Archives for March 2015
פ’ צו – תשע”ה
Volume 8, Issue 2
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
ולבש הכהן מדו בד…והרים את הדשן
“And the Kohen shall don his fitted linen tunic…and he shall remove the ashes…” (6:3)
QUESTION: What is the significance of the mitzvah of removing the ashes from the altar?
ANSWER: When a person sins, he must offer a korban and along with it do teshuvah. He regrets his past and takes upon himself to do better in the future. According to halacha (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 228:4), it is forbidden to remind a penitent of his past. The Torah alludes to this with the mitzvah of the removal of the ashes. After the korban has been sacrificed on the altar, only the ashes are left. Removing the ashes teaches us that a person can start over with a clean slate, with no trace remaining of his sin. (Iturei Torah)
במקום אשר תשחט העלה תשחט החטאת
“In the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered shall the sin-offering be slaughtered.” (6:18)
QUESTION: Why did the Torah prescribe that the two korbanot be slaughtered in the same place?
ANSWER: A sin-offering is brought by a person who has violated the Torah, while a burnt-offering is brought as a contribution to the Beit HaMikdash. To protect the reputation of the people, the Torah commands that they both be slaughtered in the same place, so that if someone observes the animal being slaughtered, he will not suspect that the owner is a sinner, but rather a generous person bringing a contribution.
Since tefilah (prayer) takes the place of avodah (sacrifices), the Gemara (Sotah 32b) says that the Sages have prescribed that the tefillah of Shemoneh Esreh be recited quietly, so that a sinner who wants to confess to Hashem should not be overheard by his neighbor and suffer embarrassment. (Rabbeinu Bechaye)
אם על תודה יקריבנו והקריב על זבח התודה חלות מצות בלולת בשמן ורקיקי מצות משחים בשמן וסלת מרבכת חלת בלולת בשמן
“If for the thanksgiving he offers it, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and fine flour soaked and made into cakes mingled with oil.” (7:12)
When a person’s life was in danger and he was saved, it is incumbent upon him to bring a korban todah, a thanksgiving offering. Together with the offering he also brought forty loaves of bread in four different forms. One of each kind was given to the priest. The remaining thirty six were his to eat. There was a time limit of the remainder of that day and the following night. After that time they could not be eaten. Sforno comments that the purpose of this extreme short time period was to ensure that he would share the bread with others. This would ultimately publicize the fortunate event.
Note that the only time that such publicity was a part of the offering was in the case of good news. A person felt deep gratitude to the Almighty for His help and in this joyous state he shared his joy with others. When one brought an offering for a sin, this was not publicized. When things were going wrong in one’s life, one did not do this. Only when one had an event to be thankful for did one publicize it. This should be our model for choosing topics to speak about. Keep your main focus on the multitude of kindnesses the Almighty does for you. While there is definitely a need to share problems and difficulties with a sympathetic and understanding listener, the main areas to publicize are the good that happens to you. (Growth Through Torah)
ובשר זבח תודת שלמים ביום קרבנו יאכל
“And the flesh of his feast thanksgiving peace-offering must be eaten on the day of its offering.” (7:15)
The Gerrer Rebbe asks: Since the thanksgiving offering is a form of shelamim, or peace offering, why must it be eaten on the day it is offered, unlike a regular peace-offering which may be eaten on the next day, as well?
This offering was brought to thank G-d for a miracle that happened to an individual Jew. However, new miracles occur each and every day, and it would be inappropriate to partake of a sacrifice for yesterday’s miracle when new ones have just occurred. (Gerrer Rebbe)
זאת התורה לעלה למנחה ולחטאת ולאשם ולמלואים ולזבח השלמים
“This is the law of the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the dedication offering and the peace offering.” (7:37)
The Midrash relates this to the verse, “By the word of Hashem the heavens were made.” (Tehillim 33:6) How are the two verses connected?
Chazal tell us that studying and reciting the korbanot is equivalent to actually bringing a korban. This statement demands clarification. In the case of a korban olah, it is quite understandable that studying the laws of olah has the power to nullify sinful thoughts, since an olah atones for sinful thoughts. But in the case of a korban chattas, which atones for sinful deeds, how can uttering words concerning a chattas nullify sinful deed?
To this the Midrash replies, “By the word of Hashem the heavens were made.” This teaches us that the words of kedushah are as powerful as deeds. Indeed, the entire world came into being by the force of words. Consequently, words do have the power to neutralize a sinful deed. (Ya’aros Dvash)
ויאפד לו לבו
“And he adorned him with it.” (8:7)
By adorning Aharon with the garments of the Kehunah, the priesthood, Moshe introduced him into his role as the Kohen Gadol. Indeed, it is only while wearing the prescribed garments that the Kohen has the halachic status of a Kohen. As the Talmud teaches: “At the time that their garments are upon them, the Kehunah rests upon them. If their garments are not upon them, the Kehunah shall not rest upon them” (Sanhedrin 83b). A Temple service performed by a Kohen not wearing these garments is not valid.
A Kohen carrying out his duties in the Beit HaMikdash is a messenger of Hashem – similar to a מלאך, an angel. The numerical value of ויאפד, he adorned, the verb describing the adorning of the Kohanim with their garments, is 101 – the same as that of מלאכי, my angel, as well as that of מיכאל, the angel who fills the role of the Kohen at the Heavenly Mizbe’ach. Only after being adorned with the garments of the Kehunah are the Kohanim to be considered akin to the angels of Hashem.
Teachers of Torah, too, are likened to angels, as the Sages teach, “If the Rebbe is like an angel of Hashem, Lord of Legions, they should seek Torah from his mouth” (Moed Katan 17a). Just as angels are completely dedicated to their mission, so too, the primary concern of the ideal teacher of Torah should be to serve Hashem by teaching Torah to Bnei Yisrael. (Vedebarta Bam)
This week’s Divrei Torah sheet is sponsored by the Zuckerman & Goldberg families in memory of their mother, Chava bas Yehudah Leib and by the Greszes family in memory of Ben’s father, Moshe ben Shraga Faivel. For future sponsorship opportunities or to receive this publication, please call Steve Zuckerman at 516 652 5266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Lichter at email@example.com. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.