Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 1, v. 11: "Domo" - Its blood - Here by the sheep offering the word "dom" has the possessive suffix HIS. By the bovine offering we find only "hadom," the blood, without a possessive suffix.

2) Ch. 1, v. 16: "V'heisir es m'uroso b'notzosoh" - And he shall remove its crop along with its intestines - Rashi comments that although the intestines of an animal are offered upon the altar, the digestive system of the bird-oloh is not. This is because an animal is sustained by its owner, while a bird flies anywhere it finds food and just takes it, an act of theft. Hashem does not want the organs that digested the stolen food upon His altar. Why it is the bird faulted with theft? After all, it is Hashem's system of sustenance that birds follow by instinct.

3) Ch. 2, v. 11: "Ki chol s'ore v'chol dvash lo saktiru mimenu isheh laShem" - Because any leavening and any honey you shall not it as a fire offering to Hashem - From the point of "hashkofoh" why are these two items prohibited in the incense mixture?

4) Ch. 4, v. 2: "Nefesh ki secheto" - When a soul will sin - Why does the Torah attribute the sin to the soul rather than to the coarse physical body?

5) Ch. 5, v. 6: "V'im lo sagia yodo dei seh" - And if his hand will not reach sufficient for a sheep - What does the word "dei" in this phrase teach us?



The Baal Haturim explains that the colour of an ox's blood differs greatly from that of a person, so there is no possessive suffix. The blood of a sheep or goat is similar to that of a human. The verse therefore adds the possessive suffix HIS, to allude to the person's responsibility to look at the sacrificing exercise as if he was the actual offering, the blood being his (Ramban), something more readily done when its appearance is similar to a human's blood.


The Imrei Emes asks this and answers based on a medrash in parshas Breishis that states that Hashem gave each creature input into deciding its structure, nature, manner of sustenance, etc. The bird's poor choice of a theft system is its own doing, hence it is held against the bird. The Beis haLevi at the beginning of parshas Trumoh says that parshas Mishpotim precedes Trumoh to teach that only honest money should be donated. This is not limited to the building fund, but also to the items offered as sacrifices. See the words of the Maharsh"o on the gemara Ksubos 67, where he heavily rebukes those who make money in an improper manner and then offer large sums for a "mi sh'beirach."


The Rambam in Moreh N'vuchim 3:46 writes that he found in writings that explain the service of idol worshippers that they always added sweeteners to their meal offerings, which were leavened, and as such had a bitter tinge to them. To distance ourselves from their manner of service the Torah prohibited "dvash."

Rabbeinu Bachyei explains this prohibition as being representative of our evil inclination, which is sometimes called "s'ore," and entices us with what is perceived as sweet.

Sefer Hachinuch says that leavening is representative of being lackadaisical, as leavening takes place when one leaves dough at rest for a while. The lesson of prohibiting leavening teaches that one serve Hashem with great alacrity. The prohibition of honey teaches that one not run after perceived sweet things. He goes on to apply this to food, saying that one should minimize his intake of sweet foods, and thus he will be healthier and be able to serve Hashem better.


This is akin to a situation where two people sinned the same sin against a king. One was a total stranger to the country, while the other was in the service of the king in the palace. When the king decided their punishments, he let the stranger off and had his "inner circle" worker receive a stiff retribution. The king's servants were aghast, wondering why a complete stranger was let off the hook, while an otherwise loyal worker was punished quite strictly. The king explained that the stranger does not grasp the greatness of the king as he does not live in the country. The formerly loyal worker was fully cognizant of the king's accomplishments in ruling the country for the betterment of the citizenry and yet, he still sinned. For this he deserves a strict punishment. So too it is with the coarse body and the spiritual soul. The body is removed from grasping the greatness of Hashem, and is let off more easily than the soul, which by virtue of being spiritual, grasps to an extent the greatness of Hashem, and in turn, deserves a stiff punishment. (Baa'lei Tosfos)


The Toras Kohanim says that even if this person has sufficient funds for numerous birds, and even if he is just short a minimal coin for purchasing a sheep, we do not say that he should work until he has sufficient for a sheep. Rather, he should immediately bring the poor man's offering. This is because "Chavivoh mitzvoh b'shaatoh" (gemara P'sochim 68b. the Toras Kohanim goes on to say that even if he actually owns a sheep but needs it for his basic livelihood, he is not required to use it as his offering. This situation is akin to his not having a sheep. This is the intention of our verse when it adds the word "dei." It is not enough to own a sheep, but one has to have "sufficiently enough" to afford giving a sheep now. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)



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

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