Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS SHMINI 5771 - BS"D

1) Ch. 9, v. 17: "Milvad olas haboker" - Besides the morning oloh offering - Rashi says that these words are to be understood as "besides the daily morning 'oloh' offering that was ALREADY sacrificed." Only after the "tomid shel shachar" was sacrificed were Aharon's "chatos" (verse 8), the "oloh" (verse 12), the nation's "chatos" (verse 15), the nation's "oloh" (verse 16), and the meal offering (our verse) brought.

In the following verse we have the sacrifice of an ox and a ram as "shlomim" offerings. Since these were also processed after the morning "tomid" why didn't the verse wait until after also mentioning these to say "milvad olas haboker?"

2) Ch. 9, v. 23: "Va'yovo Moshe v'Aharon el ohel mo'eid" - Moshe and Aharon came to ohel mo'eid - Rashi says that he found in an addendum to Toras Kohanim that Moshe entered with Aharon to teach him how to process the incense. Why didn't Moshe teach him this earlier? Hadn't the congregational offerings been processed since the first day of the dedication?

3) Ch. 10, v. 2: "Va'teitzei aish va'yomusu" - The gemara Y'vomos 64a says that Nodov and Avihu never married. The medrash says that they reasoned, "Our paternal uncle (Moshe) is a king, our maternal uncle is a tribal leader, our father is the Kohein Godol, we are Vice Kohanim G'dolim (s'ganim). Do there exist women who are worthy to become our wives?"

Their not marrying is derived from the words "u'vonim lo hoyu lo'hem" (Bmidbar 3:4). These words taken at face value do not clearly state that they did not marry, rather only that they had no children. Staying with the literal sense of these words we might even say that they had daughters, but no sons. Did they, or did they not have daughters?

4) Ch. 10, v. 6: "V'acheiCHEM kol beis Yisroel yivku" - And your brethren all of the house of Yisroel shall cry - Rashi says that we derive from these words that the misfortune of a Torah scholar is placed upon the whole community to mourn. How is this conclusive? Perhaps it is only the responsibility of a Torah scholar, but here "all of the house of Yisroel" was required to bemoan the loss of Nodov and Avihu as it was a loss of Torah scholars, but if they would have suffered the loss of a very young child ch"v, a non-relative would have no involvement in mourning?

5) Ch. 11, v. 21: "Asher *lo* chro'ayim mimaal" - Which has (not) jointed legs above - The word LO is spelled with a letter Alef, meaning NOT, but is read with a letter Vov, meaning IT HAS. On a practical level we accept the "LO with a Vov" translation, as we find in Targums Yonoson ben Uziel and Onkelos, and in the Ibn Ezra. Thus only a grasshopper that has an extra set of springing legs close to its neck may be consumed. (There are numerous other requirements as well.) Nevertheless, the Torah text has LO spelled with an Alef thus indicating a dual interpretation. What insights do you have?

ANSWERS:

#1

The Torah has already clearly stated that the "shlomim" offering should be processed after the daily "tomid" in Vayikra 6:5, "V'orach o'lehoh ho'oloh v'hiktir o'lehoh chelvei hashlomim." (Bi'u'rei Mahara"i Baal Trumas Hadeshen)

#2

Rabbi Yeshayoh (Baal Tosfos in Moshav Z'keinim) asks this. He answers that there is a requirement to take coals from the outer altar and use them to burn the incense. On a daily basis the "tomid" was offered and its body arranged on the altar. Wood was placed on the altar as fuel, but no one lit it, as it was required to have a "heavenly fire," but no heavenly fire came. This scenario repeated itself for 7 days. Thus there were no coals with which to burn the incense. Only on the eighth day, when a fire descended from heaven, were there coals for the incense.

Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi explains that although the incense was offered daily, starting from the first day, Moshe was unable to teach Aharon because the service takes place inside the "ohel mo'eid." The verse says "U'fesach ohel mo'eid teishvu yomom volaioh shivas yomim" (8:35), - And at the opening of ohel mo'eid shall you sit day and night for seven days." Thus Aharon and his sons were prohibited from entering the "ohel mo'eid," and could not be taught the service earlier.

A question on Moshe and Aharon both being present during the processing of the incense: Doesn't the Torah prohibit anyone from being in the "ohel mo'eid" when the incense is offered, "V'chol odom lo yi'h'yeh b'ohel mo'eid" (Vayikroh 16:17)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#3

Targum on Divrei Hayomim 1:24:1 says that they did.

#4

Since the Torah expresses itself with "v'acheiCHEM," and YOUR brothers, this is conclusive. "YOUR brothers" indicates that the mourning is done in place of Aharon, Elozor, and Isomor. Had the responsibility to mourn be by virtue of the loss of the great personages Nodov and Avihu the Torah would have said "v'acheiHEM," and THEIR brothers, Nodov and Avihu's brothers, shall cry. Bi'u'rei Mahara"i Baal Trumas Hadeshen)

#5

This can be explained homiletically. The verse says "Ei'lecho Hashem nafshi esso" (T'hilim 25:1). This can be understood as: When in pursuit of Hashem's honour I will act in a bold proud manner of grandeur, as our Rabbis derive from "Va'yigba libo v'darchei Hashem" (Divrei Ha'yomim 2:17:6), and he elevated his heart in the paths of Hashem. We can similarly interpret "Hi'nei mokome iti" (Shmos 33,21) - behold when there is place with Me, i.e. regarding Hashem's honour, then, "v'nitzavto al hatzur," you shall stand proud and upright on the rock. However, "V'hoyoh baavor (read "baavor" as "baavur") k'vodi" (verse 22) - when it comes to acting for my own honour, then "v'samticho b'nikras hatzur," I will place you into the cleavage of the rock, i.e. you should be hidden. Thus a person must have both these contradicting characteristics and know where to apply each.

The knee joints, "kro'ayim," symbolize subordination, as we say thrice in our daily prayers, "ki l'cho SICHRA kol berech." Our verse tells us "asher LO (with an Alef) chro'ayim MIMAAL," when it comes to matters of "MIMAAL," heavenly matters, then one should NOT act with humbleness. When it comes to one's personal earthly matters, "l'na'teir bo'hen al ho'ORETZ," then "asher LO (with a Vov) chro'ayim," one should act with humbleness. (Beis Avrohom of Grossvardain)


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


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