subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM


Ch. 9, v. 5: "Va'yaasu es haPesach borishone b'arba ossor yom lachodesh" - The gemara P'sochim 66a relates that one year the eve of Pesach came out on a Shabbos. The Kohanim of the family of bnei B'seiro were not sure if the slaughtering of the Pesach lamb was permitted, since slaughtering is generally prohibited on Shabbos. The gemara says that Hillel, who had recently immigrated from Bovel said that it was permitted as this is derived from "B'mo'ado," - in its set time (Bmidbar 9:3). Asks the Paa'nei'ach Rozo, "Why were they in doubt? We see in our verse that the bnei Yisroel sacrificed the Korban Pesach in their second year in the desert. The M.R. Breishis 3:9 relates that on the first of Nison of that year the inauguration of the Mishkon began. The M.R. goes on to say that the first day of the Mishkon dedication was a first regarding ten matters. Three of them were that it took place on the first day of the first month and was also on the first day of the week, Sunday. Since the first of Nison was a Sunday, it follows that the fourteenth was a Shabbos. Our verse clearly states that the Korban Pesach was sacrificed on that day."

The way I understand his answer is that this proof is far from conclusive, since there are other opinions that the first day of the inauguration took place on a different day of the week. The bnei B'seiro were not sure on which day it factually took place. Only after Hillel's proof from a verse that it is permitted, did they accept the opinion that it began on a Sunday.

In Shmos 12:25 the Torah prefaces the mitzvoh of sacrificing the Korban Pesach for future generations with the words "V'hoyoh ki sovo'u el ho'oretz." Rashi there comments that the mitzvoh of sacrificing the Korban Pesach only begins once the bnei Yisroel enter Eretz Yisroel. He adds that the Korban Pesach that was sacrificed during the second year of the bnei Yisroel's wandering in the desert was brought only because of a specific command by Hashem (Bmidbar 9:2). This gives us a very clear answer to the question posed by the Paa'nei'ach Rozo. Although it was clear to the people mentioned in the gemara P'sochim that in the second year in the desert the Korban Pesach was slaughtered on a Shabbos, this does not prove that it is permitted in all generations, since the bringing of that Korban Pesach was unique (as was Pesach Mitzrayim) in that it was before the bnei Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel. Included in this unique command might have also been that the slaughtering of the sacrifice pushes aside the Shabbos. This is clearly not a precedent for future times, thus necessitating a proof from a verse. Tosfos on Kidushin 37b d.h. "Ho'il" also says that Pesach Midbor was an exception, brought in response to a specific command from Heaven.

Ch. 9, v. 21: "O YOMOM vo'leiloh" - What is the difference between YOM and YOMOM? Rashi on Yechezkeil 12:13, in the name of Rabbi Menachem, says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is daily, on an ongoing basis. Rashi says that this explanation is EMES. There is an obvious problem with this explanation from our verse, whose intention is to say that the clouds of glory sometimes remained in place for but a day and a night, and not ongoing. The Ibn Ezra on Shmos 13:22 says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is during DAYLIGHT hours, while the word YOM can mean at night as well. YOMOM in our verse works out well according to the Ibn Ezra. Once again, an answer for Rashi would be appreciated. (Perhaps the verse means that it stayed there for a day, a night, and a day.)

Ch. 11, v. 4: "Hisavu taavoh" - Literally, this means "they lusted to have a lust." The M.R. Bmidbar 15:24 and Tanchuma Bmidbar #16 say in the name of Rabbi Shimon that the people did not actually lust for meat, as the literal words of the verses indicate, but rather they lusted physical relations with relatives now forbidden to them, as is indicated by a verse in T'hilim 77:27. It says "Va'yamteir a'leihem ke'ofor SH'EIR." Sh'eir refers to incest as is written in Vayikra 18:6, "Ish ish el kol SH'EIR b'soro lo sik'r'vu l'galos ervoh."

