Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

The following is a brief summary of a vort said over by R' Frand this evening. I have attempted to reproduce the 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 Vayikra 2:1 the Torah instructs that when a person brings a flour offering (karban mincha) it should be comprised of fine flour along with oil and levonah (commonly translated as frankincense). Later in the second perek (2:11) the Torah writes that a flour offering should not be chametz because leaven and honey should not be offered to Hashem as part of the mincha.

Rabbi Frand then made reference to the karbanos which are said in the davening. The portion of davening (which is actually a gemara in Krisus and a mishna in Yoma) discusses how the ketores was made. In this discussion, Bar Kapara states that if honey was added to the mixture, no one would be able to stand the smell. Immediately thereafter, the Beraisa asks, why was honey not added to the mixture - because the Torah (citing to Vayikra 2:11) states that no honey or leaven should be offered...

Rabbi Frand asked, why the use of double language? The gemara had already told us that if honey was added, the smell would be too difficult to bear, so why cite to the pasuk as well?

Rabbi Frand answered by quoting a Sifri which discusses how one should act when he is around food which is not kosher. A person should not say, I don't want pork because its disgusting. Instead he should say - I would like to try it but the Torah forbids us from eating it.

Similarly, the Torah itself offers two rationales for why the honey should not be added to the mixture. The smell of honey mixed in with the ketores might be overpowering, but the reason that we don't combine them is because Hashem commanded us not to do so.

R' Frand then told over a story from R' Mordechai Kaminetzky who related a story where an obvious non-Jewish person was standing in line at the checkout of a supermarket with her young son. The boy wanted a candy from the checkout line but the mother would not buy it. When the boy continued to beg, the mother responded that the candy was not kosher. The boy looked at her and said - but the label says that the candy is delicious?

The lady then turned to the frum woman behind her in line and asked - how is it that when you tell your child the food is not kosher it is the end of the story? Doesn't it mean that it does not taste good? The frum woman responded that not kosher means that we can't eat it, not that it does not taste good.

This is the reason that the gemara follows with the citation to the pasuk. The reason that we don't mix the honey in is because the Torah forbids it.

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