by Zvi Akiva FleisherBack to this week's Parsha | Previous Issues
PARSHAS B'HAALOS'CHOH 5759 BS"D
Ch. 8, v. 2: "B'haalos'choh" - Rashi says that Aharon felt hurt that neither he nor his tribe took part in the dedication sacrifices of the Mishkon. Hashem consoled him by giving him the mitzvoh of the daily cleaning, preparing, and lighting of the menorah. Although this is a great privilege, how does it compensate for not having taken part in the dedication? The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers with the opinion of Rav Sheishes in the gemara M'nochos 88b (whom the OHH says has the correct opinion) that the lamps of the menorah were detachable and every time they were cleaned and prepared for the next lighting, it was necessary to remove them. Since the menorah was not valid when the lamps were not attached, the daily return of the lamps after cleaning, the "hatovas haneiros," constituted a daily dedication.
Ch. 8, v. 3: "Va'yaas kein Aharon" - Rashi quotes a Sifri 8:5 which says that these words are praising Aharon, telling us that he did not change. The Chasam Sofer explains the Sifri as follows: The gemara Yoma 26a says that when an announcement was made that the Kohanim should gather to decide who should have the privilege of bringing the incense sacrifice, only Kohanim who had not previously brought the incense were allowed to apply. This was done to give as many Kohanim as possible the opportunity to do this service. The reason was that sacrificing the incense had the power of bringing wealth, as is stated (Dvorim 33:10), "Yosimu k'toroh b'a'pechoh," and in the next verse it says, "Boreich Hashem cheilo." The gemara Yoma 15a derives from the verse, "B'heitivo es ha'neiros yaktirenoh" (Shmos 30:7), that the bringing of the incense should take place at the same time as the preparation of the lights of the menorah. Aharon had the choice of either preparing and lighting the menorah or bringing the incense, but not both, as they had to take place simultaneously. For almost forty years, Aharon chose to light the menorah, which would bring him the blessing of children who would be great Torah scholars, as stated in the gemara Shabbos 23b, "hazohir b'neir havyon lei bni talmidei chachomim," and relinquished the opportunity to bring the incense, which would bring him wealth. This is the praise of Aharon. He never changed, meaning he never exchanged preparing and lighting the menorah for offering the incense.
The Sforno on Vayikroh 24:3 explains that it was the responsibility of specifically the Kohein Godol to light the menorah and to bring the incense offering during all the years that the Mishkon stood in the desert. This seems to be in contradiction to the words of the Chasam Sofer. The gemara Yoma 15a quoted above seems to somewhat contradict the Sforno in that he says that Aharon did both the menorah and the incense, while the gemara says that they should be done simultaneously. The verse from which this is derived clearly refers to Aharon and not to Kohanim in general. Any clarity on this would be very appreciated.
Ch. 8, v. 7: "Ha'zei a'leihem mei chatos V'HE'EVIRU saar" - The Ibn Ezra translates "v'he'eviru" as "and AFTER you have passed a razor," meaning that the sprinkling of blood should only take place after they were shaved. Had the intention of the verse been to say "and you SHALL pass a razor over all their flesh" it would have said "v'hAAviru."
Ch. 8, v. 17: "Ki li kol b'chor bivnei Yisroel ...... b'yom hakosi kol b'chor b'eretz Mitzrayim HIKDASHTI osom li" - The Sforno says that the plague of smiting the first-born would have visited the first-born of the bnei Yisroel as well as the Egyptians, if not for Hashem sanctifying them in a manner that made them as holy as Mikdosh sacrifices. Once sanctified, they would not have been allowed to do any normal worldly activities and others would surely have been prohibited to derive benefit from the first-born, similar to the laws of a sanctified sacrifice. They therefore needed a special redemption.
This was the redemption of the first-born through the Levi exchange which redeemed 22,000 of the 22,273 first-born. The rest were redeemed by each giving five shekels to a Kohein.
Since this was a unique type of redemption, there is no precedent allowing the L'viim to be a redemption for the first-born in the future. This pre-empts the question raised by the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh in Bmidbar 3:15, which was mentioned in Sedrah Selections parshas Bmidbar.
