Points to Ponder

Naso 5778

איש אשר יתן לכהן לו יהיה That which he gives to the Kohein shall be his (5:9) – What is the purpose of the repetition of this idea with the extra words “Lo Yiyeh?” Rav Betzalel Rudinsky Shlita opined that one has a responsibility to recognize that even the money and profit he has, is not his own. The Terumos & Maaseros that needed to be separated and given to the appropriate parties reminds us that even the remainder belongs to Hashem and is really a gift from Him to us. Lo Yihyeh means that it was His to begin with and is left over for us to enjoy as well.

כי תשטהWhen a man suspects his wife (5:12) – Rashi notes that one only sins when he loses his mind. Rav Chaim Shmuellevitz ztl. explains that people think that a little sin is not the worst thing in the world – that if we sin we will still maintain our spiritual growth mindset. But that is in error. Everyone convinces himself or herself of that point but it is in error.

במלאות Until the completion of the days (6:5) – Why is it that certain time concepts in Judaism have a principle of Miktzas HaYom K’kulo (a part of the day is a day) and others do not? Rav Schachter Shlita would often remind us that things that are tied to the regular calendar cannot cheat that calendar. For these things the part of the day is not a day (“You cannot say Miktzas Hayom on Shabbos”). However when a time is superimposed on the calendar – then we can state that a part of a day is a day (think Aveilus, 7 Nekiyyim and certain aspects of Nazir) – these are referred to as a מלאות

וכבשה בת שנתה תמימה לחטאתHe shall bring his korban, an Ayil.. as an olah and a one year old lamb as a Chatas (6:14) – why is it that the one who successfully completes the Nezirus needs to bring a Chatas? What sin did he commit? The Talmud (Taanis 11a) suggests that it was because he held himself back from wine and it caused him pain. However, we also refer to the Nazir as a Kadosh? Doesn’t it seem strange that the one who is called Kadosh – and is granted special prophesy status – should be called a sinner? Rav Nebenzahl Shlita explained that the issue is not the Nezirus itself but rather the motivation behind it. Shimshon and Shmuel HaNovi accepted Nezirus and were better servants of Hashem as a result. Avshalom was also a Nazir and it was his hair that did him in. Rav Nebenzahl notes that the Nezirus in of itself is not what makes one Kadosh – the desire to fulfill the will of Hashem makes one Kadosh.

וישמרךAnd protect you (6:24) – What is meant from this extra word VYishmireicha? Rashi explains that the intent of the Beracha is not to just receive from Hashem and then let the Beracha slip through our fingers. Rav Moshe Weinberger Shlita pointed out that in Chassidic literature the human being is compared to a vessel designed to collect the light. Vessels that are able to capture light need to be complete in order not to let the light or blessing slip though. Consider lottery winners and sports or music stars who lose it all because they were not ready to handle all of the wealth – the gift given to them. Rav Weinberger added that there are other character defects which are indicative of broken-vessel type people. Those who are stingy, arrogant, self-aggrandizing, or negative will see no joy in the blessings they receive. The more a person internalizes the attributes of generosity, love, joy, and gratitude, the more he makes himself into a vessel capable of safeguarding all of the blessings Hashem showers upon him.

ויהי ביום כלות משה להקים את המשכןIt was on the day that Moshe completed the Mishkan (7:1) – Rashi compares the day of establishing the Mishkan to the day a Kallah goes to Chuppah. Rav Shach ztl. noted that the word Kallah is spelled Chaf, Lamed, Hei which means ending. But what is she ending under the Chuppah? Rav Shach answered that in life every finish is a preparation for a new beginning. When a person completes one Tekufah in life it is a preparation for a new beginning. Everything you complete is an ending, where every ending is to prepare you for a new beginning. Every ending is a Haschalah. That is an important lesson. It doesn’t come to an end.

הביאו את קרבנם לה'They brought their Korbanos to Hashem (7:3) – The Midrash identifies multiple intentions for the Nesiim. Each one had a different reason for bringing what he did. How could such different intentions lead to the same Korban? Rav Soloveitchik ztl. explained that when one offers a Korban, s/he is offering a bit of himself. Since the Korban is the substitution of animal for man, the Korban – through the kavana should reflect the Kochos and the Middos of the one who brings it.

Haftorah - She came to Manoach and told him that a Malach came (Shoftim 13:6-7) – It is interesting to note that she did not tell him about the fact that the Malach told her it was because of her inability that they did not have kids. The Midrash explains that she did not want to expose her shortcomings – she was too afraid. Rav Binyomin Eisenberger Shlita adds that when it comes time to make peace between quarreling factions, it is always useful to leave an escape route for the side that is going to capitulate to escape with dignity. It helps make the Shalom come faster.