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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 2: "Da'beir el Aharon v'omarto" - Speak to Aharon and you shall say - The gemara Makos 11a says that "dibur" connotes harsh words, while "amiroh" connotes soft words. The Rambam in hilchos bi'as mikdosh 9:12 says that the actual lighting of the menorah lamps may be done by a non-Kohein. Based on this, responsa Beis Yitzchok Y.D. volume 2, 31:4 says that a woman may likewise kindle the menorah. We know that mitzvos commanded to women were related in a soft kind manner, "Ko somar l''veis Yaakov" (Shmos 19:3), while to men they are generally related in a harsh manner "v'sa'geid livnei Yisroel" (ibid). This explains both the double expression and the change from "dibur" to "amiroh." (Pardes Yoseif Hechodosh)

Responsa of Rabbi Avrohm Binyomin Silberberg 1:28 disagrees because he posits that the mitzvoh of lighting the menorah is time bound, from evening to morning, and this exempts women. Pardes Yoseif Hechodosh says that based on the Rambam's himself in hilchos t'midim umusofim 3:12, that there is a mitzvoh to light the menorah in the evening so that it remain lit until the morning, and again to light it in the morning so that it remain lit until the evening, it becomes an ongoing mitzvoh, so there is no exemption for women.

However, it seems that this is not sufficient to negate the position of Rabbi Silberberg. Although in total, the menorah should be burning by night and by day, there is a distinct mitzvoh to light it at night so that it should illuminate until the morning, and a separate mitzvoh to light it in the morning, and each of these mitzvos is limited to its specific time. For example, lighting the menorah in the evening when the menorah has sufficient fuel to remain lit all day, does not satisfy the requirement to have it lit by day, and vice versa. If so, each mitzvoh is time bound. Some halachic authorities apply the same logic to the mitzvoh of reciting "Shma" both by day and by night, and still positing that women are exempt as each recital is a separate mitzvoh and is time bound.

Ch. 8, v. 2: "B'haalos'cho" - As you cause to ascend - As just mentioned, the Rambam rules that there is no requirement to specifically have a Kohein light the menorah (see gemara Yoma 24). If so, why does our verse squarely place this upon Aharon? The Meshech Chochmoh answers that this verse refers to the dedication, the "chinuch," of the menorah, and this indeed requires a Kohein. This still doesn't explain why a Kohein GODOL is needed, as our verse clearly speaks of Aharon. Rabbi Yitchok Stern from Bilitz answers based on the words of the Sforno on Vayikra 24:3, that in the desert the services in the Mishkon were done to bring atonement, in contra-distinction to many of the services in the Beis Hamikdosh. He goes on to explain that this would require a Kohein Godol for the lighting of the menorah in the desert, which indeed Aharon did from the time of this command until his death.

h. 8, v. 6: "Kach es haLviim mitoch bnei Yisroel" - Take the Lviim from the midst of the bnei Yisroel - Rashi explains that they are to be taken for the service of Hashem. In the main this is the service of supplementing the Kohanim's service with their song, both through their voices and by playing musical instruments. This is alluded to through the word "mitoch," from the midst. Taken literally, it can mean from the middle. The middle letter of the word Yis*R*oel is a Reish. It in turn, when spelled out in full is Reish-Yud-Shin. These letters spell "shir," the service of song. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 9, v. 2: "Bmo'ado" - In its set time - Baal Haturim points out that this word is spelled with a letter Vov after the letter Mem to teach us that the right time on the eve of Pesach is after six hours into the day from daybreak, as per the gemara P'sochim 61a. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says, "Beinei shimsh'sa bizma'nei." Pardes Yoseif asks why he bothers adding this since it is clearly stated in the next verse, "bein ho'arba'yim taasu oso." Since we know that "bein ho'arba'yim" is after six hours into the day, and according to the Baal Haturim the Torah bothers alluding to this with the extra Vov in the word "b'mO'ado," even though the next verse clearly states the same, Targum Yonoson ben Uziel seems to just follow the lead. The question is now transferred onto the verse itself.

Baal Haturim also notes that the letters that replace those of the word "b'mo'ado" in the AT-BaSH system have the same numerical value as "b'Shabbos," that the preparation of the Paschal lamb is permitted even when the eve of Pesach is on Shabbos, as per the gemara P'sochim 77a.

Ch. 9, v. 6: "Va'y'hi anoshim" - And there were men - The change from singular to plural is problematic. Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that "va'y'hi" has as its antecedent a singular defilement, "tumoh." It would seem that the verse should have said "vaT'hi," to match the female word "tumoh." Alternatively, he offers that the singular form alludes to the ruling that if a majority of the populace was defiled the Paschal offering could be brought in a state of defilement.

Paa'nei'ach Rozo answers that Misho'el and Eltzofon, who were the two defiled people, were EACH defiled to only one person, to Nodov and Avihu. This likewise required clarification, as nevertheless, there were two people who were defiled and they came together to Moshe to pursue the possibility of offering a Paschal sacrifice.

Rashi in his commentary on Iyov 42:15 writes that it is not uncommon to find a verse that changes from the singular to the plural (See Rashi on Yehoshua 2:4, Rashbam on Breishis 1:14).

Ch. 9, v. 14: "V'chi yogur itchem ger v'ossoh Fesach" - If there will reside among you a convert and he will offer a Paschal sacrifice - If a person converts to Judaism after Pesach but before Pesach Sheini, shall he bring a Paschal offering? Rambam hilchos korban Pesach 5:7 clearly states that he must do so. However, the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, based on the Sifri on our verse, says that may not do so.

Ch. 9, v. 20: "Yomim mispor" - Counted days - Rashi says that the intention of these words is that the Clouds of Glory sometimes remained in one place for a limited time only. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that this refers to seven times seven days. This is most puzzling because if the Torah is already going into detail of how long they remained in one location, it is out of order. The next verse says "from evening to morning, a day and a night (according to Rashi in Yechezkeil two days and the intervening night), two days, a month, and a year. Why would the verse begin with 49 days?

Although not answering this question, we could say that Targum Yonoson ben Uziel extracted his explanation from the word "mispor," and as we know, this is connected to the "sfiras ho'omer," which would be for 49 nights. (See Gan Ro'veh)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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