Illuminations #155, Nissan 5778, Parshat Tzav

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Illuminations #155, Nissan 5778, Parshat Tzav

Torah Gems

A very great principle is derived from this procedure: “The Cohanim eat and thereby the owner gains atonement” (Pesachim 59 B). The atonement is completed at the sprinkling of the blood on the Mizbeach; even the offering of the Karban on the fire is an additional Mitzvah which, if not fulfilled, dose not invalidate the Karban. Yet the offering of the parts on the fire is indeed a very important part of the service, which has many details of laws and procedure. In this Pasuk we learn also that the eating by the Cohanim is one of the forms of offering the Karban and enhances the quality of the atonement. When the Cohen eats in the sacred precincts, he becomes an altar; and the physical pleasure of ingesting the sacred offering is compared to the fire on the Mizbeach. Certainly, he should eat with holly intention. He must chew and therefore enjoy the sacred food; and despite the unavoidable pleasure, he adds the intention of the service of the offering to Hashem. Similarly, the fact that we eat Matzah on Pesach night with appetite is not a blemish in our Mitzvah; on the contrary, we are cautioned (Pesachim 99B) to refrain from much food in the day, in order to eat the Matzah with more appetite. Rashi explains that this is an honor for the Mitzvah. We learn the extremely valuable principle that eating with proper intention is a service to Hashem, and may even be considered as a form of Kedusha(Mesilas Yesharim).

Parsha Pearls

Tefillah demands work. According to Shulchan Oruch, “A person should daven in a pleading way, as a poor person begs at the door, and softly, and it should not appear that to him the davening is a burden from which he wishes to be freed” (OrachChaim 98:3). Pleading comes from the heart, not from the mind. A person may daven with his mind, clearly saying and understanding the words. However, that is not sufficient. One must daven with feeling, from the depths of his heart. Rabbeinu Yonah says that the three things on which the world stands are not just three individual pillars. Rather they are three parts of an interconnected support system. The Chazon Ish writes in a letter:“The Jewish people are precious, for they do not require an intermediary. Any person can daven, and it is within every person’s power to find good through tefillah, and Hashem so to speak desires the prayers of tzadikim. Tefillah is a staff of strength in the hand of every person, and however much a person puts his trust in Hashem, so will he make progress and so will he succeed.” He concludes by saying: “Learning and Tefillah are tied to each other. Toil in learning helps the light of Tefillah, and tefillah enhances one’s learning. Tefillah out of rote distances learning, and learning in a lazy fashion holds back tefillah.”

Glimpses of Greatness

A grandson of Rav Elyashiv relates the following: Every night, I would hear his sweet learning. He learned as if he had a partner in learning (which he didn’t); asking questions, answering, and even scoring himself. One night, he suddenly fell silent, and I peeked into the room to see if something had happened. I beheld him bent over the sefer, repeating the words to himself again and again. Apparently, it was a difficult text. After two hours, Rav Elyashiv finally relaxed his muscles and his face lit up joyously as he attained an understanding of the difficult text. In a generation of instant gratification, when people find it hard to concentrate for even one minute, our gedolim have intense focus on one thought for two whole hours!

Halacha Weekly

Q. What should one do if mail or a package is delivered to one’s doorstep on Shabbat? II-7-167}

A.  The Mishneh Berurah (307-56, R. Yisrael Meir Kagan Z”L) and Rav Poalim (Orech Chaim 4-24-1, R. Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, Z”L) write that the later authorities agree that receiving mail or packages on Shabbat does not involve a prohibition of muktzeh. However, Mishneh Berurah writes further that if one is concerned regarding a [particular] letter that one may want to use for a business purpose, and is worried that one might come to put it in a hidden place in order that it not get lost,[then] it is [in fact] muktzeh, and it is prohibited to carry it. It appears to me that because today most letters that come [in the mail] are in fact related to business, contain money or come from the bank, they are [in fact] muktzeh. Therefore, it is prohibited to bring letters into the house which one receives on Shabbat.

But what happens if the mailman delivers mail or a package to one’s doorstep? The Mishneh Berurah writes also that it is customary not to receive a letter from the hand of a non-Jew that delivers it on Shabbat.  Rather, one should say to him to place it on the ground or on a table. We are worried that maybe when one comes to take it [directly] from his hand,  the Jew will come to carry the letter, and it will be that the Jew thus completes the act of carrying out from one domain to another (since the non-Jew has performed the act of uprooting the item from one domain and the Jew will then be [completing] the act of causing the item to rest [in another domain]). Rav Poalim (ad . loc.) writes similarly.