The Kiddush was sponsored by the Gutfreund family in honor of the Aufruf of their son. Celebrating an Aufruf this Shabbos is perfect timing because the beginning of the Parshah discusses the Leviim, as the Pasuk says והיו לי הלוים which the Gutfreund family are. But this Chosson happens to be a Bechor as well so he would be special regardless. The wedding will take place this coming week, Parshas Shelach which says היש בה עץ and the Chosson will be marrying the daughter of Rabbi Yehuda Baum (בוים in Yiddish means tree) and we wish them that it should be a בנין עדי עד and a בית נאמן בישראל.

This also connects with the Perek of Pirkei Avos this Shabbos, פרק ב that it says in משנה ט- צאו וראו איזוהי דרך ישרה שידבק בה האדם רבי יהושע אומר חבר טוב which is a Gut Freund. By getting married, he will be making her a Gutfreund, but in order to make someone a good friend, a person himself needs to be a good friend to others as is the case by all the things listed in the Mishna שכן טוב, חבר טוב. The Mishnah doesn’t mean that a person should pick out a good neighbor, rather it’s as the רע"ב explains that it’s about making one’s self a good neighbor to his neighbor.

The above quoted Mishna in Avos lists four other things besides חבר טוב and says as follows: אמר להם צאו וראו איזוהי דרך ישרה שידבק בה האדם רבי אליעזר אומר עין טובה רבי יהושע אומר חבר טוב רבי יוסי אומר שכן טוב רבי שמעון אומר הרואה את הנולד רבי אלעזר אומר לב טוב אמר להם רואה אני את דברי אלעזר בן ערך שבכלל דבריו דבריכם (ב,ט)

What does it mean הרואה את הנולד? How does someone become a seer of the future and how is that a דרך ישרה שידבק בה האדם? Also that which he says that a לב טוב is most befitting because it includes all the other things needs an explanation because how in the world does a לב טוב include a רואה את הנולד?

The answer seems to be that a רואה את הנולד means that I can see how A leads to B and B leads to C, and how it will eventually evolve. Why is it that we don’t see? It is because we don’t see that which is front of us. If we would see what is in front of us, objectively the present as is, then we would be able to see how A is going to lead to B and how B will lead to C. The reason we don’t see the end results of what is in front of our eyes is because we don’t see that which is in front of our eyes. The reason is because our vision is biased and tainted by our own נגיעות and therefore we don’t see the objective reality as is. We see what we want to see and therefore we don’t see the present as is and as a result, we don’t see the future.

If someone has a לב טוב, which means he has the ability to step out of the self-interest and see beyond what he wants, than he can be a רואה את הנולד because he can see the present objectively, and if one can see the present objectively, than he can see the future. On the other hand, if someone is wrapped up in his own ego, the opposite of the לב טוב, then he can’t see anything that interferes with his wishes. A Brachah to the young couple is that IYH they should be רואה את הנולד also in the simple sense and being that they are Leviim and Rabbi Baum is a Mohel, there won’t be a Pidyon HaBen and the Bris will be free.

Getting married is very much connected to the Mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך. The Gemara Kiddushin 41a says אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אסור לאדם שיקדש את האשה עד שיראנה שמא יראה בה דבר מגונה ותתגנה עליו ורחמנא אמר ואהבת לרעך כמוך. But one could ask why does the Gemara need to addורחמנא אמר ואהבת לרעך כמוך, the reason of שמא יראה בה דבר מגונה ותתגנה עליו should be enough of a reason to sayאסור לאדם שיקדש את האשה עד שיראנה. It must that someone who needs to be told יראנה because שמא יראה בה דבר מגונה ותתגנה עליו can’t be talked to with common sense because such a person clearly lacks it and therefore he needs to be told it’s a דין that רחמנא אמר ואהבת לרעך כמוך.

The Rav added that he heard from his Talmid, Reb Yehoshua Duker that in Parshas Kedoshim on the Pasuk ואהבת לרעך כמוך the Ramban says וטעם ואהבת לרעך כמוך - הפלגה, כי לא יקבל לב האדם שיאהוב את חבירו כאהבתו את נפשו. But this is only true by a regular person because when it comes to a wife, the Gemara Yevamos 62b says ת"ר האוהב את אשתו כגופו. Therefore, marriage is one opportunity to fulfil the Mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך כפשוטו.

Consistent Behavior

The Parshah discusses the שתי חצוצרת כסף and brings two Psukim, one after another, describing when they should be used. The first Pasuk says they should be used at the time of war- וכי תבאו מלחמה בארצכם על הצר הצרר אתכם והרעתם בחצצרת. The second Pasuk says they should be used on the Yomim Tovim- וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם ותקעתם בחצצרת. What is a message that can be learned from these two Psukim being juxtaposed?

One of the messages could be that a person has to be able to do the same thing, both in a situation of extreme צרה and סכנה as the Pasuk says על הצר הצרר אתכם and at a time of ביום שמחתכם.

The Gemara in Brachos 61b records the story of Reb Akiva being burned at the stake shouting out shema as he was being burned. Many explain this Gemara that since it was a moment of מסירת נפש, that’s why Reb Akiva said Shema. But if one reads the Gemara clearly, it says בשעה שהוציאו את רבי עקיבא להריגה זמן קריאת שמע היה. The fact that the Gemara mentions this point can be to show that Reb Akiva was not responding heroically to the roman onslaught with the declaration of Shema rather it was because it was the זמן and regardless of what was going on around him, he was sticking to his daily schedule. This is the amazing message of Reb Akiva that he could careless with what was going on around him and he continued on with his life and stuck to his program.

This is the meaning of the Gemara Shabbos 83b אמר רבי יונתן לעולם אל ימנע אדם את עצמו מבית המדרש ומדברי תורה ואפילו בשעת מיתה שנאמר זאת התורה אדם כי ימות באהל אפילו בשעת מיתה תהא עוסק בתורה. This is what was seen by Reb Gershon Edelstein that he did the same thing every single day, all his life. Even on the morning of his פטירה he had notes written down to say his daily shiur. That is a literal fulfillment of the above quoted Gemara- לעולם אל ימנע אדם את עצמו מבית המדרש ומדברי תורה ואפילו בשעת מיתה. He wasn’t responding to his circumstances rather he was just doing what a Jew needs to do every day.

This is a message of על הצר הצרר אתכם and וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם that we do the same thing, we blow those trumpets, regardless of what is going on.

Perspective on the Tragedy

By the Pasuk ויהי בנסע הארן, there are נונין הפוכים. Rashi, quoting the Gemara Shabbos 116a, says the reason for them is לומר שאין זה מקומו ולמה נכתב כאן כדי להפסיק בין פורענות לפורענות. The Maharsha wants to know why specifically the letter נ is being used to be מפסיק as opposed to any other letter. He explains based on the Gemara Brachos 4b that says מפני מה לא נאמר נו"ן באשרי מפני שיש בה מפלתן של שונאי ישראל דכתיב נפלה לא תוסיף קום בתולת ישראל. Meaning, the letter נ indicates פורענות.

The Maharsha is explaining why specifically the letter נ. But what is the significance that they are הפוכים? The meaning of the היפוך could be that the נ could be looked at from any direction meaning it all depends on where one stands and what a person’s perspective is. This is expressed by the continuation of the Gemara in Brachos there that says במערבא מתרצי לה הכי נפלה ולא תוסיף לנפול עוד that they read it in a positive way.

One of the פורענות was the מתאננים. The מתאננים was about being in the best situation and interpreting in a negative way. So the message of the נונין הפוכים is to interpret and experience something that is actually פורענות in a positive way.

Eldad and Meidad - Miriam and Aaron

Towards the end of the Parshah, there is the incident with אלדד ומידד and then the incident with Miriam getting צרעת for speaking about Moshe Rabbeinu. What is the connection between these two incidents?

Rashi (12:1) writes as follows: ותדבר מרים ואהרן היא פתחה בדבור תחילה, לפיכך הקדימה הכתוב תחלה, ומנין היתה יודעת מרים שפרש משה מן האשה, רבי נתן אומר, מרים היתה בצד צפורה בשעה שנאמר למשה אלדד ומידד מתנבאים במחנה, כיון ששמעה צפורה, אמרה אוי לנשותיהן של אלו אם הם נזקקים לנבואה שיהיו פורשין מנשותיהן כדרך שפרש בעלי ממני, ומשם ידעה מרים והגידה לאהרן.

According to Rashi, the connection is that Miriam only knew that Moshe was פורש from Tziporah because she was standing next to her when it was reported that אלדד ומידד were מתנבאים במחנה. When Tziporah heard that, she mentioned how Moshe was פורש from her as well.

However, the בכור שור explains that when the Pasuk says Miriam spoke to Aharon about Moshe על אדות האשה הכשית אשר לקח, it means as follows:

לפי הפשט: שהיו אומרים, “וכי לא מצא משה אשה מבנות ישראל שיקח לו לאשה, שהלך לקחת לו מבנות הכושים שהם ערלים, וכי בשביל שהקב"ה מדבר עמו מתגאה, שאינו רוצה לישא אשה מבנות ישראל שבקש אשה במרחק.

