Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah by HaRav Eliezer Chrysler
Formerly Rav of Mercaz Ahavat Torah, Johannesburg

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Vol. 9   No. 28

This issue is sponsored by David Shadovitz n.y
in honour of his father
Chuna ben Zissel ha'Kohen n.y.
May Hashem send him a Refuah Sheleimah.


Pesach Sheini
(adapted from the No'am ha'Mitzvos and the Seifer ha'Chinuch)

Anyone who was unable to bring the Pesach Rishon on the fourteenth of Nisan, either because he was Tamei or far from the Azoroh, or for any other reason, irrespective of whether he had failed to bring it be'meizid, be shogeg or be'O'nes, was obligated to perform the Mitzvah of Pesach Sheini on the fourteenth of Iyar.

And, like the Pesach Rishon, there was a second Mitzvah to eat it on the night of the fifteenth until morning together with Matzah and Moror. And like the Pesach Rishon, leaving any of it uneaten until the morning, or breaking any of its bones, was prohibited. Indeed, whoever was unable to eat it, did not bring it either.

Unlike the Pesach Rishon however, 'bal yeira'eh' and 'bal yima'tzei' did not apply to it. Nor did the prohibition exist of having Chametz in one's possession whilst bringing or eating the Pesach Sheini. Neither was Hallel recited by either of them.


By 'a Tamei person', we are referring to someone who was a Zav or a Metzora (both of whom require a seven-day period of Tum'ah before becoming Tahor once more). But someone who became Tamei on Erev Pesach through touching a Sheretz or Neveilah, would immerse in a Mikveh immediately, after which the Pesach could be brought on his behalf, and at nightfall, he would be able to partake of it.

In the event that the majority of the community was Tamei Meis (which would occur if, for example, the Nasi died that day), or if the Kohanim or the Holy Vessels became Tamei, then, based on the principle 'Tum'ah hutrah be'tzibur' (communal Tum'ah is waived in the case of communal offerings), they would bring the Pesach be'Tum'ah.

And by 'far from the Azarah' we mean a distance of fifteen mil, (approximately fifteen kilometers) from Yerushalayim (which the Mishnah refers to as 'Modi'in'). This is because someone who arrives at that point by dawn-break of Erev Pesach, is able to reach the Azarah on foot, in time for the Shechitah of the Pesach Sheini.


Someone who did not bring the Pesach Rishon be'shogeg or be'ones, and then failed to bring the Pesach Sheini be'meizid, is chayav kareis (excision). And the same applies to someone who failed to bring the Pesach Rishon be'meizid, and was then unable to bring Pesach Sheini, even be'Shogeg or be'o'nes. On the other hand, someone who brings Pesach Sheini cannot be Chayav Kareis.


The Mitzvah of Korban Pesach is unique, inasmuch as it overrides the general principle that prevails in the realm of Korbanos 'Ovar z'mano, boteil Korbono' (once the time for a specific Korban has passed, one's opportunity to bring it is lost). This is the only Korban where, in spite of having missed the opportunity of bringing it at the correct time, the Torah gives a second chance as it were, to bring it a month later.

The reason for this, explains the Seifer ha'Chinuch, is 'because the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach is a symbol of the Creation, because at that time, Hakdodosh Boruch Hu performed with us great miracles and wonders, changing the course of nature in the process. And when He did that, all the nations of the world saw that He supervises the world and that He controls it, and that He is able to do whatever He wants with it. And that explains why G-d decided to grant every single Jew the merit of this precious Mitzvah, so that neither circumstances nor distance would stand in his way, preventing him from fulfilling it, if not in Nisan, then in Iyar'.


Parshah Pearls

(adapted from the Meshech Chochmah)

Yom Kipur All the Year Round

"With this Aharon shall enter the Kodesh (Kodshim)" (16:3).

The Medrash explains how G-d told Moshe that Aharon could enter the Kodesh Kodshim, not only on Yom Kipur, but whenever he liked, provided he followed the instructions prescribed by the Torah here.

