Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas KiSissa

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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.

R' Frand started the parsha vort by quoting the beginning of the parsha in which Hashem says to Moshe in Shemos (30:13) "Zeh Yitnu" - this you shall give. 

Rashi explains that Hashem showed Moshe an image of a fiery coin so as to demonstrate what should be used for the mitzva. The mefarshim explain that Moshe had been "confused" as to what should be used as the coin, so Hashem showed him the way the mitzva should be performed.

R' Frand observed that this was not the first time that Moshe was confused about a mitzva, as Moshe had needed a visual aid to understand the intricacies of the Menorah with all of its component parts.

Similarly, Moshe was confused about the laws of the sheratzim - the "creepy crawlies" [my words not R' Frand's] which could impart tumah to a person. As such, Hashem needed to show him examples.

But the obvious question is - these other items had some level of intricacy or inherent level of confusion, but why would Moshe not understand the concept of a coin being used to donate for Bedek HaBayis? 

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Zalman Sorotskin in Aznaim L'Torah who explains that Moshe's question was - how can money be a "Kapparah" -- an atonement? Hashem answered Moshe by showing him a fiery coin and not a silver or copper coin. The symbolism of the fire was meant to teach that fire can potentially be used positively and negatively. Fire can heat the home or be a source to cook on, but it can also burn. Hashem showed Moshe the fiery coin to teach him that money can be used for negative and positive purposes --it can be a needed source to support the Avodah and Bedek HaBayis, or C'Vs it could be used for negative purposes.

R' Frand also quoted R' Sorotskin in connection with the Torah's statement in Shemos (30:15) that a rich person should not give more and a poor person should not give less than the half shekel which was given to atone. It is understandable that a poor person who gives his half shekel is atoning, as it is a sacrifice to give from his meager funds. But why is it a Kapparah for the rich man?

R' Sorotskin answers that the Kapparah for the rich man is that he must stand with and be associated with the poor man. Although the rich man might find this difficult, his association with the poor man serves as an atonement for his deeds.

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