SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KORACH 5766 BS"D
Ch. 16, v. 1: "Korach" - We find someone with this same name much earlier in the Torah, in Breishis 36:5, "V'Oholivomoh yoldoh es Y'ush v'es Yalom v'es KORACH." Rashi comments there, "Korach ZEH mamzer hoyoh," - THIS Korach was illegitimate. As bad as Korach of our parsha was, nevertheless, Rashi was careful to not heap undeserved scorn upon him. Rashi measured every word he wrote, and even every nuance. Had
Rashi simply commented that Korach was illegitimate, if one were to just read these words of Rashi and not pay attention to the fact that he is surely commenting on the Korach of Breishis 36:5, his words could be understood to mean that Korach of our parsha was illegitimate. Rashi therefore went to the trouble of adding the word ZEH, to insure that there is no misunderstanding, no matter how farfetched. The practical application to our personal behaviour is obvious. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 16, v. 5: "Boker" - Morning - Rashi explains that Moshe suggested that they push off their discussion until the morning because the end of the day is a time of intoxication. This is well understood according to the gemara Sanhedrin 52a, which says that Korach threw a party during which he spoke of Moshe in derision. (Chid"o in Pnei Dovid)
Alternatively, some say that in the morning it would be clarified that their ridiculous claim that Moshe sinned with their wives (see gemara Sanhedrin 110a) was false. If he had indeed sinned with them, the women's portions of manna would not be found at their husbands' tents.
Mahara"m Schiff in his commentary at the end of the gemara Chulin says that in the morning it would be clarified who was righteous and who wasn't, as there was the spiritual barometer of where the manna fell to indicate each person's level of piety, based on how close or how far it fell from their doorsteps, as per the gemara Yoma 75a.
In a similar vein, Moshe hoped that by the time the morning came they would repent after realizing the folly of their claims, as Korach and his cohorts were great Torah scholars and the gemara Brochos 19a says that if a Torah scholar sinned in the evening you can rest assured that by the time the morning rolled around he surely repented. (Kometz Haminchoh)
Ch. 16, v. 17: "Ish machtoso" - Each man his pan - The verse stresses and repeats "HIS pan" so that it would be clear to everyone that Aharon's pan was not one that he took from the Mishkon, as the vessels used in the Mishkon were consecrated with special anointing oil, and this might be the reason for his offering being accepted over those of the others, since it was offered in such a holy vessel. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 18, v. 1: "Va'yomer Hashem el Aharon" - And Hashem said to Aharon - See Rashi on Vayikra 1:1 who says that although in 13 places in the Torah it seems that Hashem spoke to Aharon directly, there are likewise 13 expressions of exclusion, which teach us that in each of these places Hashem actually spoke directly to Moshe, and commanded him to relate the message to Aharon. Our verse is one of these 13 places according to many commentators. The lone dissenting voice is that of the Baa'lei Tosfos in Moshav Z'keinim in parshas Shmini, who posits that here Hashem spoke directly to Aharon. Although the medrash says that there are three places that Hashem spoke directly to Aharon, the Moshav Z'keinim says that there are a few more. He explains there why the medrash says that there are only three.
Ch. 18, v. 8: "L'mosh'choh" - For nobility - Rashbam explains that the literal source of this word is based on anointing. A highly placed person is oft-times inducted into his position by being anointed. This is basically the same as Rashi's (gemara Sotoh 15a, Sifri 18:20) explanation, "ligduloh," for greatness.
This has halachic ramifications. The Kohanim may only consume their portions of the sacrifices in a very dignified manner. An example of this is the requirement to eat sacrificial food while seated (Tosfos on the gemara Yoma 25a).
The Mahar"i Bruna in his responsa #122 takes this a step further, even applying "l'mosh'choh" to acts besides consumption. Another of the "matnos K'hunoh" is the five shekel redemption of a firstborn male. He says that the Kohein must sit when receiving the payment. In responsa #161 he says that when the father hands his 30 day old son to the Kohein he must likewise hand him over in a refined manner.
If a Kohein were to not comply with this detail it is the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam in Sefer Ha'yoshor #371 and Rabbi Yoseif Engel in Gvuros Shmonim #60 that he has only neglected this requirement, but it in no way invalidates the basic mitzvoh of consuming sacrificial food.
The Ksav Sofer in his responsa O.Ch. #96 posits that it totally negates the mitzvoh. A question can be raised on the position of the Ksav Sofer. The gemara M'nochos 99b says that Babylonians ate the meat of a sacrifice when it was raw. This is surely not a dignified manner of consumption, and according to the Ksav Sofer totally negates their mitzvoh. Perhaps they ate it when it was not yet cooked or roasted and the expiry time was fast approaching, which would render the meat "nosar," which is a sin. Although there would be no fulfillment of the mitzvoh of consumption, consuming it raw nevertheless avoided the sin of leaving over sacrificial food beyond its expiry time. (Nirreh li)
The gemara Sotoh 15a says that this requirement applies to the consumption of Trumoh as well. Rashi on the gemara Yoma 14a writes that "l'mosh'choh" precludes an "onon," a mourner on the day of the burial of certain close relatives, from consuming sacrificial food. If so, he should likewise be prohibited to eat trumoh. Yet the mishnoh Bikurim 2:2 and the gemara Y'vomos 70b clearly state that an "onon" may consume trumoh.
Certain portions of some sacrifices are consumed by non-Kohanim as well. Does "l'mosh'choh" apply to them as well? Rashi on the gemara P'sochim 86a and the Rashbam on 119b both posit that "l'mosh'choh" is the basis for the requirement to eat the Paschal meat only after one is somewhat satiated, "al hasova." However, Tosfos on the gemara 70a and 120a disagrees, saying that "al hasova" is only a Rabbinical requirement. Rabbi S.A. Stern says that Tosfos is simply following through on his opinion in the gemara Z'vochim 75a, where he clearly states that this ruling only applies to Kohanim. The Mishneh L'melech in his commentary on the Rambam hilchos maa'seh hakorbonos 10:10 says that the Rambam is of the same opinion as Tosfos. (Pardes Yoseif)
Ch. 18, v. 8: "L'mosh'choh" - For nobility - On the first words of our verse, "Vaani HI'NEI nosati" Rashi comments that BEHOLD indicates that Hashem has given these items to Kohanim with great joy, "b'simchoh." Targum Yonoson ben Uziel likewise says, "b'chedva." Hence, Kohanim in return must consume the sacrifices with "mosh'choh," nobility, which has the same letters as "simchoh." (Nirreh li)
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