Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
on the Weekly Parsha

subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


Ch. 9, v. 3: "S'ir izim l'chatos" - The Toras Kohanim says that this sin offering served to atone for the sale of Yoseif. Why did this sin suddenly now require atonement? The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that up until the sin of the golden calf the bnei Yisroel had an excuse for selling Yoseif. They could have claimed that had he rebuked them directly instead of bringing negative reports to their father, they might have accepted his words and repented. However, at the time of serving the golden calf, Chur rebuked them openly and directly. Their response was to kill him. This negated the previously mentioned justification and required atonement at this point in time. During the dedication ceremony for the inauguration of the Mishkon Aharon brought sacrifices to atone for himself and the nation.

The Toras Kohanim says that the sacrifices that Aharon brought to atone for himself were only for the sin of later, the golden calf, in which he took part, but the sacrifices brought for the bnei Yisroel were to atone for both the beginning, the sale of Yoseif, as we find that the bnei Yisroel required a "s'ir izim," a goat as an atonement, just as we find a "s'ir izim" in the sale of Yoseif (Breishis 37:31), as well as for later, the sin of the golden calf. These words are most puzzling. Aharon was a descendant of Levi, who along with Shimon took a most pivitol part in the sale of Yoseif, actually wanting to have him killed. How then was Aharon not in need of atonement for the sale of Yoseif more than any of the other bnei Yisroel? As per the MESHECH CHOCHMOH that Aharon merited to wear the breastplate, an object that carried the names of all the tribes, attesting to Aharon's not falling prey to the sin of one brother being jealous of another, we may say that although the tribe of Levi required atonement for the sale of Yoseif, Aharon personally did not. By displaying an attitude of total happiness that his younger brother Moshe would become the leader of the bnei Yisroel, Aharon by action rather than by sacrifice corrected this flaw, hence he did not require a sacrificial atonement. This might also explain why Hashem gave Moshe the prestigious position of Kohein Godol for the eight days of the dedication of the Mishkon, starting a full week ahead of Aharon's becoming a Kohein Godol. This too might have been a test to see if Aharon would be jealous of his younger brother. He obviously wasn't jealous, as we see that when he finally had the status of a Kohein Godol on the eighth day he was still reluctant to act in the capacity of Kohein Godol, as indicated by the words "Va'yomeir Moshe el Aharon 'krav el hamizbei'ach'" (Vayikroh 9:7).


See also Sedrah Selections and Chasidic Insights

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to parsha@shemayisrael.co.il

Jerusalem, Israel