Ch. 9, v. 21: "O YOMOM vo'leiloh" - What is the difference between YOM and YOMOM? Rashi on Yechezkel 12:13, in the name of Rabbi Menachem, says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is daily, on an ongoing basis. Rashi says that this explanation is EMES. There is an obvious problem with this explanation from our verse, whose intention is to say that the clouds of glory sometimes remained in place for but a day and a night, and not ongoing.
The Ibn Ezra on Shmos 13:22 says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is during DAYLIGHT hours, while the word YOM can mean at night as well. YOMOM in our verse works out well according to the Ibn Ezra. Once again, an answer for Rashi would be appreciated.
Ch. 10, v. 10: "U'v'yom simchaschem u'v'mOa'deichem" - The Baal Haturim points out that the word "u'v'mOa'deichem" is spelled "mollei," complete with a Vov. He says that this alludes to the six Yomim Tovim, Pesach, Shovuos, Rosh Hashonoh, Yom Kippur, Sukos, and Shmini Atzerres (on which the trumpets are sounded at the time of sacrificing the Yom Tov korbonos).
The Baal Haturim on Shmos 13:10 on the word "L'mo'adoh" says, "This word is spelled "mollei Vov." Vov equals six. This teaches us that tefillin are not worn on six DAYS OF FESTIVAL, "shishoh Y'MEI mo'eid." They are Pesach, Shovuos, Rosh Hashonoh, Yom Kippur, Sukos, and Shmini Atzerres."
Regarding this comment of the Baal Haturim I wrote in the end of parshas Bo: If you count accurately, you will find that there are seven days, as Pesach has a first and last day of "mo'eid." Don't answer that the Baal Haturim means six Mo'adim. He specifically says "shishoh Y'MEI mo'eid," and not "shishoh Mo'adim."
Why does the Baal Haturim say that there are six days of Mo'eid that we don't wear tefillin, when there are actually seven?
A suggested answer: There is always at least one day of the Mo'adim that falls on a Shabbos, leaving us with only six days that the Mo'eid is the reason for not wearing tefillin. I heard this answer from MVRHRH"G R' S.E. Miller shlit"a. DBK responded, with this same answer. However, he felt that the simple answer would be that the Baal Haturim means six different Mo'adim, and not literally six DAYS of Mo'eid.
>From our Baal Haturim in parshas B'haalos'choh we see that the answer of Rabbi S.E.M. shlit"a is the correct answer. Here the Baal Haturim does not say "Y'MEI MO'EID," but rather, only lists the Mo'adim. Here he means six different Yomim Tovim, but in parshas Bo he literally says six DAYS of MO'EID.
Ch. 10, v. 35: "[" - "Va'y'hi binso'a ho'orone" - There is a pair of unique markings in a Torah Scroll before and after the chapter of "Va'y'hi binso'a" which look like a reversed letter Nun. The gemara Shabbos 116a says in the name of Rebbi that these markings indicate that the two verses placed between them are to be considered a separate book of the Torah. Usually we have four blank lines between one book and the next. The reversed letters Nun serve the same purpose. There is an halachic ruling which is derived from this opinion. Even if a Torah Scroll is not kosher, it still has sanctity and must be disposed in a halachically correct manner, befitting a holy object. If, however, the Torah Scroll is so worn out that its letters are obliterated and less than eighty-five letters remain intact, then it no longer has this sanctity. We arrive at the figure eighty-five from the number of letters in the book of "Va'y'hi binso'a."
It is interesting to note that the shortest book of Tanach has eighty-five verses. This is the book of Rus which was just read on Shovuos. Where else in Tanach do we find reversed letters Nun?
Ch. 11, v. 4: "Hisavu taavoh" - Literally, this means "they lusted to have a lust."
The M.R. Bmidbar 15:24 and Tanchumoh Bmidbar #16 say in the name of Rabbi Shimon that the people did not actually lust for meat, as the literal words of the verses indicate, but rather they lusted physical relations with relatives now forbidden to them, as is indicated by a verse in T'hilim 77:27.
