by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS ACHAREI-K’DOSHIM 5769 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. 6: "V'chi'peir baado u'v'ad beiso" – The Sfas Emes's son-in-law, Rabbi Yaakov Biderman zt"l Hy"d, asked, "Since a Kohein Godol must marry a woman under the age of twelve and a half years old as per the gemara Y'vomos 59a, and the gemara Shabbos 89b says that one is not punished under the age of twenty years, how then is there a fulfillment of "u'v'ad beiso" according to Rabbi Yehudoh (first mishnoh in Yoma, 2a) who says that the Kohein Godol must marry an extra wife just before Yom Kippur?
The Imrei Emes answered that there is a need for atonement for "bitul mitzvas assei" even though there is no punishment.
The GR"A says that there is punishment after the age of twenty. (Oros haGR"A)
Perhaps, there is a need for atonement to cleanse the soul of sin, even if there is no punishment.
See responsa of the Chacham Zvi #49, who offers four explanations. See also the responsa Nodah Bihudoh Tinyonoh Y.D. #164 and the responsa Chasam Sofer Y.D. #155. See also Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #343, hagohoh.
Ch. 16, v. 8: "Gorol echod laShem v'gorol echod laAzozeil" – Rashi says that the goat that receives the lot upon which is written "to Hashem" is to Hashem, and the one which receives the lot "to Azozeil" IS SENT to Azozeil. Why doesn't Rashi follow through in the same style as earlier and say "and the one which receives the lot "to Azozeil" is TO Azozeil?
We know that Eliyohu (M.R. M'lochim 1:18:26) had to convince the ox that was offered by the false prophets to cooperate and allow itself to be slaughtered, because it too would be part of the proof that "Hashem hu ho'Elokim" (verse 39).
Rashi did not want to say that the goat which is sent down the precipice is TO Azozeil, which would indicate that its purpose is for the negative Azozeil, but rather, that it too is for Hashem, as it serves Hashem's purposes; only that it is SENT to Azozeil. (The Holy Admor of Skulen zt"l)
Ch. 19, v. 3: "Ish imO v'oviV tiro'U" - Why does the verse begin in the singular form "Ish imO v'oviV" and continue in the plural form "tiro'U?" The ShaLo"H answers that although this mitzvoh is incumbent upon each child (singular), the parents are also held responsible to behave in a manner that does not put such a burden upon the child that he would be strongly tempted to not fulfill the mitzvoh. Hence they become partners in the fulfillment of the mitzvoh and the Torah expresses this in the plural form "tiro'U."
In a similar vein the words in the Ten Commandments "Ka'beid es ovicho v'es i'mecho" (Shmos 20:12, Dvorim 5:16), have been interpreted as, "Honour your fatherhood and motherhood," meaning that the parents should behave in a befitting manner that readily elicits honour from their children.
Ch. 19, v. 3: "ISH imo v'oviv tiro'u v'es Shabsosai tishmoru" - The gemara K'dushin 30b derives from the word ISH that a man is always responsible to fulfill this mitzvoh, while a woman sometimes is not because when she is married, her responsibilities to her husband might conflict with her responsibilities to her parents, and since she is subordinate to her husband, this takes precedence over the mitzvoh of our verse.
The Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim writes that this explains why the Torah teaches us at the end of this verse that if one's father commands him to desecrate the Shabbos, or transgress any mitzvoh, as explained in the gemara B.M. 32a, that one should not comply since the child and his parents are responsible to honour Hashem. Just as a woman is exempt because she is subordinate to her spouse, so also, the parents are subordinate to Hashem.
Ch. 19, v. 11: "Lo tignovU" - This verse refers to the prohibition of stealing property while the verses in Shmos 20:13 and Dvorim 5:17 refer to the prohibition of kidnapping as explained in the gemara B.M. 61a. Why does our verse express itself in the plural form "Lo tignovU," while the verses referring to kidnapping in the singular form, "Lo signove?"
