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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 22, v. 3: "V'nich'r'soh ha'nefesh hahee milfonai ani Hashem" - And that soul will be excised from in front of Me I am Hashem - Rashi comments that we should not misunderstand excision, thinking that it means removal from one's present location, but that he can reside somewhere else peacefully. This is not so, as the verse ends with "milfonai ani Hashem," Hashem is everywhere, so there is nowhere to go.

A person had a contract with a poritz in Galicia. Once a year they made a detailed accounting. The poritz called the person to his office on Cholo shel Mo'eid Pesach. He came with all his papers and they went through matters very deliberately. After a lengthy, tiring sitting, they came to the same totals, and were both very pleased that their calculations matched. The poritz pulled out a bottle of whiskey and offered a drink to the ben Yisroel saying that he was pleased to renew the contract. The ben Yisroel drank and left in a good mood. It didn't take very long for him to realize that it was Pesach, and in a moment of emotion and lapse of memory about Pesach he drank "echt chometz!" He immediately went to Rabbi Yoseif Sho'ul Natanson, the Rov of Lvov and the surrounding area, and told him of his wrongdoing. Rabbi Natanson suggested that since he was a Belzer chosid he should go to Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeiach, the Holy Belzer Rebbe for a "tikun aveiroh." As well, when given a "tikun," he should ask why this exact thing would be a "tikun."

The Holy Belzer Rebbe told him to sell his business and move to Eretz Yisroel. He explained that the medrash Eichoh says, "Golsoh Yehudoh mei'oni," is the result of eating chometz on Pesach. Additionally, by the "v'nich'r'soh" by chometz there is a "gershayim" cantillation, the only one found in the Torah by "korres," and the word "gershayim" means to be "chased away." When he apprised Rabbi Natanson of this, Rabbi Natanson looked and looked and found our verse, which also has a "gershayim." He asked the Belzer chosid to tell this to the Holy Rebbe. He did and the Rebbe told him that it is only here that it also says, "ani Hashem." It is only here that Rashi makes his comment. Why did he wait until here? There are numerous "korres" verses earlier. This indicates that only here where there is also a "gershayim," meaning chasing away, that one might mistakenly think that it means golus. By chometz there is "gershayim" and no "ani Hashem," which does mean going to golus. (Otzar Efrayim)

Ch. 22, v. 7: "V'achar yochal min hakodesh" - And afterwards he may consume sanctified food - This verse tells us that there is a status of defilement where a Kohein has immersed himself in a mikveh and still may not partake of trumoh. This status is called "tvul yom." It is only after the sun has set and it is the beginning of the next day, that he may eat trumoh. The first mishnoh in Brochos tells us that the time to recite "krias shma" at night begins at the time of the night that Kohanim that Kohanim who were "tvulei yom" may consume trumoh. Although this is quite accurate, why does the mishnoh link it with "shma" recital? We see that a person is in a defiled state and when a new day comes his impurity departs. We see that a new day is a new beginning. Similarly, although one has already recited the "shma" and with it has accepted the yoke of subservience to Hashem, when a new day comes he experiences a new start and needs to reaffirm his commitment to Hashem through reciting "shma." (Avnei Nezer)

Ch. 23, v. 2: "Da'beir el bnei Yisroel v'omarto a'leihem mo'adei Hashem eileh heim mo'adoy" - Speak to the bnei Yisroel and say to them these are Hashem's Holidays these are My Holidays - Why does our verse say both "Da'beir" and "V'omarto?" As well, why does it repeat "Eileh heim mo'adoy?" The word "heim" is an exclusionary phrase, as we find in the gemara B.K. 65, "HEIM v'lo vlodoseihem." There is a message that only those listed ahead are Holidays and not more. "BNEI Yisroel" and "heiM" clearly show that this exclusion is for males. Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer cited in Tur Sh.O. O.Ch. hilchos Rosh Chodesh says that every rosh chodesh was to be a Holiday and because some of the bnei Yisroel sinned by the golden calf it did not become a Holiday. However, for the women, who did not sin, it is a quasi-Holiday and certain activities are restricted. Our verse starts with "Da'beir el bnei Yisroel ei'leh," because of their saying "ei'leh" by the incident with the golden calf they receive this in the "da'beir" for, strictness, as their Holidays are limited, with no Rosh Chodesh Holiday. This restriction is expressed in, "EI'LEH heim mo'adoy," only these. Nevertheless, "V'omarto," an expression of positivity," because at the same time they are still left with numerous other Holidays. (Noam M'godim)

