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5 Nisan 5773/March 16, 2013
Yeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron DovYeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron DovYeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Toronto TorahToronto TorahToronto Torah
Parshat Vayikra
Vol.4 Num. 26
understand the grave results of his sinand imagine himself being sacrificedinstead of the animal, then the actualsacrificer should be the sinner; why,then, is this role given to the kohen? Two answers may be offered:1. The kohen serves as the sinner'sadvocate in front of Hashem. From theeducational perspective emphasized byRamban, it would have been better forthe sinner to sacrifice by himself. Onthe other hand, the act of sacrificingincludes standing in front of G-d, andthat is something a sinner is notqualified to do. The kohen serves as thesinner's delegate, asking Hashem forforgiveness.2. The process of sacrificing has twosides
the sinner offers the sacrifice,and Hashem takes it. The kohen is therepresentative of G-d to take thesacrifice. According to this explanation,the kohen does not serve as the delegateof the sinner, but rather as the delegateof Hashem.As a matter of fact, the question of how we see the kohen's role is articulated inthe Talmud (Nedarim 35a), as the sagesask, "Are the kohanim agents of G-d oragents of ours?" The Talmud identifies apractical difference between the twopossible roles in a case in which a manvows not to draw any benefit from acertain kohen. If kohanim serve as thedelegates of sinners, this sinner won'tbe able to bring his sin-offering via thatkohen. However, there is no reason toprohibit this kohen from bringing thesin offering if kohanim are delegates of Hashem.Perhaps we might deepen our insight bylooking at a question posed by Tosafoton that talmudic passage. Whereas thepassage we just cited debates the statusof kohanim, another talmudic passage(Yoma 19b) quotes Rav Huna, son of Rabbi Yehoshua, saying plainly thatkohanim are Hashem's delegates. [Itmust be so, according to Rav Huna, fora delegate is not authorized to do that which his sender cannot do personally;if kohanim were delegates of other Jews,they could only do that which non-kohanim could do.] Why is our firstpassage uncertain about the status of kohanim, if Rav Huna is certain thatkohanim are Hashem's delegates? The Tosafot commentary to the Talmudoffers two possible answers. The secondone, upon which we will focus, is thatindeed all agree that kohanim must beappointed by Hashem. The talmudicdebate was only whether we can viewthem as our delegates
in addition
totheir role as delegates of G-d.One might suggest that these twoaspects of the kohen's role carry withinthem the essence of a lesson to belearned from Sefer Vayikra, the book of sacrifices also named 'Torat Kohanim'.Atonement cannot be achieved by aman standing alone; salvation shouldbe sought only in the presence of another. This other serves as G-d'sdelegate to you, and sometimes, inaddition, as your own delegate to G-d;someone to look up to and from whomto learn that there can be life withoutsin and shame, life in which one canstand in front of G-d.
Torat Kohanim
Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
Sponsored by the families of Irwin, Jim and David Diamond in memory of their father, Morris Diamond z"l
' "
 The ancient question regarding thesacrifices
why are they needed
wasasked already by the prophets. Davidasks in Tehillim (50:13), on behalf of HaShem, "Will I eat the flesh of bulls,or do I drink the blood of goats?" But if David means to say that G-d does notneed the sacrifices, why are wecommanded to offer them?Many answers have been given; oneparticular view, cited by Ramban(Commentary to Vayikra 1:9), explainskorbanot in the following terms:Since human actions areperformed through thedimensions of thought, speechand deed, G-d commanded that when a person sins and brings asacrifice, he must lay his handsupon it, corresponding to thedimension of deed, and confess,corresponding to the dimension of speech, and burn in fire theinnards and kidneys, the organs
of thought and desire… and
splash the blood upon the altar,representing his own blood andlife. Through all this, a person shouldreflect that he has sinned againstG-d with both body and soul, andthat it would be proper to spill hisown blood and burn his ownbody.Ramban ends the presentation of thisexplanation by saying that it is"accepted, and it draws the heart."However, when we look more carefullyat the details of the sacrificial laws, wemight ask a strong question againstthis explanation: if the goal of sacrifices is to make the sinner
We are grateful toContinental Press 905-660-0311
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that these practices are real and potent,but his conclusion is similar to that of Rambam: The Torah expects a Jew toplace his faith in HaShem alone, and notin other entities.
 The author of Sefer haChinuch(Mitzvah 62) took a different tack:
HaShem created the world’s entities with
certain positive uses and powers, and Healso created the possibility for thoseentities to be combined inappropriately, which would cause harm. Theprohibitions against sorcery are meant toprevent those inappropriatecombinations, because they aredestructive to the Divine plan.
Numerous mitzvot prohibit witchcraft,magic, sorcery and paranormalprediction, and prescribe harshpunishments for their practice. Whydoes the Torah mandate toughpenalties for these transgressions?
Rambam wrote (PeirushhaMishnayot Avodah Zarah 4, MorehhaNevuchim 3:37) that thesepractices are not inherently powerful;some of them promise false results,and others rely on subterfuge andslight of hand for their apparentsuccess. The danger is that thesepractices lead directly to worship of false gods.
