Parshas Pinchos:5772 The Shabbos Musaf Offering:S. Rabinowitz, MD
Parshas Pinchos 5772 The Shabbos Musaf Offering S. Rabinowitz, MD B”H
Parshas Pinchos is the eighth of ten parshios in Sefer BaMidbar. The parsha contains 168 verses, including six positive mitzvos and no prohibitions. One of the positive mitzvos is the duty to offer on Shabbos, a supplement to the regular daily offerings, an additional/musaf offering (chap. 28, verses 9-10, translation adapted from R. Chaim Miller who bases it on Rashi):
|ט וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת–שְׁנֵי-כְבָשִׂים בְּנֵי-שָׁנָה תְּמִימִם; וּשְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים סֹלֶת מִנְחָה בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן, וְנִסְכּוֹ.||9 On the Shabbos day (offer): two perfect (unblemished) he-lambs in their first year; two-tenths (of an eifoh of) fine flour as a meal-offering, mixed with (a half-hin of) oil; and its accompanying (half-hin of wine) libation.|
|י עֹלַת שַׁבַּת בְּשַׁבַּתּוֹ, עַל-עֹלַת הַתָּמִיד, וְנִסְכָּהּ.||10 The burnt-offering of Shabbos (may only be offered) on its (specific) Shabbos (it may not be compensated for on a later Shabbos). (All of the above is to be offered) in addition to the daily burnt-offering/tomid and its accompanying (flour, oil, and) libation.|
Gemara Yoma 62b requires that the two lambs offered for the Shabbos musaf be as alike as possible, although the offering is valid even if they are not alike.
Rashi (1040-1105) looks at the phrase in verse 10 “olas Shabbas b’Shabbato (the offering of Shabbos on its Shabbos),” in which “on its Shabbos” seems superfluous. He explains that one might have thought a missing Shabbos musaf offering could be compensated for by bringing a double offering on the next Shabbos. Based on Sifrei, Rashi says this phrase teaches us that one cannot make up on another day for a missed musaf offering. The next phrase uses the word “al” in an unusual way to mean “added to” the daily offerings, rather than the usual meanings of “on” or “about.” This unusual usage, says Rashi, teaches us that the supplementary/musaf lambs must be offered in between the daily morning sacrifice and the daily afternoon sacrifice.
Rambam (1135-1204) points out that the limbs of the daily offering can usually be burnt even after nightfall. On Friday, however, the daily offering must be completed before Shabbos arrives. Permission to burn offerings on Shabbos is limited to those that must be brought on Shabbos. The same rule applies when the evening after a regular day is a Festival. The fat portions of the Shabbos daily offering may be offered after nightfall at the end of Shabbos, even when nightfall ushers in a Festival.
Rabbeinu Bachya (1255-1340) says that Shabbos has a dual significance because the two versions of the Ten Commandments in the Torah use two different expressions concerning its observance. One says zachor/remember the Shabbos, and one says shmor/observe the Shabbos. Zachor refers to the positive observances. Shmor refers to the prohibitions. The positive and negative aspects have equal weight, so each Shabbos has two aspects: we received two omers of mon on Fridays in the wilderness, and none on Shabbos; one who violates Shabbos is liable for the double expression of the death penalty, mos yohmus; the psalm recited on Shabbos is called both mizmor and shir. For this reason, we offer two lambs for the Shabbos musaf, rather than the seven lambs of the New Moon and the Festivals. Also, HaShem does not wish to burden us with larger efforts on Shabbos. Just as we have lunch and shalosh seudas on Shabbos day, He has two lambs, as it were. The two-tenths of an eifoh of fine flour represents the two loaves of bread that we use for each of our Shabbos meals.
Chizkuni (1200s) notes that these Torah verses are unusual in that they contain no verbs, such as the word “offer” that is suggested in parentheses above. He explains that the omission is in honor of Shabbos, since constructive actions/melochos are forbidden on Shabbos apart from the offerings in the Mishkon or Beis HaMikdosh. The text therefore refrains from mentioning action.