1) The Ibn Ezra answers that one who keeps quiet about the theft of property is considered an accomplice in the crime, hence the plural expression. This requires clarification since the same can be said about one who knows of a kidnapping and remains silent can also be considered an accomplice. Perhaps because of the severity of the punishment for kidnapping and selling, the death penalty, it is very unusual to have a witness to the crime, while common theft sometimes takes place even when there is an onlooker.
2) The Noam Hamitzvos answers that the person who knowingly purchases stolen goods is an accomplice in the crime.
3) The Ponim Yofos answers that the ruling that two or more people committing a kidnapping and selling of the person are not culpable to receive the death penalty is derived from the use of the singular form "lo signove" in the prohibition. However, when two or more people steal property they are all responsible. This is why the Torah expresses this prohibition in the plural form "lo tignovu."
4) Rabbi Yonoson Eibeschitz answers that once one person has stolen, he has opened the floodgates for others to steal, as explained in the gemara Brochos 5b.
5) He offers a second answer. Since our parshas deals with the concept of sanctifying oneself even in the realm of that which is permitted, as explained by the Ramban in the beginning of our parsha, the Torah is telling us that even if one has not committed outright theft, as in the case of stealing property that has the value of less than a "prutoh," he should refrain from doing so. The Torah therefore expresses this in the plural form to tell us that even if the value of the stolen property is a "prutoh" only by virtue of numerous people taking fractions of a "prutoh," it should still not be done. Indeed, the Talmud Yerushalmi B.M. 4:2 says that this was a sin that the generation of the great deluge was guilty.
6) The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that even if the victim of the robbery finds out who the thief is, he should not respond by stealing an object from the robber to compensate for the theft.
7) The Shiltos of Rabbi Hai Gaon on parshas Noach #4 derives from the gemara B.M. 61b that the prohibition of our verse even applies to a case where the robber has no intention to keep the stolen object, and has stolen only to aggravate the victim. The Toras Chaim in his commentary on the gemara says that this is derived from the use of the plural form in our verse. It is logical to assume that the person who has stolen only with the intent to cause aggravation and plans to return the object at a later time will surely let an outsider know of his plans. Otherwise, if he is either caught in the act or if the stolen object is found on his premises, he will be suspected of committing a full-fledged robbery. The outsider is considered an accomplice in the crime.
Ch. 19, v. 14: "V'lifnei i'veir lo si'tein mich'shole" - Toras Kohanim says that included in the prohibition of not placing a stumbling block in front of a blind person is the prohibition "to not knowingly give advice (a stumbling block) that is bad FOR HIM, 'Eitzoh she'einoh hu'gennes LO,' to a person who is not knowledgeable (blind) in that matter."
To explain the peculiarity of the words of this statement "that is bad FOR HIM," a story is offered. There were two Gerrer Chasidim, both adherents of the Imrei Emes who thought that it would be appropriate to have their children join in marriage. It was decided between them that they should first ask the Imrei Emes his opinion and if he would give the union his blessing they would follow through with the marriage. Each one went to the Imrei Emes on his own. After they had both met with the Imrei Emes they came together to discuss further plans.
Imagine their surprise and shock when one said to the other "'Mazel Tov' on our joint upcoming simchoh" on the strength of the advice and blessings of the Holy Admor of Ger, and the other responded that he didn't know what his friend was talking about, given that the Imrei Emes had strongly dissuaded him from pursuing the shidduch. Being exceedingly puzzled they decided to seek clarification of what was actually said by the Rebbe.
They went to the Rebbe together and presented their puzzling situation to him, asking the Rebbe if he had not inadvertently contradicted himself, or if one of the parties had totally misunderstood the words of the Rebbe. The Rebbe responded that he was quite perplexed by their not understanding that he had given them diametrically opposed advice and yet there was absolutely no contradiction in his words. He explained that halacha requires that one give advice which is appropriate for that person, "hu'gennes LO." The Imrei Emes felt that the shidduch was a very good one for one party while a bad idea for the other. He therefore gave each one appropriate advice.
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