Ramban (Bereishit 17:1) argued
613 Mitzvot: #249-250, 255-256, 510-515
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Manners Matter
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
"And He called to Moshe, and G-d spoketo Moshe from the Tent of Meeting, tosay: Speak to the Jews, and tell
them…" (Vayikra 1:1)
  The redundancies in the verse aboveare twofold:1. Why begin by saying that G-dcalled to Moshe and that G-d spoketo Moshe?2. What is the meaning of the doublelanguage, "to say: Speak to the Jews and tell them"? The talmudic sages (Yoma 4b) explainthat both of these apparentsuperfluities teach us proper conduct:1. Regarding the former, the studentsof the yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmaelstate, "One should not speak toanother before catching hisattention."2. Regarding the latter, RabbiMenasya Rabbah declares, "Whenone person speaks to another, thelistener is prohibited from repeatingthe lesson until the speaker says,'Go tell it.'"Rabbi Baruch haLevi Epstein (Torah Temimah Vayikra 1:1) notes that theformer lesson could have been deducedfrom an earlier biblical passage; asMasechet Derech Eretz (5) notes, G-dcalled to Adam after he ate from theforbidden fruit, rather than take him bysurprise. Why, then, does the Talmudchoose to draw the lesson from Moshe'sexperience?Rabbi Epstein explains that the Torahtaught us an extra lesson by usingMoshe as its example. Moshe isdescribed as the most faithful memberof the Divine household, whocommunicated with G-d in the mostdirect of ways. Nonetheless, as the Talmud notes, G-d formally invitedMoshe into conversation beforeaddressing him. This offers a strong lesson for our owninteractions. Many of us are dulyrespectful when interacting withparents and mentors, but when dealing with friends we drop our guard. To anextent, this is normal for friendlyrelationships, but our parshah remindsus that even in the most intimate of relationships, a level of courtesy isappropriate.[Note: This is not the only time that G-dinstructs Moshe in proper manners; seeShabbat 89a for another example.]
Matzah before Pesach: Until when?
Adam Frieberg
Many Jews avoid eating matzahbetween Purim and Pesach; others stopeating unleavened bread from RoshChodesh Nisan. While these customsshould be respected, Jewish law onlypresents a much shorter requirementfor avoiding matzah. Three opinions are quoted regarding thelast time one may eat matzah:1. Rosh (Orchot Chaim L'Rosh 114)cites a view that one must stopeating matzah 24 hours beforePesach;2. Ramban (Milchamot HaShemPesachim 15b) claims that matzahmay not be eaten from first light onthe fourteenth of Nisan.3. Baal HaMaor presents the mostlenient opinion, claiming thatmatzah may be eaten until middayon erev Pesach.Both Ramban and Baal HaMaorsupport their views with a rathergraphic talmudic analogy. The TalmudYerushalmi (Pesachim 10:11) states,
“Rebbe Levi said: One who eats matzah
on the day before Pesach is like one who lives with his fiancé in his father-in-
law's home.” [Mahari Weil (193)
interprets this metaphor literally,explaining that just as one's fiancébecomes permitted only after sevenbrachot are recited under the chuppah,so matzah is permitted only after sevenbrachot have been recited at the seder.]Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe,Orach Chaim 1:155) attempts to explainhow the talmudic analogy may suit theviews of both Ramban and BaalHaMaor:According to Baal haMaor, the Talmudcompares the status of matzah aftermidday on erev Pesach with one'sfiancé, to whom one is partiallyconnected in the eyes of Jewish law. Just as marital relations with a fiancéare prohibited, so one may not eatmatzah.According to Ramban, the Talmudcompares the first consumption of matzah with the first relations betweenhusband and wife. Once a man and a woman commit to each other, therelationship should be consummatedin a mitzvah context; once we beginpreparations for Pesach on thefourteenth of Nisan, our "relationship" with Pesach has begun, and thematzah should be consumed in amitzvah context.One question remains, though: Whendoes our relationship with Pesachtruly begin? Ramban claims it beginsfrom first light on the fourteenth of Nisan, but it would be easy to claimthat it begins on Rosh ChodeshNissan, or even from the time when weare obligated to begin learning the lawsof Pesach, thirty days before theholidays. Perhaps this latter viewexplains why some Jews refrain fromeating matzah much earlier than Jewish law demands. Nonetheless,Rama (Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim,471:2) follows Ramban, ruling that theonly time one must refrain from eatingmatzah is from first light on thefourteenth of Nisan.