It says "Va'yamteir a'leihem ke'ofor SH'EIR." Sh'eir refers to incest as is written in Vayikroh 18:6, "Ish ish el kol SH'EIR b'soro lo sik'r'vu l'galos ervoh."
The Shaarei Aharon says in the name of the Eitz Yosef, Eshed Hancholim, and Meshech Chochmoh that the words "hisavu taavoh" give us the insight into understanding the literal and the Medrashic interpretations as one. The experience of spiritual exposure and the acceptance of the Torah at Har Sinai had a spiritual uplifting and purifying effect on the bnei Yisroel. The eating of manna, a very spiritual food sent from heaven, likewise added to the positive effect on the bnei Yisroel. The "Asafsuf," the multitudes of "eiruv-rav," wanted to continue having relations with their relatives, as was permitted before the giving of the Torah. They knew that their lust was weakened by eating the spiritually fortified manna. They therefore requested meat, which would bring them back to their former selves, which would nurture a lust for things physical, particularly relations with their relatives. The lust for meat was a lust to bring on the lust for physical relations with their relatives.
Moshe responded with (11:13), "Mei'ayin li bosor." Ever since Moshe received the Torah at Har Sinai he had been on an even higher plane than before. He had no further relations with his own wife (gemara Y'vomos 62a). He said that he could not be a conduit for something so physical as meat, which could bring to a lust for incest.
At this point Hashem responded with (11:16), "Esfoh li shivim ish." The seventy new prophets who were not as removed from this world as Moshe was, would become the conduit to bring quail (slov) to the people who desired it.
Ch. 11, v. 5: "Zocharnu es haDOGOH" - Rashi says that the word DOGOH means either vegetables or fish. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that DOG means fish, while DOGOH means spoiled putrid fish. The Egyptians gave only the spoiled fish to the bnei Yisroel for free. He brings a proof for his translation from the book of Yonah (2:2) where it says, "And Hashem brought a large DOG (fish) to swallow Yonah, and Yonah remained in the belly of the DOG for three days." In verse 3 it says that Yonah prayed to Hashem from the belly of the DOGOH.
Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the earlier verse was speaking about a live fish. In the next verse, after Yonah was in the fish's belly for three days, it died. The living conditions became impossible as the fish started deteriorating. Yonah prayed to Hashem for help. Thus we see that DOGOH means a dead fish.
The Rabbeinu Bachyei is contrary to the Yalkut Shimoni remez #550 which explains that the DOG was a male fish, which was roomy. Later it spit out Yonah and a female fish swallowed Yonah, hence the word DOGOH. Yonah prayed for relief while in the female fish as it was crowded and malodourous, as it held 3,650,000,000,000 developing baby fish.
There will be more on the subject of fish in 11:22.
Ch. 11, v. 12: "He'onochi horisi" - Since Moshe knew that he was also about to say "Mei'ayin li bosor," that he had no access to a sufficient amount of meat, that it was impossible to fulfill their demands, why did he now say, "Am I the parent of this nation?"
A relatively newly married Gerrer Chosid appeared in front of the Sfas Emes.
The Sfas Emes asked him why he was recently not studying in the Beis Hamedrash as often as he used to in the past. The chosid answered that he had no means of support as of late and was forced to spend time pursuing an income. The Rebbe asked about parental support, to which the chosid responded that he had asked his father, but the response was that his father had no money to give the son.
The Rebbe later called in the father, who reiterated his son's response. The Rebbe asked the father, "Since Moshe said that he had no meat for the nation, why did he have to also say that he did not sire them?" The Rebbe concluded that if one is a parent, not having enough is not a legitimate excuse.
Ch. 11, v. 16: "Shivim ish" - Moshe first had seventy-two candidates for the prophecy, six from each of the twelve tribes. Two were eliminated through a lottery. Why indeed did Hashem not allow for seventy-two prophets, thus simplifying the procedure and having six prophets from each tribe?
