Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON PARSHAS B'HAALOS'CHO 5775 - BS"D

1) Ch. 8, v. 2: "El mul pnei ha'menoroh yo'iru shivas ha'neiros" - To across from the face of the candelabrum shall the seven lights illuminate - If the "pnei ha'menoroh" means the middle stem, then only six lights shine towards it.

2) Ch. 8, v. 4: "V'zeh maa'sei ha'menorah" - And this is the making of the menorah - Rashi says that Moshe had difficulty in creating the menorah. Since Hashem had already shown him a vision of a fiery menorah, why couldn't he replicate it?

3) Ch. 9, v. 1: "Bachodesh horishon" - In the first month - Rashi says that the first chapter in this book of Bmidbar took place chronologically earlier. This teaches us the rule of "Ein mukdam um'uchar baTorah." Rashi then asks, "V'lomoh lo posach b'zu." There seems to be a contradiction within Rashi. He just said that there need not be a chronological order, so why does he ask "Why was this parsha not said at the beginning of sefer B'midbar?"

4) Ch. 9, v. 2: "V'yaasu vnei Yisroel es haPosach b'mo'ado" - And the bnei Yisroel shall make the Pesach offering in its set time - Why was it necessary to tell this to Moshe? Parshas Bo is replete with statements to the effect that the Paschal offering is to extend beyond the one time upon their exiting from Egypt.

5) Ch. 11, v. 4: "V'hosafsuf asher b'kirbo hisavu taavoh" - And the assemblage that was within them lusted a lusting - "Asher b'kirbo" seems to be superfluous.

ANSWERS:

#1

Indeed, Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the intention is that six shine towards the central stem, and "shivas ha'neiros" means that there will be a total of seven that will illuminate when we include the middle one.

However, the Rashbam says that "mul pnei ha'menorah" refers to the item across from the menorah, the curtain dividing between the Holy and the Holy of Holies. It is then simply understood why there are seven lights illuminating. The Riv"o adds that this is a proper explanation based on the opinion in the gemara that the spread of the lamps ran from north to south. According to the opinion that it ran from east to west, "mul pnei ha'menorah" refers to the "shulchon."

#2

Rabbi Shmuel Almosnino says that the difficulty was not in its basic creation, but rather, in the intentions, "kavonos," of each section. "V'zeh" refers to Hashem's teaching him all the "kavonos." Moshav Z'keinim answers that Moshe forgot the fiery vision. A medrash says that Hashem told him to toss the block of gold into fire and a completed menorah emerged, and this is "tei'oseh" of parshas Trumoh, it was made. Another medrash says that Moshe went to Betzaleil for help, and he made it correctly. Moshe wondered how Betzaleil, without a sketch or vision of the menorah was able to do this, and he concluded that Betzaleil was in the "shadow of Keil" when it was shown to Moshe (see gemara Brochos 55).

#3

Rabbi Yisroel Salanter asks this. He answers that "v'lomoh" is not "and why," but rather, it is an abbreviation, "Ulfi Medrash Hagodoh," and is a new interpretation.

It seems that Rashi can be explained in a simple manner. Although there need not be a chronological order, this only means that if there is an overriding factor, the timeline bows to it, but not that the Torah wantonly disregards a chronological order. This is clearly stated by the Ramban at the beginning of parshas Matos, in contra-distinction to the opinion of the Ibn Ezra there.

Note that Rashi here says "Lomadto," - you have learned. Rashi with his terse razor-sharp words answers a question that seems to be raised by Rabbi Akiva Eiger in his commentary Gilyon Hashas on the gemara P'sochim 6b. The gemara cites our verse as a proof that not everything in the Torah follows a chronological order. Rabbi Akiva Eiger lists numerous places where Rashi in his commentary on Chumash says "ein mukdam " It seems that he is raising a question. Since some of those places are earlier verses in the Torah, why didn't this gemara cite an earlier proof? Ramban near the beginning of sefer Vayikra says that all of Rashi's statements that "this verse is out of chronological order" can be refuted, but not our verse Bmidbar 9:1. This is Rashi's intention with the word "lomadto." From here you LEARN this rule, as all earlier instances can be refuted. Once this axiom is proven true, it is most appropriate to apply it in earlier cases, which seem to indicate the same. This is why the gemara waits until our verse to offer a proof for this rule. (Shaa'rei Aharon)

