Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

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.

In the 5th perek of Parshas Vayikra, the Torah writes about a person who is obligated to bring a karban chatas based on committing one of numerous types of sins. If the person has means, the Torah commands that he bring a female sheep or goat as a karban (Vayikra 5:6). If the person cannot afford the animal, he may bring birds. However, the Torah instructs that the person must bring two birds - either doves or pigeons and that one bird serves as chatas while the other becomes an olah (Vayikra 5:7). Finally, the Torah instructs that if the person cannot afford birds, he should bring a flour offering (Vayikra 5:11).

Rabbi Frand then asked, why is that there is an extra korban if one brings birds instead of animals? Rabbi Frand answered by citing to the Ibn Ezra who says in the name of R' Yitzchak that the reason that the extra korban is brought is that the person in category two is no doubt blaming Hashem for his embarassment and inability to afford the sheep or goat and is in effect asking - why has Hashem put him in the position that he can't bring a proper karban. Since the person is questioning G-d, he must bring an additional karban to atone for this sin.

The Chida (in his sefer Pnei Dovid) explains why this does not apply to the flour offering. The Chida writes that the absolutely destitute person who cries out against Hashem is not punished as Hashem says that although he may have complaints that he is so poor, Hashem gives him slack. When a person is in such pain, Hashem does not hold him accountable. There is a proof from Job that when a person is in such pain, Hashem does not hold him accountable.

The sefer Bei Chiya (R' Elisha Horowitz) applies this to a pasuk in Tehillim which states "Al tizkar lanu avonos rishonim, maheir yikadmunu rachamecha ki dalono me'od." The Bei Chiya explains that the first part of the pasuk (avonos rishonim) are the evil thoughts - the complaints against Hashem, we ask Hashem to quickly apply mercy and not hold us responsible because we are poor (dalono me'od).

Rabbi Frand then told a story which was said over by the Gerrer Rebbi (Beis Yisrael) that there once was an incident where R' Kook was speaking publicly and someone got up and started yelling at him in the middle of the speech. R' Kook ignored the man, but it was clearly inappropriate. Months later, right before Pesach, R' Kook had a list of people to give money to as ma'os chitim. When R' Kook's assistant noted that this man's name was on the list, he balked at giving him the money. R' Kook then said, if you don't bring him the money, then I will. R' Kook explained - the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinam - hatred for no reason. The only way to make up for this is through ahavas chinam - love for no reason. R' Kook further explained that loving a Jew and helping him without connection to that person is not ahavas chinam - because we are commanded to love all Jews anyway (V'ahavta L'rayacha Kamocha). How does one accomplish ahavas chinam - by being nice to someone who has wronged you and you have a real reason to hate him - thus I am giving him this money.

R' Frand then theorized that this might be the reason why R' Kook waited until Pesach to give the man money. It states that we were redeemed from Egypt in Nissan and in Nissan we will be redeemed again. By giving this money and being mikayaim ahavas chinam, R' Kook added another act to the scale towards being redeemed.

R' Frand linked this to the seder as well. The Ben Ish Chai writes that the ma nishtana includes the question why do we dip twice on Pesach night? The Ben Ish Chai answers that one dip is in recognition of the brothers having dipped Yosef's coat in the blood of the goat (Bereishis 37:31) and the other for the agudas eizov (Shemos 12:22) which was taken and dipped in the blood of the goat in Egypt before being painted on the door posts. If we want to atone for dipping Yosef's coat, we need to become a bundle all tied together to prepare for Pesach. If we want to be redeemed we need to come together and forget our petty difference so that we can cause the Beis Hamikdash to be rebuilt.

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