The Meshech Chochmah, citing the Gevi'i ha'Kesef, bases the logic behind this on a Seforno in Emor.

The Seforno (24:3), comments there on the fact that the Torah ascribes the kindling of the Menorah and the bringing of the Ketores to Aharon, even though any Kohen was eligible to perform these Avodos. The reason for this, he explains, is because throughout Aharon's life, the Cloud of Glory covered the Ohel Mo'ed (as well as the rest of K'lal Yisrael) day and night, as the last Pasuk in Sh'mos records. Consequently, the Avodos in the Mishkan were similar to those of Yom Kipur, when the Cloud (created by the Ketores) covered the Ohel Mo'ed too. And on Yom Kipur, only Aharon was eligible to perform the Avodos of that day. Interestingly, until Aharon's death in the fortieth year, it was on his merit that the Cloud hovered over the Mishkan in the first place.

By the same token then, Aharon was able to enter the Kodesh Kodshim any time, in keeping with the Pasuk here " ... because with the Cloud I will appear on the lid".

And if that is the case, then the months following Aharon's death, (between Rosh Chodesh Av and the seventh of Adar), during which time the Cloud remained with Yisrael on the merit of Moshe, the above concession would have extended to Elazar, Aharon's son and successor.


The Logic Behind It

The logic behind the previous concession, explains the Meshech Chochmah, lies in the function of the special Korbanos which the Kohen Gadol had to bring on Yom Kipur.

By all the Korbanos of the day, the Torah stresses that they come to atone for the Tum'ah of the Mikdash and the Kodesh (see Rashi 16:11). As the Gemara explains in Shevu'os, the goat that was brought inside (the So'ir la'Hashem), atoned for Tum'os of which the perpetrators were initially aware, but subsequently forgot. The bull, on the other hand, atoned for the Kohanim who contravened Tum'as Mikdash ve'Kodoshov deliberately and the goat for Az'azel, for non-Kohanim who were guilty of the same sin (as well as for all other sins perpetrated by the whole of Yisrael), even on purpose.


And this sin would have been fairly common in the desert, since the only meat that was allowed to them was that of animals that they brought as a Korban (since Chulin was forbidden in the desert). It stands to reason therefore, that Tum'as Mikdash ve'Kodoshov, occurred on an ongoing basis, and therefore required constant atonement. Indeed, we see just how sensitive the Torah is to this particular sin, from the Gemara in Zevachim (6b), where Rebbi Shimon explains why they sacrificed two goats on Shevu'os, both to atone for the sin of Tum'as Mikdash ve'Kodoshov. The reason for this he explains, is because although they had already sacrificed one goat as part of the Korbanos that accompanied the Two Loaves, they brought a second one as part of the Musaf-offering a short while later, to atone for the same sin that may have occurred during the brief interval between the two Korbanos.


And this explains adequately why Aharon would have needed to enter the Kodesh Kodshim regularly, to bring these Korbonos, to effect the necessary atonement. And that is why the Torah gave him the special dispensation of 'Yom Kipur all the year round'!


Moshe and the Mizbe'ach ho'Olah

The above explanation of the Seforno, the Meshech Chochmah adds, will help us to understand why only Aharon, together with the Mizbe'ach ho'Olah, was anointed with the anointing oil on its own, not Aharon's sons and not any of the other Holy Vessels.

The Mizbe'ach ho'Olah was anointed because, on the one hand, coals were taken from it for the Ketores, and on the other, the two bowls of Levonah (the frankincense that accompanied the Lechem ha'Panim) were burned on it (the former went to, the whereas the latter came from, the Kodesh). Consequently, the Mizbe'ach, which was situated in the Azarah, was anointed, to give it the sanctity of the Vessels in the Kodesh. And Aharon was anointed because he alone performed the Avodos of the Ketores and the Menorah - in the Kodesh.


Parshas Kedoshim
(adapted from the P'ninei Torah)

The Essence of Rebuking ...

"Do not hate your friend in your heart; rebuke your friend" (19:17).

When you rebuke your friend, Reb Leib Mochi'ach explained, don't do it out of hatred. Don't hide your hatred under a veil of reproval!

