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

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Vol. 18   No. 36

This issue is sponsored jointly
l'iluy Nishmas
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Rabbi Chaim Wilschanski ๙์้่'เ
l'iluy Nishmas
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Parshas Noso
(including Shavu'os Supplement)

Nachshon ben Aminadav's Korban
(Translated from the Ba'al ha'Turim)

"And his Korban (ve'Korbono) consisted of …" (7:13).

The Pasuk is speaking with reference to Nachshon ben Aminadav, Prince of Yehudah.

The Riva offers a number of explanations to explain the extra "Vav" in ve'Korbono (which the Torah does not insert by any of the other princes),

Firstly, he says, it hints at his six descendents, each of whom was destined to be blessed with six B'rachos: David. Mashi'ach, Daniel and Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah (who were thrown into a furnace by Nevuchadnetzar and survived unscathed):

David - "He knows how to play (the harp), he is a mighty warrior and a man of war; he understands a matter, he is handsome and G-d is with him" (Shmuel 1, 16:18) all of which Chazal interpret with reference to the realm of Torah-study: 1. He knows how to ask questions and 2. how to answer questions; 3. He is able to fight the battles of Torah-study; 4. He can extrapolate one thing from another; 5 He is able to arrive at the Halachah, and 6. The Halachah is like him at all times. Mashi'ach - "A spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of G-d" (Yeshayah 11:2).

Daniel and Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah - (When they were chosen to stand before King Nevuchadnetzar) - "Youths in whom there is no blemish, who are good-looking, skillful in all wisdom, discerning in knowledge, perceptive in learning and who have the stamina to stand (and serve) in the king's palace" (Daniel 1:4).


Secondly, it hints at the six firsts that took place on that famous day (Rosh Chodesh Nisan of the second year after leaving Egypt), when the Mishkan was erected: It was the first time that … 1. the Shechinah rested with Yisrael: 2. the Princes served in that capacity; 3. the Kohanim blessed Yisrael (Birchas Kohanim); 4. the demarcation of the Camp of the Shechinah took place; 5. the Bamos (private altars) were prohibited; 6. the Heavenly fire descended and consumed the Korbanos.


Thirdly: It hints at the six things that were taken away from Adam ha'Rishon after he sinned and that will be returned when the 'son of Nachshon' (Mashi'ach) arrives:

His brightness, as the Pasuk writes in Iyov (14:20) " … You changed his face and sent him away";

His life … "for you are dust, and you will return to dust" (Bereishis, 3:19);

His height … "and Adam hid" (Ibid. 3:8), to teach us that his height was shortened down to a hundred Amos;

The fruit of the ground and the fruit of the trees… "The ground will be cursed because of you; with sadness will you eat from it …" (Ibid. 3:17);

The luminaries "… the moon will be embarrassed and the sun will be ashamed" (Yeshayah 24:23). And we know that G-d hid them, from the Pasuk in Iyov (38:15) "And he withheld their light from the wicked".

And from where do we know that all of the above are destined to be returned in the days of Mashi'ach?

Adam ha'Rishon's brightness as the Pasuk writes in Shoftim (5:31) "And His loved ones are like the rising sun in its might".

His life … "For the days of My people are like the days of the tree" (Yeshayah 65:22) - with reference to the trunk of a sycamore tree, which has a lifespan of five hundred years;

His height … "and I will lead you upright" (Bechukosai 26:13) - 'standing erect (See also Ba'al ha'Turim there).

The fruit of the ground and the fruit of the trees … as the Pasuk writes in (Zecharyah 8:12) "The vine will give its fruit and the land will give its produce".

The luminaries … "The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times as strong … " (Yeshayah 30:26).


Fourthly: 'Let the son of Nachshon (David ha'Melech) come with six Midos (see above) and dig the foundation of the (first) Beis ha'Mikdash (See Gemara Succah 53a, [just as Nachshon initiated the inauguration of the Mishkan']).


