by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS PINCHOS 5770 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 10: "Pinchos ben Elozor ben Aharon haKohein" - The Holy Zohar writes that when Pinchos entered the hut in which Zimri was sinning, it was surrounded by a group of fellow Shimonites who stood guard. Pinchos was so afraid of being killed that when he entered, his soul left him out of fright. Hashem then poured a transmigration of the souls of Nodov and Avihu (ibur n'shomoh) into him. We can thus interpret these words of our verse as meaning that Pinchos is the son of both Elozor and Aharon. Numerous medroshim including Pirkei d'Rebbi Eleizer say that "Pinchos hu Eliyohu," that the soul of Eliyohu the Prophet is also a component of Pinchos's soul make-up. We thus have four souls in Pinchos, that of himself, Nodov, Avihu, and Eliyohu, a total of four. The Holy Sorof of Strelisk, Rabbi Uri, says that this is alluded to by the cantillation on these words of our verse. They are, "kadma v'azla munach r'vii." The names of these cantillation signs can be translated as, "It went forward and came to rest four," meaning that numerous souls came to rest in Pinchos, and their total is four.
Ch. 26, v. 33: "V'sheim bnos Tzlofchod Machloh v'No'oh Chogloh uMilkoh v'Sirtzoh" - Compare this list with 27:1, "Machloh No'oh v'Chogloh uMilkoh v'Sirtzoh." Why do we have these two differences? Although the order remains the same, in our verse there is a connective Vov before No'oh and not before Chogloh, while in 27:1 it is reversed, with no connective Vov before No'oh and there is one before Chogloh. Why these differences?
At the end of parshas Massei (36:11) we again have the names of these five women, just in a different order. The format there is the same as in 27:1, that there is no connective Vov by the second name, and there is for the rest of them. Rashi on 27:1 and 36:11 cites the gemara B.B. 120, which makes note of the change of order, and that the gemara comments that the change teaches us that they were equal. How do we know from the change in order that they were of equal stature? In all three places Machloh appears first. Why not assume that she was the most prestigious of this five-some, and only the remaining four were equal? Any help with either of these issues would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 29, v. 11: "S'ir izim echod chatos" - One goat as a chatos - We only find "s'ir izim" without a connecting Vov, "U's'ir," here by Yom Kippur and earlier in 28:30, by Shovuos. This teaches us a commonality of these two days, as on each of them the Torah was given. This is pointed out because the Saducees incorrectly posited that the Torah was not given on Shovuos, as Shovuos according to their opinion is always on a Sunday. (Medrash Lekach Tov)
I don't grasp this last point because we also had Shovuos on varying days before the era of our set calendar.
Ch. 29, v. 12: "Uvachamishoh ossor yom lachodesh hashvii mikro kodesh" - And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month there shall be a festival - By the earlier festivals of Pesach (28:17), Shovuos (28:26), Rosh Hashonoh (29:1), and Yom Kippur (29:7), the Torah tells us mitzvos that are unique to each of the festivals. However, here by Sukos the Torah does not mention its mitzvoh of residing in a Sukoh. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH explains that Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. 640:8 states that those who travel are exempt from residing in a Sukoh. Our parsha deals with bringing festival sacrifices in the Beis Hamikdosh. At that time the majority of the bnei Yisroel are away from home, having made one of the thrice annually pilgrimages, and are thus exempt from residing in a Sukoh. Even when they are in their destination, the city of Yerusholayim, they are so crowded, as almost all of the bnei Yisroel make this pilgrimage. This is why the Torah leaves out residing in a Sukoh. In parshas Emor where the Torah does not deal with the festival sacrifices it does mention the mitzvoh of residing in a Sukoh. It seems that the MESHECH CHOCHMOH has not explained why the mitzvoh of taking the four species has been left out. This might be because the Torah only gives us a succinct description of what is done on each of the Yomim Tovim. Since our verse says that the Yom Tov that commences on the fifteenth day of the seventh month lasts for seven days, had it said to take the four species, we would mistakenly think that it is a daily mitzvoh throughout Sukos. This in incorrect as it is only a mitzvoh on the first day, as stated in parshas Emor, and here the Torah does not elaborate about the Yom Tov mitzvos, so it would not spell out the details. However, residing in a Sukoh is a mitzvoh for all seven days of Sukos, so the question is in place.
