CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS SHMINI 5768 - BS"D
1) Ch. 9, v. 1: "Va'y'hi ba'yom hashmini" - And it was on the eighth day - The M.R. 11:6 says that Moshe served as a Kohein Godol for the first 7 days of the dedication and handed over the reins to Aharon on the eighth day. Why did it take until the eighth day for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the Mishkon and why didn't it take place during Moshe's short tenure? As well, why was Moshe given K'hunoh G'doloh only to have to later relinquish it?
2) Ch. 10, v. 3: "Va'yidome Aharon" - Rashi says that because Aharon accepted the death of his children readily and without complaining he merited to be rewarded. His reward was that the chapter of law dealing with Kohanim being restricted from serving when having drunk wine was given to him from Hashem directly. How do we know from Aharon's remaining mute that he accepted the punishment willingly and had no negative emotional reaction?
3) Ch. 10, v. 6: "V'al kol ho'eidoh yiktzofe" - And on all the congregation He will anger - Why would Hashem's anger spread to all the congregation because of the sin of Nodov and Avihu?
4) Ch. 10, v. 12: "V'ichluhoh matzos eitzel hamizbei'ach" - Are they to eat the meal offering "eitzel hamizbei'ach" only, or "b'mokome kodosh," as related in the next verse?
5) Ch. 11, v. 6: "V'es ho'arne'ves" - And the hare - Why is this species expressed in the female form?
The medrash explains that Moshe refused to accept the mission of becoming leader of the bnei Yisroel and being their spokesman to Paroh. This went on for seven days (see Rashi on Shmos 4:10). Hashem was angry with Moshe and relegated him from the future position of Kohein Godol to a regular Levite. By now being Kohein Godol for 7 days he thought that Hashem relented and that he would receive this exalted position. For refusing for 7 days he was paid back in kind and had 7 days of being Kohein Godol, savouring a week of this great holiness, and experiencing all the more painful a loss when relieved of this position.
1) The Parpro'os L'chochmoh answers that had he not accepted the death of his children in a positive light, he would have been thrown into the depths of depression and Hashem does not bestow His Holy Sh'chinoh on one who is depressed (gemara Shabbos 30b, Yerushalmi Sukoh 1:5). Since Hashem spoke to him immediately afterwards, transmitting the laws of Kohanim and wine, it is obvious that Aharon had a positive attitude.
2) The Chofetz Chaim answers that this is derived from the term "va'yidome," and not having the term "va'yacharish" used. "Va'yacharish" is used to denote that one was quiet. However, there is no indication that there is no change in mood. However, "va'yidome" connotes not only remaining still, but also having absolutely no change in demeanour, from the root word "domeim," an inanimate object, which has no emotional change no matter what is done to it.
Perhaps a simple answer could be that we have no indication as to Aharon's attitude, but Hashem knows all that takes place in one's heart. Since we see that Aharon was rewarded for remaining mute, it indicates that he accepted the death of his sons with a positive attitude.
1) The Medrash Tanchuma in parshas Acharei Mose says that they died because of the sin of the golden calf. Although Hashem exhibited patience once punishment was meted out it could have extended to the congregation, which was also held responsible for the sin of the golden calf. (Moshav Z'keinim)
2) If Aharon and his remaining sons would have displayed mourning by ripping their garments and the like (the earlier part of our verse) then they would not service the sacrifices. This would leave the congregation without the protection of atonement offerings. (Moshav Z'keinim)
3) Aharon and his sons were agents of the congregation to process the sacrifices. If they would incorrectly do their tasks it would be a bad omen for those they represent, as per the gemara Brochos 34b. (Baal Haturim)
4) If Aharon and his sons would partake of the sacrifices that they were now prohibited to eat because of mourning, this would impact negatively upon the full acceptance of the sacrifices and diminish their efficacy for protecting the congregation. (Rosh)
1) Rabbeinu Bachyei says that "b'mokome kodosh" of verse 13 expands upon the seemingly limited area allowed for its consumption in our verse. The reason the Torah doesn't only say "b'mokome kodosh" is to teach that although anywhere in the "azoroh" area is acceptable, the closer to the altar, the better.
2) The Malbim says that after the expanded allowance of verse 13 we need "eitzel hamizbei'ach" to exclude upon the altar, and also inside the Sanctuary, even though they are both "b'mokome kodosh."
3) Alternatively, the Malbim offers that "eitzel hamizbei'ach" teaches us that any offering that requires consumption in the "azoroh" may not be
eaten unless the altar is intact and valid.
1) Some species have a male and a female word, as "par" and "poroh." Others only have a male word, but include females of that species, as "gomol" and "chazir." Others only have a female word, but include males, such as "arne'ves" of our verse, "chasidoh," and "anofoh." (Abarbanel)
2) The gender organs of the male are almost not visible, so the species carries the female name. (Rada"k)
3) There are very few males. They are greatly outnumbered by the females. (Ibn Ezra, Chizkuni)
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