Nachshon was so-called, the Ba'al ha'Turim explains, because he was the first to descend into the stormy sea ('Nachshol shel Yam' - [since a 'Nun' and a 'Lamed' are interchangeable])

* * *

Parshah Pearls
(Adapted from the Riva)

Omein Omein

" … and the woman shall say 'Omein Omein' " (5:22).

The Riva, commenting on the double expression, cites Rashi, who explains ' "Omein" from this man, "Omein" from another man; "Omein" that I did not sin either when I was betrothed or when I was married or a Shomeres Yavam … ; "Omein" on the curse (oloh), "Omein" on the oath (shevu'ah)!'

He asks how it is possible to learn so many things from one superfluous "Omein"?

And he answers that in fact all except for " … that I did not sin either when I was betrothed … married or a shomeres yavam; we learn automatically from the first "Omein". This is because all four of them are mentioned in the Torah and it is perfectly natural for one "Omein" to cover all the cases that the Torah has specifically mentioned: (the words "oloh" and "shevu'ah" are mentioned explicitly in the Pasuk, whereas "If you sinned whilst under the jurisdiction of your husband" incorporates 'this man and 'another man'. Consequently (seeing as the Pasuk is talking about a married woman) all that we still need to include is 'when I was betrothed … or when I was a shomeres yavam', which, since they are similar, we can easily learn from the second "Omein".


A Sin-Offering for Performing a Mitzvah

"A man or a woman who expresses a vow to be a Nazir … " (6:2).

Discussing the juxtaposition of the Parshah of Nazir to that of Sotah, Rashi explains that anyone who sees a Sotah in her disgrace should take a Nazarite vow.

In that case, asks the Riva, how can Chazal then say that the Nazir must bring a sin-offering for abstaining from wine? How can Nezirus be, at one and the same time, a Mitzvah and an Aveirah?

In his first answer, the Riva explains that when Chazal talk about taking a Nazarite vow, what they really mean is that one should merely reduce one's drinking, to avoid becoming drunk, since drinking leads to sin. In other words, there is no Mitzvah to actually undertake to becomes a Nazir.

Secondly, he says, when the Torah refers to a Nazir as a sinner, it is referring specifically to a Nazir Tamei, as the Torah goes on to say " … the first days fall away (and he must begin all over again)". The Torah is in fact afraid that he will contravene his Nezirus in one way or another, But a Tahor Nazir (whose state of Taharah indicates that his undertaking to be a Nazir was done le'Shem Shamayim, and who we assume, will not violate his Nezirus, is certainly not considered a sinner).

And thirdly, after establishing them both by a Tahor Nazir, he reconciles the two seemingly contradictory concepts by explaining that whereas, on the one hand, a Nazir is performing a Mitzvah, on the other, there is an aspect of sin attached to the Mitzvah, which may well be minor compared to the Mitzvah aspect, but which nevertheless requires atonement, in the form of the sin-offering that he brings.


Advance Knowledge

" … they were the princes of the tribes, they were the ones who stood by the counted ones" (7:2).

Rashi explains the latter statement with reference to the census, when Moshe and Aharon counted the people, assisted by the princes.

The Riva observes that this Parshah was said on the first of Nisan one year after leaving Egypt, on the day that the Mishkan was finally erected, whereas the census took place only on the first of Iyar in the following year. This is no problem, he answers, since when Moshe wrote the Torah, the princes' participation in the census had already taken place. And he adds that we have a precedent for this in Bereishis (2:14), which refers to the River Chidekel passing by the east of Ashur (Assyria), even though Ashur had not yet been built.


The Month of Kislev Receives its Due

"This is the inauguration of the Mizbei'ach" (7:84).

We read the Parshah of the princes on Chanukah, the Riva explains, based on the tradition that the Mishkan was actually completed on the twenty-fifth of Kislev. It then stood folded and ready to be erected, until the first of Nisan, when Moshe erected it. Meanwhile, the people wondered whether something had gone wrong (causing the Mishkan to be abandoned). G-d however, deliberately postponed setting it up until Nisan, the month that Yitzchak (who is the symbol of Avodah) was born, or the month when his Akeidah took place. When Nisan arrived and the Mishkan was erected, the people's minds were set at ease.