The Moshav Z'keinim answers that we find that Moshe placed the prophets around the "Ohel Mo'eid," (11:24) "Va'yaameid osom svivos ho'ohel." They were specifically placed there so that they would receive the overflow of the prophecy given to Moshe at the "O'hel Mo'eid." The "Ohel Mo'eid" was a building which was 30 amos long and 10 amos wide. This gives a total outer length of eighty amos. A person takes up an amoh by an amoh floor space (gemara Sukoh 7b). The front of the Ohel Mo'eid, which was open, was designated only for Moshe. This leaves us with only seventy amos of wall space left, thus necessitating the limitation of having only seventy prophets.
The Yalkut Shimoni #736 gives us the names of the 70 elders who became prophets.
The Baal Haturim says that the seventy prophets correspond to the seventy appellations of Hashem. He then lists them, but we find only 66. The Pardes Yosef says that the last four are the 4 letter, 12 letter, 42 letter, and 72 letter names of Hashem.
Ch. 11, v. 22: "Kol d'gei ha'yom yei'o'seif" - We find that the bnei Yisroel demanded of Moshe to supply them with meat. Yet we see that Moshe mentioned to Hashem that if there were a possibility to amass the fish of the sea, then the bnei Yisroel's demand would be met.
The Mogein Avrohom and the Machatzis Ha'shekel on O.Ch. #249 (s.k. 6) both say that one should make sure to serve meat at a meal celebrating a bris miloh. MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l said that if one were to serve fish instead, he would also be considered as having served meat. A proof for this is that we find that the bnei Yisroel demanded meat and Moshe said that by serving them fish their demand would be fulfilled. We see that fish is also considered meat.
While on the subject of fish ......
Shulchan Oruch Y.D. 13:1 rules that fish require no ritual slaughtering, shechitoh. This is derived from our verse which says that if bnei Yisroel were to receive meat it would require shechitoh, "Hatzone u'vokor YISHOCHEIT lo'hem." However, by fish it says "yei'o'seif," that they only require gathering.
There is an opinion that fish require shechitoh. It is to be found in M.R. Breishis 7:2. "Yaakov of the village of Gvuroi ruled in Tzur that fish require ritual slaughter." I have no idea where the place of the shechitoh would be or if it would require the cutting of one or two "simanim."
The Kesef Mishneh brings the opinion of Rav Saadyia Gaon that fish which die on their own may not be eaten. The Bach's text of the words of R.S.G. is that live fish may not be eaten. The Rambam in hilchos shechitoh 1:3 says that fish which die in the water may be eaten. He also permits eating fish alive. The Hagohas Beis Yosef on Knesses Hag'doloh Y.D. #13 questions if the Rambam would permit consuming fish that died on land. It would seem obvious that if fish were caught in a body of water and left to die on land, that this is considered not dying by themselves, but rather being killed by a person. This is literally "yei'o'seif."
QUESTION: If fish were to die on their own and then have "t'chias ha'meisim," revival of the dead, and then be caught by a person and killed, according to R.S.G. would the fish be permitted? Do we say that its dying on its own puts a permanent prohibition on it, or do we say that as long as a person captured a live fish it is permitted? If you feel that this question is ridiculous ad absurdum, since the possibility of "t'chias ha'meisim" by fish is absolute nonsense, I challenge you with the following: WHERE IN TANACH DO WE FIND T'CHIAS HAMEISIM BY FISH? This does not require looking into some esoteric commentary. A careful reading of a section of Tanach can bring you the answer.
Ch. 12, v. 4: "Va'yomer Hashem pisome el Moshe v'el Aharon v'el Miryom tzu SHLOSH'T'CHEM" - There is a medrash which says that although in 17 places it says that Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon (Rashi at the beginning of Vayikroh mentions that there are 13 places - this can be reconciled) and even in a number of places where it says that Hashem spoke to Aharon without mentioning Moshe, it is not conclusive that Hashem spoke directly to Aharon, as it could be be interpreted that Hashem told Moshe to tell Aharon. However, says the medrash, there are three places where it is impossible to say that Hashem spoke to Moshe to tell Aharon. One of these places is our verse, as it says "tzu SHLOSH'T'CHEM," obviously directing the words to Aharon as well.
