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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 10, v. 3: "Hu asher di'ber Hashem leimore bikrovai eko'deish" - This is as Hashem has spoken through My holy ones I shall be sanctified - Where was this said? Rashi says in Shmos 29:43, "V'no'adti shomoh livnei Yisroel v'nikdash bichvodi." Chizkuni says that it was inShmos 19:22, "V'gam haKohanim hanigoshim el Hashem yiskadoshu pen yifrotz bo'hem Hashem."

Ch. 10, v. 9: "Yayin v'sheichor al teisht atoh uvo'necho" - Wine and aged wine do not drink not you nor your sons - Besides being a prohibition for a Kohein to drink wine and then do the service, this was a specific command to Aharon and his surviving sons to not drink wine, as it is the custom of mourners to be given wine, "tnu sheichor l'mo'rei nefesh" (Mishlei 21:6). This is because they are not to display signs of mourning. (Chizkuni)

To understand why Aharon's sons are also excluded from mourning, which is only the ruling for the Kohein Godol, it seems that the Chizkuni is following through on his opinion in verse 6 and 19, that on the day of any Kohein's inauguration he has the stringencies of a Kohein Godol. If so, our verse is aimed at Aharon for all 7 days of mourning and for his 2 surviving sons only for the first day. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 10, v. 20: "Va'yishma Moshe va'yitav b'einov" - And Moshe heard and it was proper in his view - Rashi comments that Moshe did not say that he never knew this ruling, but rather that he heard it and forgot it. This is somewhat puzzling. Isn't it obvious that Moshe should tell the untarnished truth and not cover up his shortcoming even in the slightest?

Targum Yonoson ben Uziel adds that not only did Moshe admit his mistake, but also had this publicized, "v'a'peik kruza." However, there is a major issue at hand. Moshe might have justified a cover-up of his blunder by thinking of a possible very deleterious outcome. Moshe was, after all, the transmitter of the Torah. Once he admits that he ruled incorrectly because he forgot a ruling taught to him, there is the fear that the bnei Yisroel might loose their trust in his being a reliable transmitter of Hashem's Torah. For him there might be zero error tolerance. In spite of this he told the untarnished complete truth. This carries a great lesson for those who want to bring Torah into the lives of people who are bereft of Torah knowledge and values. They sometimes compromise the laws of the Torah or its sanctity to make the Torah palatable to secular Jews. The Torah does not tolerate compromising its laws. (Taam Vodaas)

Ch. 11, v. 11: "V'es nivlosom t'sha'keitzu" - And their dead body you shall abominate - How do we have a "n'veiloh" of a species that has no ritual slaughter in the first place? This might have led Targum Yonoson ben Uziel to comment that you shall distance yourself from deriving benefit from a non-kosher fish's body. However, even this requires clarification. Why is the restriction to not do commerce with a non-kosher species of fish limited to when they are dead?

The gemara Yerushalmi Shviis chapter #7 says that the restriction against doing commerce with non-kosher species is limited to items that are to be eaten. The mishnoh Okotzin 3:9 says that non-kosher fish are not considered food to be liable to become defiled unless one specifically sets them aside for consumption (except that in large cities this is not required as there are people within a large population that would eat these fish).

We now understand why the restriction is limited to dead fish only. Live ones are not assumed to be for consumption (i.e. they are aquarium material) and one is permitted to do commerce with them. Dead ones are assumed to be for consumption and are therefore not to be bought or sold. (Taamo Dikro) I don't understand this. If the ability of non-kosher fish to become defiled is automatic by dead ones, as they are clearly food, then the ruling that one has to "have in mind to use them as food" is by live fish. A live creature does not contract defilement. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ch. 11, v. 14: "V'es hado'oh" - And the bird whose name is do'oh - This same bird goes by the name "ro'oh" in Dvorim 14:13. The gemara Chulin 63 says that the namesake of the bird indicates its special ability. It sees to an exceedingly great distance, even being in Babylonia and spotting a "n'veiloh" in Eretz Yisroel. There are those who are pacifists and although aware of many wrongdoings by sinners in Eretz Yisroel, they say that if one lives outside Eretz Yisroel, i.e. in Babylonia, and criticizes what he sees in Eretz Yisroel, only noting the "n'veiloh" in the Holy Land, he is like this non-kosher species. However, Taam Vodaas posits the opposite. The reason he is like the non-kosher species is because he only sees the problem and leaves it at that. He is responsible to protest and uproot the "n'veiloh."

Ch. 11, v. 24: "Ul'ei'leh titamo'u" - And to these you WILL become defiled - Rashi explains that this is not a command, "you SHALL," but rather, a statement of fact, "you WILL." If you touch any of these you will become defiled. This Rashi seems a bit baffling. Did anyone entertain the thought that one SHOULD defile himself, so that we need to be told that this is not the intention of the verse? However, since the Rambam in his commentary on Poroh 3:3 writes that one who knows of no defilement, although halachically pure, he is nevertheless on a lower level than one who has become defiled from outside sources and has gone through the purification process, because in this case the Torah clearly testifies that he is pure. Based on this we might think that one should pro-actively defile himself and then purify himself to reach this better level of purity. This is what Rashi is forewarning. (Rabbi Y.M. Rosenbaum shlit"a)

Ch. 11, v. 33: "V'chol kli che'res asher yipol mei'hem el tocho" - And any earthenware vessel into which will fall from them - Rashi (gemara Chulin 24b) says that these words teach us that an earthenware vessel only contracts defilement when it is in the vessel, and not when it has come into contact with its outer surface. A simple explanation for this unique ruling is that earthenware is very coarse and its outside serves no ornamental purpose. Its utility is totally the container, inside space, its functionality. Therefore only the inside can contract impurity. The Chizkuni explains that since there is no manner in which an earthenware vessel that is defiled can become pure, as its only remedy is to be broken into shards, the Torah did not want this type of vessel to easily become defiled. Contact on the outside is the easiest and most common manner in which a defiled object comes into contact with a vessel. Therefore this type of impurity is waived.

Ch. 11, v. 34: "Asher yovo olov mayim yitmo" - That water will come upon it it will be prepared to become defiled - The word "yovo" is spelled with the letter Vov after the Veis, not the common way of being spelled. This alludes to the fact that not only water, but any of six (Vov = 6) other liquids also prepares the foodstuff for becoming defiled. (Taamo Dikro)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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