Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1


Ratings: (0)|Views: 13 |Likes:
Published by outdash2

More info:

Published by: outdash2 on Mar 14, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Parashat Tzav - Purim 13
 Adar II 5774 March 15, 2014 Vol. 23 No. 24
It's Not Just the Thought That Counts
by Josh Schwartz (‘14) 
In the opening line of Parashat Tzav, the Torah states, “
Tzav Et Aharon VeEt Banav Leimor,
” “Command Aharon and his sons saying,” and proceeds to give instructions regarding the Korban
Olah. Chazal (Kiddushin 29a), as quoted by Rashi in Tzav, jump on the uncommon word for which the Sidrah is named, Tzav, found a total of eight times in the Torah and two more in the rest of Tanach.
They explain that when the emphatic ‘Tzav’ is used
rather than
the more common ‘Dabeir’ or ‘Emor,’ it indicates
three unique aspects to the subsequent command: a sense of urgency, that the matter must be carried out immediately, and that it must also be executed by future generations. In the Parashah of the Olah, the
word ‘Tzav’ is used to call the Kohanim
to action, despite the fact that they suffer a significant financial loss. Unlike many other services, they do not receive substantial payment for their role in the sacrifice of a Korban Olah. (With other animal Korbanot, the Kohanim are endowed the meat and the hides, but when a person brings an Olah, it robs him of the meat and leaves him a pittance in the hide.) The Kohanim rely on the Korbanot to sustain them since this is their only job, so the Torah makes this command in the context of Olah since the loss of income is severe. This explains the urgency and the call for immediate performance, but what about the special command directed to future generations? Does the Torah assume that the implementation of the Korban Olah will decline over time? Does it suspect that future generations will be more lax in their observance? Is there something different about future
generations’ perspective of the Olah?
 And if the commandment of the Korban Olah is strongly directed to future generations, how is this directive relevant to us today?
The answer to this question is one of the Torah’s critical core
 beliefs. A person should not disregard the primary function of a commandment and focus instead on the secondary subordinate functions. When a person brings his Korban, it is the intentions of his heart and his overwhelming desire to purify himself that is the impetus of the concept of Korban. Hashem obviously is not interested in animals or birds or meal-offerings or incense being  burnt for Him; rather, it is the Kavanah that goes into it that is the primary focus: It is the thought that counts.
This was Kayin’s
mistake when he offered Hashem a sacrifice without proper
thought. Similarly, Shmuel’s rebuke of Shaul
for leaving the herds of cattle and sheep belonging to Amaleik centered on this idea:
Hachafeitz LaShem BeOlot UZevachim Ki
 Bekol Hashem?
” “Does Hashem delight in Olot
-offerings and feast-
offerings as in obedience to the voice of Hashem?” (I Shmuel
15:22). This important concept continues to be misunderstood by many people who have completely different perspectives on Divine service and believe that our physical gifts are desired. The people of the first Beit Hamikdash brought many Korbanot but they were missing the essential prerequisite of Kavanat HaLeiv. They thought that as long as they were doing their job giving their animals, nothing bad could happen to them or the Beit Hamikdash. The underlying concept of Korbanot that Kavanah is the impetus of our actions is exemplified by the statement of Chazal that all material pleasures enjoyed by the wicked illegitimately can be attained by Tzaddikim legitimately. Similarly, the story of Rabi Chiya Bar Abba (Kiddushin 81b) demonstrates that Kavanah trumps all. One day, his wife decided to test him. She disguised herself as a prostitute and requested Rabi Chiya to bring her a pomegranate on a high-hanging branch. He jumped up and got it for her, and upon returning home, proceeded to fast for the rest of his life even though his wife revealed to him that he had done nothing wrong. Rabi Chiya B
ar Abba’s
understood that Kavanah cannot be overlooked and it is far more powerful than actions devoid of intent. Of course, the idea that thought counts more than actions is subject to horrible abuse. During the time of the second Beit Hamikdash, Bnei Yisrael were guilty of such exploitation. They decided that if their Kavanah was important, why bother with the Korbanot?
