a deviation from his regular translation "ofe" - also. Horav Kamenecki derives from this that Targum Yonoson tells us that by animals the Torah differentiates between kosher and non-kosher species, but by birds, seven are to be brought even from the non-kosher species. (This would explain why our verse says "l'chayos zera," to sustain the species, even though by those from which seven were brought the Torah does not use this expression, as the majority of the seven were to brought as sacrifices. (Another answer to this question is offered by the MESHECH CHOCHMOH. See the next offering.)

I have difficulty in understanding the words of Horav Kamenecki from 6:20. The verse says, "Mei'ho'ofe l'mi'neihu u'min habheimoh l'minoh shnayim mikole." We see that the Torah clearly states that from the birds pairs will come to the ark. This is well understood according to the Rashi on our verse. This also presents no difficulty for the MESHECH CHOCHMOH, as he explains why the verse says "u'min habheimoh asher lo t'horoh hee shnayim, and is not as explicit by the birds. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH is still in agreement with Rashi that of the non-kosher species only pairs entered the ark. In any case, it seems clear that the Torah says pairs of birds in 6:20, referring to the non-kosher species, and sevens in our verse, referring to the kosher species.

Ch. 7, v. 3: "L'chayos zera" - As mentioned in the previous offering, if sevens are to be brought from kosher species of birds only, why does the Torah say "l'chayos zera" since the majority of the seven will be sacrifices? According to MVHRH'G R' Yaakov Kamenecki's zt"l interpretation of the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel mentioned in the previous offering this is easily understood since sevens were brought from non-kosher species as well. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH offers a different answer. Tosfos on the gemara Nidoh 50b d.h. "tarngolta" says that there is a species of bird called "tarngolta d'agmo" whose male is non-kosher and female is kosher. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH says that from this species seven males are also brought. The purpose is to propagate the species, as the males will not be brought as sacrifices.

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Va'yikach mikole ha'b'heimoh" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH points out that even though the M.R. Vayikroh 27:6 says that Hashem did not request that exotic kosher animals be captured and brought as sacrifices, so as to not stress people to hunt and capture these animals which reside in the wild, as this entails much effort and risk, here however, Noach brought sacrifices from all species of kosher animals since they were already within his control, being confined to the ark. However, Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer chapter #23 says that Noach only sacrificed from the species that would be brought as sacrifices in the future. It remains to be explained according to the Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer why Hashem commanded to bring "seven seven" of EACH kosher species if not all species would be used as sacrifices. One answer might be that Hashem wanted the world to have a majority of kosher animals, as mentioned in the medrash. A second answer can be gleaned from the words of the Kli Yokor who says that Noach was allowed to slaughter and eat meat after the great deluge, and since he would only consume that which would be kosher in the future, Hashem commanded him to bring "seven seven" of all kosher species. Although one might wonder how the MESHECH CHOCHMOH could disagree with the words of the Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer, I found that the Moshav Z'keinim says that Noach sacrificed from ALL kosher species. Although the Moshav Z'keinim is a Rishon and Rabbi Eliezer a Tanna, nevertheless, the Moshav Z'keinim no doubt must base his words on an earlier commentator.


See also Sedrah Selections, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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