by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS ACHAREI MOSE 5760 BS"D
Ch. 16, v. 1: "Acharei mose ...... va'yomusu" - Why does the Torah mention their death twice? The Holy Zohar answers that they died twice. Once was their death by fire, and a second death was their dying childless, as is mentioned in Bmidbar 3:4, "U'vonim lo hoyu lohem." Being childless is considered a death in its own right as the M.R. on Breishis 30:1 says regarding Rochel's statement, "Hovoh li vonim v'im ayin meisoh onochi."
Ch. 16, v. "Shnei bnei Aharon" - Why is it necessary to mention that two of Aharon's sons died, since this is clearly related in parshas Shmini? The Holy Zohar answers that the verse is saying that upon their deaths they ceased being TWO sons of Aharon and their two souls fused into one soul. This became the soul of Pinchos. The Holy Zohar says that although Pinchos originally had a separate soul, he was so frightened upon entering the room where Zimri was sinning, fearing being killed by Zimri's fellow tribesmen, that his soul left him. Hashem revived him by placing the souls of both Nodov and Avihu into him. When these souls of Kohanim entered him, he became a Kohein. This is alluded to in Bmidbar 25:11. "Pinchos ben Elozor ben Aharon, - Pinchos the son of Elozor and also the son of Aharon," as he was now a reincarnation of Nodov and Avihu, "haKohein," is now a Kohein.
Ch. 16, v. 8: "LaAZOZeiL" The letters of this word are Ayin-Zayin-Aleph-Zayin-Lamed, which are the first letters of ""Zeh L'u'mas ZehOsoh Elokim." (The Holy Admor of Kamarna)
This is a take-off on Koheles 7:14, where it actually says *HO*Elokim.
Ch. 16, v. 10: "LaAzozeil hamidboroh" - Rav Saadioh Gaon says that the reason for killing the goat outside the Mikdosh campus is that since it is not slaughtered, it is rendered "n'veiloh." If done in the Mikdosh compound it would bring about impurity, which the Torah wanted to avoid. I am puzzled with these words from the gemara Yoma 64a, which says that pushing the scapegoat off the precipice is its "sh'chita." Just as we find the act of "m'likoh" that would render a non-sacrificial bird a "n'veiloh," yet the Torah said that this is its proper ritual manner of being slaughtered and is not "n'veiloh," so also with pushing the goat off the precipice.
Ch. 16, v. 21: "Ish iti" - The Chizkuni says in the name of the medrash that these words mean, "A man whose time has come to die during that year." He adds that through supernatural powers the Kohanim were given this information. A similar concept, although converse, is found on Shmos 17:13, "Va'yachalos Yehoshua es Amoleik," where the Yalkut Shimoni #265 says that Amoleik chose soldiers whom they knew by means of negative spiritual powers would live through that year.
Ch. 16, v. 31: " Shabbos Shabbosone" - Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer ch. #46 says that the first word "Shabbos" indicates that Yom Kippur brings atonement for sins on this world. The second word "Shabbosone" indicates that Yom Kippur brings about atonement in the next world. For what is there atonement in the next world, since a person who is not alive can neither do a meritorious nor a sinful act? Possibly, even after a person dies acts that he has done while alive still have repercussions. This would also explain why the dead are judged each year on Rosh Hashonoh.
Ch. 17, v. 3: "Ish ish" - This term is mentioned four times in quick succession, here (according to Rabbi Yishmo'eil in the gemara Z'vochim 107a) regarding the laws of not slaughtering a non-sacrificial animal (chulin) outside the Mishkon while the bnei Yisroel were in the desert (Ramban), in verse 8 regarding the prohibition of offering a sacrifice on an altar outside the Mishkon/Beis Hamikdosh, in verse 10 regarding the prohibition of ingesting blood, and in verse 13 regarding the requirement to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal. In all four places Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates "ish ish" in a most unusual manner. He says that these words mean "a YOUNG man or an OLD man." An attempt will be made to explain three out of four of these verses (3,8, and 13) based on the idea that a YOUNG man means a person who is strong, while an OLD man refers to a person who is frail and has limited physical strength.
1) Verse 3 - Not eating meat which is not sacrificial (chulin) while the bnei Yisroel were in the desert - The gemara Chulin 17b says that "chulin" meat was prohibited in the desert because all of the bnei Yisroel were relatively close to the Mishkon as the encampment was but three "parsoh" square, approximately 9 miles square according to some opinions. When they would live in Eretz Yisroel, Hashem did not burden them to travel great distances to the Beis Hamikdosh to have their animals slaughtered as sacrifices. He therefore allowed them to slaughter non-sacrificial animals.
Possibly, since an OLD man finds it difficult and quite time consuming to walk distances that are easily and speedily traversed by a YOUNG man, one might think that his situation is similar to that of a person later living in Eretz Yisroel who lives quite a distance from the Beis Hamikdosh who is allowed to have "chulin" meat. The Torah therefore repeats the word "ish" to include even an OLD man in this prohibition.