But the month of Kislev it seems, was not. It came before Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu, wanting to know what it had done wrong to be deprived of the great privilege of having the Mishkan set up on it, since that was when it was completed.

Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu's response was to promise the month of Kislev that He would compensate it with another inauguration that would take place on it - namely, that of Chanukah.

Hence G-d declared (Iyov 41:3) "Whoever anticipated Me - I will pay him back!"

* * *


"And the one to bring his Korban on the first day was Nachshon ben Aminadav" (7:17).

By all the other princes, the Ba'al ha'Turim observes, the Torah inserts the word "Nasi" (prince). The sole exception is Yehudah.

And he ascribes this to the inherent humility of the tribe of Yehudah. And so we find that Yehudah (the father of the tribe from whom they presumably inherited it) said to Tzofnas Pa'nei'ach (alias Yosef) "Let your servant remain in place of the lad (Binyamin)", and the Pasuk in Shmuel, which refers to David ha'Melech as "the small one".

Each Nasi, says the Ba'al ha'Turim, has six Pesukim, corresponding to the six days of the week …

" … one silver dish weighing a hundred and thirty (Shekalim)" 7:13.

Corresponding to the years of Adam, up until the birth of Sheis.

" … one silver bowl of seventy Shekalim (shiv'im shekel)" Ibid.

The Gematriyah of "shiv'im shekel" is also equivalent to that of 'shiv'im nefesh' - corresponding to the number of souls that went down to Egypt), and to save them from the seventy nations.

"One spoon (kaf) weighing ten golden Shekalim filled with (melei'oh) Ketores" (7:14),

One spoon - corresponding to the Torah that was given from the palm of G-d's Hand (as "kaf" can also mean a palm) … "Ten golden Shekalim" - corresponding to the Aseres ha'Dibros … "melei'oh Ketores" - *change the 'Kuf' for a 'Daled' (via 'Atbash') and it is equal to the Gematriyah of 'Taryag'.

"One bull, one ram, one lamb … " (7:15).

"One bull" - corresponding to Avraham ("and Avraham ran to the bull"), "One ram" - corresponding to Yitzchak (who was replaced by a ram at Akeidas Yitzchak) and "one lamb" - corresponding to Ya'akov ("and Ya'akov seperated the lambs").. The combined Gematriyah of 'Par, ayil, keves' equals 'Avraham, Yitzchak ve'Ya'akov'.

"And for a Shelamim offering two bulls, five rams, five he-goats and five lambs … " (7:17).

"Two bulls" - corresponding to Moshe and Aharon, who made peace between Yisrael and their Father in Heaven. "rams, he-goats and lambs" - three species, corresponding to both Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisre'eilim and also to Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim.


"On the second day, Nesan'el ben Tzu'ar, the Nasi of Yisachar, brought his Korban (Ba'yom ha'sheini hikriv … )" 7:18.

Rashi explains that Nesan'el ben Tzu'ar was the one who initiated the Korbanos of the Nesi'im. Hence the Ba'al ha'Turim remarks, the Gematriyah of "Ba'yom ha'sheini hikriv" is equivalent to that of 'Nosan lohem eitzah' (He gave them the advice).


" … When Moshe came to the Ohel Mo'ed … he heard the Voice from between the two cherubs (mi'bein sh'nei ha'k'ruvim)" 7:89.

The first letters of "Mi'bein Sh'nei Ha'k'ruvim" spell Moshe, says the Ba'al ha'Turim. To teach us that Moshe was equivalent to a Heavenly cherub. Indeed, commenting on the Pasuk in Chukas (20:16) "And He sent an angel, who took us out of Egypt", Rashi explains that that angel was none other than Moshe.

