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

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Vol. 19   No. 40

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Parshas Pinchas

The Korban Tamid
(Based on Rashi & The Ramban)

"Command the B'nei Yisrael and say to them 'My sacrifice, My bread for My fire-offering, My satisfying aroma you shall take care to sacrifice to Me in its right time" (28:2).

Commenting on the juxtaposition of this Parshah to the previous one (where Moshe asked G-d to designate a fitting replacement for himself to lead K'lal Yisrael), Rashi cites G-d's response - 'Instead of issuing Him with instructions on how to treat His children, He should rather issue His children with instructions on how to treat Him'.

G-d loves B'nei Yisrael dearly, and wants nothing for them other than what is good. The extent of the blessings that they will receive however, is entirely dependent upon their loyalty towards Him. Hence if they obey His Mitzvos, His positive response will be automatic, and to issue Him with instructions to that effect is uncalled for.

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Rashi also remarks (in Pasuk 4) that, although Parshas ha'Tamid was already said in Parshas Tetzaveh, the Torah repeats it here because there it referred specifically to the Milu'im (the inauguration of the Mishkan), in which case it needs to repeat it here to teach us that the Korban Tamid was indeed perpetual, as its name suggests.

The Ramban queries Rashi, inasmuch as the Torah writes there "A perpetual Olah for your generations" (though it seems, the commentaries explain, that Rashi interprets that with regard to other inaugurations that would take place in future generations).

The Ramban therefore explains that the Torah sees fit to repeat the Parshah here to incorporate the Musaf-offerings , as well as the flour and drink- offerings, all of which had not yet been commanded when the Mishkan was built in the second year after leaving Egypt. The Torah therefore repeats the Parshas ha'Tamid here, prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, to inform them that, when they enter the land, they will become obligated to bring the Korban Tamid, including the Musaf, the Menachos and the Nesachim. (See also 'Highlights from the Ba'al ha'Turim'.)

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The Rashi that we discussed earlier does not explain why Moshe was told to teach Yisrael specifically the Mitzvah of Korbanos. The Ramban writes that having listed those who were about to receive a portion in Eretz Yisrael, the Torah inserted the Parshas of the Korbanos that they would bring when they entered Eretz Yisrael, and that this was particularly important bearing in mind that they did not bring the Korban Tamid in the desert.

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Parshah Pearls

The Urim ve'Tumim

" and he (Yehoshua) shall stand before Elazar the Kohen, and he shall ask him who shall enquire for him the law of the Urim and Tumim " (27:21).

The Meshech Chochmah observes that if we search through T'nach, we will find that whereas the Shoftim as well as Shaul ha'Melech and David ha'Melech consulted the Urim ve'Tumim throughout the four-hundred year period of the Beis-ha'Mikdash, the kings preferred the advice of the prophets to that of the Urim ve'Tumim, both in time of trouble and in time of war. And he cites the Gemara in Yuma (73b), which explains that one is only permitted to consult the Urim ve'Tumim as long as it is worn by a Kohen Gadol on whom the Shechinah rests, and who speaks with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh.

So it seems, he concludes, that in the Beis-Hamikdash, there was no such Kohen Gadol during the period under discussion, at least, not in time of trouble, when he was needed to consult the Urim ve'Tumim.

Quoting Pesukim in Divrei Hayamim (see for example Divrei Hayamim 1,5:36), he points out the solitary exception was that of Zecharyah (also known as Azaryah), whom they successfully consulted.

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Interestingly, El'azar ha'Kohen himself was never consulted by Yehoshua (despite the current Pasuk). The Gemara in Eiruvin (63a) attributes this to the fact that he issued a ruling in the presence of Moshe Rabeinu (when he discussed the Kashering of the vessels that the soldiers captured from Midyan after Moshe forgot to do so). This certainly seems to support the Gemara in Yuma that we cited earlier.

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The Three Parts of the Tamid

" My sacrifice, My bread for My fire-offering, My satisfying aroma" (28:2).

The Or ha'Chayim attributes these expressions to the three components of the Korban Tamid: the sacrificing of the actual lamb - (My sacrifice); the tenth of an Eifah comprising the flour-offering - (My bread); and the wine of the wine libation - ("My satisfying aroma"). And because the first two items were actually placed on the Mizbei'ach to be burned, the Torah adds the word "My fire-offering", whereas when it mentions the wine-libation, which was poured on to the foundation, it uses the words "pleasant aroma".

He also remarks on the suffix "My" used by the Torah in each of the above items "My sacrifice", "My bread", "My satisfying aroma" and even "My fire". This is a reminder that the entire world belongs to G-d, and even when we appear to be giving Him something, we are merely giving Him what is His already. To conform with the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (3:7) 'Give Him what is His, for you and what is yours are His!'

What's more, he says, that is why the Torah continues a). "tishm'ru" (which implies a La'v), warning the Kohanim that if they fail to bring the Korban Tamid, they are guilty of stealing from G-d, by withholding from Him what is His. And b). "lehakriv Li" (to bring to G-d as opposed to giving to Him). The entire contents of the Korban already belong to Him. All we do is bring it to Him.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BA'AL HA'TURIM

"And he (Moshe) commanded him (Yehoshu'a) as G-d spoke through the hand of Moshe" (27:23).

He commanded him not to negate the Mitzvah of Torah-study or of the Korban Tamid, even during war-time, says the Ba'al ha'Turim. And that explains the juxtaposition of the Parshah of Korban Tamid to this one.

Clearly, the Ba'al ha'Turim is referring to the Gemara in Eruvin (63b) which commenting on the relevant Pesukim in Yehoshua (chapter 5) explains how the angel that confronted Yehshu'a before the battle against Yericho, reprimanded him for 'negating the afternoon Korban Tamid yesterday, and not having studied Torah now'. And in answer to Yehoshua's query which was the main thrust of his accusation, he answered "The one of now! (Bitul Torah)!"

Yehoshua'a response was to immerse himself in Torah the whole night (before the battle against Yericho).

Interestingly, whereas the Ba'al ha'Turim cites a hint for the Din regarding the negation of the Korban Tamid, he does not do so regarding the negation of Talmud Torah (See R'dak on the Pasuk who queries it anyway).

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