Sunday, April 2, 2017

Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Vayikra 5777

1 – Topic - A person who brings a Korban gets credit and a Hiskarvus to Hakadosh Baruch Hu

Certainly the most important words in Chumash Vayikra are the words (רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ) Rai’ach Nichoach which is the Ikkur in Korbanos. Korbanos are (אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ-נִיחוֹחַ לַירוָר). They Kavayochel provide some type of pleasure Kavayochel to the Ribbono Shel Olam and certainly the idea of Rai’ach Nichoach needs some sort explanation. Rai’ach Nichoach is not an expression limited to the Bais Hamikdash, as it is by all Korbanos. We find by Noach as is found in Beraishis 8:21 (וַיָּרַח יְרוָר, אֶת-רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ). So that it is there already. 

The thought that I would like to share with you is a thought which was printed B’sheim Rav Gedalya Schorr in the Yeshurun journal of Nissan Taf Shin Nun Zayin on page 449. I am not sure if this thought was printed later anywhere else but a Gevaldige idea, a Gevaldige thought. Something you will enjoy. 

He says the Inyan of the Rai’ach Tov to HKB”H and the Mashal of the Rai’ach is that a Rai’ach, a pleasurable smell can be smelled from the distance. It is not a type of pleasure that you have to walk up to or approach or handle in order to enjoy. If you want to enjoy food or drink you have to handle it. You have to actually be there. Even sound which you can hear in a distance, is normally limited in its distance. Smell though is something which is not only something that affects a great distance, a great area but it also lasts, unlike a sound. It is a Rai’ach which remains. Normally a Rai’ach that remains is something that is here today and it remains for the future. 

Rav Gedalya Schorr writes that the Mashul of Rai’ach here is something that has a Rai’ach Mai’rachok but however this Rachok is, “Ha’inyan Hakorban Hu She’ha’adam Mekabeil Al Atzmo Lhe’hai’tiv Mai’so L’hiskareiv.” The idea of Korban is the idea is to draw close to the Ribbono Shel Olam. “V’zehu Nichoach.” And the pleasure to HKB”H Kavayochel is, “B’yad Bish’as Hakabbalah Oseh Ha’adam Rai’ach Nichoach.” That even though it hasn’t yet happened, it is a Rai’ach that is somewhere in the future, but a Rai’ach that is in the future already gives pleasure to HKB”H. That is what is special about Korbanos. Rai’ach Nichoach is somehow a portal from the future back in time, that HKB”H gives credit for something that will be.

Rav Schorr’s Mekor for this is the Medrash in Beraishis Rabbah on the Posuk (וַיָּרַח יְרוָר, אֶת-רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ), in the Medrash Perek 34 Os Yud. That at the time of Noach, HKB”H Kavayochel had the pleasurable aroma of Avraham Avinu being Moser Nefesh in the Kivshan Ha’aish. In addition, that in the future that Chananyah, Mishael and Azarya would be Moser Nefesh brought a Rai’ach Nichoah to HKB”H. The things that were going to still be in the future, already HKB”H enjoyed. Already enjoyed, K’ilu the Korban is something that allows an opening, a Hiskarvus which has potential for the future. That potential for the future is as if it happened. 

He also brings from the Ramban who explains Rai’ach Nichoach that it is a Lashon of closeness. Kol Korban Lashon Kreiva V’achdus. It is a closeness to the Ribbono Shel Olam and this developing of closeness gives a Rai’ach Nichoach already now. So that a Korban has this unique property. It has the ability to give credit for the future. It allows something to be in the future to already give HKB”H pleasure as a person makes a statement that it is something that he is looking for. 

This explains as is found in Beraishis 27:27 (וַיָּרַח אֶת-רֵיחַ בְּגָדָיו, וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ). Yitzchok thought Eisav was there and he smelled a Rai’ach and he gave him a Beracha. He knew that Eisav wasn’t great. But he had this Rai’ach, thinking it is Eisav, he thought Al Ha’asid there is credit, and for that future credit I could give now. Even L’fi Ha’emes that (וַיָּרַח אֶת-רֵיחַ בְּגָדָיו, וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ) is a reference to Yaakov, but Chazal Darshun Al Tikri Begadav Ela “Bogdov.” Even Jews who are not perfect, (וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ), HKB”H Bentches them through Yitzchok Avinu. All on the credit of the future. 

This concept is a concept that I heard from Talmidim of Rav Yitzhok Hutner, something he called the Ohr Ha’chozeir, an expression found in Sifrei Machshava. That there is a certain Ohr from the future which can shine back in time and can give credit back in time. For example, Moshe Rabbeinu says in what Zechus will we go out of Mitzrayim? As is found in Shemos 3:12 (תַּעַבְדוּן אֶת-הָאֱלֹרים, עַל הָהָר הַזֶּה). Something that will happen in the future you have a Zechus for it now. Because the seeds are there, the potential is there. 

So this is the idea of the Korbanos, an idea of a Rai’ach Nichoach. A person committing to the future and HKB”H already giving him credit now. Certainly for a season of renewal, the season of Chodesh Ha’aviv. What a lesson this is. There are times that a person does something in the future or does something now with the potential for the future and he already gets credit for the future. 

I saw a thought which matches this in the recently published Sefer Chamin B’motzoei Shabbos on Parshas Pekudai [from the great Gaon and Tzadik the Tolna Rebbe Shlita]. He says regarding Chodesh Nissan, the expression Chodesh Shebo Yeshuos Makifos. We find the expression that it is a month in which literally Yeshuos, redemption, Makifos, one follows the other. Zagt the Chiddushai Harim quoted there, the Lashon Makifos is also a language of credit. Hakafas Hachanus, getting credit in the store. So besides the simple Pshat, that Yeshuos Makifos. The simple Pshat is Lashon Hakafa, that we are surrounded in the month of Nissan by an extraordinary story of redemption. 

