Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Turn On The Light

Here we mentioned the chiddush of the Briskor Rav that the avodah of the ketores is different from that of the korbanot tzibbur.  When it comes to korbanot, the mitzvah is to achieve kapparah.  However, regarding the ketores the mitzvah is merely to do the act of offering the ketores.  He supports this from the terminology of the Rambam is the Sefer Hamitzvot who says the mitzvah of the korbanot is one the tzibbur and fulfilled by the kohanim.  Regarding the ketores, he says the mitzvah is one the kohanim to offer the ketores.  The need for communal atonement is not an integral part of the mitzvah.  The Achronim point out that regarding the mitzvah of lighting the menorah the Rambam also says the mitzvah is on the kohanim to light it (asseh #25.)

The Daas Zekanim in Terumah (25:6) says that the Torah mentions the שמן למאור within the parsha of the building of the mishkan because it’s also part of the building of the mishkan because a house without light isn’t a house.  Based upon this it could shed light on the aforementioned Rambam.  The need for a menorah isn’t for atonement, its to complete the building of the mishkan. 

Now we understand why Aharon is comforted with the lighting of the menorah and not with another one of the mikdash activities (see Rashi, Ramban.)  In order to inaugurate the mishkan, it had to be an avodah that would consecrate the mikdash and that is accomplished through lighting the menorah.   

Want To Want

At the beginning of the parsha, Rashi says Aharon felt bad that he didn’t offer a korban in the inauguration ceremony of the mishkan.  Therefore, Hashem appeased him by saying he has a greater offering than the heads of the tribe because he lights the menorah.  Why did Hashem have to wait until Aharon felt bad to give him the command to light the menorah, why didn’t just He tell him immediately?  Similarly, why did Hashem wait until the people that were tameh complained why should they lose out on the korban pesach before giving the mitzvah of pesach sheni? The possuk (11:4) says הִתְאַוּ֖וּ תַּאֲוָ֑ה.  What is the meaning of this repetition? According to the Ramban, one of the bad things that ויהי בנסוע comes to split up was that the people left Mount Sinai in a hurry like a child running from school.  Why is this considered wrong, they only traveled when the clouds moved 
acknowledging Hashem’s desire for them to leave, as the Torah itself describes in this very parsha?

We see from here that there must be a desire to serve Hashem.  Precisely because the impure people and Aharon felt that they were lacking something were they worthy of getting a special mitzvah.  If a person truly desires to fulfill the mitzvot and doesn’t view them as a yoke that one must bear, then Hashem helps him fulfill the mitzvot. 

The repetition of the verse explains the Chofetz Chaim, is tell us the reason that the people had a desire for meat was because they desired to have a desiring.  They were thinking about physical pleasures instead focusing their heads to only desire what Hashem wants. That is what was wrong when the people left Mount Sinai, it wasn’t about the timing, it was about their lack of longing to remain to here Torah from Hashem.  They didn’t show a desire that they want to be able to hear more Torah.  That is what was lacking.

Too Old

The possuk says (8:25) regarding the service of the לוים in the mikdash, ומבן חמישים שנה ישוב מצבא העבודה ולא יעבד עוד.  Rashi and Ramban explain that they are no longer fit for carrying the mishkan but can do the other avodat hamikdash.  The Gemorah in Chullin 24 has a derasha that this law of becoming unfit for the avodah only applied in the midbar but for future generations they are fitting until their voice becomes uncapable of singing.  This halacha can be viewed in two ways, either it is a siman that the age of the pesul of the לוים in the Beis Hamikdash is determined by his voice or the lack of a sweet voice is the סיבת הפסול.  The Rambam says (Kli Mikdash 3:8) כשיתקלקל קולו מרוב הזקנה יפסל.  The Rambam understands that the lack of voice is a simam of determining old age but isn’t a pesul in it of itself.  It would come out according to him that if a younger levi’s voice became sour then he would remain fit for the avodah.  On the other hand, Rashi Chullin 24b says the pesul is because the leviem must be able to sing on the same note and by that logic any levi who’s voice isn’t up to par would become disqualified to serve.

The Rambam adds שירה אבל יהיה מן השוערים יראה לי שאינו נפסל אלא לומר.  This would be modeled after the pesul of above 50 years old in the midbar where the levi is still fit for other avodot (Mahari Kurkos.)  This comparison only makes sense assuming that the pesul of קול is also because of becoming too old to serve in the Mikdash; we would have thought the levi is considered to be too blemished to serve at all,קמ"ל he is still fit to close the doors.  However, according to Rashi that it’s a pesul because of the lack of a sweet voice, this is obvious that the pesul would be limited only to singing (see Masseh Yad and additions to the footnotes on Rashba Chullin by Rav Yaakov Elon.)   

Thursday, June 13, 2019

How To Bless

Why is there a mitzvah for kohanim to bless Yisroel, God can give us the beracha directly?  Why must the beracha be given b’ahavah, why is this condition so critical that it becomes part of the text of the beracha said before the pessukim of birchas kohanim?