Where are the other two places, and why is it impossible to say otherwise? Ch. 12, v. 7: "B'chol beisi NE'EMON hu" - What does NE'EMON mean?
1) Moshe may enter My domain, just as a friend visits at any time he wishes, and Moshe may speak regarding any matter he needs. (Ibn Ezra)
2) Moshe has seen more than any other prophet, and yet keeps many matters to himself, as we find the term "V'NE'EMAN ruach y'cha'seh dovor" (Mishlei 11:13). (Chizkuni)
3) Moshe has been ENTRUSTED with the knowledge of My Holy Name which encompasses the traits of mercy and kindness even to sinners. These are Hashem's dearest traits. One keeps his dearest possessions in his home. "B'chol beisi," with all the dearest traits that I have, "NE'EMON hu," Moshe is entrusted. (Ramban Shmos 33:19)
4) Moshe is trusted by all of My household. (This refers to the bnei Yisroel as per Targum Onkeles and Targum Yonoson ben Uziel.) Since he views the prophecies in clear terms he is trusted to not misinterpret the message. (Rosh)
5) When one doesn't totally trust his messenger, he has messages sent through him conveyed in an encoded manner, so that the messenger cannot misuse the information. Moshe is trusted by Hashem and the bnei Yisroel, therefore the prophetic messages are given to him in a completely clear manner. (Rivosh)
6) Moshe has remained faithful to his wife and has not divorced her, even
though when he married her he was a fugitive who had a death sentence hanging
over him and now he was a king (see gemara Sanhedrin 110a). "Bayis" refers
to one's wife (see gemara Yoma 2a). (Moshav Z'keinim) This interpretation
gives us a new insight into the blessing that is common to give to a
newly-wed couple, "Tizku livnos bayis NE'EMON b'Yisroel."
7) Other prophets only receive prophecy when they are either asleep or awake but in a trance or some other unusual physical phenomenon where their soul is not fully connected to their body. Their body, not being totally purified, is a hindrance to receiving a Divine message. Not so Moshe. He receives prophecy while in a normal state, since his physicality is in total consonance with the spiritual. Translate NE'EMON as in Yeshayohu 22:23, "Yo'seid b'mokom NE'EMON," a peg securely placed. Likewise, Moshe's neshomoh was securely connected to his body when he received a prophecy, unlike any other prophet. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)
8) Moshe was ready to receive prophecy at any moment. Read NE'EMON as reliable at any time. (S'fas Emes)
9) Moshe not only received prophecy from Hashem, but also was able to ask his
own questions to Hashem. (Rabbi Chaim haLevi Brisker)
10) Moshe knew how to make use of the "Sheim Ham'forosh" with which Hashem created the heavens and the earth, and yet did not take advantage of this ability. He is NE'EMON to not use this power even though he is able to do so. (Ha'a'mek Dovor)
11) When Moshe says a prophecy no other prophet can contradict him. His prophecy reigns supreme (see Rambam hilchos y'sodei haTorah 8:3). Other prophets can be contradicted by another prophet. (Rabbi Yitzchok Zev haLevi Brisker)
12) Moshe is devoted and dedicated to properly executing Hashem's bidding. (Shem miShmuel)
13) The Rambam hilchos y'sodei haTorah 7:6 says that Moshe is not only capable of communicating with Hashem without preparation or having a quasi out-of-body prophetic experience, but also is guarenteed that upon his request Hashem will always respond. This is derived from the words in our parsha "Imdu v'esh'm'oh mah y'tza'veh Hashem lochem" (9:8). Moshe is NE'EMON, reliable, to always receive a response from Hashem. (Taken from the words of the Haa'mek haN'tzi"v on 9:8, although not his interpretation of NE'EMON)
Answer to last week's question:
The name of Monoach's wife was Tzalalponis, as is clearly stated in the gemara B.B. 91a.
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