This answer is quite startling. As far as the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 5:7, which says that among the ten miracles that took place by the Beis Hamikdosh, the final one is that no one ever said that his accommodations for sleeping in Yerusholayim were "tzar li hamokome," the space allocation is tight for me, this might not be a problem, as the wording of the mishnoh is that the miracle was that "no one said," not that it was actually roomy for everyone. What is difficult to fathom is that according to the Meshech Chochmoh a person who always made the pilgrimage to Yerusholayim for Sukos would not have fulfilled the mitzvoh of "yeshivas Sukoh" year after year, and possibly not during his whole lifetime. As well, since one is required to expend up to one fifth of his possessions to fulfill a mitzvoh, why couldn't the people spend lots of money to rent space and build a sufficient Sukoh that is not a "mitz'ta'eir" accommodation? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps there might be another answer, that residing in a Sukoh is actually mentioned in our verse. Our verse ends with "v'chagosem chag laShem shivas yomim." On a simple level this could refer to the special mitzvoh of simchoh related to Sukos, although the other two "r'golim" also have a mitzvoh of simchoh, the "simchoh" of Sukos is mentioned three times in the Torah, and is of a greater intensity, as explained by numerous Rishonim. On a deeper level, these words might actually mean residing in a sukoh. Commentators say that the word "chag" is sourced from "chug," meaning a circle. The "circle" of a Yom Tov is the general happiness of Yom Tov, and is described as a circle of people dancing. However, the idea of a circle also means that one is encircled and embraced in a protective spiritual cocoon. This is the Sukoh, as is explicitly stated in the prayers we say upon entering our sukoh, "Ulhakif osonu miziv kvodcho hakodosh v'hatohor." (n.l.)
Ch. 29, v. 39: "L'oloseichem ulmincho'seichem ulniskeichem ulshalmeichem" - For your oloh offerings and for your meal offerings and for your libation offerings and for your shlomim offerings - The order is unusual. Shouldn't the verse have placed the shlomim next to the oloh, as both are offerings that are slaughtered? Rabbeinu Bachyei answers that an oloh is the first offering of the day, the korban tomid (gemara Yoma 34). A shlomim is appropriate to mention last because shlomim bring one to improve his character traits, a sort of conclusion to bringing sacrifices, as explained by Rabbeinu Bachyei on Breishis 46:1. As well, the Torah does this in other places, as we find in Vayikra 7:37, "Zose haTorah lo'oloh …… ulzevach hashlomim." The trait of peace is so commendable that it is an appropriate note upon which to end. (Why the verse there disrupts the flow of slaughtered offerings with a minchoh between the oloh and the chatos deserves explanation.)
The Meshech Chochmoh answers that the gemara at the end of the first chapter of Kidushin says that libations were not offered in Eretz Yisroel until after the seven years of vanquishing and the seven years of apportioning. Rashi says that this restriction was limited to private offerings, but public offerings had libations even when the bnei Yisroel were in the desert, even when they were not required offerings, but rather voluntary congregational offerings, called "olos keitz hamizbei'ach." Congregational shlomim are not permitted (with the exception of the mandatory "shlomim on Shovuos). Although we are at this point in time near the end of the 40 years in the desert, nevertheless the bnei Yisroel were still there and would also not be in their assigned personal land allocations for another fourteen years. The shlomim offerings would have no libations, so this is why the oloh is mentioned first with its accompanying minchoh and libations. Only after this can shlomim be mentioned, as at this point in time and for a number of years afterwards, there would be no libations accompanying the shlomim.
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