In any event, a rebuke should be an act of love (with the intention of bringing the sinner back to the Shechinah), not of hatred.

Stories are told of great men who would refrain from rebuking as long as they felt the slightest upsurge of anger towards the sinner. It was only after that anger abated (sometimes as much as a day or two later) that they fulfilled the Mitzvah of rebuking.


... Part two

"Rebuke your friend, and do not bear a sin because of him"! (ibid.)

Based on the principle 'All Jews are responsible for one another', one should know that when Reuven sins and Shimon remains silent, then Shimon is guilty of complicity. He too, shares in Reuven's guilt.

That is why the Torah writes here "Rebuke your friend (in order) not to bear on him a sin (for your silence)".


Loving a Fellow-Jew

"And you shall love your friend like yourself" (19:18).

A person tolerates and loves himself in spite of his faults. By the same token, the commentaries explain, he should also tolerate and love every other Jew, in spite of his faults.


Tit for Tat

"And you shall love your friend like yourself, I am Hashem" (ibid).

David Hamelech writes in Tehilim (121:5) "Hashem is your shadow".

Just like a person's shadow mimics him to the letter, so too, does Hashem mimic every Jew; He takes His cue from the way he treats his fellow-Jew, and treats him accordingly.

It therefore follows, says the Besht, that as long as we perform chesed and love even with those Jews who perhaps are not on the level that we would like them to be, then Hashem will perform chesed with us and love us even if and when we are not on the level that He would like us to be.


The story is told of a Chasid of the Rebbe, Reb Zushe, who, upon discovering that the latter would travel to visit his Rebbe, the Maggid from Mezritch, decided that he may as well reach for the top. Why visit Reb Zushe he figured, when the Maggid was that much greater? So he stopped visiting Reb Zushe, and began traveling instead to the Mezritcher Maggid, to whom he began handing his k'vitlech and giving Tzedakah.

From that moment on however, his fortune took a turn for the worse and continued to plummet until he lost all his wealth and became a poor man.

At that stage, he decided to go back to Reb Zushe, whom he asked for an explanation of this strange phenomenon.

Reb Zushe duly explained to him that as long he had visited him (Reb Zushe), and had helped support him despite his unworthiness, Hashem had responded and supported him in spite of the fact that he was not deserving of that support. But the moment he concluded that only true Tzadikim (such as the Maggid) deserved his support, Hashem arrived at the same conclusion, and began looking for more worthy recipients of His goodness.


And with this idea, Reb Zushe explained a Gemara in Bava Basra (9b). The Gemara there relates how Yirmiyah ha'Navi cursed the men of Anasos, who hounded him mercilessly. He prayed that when they gave Tzedakah, Hashem should see to it that the recipients were undeserving characters.

In fact, Reb Zushe points out, this was really a blessing in disguise. So unworthy had the men of Anasos become, that their only hope for Divine mercy lay in being kind to unworthy people, thereby eliciting Hashem's favorable response, in spite of their own unworthiness. And that was what Yirmiyah really had in mind.


The Amidah

(based largely on the Siddur "Otzar ha'Tefillos")

Go'el Yisrael

The Eitz Yosef, citing the Ya'aros D'vash, comments on the use of the present tense in the B'rachah 'Go'el Yisrael', as opposed to 'go'al Yisrael' in the past, or 'yig'al Yisrael', in the future. He ascribes this to the fact that G-d redeems us constantly, day in, day out, from our troubles (as we will recite later in the B'rachah of Modim 'and for Your miracles that take place each day ... '). This conforms with the explanation of Rashi, who, as we discussed in the previous issue, connects this B'rachah with G-d's redemption from our daily troubles rather than with the ultimate redemption. The Iyun Tefilah proves this from the Gemara in Pesachim. The Gemara (117b) cites as the source for the present tense (as opposed to the past tense 'go'al Yisrael', used in Sh'ma and Hallel), the Pasuk in Tehilim "ha'go'el mi'shachas chayaichi", which refers to our daily problems, and not to the ge'ulah of the Moshi'ach. Nevertheless, Chazal fixed this as the seventh B'rochoh, hinting at the ultimate ge'ulah, as we explained earlier (even though it is not the chief purpose of the B'rachah), as we just explained.

