פ’ אמר תשע”ז
Volume 18, Issue 7
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.
עד ממחרת השבת השביעית תספרו חמשים יום…וקראתם בעצם היום הזה מקרא קדש יהיה לכם
“Until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count fifty days…You shall make a proclamation on this very day; a holy convocation shall there be unto you.” (23:16,21)
QUESTION: The festival of Shavuot commemorates the season of the giving of our Torah; why is there no mention of the specific date when the Torah was given?
ANSWER: Hashem did this intentionally so that one should not limit Torah to a certain time. Each day a Jew should view himself as having received the Torah anew on that day, thus arousing new inner intensity and devotion. (Vedebarta Bam)
בחדש השביעי באחד לחדש יהיה לכם שבתון זכרון תרועה מקרא קדש
“In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a rest day for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation.” (23:24)
QUESTION: Our sages (Rosh Hashana 29b) note that here it is written “Shabbton zichron teruah” – “a remembrance of shofar blasts” – and in Parshat Pinchas it is written “yom teruah” – “a day of shofar blasts – (Bamidbar 29:1). From this they derive that the shofar is sounded on Rosh Hashanah only when it falls on a weekday, but not on Shabbat.
Why is the mitzvah of shofar not cited the first time that Rosh Hashanah is mentioned in the Torah?
ANSWER: From the holiday of Pesach one can calculate which days of the week all the holidays of the year will take place; e.g. Tisha B’av will always be the same day of the week as the first day of Pesach. Shavuot will start on the same day of the week as the second day of Pesach. Rosh Hashanah will be on the same day of the week as the third day of Pesach.
The Jews left Egypt on a Thursday, the 15th of Nissan (Shabbat 87b). Consequently, their first Rosh Hashanah commenced on Shabbat, and therefore the Torah does not mention the sounding of the shofar. (Torah Temimah)
כי בסכות הושבתי את בני ישראל
“That I caused the children of Israel to dwell in booths…” (23:43)
The 480 years from the time that Bnei Yisrael left Egypt until the building of the Beit HaMikdash were a period during which the nation’s status in the land was, in a sense, temporary. They could not be considered permanent residents until the Divine Presence would have a permanent dwelling place among the people, something that would not happen until Shlomo HaMelech built the Beit HaMikdash. For this reason Hashem says that, upon taking Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt, He caused them to live in סכת, booths, symbolizing a temporary status, for 480 years – the numerical value of סכת. (Kol Dodi)
מחוץ לפרכת העדות באהל מועד יערך אתו אהרן מערב עד בקר לפני ה’ תמיד
“Outside the curtain of the Testimony, in the Ohel Moed, Aharon shall arrange it, from evening to morning, before Hashem, continually…” (24:3)
The Torah here refers to the paroches as the “Curtain of the Testimony (Ark).” Yet earlier, in Parshat Tetzaveh (Shemot 27:21), it is referred to as the “Curtain that is on the Ark.” How can this inconsistency be explained?
Here this phrase follows the mention of the laws of Yom Tov. The Gemara (Yoma 54a) states that on Yom Tov the paroches was pulled aside and the cherubim were shown to the public. If so, it is appropriate that here the paroches is not referred to as being on the Ark.
This also explains why here the Torah mentions only Aharon, and earlier (ibid.) Aharon and his children are mentioned. The Gemara (Yerushalmi, Chagigah 2:4) writes that the Kohen Gadol would perform the services in the Mishkan only on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Therefore, the service which is mentioned here, and is mentioned in conjunction with Shabbos and Yom Tov, only mentions the name of Aharon, the Kohen Gadol. (Meshech Chochmah)
Rav Moshe Sherer z”l would say: “A good speech is like drilling for oil; if you don’t strike in the first five minutes – stop boring!” (Torah Tavlin)
This week’s publication is sponsored in memory of Philip Zuckerman, פסח יהודה בן יצחק עיזיק by his children and grandchildren. For future sponsorship opportunities 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.