* * *

The Two Loaves
(Translated from the Rambam,
Hilchos T'midin u'Musafin, Chap.8)

1. On the fiftieth day of the counting of the Omer is the Yom-Tov of Shavu'os (known as 'the Day of Atzeres'). On this day one brings the same Korban Musaf as one does on Rosh Chodesh - two bulls, one ram and seven lambs, all of them Olos, and a she-goat as a Chatas. These Korbanos, which are mentioned in Pinchas, are the Musaf of the day.

Over and above the Musaf, one also brings a new Minchah - the Two Loaves, together with which one brings one bull, two rams and seven lambs, a she-goat for a Chatas, and two lambs as a Shelamim. These Korbanos are the ones that are mentioned in Parshas Emor.

It transpires that, besides the two lambs of the Tamid, one brings on this day three bulls, three rams and fourteen lambs as Olos, twenty in total, plus two goats as Chata'os and two lambs as Shelamim, both sets of which are eaten.

2. The Two Loaves can only come from Eretz Yisrael and from the new crops, as the Torah writes in Emor (23:17) "From your dwelling places you shall bring the bread of your wave-offering". If no new crops are to be found, then one brings best quality (grain from elsewhere).

3. Regarding wheat that is brought by the clouds, there is a doubt as to whether it falls under the category of 'from your dwellings" or not. Therefore one should not bring it; but if one did, one is Yotzei (one's obligation).

What does one actually do? One brings three Sa'ah of new wheat, which one proceeds to rub and knock (as one does with all Flour-Offerings), before grinding into fine flour. Then one sifts from it two tenths (of a Sa'ah) using twelve sieves. The rest (of the flour) may be redeemed and eaten by anybody. It is subject to Chalah but is exempt from Ma'asros (as the author has already explained).

4. The Two Loaves, which come from the new crops must comprise one tenth (of a Sa'ah) per one and a half Sa'ah. For the Lechem ha'Panim (the twelve Showbreads) on the other hand, which come from old crops, it will suffice to use eleven sieves and to produce one tenth per Sa'ah. As for the Omer, which comes from fresh barley, it needs to fo come from three Sa'ah and to be sifted thirteen times.

5. Regarding all of the above, if one added to the prescribed measurements or detracted from them, one is nevertheless Yotzei.

6. One then takes the two tenths (of flour) and kneads them and bakes them one at a time.

7. They are kneaded and shaped outside (the Azarah) and baked inside, like all Menachos.

8. Their preparation does not over-ride Yom-Tov, and certainly not Shabbos. Therefore they must be baked on Erev Yom-Tov, as the Torah writes in Bo (12:16) "That alone may be done for you" - "for you", 'but not for Hashem'.

9. If Erev Yom-Tov falls on Friday, one bakes the Loaves on Erev Shabbos and they are eaten on the third day after being baked - on Yom-Tov. The Torah specifically writes that the Loaves are to be baked Chametz. How does one do this? One brings yeasts from an external source, which one places in the 'Isaron' (the receptacle that one uses to prepare the Two Loaves), which one then fills with flour, thereby using the yeast to turn the Loaves Chametz.

10. The Loaves are square (oblong) shaped - each Chalah measuring seven by four Tefachim, its height four finger-breadths.

11. How was the waving of the Loaves with the two lambs of the Shelamim performed? They brought the two lambs and waved them alive … If the Kohen waved each one separately, he was Yotzei. He then Shechted the lambs and skinned them, before taking the chest and the right calf from each of them and placing them beside the two loaves. Then placing his two hands underneath them, he waved them all simultaneously on the east (side of the Mizbei'ach), where all the wavings took place. He moved them backwards and forwards in all four direction, up and down. If he did this one at a time he is Yotzei.

After this, he burns the Eimurim (the parts that go on the Mizbei'ach) of the two lambs. The rest of the meat is eaten by the Kohanim. Likewise, the two loaves are eaten, one by the Kohen Gadol, the other is distributed among all the (twenty-four) groups of Kohanim. Both loaves are eaten that day and the following night until mid-night, like the flesh of Kodshei Kodshim.