The Rema (1520-1572) comments on R. Yosef Karo’s (1563) Shulchan Orach, Orach Chaim 281. He focuses on the fact that the Torah specifies offering the daily tomid sacrifice “ba’boker/in the morning.” In contrast, the instructions in our verse nine say only that the Shabbos musaf must be offered on the Shabbos day. He concludes from this difference that one can sleep a little later than usual before praying on Shabbos. Since the musaf immediately follows the tomid, the tomid is presumably brought later than on weekdays. Of course, adds R. Yisroel Meir Kagan (1838-1933) in his Mishnah Berurah, one cannot delay beyond the last time for saying Sh’ma.
Or haChayim (1696-1742): On Shabbos we offer only two lambs for musaf, rather than the seven of Rosh Chodosh and holidays. This occurs for two reasons. First, two reminds us of the lechem mishneh/double bread of Shabbos. Second, the mystical element of seven is already incorporated into Shabbos, the seventh day.
Rabbi S. R. Hirsch (1808-1888) states that the Shabbos musaf offering is only a supplement to the tomid and is exactly double the regular daily offering: two lambs instead of one, with double the fine flour, the oil, and the wine. He understands the single offering to represent the nation as a unity, and the double offering to represent the nation as a plurality of individuals, expressing each individual’s relationship to HaShem. The joy that has already been expressed in the tomid comes to a special expression of supreme joy on Shabbos in refraining from producing the means of subsistence and prosperity.
Rabbi Elie Munk (1900-1981) quotes a Midrash Shocher Tov al Tehillim (probably completed 900-1000) saying that Shabbos complained to HaShem that its musaf offering is smaller than that of other days. HaShem replied that everything concerning Shabbos is in twos as noted above, and therefore we offer two lambs. Another difference in the Shabbos musaf is that we do not take out a second Sefer Torah to read its passage, as we do on Festivals. Some say this is due to the fact that the mitzvoh is contained in only two verses, and we have a rule never to have an aliyah of less than three verses. But we could have read a little more from the Torah, as we do on Rosh Chodosh, to achieve the necessary length. Rabbi Munk quotes still another difference from the Levush (1530-1612), who says that the Shabbos musaf doesn’t contain a sin-offering, as do the Festival musafim, probably because there is less opportunity for sin on Shabbos, when cooking and other actions are forbidden. The atonement for forbidden thoughts is an olah/elevation-offering, which is brought in the Shabbos musaf, says the Meshech Chochmoh (1843-1926). A final point made by Rabbi Munk is that the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers were instituted respectively by Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Ya’akov. Musaf, says the Zohar (1st cent. C.E.), is connected with Yosef, whose name connotes addition, just as musaf is an addition. B’nei Yisroel pray for a spiritual bonus that is especially realized in the neshoma yesayra/extra soul granted to each Jew on Shabbos. Spiritual exaltation is evoked when the congregation sings the kedushoh of musaf. To paraphrase R. David Silverberg (contemporary) on Rav Soloveitchik (1903-1993): unlike Yom Tov, Shabbos does not in and of itself require simcha/joy. The musaf offering brought on Shabbos, however, does generate such an obligation. In just this one respect, Shabbos indeed acquires the status of a “day of your joy/yom simchaschem,” in accordance with the Sifrei.
Rabbi Bogomilsky (contemporary) quotes from the Minchas Yitzchok of Rabbi Isaac Stollman (1897-1980) to answer the question, “Why do we offer lambs rather than goat kids?” The Gemara Bechoros 35a tells us that an animal is considered fully born once the entire head emerges. If only part of the head has been delivered, it is still considered unborn, and if it is a firstborn it is permissible to blemish it to avoid having to give it to a Kohen. Rava says that a goat has very long ears, which are the first part to present at birth. One may blemish an ear at that moment. A lamb has very small ears and presents first with its lips, which also one may blemish. For this reason, the lamb is like the Jewish people, who at Mount Sinai put their lips before their ears when they said, “Na’aseh v’nishmah (we will do and we will hear).” The daily offering of lambs connects us to our acceptance of the Torah at Mount Sinai.