Friday, May 9, 2008

Parshas Emor- Sabbath of all Sabbaths

Quickie/Funfact: The Torah usually lists FATHER before MOTHER when the two are mentioned. Why does the Torah switch the order regarding the allowance for a Kohein to come in contact with relatives who have died? (21:2)

The Kli Yakar answers that since the Kohein's mother married into the priesthood but is not inherently a kohein, one might have thought that the kohein would not be allowed to be involved in her burial. Since the halacha regarding the mother is less obvious, she is mentioned first in this situation.

*Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlit"a

"Sheishes Yamim Taaseh Milacha U'Vayom HaShivi Shabbos Shabbason"

"On Six Days Work is done, and on the Seventh it is the Sabbath"

HaGaon R' Dov Ber Rappaport, makes a very interesting observation on the wording of this Pasuk. There are three places in the Torah when the Torah makes reference to Shabbos and calls it "Shabbos Shabbason" (Emor,VaYakel, and KiTisa) nevertheless in Parshas Yisro (Aseres Hadibros) and in Parshas V'Eschana the Torah makes no reference to Shabbos Shabbason and only calls the day "The Seventh Day, Shabbos". Why does the Torah do this?

Rav Rappaport answers that a distinction can be drawn from the Gemara in Messeches Brachos (35b). The Talmud states, "A time when Klal Yisrael does what Hashem wants of them, other people will do their work for them." We see from this adage that those people who do what Hashem asks of them every day of the week it is "Shabbos," because they have no work to do! Therefore if every day is Shabbos for them, then the real Shabbos is really Shabbos Shabason – The Sabbath of Sabbaths. According to this logic anyone who does not do the will of Hashem, and do manual labor during the week for them in fact, Shabbos is Shabbos not Shabbos Shabbason.

From here we can now properly understand why the Torah makes different references to Shabbos at different times in the Torah. In Vayakel and KiTisa the Torah is talking about those people who do the will of the Ribbono Shel Olam, therefore the Torah says "Shabbas Shabbason." In Parshas Yisro and V'Eschanan however the Torah says, "For Seven Days you shall work." In this case the Torah is referring to those people who do not do to the will of Hashem and are therefore forced to work for six days of the week and only on the Seventh do they celebrate the Holy Shabbos.



Anonymous said...

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹר
דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים תִּזְרַע שָׂדֶךָ
What is the significance of seven years? The Matteh Moshe has an interesting answer. The solar Year is 365 days .Within this time period there are 52 Shabbosim. Therefore it comes out that the number of Shabbosim in a Shmitah cycle is 364 days rounded you get the Shmitah year. The Chida has a more exact answer. The Gemara in Brachos says Rava told his students during Nissan and Tishrei don’t come to Yeshiva to learn, work the fields so you have the means to learn for the rest of the year. If you do the math over the six years it adds up to twelve months. Therefore the seventh Year is Shemita.
וְכִי תֹאמְרוּ מַה-נֹּאכַל בַּשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת הֵן לֹא נִזְרָע וְלֹא נֶאֱסֹף אֶת-תְּבוּאָתֵנוּ.
The question seems to be wrong, in the seventh year we eat the crop of the sixth year so what is the posuk asking what will be in the seventh year, it is the wrong question? The Sefer Peh Kodesh has an amazing Psychological insight. The Gemara in Yoma says
אינו דומה מי שיש לו פת בסלו למי שאין לו פת בסלו .That means that a person who knows that he is provided for in the future is more psychologically fulfilled. Now we understand the Posuk easily. It is talking about the seventh year but since in his mind he is concerned about the upcoming year he is unfulfilled so Hashem in the next posuk
says וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת-בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם so he knows this year and next year he will be fulfilled.
כִּי-לִי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם
Why does the Posuk have a double wording עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי? There is a din in the Rambam that a slave immerses himself and he has in mind for his freedom he goes out free. The din only applies when he was sold by his previous owner, but if was sold by the government "גבהו הגוי בחובו" his intention by the immersion does not affect the status of the Slave and he does not go free. In our Posuk Hashem is saying I bought you as Slaves but you can't immerse to be free like the din of a slave because I bought you as a governmental purchase מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.
לֹא-תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם אֱלִילִם וּפֶסֶל וּמַצֵּבָה לֹא-תָקִימוּ לָכֶם וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת עָלֶיהָ כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ
The Chasam Sofer asks if Hashem dislikes stone floors why did he command that the Beis Hamikdash be made with them and what is the connection to Shabbos? The answer is simple stone floors in the Beis Hamikdash are needed because of the blood of the Korbanos would muddy a sand floor. The connection to Shabbos is because on Shabbos you would need to clean it up. That would mean you would be Desecrating Shabbos it is this very reason that Hashem wants the stone floors. Therefore the Parsha ends talking about the stone floors and Shabbos.

Ibn Mordechai said...

Wow! Thank you very much for all of your help. Iy"h I will post your divrei Torah a little bit earlier in the week than last time.

What is it that made you start doing this all of a sudden? We are all very appreciative. said...

I love the beautiful painting you used in this Parshas Emor Divrei Torah and am trying very hard to locate its proper source so I can ask the artist permission to use it for a CD cover... Where did you get this from? Please help me as I don't want to use it without paying for it and / or asking R'shus. Please email me at
Thank you very much.

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You are Sorely Missed!