* * *

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Two Men Who Made the Same Mistake

When Bo'az offered his uncle Tov (whom the Pasuk refers to as 'the redeemer') the first right to redeem the property of his brother Elimelech, which his widow Naomi had sold, he did not hesitate to accept the offer. It was only when he added the condition that whoever redeemed the property would become obligated to marry (perform Yibum with) Rus that he changed his mind, as he explained, such a marriage would stigmatize his family forever. Rashi explains that he erred in the ruling "Amoni", 've'Lo Amonis'. In other words, he was unaware of the ruling that had just been issued that the prohibition against marrying someone from Amon was confined to the male members of that nation, but did not extend to the women - and the same of course, applies to the women of Mo'av ("Mo'ovi", 've'lo Mo'avis').

The Medrash Rabah explains that Tov is also referred to in the Megilah as 'P'lonio Almoni' because he was 'dumb' (from the word 'Ileim', a dumb person) regarding words of Torah, inasmuch as he thought that the prohibition of marrying a Mo'abite extended to a Jewish man marrying a Mo'abite woman; he did not know the Halachah had just been revised to read "Mo'avi", 've'Lo Mo'avis'.

In fact, the Medrash quotes Tov as having said that Machlon and Kilyon (his nephews) had died because they had married Mo'abite women, and he did not fancy going the same way that they did. What he did not know was that the Halachah had just been revised, as we explained. In other words, whereas just one day earlier, anyone who married a Mo'abite woman contravened a La'av, today it was no longer the case. Another Medrash explains that Tov simply missed one day in the Beis-ha'Medrash, a mistake that cost him the opportunity of becoming the ancestor of the dynasty of Malchus Beis-David and of the Mashi'ach. Indeed, they learn from here that one should never miss a day in the Beis-ha'Medrash.


Fast forward some hundred and fifty years, and we find Do'eg ha'Edomi, the head of Beis-Din in the time of Sha'ul, making the same mistake. The Gemara in Yevamos (76b) relates how, when King Sha'ul asked his captain Avner to make enquiries as to whether David was from the family that was destined to produce kings, Do'eg suggested that perhaps one should rather enquire as to whether he was fit to enter into the congregation of Yisrael, since his mother was a Mo'avis. When Avner quoted him the Mishnah "Mo'avi", 've'lo Mo'avis', Do'eg queried him … ultimately arriving at the conclusion that just as the Mo'ovi men were expected to bring food into the dessert to feed the Jewish men, so too, should the Mo'avi women have brought food to feed the Jewish women. Consequently, there is no more reason to absolve the Mo'avi women than the men. At that juncture, Amasa (who was a son of Avigayil, David's sister), cited Shmuel (who was still alive and) who specifically substantiated the currently-quoted Mishnah "Amoni", 've'Lo Amonis'; "Mo'avi", 've'Lo Mo'avis!' and that he would pierce anyone who queried that with his sword.

As for Do'eg's query - why the women were just as guilty as the men and ought therefore to have been included in the prohibition - quoting the Pasuk in Tehilim "Kol k'vudoh bas melech p'nimah", the Gemara concludes that it is not becoming for women to leave the home, even if it is to provide food for women who might need it. Consequently, the women of Mo'av were vindicated, Rus was declared a Kasher Jewess and David a fully-fledged member of K'lal Yisrael.


Interestingly, the final answer to Do'eg's query was not the point that Amasa was making. The Gemara cites it only in order to dispel the discrepancy. Amasa stressed the fact that Sh'muel had issued a ruling, and that no-one had a right to query it. This is, no doubt, based on the Halachah that one Beis-Din has no authority to overturn the ruling of an earlier Beis-Din unless it is greater in both wisdom and numbers. And clearly, the Beis-Din of Shmuel, who besides being a link in the chain of the tradition (of the oral Torah) that passed from Moshe through to the Anshei K'nesses ha'Gedolah, is also compared to Moshe and Aharon, was greater than that of Do'eg.