According to this, they were saying about Moshe Rabbeinu that he is such a בעל גאווה because Hashem speaks with him and therefore he didn’t think he had to marry a Jewish girl. And Miriam continues, הלא גם בנו דבר, that Hashem also speak with us and the בכור שור writes ונשאנו מישראל, ולא נתגאנו בכך that we still married Jews and we didn’t become בעלי גאווה just because Hashem spoke with us. Miriam was expressing that she and Aharon felt that they needed to marry a Jew in order to establish a proper Jewish home as opposed to Moshe who thought he could marry from whoever he wanted and his home will still be just right.

The next Pasuk says והאיש משה עניו מאד and the בכור שור writes the following:

מגיד לך הכתוב שמשה לא היה בעל - גאוה, ולא נתכוון לשום גאוה, אלא הכי היתה סיבה ומזל שלקח אשה כושית, כמו שכתוב גבי שמשון, גבי אביו ואמו שהיו מוכיחין אותו על שלא היה נושא מבנות ישראל, וכתיב “ואביו ואמו לא ידעו כי מה' היא”. ואעפ"י שלא נודע למה היתה סיבה זאת של משה, אין גלויין לנו כל הסודות

The relevance of mentioning והאיש משה עניו מאד here was because Miriam and Aharon thought the reason why he married a אשה כושית was because of גאווה so the Torah comes along to say really האיש משה עניו מאד.

So according to Rashi, as mentioned above, the המשך from אלדד ומידד to ותדבר מרים ואהרן במשה על אדות האשה הכשית is understood because Miriam only knew that Moshe was פורש from Tziporah because she was standing next to her when it was reported that אלדד ומידד מתנבאים במחנה. But according to the בכור שור, what is the המשך from אלדד ומידד to ותדבר מרים ואהרן במשה על אדות האשה הכשית?

The explanation could be as follows. Why did Miriam Aaron consider it to be גאוה? It would seem they felt that Moshe considered himself so great that his presence was enough in order to raise his children in the way they need to be raised and that he doesn’t need a partner in order for that to be. Who he married wasn’t that important and so he could marry even an אשה כושית. According to this, it could be explained that Rashi writes that אלדד ומדד were מתנבאים משה מת ויהושע מכניס את ישראל לארץ. From this they understood that Moshe’s children were not taking over the leadership and they assumed that if they aren’t taking over, it must be because they aren’t ראוי and the reason why they aren’t רואי must be because he married an אשה כושית. This prompted Miriam to say that it must be because of Moshe’s גאווה that he felt he could marry whoever and not specifically a Jewish girl, but it didn’t work out the way it could’ve had he married a Jewish girl. According to this, it’s understood why Miriam said what she said now, right after the incident with אלדד ומידד.

This is connected with the Gemara Bava Basra 109b that talks about the importance of marrying into a family with יחוס and the source is from Moshe: אמר רבי אלעזר לעולם ידבק אדם בטובים שהרי משה שנשא בת יתרו יצא ממנו יהונתן (See the Rashbam there). It is mentioned in Shoftim chapter 18 that Yonasan, the grandson of Moshe, was a כומר לעבודה זרה. He was the high priest of the פסל מיכה. Nevertheless, it was a סיבה מאת ה' that Moshe should marry his wife and it wasn’t because of his גאוה. To see more of this idea, see the Maharal in Gvuras Hashem Chapter 19. But even so, Miriam and Aaron weren’t totally off the mark in assuming that who he married had an impact on his children.

It was specifically here that Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t respond and the Torah says about himוהאיש משה עניו מאד מכל האדם. By the מתאוננים, the complaining was about food and the like. Seemingly very normal regular things to complain about and Moshe can’t handle it to the point where he throws in the towel as the Pasuk says לא אוכל אנכי לבדי לשאת את כל העם וכו' ואם ככה את עשה לי הרגני נא הרוג אם מצאתי חן בעיניך וכו' (יא:יד-טו). We see by something seemingly trivial, Moshe Rabbeinu can’t manage and he throws in the towel. Yet, at the end of the Parshah, when his own brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, are discussing his shortcomings on a delicate issue regarding Moshe and his wife, he remains silent. It would seemingly be much more hurtful coming from his own brother and sister. Yet All the Pasuk says to explain why he didn’t respond was והאיש משה ענו מאד מכל האדם אשר על פני האדמה and Rashi says ענו מאוד-שפל וסבלן. So how could it be that when it came to a few complaints about food, Moshe completely gave up, but when it came to his own siblings talking about him, he was completely passive?

Moshe Rabbeinu was a man on a mission and he was completely removed from his personal interests. Therefore, when it came to Klal Yisrael complaining about the food, it was a complaint against Hashem and his entire mission and therefore he gave up. However, when it came to his sister and brother talking about his personal life, it didn’t faze him at all, because he completely removed himself and his personal interests. This is expressed in the Pasuk ענו מאוד, because his own self was irrelevant and he was completely amount the mission.

This is expressed in the Rambam in the end of Hilchos Tumas Tzaras (16:10) as follows:

הרי הוא אומר התבוננו מה אירע למרים הנביאה שדיברה באחיה שהיתה גדולה ממנו בשנים וגידלתו על ברכיה וסכנה בעצמה להצילו מן הים והיא לא דברה בגנותו אלא טעתה שהשותו לשאר נביאים והוא לא הקפיד על כל הדברים האלו שנאמר והאיש משה ענו מאד ואף על פי כן מיד נענשה בצרעת.

It says in the Iggeres HaRamban the following:

תתנהג תמיד לדבר כל דבריך בנחת לכל אדם ובכל עת, ובזה תנצל מן הכעס, שהיא מדה רעה להחטיא בני אדם וכו' וכאשר תנצל מן הכעס תעלה על לבך מדת הענוה שהיא מדה טובה מכל המדות טובות, שנאמר: עקב ענוה יראת ה'.

The question is how does speaking with people בנחת בכל עת save a person from כעס? The answer probably has to do with that which the Chinuch writes in Mitzvah 16 and in other places that אדם נפעל לפי פעולותיו that a person is impressed by his expressions and אחרי הפעולות נמשכים הלבבות that a person shapes his personality by what he does. Therefore, if a person trains himself to speak בנחת with everyone at all time, and even when he’s angry and burning inside, he doesn’t express it and he manages to speak בנחת, then eventually it will help him overcome his inner feelings of כעס. If he acts out the כעס, then it will keep getting stronger, but if he doesn’t act out the כעס and on the contrary he acts in a calm, then he will eventually calm himself down on the inside.

Now once a person is תנצל מן הכעס, then it will be תעלה על לבך מדת הענוה because ענוה is not about considering one’s self a nothing and a nobody but it’s about not considering yourself the center of the universe and not measuring everything with how it relates to you. ענוה is about seeing the reality as it is and not feeling that it’s all about you. A person who is כועס is constantly growing his ego whereas a person who controls it and loses his כעס, it calms him down internally and he becomes a person who isn’t focused on himself. That is the מדה of ענוה.


The Pasuk describes the מן as follows- והמן כזרע גד. Rashi explains כזרע גד - עגול כגידא זרע, meaning that it was around.

There is a fascinating Vort from Reb Shmuel Kaidanover, who was the Rav in Krakow and the author of the Sefer Birchas HaZevach on Zevachim. The following vort is brought in the Sefer Dorash Shmuel which was printed in Venice in the year תנד and written by Reb Shmeul Faivish Katz who was a grandson of the סמ"ע.

In Parshas Vayeitzei 30:10, the Pasuk says ותלד זלפה and the child was named גד. By all the other לידות, the הריון is mentioned except by זלפה. Rashi explains the reason as follows: בכולן נאמר הריון חוץ מזלפה לפי שהיתה בחורה מכולן ותינוקת בשנים ואין הריון ניכר בה. By זלפה, the pregnancy was not ניכר.

By the מן, a similar phenomenon happened that it was נבלע באיבריו and it wasn’tניכר that a person ate it. So the Pasuk says והמן כזרע גד that the מן was like גד that just like גד wasn’t ניכר, so too the מן wasn’t ניכר.



The Kiddush this Shabbos was sponsored by Reb Yisrael (Roy) Neuberger in honor of his mother in laws Yahrzeit. She discovered the beauty of Yiddishkeit during the last years of her life through her children as Rashi says on the Pasuk in the end of Malachi 3:24 והשיב לב אבות על בנים ולב בנים על אבותם, Rashi says אבות ע"י בנים that children will bring their parents back at the end of days. This also connects with the עינינא דיומא of this Shabbos, יב סיון, which is the final day of the ימי התשלומין after Shavuos. Someone who wasn’t able to bring his קרבן ראיה on Shavuos had up until יב סיון to make it up. Additionally, this week’s Parshah contains the Mitzvah of Pesach Sheni. Both of these concepts express the idea that a person can make up for missed opportunities.

It’s important to remember that those who are generally referred to as Baalei Teshuva don’t have a monopoly on Teshuva rather all people can do Teshuva. Regarding Teshuva, the Mesilas Yesharim in Chapter four writes:

כי הנה באמת, איך יתקן האדם את אשר עיות והחטא כבר נעשה? הרי שרצח האדם את חברו, הרי שנאף, איך יוכל לתקן הדבר הזה? היוכל להסיר המעשה העשוי מן המציאות? אמנם, מדת הרחמים היא הנותנת הפך השלשה דברים שזכרנו: דהינו, שיתן זמן לחוטא ולא יכחד מן הארץ מיד כשחטא, ושהעונש עצמו לא יהיה עד לכלה, ושהתשובה תנתן לחוטאים בחסד גמור, שתחשב עקירת הרצון כעקירת המעשה וכו'.