The Shaarei Aharon says in the name of the Eitz Yosef, Eshed Hancholim, and Meshech Chochmoh that the words "hisavu taavoh" give us the insight into understanding the literal and the Medrashic interpretations as one. The experience of spiritual exposure and the acceptance of the Torah at Har Sinai had a spiritual uplifting and purifying effect on the bnei Yisroel. The eating of manna, a very spiritual food sent from heaven, likewise added to the positive effect on the bnei Yisroel. The "Asafsuf," the multitudes of "eiruv-rav," wanted to continue having relations with their relatives, as was permitted before the giving of the Torah. They knew that their lust was weakened by eating the spiritually fortified manna. They therefore requested meat, which would bring them back to their former selves, which would nurture a lust for things physical, particularly relations with their relatives. The lust for meat was a lust to bring on the lust for physical relations with their relatives.

Moshe responded with (11:13), "Mei'ayin li bosor." Ever since Moshe received the Torah at Har Sinai he had been on an even higher plane than before. He had no further relations with his own wife (gemara Y'vomos 62a). He said that he could not be a conduit for something so physical as meat, which could bring to a lust for incest.

At this point Hashem responded with (11:16), "Esfoh li shivim ish." The seventy new prophets who were not as removed from this world as Moshe was, would become the conduit to bring quail (slov) to the people who desired it.

Ch. 11, v. 12: "He'onochi horisi" - Since Moshe knew that he was also about to say "Mei'ayin li bossor," that he had no access to a sufficient amount of meat, that it was impossible to fulfill their demands, why did he now say, "Am I the parent of this nation?"

A relatively newly married Gerrer Chosid appeared in front of the Sfas Emes. The Sfas Emes asked him why he was recently not studying in the Beis Hamedrash as often as he used to in the past. The chosid answered that he had no means of support as of late and was forced to spend time pursuing an income. The Rebbe asked about parental support, to which the chosid responded that he had asked his father, but the response was that his father had no money to give the son.

The Rebbe later called in the father, who reiterated his son's response. The Rebbe asked the father, "Since Moshe said that he had no meat for the nation, why did he have to also say that he did not sire them?" The Rebbe concluded that if one is a parent, not having enough is not a legitimate excuse.

Ch. 11, v. 22: "Kol d'gei ha'yom yei'o'seif" - We find that the bnei Yisroel demanded of Moshe to supply them with meat. Yet we see that Moshe mentioned to Hashem that if there were a possibility to amass the fish of the sea, then the bnei Yisroel's demand would be met.

The Mogein Avrohom and the Machatzis Ha'shekel on O.Ch. #249 (s.k. 6) both say that one should make sure to serve meat at a meal celebrating a bris miloh. MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l said that if one were to serve fish instead, he would also be considered as having served meat. A proof for this is that we find that the bnei Yisroel demanded meat and Moshe said that by serving them fish their demand would be fulfilled. We see that fish is also considered meat.

While on the subject of fish ......

Shulchan Oruch Y.D. 13:1 rules that fish require no ritual slaughtering, shechitoh. This is derived from our verse which says that if bnei Yisroel were to receive meat it would require shechitoh, "Hatzone u'vokor YISHOCHEIT lo'hem." However, by fish it says "yei'o'seif," that they only require gathering. There is an opinion that fish require shechitoh. It is to be found in M.R. Breishis 7:2. "Yaakov of the village of Gvuroi ruled in Tzur that fish require ritual slaughter." I have no idea where the place of the shechitoh would be or if it would require the cutting of one or two "simanim."

The Kesef Mishneh brings the opinion of Rav Saadya Gaon that fish which die on their own may not be eaten. The Bach's text of the words of R.S.G. is that live fish may not be eaten. The Rambam in hilchos shechitoh 1:3 says that fish which die in the water may be eaten. He also permits eating fish alive. The Hagohas Beis Yosef on Knesses Hag'doloh Y.D. #13 questions if the Rambam would permit consuming fish that died on land. It would seem obvious that if fish were caught in a body of water and left to die on land, that this is considered not dying by themselves, but rather being killed by a person. This is literally "yei'o'seif."



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel