Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
haaros

Haaros

Parshas Metzora/Shabbos Hagadol 5757 - 1997

Outline # 32

by Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein


Chametz in the Sacrifices

The Chametz (leavening agent and leavened product) alludes to impurities. The Chasom Sofer explained:

The Kohanim should have had chametz in their sacrificial food, because the Torah is not given to angels. However, the verses say that Hashem gave the Kohanim from His portion -- and there is no chametz allowed on the altar. The Kohain's food is thus specially charged with sanctity.

We have referred several times to his commentary, that the first of the four questions can be understood as follows:

"Why does the Todah (thanksgiving offering) include chametz and matza

every day, but upon eating the Pesach Todah, we only find matza?"

The Chasom Sofer himself answered this question in Toras Moshe, parshas Tzav. "The bread couldn't rise before the Holy One revealed Himself, and redeemed them. The Table On High, from which we partook, allows no chametz..."

These words are esoteric; our understanding is as follows:

1. The thanksgiving sacrifice involves two elements: The sacrifice upon the altar, and the meal of thanks, eaten at home. The part for the altar has no chametz; at home, however, loaves of chametz are eaten.

2. At Pesach in Egypt, our homes were our altars. There was no sanctuary as yet; there was no special place for the offerings, so the Pesach sacrifice was slaughtered at home, its blood dashed on the doorposts and lintel, instead of the altar. On this night we were the Kohanim, and our food came from G-d's portion. Our tables were His tables. The altar cannot accept chametz...

Pesach occurred before Torah was given. The Levites were not yet chosen for any special duties. The sons of Aharon had not been singled out for the services. Who offered the sacrifice? Who were the Kohanim? Each house had their own... We were the Kohanim.

"You will be for Me a Kingdom of Kohanim, and a Holy People..." (Shmos [Exodus] 19:6)

Pesach commemorates that pre-Torah state of chosen-ness, where all of Israel were selected for the services. It was the blood of the services -- from each Jewish household -- which precipitated the miracle of the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt, and the Jews' salvation.

It is important to note that at the receiving of the Torah, in a state of fear, the people asked to withdraw. Only Moshe would proceed. The fear of further revelation held the people back from direct prophecy. Now they would need agents -- the prophets -- to intercede. Later, due to the incident of the Golden Calf, the tribe of Levi was given special distinctions.

The Pesach Seder reminds us that prayer -- which substitutes in place of sacrifices -- and Torah -- open to all -- can make each person great. We can each become as holy as the Kohanim; on this night, it is as if we are eating the sacrificial food from Hashem's altar.


Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein
PC Kollel
1 Babbin Court
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Phone: 914-425-3565
Fax: 914-425-4296
E-mail: yaakovb@torah.org

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

A Torah Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Worms and Wagons
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Parashat Vayigash & the Fast of the 10th of Tebet
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Jewish Renewal and Resilience
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

The Aleph-Beis of Relationships
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Liar Liar
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

> Chanukah Oil: A Real No-Know
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Time is Precious
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Miracles of Modesty
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

ArtScroll

Waning or Waxing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Feel My Pain
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Age Old Questions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Of Fire and Money
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

For Shame or Pride
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

The Challenge
Shlomo Katz - 5774

As Amazing as Yosef HaTzadik
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information