The concept of Teshuva is a difficult thing to understand because how should a person be able to undo what he’s already done. A scrambled egg can’t be unscrambled. However, the chiddush of Teshuva is that it’s never too late and whatever he’s done in the past can always be corrected and he can redo his past.

Placement of the Cups

The Parshah begins with Aharon being tasked with lighting the Menorah. The Pasuk says דבר אל אהרן ואמרת אליו בהעלתך את הנרת אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות.

On the words יאירו שבעת הנרות, Rashi writes the following:

ששה שעל ששת הקנים, שלשה המזרחיים פונים למול האמצעי, הפתילות שבהן וכן שלשה המערביים ראשי הפתילות למול האמצעי. ולמה, כדי שלא יאמרו לאורה הוא צריך.

According to Rashi, it’s clear that אל מול פני המנורה is only referring to the ששה נרות, three on each side, which is consistent with what Rashi says in the דיבור המתחיל before- אל מול נר אמצעי שאינו בקנים, אלא בגוף של מנורה. Meaning the אמצעי is not אל מול פני המנורה rather it’s only the ששה נרות on the ששה קנים which were facing the פני המנורה.

But the great difficulty with this is that it’s explicitly against the Pasuk which says אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות. The Pasuk clearly says that all seven נרות were אל מול פני המנורה so how could Rashi explain that אל מול פני המנורה was only going on ששה נרות שעל ששת הקנים?

The Rashbam writes אל מול פני המנורה - היה מטה ראשי הפתילות של כל שבעת הנרות להאיר אל השולחן. According to this understanding that אל מול פני המנורה is referring to the שולחן which was facing the Menorah, than it’s accurate to say אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות because all seven נרות were facing the שולחן. But according to Rashi, the question remains.

The Chizkuni writes יאירו שבעת הנרות הנרות שעל ששת הקנים ה"ג בפרש"י אלא שהסופרים גרעו בו תיבה אחת and the מושב זקנים says the word missing in Rashi was והאמצעי. Meaning, Rashi really wrote יאירו שבעת הנרות – ששה והאמצעי and therefore when the Pasuk says יאירו שבעת הנרות, it really is referring to all seven נרות. But the question still remains on Rashi because how could it be possible to say יאירו שבעת הנרות regarding the אל מול פני המנורה because it was only the ששה על ששת הקנים which were אל מול פני המנורה and not the אמצעי.

It must be that according to Rashi, the Pasuk is read with a comma and its split in two parts. The beginning of the Pasuk says בהעלתך את הנרת אל מול פני המנורה and the end of the Pasuk is יאירו שבעת הנרות. Therefore, בהעלתך את הנרת אל מול פני המנורה could be referring to only the ששה על ששת הקנים, and the conclusion of the Pasuk יאירו שבעת הנרות means now as a result, there are seven lit candles. This could be read into the Rashi with the edit of the Chizkuni andמושב זקנים that יאירו שבעת הנרות – ששה והאמצעי, which is an independent statement from the אל מול פני המנורה. The Sforno reads the Pasuk like this as well: אל מול פני המנורה שהוא הקנה האמצעי וזה כשתפנה שלהבת כל אחד מהששה נרות אל הקנה האמצעי אז יאירו שבעת הנרות כל השבעה יאירו.

But according to all this, what is the meaning and significance of the Torah writing יאירו שבעת הנרות. It’s obvious, that after you light the six and the אמצעי, it results in יאירו שבעת הנרות?

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Beis HaBechira 3:8 ששת הנרות הקבועים בששת הקנים היוצאים מן המנורה כולן פניהם לנר האמצעי שעל קני המנורה וכו'. According to the Rambam, the פתילות themselves were not slanted towards the middle rather they we upright and it was the נרות-the cups, which were קבועה, slanted towards the middle. According to this, these are the two things being mentioned in the Pasuk. בהעלתך את הנרת אל מול פני המנורה means that the cups will be slanted towards the middle-אל מול פני המנורה and then יאירו שבעת הנרות is that all seven will cast light, upward. So in terms of the יאירו, all שבעה are the same because they are all lit, upwards. But when the Pasuk says בהעלתך את הנרת אל מול פני המנורה that is referring to the cups being slanted which was only said about the six, three on each side and not the middle.

However, the Chizkuni writes בהעלתך את הנרת כמשמעו לשון עליה כשתעלה את הנרות הן הלוצי"ש בלע"ז על הקנים למקומם, meaning the cups were not קבועה. But according to this that the נרות weren’t קבועה, then it comes out that this Halachah that the נרות needed to be tilted towards the middle isn’t a Halacha in the מעשה המנורה-in creating and fashioning in Hilchos Beis HaBechira, rather this is a Halacha in the מעשה הדלקה. Meaning, by slanting the cups, it’s considered that the אור of the three and the three is going towards the middle.

But even according to the Rambam who says that the cups were קבועה which would indicate this is a Halacha in the מעשה המנורה, still the Brisker Rav Al HaTorah concludes that this Halachah that the cups need to be slanted is a דין in the הדלקה and not in the building of the חפצא of the Menorah. The reason is because since this Halacha appears in Hilchos Beis HaBechira and it was a ציווי to Aharon HaKohen and not Betzalel, it must be that it’s a Halacha in the מעשה הדלקה.

(A נפ"מ would be regarding the איסור תבנית of making a Menorah, if the cups weren’t made slanted. According to the Brisker Rav, one would be עובר the איסור because the Halacha of the cups being slanted is only a Halacha in the lighting of the Menorah and not in the building of the Menorah.)

According to all this, the meaning of יאירו שבעת הנרות means that all seven are מאיר as they are supposed to be. The middle one is מאיר upward and the three on each side will be מאיר towards the middle. So בהעלתך את הנרת is not the requirement that the cups should be slanted, rather the requirement of בהעלתך את הנרת is in order to affect the יאירו. The Pasuk is able to say יאירו שבעת הנרות because when the three on each side are slanted towards the middle and the middle is upward, then all the שבעה נרות will be מאיר the way they are supposed to be.

(From here we can be reminded of the lesson not to judge a book by its cover because on the cover of the Brisker Rav’s Sefer Al HaRambam, it has a Menorah with non-slanted cups which is שלא כשיטת הרמב"ם)

Being that every individual is a מקדש מעט, all the above must have a deep and personal message which could be explained as follows. The Pasuk in Mishlei says כי נר מצוה ותורה אור (ו,כג) which expresses that the relationship between Torah and Mitzvos is that which a כלי has to אור. We say in Davening והאר עינינו בתורתך ודבק לבנו במצותיך which means the Torah enlightens the שכל, the mind, and Mitzvos purify the heart as the Gemara in Avoda Zara 28b says שורייני דעינא באובנתא דליבא תלו which also has the meaning of that which the mind understands through what it sees is dependent on the נטיית הלב. Therefore, נר מצוה ותורה אור is that the אור התורה is dependent on the כלי of מצוות because without the כלי of מצוות which purify the heart, the Torah could be a סם המות. It’s only through the כלי המצוות which is מזכך the לב that the אור התורה could be a סם החיים.

Therefore, it is the slanting of the cups which define the הארה of the אור of the Menorah. It establishes the direction of the אור which is מאיר from the Menorah. This expresses this idea that the direction of the אור התורה is dependent on the direction of the כלי, because it’s only through the נר מצוה that there can be a תורה אור in the proper way.

When to Blow

At the end of the Parshah of the חצוצרת, the Psukim discuss when they should be used. The Psukim say וכי תבאו מלחמה בארצכם על הצר הצרר אתכם והרעתם בחצצרת ונזכרתם לפני ה' אלהיכם ונושעתם מאיביכם, וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם ותקעתם בחצצרת על עלתיכם ועל זבחי שלמיכם. The first Pasuk says that the חצוצרת should be used during times of war and when Klal Yisrael is in danger. The second Pasuk says the חצוצרת should be used ביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם, during times of happiness. How could it be understood that the same blowing that is done at times of war and despair is the same blowing that is done ביום שמחתכם?

The Rambam in Sefer HaMitzvos מ"ע נט writes as follows:

היא שצונו לתקוע בחצוצרות במקדש עם הקרבת כל קרבן מקרבני המועדים והוא אמרו ית' (שם י) וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם ותקעתם בחצוצרות וכו' וכן אנחנו מצווים לתקוע בחצוצרות בעתות הצורך והצרות כשנצעק לפני השם יתעלה

The Rambam brings both these distinct times of blowing as one Mitzvah. But how could this be understood because these ציווים are from two separate Psukim and each situation requires תקיעות for its own unique purpose. So how could the Rambam count these two times for blowing as one Mitzvah?

