Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Emor

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

Parshas Emor contains the mitzva of Lechem HaPanim - the "shewbread" (24:5-9) which lay on the shulchan for an entire week before being replaced with twelve identical loaves. Rabbi Frand stated that some chassidim have a tradition to put twelve loaves on the table when making HaMotzi on shabbos to remember the Lechem HaPanim.

The Gemara in Chaggiga teaches that when those who had been oleh regel to Yerushalim were leaving, the Kohanim would pick up the table which had the Lechem HaPanim on it in order to show those leaving the great miracle of the Lechem HaPanim (it never went bad and stayed "freshly baked warm" all week long). The Gemara states that when the Kohanim picked up the table they remarked to those who were leaving - see how dear you are to Hashem.

Rabbi Frand asked the question - why specifically was this miracle chosen to show the Jews who had completed their trip? The Beis Hamikdash had many daily miracles, why was this one demonstrated to the people?

Rabbi Frand quoted the "Pri Tzadik" who states that the 12 loaves were symbolic of the 12 tribes and were an indication that they (the 12 tribes) are all dear to Him like the 12 loaves. Rabbi Frand then quoted a Medrash which teaches that all 12 tribes worshipped Hashem differently. Therefore, traditional shuls have 12 windows to show that the same way that although each tribe had its own way of worshipping Hashem, all the tefillos went up to Him. Although the various sects have different minhagim it is irrelevant, as long as everyone "keeps the shulchan aruch" all the minhagim are considered holy before Hashem just like the 12 loaves of the Lechem HaPanim.

Rabbi Frand then noted that immediately after the mitzva of Lechem HaPanim, the parsha tells the story of the mikallel - the son of a Jewish woman and an Egyptian man and who went out and cursed Hashem's name. Rashi asks why did the man go out? Rashi answers that the man finished learning the Lechem HaPanim and scoffed - saying how does one worship Hashem by giving him cold nine day old bread?

But why is this so significant to the mikallel? Rabbi Frand quoted R' Tzadok HaKohen who explains that the 12 loaves were indicative of the holiness of the 12 tribes before Hashem. This man had "sour grapes" - since he was not the member of a tribe as he descended from an Egyptian father. Thus the mikallel had a problem with the concept of the holiness of the tribes and their connection to the Lechem HaPanim, so he cursed Hashem.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site such as JBlog, please feel free to click here to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: