Monday, February 07, 2011

Miracle of the fire - Zevachim 89

Our Mishna says that one must first burn the limbs of an ‘olah and then the parts of a chatas. At the inauguration of the altar in the Sanctuary, the Torah says that they put the ‘olah on the altar and, above it, the parts of the other sacrifices (Vayikra 9). But when the fire came out from before Hashem and “consumed on the altar”, the verse says that it consumed the “’olah and the fats.” In other words, first the fire burned the ‘olah and then the fats above the ‘olah! The Netziv writes that this was a miracle to observe the halachah that the limbs of an ‘olah are burnt before the parts of other sacrifices (Ha’amek Davar, Shemini).


Daniel said...

But why then did Moshe himself not keep the halacha --

יג ואת-העלה, המציאו אליו לנתחיה--ואת-הראש; ויקטר, על-המזבח.

כ וישימו את-החלבים, על-החזות; ויקטר החלבים, המזבחה.

Avromi said...

firstly, I assume you mean Aaron; he was the one doing the avodos - his sons as well.

Secondly, I am unsure of your question. passuk chaf is referring to the shelamim and thirteen to the olah.

I looked at the Netziv again and I am not sure that it was really a miracle (in the way it was written), for he mentions that at the time of the placing of the sacrificial parts there was no fire; it then descended from heaven and burned those things which were on top. (I am unsure of the source for that, and also, it is not how I envisioned the Heavenly fire coming down.)

Also, there are several other times in this perek that things went against the usual halachah (horaas shah); for example by the shelamim the haktarah was done before the tenufah, and we have learned that the reverse is the correct order.

Daniel said...

Sorry I posted quickly and without thinking. You are correct in all regards. My own ignorance. - Danny Mokhtar