#4

1) This was an exception to bring the Paschal offering in the desert. (Rashi on Shmos 12:25)

2) There is actually no need to do this, but since in the previous parsha we have the special services of the Kohanim, the dedication offerings of the tribal heads, and now after the initiation rites of the L'viim, their unique services, it is in place to mention that all the bnei Yisroel also offer a sacrifice, namely "korban Pesach." This is the basis for the Kohein, Levi, Yisroel order. (Tzror Hamor)

3) Hashem gave different rulings for the Paschal offering in Egypt than from all later generations. The generation of those who actually left Egypt was not sure if they should follow the dictates of the Egyptian or the future Paschal offering. Therefore Hashem told Moshe that they should comply with the future, in Eretz Yisroel rulings. (Rashbam)

If this is the whole point of the repetition, where exactly is the indication that they follow the future "korban Pesach" laws? The words in verse 3, "k'chol chukosov uch'chol mishpotov" don't seem to pinpoint "Pesach doros." In parshas Bo the term "mishpot" is not used, and "chok" is used by both. Perhaps it is the use of the word "tzivoh" in verse 5, as per the gemara Kidushin, that ""tzav" is a command for all generations.

4) Just as Yom Kippur was pushed aside by the extended dedication festival sponsored by King Shlomo (Divrei Ha'yomim), so too, one might think that Pesach of that year would be pushed aside by a dedication celebration. (Sforno)

MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l asks on the Sforno that King Shlomo's festivals extended to and beyond Yom Kippur, but here the dedication ended on the 12th of Nison, so why would one even consider this possibility? Perhaps it is because the dedication sacrifices were concluded on the 12th, and only afterwards there would be an extended celebration. King Shlomo made a one week celebration, and although he offered a vast number of offerings, they were not a Torah requirement. Here the offerings of the tribal heads were a Torah requirement, and a celebration for a week afterwards would extend into Pesach. 5) The command to bring the Paschal offering in the future was to begin only after they settled into the land, as per the verse in Shmos 12:25, "V'hoyoh chi sovo'u el ho'oretz." (Ramban)

6) The Torah excludes a "ben neichor" (Shmos 12:43) from consuming a "korban Pesach." The Mechilta says that this includes a ben Yisroel whose actions have given him a status of "ben neichor." Rashi on Bmidbar 15:23 says that whoever believes in idols is equated to one who denies the whole Torah. Since the nation was tainted with the idol worship of the golden calf, the people were in doubt as to their permissibility vis a vis "korban Pesach." Hashem told Moshe that they may offer it, as He has forgiven them. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh pushes aside the possibility that they were not commanded to bring a "korban Pesach" in the desert, "v'hu rochoke." However, as mentioned in the Ramban, and Rashi on Shmos 12:25, the Torah seemingly clearly states that the mitzvoh for all future generations begins only after the bnei Yisroel settle into Eretz Yisroel. As well, the gemara Kidushin 37b says the same.

The basis for the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh is likely the second opinion in Tosfos on the gemara Kidushin 37b, the gemara there explains the verse stating that when you enter Eretz Yisroel you should wear tefillin does not mean this literally, as the mitzvoh applies even in the desert. Rather, the intention is, "Do this mitzvoh now as a merit to enter Eretz Yisroel." Based on this, Tosfos offers a second reason for the bnei Yisroel's not offering "korban Pesach" in the desert. The majority of the bnei Yisroel were uncircumcised.

#5

The story is told of a Persian king who prayed to his god that his throat be extended to double its size so that he have the more enduring pleasure of tasting his food for a longer period of time before it would descend to his royal belly. Similarly, the Romans would eat glutinously and when no more could be shoveled into their craw, they would expectorate (vomit) in their regurgetoriums, and would then begin again with a first course, etc. "Asher b'kirbo hisavu taavoh," they had a great lust for their "kerev," innards. They lusted that it have a greater capacity for more food. (Ben Ish Chai)


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