On the other hand, he also quotes the Medrash, which, based on the Pasuk "Emunim notzar Hashem", praises the strong faith of Yisrael, who exclaim 'boruch Atoh Hashem, Go'el Yisrael' (in the present tense), even though the redemption (the Coming of Moshi'ach) has not yet taken place.


The B'rachah of Refo'einu

The eighth B'rachah, states the Levush, is that of Refo'einu, which corresponds to the angels' proclamation 'Boruch Atoh Hashem, rofei cholei amo Yisrael', after Refael cured Avraham. And Chazal instituted it as the eighth B'rachah because of the B'ris Milah, which was given on the eighth day and which requires healing.

The Seider ha'Yom explains that it was necessary to fix this B'rachah after Ge'ulah, because without good health, of what value is the Ge'ulah, since a sick person does not fully appreciate even the good things that happen to him.

The main purpose of the B'rachah, says the Levush, is to ask for good health in order to be able to serve G-d with all our strength, to study Torah and to observe the Mitzvos without flagging.


There is a tradition that this B'rachah contains twenty-seven words. Consequently, it is not correct to add the word 'Elokeinu' after 'Hashem' at the beginning of the B'rachah. Moreover, the first letters of the first three words ('Resh', 'Yud', 'Vav') add up to 216, hinting at the Name of Hashem of seventy-two letters times three.

The Rambam however, does add 'Elokeinu' at this juncture, though he maintains the twenty-seven words by omitting the word 'Melech' from the latter part of the B'rachah. And this text too, has support from the Avudraham, who explains that the word 'Melech' appears at the termination of the first three B'rachos ('Melech meimis u'mechayeh ... ' and 'Ki Keil Melech godol ve'kodosh Atoh') in honour of the Avos, and in the B'rachah of 'Hoshivoh shofteinu ... ' ('Melech ohev tzedakah ... ') in honour of David. This complies with the Pasuk in Shmuel 2 (7:9) 've'osisi lecho sheim ke'sheim ha'gedolim' (promising David that he would be placed on a par with the Avos). In any event, it certainly implies that 'Melech appears in these two places exclusively.


Refo'einu Hashem ve'Neirofei

Surely, if a doctor heals a patient, then he is healed? So why do we need to say "Heal us Hashem and we will be healed" ?The Eitz Yosef, quoting the Zohar Chodosh, therefore explains the seemingly superfluous word 've'neirofei' (based on a Pasuk in Yirmiyah) in the following manner. All cures are performed at the Hand of Hashem, he says. Sometimes however, He effects the cure personally, whereas on other occasions, He sends the cure through a doctor (who acts as Hashem's messenger). The difference between the two is that whereas in the former case, the patient is guaranteed to be permanently cured, in the latter case he is not. And the same distinction applies to salvation. Perhaps that is why, following the Ge'ulah from Egypt, which was performed by Hashem in Person, and not by an angel, the Torah informs us that we will never again return to Egypt. And that is why we pray to Him 'Heal me Hashem, and I will be (permanently) healed; save me, and I will be (permanently) saved'!


We pray to Hashem to heal us, even though the person praying, is perfectly healthy, I once heard from the Skulener Rebbe, because all Jews are like one body, and when one part of the body hurts, the whole body feels the pain. Indeed, it is in similar vein that Chazal explain the Pasuk in Yirmiyah (50:17) comparing Yisrael to a scattered lamb. When one limb on a lamb is in pain, they say, the entire lamb feels it). And so it is that each individual is perfectly justified in asking G-d to cure the sick (even though he himself is healthy).


Refo'einu ... Hoshi'einu

This text implies that healing and salvation fall under the same category. This is borne out by the fact that the angel Refo'el, who cured Avraham (at the beginning of Parshas Vayeira), went on to save Lot, even though one angel cannot perform two different tasks.


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