The Nevi’im exhorted them this time
 , saying,
you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is nothing wrong? And when you present a lame or sick [animal], is nothing wrong? Present it, if you please, to your governor: Would he be pleased
with you or show you favor?” (Mal’
achi 1:8). Having a good
heart, as we’ve seen, is very important, but action is also
necessary. Even if a person is able to achieve the ultimate level of Kavanah, it does not replace the actual Korban. A person must do  both: Offer Hashem a Korban with the best of his means and with proper Kavanah. Now we can fully understand why the commandment was directed to future generations. Eventually, people of the second Beit Hamikdash would ask why they should bring a Korban if their Kavanah was all that was needed to make it look like they cared. But what about today? People are masters at rationalizing and look for ways to circumvent spending time, energy, and money for spiritual objectives. We say things like,
“If I have the
right Kavanah,
it’s not important to spend time articulating the
words clearly,
” or
“Giving him a friendly greeting is just as good as giving him monetary support.”
 These are all things which the Torah conveys the urgency to fix
from the word “Tzav.” The
This week
s issue is sponsored by Yehuda and Elissa Chanales in honor of their new baby boy as well as LeIluy Nishmat Chaim Yitzchak Yosef Ben Moshe.
To sponsor an issue, please contact:
message of this word is relevant in our daily lives as we  juggle action and Kavanah.
Observations on Esther Perek 1
by Aryeh Kirscher (‘14) and Zvi Kaminetzky (‘15) 
At its most basic level, Perek 1 of Megillat Esther serves the function of the first chapter of most good stories. It sets the stage for the story, gives at least a basic understanding of the time and place in which the Megillah will occur, and introduces a few of the major players. Obviously, we meet Achashveirosh. While not the main character, he is an overarching figure. Seeing as he is the king, everything is happen
ing “on his watch,” as it were.
 In terms of time and place, as well as setting the stage, Perek 1 does this quite well. It begins,
VaYehi BiYmei  Achashveirosh,
t came to pass in the days of
Achashveirosh” (Esther 1:1),
establishing the time and place. Through the repeated displays of wealth and wine, Perek 1 also establishes the context in which the story is occurring. The Megillah takes places in a land obsessed with physicality run by a king all too eager to flaunt his wealth and his wife (the displays at the garden party were quite magnificent), much like the world we live in today. It is interesting to see how the rest of Megillat Esther plays out as a result of the struggle between the forces of physicality and those of Judaism (which traditionally refrains from excessive displays of physicality). The Megillah also goes out of its way to mention the political advisers of Achashveirosh, indicating that politics may be a major theme as the Megillah
progresses (interestingly, these top advisers, “
HaMeshartim Et Penei HaMele
ch Achashveirosh,”
“who attend the presence of the king” (1:10), are sent on the seemingly petty
task of recovering Vashti. How this relationship will further play out is something to watch for as the Megillah progresses). There is certainly much insight to be gained by looking deeply into the Pesukim, but much of it deals with expounding on some of these overarching points. Esther  begins with Perek 1 because it provides important  background as well as some of the major themes that will be addressed. Another major point of interest in Perek 1 is the character of Achashveirosh. Some say that he was a Tipeish, a somewhat oblivious, easily fickle and weak king. While a Tipeish may  be an intelligent person, he is one who does not foresee consequences (out of laziness or stupidity) and is content to lie governed by his whims and those who manipulate him. Others swear by his brilliance, claiming that he was a Chacham, someone who calculates and weighs his options, recognizing the consequences of his and others
’ actions
. In Perek 1, Achashveirosh seems to better fit the definition of a Tipeish. First of all, Achashveirosh seems to throw the parties largely for personal enjoyment. In Pasuk 4, describing the party, the Megill
ah states, “
oto Et Osher Kevod Malchuto
 ,” “When the king