The Maggid Mishnah in the beginning of Hilchos Taanis asks this question on the Rambam as follows:

וראיתי לרבינו בספר המצות שלו שמנה תרועה זו ותקיעה שבשעת הקרבנות במצוה אחת ותמה אני למה שהרי שני פסוקים הם בכתוב. ונראה שדעתו ז"ל שהמצוה היא אחת כללית לתקוע בחצוצרות במקדש בעת הקרבנות ובעת הצרות בין במקדש בין בגבולין ואין ראוי למנותן בשתי מצות ועוד צ"ע

However, an answer could be based on the Chizkuni there who writes as follows:

וכי תבאו מלחמה וכו' ונזכרתם לפני ה' הולך ומפרש היאך יהיו נזכרים וכו' שהרי ביום שמחתכם דהיינו במועדיכם ותקעתם על עולותיכם וכשתתקעו ותריעו למלחמה יזכור לכם זכות הקרבנות ונושעתם וכו' ע"ש.

According to this, the reason why blowing the חצוצרת at each of these different situations is counted as one Mitzvah is because blowing the חצוצרת at times of war isn’t an independent act rather it’s to serve as a reminder to the Ribbono Shel Oilam of the תקיעות by the Korbanos.

Based on this, it comes out that the עיקר תקיעות are really the ones blown ביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם and the ones blown בשעת מלחמה and על הצר הצרר אתכם are secondary, in the sense that they are to serve as a reminder to the Ribbono Shel Oilam of the תקיעות by the Korbanos. One could have said that the תקיעות blown in a situation of מלחמה בארצכם על הצר הצורר אתכם, in a moment of despair, is a much greater level and expression of connection than the תקיעות ביום שמחתכם, when everything is happy and secure. But we see it’s really the opposite because to turn to Hashem in times of difficulty and despair has less חשיבות than when we turn to Hashem ביום שמחתכם. Therefore it’s specifically remembering the Korbanos ביום שמחתכם during the times of war which bring out the ישועה.

End to Singing

Regarding the age that Leviim finish their service in the Mishkan, the Pasuk says ומבן חמשים שנה ישוב מצבא העבדה ולא יעבד עוד (ח:כה). Rashi writes עבודת משא בכתף אבל חוזר הוא לנעילת שערים ולשיר. According to Rashi, after fifty, the Levi only stops carrying parts of the Mishkan but he continues to lock up the gates and to sing. However, the Ramban disagrees and says that a fifty year old Levi would also stop singing.

This opinion of the Ramban could be used to understand the following Pasuk at the end of Eicha 5:14: זקנים משער שבתו בחורים מנגינתם. The simple explanation of this Pasuk is referring to all זקנים and בחורים. However, this Pasuk could be read about Leviim that at the time of the חורבן הבית, the זקנים-Leviim above fifty, are משער שבתו because they are no longer locking up the gates and the בחורים-younger Leviim are שבת מנגינתם because they can no longer sing. This is consistent with the Rambans opinion that a Levi over fifty no longer sang and only locked up the gates. (See Ramban Hilchos Klei Hamikdash 3:8)

The Graves of Eldad and Meidad

Regarding אלדד ומידד, the דעת זקנים מבעלי התוספות quote the following:

ומצאתי קונטריס מר' עמרם מר' הלל שהיה מארץ ישראל אני הלל ראיתי קבר אלדד ומידד והיה כתוב עליהם אלדד ומידד אחי אהרן מן האב ולא מן האם

(Side note, we see that when it comes to writing on a מציבה, one must be specific and not exaggerate. They were אחי אהרן but only מן האב and not מן האם.)

The question is, if they were אחי אהרן מן האב, then they were also the brother of Moshe because Moshe and Aharon had the same father. If so, why would their מציבה only write they were אחי אהרן and not אחי משה?

This question could be answered according to what was said over from the Ostrovtser Rebbe, Rav Meir Yechiel Halevi Halstcock (1852-1928). The Gemara in Zevachim 102a says the following:

מרים מי הסגירה? א"ת משה הסגירה, משה זר הוא, ואין זר רואה את הנגעים! וא"ת אהרן הסגירה, אהרן קרוב הוא, ואין קרוב רואה את הנגעים

The question is that being a קרוב was also a reason why Moshe Rabbeinu couldn’t rule on Miriams נגעים so why does the Gemara choose to say the reason is because משה זר הוא, ואין זר רואה את הנגעים? The Gemara Shabbos 88a says ויתיצבו בתחתית ההר, אמר רב אבדימי בר חמא בר חסא: מלמד שכפה הקדוש ברוך הוא עליהם את ההר כגיגית. The Maharal in Gur Aryeh, Parshas Vayigash 46:10, writes that although Matan Torah was a גירות and generally the rule is גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי, this only applies to a גירות without coercion. But by a forced גירות, we don’t say גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי. The Ostrovtser Rebbe said that since Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t בתחתית ההר, so it wasn’t כפה עליו הר כגיגית and therefore his גירות wasn’t forced and he was גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי. But by Aharon it was כפה עליו הר כגיגית and therefore we don’t apply גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי.

According to this, it’s understood why the Gemara in Zevachim says the reason why Moshe was פסול to rule on Miriams נגעים was because of זרות and not קרוב because being that גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי, there was no longer a יחס between Moshe and Miriam.

According this vort from the Ostrovtser Rebbe, it can also be understood why on the מציבה of אלדד ומידד it only said אחי אהרן and not אחי משה because since by Moshe only we say גר שנתגייר כקטן שנולד דמי, so Moshe was no longer a קרוב to אלדד ומידד.


Opportunity When Out of Place

The Parsha begins with Ahron being commanded בהעלתך את הנרת. Rashi points out that this Parshas is out of place by asking למה נסמכה פרשת המנורה לפרשת הנשיאים because if these events occurred chronologically, then there would be no need for such a question. Therefore, the fact that Rashi asks למה נסמכה indicates that this event is not in the chronological order of event as we see in the Gemara in Gittin on 60b that the Parshah of the Menorah was one of the eight Parshiyos given on Rosh Chodesh Nissan before the Nesiim began to bring their Korbanos and it wasn’t said now, after the Nesiim concluded bringing their Korbanos, which was on the twelfth day of Nissan.

But if one looks through the Parsha, there are many things recorded out of place. In Chapter 10:35-36, there are נונין הפוכון at the beginning and end of these Psukim. Rashi explains עשה לו סמניות מלפניו ומלאחריו, לומר שאין זה מקומו that these are signs to show that this is not the place of these Psukim. Furthermore, Chapter 9:1 discusses the Korban Pesach and the Pasuk says במדבר סיני בשנה השנית לצאתם מארץ מצרים בחדש הראשון לאמר. Rashi says פרשה שבראש הספר לא נאמרה עד אייר, למדת שאין סדר מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה. ולמה לא פתח בזו, מפני שהוא גנותן של ישראל, שכל ארבעים שנה שהיו ישראל במדבר לא הקריבוט אלא פסח זה בלבד. Rashi points out that this Parsha should have been written in the beginning of Sefer Bamidbar which begins with באחד לחדש השני בשנה השנית. However, the Torah waited until later to record this because it’s a גנאי for the Jews that they only performed Korban Pesach once in the Midbar. So we see there are many things recorded in the Parsha out of place.

Perhaps this can be connected with the fact that in this week’s Parsha, the Jewish people begin the 42 מסעות in the Midbar. מסעות are about being out of place. We know that Klal Yisrael should’ve been in Eretz Yisrael within three days as Rashi says on the Pasuk נסעים אנחנו אל המקום. So the long journey in the Midbar is about being out of place. It could be the Torah is giving us a message that even when one is out of place, he shouldn’t despair. But not only shouldn’t he despair, but he can actually use this situation as an opportunity for growth. The Parsha of Korban Pesach was נתחדש by people who were בדרך רחוקה, that were not במקומו. Malachim are עומדים ברום עולם, but because they are ברום עולם, they don’t have the ability to move and they are עומדים in one place. It’s only humans who are not ברום עולם that are not עומדים but rather מהלכין. The Psukim in Chapter 10, describe the various travels in the Midbar and although many tragic events happened at those places, the Baal Koreh reads it in a sing song tune. Regarding music, a tune that is flat is not music. Music is only created when it has twists, turns, and constant change. Therefore we sing the מסעות to express the idea that even though the מסעות involved twists and turns, hardships and difficulties, ups and downs, nevertheless if we do it right, it all becomes a song.

With all this we can say that specifically in Parshas B’Haloscha where Klal Yisrael begins the מסעות, the Torah specifically puts things out of place in order that we remember that being out of place, not only does it not make progress impossible, but actually the being out of place gives us the opportunity to create new Torah. As we see it’s only because the Parsha of Menorah was out of place do we learn that it was a ניחומים for Aaron. It was only because of the fact that the Parsha of Korban Pesach do we learn the important message how careful one should be with human dignity that the Torah moved the Parsha to a different place in order to protect the dignity of the Jewish people. It was only because the Torah put the Parsha of ויהי בנסוע out of place to be כדי להפסיק בין פורענות לפורענות in order that we shouldn’t look so bad when those two חטאים would appear one next to the other.

The Pasuk in Eicha Chapter 2:9 says מלכה ושריה בגוים אין תורה and Gemara in Chagigah 5b says כיון שגלו ישראל ממקומן - אין לך ביטול תורה גדול מזה. This is expressing the idea that when we are out of place, then we can’t really learn. But nevertheless we see that the main development of תורה שבעל פה was in גלות as the Babylonian Talmud, along with the Geonim and Rishonim was all produced in גלות. So we see it was specifically in גלות that Klal Yisrael used the ביטול תורה as a means to bring Torah to a new level. As the Gemara in Temurah 16b says the day Moshe died, 3,000 Halachos we forgotten and עתניאל בן קנז was mechadesh them through pilpul. This would never have come to be if we wouldn’t have forgotten those 3,000 Halachos. We see it’s specifically the regression which allows for progression and it’s the שלא במקומו which allows us to see new insights in Torah.

This that being out of place is a challenge, the velt says there are two אשריs in Tehillim. There is the אשרי יושבי ביתך-those in the Bais HaMedrash who are במקומו and there’s theאשרי תמימי דרך, the people who maintain there תמימות even when they are on the דרך-they are out of place. So for those in the Beis HaMedrash, it’s the אשרי יושבי ביתך, it’s enough with one Aleph Beis. But for those who are בדרך and are out of place, then you need to have the Aleph Beis eight times in order to hold things together. But even with all of that, the last Pasuk in Chapter 119 says תעיתי כשה אבד בקש עבדך that I am lost like a שה אבד.

But nevertheless on the other side of the coin, it’s specifically through the תמימי דרך, those who are בדרך and are out of place and have greater challenges are we Zocheh to מזמור קיט that has eight times the amount of Psukim than אשרי יושבי ביתך. So not only does being out of place not diminish Torah but it enhances the Torah in the end if it’s done properly.

This idea is also expressed in the Haftorah. The Haftorah discusses Yehoshua the Kohen Gadol and the Navi Zechariah. The Navi says that he sees in his Nevuah the שטן accusing Yehoshua of not rebuking his children who married gentile women. This is portrayed in the Nevuah by the Pasuk saying ויהשוע היה לבוש בגדים צואים that he was wearing soiled clothing. But Hashem defends him and says he is not accountable for this because he is אוד מצל מאש. The Malach continues and tells Yehoshua הסירו הבגדים הצאים מעליו (which Rashi says means that his children parted with the נשים נכריות) and Yehoshua is then adorned with the clothing of the Kohen Gadol. The Malach then concludes כה אמר ה' צבאות אם בדרכי תלך ואם את משמרתי תשמר וגם אתה תדין את ביתי וגם תשמר את חצרי ונתתי לך מהלכים בין העמדים האלה. But being that הסירו הבגדים הצאים מעליו is already about doing Teshuva, what is this additional piece מהלכים בין העמדים האלה. So really he is giving him encouragement that once he’ll go in the right way and do Teshuva, you’ll have מהלכים בין העמדים האלה because Malachim who can’t fall can’t rise, who can’t regress can’t progress. But it’s specifically you, Yehoshua, who regressed with the בגדים הצאים, will have מהלכים as opposed to the עומדים האלה-the Malachim, who have no מהלכים because they are always stuck in one place.

Protecting Dignity

Even though the Parsha of Korban Pesach was not written in its place at the beginning of the Sefer, it was nevertheless written and therefore גנותן של ישראל will still be apparent. So how was the Torah avoiding spelling out the גנותן של ישראל by placing it later on in Sefer Bamidbar?

Reb Yerucham in Daas Torah asks this question as well and he answers the following. He explains that although the גנות needed to be said, nevertheless Hashem wanted to minimize the גנות and every bit of גנות is significant. Meaning even when גנות needs to be said, if you could get away with less, then that bit is significant. He explains that it was minimizing the גנות because the nature of people is to learn and delve deeply in to the beginning of a Sefer and be critical of each word and line. However, as they go through the Sefer, they learn it less and less deeply. The fact that these Psukim of Korban Pesach were only written deep into Sefer Bamidbar and not at the way beginning was a way to avoid such exposure of the גנותן של ישראל.

It’s interesting to see that Rishonim in their commentary at the beginning of Masechtas are much more meticulous trying to understand every last detail. For example, in the beginning of Masechta Kiddushin, Tosfos is bothered by the letter ה in האשה נקנית. Additionally, Tosfos in the beginning of Bava Kamma has an אריכות about the Mishnah saying ארבעה אבות נזיקין and doesn’t sayאבות הן as opposed to other places. Also Rashi in the beginning on the words האשה נקנית writes לבעלה and all Roshei Yeshivah are busy discussing why Rashi wrote לבעלה if it’s obvious that האשה נקנית - לבעלה. However, the Mishna in Shabbos 9b says לא ישב אדם לפני הספר סמוך למנחה עד שיתפלל and Rashi writes להסתפר and yet nobody discusses why Rashi is seemingly stating the obvious. The reason could be because that Mishnah is all the way on 9b as opposed to the first Rashi in Kiddushin. (Although, an explanation could be because the barbershop used to be a place where people would socialize so Rashi is specifically writing להסתפר.) But not only is this phenomenon found in the Rishonim, but even in the Gemara itself. The beginning of Masechtas, such as Kiddushin discussing whether דרך is לשון נקבה או זכר and the beginning of Nedarim discussing the order of the Mishna whether the Mishnayos are מפרש מאי דפתח ברישא או מאי דמסיים ברישא. These types of discussion are generally not found in other parts of Masechtas and they only appear in the beginning. The idea could be as mentioned above that in the beginning of a Sefer, people are מעיין היטב more and then as they go through the Sefer, they are מעיין less.

The reason why the learning is less עיון as the Sefer goes on is probably because a person needs to move forward. However, just because such עיון is only learned in the short term and not the long term doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be learned like that even in the short term. Even things that are in the short term need to be done in their fullest, because one never knows how long the short term will last.

This idea is seen in these Parshiyos. Parshas Naso describes all the details of which children of Levi carried what regarding the Mishkan and its keilim and all there various position and roles while they were in the Midbar, and how things were set up when they camped and traveled and everything was determined and perfectly calculated. But if one thinks about it, at this point, it was only going to be a few days until they entered Eretz Yisrael as Rashi says on the Pasuk נסעים אנחנו אל המקום and then there wouldn’t be a need for all the carrying and specific jobs of the sons of Levi. It was only because of the subsequent events that were to happen that caused the Jews to remain in the Midbar for another 40 years.

But as mentioned above, a lesson could be that no matter what situation a person may be in, whether it be temporary or long term, he must set himself up with a set program, a routine, even if the plan is for it to change. As we see in this Parshah that sometimes what we consider short-term actually becomes the long term and so it is in life and every moment counts, even if it’s short-term. It happens to be such a mindset can be beneficial because then if things don’t end up being temporary (like we initially thought) and turn permanent, you will be much better off on the inside because you reached a point of peace of mind and now you can deal accordingly with the new reality.

Separating the Sins

On the Pasuk ויהי בנסוע הארון (י,לה) Rashi writes עשה לו סמניות מלפניו ומלאחריו, לומר שאין זה מקומו ולמה נכתב כאן, כדי להפסיק בין פורענות לפורענות. But what was accomplished by making a הפסק between the two sins because in the end of the day, they both appear. So what does it help to separate the two sins with a few Psukim?

The Gemara Shabbos 116a says פורענות שנייה was ויהי העם כמתאננים which Rashi explains they complained that they traveled three days straight without rest, even though it was in their best interest because Hashem intended for them to enter Eretz Yisrael immediately. The פורענות ראשונה was ויסעו מהר ה' which many Meforshim explain based on the Medrash that says ויסעו שנסעו מהר סיני דרך שלשת ימים כתינוק היוצא מבית הספר שבורח לו והולך לו כך היו בורחים מהר סיני דרך שלשת ימים לפי שלמדו הרבה תורה בסיני.

We can suggest that each one of these two פורעניות, these two faults, independently are not so serious. Just because they were leaving quickly from Har Sinai doesn’t necessarily indicate they are כתינוק היוצא מבית הספר שבורח לו והולך לו because they are worried they’ll be given more Mitzvos. It could be they are just the type of people that move quickly on to the next thing. The second failure that they complained about moving too fast is also not so serious because maybe it’s difficult for them because they are the slow moving type. It’s like there are some people who are late by nature and therefore they will come late to something and they will leave late. Then there are people are who are early by nature and therefore they will come early to something and they will also leave early.

However, if a person is late to something and leaving early or vice versa, then there is a problem. So if the same people, Klal Yisrael, who just before were in a hurry to leave Har Sinai and were moving too fast, are now the one’s complaining about moving too fast, then that’s an indication that their hearts are not in the right place. So having the faults simultaneously brings out the גנות. But by making a הפסק between these two things, we don’t see the real גנות because seeing each one independently doesn’t necessarily show us something so bad. It’s only when you see them together do you see the problem.

This idea is expressed by the Tzlach on a story in Sanhedrin 26a. The Gemara says as follows:

רבי חייא בר זרנוקי ורבי שמעון בן יהוצדק הוו קאזלי לעבר שנה בעסיא. פגע בהו ריש לקיש, איטפיל בהדייהו, אמר: איזיל איחזי היכי עבדי עובדא. חזייה לההוא גברא דקא כריב. אמר להן: כהן וחורש? אמרו לו: יכול לומר: אגיסטון אני בתוכו. תו חזייה לההוא גברא דהוה כסח בכרמי, אמר להן: כהן וזמר? אמר לו: יכול לומר לעקל בית הבד אני צריך. אמר להם: הלב יודע אם לעקל אם לעקלקלותו וכו' כי מטו להתם סליקו לאיגרא, שלפוה לדרגא מתותיה. אתא לקמיה דרבי יוחנן, אמר לו: בני אדם החשודין על השביעית, כשרין לעבר שנה? הדר אמר: לא קשיא לי, מידי דהוה אשלשה רועי בקר.

