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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 1: "V'atoh hakreiv ei'lecho es Aharon" - And you bring close to you Aharon - Hashem was addressing Moshe in the first verse of our parsha. What need is there to repeat "v'atoh" here? The Rambam in hilchos klei Mikdosh 4:14 says that the Kohein Godol must be appointed by the court of 71 judges. The gemara Sanhedrin 13b says that Moshe is equal to a court of 71 judges. Therefore our verse says "V'atoh," and YOU, specifically YOU, should induct Aharon into the position of Kohein Godol. (Yoseif Lekach)

Ch. 28, v. 1: "L'chahano li" - To make him a Kohein for Me - Two verses later we find "L'KADSHO l'chahano li." We derive from the words "asher yutzak al rosho shemen hamish'choh u'mi'lei es yodo lilbosh es habgodim" (Vayikroh 21:10), that we both anoint and dress the Kohein in the Kohein Godol garments to initiate him into K'hunoh G'doloh. We also derive from these words that if we have no anointing oil, just the donning of the special Kohein Godol vestments is sufficient. The change in the wording mentioned above likewise alludes to this. When we have already sanctified him with the anointing oil, then when dressing him we only enact "l'chahano li," while when there is no such oil available we do both "l'kadsho," and "l'chahano" through dressing him in the priestly garments. (Rabbi Chaim Abulefia)

Ch. 28, v. 3: "V'ossu es bigdei Aharon" - The gemara Arochin 16a says in the name of Rav Shmuel bar Nachamani that a person can be afflicted with "tzoraas" for one of seven sins. The gemara goes on to say in the name of Rav An'ni (Anini) bar Soson that the garments of the Kohein Godol atone for these seven sins. This is derived from the juxtaposition of the parsha of the priestly garments to the parsha of sacrifices. Just as sacrifices offer atonement, so too, the priestly garments offer atonement. The gemara then enumerates which garment atones for which sin. It is most puzzling that the Ri"f in his commentary on the second chapter of Shabbos (folio 14 in our print) brings this statement of Rav Shmuel bar Nachamani and of the atonement brought through the priestly garments. The Ri"f limits his writing on the gemara to only items of relevant halochos that apply to our times. With the "bigdei K'hunoh" not in use why does he bring this gemara?

If we take careful note of the statement of Rav An'ni as it is brought in the gemara Z'vochim 88b we will note a subtle difference. It says that the juxtaposition of the parsha of sacrifices to the parsha of priestly garments teaches us .. The order of juxtaposition is reversed, mentioning sacrifices first and then the priestly garments, the opposite order of the gemara Arochin. Indeed, Rashi d.h. "lomoh" seems to take notice of this by saying in Z'vochim that the parshios under discussion are in Tzav, "toras hachatos" etc., then "kach es Aharon v'es b'godov."

In his commentary on the gemara Arochin, also d.h. ""lomoh," he says that the gemara refers to our parsha, where the "milu'im" come after the creation of the priestly garments. Rashi surely changed the locations to keep in step with the gemara. Where the gemara mentioned sacrifices ahead of the priestly garments, Z'vochim, Rashi says it refers to parshas Tzav because there too, sacrifices are mentioned earlier than the priestly garments. Where the gemara mentioned the priestly garments ahead of the sacrifices, Arochin, Rashi cites our parsha, where the priestly garments are likewise mentioned ahead of the sacrifices. Getting back to the question raised on the Ri"f - Besides the order being reversed in the two parshios there is also another difference. Our parsha discusses the CREATION of the garments, while in parshas Tzav the WEARING of the garments is the theme, "Va'yi'tein olov, va'yachgore oso, va'yalbeish, va'yi'tein, va'yachgore, va'yepode" (Vayikroh 8:7), "Va'yo'sem olov" (v. 8), "Va'yo'sem es" (v. 9). There might very well be a disagreement between the two gemoros as to the true opinion of Rav On'ni ben Soson, or Rav On'ni and Rav Onini are two different people. If the source of priestly garments affording atonement is from parshas Tzav, it would seem that it is based on the Kohein Godol WEARING the garments, as that is the theme of that parsha. If sourced from our parsha, then we might say that the mere EXISTENCE of the priestly garments affords atonement, as our parsha only discusses their CREATION.

We can now answer the question raised on the Ri"f. The words in the Ri"f are exactly that of the gemara Arochin, mentioning the priestly garment before the sacrifices, referring to parshas T'tza'veh and not Tzav. Although the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, nevertheless, some of its vessels and the priestly garments might well still be in existence, and this alone provides some level of atonement. (I have been told that a person living in NYC has seen a few "tzitzim" in Italy.) This component of softening the sin is a practical aspect of repenting, so the Ri"f mentions it. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 28, v. 4: "Choshen v'eifode" - A breastplate and an apron - In 25:7, 35:9, and 35:27 the "eifode" is mentioned before the "choshen." This is because the "eifode" is donned before the "choshen," which goes on top. However, our verse is simply listing all the garments of the Kohein Godol. The "choshen" is mentioned before the "eifode" here because of its greater holiness. It houses the "urim v'tumim." (Tzror Hamor)

Ch. 28, v. 32: "V'hoyoh fi rosho b'socho" - And the lip of its top should be folded inwards - This simply means that the edge of the neck hole should be hemmed inwards. The Rambam in hilchos klei Mikdosh 9:3 writes that this is the only area of the "m'il" garment that is connected. The front and the back are quite similar to our "arba kanfos," totally opened on the sides. He adds that it has no sleeves. However, Rashi on verse 4 says that the "m'il" is basically the same as the "kuto'nes," only that the "kuto'nes" is a lower garment, while the "m'il" goes on top of it. This seems to indicate that the sides are connected, very much like our modern-day shirts. As well, if it is like the "kuto'nes" then it also has sleeves. The Rava"d seems to agree with Rashi, questioning the Rambam on both points, the claim that it is open on the sides and that it has no sleeves.

Ch. 28, v. 30: "Es ho'urim v'es hatumim" - The Mechilta parshas Mishpotim #15 says that we do not ask the "urim v'tumim" to give us a halachic decision. Rashi on the gemara Eiruvin 45a d.h. "ha'rei" says the same. This is clearly indicated in the gemara T'muroh 16a, which says that 3,000 halochos were forgotten during the mourning period after the death of Moshe. The gemara says that to recover them through heavenly communication is not allowed, "lo bashomayim hee." It seems that this is not an impenetrable rule. The Rshash points out that Rashi himself on the gemara Eiruvin 63a d.h. "dich'siv" writes that Yehoshua asked Elozor a halachic question. This is understood by the Rshash as a question to be answered by the "urim v'tumim" as otherwise Yehoshua would not have gone specifically to Elozor. The Rosh on our verse writes that the "urim v'tumim" would not answer something that could be answered by a person. Tosfos on the gemara Gitin 68a d.h. "iko" says the same as the Rosh. Perhaps Yehoshua had no other option. (Medrash Halacha)



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

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