Ch. 23, v. 5: "Bachodesh horishon b'arba ossor lachodesh Pesach" - In the first month on the fourteenth of the month Pesach - It was the dead of the winter and Rabbi Yaakov Lorberbaum, baal N'sivos Hamishpot, was traveling. When it was heading towards night he came into a small village and was taken in by a farmer who did not recognize who this great personage was. A short while later there was a knock on the door and a person entered with his ritual slaughtering equipment, announcing that he had come to slaughter some chickens at the request of the homeowner. The kind homeowner, seeing that the shochet was extremely cold, offered his a glass of strong whiskey, which he readily downed. He was offered another drink, accepted it and was told to drink to his heart's content. After downing four large glasses of whiskey he said that he was warmed and ready to slaughter the chickens.

At this point the N'sivos Hamishpot chimed in. He said that based on what just happened, a difficulty he had for years in the Hagodoh, was alleviated. In the final paragraph of the Hagodoh we have "Chad gadya." We find that the angel of death slaughtered the slaughterer. This is most difficult to understand. Since the slaughterer did a mitzvoh, "V'zovachto," and no doubt recited a blessing beforehand, why was he slaughtered? Now all is well understood. In general this would be a mitzvoh, but here it is at the end of the seder, after four glasses of wine have been consumed. Sh.O. Y.D. 1:8 rules that it is forbidden to slaughter when one is inebriated. The angel of death was within his rights. With this insight he stopped the tipsy shochet from slaughtering. (Birkas Chaim)

Ch. 23, v. 10: "Va'ha'veisem es omer reishis k'tzirchem" - And you shall bring the omer measure the first of your harvesting - Hashem does not want the bnei Yisroel to become totally immersed in their physical pursuits, which take place when they are involved for many months in agriculture. He therefore forbid consumption of the new grain, "chodosh," until the communal "omer" offering is brought. There is a further communal offering of "shtei ha'lechem" on Shovuos. Later on, when the harvesting season is in full swing there are numerous mitzvos, "pei'oh," leket, shikchoh, ol'lose, peret," etc. In short, there are continual mitzvos connected to agricultural activities that keep us connected to Hashem, and help develop a charitable attitude in us. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 23, v. 15: "Usfartem lochem" - And you shall count for yourselves - During the days of counting the "omer" we attempt to elevate ourselves spiritually to bring greater "yiras Hashem" into our lives. The verses in Mishlei 2:4,5 say, "Im t'vakshenoh ka'kesef uchmatmonim t'chapsenoh oz tovin yiras Hashem." "Uchmatmonim" can be broken into "uch Mem-Tes monim," and as when 49 we count. (Rabbi Nochum of Tchernobel in Mo'ore Einayim)

Ch. 23, v. 17: "Mimoshvoseichem tovi'u lechem t'nufoh" - From your residences shall you bring bread of waving - People give great weight to their livelihoods coming from specifically certain locations, and it is there that they set up their residences (see Sefer Chinuch mitzvoh #360). Our verse tells us that our livelihoods come from Hashem and the location is not of great import. Read our verse as: "Mimoshvoseichem tovi'u lechem?" Do you feel that from your residences, locations, you bring your livelihood? "T'nu peh," give credence to your mouths, by praying to Hashem, the one and only source of parnosoh. (M'lo Horo'im)



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

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