Reish Lakish went to accompany רבי חייא בר זרנוקי ורבי שמעון בן יהוצדק who were on their way to be מעבר the שנה. It occurred two times on the way that they witnessed a Kohen who was seemingly doing prohibited work on a field during שביעית and each time, רבי חייא בר זרנוקי ורבי שמעון בן יהוצדק pushed off Reish Lakishs concern by explaining the intention of the Kohen in a way that it was permitted. To which Reish Lakish questioned them by saying הלב יודע אם לעקל אם לעקלקלותו as if to question how they knew the real intentions of these people. When they got to the place where they were going to be מעבר the שנה, they pulled away the latter so Reish Lakish couldn’t be there. Afterwards, Reish Lakish went to Reb Yochanan to ask him if people who were חשודין על השביעית if they are כשרין לעבר שנה.

The Tzlach asks the following question:

והנה יש לדקדק כיון שריש לקיש היה חושד אותם שהם חשודין אמאי לא חזר תיכף ולמה שתק עד שראה שהם שלפוהו לדרגא כדי שלא יעלה עמהם חזר לדרכו אתא קמא דר' יוחנן ואמר שהם פסולים לעבר השנה, ודבר תימא הוא דאי הניחו לריש לקיש לעלות עמהם לאיגרא לא היה מרנן עליהם ועכשיו שדחוהו מלעלות עמהם אמר שהם קשר רשעים

Why did Reish Lakish only wait until after they removed the latter to question their validity if he could’ve been חשוד them on שביעית already when they pushed of Reish Lakish during their journey? The Tzlach answers as follows:

ונראה ליישב, דהנה שלמה המלך ע"ה אמר (משלי י"ז ט"ו) מצדיק רשע ומרשיע צדיק תועבת ה' גם שניהם, וראיתי בספר בינה לעתים שמדקדק איזה דבר חכמה בא שלמה המלך להשמיענו בזה הלא דבר פשוט שתועבת ה' העושה רעות אלה, ועוד מדקדק שמלת גם שניהם הוא אך למותר. ונראה בישוב דבר זה, דלכאורה יש לתמוה דלמה קרא המלך שלמה לזה תועב במה שמצדיק הרשע, הלא אמרו חכמינו ז"ל [אבות פ"א מ"ו] הוי דן את כל אדם לכף זכות, ואם זה שמצדיק הרשע הוא מהפך בזכותו לומר שאין כוונות מעשה היה לרע או שלא ידע כי עושה רעה, אדרבה היא מדה טובה, ולמה קרא לזה תועב. וכן במי שמרשיע את הצדיק יש מקום לומר ששמע עליו מהולכי רכיל שאמרו על צדיק זה כי ברע הוא, ואם שזה לא עשה כהוגן על שהאמין לדברי הרוכל, מ"מ אינו ראוי לומר לכנות לו בשם תועב, ויותר נאה לו לקראתו בשם פתי, כאמרו [משלי י"ד, ט"ו] פתי יאמין לכל דבר. אך כל זה הוא אי היה הכתוב מדבר בשני בני אדם שאחד מצדיק רשע ואחד מרשיע את הצדיק, על זה היה מקום לתמוה תמיה הנ"ל, אבל אם אלו שתי מדות גרועות הם באדם אחד שמצדיק את הרשע ומרשיע את הצדיק לזה אין לו טענה והמלטה. דממ"נ, אם דרכו לדון את כל אדם לכף זכות, א"כ למה זה מרשיע את הצדיק, ואם דרכו להאמין לכל דבר ואינו מהפך בזכות אדם, למה זה מצדיק את הרשע. היוצא מזה מי ששתי מדות הרעות נצמדים יחדיו זה בודאי תועב הוא. ומעתה הן הן דברי שלמה המלך ע"ה מצדיק רשע ומרשיע צדיק תועבת ה' גם שניהם, דהיינו אם כל שני מדות האלה הם מצומדים יחדיו. ולפ"ז מתורץ מה שדקדקנו על הגמרא הנ"ל, שמתחלה לא היה ריש לקיש חושד אותם על שהם מהפכים בזכות זה שהיה חורש ובזכות [זה שהיה] זמר בשביעית, דאדרבה כך דרכן של צדיקי עולם לדון את כל אדם לכף זכות, אבל אח"כ כששמע שאמרו עליו טרודא הוא דין ושלפי את הדרגא מתותיה ולא הניחו לו לעלות עמהם, שפיר אמר עליהם שהם חשודים על השביעית, ושפט בנפשו ממ"נ אי דרכיהם הפוך בזכות כל אדם, למה זה לא הפכו בזכות ריש לקיש עצמו על שאמר כהן חורש בשביעית כהן זמר בשביעית ולמה אקפדי עליו, אלא ודאי שאין דרכם להפוך בזכות אדם ולמראה עיניהם ישפוטו, א"כ למה זה עשו סנגורין לאלה שחרשו וזמרו בשביעית, אלא ודאי שגם הם חשודים על השביעית, ודו"ק.

The Tzlach answers based on the Pasuk in Mishlei מצדיק רשע ומרשיע צדיק תועבת ה' גם שניהם. He says that there are people who are דן את כל אדם לכף זכות and therefore they can be מצדיק the רשע. There are also people who are מרשיע the צדיק because they are very critical always looking for fault. However, if a person is both מצדיק רשע ומרשיע צדיק then תועבת ה' גם שניהם because in the same way that he can be מצדיק the רשע, he should also be able to be מצדיק the צדיק and therefore it’s when a person is מצדיק רשע ומרשיע צדיק that it’s תועבת ה' גם שניהם. Similarly, initially Reish Lakish wasn’t חושד them for finding זכותים for these people who were seemingly being עובר on שביעית because כך דרכן של צדיקי עולם לדון את כל אדם לכף זכות. However, once he saw that they took away the latter and they didn’t let him come up, then he was חשוד them on שביעית because he questioned why they weren’t being מלמד זכות about him who questioned the Kohen who was חורש בשביעית.

(The Beis Halevi in Parsahs Vayigash on the Medrash אוי לנו ליום הדין אוי לנו ליום התוכחה says this idea as well)

Lacking Trust

האנכי הריתי את כל העם הזה אם אנכי ילדתיהו כי תאמר אלי שאהו בחיקך כאשר ישא האמן את הינק על האדמה אשר נשבעת לאבתיו (יא,יב)

After Klal Yisrael complained about the מן, Moshe Rabbeinu expresses this frustration with the people. But it sounds as if Moshe Rabbeinu was saying since he’s not their father or their mother, it’s not his problem. Such a statement doesn’t sound like something a responsible leader would say and it’s something we wouldn’t expect Moshe Rabbeinu to be saying. However, the Sforno writes the following to explain what Moshe Rabbeinu was saying.

הנה האב יוכל להנהיג את בניו אף על פי שהם חלוקי הדעות וזה כי כולם חושבים אותו לאוהב שישתדל בכל כחו להטיב להם אבל אלה אינם בוטחים בי כלל וחושדים ומנסים לראות מה אעשה בעדם.

Moshe Rabbeinu was saying if Klal Yisrael would be his children, then they would trust him and know that whatever he was doing, it’s because he is convinced that it’s in their best interest even if they disagree with him. A father can lead his children even if they disagree with him because they are convinced that he is only doing that which is in their best interest. But Moshe Rabbeinu was saying since he isn’t their father or mother, therefore they don’t trust him and therefore how can he lead them. But not that since he isn’t their father or mother that it’s not his problem.

Appreciation of the Outsider Over The Insider

Moshe Rabbeinu tells Yisro that they are traveling towards Eretz Yisrael and Yisro says ויאמר אליו לא אלך כי אם אל ארצי ואל מולדתי אלך that he will not be going rather he will be going back to his home land. However, Moshe pleads with him saying ויאמר אל נא תעזב אתנו כי על כן ידעת חנתנו במדבר והיית לנו לעינים. On the words והיית לנו לעינים-and you have been as eyes for us, Onkeles says על כן ידעתא כד הוינא שרן במדברא וגבורן דאתעבידא לנא חזיתא בעינך (keep in mind that Onkeles was a גר himself).