 was displaying his
wealth.” What need does Achasheverosh have to
throw around his wealth to his own people? Likewise, at the smaller, seven day party, the Megillah makes a point of telling us,
KeTov Leiv HaMelech BaYayin
…” “When the
king's heart was merry with wine
…” (1:10). Again
Achashveirosh seems to be indulging himself. A Chacham knows enough to avoid getting himself into an irrational state, of which drunkenness certai
nly qualifies. Finally, Mehuman’
s proposed law (which clarified the domestic relationship  between hu
sband and wife) is “VaYet
av BeEi
nei HaMelech,” “Good in the eyes of the king” (1:21). But does the queen having
one incident at one party with only the women of Shushan watching really stand as a model for the entire realm? Perhaps,  but if Achashveirosh was really a Chacham, the kind of Chacham who works well with court intrigue, there is no logical explanation why he would not come up with Mehuman's logic if he thought that logic were valid. And he clearly does think that, as he finds Mehuman's logic favorable. Achashveirosh seems to be a Tipeish because he cares largely for vice and doesn't seem to have a head for the intrigue a Chacham, by his intelligent, foreseeing nature, should have. On the other hand, the very fact that Achashveirosh consults his advisers could be seen as a sign of Chochmah, as most foolish kings act with impunity or delegate responsibility and don't want to hear about it. If Achashveirosh is, in fact, a Tipeish, the rest of the Megillah must be looked at as others manipulating him, rather than him manipulating everyone else.
Mordechai’s Message: BaEit HaZot
by Ezra Hagler (‘14) 
Throughout Tanach, Jewish leaders have been reluctant to take action. Moshe argues at the burning bush for seven days, Shaul hides himself when Shmuel tries to appoint him king, and Gid
’on protests
 that he is unfit to lead. At first glance, it seems that in the fourth Perek of Megillat Esther another savior of the Jews, Esther, continues this trend of refusing at first to help and needing someone else to tell them that they are needed. After Haman sends out his decree of genocide against the Jews, Mordechai tells Esther to use her position as queen to try and convince King Achashveirosh to revoke the decree. Esther disagrees, quoting the law that one who goes to the king without an invitation can be killed. Mordechai then famously
answers, “
Ki Im Hachareish Tacharishi BaEit HaZot, Revach
VeHatzalah Ya’amod LaYehudim MiMakom Acheir, VeAt UVeit
 Avich Toveidu, UMi Yodei
 Im LeEit KaZot Higa
at LaMalchut,
“For if
you altogether hold your peace at this time, then relief and deliverance will arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish; and who knows whether you have come to royalty
for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14). We assume that Mordechai convinces her to go to Achashveirosh, as she asks for the Jews to fast for three days and then she will go to Achashveirosh, which is what happens and the rest is history. I would like to interpret this argument in a slightly different manner. Instead of Esther totally refusing to do anything at first, I think she agreed wholeheartedly with Mordechai that she should try and influence Achashveirosh. However, the point of contention between them is when and how she should do so. Esther says that she will wait until she is next called by Achashveirosh and then will broach the impending genocide with him. Mordechai is not telling her that she has to do something; rather, he is telling her that she has to
by Aryeh Krischer ('14)
Hu it’s the old switcheroo, turning things right around on their
 head, So what better way to honor the day, than inverting what is to be said? Rousy at syld rah nacye hts doom, ehte volg put aebdlo niro Kaol cni rot ah nieb ruoh, de traehth gild nay llisaynam. Evold naw onkl laewy a deht, smirup sdnuo mnipuh Gih delip doof e vigd nay olpmeo, nev ahoh wesoht trop. Pusple hews dnuo srekame siond, n atniap ecafh tiwy Oj hti wni semoc radaf, oh tne et ruo feh t. I may seem out of my head from the verses just read, and verily they were quite strange, If it makes you quite tense and you want some real sense, all you must do is rearrange. Like so: The fourteenth of Adar comes in with joy, with face paint and noisemaker sounds. We help support those who have no employ, and give food piled high up in mounds.
