1. This Shabbos is Parshas Pinchos which is the upcoming first of the three Shabbasos of what we call the three weeks. I would like to share with you a thought that starts from Parshas Pinchos but leads to Tisha B’av as well. We find here in 28:27 the Korbanos of Shavuos of Yom Habbikurim. We find in the Parsha that there are (פָּרִים בְּנֵי-בָקָר שְׁנַיִם, אַיִל אֶחָד; שִׁבְעָה כְבָשִׂים, בְּנֵי שָׁנָה) that is the entire Korban that is mentioned here. In Parshas Emor when it talks about Shavuos we find a different Korban 23:18 (וּפַר בֶּן-בָּקָר אֶחָד, וְאֵילִם שְׁנָיִם).
The Gemara in Maseches Menachos 45b (25 lines from the top) asks a Kasha that Rashi in Parshas Emor brings as well. The Gemara answers (הללו באין בגלל עצמן). The Parshas Pinchos Korbanos come for the Yom Tov of Shavuos (והללו באין בגלל לחם) and the Korbanos in Emor come for the Shtei Halechem. So it is a bit unusual that it doesn’t mention all of them together but it mentions in Parshas Emor one set of Korbanos and in Parshas Pinchos another set.
Rav Schwab in Parshas Emor (page # 286 on 23:15 – 21) explains that Shavuos is actually two distinct Yomim Tovim. One, the fact that it is the Yom Habbikurim, the end of the Sefiras Hamoer, the day of the bringing of the Shtei Halechem which is something tied to the new crop and the second is the (שָׁבֻעֹתֵיכֶם) which is hinted in this week’s Parsha that Shavuos is the Yom Mattan Torah. So that the Yom Tov has two aspects to it.
Rav Schwab explains that many Yomim Tovim have two aspects to them. The Torah Shebichsav aspect and reason and the Torah She’Baal Peh reason. The whole idea that Shavuos is K’negged Mattan Torah is really a Torah She’Baal Peh reason. So that there are two aspects to the Yom Tov.
It is similar to Rosh Hashono when the Torah Shebichsav says that it is a Yom Teruah and the Torah She’Baal Peh tells us that it is a Yom Hadin. They are mentioned separately in two different Parshios because each is an aspect of the Yom Tov.
In general, Rav Schwab writes elsewhere in his Peirush on the Siddur on the Posuk (לַעֲשות בָּהֶם מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב) that (מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב) Torah Shebichsav is always more Chomer with Middas Hadin because Torah Shebichsav says (יָד תַּחַת יָד) in Shemos 21:24 and Torah She’Baal Peh is Middas Harachamim because we say that Yad Tachas Yad is Mammon. This is a topic that I have spoken about in the past. What is Nogea to us is that the Torah Shebichsav Yom Tov is a Middas Hadin Yom Tov. The Yom Teruah of Rosh Hashono requires a precise Teruah and the second aspect of the Yom Tov which is the Torah She’Baal Peh aspect is Middas Harachamim. Rosh Hashono is a time where a person can be Zocheh in Din.
Coming up to Tisha B’av it is exactly the same. Tisha B’av is a Chag that has two aspects to it. The Torah Shebichsav aspect and the Torah She’Baal Peh aspect. You will ask me where is the Torah Shebichsav aspect found. In Sefer Zecharyiah 8:19 (וְצוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי) a day of Tzom. There is a second aspect, the Torah She’Baal Peh aspect which is that it is called a Moed, there is something of a Yom Tov to it. So that Tisha B’av and Bichlal the Bain Hametzarim has two parts to it, the Din which is of course a part of Tisha B’av and the Rachamim which is a second aspect. Tisha B’av is what a person makes of it.
In connection to this I want to suggest for the three weeks that we take it upon ourselves to mark the three weeks. It is not just the aspects of Aveilus that we practice, which nowadays are easier. Even in the nine days no Fleishigs there is plenty of Milchigs. It is somehow not as much of an Aveilus as it should be. But at least to mention in the Davening when we mention Yerushalayim, to have it in mind.
A number of years ago I was in Yerushalayim. I used to go to Rav Elyashiv’s Shiurim on Shabbos afternoon and they were Mechabeid me to sit next to him during the Shiur and subsequently during Mincha. As you may know, Rav Elyashiv Davened a pretty fast Shemoneh Esrei. He spoke as one who speaks to his friend, like the way that I am talking to you. He spoke to the Ribbono Shel Olam and it didn’t take long. But I noticed in standing next to him and he Davened a rather loud silent Shemoneh Esrei that (הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתו לְצִיּון) those three words before Modim he said slowly and with Kavanah. Maybe that is a Kabbalah Bli Neder to take for the three weeks to have more Kavanah in that part of the Davening.
2. Let’s move on to a second thought from Parshas Pinchos. That is a Machshava that the Gadlus of Pinchos comes from the Nesirah of (זִמְרִי, בֶּן-סָלוּא). When there is a Nesirah in Klal Yisrael, when there is an Eigel there is an opportunity for Gadlus. Sheivet Levi became special because Klal Yisrael fell at the Eigel and they stood up and said Mi Lashem Eilai.
The Meraglim had a Yerida and Yehoshua and Caleiv stood up and became great from their Yerida. Every time there is a Yerida in the world it is the nature of most people to be M’yaeish and fall along with the Yerida. Someone who is Mechazeik himself is Zoche to Gadlus. The lesson of Pinchos is that a time of Yerida is a time when someone who is smart enough can be Mechazeik himself.
In Avinu Malkeinu we have five Seforim that we mention during the Aseres Yimai Teshuvah. (כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר חַיִּים טובִים), (כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר גְּאוּלָּה וִישׁוּעָה), (כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר פַּרְנָסָה וְכַלְכָּלָה), (כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר זְכֻיּות), (כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר סְלִיחָה וּמְחִילָה). These five Seforim are K’negged the Chamisha Chumshei Torah. That is what it says in the Otzar Hatefillah Siddur. Sefer Chaim is Beraishis, where the Chiyus of the world was created. Sefer Geulah V’yeshua is Sefer Shemos which is called the Sefer Geulah. Sefer Parnasa V’chalkala is Vayikra because the Korbanos are a Segulah for Parnasa. Sefer Selicha Umechila is Sefer Devraim as Klal Yisrael goes into Eretz Yisrael. Bamidbar is Sefer Zechiyos. How? In Bamidbar there are many Yeridos for Klal Yisrael. Every Yerida is an opportunity for Aliyah. So too, Parshas Pinchos, Amad Baperetz, he stood when there was a breach. Every time you see a Yerida around you it is an opportunity for a Chizuk and Amida for you. This is my second thought for Parshas Pinchos.
Wishing everyone an absolutely wonderful Shabbos.