The Rav heard in the name of Rav Hillel Zaks as follows. Moshe Rabbeinu was pleading with Yisro to stay and be “eyes for the people” because sometimes it’s the outsider who can see something that the insider can’t. The Jewish people who had already witnessed Yetzias Mitzrayim, Krias Yam Suf, and Matan Torah wasn’t able to see and appreciate the miracles that they would live with throughout the Midbar like the Man, Be’er, and Ananei HaKavod. However, Yisro, as an outsider, who didn’t witness such miraculous events would be able to have an appreciation for the miracles that would occur in the Midbar. Moshe Rabbeinu was pleading with Yisro to stay and be an “eyes for the people” in order that they as well should be able to have the appreciation that Yisro would have. When Yisro initially responded לא אלך כי אם אל ארצי ואל מולדתי אלך, the Chassam Sofer writes the following in the name of his Rebbe Reb Nosson Adler:

כי אין התלמיד זוכה לשלימות מדרגתו עד הפרדו מאת רבו ולכן כתיב ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך ה' את יצחק וכן אחרי יציאת יעקב מבאר שבע חלם לו חלום נבואיי משא"כ קודם לזה וזהו מאמר יתרו לא אלך להיות במדרגת מהלך כ"א אל ארצי ואל מולדתי אלך תחילה ושם אהי' בגדולתו של עולם וכו' ע"ש.

As long as a Talmid is still by his Rebbe, he can’t reach his full potential. It’s only when he separates and detaches from his Rebbe and he goes in his own way that he can reach his full potential.

So Yisro was saying that in order to be a מהלך, he has to go back home because in the Midbar with Klal Yisrael, he is in the shadow of Moshe Rabbeinu. But Moshe Rabbeinu was saying to Yisro that he has what to contribute here, והיית לנו לעינים and that he has something to bring to the table even in the presence of Moshe Rabbeinu and all the Jewish people. He shouldn’t feel like he needs to go back home in order to achieve greatness because even in the Midbar with Klal Yisrael, he has what to contribute, that being והיית לנו לעינים.


Reason for חלשה דעתו

The Parshah begins with Aaron HaKohen being charged with the task of lighting the Menorah. Rashi, quoting the Medrash Tanchuma, asks why is the Parshah of the Menorah juxtaposed to the Parshah of the Nesiim to which he answers לפי שכשראה אהרן חנוכת הנשיאים חלשה דעתו, שלא היה עמהם בחנוכה, לא הוא ולא שבטו, אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא חייך, שלך גדולה משלהם, שאתה מדליק ומטיב את הנרות.

The fact that the question למה נסמכה is asked indicates that this was not the proper place for the Menorah as we see in the Gemara in Gittin on 60 that the Parshah of the Menorah was given on Rosh Chodesh Nissan before the Nesiim began to bring their Korbanos and not after. Obviously, Rashi is teaching us that the Torah put the Parshah of the Menorah here to teach us that it was given to Aaron as a nichumim for not taking part in the Chanukas Hamishkan. Since he was no longer part of the group that offered to bring those Korbanos, he was no longer able to join once Hashem commanded Moshe קח מאתם. At that point he felt bad, and then he was given the Parshah of the Menorah as a Nichumim. But had it been written in the order that it happened, it would not have been clear that the Menorah was given to Aaron as a nichumim and therefore it had to be written in this order for it to be asked למה נסמכה to which we could answer it was given as a nichumim.
Actually if one thinks about, it’s astounding to see that the reason Aaron was חלשה דעתו was because he and his tribe had no role in the inauguration of the Mishkan because this same day his two sons were burned alive. The more obvious reason why Aaron would be חלשה דעתו would be because of the enormous tragedy that two of his sons died. But Hashem knew that what brought him to חלישת הדעת was the לא היה עמהם בחנוכה.

This is for sure something very perplexing and foreign to us. However, it might be that to great people, what matters most is what interferes with the realization of their spiritual mission. The Gemara in Brachos 5b says that Reb Yochanan used to walk around with the bone of his 10th deceased son consoling others who were experiencing tragedy (דין גרמא דעשיראה ביר). (It’s not entirely clear exactly how he consoled people like this. It could be the idea that misery likes company. There is an expression, צרת רבים חצי נחמה, which is mentioned in the Maharsha in Baba Basra 10a. (See also the Chinuch 331, who has a similar expression). It could be the reason why it’s a חצי נחמה is because when a person experiences a tragedy, there is always the added insult to the injury, the thought of why me. But by a צרת רבים, there is no insult, and therefore it’s a חצי נחמה. So when he went around with bone, it would comfort those by showing there is no insult being that it happened to me as well. Similarly, the Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim Perek 40 discusses why a murderer goes out of the Ir Miklat when the Kohen Gadol dies, and he writes because it calms down the גואל הדם because he has the realization that everyone dies.)

The consoling Reb Yochanan would provide would be with the message that all this has happened to me and nonetheless I’m still here pushing forward. However in spite of the courage that he had to carry on and rise above after enduring and suffering such calamities in his personal life, when his Talmid Reish Lakish died, the Gemara in Bava Metziah 84a says that Reb Yochanan grieved over him greatly. The Rabanan attempted to console him by sending in others to talk in learning to console him. But he wasn’t consoled by anyone because Reish Lakish would ask 24 questions on something he said forcing him to answer them, furthering his clarity of the Halacha. The Gemara concludes that in the end, Reb Yochanan was שף דעתיה meaning lost his mind and בעו רבנן רחמי עליה ונח נפשיה. Although he was able to move on after losing ten children and he was able to console others, when it came to his talmids death, he couldn’t manage. Although difficult to understand, we see that this is how great people are, because they understand what is important. His ability to reach the greatest heights in the understanding of Torah added more than anything else

Similarly we see that Aaron HaKohen although he just experienced the loss of his two sons, what caused him חלשה דעתו most was שלא היה עמהם בחנוכה, לא הוא ולא שבטו. In a similar vein, the Rav heard the following vort from Reb Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi at the Shiva of Reb Nochum Velvel Desslers, who was Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Desslers son. Reb Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi heard this vort when he went to visit Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler on שביעי של פסח in 1947 when Rav Dessler came to Eretz Yisrael for Pesach and stayed at the Amdursky Hotel on Rechov Ben Yehuda. He told him that because he came to visit, he’ll give him a מתנה and the following vort was the מתנה.

Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler was a son in law by Reb Nochum Velvel Ziv, the son of the Alter from Kelm. The Alter from Kelms son, Reb Nochum Velvel, was a merchant until he took over the Beis HaTalmud in Kelm. He was a more modern looking man whose behavior didn’t fit so much with the Beis HaTalmud in Kelm. (For example, he used to have a poodle sit under the table when he would give a schmooze and many of the Talmidim weren’t so comfortable with it.)

The Gemara in Brachos 17a says מרגלא בפומיה דרב: [לא כעולם הזה העולם הבא], העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות, אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ונהנים מזיו השכינה. The first question that could be asked is what was the major חידוש, as if to say that there is a legitimate הוא אמינא that those such things exist in Olam Habah. But furthermore, why did Rav feel it was necessary to repeat this?

Rav Nochum Velvel was from Lithuania but he lived for twenty years in Konigsberg, Germany. He had difficulty speaking the German language and he didn’t know Grammar. People looked down upon him because he came across as such an intelligent and successful person but he had a poor grasp of the German language because he didn’t know grammar. So he explained to them that he wasn’t German but a Litvak, and German was not his language but I know enough to get by-דיגרמאטיקא דארף איך ניט און וויל איך ניט (The Grammar I don’t need, and I don’t want). With this he explained the statement of Rav that a person should view himself as a Ben Olam Habah who just has to get by in this world. But he only needs to get involved enough in this world to get by, but he doesn’t need the Grammar and details.

If a person lives in this world as a Ben Olam Habah, then his priorities and what’s most important to him will be very different than us typical mortals. Therefore, what was most important to Reb Yochanan and Aaron HaKohen was much different than what is important to us.

Removed from personal interest

Towards the end of the Parshah, it discusses the complaining of food and the like. Seemingly very normal regular things to complain about, Moshe can’t handle it to the point where he throws in the towel as the Pasuk says לא אוכל אנכי לבדי לשאת את כל העם וכו' ואם ככה את עשה לי הרגני נא הרוג אם מצאתי חן בעיניך וכו' (יא:יד-טו). We see by something seemingly trivial, Moshe Rabbeinu can’t manage and he throws in the towel. Yet, at the end of the Parshah, when his own brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, are discussing his shortcomings on a delicate issue regarding Moshe and his wife, he remains silent. It would seemingly be much more hurtful coming from his own brother and sister. Yet All the Pasuk says to explain why he didn’t respond was והאיש משה ענו מאד מכל האדם אשר על פני האדמה and Rashi says ענו מאוד-שפל וסבלן. So how could it be that when it came to a few complaints about food, Moshe completely gave up, but when it came to his own siblings talking about him, he was completely passive?

Moshe Rabbeinu was a man on a mission and he was completely removed from his personal interests. Therefore, when it came to Klal Yisrael complaining about the food, it was a complaint against Hashem and his entire mission and therefore he gave up. However, when it came to his sister and brother talking about his personal life, it didn’t faze him at all, because he completely removed himself and his personal interests. This is expressed in the Pasuk ענו מאוד, because his own self was irrelevant and he was completely amount the mission.

Too Demanding

When Klal Yisrael begins complaining, the Pasuk says ויהי העם כמתאננים. The Pasuk doesn’t explicitly state what exactly they were complaining about. We can suggest that it’s because the “what” is almost an afterthought and it’s irrelevant. It’s not about the detail of the complaint to the point that even the complainer doesn’t know what he is complaining about, just that he is as it’s his way of life.

As we see that the next thing they complained about was food. But the מן, says the Gemara in Yoma, tasted like whatever the person wanted. So it would seem that if the complainer wants to complain, then he actually tastes everything in a negative way.