2) Verse 8 - Not offering a sacrifice on an altar outside the Mishkon/Beis Hamikdosh - The gemara Z'vochim 108a derives from the words "ish ish" that if two people together place a sacrifice on an altar outside the Mikdosh, both are liable for punishment. This is not the case with two slaughtering a sacrifice under the same circumstances, where instead neither is liable. This is the ruling of the Rambam in hilchos maa'sei hakorbonos 19:12 as well. Tosfos Rabbi Akiva Eiger on mishna'yos Z'vochim 13:101 raises the question of both being liable only when neither was able to elevate the sacrifice on his own, which is obvious from the gemara Kidushin 43a, or if even a person who is able on his own is also liable, in spite of the sin being done in an unusual manner, joining with someone who is not needed. He derives from the commentary of the Ritv"o on the gemara Kidushin 43a that in all circumstances a partner in this sin is liable. See Minchas Chinuch mitzvoh #440.
Perhaps this is why Targun Yonoson ben Uziel says "A YOUNG man and an OLD man," to indicate that even the YOUNG man who is quite strong and able to do this sin on his own, as indicated by his partner in crime being an OLD frail person, is still liable.
3) Verse 10 - The prohibition of ingesting blood - The Toras Kohanim 14:1,2 includes in this prohibition many types of people, including a person whose father was not Jewish, a male convert, a female convert, etc. For each of these types another word or expression is needed to include them. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh asks, "Why is it necessary to have a separate indication for each type of person, for example the inclusion of a female convert? We derive from a verse in the Torah that males and females are equally included in all Torah prohibitions unless there is a contra-indication. He answers that the underlying reason for the prohibition of ingesting blood is that it brings into one's soul a coarseness and earthiness that draws one closer to pagan gods, "s'irim," as their practice was to sacrifice and leave the blood lying about, rather than having it washed away after a sacrifice. He says that each type of person included in the prohibition has a different spiritual level. Without a special inclusive expression we would think that the prohibition is limited to the higher class of people to whom the ingestion of blood would be more damaging.
Perhaps, this is why the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says "A YOUNG man and an OLD man," to indicate that the prohibition of ingestion for a convert includes even an elderly person who has ingested blood for many years and has already caused a descent in his spiritual being. We might think that he would not be prohibited to ingest blood even after converting, as per the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh. Therefore it is necessary for the Torah to add the second word "ish" to include him.
4) Verse 13 - "Kisuy hadam," covering the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal - The Toras Kohanim _ _ says that the mitzvoh to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal is not limited to the case of when it was captured, as indicated by the words "asher yotzud," but rather includes when it was purchased or simply being raised by the owner. This is derived from the words "ish ish." This seems most problematic.
Shouldn't this be derived from "yotzud tza'yid," a double expression indicating inclusion of a case where there was no capturing done? Indeed the gemara Chulin 84a includes domesticated birds such as chickens from the word "tza'yid." How is this derived from "ish ish?"
Perhaps this is why the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says "A YOUNG man and an OLD man." An old person who is frail is unlikely one who is capable of capturing an undomesticated animal. Even if he sets a trap, it still requires strength, agility, and dexterity, traits that are usually lacking in an OLD person, to release the captured animal from the trap and tie it up so that it does not escape. This might be why a non-captured animal is specifically derived from the words "ish ish," which includes an OLD man.
Ch. 18, v. 30: "U'shmartem es mishmarti" - The GR"A says that as the spiritual level of the generations declines, there is a need to add stringencies where matters were previously permitted. The extra merit of keeping these stringencies elevates the weaker generations and somewhat compensates for their spiritual decline. This is alluded to in our verse. "You should add a guarding to My already existent safeguard." It seems that this explanation translates "es" as WITH.
Answer to last parsha's question:
Ch. 14, v. 35 "K'nega niroh li baboyis" - Rashi quotes the mishneh in N'go'im 12:5. Even if one is a scholar and is knowledgeable in the viewing and ruling of "tzoraas," he should not say that he is sure that his house has a "nega," but rather say that something is visible in his house that looks LIKE a "nega." Tosfos Yom Tov, a major commentator on Mishna'yos, asks, "Why is there a prohibition to say that he has sighted a 'nega?' His words have no effect. The laws of a 'nega' are totally contingent upon the verbalisation of a Kohein only?" He therefore explains the words of the above-mentioned mishneh with the ruling, "Al tiftach peh l'soton." One should not tempt fate by verbalising something negative about himself, in this case that he has a "nega tzoraas" in his home.
There seems to be a difficulty with the words of the Tosfos Yom Tov. The gemara Brochos 19a derives from the words of the Prophet Yeshayohu 1:9, "Kimat KiSdom hoyinu laAmoroh diminu," that one should not tempt Satan. We see from this verse that one tempts Satan even when he expresses himself with the KOF "hadimyone," - the KOF of comparison. If so, what is gained by saying "K'nega" rather than "nega?"
The Imrei Emes answers that one is tempting Satan when he says something negative about himself in the manner expressed in Yeshayohu 1:9 because there was no need to say anything. However, when a person sees what is suspecting as being a "nega," the Torah requires him to relate this to the Kohein as is stated in 14:35 "V'higid laKohein." Once he has to tell the Kohein, the Torah advises that he should soften the statement, adding a Kof of comparison. Thus he is not tempting fate.
A GUTTEN SHABBOS KODESH.
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