Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kohen’s Sanctity based upon his Service

The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Nazir 49) answers: Both words are necessary. For if the Torah would have only written for his father (that the nazir may not become tamei to), we would have thought that it is only the father that he cannot become tamei to for there is merely a presumption of paternity (for perhaps his mother committed adultery), but regarding his mother, whom we know gave birth to him, he could become tamei to her (the Torah therefore has to write “his mother” to teach us that he cannot become tamei to her). And if the Torah would have only written for his mother (that the nazir may not become tamei to), we would have thought that it is only the mother that he cannot become tamei to for her children’s lineage is not reckoned through her, but regarding his father, where the halacha is that family is determined by the father, he could become tamei to him (the Torah therefore has to write “his father” to teach us that he cannot become tamei to him).

The following question is asked: Why is the fact that we cannot prove for certain that the Kohen Gadol’s father is truly his father grounds to suggest that the Kohen Gadol may not become tamei to his father? If his father is not his actual father, for that very reason he should be permitted to become tamei to him! If the deceased man (a Kohen) is not his father, the Kohen Gadol is in all probability a Yisroel! Why would we think that he cannot become tamei to him, for he might not be his father? That is precisely the reason why he should be able to become tamei to him!

The Rashba ask a similar question on the Toras Kohanim (Parshas Emor). The verse states that an ordinary Kohen is permitted to become tamei to his father and mother. The Toras Kohanim notes that had the verse said only that he may become tamei to his mother, we might have thought that he would be forbidden to become tamei to his father, because his father is only his father based upon a presumption. He asks that the possibility that the man is not his father should not be a reason to forbid him from becoming tamei to him. On the contrary, it is precisely the reason to permit him to become tamei to him, because if this man is not his father, he is not a Kohen altogether!

The Chasam Sofer (based on Rishonim) explains it as follows: We are dealing with a case where this man was presumed to be a Kohen. He performed the service in the Beis Hamikdosh for many years. When his father dies, if not for the fact that the Torah explicitly permits him to become tamei to him, it would be forbidden. Even though on the chance that the deceased is not his father, he would be a Yisroel, he still would be forbidden to become tamei to him. This is because the verse states: You shall sanctify him, for he offers up the food offering of your God. Since he was allowed to perform the service in the Beis Hamikdosh (based on the presumption that he is indeed a Kohen), he is forbidden to contaminate himself with corpse tumah, even if he is a Yisroel. His sanctity comes about because of his service. This would be the explanation in our Gemora as well.


Anonymous said...

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹר דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים תִּזְרַע שָׂדֶךָ
What is the significance of seven years? The Matteh Moshe has an interesting answer. The solar Year is 365 days .Within this time period there are 52 Shabbosim. Therefore it comes out that the number of Shabbosim in a Shmitah cycle is 364 days rounded you get the Shmitah year. The Chida has a more exact answer. The Gemara in Brachos says Rava told his students during Nissan and Tishrei don’t come to Yeshiva to learn, work the fields so you have the means to learn for the rest of the year. If you do the math over the six years it adds up to twelve months. Therefore the seventh Year is Shemita.
וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֶת-חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת-מִשְׁפָּטַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם וִישַׁבְתֶּם עַל-הָאָרֶץ לָבֶטַח
Why does the torah change the language from the חוקים to the משפטים by the חוקים it says עֲשִׂיתֶם and by the משפטים it says תִּשְׁמְרוּ? Rabbi Frand offers an interesting Pshat. The difference between a חוק and a משפט is that a חוק is without logic we do it because Hashem told us too. A משפט is a logical law like not murdering or stealing. Now the change in the Posuk makes sense. A חוקwhich we do without logic and are done without reflection into its logical reasoning we say to do it ַעֲשִׂיתֶםor to continue doing it. Then there are משפטים which are logical, but here we are thrown a loop if the logic does not make sense to our modern sensitivities we are no longer so sure. The advocacy for euthanasia is a simple case in point as is abortion, so maybe murder is not so simple after all the a person is suffering, and the child will just be a drain on society. Stealing is also not so simple we all grew up on Robin Hood. His motto was steal from the rich and give too the poor this makes perfect sense to most of us .Now it becomes clear that when it comes to משפטים we have to watch them and make sure we don’t loose our torah Ethics to our modern Sensibilities.
וְכִי תֹאמְרוּ מַה-נֹּאכַל בַּשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת הֵן לֹא נִזְרָע וְלֹא נֶאֱסֹף אֶת-תְּבוּאָתֵנוּ.
The question seems to be wrong, in the seventh year we eat the crop of the sixth year so what is the posuk asking what will be in the seventh year, it is the wrong question? The Sefer Peh Kodesh has an amazing Psychological insight. The Gemara in Yoma says
אינו דומה מי שיש לו פת בסלו למי שאין לו פת בסלו .That means that a person who knows that he is provided for in the future is more psychologically fulfilled. Now we understand the Posuk easily. It is talking about the seventh year but since in his mind he is concerned about the upcoming year he is unfulfilled so Hashem in the next posuk
says וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת-בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם so he knows this year and next year he will be fulfilled.
כִּי-לִי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם
Why does the Posuk have a double wording עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי? There is a din in the Rambam that a slave immerses himself and he has in mind for his freedom he goes out free. The din only applies when he was sold by his previous owner, but if was sold by the government "גבהו הגוי בחובו" his intention by the immersion does not affect the status of the Slave and he does not go free. In our Posuk Hashem is saying I bought you as Slaves but you can't immerse to be free like the din of a slave because I bought you as a governmental purchase מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.
אֶת-כַּסְפְּךָ לֹא-תִתֵּן לוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ וּבְמַרְבִּית לֹא-תִתֵּן אָכְלֶךָ. אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לָתֵת לָכֶם אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים
The Yalkut says on this Pasuk whoever lends with interest it is as if he is saying he has nothing to do with Yetizas Mitzrayim. What is the connection between Yetizas Mitzrayim and interest? The first answer is if someone gives you a lot of money and tells you my gift is conditional. The condition is if any of my children need money in the future you will lend it to them without interest so to says the Chasam Sofer Hashem when we left Mitzrayim Hashem took us out with great wealth. There was a condition in the torah lending without interest to Jews who are Hashem's children. This is the connection between Yetizas Mitzrayim and interest The Darash Vihaiyun has another answer. They ask why where the Mitzrayim Punished for enslaving the Jews after all Avraham was told in Golus the Egyptians would ועבדום וענו אותם the Ravad answers they added the work was בפרך and now we understand the connection between Yetizas Mitzrayim and Interest that is the Egyptians worked us בפרך hence taking interest.
וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שָׂדְךָ לֹא תִזְרָע וְכַרְמְךָ לֹא תִזְמֹר
The Har Tzvi points out a inconsistency in our Parsha. When talking about Yovel all the Issurim are written in plural לא תורעו ולא תקחו .Then by Shmitah it speaks in singular. The answer is simple the Din of Yovel is Only when most Jews are in Israel the din of Shmitah is if even one Jew is there he must keep Shemita. Therefore the Posukim are exactly to this point.
וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם, אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה, וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ, לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ; יוֹבֵל הִוא, תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם, וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל-אֲחֻזָּתוֹ, וְאִישׁ אֶל-מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ
The Pnei Yeshouah asks what does it mean לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ.It is only the slaves are going free? He answers based on a Gemara in Kiddushin. The Gemara says "whoever buys himself a Jewish slave Buys Himself a Master". This is Because Halacha says if there is one pillow in the house the servant gets it, and the servant must be served food of equal or greater quality then his master. Therefore now the Posuk is clear לְכָל even the masters of the slaves.
לֹא-תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם אֱלִילִם וּפֶסֶל וּמַצֵּבָה לֹא-תָקִימוּ לָכֶם וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת עָלֶיהָ כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ
The Chasam Sofer asks if Hashem dislikes stone floors why did he command that the Beis Hamikdash be made with them and what is the connection to Shabbos? The answer is simple stone floors in the Beis Hamikdash are needed because of the blood of the Korbanos would muddy a sand floor. The connection to Shabbos is because on Shabbos you would need to clean it up. That would mean you would be Desecrating Shabbos it is this very reason that Hashem wants the stone floors. Therefore the Parsha ends talking about the stone floors and Shabbos.