It’s not clear how to translate the word כמתאננים and the Rishonim debate its meaning. Rashi says אין מתאננים אלא לשון עלילה, מבקשים עלילה האיך לפרוש מאחרי המקום.

Sometimes, after a person enters into a relationship, it becomes too demanding what’s expected of him and he needs to come up with excuses or with things to complain about in order to take the heat of himself. That the reason why he isn’t living up to what is expected of him is because he says the other party isn’t living up to what’s expected of him.

Therefore, Rashi is explaining that although they were complaining, they weren’t really complainers, rather they were “like” complainers (כמתאננים). The complaining wasn’t a natural state, rather it could be that a person can become a complainer because after he enters into a relationship, he feels it to be too demanding so he looks for ways to take the heat of himself by complaining that the other party is living up to their side of the relationship.

The Sforno seems to say this idea: על טורח הדרך לא מתאוננים בלבם באמת כי לא היתה אצלם שום סבה ראויה לזה שיתאוננו אבל היו מתאוננים בדבריהם לנסות.


The Rav said from his father the following. The Pasuk says והאיש משה ענו מאד מכל האדם אשר על פני האדמה. How could Moshe be such a humble person if he knew what qualities he had and how special and unique he was?

Moshe saw so many confident people who believed that they were God’s gift to mankind so he started to think that maybe he isn’t so special and unique after all. This reads into to the Pasuk that והאיש משה ענו מאד, from where and how? מכל האדם, from all people, that from seeing how everyone else acted and what they believed about themselves that he started to think of himself as not so special. That’s why he was able to reach such a level of ענו מאוד מכל האדם even with the impressive qualities that he had.


What is the significance of the Shabbos after Shavuos?

We say in the song כל מקדש שביעי the words המאחרים לצאת מן השבת וממהרים לבוא. The question is why is it in that order? The verse should first say we are ממהר לבוא , regarding bringing in Shabbos, and then say מאחר לצאת מן השבת, regarding concluding Shabbos, so why do we say it in this order?

The Rav wanted to suggest that תוספת שבת only began from after מתן תורה. The רמב"ן explains in his הקדמה to ספר שמות that יציאת מצרים was not complete until we got the Torah. Therefore, only once יציאת מצרים was completed was Shabbos able to take on the dimension of זכר ליציאת מצרים. שבת before מתן תורה did not have תוספת שבת because at that point it was only זכר למעשה בראשית and מעשה בראשית was strictly ששת ימים תעבד ועשית כל מלאכתך ויום השביעי שבת לה' וכו'. After מתן תורה, Shabbos became ראשון למקראי קודש and by a מועד, it’s possible תוספת שבת. Being that מתן תורה was on Shabbos, the first possible opportunity to utilize תוספת שבת was to extend Shabbos and therefore we start off with המאחרים לצאת מן השבת. Then, the next opportunity was the following Shabbos (which was this past Shabbos) and therefore the end of the verse says ממהרים לבא.

But the idea of being ממהר is not merely to be מקדים but rather it is the idea of זריזות. The מסילת ישרים at the end of the sixth chapter explains how the מדה of זריזות is angelic and not naturally found by human beings. The idea is because מלאכים are למעלה מן הזמן, therefore they are able to excel in this מדה as opposed to human beings.

The Gemara in חגיגה כו: says that on the שלוש רגלים, the Jews would witness the miracle that the לחם הפנים stayed fresh from week to week and it was כסידורו כך סילוקו. On Pesach and Sukkos, this would occur on שבת חול המועד. However, on Shavuos where there is no חול המועד, when would the Jews see this miracle? The(ב אלפים קעח) שו"ת רדב"ז answers that the Jews would stay until the Shabbos after Shavuos in order to witness this miracle. The idea of this נס is למעלה מן הזמן. The only way the bread was able to stay fresh week to week was because time had no place there. This is a perspective that a person should have, that every day he should live למעלה מן הזמן and be able to recognize the daily freshness and התחדשות. Each day he should recognize that he could start anew.

By all the Moadim, the idea of התחדשות can be seen. The ר"ן in the beginning of תענית quotes the ירושלמי saying the reason why we start mentioning טל on the first day of Pesach and we stop mentioning טל on the last day of Sukkos is so that there should be a mention of טל on each of the Moadim. The idea is that טל represents freshness and התחדשות and the Moadim which are set by the Jews represents the idea that we are שולט on זמן. Therefore, with such a שליטה, we can recognize that we can be למעלה מן הזמן and therefore believe that every day we could start anew. Like we find in the Gemara in מגילה ה: says אמר ר' יוחנן כי הוינא טליא. Rashi says that he was referring to his youth. The word טל is used to refer to youth because טל is the idea of freshness and התחדשות.

We further see this idea in a Gemara ברכות מט. which explains מקדש ישראל והזמנים-ישראל דקדשינהו לזמנים. All the Moadim represent the idea that the Jews have the ability to be מקדש הזמנים which is because we are above time.

In Parshas בלק, the פסוק says ויקם בלעם בבקר ויחבש את אתנו. Rashi says:

אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא רשע כבר קדמך אברהם אביהם, שנאמר (בראשית כב, ג) וישכם אברהם בבקר ויחבוש את חמורו

בלעם tried to access this trait of זריזות which is the idea of למעלה מן הזמן, but Avraham already preempted him with this trait. Then when the donkey questions בלעם as to why he hit him שלש רגלים. Rashi says: רמז לו אתה מבקש לעקור אומה החוגגת שלש רגלים בשנה.

From all this we see the concept that the Moadim represent this idea of being שולט on זמן which is because we could live למעלה מן הזמן. This Shabbos which they would show the לחם הפנים on the שולחן and the Jews would see כסידורו כך סילוקו would show this concept as well that the freshness was only possible because it was למעלה מן הזמן and that we could live למעלה מן הזמן when we live every day as if it’s the first day of our lives

The פסוק in the second פרק of תהילים says אני היום ילדתיך. The Zohar (Mishpatim 98a) says that this Pasuk is referring to a Bar Mitzvah boy on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. דוד המלך is referring to something that Hashem told him once in the past because it is referring to when dovid became the king. How did דוד have the confidence to say that he doesn’t need to fear any enemies that stand up against him because Hashem told him בני אתה אני היום ילדתיך if he only told it once in the past? Who says it was still applicable and relevant? From here we see that one could live his life with the mindset of אני היום ילדיך, that every day is a new beginning.

Consolation with הדלקת נרות

The first Rashi in the פרשה says as follows:

למה נסמכה פרשת המנורה לפרשת הנשיאים, לפי שכשראה אהרן חנוכת הנשיאים חלשה דעתו, שלא היה עמהם בחנוכה, לא הוא ולא שבטו, אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא חייך, שלך גדולה משלהם, שאתה מדליק ומטיב את הנרות.

The רמב"ן asks why was אהרן consoled with the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות and not with other mitzvos such as the קטורת and קרבנות?

Reb Chaim in הל' ביאת מקדש (פ"ט ה"ז)explains that the Mitzvah of הדלקת נרות in the מקדש was not the action of lighting candles rather the mitzvah was just to have lit candles constantly. Therefore, the action of lighting candles was just a means to have a lit candle, which is the real fulfilment of the Mitzvah. Similarly, the חינוך in מצוה צח explains the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות was to have a lit candle להגדלת הבית לכבוד ולתפארת בעיני הרואים.

We see from here that which is unique about the נרות. The נרות weren’t just a הדלקה that took place in the בית rather it was to enhance the בית. The נרות were a rededication of the בית every day and not that it was a mitzvah done in a finished בית, rather it’s a mitzvah that sets the בית straight every day. It was a contribution that אהרן did every day to make the בית into the type of בית it needs to be. This is a חנוכה, and not just a mitzvah that takes place in the house, but it is a חנוכת הבית.

This idea is also expressed from the Pasuk in משלי (כב,ו):

חנך לנער על פי דרכו גם כי יזקין לא יסור ממנה

The Alter from Kelm explains that לא יסור ממנו is going on חינוך that if you give him the proper חינוך, he won’t move away from חינוך. Meaning, you’ll be מחנך him in a way that he’ll never abandon חינוך, rather he will always be מתחנך anew. Your מחנך him in a way that he’ll always be מתחנך a new and he won’t abandon the way of חינוך. Rashi says in פרשת שופטים (כ:ה) that חינוך is a lashon of התחלה. So we kick start him, but not in the way of inertia, but rather that every day he should be able to experience a התחלה and every day should be the first day of his life. This is the idea of אני היום ילדתיך, that every day a person should experience אני היום וכו'. Although the Zohar says it’s referring to the day of his bar mitzvah, really every day a person should have this experience, that it is alive, fresh, and new.

With this we could also understand that which the רמב"ן says that שלך גדולה משלהם is referring to the חנוכת המקדש during the time of חנוכה. The חנוכה with the חשמונאים was not a חינוך of beginning, but it was a חינוך in the middle of בית שני. Therefore, its גדולה משלהם because the נשיאים only did a חנוכה in the beginning as opposed to the חנוכה of the חשמונאים which was more in the sense that even when things are old and already in the middle of a long process, we should be able to start again fresh.


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