Illuminations #39, Tammuz 5775, Parshat Pinchas

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Illuminations #39, Tammuz 5775, Parshat Pinchas

Torah Gems

Fresh Mitzvot

The last section in this week’s Parsha describes the Musafin, the korbanot brought on Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh and Moadim in addition to the two daily offerings known as Temidim or Morning Tamid and Afternoon Tamid. Since the additional offerings are only brought between the times that the daily ones were offered, the Torah first discusses the daily sacrifices. The Posuk mentions several different halachot relating to these korbanot.

In the middle of delineating the different technicalities, the posuk inserts that, “The Burnt Tamid that was brought at Har Sinai was a pleasing libation to Hashem.” This Posuk is completely out of place! Why are we told about a specific korban and how it was successfully brought at Har Sinai? What does that have to do with the technical laws regarding the daily obligation of bringing the Korban Tamid on the Mizbe’ach?

In Be’er Yosef, Rav Yosef Tzvi Salant explains the out of place verse with a profound insight. The term for the daily sacrifice, Rav Yosef Tzvi points out, is Tamid, meaning continual, referring to the recurring nature of the korban. The natural process for humans is to grow accustomed to those things that are constant and recurring. They eventually become habitual and second-nature. On the other hand, if something is a once in a lifetime occasion and is anticipated for in advance, surely this event is approached with an entirely different attitude. It is a feeling of reverence and appreciation, maybe even emotion.

Similarly with regard to the Tamid which was brought twice daily there was fear that it, too, like anything else, might become stale and routine. So we are reminded of the first korban we brought as the nation of Hashem. One can only imagine the pure intentions that were offered together with this korban, the korban that prepared them to hear the words of Hashem at Har Sinai with their own ears. That korban was truly pleasing to Hashem. We can expect the same results twice daily—if only we can retain the same excitement that we had while bringing the very first korban.

Parsha Pearls

Quintessential Leader

The status of Moshe Rabenu as a unique navi is demonstrated clearly in the Torah and statements of Chazal. The posuk (Bamidbar 12, 7-8) states, “[Moshe] is trusted in my house. Mouth to mouth I speak with him; I tell him my words clearly and not with hints.” The Holy Seforim explain that Hashem only appeared to the prophets in a way that required the prophet to interpret the message. Moshe was unique in that Hashem conveyed the message to him in a clear vision. This is known in Kabbalistic terms as Aspaklaria Hameira.

The Brisker Rav Points out that Moshe had an even more elevated status than that of angels. Rashi (Bamidbar 17, 13) records a struggle between Aharon and the Angel of Death. Aharon was peventing the angel from killing people. The angel said to him, “I am a Messenger of Hashem and you are a messenger of Moshe, a mere mortal.” Aharon replied, “Whatever Moshe says is from Hashem. If you don’t believe me, let’s go ask Hashem and Moshe.” Obviously Moshe was essential to soliciting a response from a Hashem even for an angel!

The unparalleled privilege of Moshe Rabenu to approach Hashem at will is referred to in this week’s Parsha as well. During the appointment of Yehoshua, Elazar was named the monitor of the Urim Vetumim. No longer was there going to be a leader of Moshe’s caliber.

Glimpses of Greatness

Mein Meir’ka

Rav Shalom Schwadron, the famed maggid of Yerushalayim, was taking a walk around his neighborhood. He had just passed a few children playing happily. Suddenly, he heard a painful cry as one of the children, Meir, feel and cut his knee quite badly. R’ Shalom turned quickly and scooped up the boy in his arms. He started walking briskly to the boy’s home which was in the same direction of his own house. As he approached, the boy’s mother observed R’ Shalom making haste toward his home, with the child in his arms. She assumed it was R’ Shalom’s son. She called out, “Don’t worry, Hashem will help”. When the Rav came closer, and she realized it was her own child, she cried hysterically “Mein Meir’ka, Mein Meir’ka (My Meir, My Meir)!”

R’ Shalom observed that when it is someone else’s “Meir’ka” we can easily see that everything will be alright and Hashem will help. However, when it comes to our very own “Meir’ka” we feel the pain more intensely.

Let us learn from R’Shalom’s Ahavat Yisroel to care for everyone as if they are “our children.” We should feel as intensely about other people’s things and problems as if they are our own.

Halacha Weekly

Q: Can One Bring Young Children Into a Synagogue? How Should One Behave Differently Towards Them In The Synagogue?

A: One should not kiss a child (or an adult) while in the synagogue, even if one did not see them in a long time. The reason is because while inside the synagogue, one is supposed to be focused on their love for Hashem. However, if one has a small child that is crying and in order to calm them down, one kisses them, it is permitted. Kissing the child in this case is done only to calm them down, and not purely out of love.
There is a custom among Sephardim that after receiving an Aliya on Shabbat, a child kisses his father. This is permitted since it is done for a mitzvah.
One should not bring small children to the synagogue if they are not capable of praying or sitting quietly without disturbing others when they pray. If they can stay quiet or if they are brought to absorb the K’dushat D’vrei Torah (holiness brought about from the Divrei Torah) one is allowed to bring them, even if they are still infants in carriages. This is only permitted, however, as long as they are respectful of the holiness of the synagogue and do not disturb the people praying.

In honor of our nieces שתח”י . 

בע”ה, they should be blessed with easy pregnancies, births and healthy children.

David and Smadar Ginsberg