CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHIOS
CHUKAS-BOLOK 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 19, v. 1: "Zose chukas haTorah asher tzivoh Hashem LEIMORE da'beir el
bnei Yisroel" - What does the word LEIMORE teach us, as we also have "da'beir"
right after it?
2) Ch. 20, v. 8: "V'nosan meimov" - What was the miracle of the wellspring
rock? Did it issue water miraculously from within itself, or was the miracle
that wherever the rock was, a wellspring would emit water from the ground nearby?
3) Ch. 22, v. 2: "VA'YAR Bolok" - What is the translation of the word
4) Ch. 22, v. 18: "M'lo veiso kesef v'zohov lo uchal laavore es pi Hashem" -
Rashi says that from here we derive that Bilom had an unsatiable lust for
money. How do we derive this from his words? Why not just say that he was
strongly expressing his great dedication to follow the words of Hashem, even to the
tune of foregoing tremendous financial rewards? We find a similar expression
used by Rabbi Yossi ben Kismo in the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 6:10. He met a
person during his travels who offered him a position as the spiritual leader of
his community. Rabbi Yossi ben Kismo responded that he would not accept the
position, even if he were given all the silver, gold, and precious stones that
exist. We find no commentator disparagingly remarking that Rabbi Yossi ben
Kismo lusted riches, so what is the difference between the two?
5) Ch. 23, v. 3: "Vayeilech shefi" - What is the translation of "shefi"?
Answer to questions on parshas Korach:
1) Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - What did Korach take?
Answers found in the gemara, medrash, and Torah commentators:
2) Bad counsel
3) An entirely blue talis
4) Bad commodity
5) Doson, Avirom, On ben Pelles, and 250 great sages
6) His heart through haughtiness
7) In general, he was a TAKER, not a giver
2) Ch. 16, v. 2: "Va'anoshim mibnei Yisroel chamishim u'mosoyim" - Who were
these 250 men?
1) All first-born (Ibn Ezra)
2) All from the tribe of Levi (Rabbeinu Chananel's opinion brought in the
3) The tribal leaders plus mostly from the tribe of Reuvane (Rashi)
4) A mixture from all the tribes (Ramban)
5) Twenty-three men from each of eleven tribes, excluding the tribe of Levi.
This is equal to the quorum of a Sanhedrin. Although this equals 253
people, the verse means 250 men besides Doson, Avirom, and On ben Pelles. (Rabbi
Moshe of Kutzi)
3) Ch. 16, v. 7: "Rav lochem bnei Levi" - Rashi (Medrash Tanchuma #5) raises
the question, "Since Korach was very intelligent, why did he pursue such
absurdity, 'shtoos?'" Why is the term "shtoos" used for Korach's attempted
1) The Chidushei hoRi"m answers that the gemara Shabbos 14b says that when
King Shlomo instituted the laws of "eiruvin," a ruling through which separate
properties halachically join to become one, a voice emanated from heaven and
said, "Bni im CHOCHAM li'becho yismach libi gam oni" (Mishlei 23:15). We see
that the term CHOCHOM is used for one who creates unity, making separately owned
properties as one. Korach is the paradigm of the fomenter of argument and
divisiveness. Since his fomenting argument is the opposite of the concept of
"eiruvin," it is called "shtoos," the opposite of "chochmoh." It is now well
understood why the term used to allude to the incident of Korach in parshas Dvorim,
where many iniquities are alluded to and not openly mentioned, is CHATZEIROS.
This word is in the plural form, and the opposite of "eiruvin." "Eiruvin"
unite, while "chatzeiros" connotes divisive separate domains.
2) The gemara Brochos 27b relates that Rabbon Gamli'eil, who was the head of
the Yeshiva, slighted Rabbi Yehoshua. He was deposed from his position and it
was necessary to find a successor. The gemara says that Rabbi Yehoshua who
was an appropriate candidate could not be the one because since through him
Rabbon Gamli'eil was removed, albeit through no fault of Rabbi Yehoshua,
nevertheless it would be too painful for Rabbon Gamli'eil. Similarly here, even if
Korach were to ch"v be successful in deposing Aharon, he could never be the one
appointed in Aharon's place, since he was the cause of Aharon's being removed.
3) Possibly with the words of the gemara Yerushalmi Sanhedrin final chapter
#1 we can explain this in yet another manner. The gemara says that eventually
Korach showed his true colours, claiming that Torah is ch"v not Divinely
commanded, but rather was the work of Moshe. If so, how could he expect to have a
successful uprising, as even the 250 men who joined ranks with him did not
agree with his premise. This is obvious because if Moshe made up the Torah, there
really is no heavenly ordained position of Kohein Godol, as this was also
Moshe's doing. Thus, Korach was even at odds with his cohorts right from the
beginning, the ultimate "shtoos." (Nirreh li)
4) Ch. 16, v. 34: "Nossu l'kolom" - Which voice?
1) The sound of the swallowing (Rashi)
2) The sound coming from the earthquake (Alternate text in Rashi mentioned
by the Taz in Divrei Dovid and also the opinion of the Mizrachi)
3) The voice of those who were swallowed up, screaming "Tzadik Hu Hashem"
(Targum Yonoson ben Uziel)
4) A sound similar to that of a raging burning fire (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
5) The voices of Doson and Avirom, screaming "Please don't let the earth
swallow us" (Yalkut Shimoni remez #752)
6) The voice of the earth, stating that Korach had descended alive to the
bottom chamber of the abyss (Tosfos Yom Tov on Pirkei Ovos 5:6)
5) Ch. 18, v. 9: "Zeh y'h'yeh l'cho" - From this point onward the Torah
enumerates many of the 24 benefits that Kohanim receive. What are they?
The GR"A says that these are referred to in Pirkei Ovos 6:6 when it says that
K'hunoh is acquired with 24 advantages. The GR"A says that they can be
categorized into two groups of twelve each, one group of benefits which Kohanim
receive on the Mikdosh campus, and twelve which they receive in Yerusholayim and
anywhere else. This is alluded to in verse 9 which encompasses the 12 in the
Mikdosh, by starting with the word "zeh" which has a numerical value of 12, as
well as the 12 outside the Mikdosh covered in verses 11 through 18, which
begins with "V'zeh," and 12.
The 12 in the Mikdosh are:
1) The meat of the Shalmei Tzibur of Shovuos
2) The hide of the Korban Oloh
3) The two breads brought on Shovuos
4) The weekly show breads
5) The leftovers of the flour offerings
6) The leftovers of the Omer flour offering
7) The meat of a Korban Chatos
8) The meat of a bird Chatos
9) The meat of the Korban Oshom Vaday
10) The meat of the Korban Oshom Toluy
11) The returned item stolen from a convert who has left no heirs (This is
considered a benefaction received in the Mikdosh because the verse considers it
being returned to Hashem as per Bmidbar 5:8, "Hamushav laShem laKohein."
12) The "loge" of oil used in the purification ritual of a "metzoroh"
The 12 outside the Mikdosh are:
1) The shank and thigh of a Korban Shlomim
3) Trumoh from the Levi's Maa'seir
4) The shearing of virgin wool
6) The "zro'a, l'choyayim, and keivoh" of every non-sacrificial animal
7) Bikurim, the first ripened fruit
8) The inheritance field which was sanctified and not redeemed by the owner
9) The field that was sanctified as a "cheirem"
10) The five shekels for the redemption of a first-born son
11) The first-born animal of a kosher species
12) The redemption (a sheep) of a first-born donkey
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