Purim’s the day we
 all know and love, many a silly and lighthearted hour. Be in hat or in cloak or in old beat up glove, the moods they can hardly stay sour. do something
. Rather than be passive and wait for Achashveirosh to initiate, she has to be active and go to him. Sh
e can’t assume that since Haman’s decree won’t be in effect
for almost a year she has time to wait. Mordechai is telling her that even if she thinks she has time- if she waits- it could lead to a disaster. We see that Mordechai is right because the day after Esther goes to the king, Haman builds gallows to hang Mordechai, and if Esther had waited another few days, he might have succeeded. There are two phrases in these Pesukim that seem superfluous but actually might support this reading. First, Esther
says, “
VaAni Lo Nikreiti Lavo El HaMelech Zeh Sheloshim Yom,
that she has not been called to the king in 30 days (4:11). One way of explaining this added line is that she is saying that this shows that
she has lost Achashveirosh’s favor
 , so if she went to him now, she would be probably be killed. However, according to the alternate explanation given above, one could look at this phrase in the opposite light. Rather than saying that Achashveirosh no longer likes her, she could be saying that he is overdue to summon her and she is sure that he will soon call. Later Mordechai says,
Ki Im Hachareish Tacharishi
BaEit HaZot 
 ,” “For if
you altogether hold your peace
at this time
(4:14), specifically adding
at this time.
 This also supports the
idea that he wasn’t just
telling her that she needed to do something; rather, he was telling her that she needed to do something immediately.
This could also explain why Esther asked for the three days of fasting. Not only was she asking them to Daven for her, but she was also saying that she wants to wait three more days for Achashveirosh to call her,
 but if he doesn’t send for her in the next three days
 , she will take action. According to this reading of Perek 4, Mordechai is teaching Esther a very important lesson: D
on’t fea
r taking initiative. The Gemara in Sukkah (29b) says that one of the four things that are
punished by confiscation of property is throwing one’s
yoke onto
his neighbor’s shoulders.
In a similar vein, the Mishnah in Avot (2:6) teaches that in a place without men, you must be the man. The lesson that Chazal are teaching is the same lesson that Mordechai teaches Esther. Y
ou can’t put the responsibiliti
es on someone else- you have to step up and take the initiative. When
there is something wrong, if it’s as big a genocide or as small
as a fight with a fr
iend, it’s not enough to be willing to do
something if someone else starts. You yourself have to take the initiative and try to fix the problem.
The Kashrut of Penguins
by Dovid Fertig
 and Rav Chaim Loike
Rav Chaim Loike is a rabbinic coordinator at the Orthodox Union. He is one of the world's leading authorities on the Kashrut of birds.
Kol Torah is honored to present Rav Loike’s response to Torah Academy of Bergen County student Dovid Fertig’s question
to Rav Loike regarding the Kashrut of penguins.
Editor’s Introduction
 (excerpted from an essay authored by Rav Dr. Ari Zivotofsky that was published in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society)
For the pur-pose of identifying kosher animals, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 79, 82, 83 and 85), based on Lev. 11:1-27 and Deut. 14:3-20, di-vides the animal kingdom into four categories. 1 These are: terrestrial mammalian quad-rupeds, birds, fish, and invertebrates. 2 In general, the Torah specifies the features charac-terize a kosher species. For exam-ple, among the mammalian quad-rupeds, an animal is kosher if it both chews its cud (ma'alay gara) and has fully split hooves (mafreset parsah v'shosa'at shesa prasot). In many cases the talmudic sages clarified, elaborated, embellished and added to the indicators, and these are often recorded as normative halacha in the Shulchan Aruch. Birds are categorically different from the other three classes in that the Torah offers no identifying features to distinguish the kosher from the non-kosher species. The Torah simply provides a listing of those birds that are not kosher. An even score of species are listed and after several of them "and its species" is stated, for a total of 24 non-kosher species. By inference, all of the other, vast number of bird species, are kosher. Thus, for Moshe Rabbenu, or any expert ornithologist who is able to correctly identify the 24 listed

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->