7 Nisan is Monday 
On April 1
, 1925, the HebrewUniversity campus of Mount Scopusheld its gala inauguration. Theuniversity's open-air theatre hostedover 6,000 attendees, among themmany of Israeli history's mostinfluential personalities. The service was conducted by future PresidentChaim Weizmann, who urged then-Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi AvrahamYitzchak HaKohen Kook, to deliverthe invocation. According to RabbiYitzchak Hutner, Rabbi Kook agreedon condition that biblical criticism would not be taught in the university.(This promise was made, but notfulfilled.)As Rabbi Shnayer Z. Leiman puts it,Rabbi Kook's "very presence was anact of courage; indeed, many of hisrabbinic colleagues viewed hispresence as an act of treachery. Evenmore courageous was the message hedelivered that afternoon, whichminced no words about his truefeelings regarding the HebrewUniversity and its place in the life of arevitalized Jewish yishuv in the landof Israel."Rabbi Kook's address was anexposition of Yeshayah 60:4-5, "Liftup your eyes and look about; theyhave all gathered and come to you.Yours sons shall be brought fromafar, your daughters like babes onshoulders. As you behold you willglow. Your heart will fear and rejoice
 for the wealth of the sea shall pass onto you; the riches of the nations shallcome to you." Rabbi Kook felt that theuniversity, in its role of actualizingand promoting Judaism's values, wasan important part of the fulfillment of this prophecy of redemption. He warned, however, that this was an
occasion worthy of Yeshayah’s fear as
 well as rejoicing. In the marketplaceof ideas, Judaism, and particularlythe traditional ideas of the yeshivasystem, would be in danger if notloyally respected by the university, itsfaculty and curriculum.Opponents of Rabbi Kook, resenting his presence at the inauguration,misrepresented his words as an unconditional approval of the university, andan embrace of a view that saw secular studies as "Torah". Reading the speech'stranscript, one can see that these claims are unquestionably false.
Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam,born in 1905 in Poland, was a great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz (also known as
Divrei Chaim 
, thename of his major halachic work).Recognized as a prodigy at a young age,he studied with leading Chassidicrabbis, including Rabbi Chaim ElazarShapiro (the Munkaczer Rebbe). At theage of sixteen, he married a cousin,Chanah Teitelbaum, daughter of theRabbi of Sighet, Romania.When Rabbi Halberstam was 22, heaccepted the position of Rabbi of Klausenberg, capital of Transylvania,and led the community for sixteen years. It is reported that he slept only afew hours each night, spending his timein learning and in prayer. In 1937, he was offered a seat on the Beit Din inYerushalayim, but his mother advisedhim to decline because of his youth. The Jews of Klausenberg were notinitially affected by the outbreak of World War II, but in March of 1944 theGermans invaded Hungary and begantheir liquidation of Hungarian Jewry. The Rebbe and his family were sent toAuschwitz, where his wife and ten of hischildren were killed on June 2, 1944. The eldest child died in a DP camp afterthe war, before the Rebbe found out thathe had survived the war. The Rebbehimself survived multiple deathmarches, and constantly comforted andstrengthened those with him.In the DP camp, the Rebbe created anorganization that operated schools innineteen different DP camps, set up aslaughter-house, built a mikvah,distributed tzitzit and tefillin, and raisedmoney to marry off couples. When hemet General Dwight Eisenhower, herequested a lulav and etrog to use onSukkot. In 1947, he re-married, and setup a community in Williamsburg,Brooklyn. He subsequently had twosons and five daughters. In 1956, he setup a community in Netanya, Israel, and
moved there in 1960. The Rebbe’s faith
and dedication to the Jewish peopleserved as an inspiration to many whosurvived the Holocaust. He passed awayin 1994.
Regarding the custom of saying Hallel on thenight of Pesach in the Beit HaMedrash, mustone say it after Rabbeinu Tam's definition of nightfall, since the Tur explains that theblessing applies to the seder's Hallel.We will begin by analyzing why the Sagesestablished Hallel on the night of Pesach. Tosafot (Succah 38a) explains that womenare obligated to recite this Hallel because it is
said for the miracle that happened to us…
 The Vilna Gaon (Orach Chaim 671:7) alsoexplains that we say Hallel because we
publicize the miracle that was performed…
  The Talmud (Megilah 14a) says, "If we sayHallel when we go from slavery to freedom,then of course we should say Hallel when wego from death to life." Rashi explains that"from slavery to freedom" refers to the songat the Sea when we left Egypt. Turei Evenquestions this, and explains "from slavery tofreedom" to refer to the first day of Pesach,the day of the exodus from Egypt. In the nextparagraph, Turei Even explains that the Talmud asks why we say Hallel on the nightof Pesach because we do not say it on thenights of other holidays, and so it answersthat we recite Hallel at night due to the
miracle that happened that night…
 It is possible to suggest that in truth, eachholiday was established over a miracle. OnSukkot, the Clouds of Glory were returned
(Taz Orach Chaim 625)…On Shavuot, there
 were many miracles when we received the
 Torah… Regarding Rosh HaShanah, the
 Talmud Yerushalmi (Rosh haShanah 1:3)explains that normally people who face
litigation [display anxiety]… but Israel is notso, wearing white… and rejoicing because
they know that G-d will perform miracles for
 On the night of Pesach, when recitation of Hallel is due to the miracle, we must say theHallel at the time of the miracle, when nighthas definitely fallen.
, though,saying it earlier, after maariv, would be
This Week inIsraeli History
7 Nisan 1925Rav Kookat Hebrew University
Rabbi Ezra Goldschmiedt
Torah in TranslationHallel in Shulon Pesach Night
Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah Halberstam
Divrei Yatziv Orach Chaim 207
Biography: Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah Halberstam
Yair Manas
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