In addition to that, it is a month of Yeshuos Makifos. G-d gives Yeshuos based on credit. If a person is Mekabeil and wants for the future to be close to the Ribbono Shel Olam, he has that Ohr Hachozeir, that Rai’ach Nichoach that goes back in time and gives him credit already. An extraordinary thought, one with great Amkus. 

2 – Topic – Sacrificing of yourself to do the Mitzvos of Hashem

We learn at the beginning of the Parsha in 1:2 (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן, לַיְרוָר). One of you will bring an offering to Hashem. (אָדָם) one of you. Rashi says (אָדָם) that (למה נאמר, מה אדם הראשון לא הקריב מן הגזל, שהכל היה שלו, אף אתם לא תקריבו מן הגזל). Just as Adam Harishon didn’t offer a sacrifice from something that was stolen as everything was his, so too for generations a Korban can’t be a stolen animal. What is the Limud, just like Adam didn’t bring a stolen animal you don’t bring a stolen animal. 

Rav Schwab points out that the Kal V’chomer is not logical as Adam didn’t bring a stolen animal because it would have been impossible for him to bring a stolen animal. Hakol Yi’yeh Shelo. How is that a proof that bringing a stolen animal is a Psul. There are other reasons that it is a Psul. How do we learn that from Adam? 

Rav Schwab (in Mayan Beis Hashoeva page # 242) explains, when we say not to bring a Korban that is stolen, the point is not the negative that something that is stolen is not appropriate for a Korban. That you indeed cannot learn from Adam. The point is that a person who brings a Korban gives up something that he owns. He takes something and he gives it away. (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם). Adam brought something that was his. It is true that it was his. There can be no thought that it could be stolen as there was nobody else. That is not the point. The point is (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם). A person who brings a Korban gives from that which is his, from that which he owns. 

This thought that the Chashivus, the importance of a Korban is that you are giving up something that is yours. Your sacrificing, a Korban is called a sacrifice. Kavayochel as if a person gives back to G-d. This idea that a Korban is giving up your own thing, fits well with what Poskim say in the B’air Heitev in Hilchos Arba Minim, that a person who can get a Cheftzah Shel Mitzvah for free, someone who offers him a free Lulav, someone who offers him free Matzah, someone who offers him any Mitzvah for free, should make some type of payment for it. (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם) A person in doing a Mitzvah should entail some type of sacrifice, some type of giving something up in order to do the Mitzvah. That is not to say that you are not allowed to take something for free. But it is to say that in the Hashkafa of the Mitzvah a person should give up in something he has and that is the Drasha of (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם). Give from something that is yours. 

And so, two thoughts on the Parsha, an idea that a person who brings a Korban gets credit and a Hiskarvus to Hakadosh Baruch Hu and the thought of (אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם) that a person gives of his own. He sacrifices of his own. Of course that is why it is a Rai’ach Nichoach, that is why it is seen as a closeness to Hashem because a person is giving up that which he has as a statement of Hiskarvus to HKB”H.

3 – Topic – Pesach Thought

In closing, I would like to say a Pesach thought. I believe that I asked this as a question in a previous year regarding the Pesach Seder. The Rambam says that during the Pesach Seder we want to keep the children awake and interested, so the Rambam says to give them nuts. By giving them nuts you get them excited. I understand that in the 21st century the kids don’t get all excited over walnuts but that is what is says in the Rambam. 

The question I asked was that during the Aseres Yemai Teshuvah is that we are told to stay away from Egozim. Egoz is Gematriya Cheit. A nut is a Gematriya of a sin. We stay away from Egozim. Isn’t it strange that on the Layla Dim’hai’minusa, the night of Pesach that the Rambam should Dafka say to give the children nuts? Halo Davar Hu! It is really a Davar Pele to give out Egozim on this night. 

The answer is that everything to do with this night has to do with the bravo of Klal Yisrael. They had such Emunah that they were not afraid. Klal Yisrael went out to a Midbar. Klal Yisrael on this night shows their Bitachon in HKB”H by going out to the Midbar without adequate food and provisions, without water. As it says in Yirmiyahu 2:2 (לֶכְתֵּךְ אַחֲרַי בַּמִּדְבָּר, בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא זְרוּעָה). And we do things this night that symbolize that. We open the door to the street as if to say, HKB”H on this night we rely on you and not on the locks on our front door. On this night we do Mitzvos at night. We don’t usually do Mitzvos at night. There are very few Mitzvos that are Meyuchad for night. Some Mitzvos are day and night like Kriyas Shema and Mezuzah. But a Mitzvah that is unique to one period is usually like Shofar and Lulav which are usually day Mitzvos. This is the only time that it is at night because the Seder is at night because night symbolizes darkness and sin. On this night we go with bravo and courageously with our faith in HKB”H. we are not worried about Egozim, we are not worried about night, we are not worried to open the front door. We don’t have the fears that we have all of the time. We place our Emunah, our faith in HKB”H. That is very much a theme. It is not a blind faith in HKB”H. We have faith in him. It is an idea that we are servants of HKB”H and whatever happens to us, it will happen based on our closeness to HKB”H. We can develop a closeness with him. This is a thought regarding the Pesach Seder. IY”H we will have opportunities in which we will discuss other aspects of it.

In the meantime wishing everybody a wonderful Shabbos, a wonderful preparation for Zman Cheirusainu!