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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NOSSO 5774 BS"D

Ch. 4, v. 22: "Nosso es rosh bnei Gershon GAM HEIM" -Count the sons of Gershon AS WELL - This refers to the next verse, which says that they should be counted from the age of thirty years. Not only should the bnei K'hos be counted from the age of thirty years (4:3), since "ben shloshim lako'ach" (Pirkei Ovos 5:24), and they had the task of carrying the holy vessels of the Mishkon which were quite heavy, on their shoulders (7:9), but the bnei Gershon should be counted from the age of thirty years AS WELL, even though they had the task of carrying the curtains which were lighter. (Ponim Yofos)

Ch. 5, v. 22: "O'mein o'mein" - Rashi lists a number of oaths of non-guilt that she must make. These are derived from the double expression. They are listed in the gemara Sotoh 18a. The Targum Yerushalmi says a most startling thing. She makes an oath that she did not defile herself with the act of adultery in the past and that she will not do so in the FUTURE. How can an oath to not sin in the future be binding? The gemoros N'dorim and Shvuos are replete with the rule that anything that is already binding by the oath of acceptance of the Torah cannot have an additional oath added. Is a "gilgul shvuoh" effective on a "mushba v'omeid meiHar Sinai?"

Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'hisvadu v'heishiv" - And THEY shall confess and HE shall return - Why does the verse begin with the plural form and end with the singular form? The Ibn Ezra answers that the beginning of the verse refers back to both the man and woman who are mentioned in verse 6. The end of the verse refers singly to either the man or the woman. We are still left with the problem of why the verse changed from both, to each singularly. The Beis Yisroel answers with the gemara B.M. 75b, which says that one who lends to another when no witnesses are present, has given ample opportunity for the borrower to lie about the loan having ever taken place. The lender has transgressed "V'lifnei i'veir lo si'tein mich'shol" (Vayikra 19:14). Likewise here, when a person is able to deny that he ever borrowed from another person and has even sworn falsely to that effect, both the borrower and the lender are responsible, hence the plural form "v'hisvadu." Once the borrower has admitted to lying, ONLY HE is responsible to make good the payment, hence the singular form.

Ch. 5, v. 28: "V'niksoh v'nizroh zora" - And she will be found not guilty and she will have offspring - When Chanoh found herself barren after being married for a number of years to Elkonoh, she prayed to Hashem to be blessed with a child. The gemara Brochos 31b relates that in Chanoh's prayers she told Hashem that if He would grant her a child, fine. If not, she threatened to go into seclusion with a man other than her husband. Her husband would warn her not to go into seclusion with that man and she would do it anyhow. This would force her husband to bring her to the Mikdosh for the "sotoh" ritual. She would go through with it and would be found innocent. Then the fulfillment of our verse "v'niksoh v'nizroh zora - if found innocent she will have children" - would have to take place. She thus felt that she could force Hashem's hand, so to speak, into granting her a child.

The Beis haLevi points out that there was one snag in Chanoh's strategy. If Hashem would grant her a child through the power of her prayers alone, all would be fine. However, if she would go through the motions of becoming a "sotoh" etc., she would cause the erasure of Hashem's name (5:23). In Shmuel 1:1:10 the verse expresses Chanoh's praying as "Vatispa'lel Chanoh AL Hashem." The Rada"k translates AL as EL, "TO Hashem." However, says the Beis haLevi, since going through the "sotoh" procedure would entail the erasure of Hashem's name, we can interpret the word AL as REGARDING, a more literal way of translating AL. Chanoh prayed to Hashem, beseeching Him to grant her a child. She said to Hashem that if necessary she would go through the "sotoh" process, which includes erasing Hashem's name. She therefore prayed "AL Hashem," regarding (the erasure of) Hashem's Holy Name, beseeching Hashem to grant her a child without having to go through a procedure where Hashem's Holy Name would be erased.

Ch. 6, v. 5: "Ga'deil pera sar rosho" - His hair should grow unkempt - We see that the nozir is not only prohibited to cut his hair, but as well, that it is holy. Perhaps there is a symbolic message here. The human body corresponds to the mitzvos of the Torah, the body having 365 sinews and 248 organs (male). Correspondingly, the Torah has given us 613 mitzvos which include 365 restrictions and 248 positive precepts. The nozir has taken upon himself something extra, beyond the restrictions of the Torah, and has included them in the list of restrictions. Human hair is in some ways beyond the basic body. We find that it can be cut with feeling no pain, that although a person has died, it continues to grow for a short while, and that the prohibition to not derive benefit from a human body after the person has died does not apply to hair. All these anomalies show us a beyond the body relationship of hair with the rest of the person. Since the nozir has taken extra restrictions upon himself, the Torah wants him to be continuously conscious of this, and gives his hair sanctity that it would not otherwise have. (n.l.)

Ch. 6, v. 20: "V'achar yishteh hanozir yayin" - And afterwards the nozir may drink wine - He is not a nozir any longer so why does the verse call the "former nozir" a "nozir" in the present? If he had the proper intentions in his asceticism and fulfilled the nozir duties properly, even when he returns to drinking wine, a beverage that can cause many problems, his sanctity will remain. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 7, v. 88: "ZOSE chanukas hamizbei'ach ACHA'REI himoshach oso" - This is the dedication of the altar after it was anointed - Four verses earlier we find the words "ZOSE chanukas hamizbei'ach B'YOM himoshach oso." The Holy Admor of Kotzk says that to have enthusiasm at the time of the inauguration of the Mishkon comes easily, as is human nature when encountering anything of interest for the first time. The true test of being connected to something is after the glamour of the newness fades. One should feel the CHANUKAH, the dedication, "ACHA'REI himoshach oso," afterwards, with the same enthusiasm as "B'YOM himoshach oso."

Perhaps a new interpretation of a nomenclature given to the last day of Chanukah, "ZOSE CHANUKAH," can be understood in a new light. On a simple level the name "ZOSE CHANUKAH" is given to the eighth day of Chanukah because the Torah reading of that day includes "ZOSE chanukas hamizbei'ach B'YOM himoshach oso" (7:84). Since this is the last day of Chanukah, it is human nature that the excitement of Chanukah has dissipated. Yet we find the message of Chanukah is "maalin bakodesh," - we elevate ourselves in sanctity, demonstrated by following the opinion of Beis Hillel, that we increase the number of Chanukah lights each night. Perhaps the reason the last day of Chanukah is called "ZOSE CHANUKAH," is not in reference to "ZOSE chanukas hamizbei'ach B'YOM himoshach oso" (7:84), but rather to our verse, "ZOSE chanukas hamizbei'ach ACHA'REI himoshach oso," teaching us that we must take the values taught by Chanukah with us for later, and to retain them with great enthusiasm.

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


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