* * *

Megilas Rus
(Adapted from the Divre Eliyahu)

Common Sense

" … she went, she came and she collected in the field" (Rus 2:3).

Rashi, commenting on the strange expression, cites the Medrash which explains that Rus first walked from the city to Bo'az's field, and then returned to the city marking the way back, to ensure that she would not her way when, after having collected all day in the field, she would proceed back to the city.

According to the G'ro, Rus saw no point in entering the field and beginning to collect, which would have required her to carry whatever she had collected with her to the end of the field and back again. So she cleverly proceeded immediately to the end of the field, and only then, as she began her return journey to where she entered the field, did she actually begin collecting the gleanings.


Two Kinds of Reward

"May G-d repay you for your work (po'olech), and may your reward (mas'kurtech) be complete from before Hashem, the G-d of Yisrael" (2:12).

Last year we cited Targum Yonasan, who explains the double expression with regard to reward in both worlds.

The G'ro, commenting on the difference between "po'olech" & "mas'kurtech'" compares it to a king, who will reward a servant who serves him loyally on an ongoing basis, twice - once for each task that he performs on his behalf, and upon completing all the tasks that has undertaken to perform, he rewards him with an extra bonus for the long period of time that he spent in his service. So too, he explains, Bo'az blessed Rus that G-d would reward her (in this world) in full for each act that she performed, and then again, for all that she achieved, in the World to Come.

Bo'az deliberately added the words 'in full', says the G'ro, despite the fact that she delayed converting right up to that time, and as Chazal have said, converts often have it difficult in this world because they did not convert earlier. He predicted that this would not happen to her. Why is that?

The answer lies in the Yerushalmi quoted by the Torah Temimah. Commenting on the previous Pasuk, "that you went to a people whom you did not know yesterday and the day before", the Yerushalmi explains that had Rus come to convert the day before, they would not have accepted her. This is because, at that stage they still believed that the prohibition of a Mo'avi marrying into K'lal Yisrael extended to women as well. And it was only on that day that the Halachah "Mo'avi", 've'lo Mo'avis' was publicized. Consequently, Rus could not have converted earlier, in which case, she was not destined to suffer for delaying her conversion, as other Geirim do. And that is what Bo'az informed her through his blessing.


A Convert's Right

" … because you came to take shelter under His Wings" (Ibid.).

When a Jew performs Mitzvos, he does so without having in mind to earn a reward, as the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos teaches us. The G'ro explains that this is when G-d took us out of Egypt, we became His slaves, obligated to perform His will at all times. And just as a slave would not dare to ask his master for remuneration for his services, so too, do we belong body and Soul to G-d, and it would be height of Chutzpah to ask Him to pay us for our services.

But Rus (indeed - all converts) was different. G-d did not take her out or her ancestors, out of Egypt. On the contrary, she came of her own accord and offered to serve Him. Consequently, she was perfectly entitled to expect, and to demand, full reward for her services. And that explains, says the G'ro, why Bo'az said to Rus "May Hashem pay you in full … because you came (of your own accord) to take shelter under His Wing".

* * *


"And the redeemer said, under those circumstances I am not able to redeem the fields, since I have a wife I am not permitted to marry another one besides her - it may cause strife in my home, causing me to destroy my inheritance …" (4:5).


" … one man would remove the glove from his right hand and hand it to his friend … " (4:7).

* * *


Quoting a woman from Mezibuz, the Ta'amei ha'Minhagim says the following:

'It's true, that we did well to choose Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu at Har Sinai; but it's equally true that He did well to choose us!' As proof, she pointed out Faivish, a simple Jew, who tended to sanctify G-d's Name (though we are not told exactly how he did this).

What's more, she said, it is not the least surprising that G-d chose us; since after all, He is wise and knowledgeable, and He knows to what extent Yisrael are superior and on a higher level than all other nations. What is more surprising is that we chose Him. For after all, how could Yisrael (who are not as wise as G-d) have known the extent of the greatness of G-d and His Torah?'

* * *

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