Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

The following is a brief summary of two thoughts said over by R' Frand in his shiur this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistencies are the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

As Thursday was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Rabbi Frand mentioned that the Mishkan was assembled on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. He first reviewed the chronology of the midbar period in which Moshe went up on Har Sinai to ask for forgiveness for the Jews and came down on Yom Kippur to advise them that Hashem had forgiven them. The following day (11th day of Tishrei) the process of designing and building the Mishkan began. However, the Mishkan was not formally assembled until Rosh Chodessh Nissan.

The Medrash Tanchuma explains that the pieces of the Mishkan were actually sitting and ready to be assembled three months prior to Nissan. The Medrash cites R' Shmuel Bar Nachman who taught that Hashem wanted the Mishkan to be assembled on Rosh Chodesh Nissan because that was Yitzchak Avinu's birthday and Hashem wanted to be mi'arev the simcha of building the Mishkan with the happiness of Yitzchak's birthday. Meanwhile the “leitzanei hador” were critical of the waiting process and were not aware of the significance of Rosh Chodesh Nissan. This is alluded to in Mizmor Shir L'Yom HaShabbos (Tehillim 92:5-7) in which it is written “Ki Simachtani Hashem B'Faalecha, B'Maasei Yadecha Aranein” which refers to the building of the mishkan; “M'od Amku Machsevosecha” which refers to the depth of Hashem's thoughts, which the fools did not understand had a connection (“Ish Ba'ar Lo Yeida...”).

R' Frand then quoted R' David Kviat (sp?) who asked – don't we have a general principal, “ein ma'arvin simcha b'simcha (we don't join two happy events together)? So why would Hashem want to specifically be mi'arev the building of the Mishkan with Yitzchak's birth?

R' Kviat answered that Yizchak is the pillar of avodah and was himself a korban. Chazal teach that Yitzchak came to the akeidah with happiness, knowing that he was to be offered as a sacrifice. Thus associating him with the Mishkan was meant to show our happiness of having a place where Hashem would dwell and where we could serve Him. The two events were not dissimilar smachos (such as having a wedding during chol hamoed) as the image of Yitzchak and his happiness in serving Hashem could act as a segulah for the Jews in their use of the Mishkan to serve Hashem.

The second vort said over by R' Frand was quoted from the sefer Kisav Hakabalah. It states many times in Sefer Vaykira that a korban was offered “l'reiach nichoach l'Hashem” which can be translated as the korban was offered as a pleasant smell for Hashem. However the Kisav Hakabalah cites to another explanation which appears in the sefer Ma'asei Hashem which states that the reiach nichoach is the smell of the person bringing the korban.

R' Frand then gave a mashal. When a person comes home Friday afternoon from work and smells the aromas of shabbos such as the soup, or challah or kugel, the person knows that the meal will be delicious, well before the food is actually consumed. [I personally love to come home and tell my aishes chayil that the house smells like shabbos]. R' Frand mentioned that this is a “leading economic indicator” - if the food smells good, you know that you are in for a great meal.

The same concept applies (kiv'yachol) to Hashem. When he sees that a person is offering a korban, He knows that the person is attempting to draw close to Him and wants to do better with his life. The person offering the korban has not yet taken the acts which will follow through with his personal improvement and closer kesher to Hashem. However, the act of bringing the korban is a first step in showing that the person does want to draw closer and the precursor to the mitzvos which will be done. Much in the same way that the great smelling challah I smell upstairs in my home right now means that I will have a delicious shabbos meal tomorrow although I have not yet eaten it, the scent of the person who sincerely offers the korban is the leading indicator to Hashem that the the ba'al makriv will be doing many mitzvos in the future.

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