Possibly, it is the very fact that another person, the kohanim are able to look at someone else favorably that causes that Hashem will also look favorably upon the recipient.  It is because the kohan expresses such love for another individual that it arouses such love in heaven for the individual as well.

The Gemorah in Chagigah (16b) says that Hashem didn’t learn the Torah of Rebbe Meir since he leaent from acher.  After Rabbah bar Shela explained that he merely studied the Torah of acher, not his actions, then Hashem said the Torah of Rebbe Meir.  Did Hashem not know this beforehand?  It’s the same idea, because Rabbah bar Shela looked favorably upon the actions of Rebbe Meir it caused that Hashem looked upon them favorably as well (see Tzidkus Hatzaddik of Rav Tzaddok #21.)

Water: בירור or מתיר

The sotah drinks the water and is acquitted.  There are two ways to understand this process.  It may function as a בירור that she is innocent and hence she is permitted to her husband or it may be an automatic מתיר.  What is the difference between these two understandings?  If there is room to suspect that even after surviving the water, she is really guilty.  The Mishna in Sotah 22b brings opinions that if there are possibilities of some good deeds allowing the woman to survive even for up to many years after drinking the water. If the drinking of the water merely serves to determine the status of the woman, but doesn’t create an automatic heter why shouldn’t we suspect that she is really guilty, but there is a זכות  that allowed her to remain alive? Tosfos (6b bottom) brings from the Yerushalmi that has a derash that we don’t have to assume that she is still alive because of some זכות.   

The Rambam Laws of Sotah 3:20 brings the law that if the woman has a zechut she gets weak and eventually dies.  This is the opinion of Rebbe in the Mishna (ibid.)  In Law 21 he says that if she survives the water she is permitted, indicating even when she becomes weak when we know she is tameh.  It is clear the Rambam understands the waters serve as a matir to permit the woman even if we know she is tameh.  On the other hand, Tosfos (ibid) says that if we know that she is tameh because she is growing weaker, then she is prohibited.  Clearly, he holds it functions as a birur.

New Tenufah

Last week we discussed the obligation of תנופה in regard to the shtei halechem if the obligation to wave the parts of the shelamim is a new obligation or part of the regular obligation of a shelamim.  The same chakirah can be made in regard to the shelamim of the nazir.  What is the nature of the obligation to do תנופה on the parts of the shelamim; is it a new obligation or the same obligation as that of a shelamim?

The simple understanding should be that it is a new obligation for the תנופה is part of the טהרה process of the nazir and according to ר"א it is even necessary to allow the nazir to drink wine.  This would seem to be supported by the Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvot #111 that explains that the shaving and korbanot of the nazir are counted as one mitzvah as opposed to that of a metzorah is two mitzvot, because they are two aspects of one purification process. However, the Sifri asks why does the Torah have to tell us the obligation regarding the חזה ושוק if it’s an obligation by every shelamim?  The Sifri learns out from here the principle of דבר שיצא מן הכלל בדבר חדש אי אתה יכול להחיזרו לכלל עד שיחזירנו הכתוב בפירוש.  From the question of the Sifri it is clear that it views the תנופה obligation equal to that of a regular shelamim.  From here the Briskor Rav derives that it is only the additional תנופה said regarding the korbanot of a nazir; the חלה רקיק וזרוע that is part of the טהרה process, but the תנופת חזה ושוק stems from the obligation of a shelamim.

The Mishna in Kiddushin 36b says that a woman is obligated in תנופה regarding the minchas soteh and korbanot nezireh.  The Rogatchover (השמטות תרומות pg. 104) proposes that it she is obligated only on the additional תנופה of the korbanot nezireh but not in the obligation of the תנופה that applies by a shelamim.  He brings support to this from the language of the Rambam that mentions the תנופה of women only regarding the specific תנופות unique to a nazir.  This line of reasoning matches that of the Briskor Rav.    

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The True Crown

The Even Ezra says the word יפליא (6:2) used to describe the acceptance of neziros means פלא.  He explains it is wonderous for a person to be able to control their תואות.  He follows this approach in explaining (6:7) כי נזר אלקיו על ראשו.  He says ואיננו רחוק. ודע כי כל בני אדם עבדי תואות העולם, והמלך באמת שיש לו נזר ועטרת מלכות בראשו, כל מי שהוא חפשי מן התאות.  It is clear from the Even Ezra how strong one’s yetzer is and it requires tremendous effort to be constrained.  Rav Leeb Chasmon asks what is the big deal not to get a haircut or abstain from wine or tumah for 30 days?  It’s just a short time and doesn’t require a great power of abstinent?  He explains that what’s difficult is the kabbalah, the willingness to accept restrictions upon one’s self is the great difficulty.  This is the idea of kabbalos haTorah (we are still within the seven days where one can make up the karbonos of the chag,) to accept the yoke of  Torah.