Torah Teaser – Parshat Bahaloscha Questions & Answers – June 02 2118

The Anonymous Heroes Of Pesach Sheini The commandment of Pesach Sheini was taught only after the Timei’ei Meisim complained that they didn’t want to lose out on the Mitzva of Korban Pesach. Rashi says (9:7) that really Moshe should have taught the mitzva of Pesach Sheni earlier, but these timei’im were Zocheh to have the mitzva taught because of their complaint, since they showed a great desire to do the mitzva. Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, “Why does the Torah not mention the names of the Timei’ei Meisim like it does when the Halachos of inheritance are taught through the complaints of Bnos Tzelafchad? If the whole point was to give the Timei’ei Meisim schar for their desire to serve Hashem, shouldn’t they be rewarded with the mention of their names?” Rav Moshe answers that the Torah wanted to teach us the great reward for anyone who truly desires to do a mitzva out of a love to serve Hashem, even if circumstances exempt them. The Bnos Tzelafchad were zocheh because of their personal greatness and therefore each one’s name is mentioned. However here the Torah is teaching each and every one of us that the Torah can be given through us, if we truly love to serve Hashem. Mentioning the names of the Timei’ei Meisim could only have detracted from the message the Torah is teaching, because we would then attribute this zechus to the personal greatness of the Timei’ei Meisim, which we surely cannot measure up to.

Greatness And Stature Are Not Related Moshe Rabbeinu tells Hashem that he cannot lead Bnei Yisroel alone. Hashem tells Moshe to gather 70 zekeinim in front of the Mishkan. Hashem then gives these zekeinim the Ruach of Moshe Rabbeinu. Eldad and Meidad are not included in this group, but they also get this Ruach and start saying Nevuah in the Machaneh. Rav Shamshon Refoel Hirsh says that we learn from here that being appointed to an important position is not connected in any way to advancing in Kedusha. If a person is worthy of Ruach HaKodesh he will receive it whether he is officially a Rov, Rosh Yeshiva, or a simple Jew lacking any formal position. Eldad and Meidad were great men who were worthy of being one of the zekeinim. Their exclusion from this elite group did not in any way diminish their ability to reach great level of Dveykus B’ashem.

Shevet Levi, A Family Tradition of Excellence Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu to designate Shevet Levi for Avodah in the Bais HaMikdash. The pasuk (Bahaloscha 8:19) then says, ” ולא יהיה בבני
ישראל נגף בגשת בני ישראל אל הקודש “, so that a death will not spread when the Bnei Yisroel approaches the Mishkan. Rabbeinu Bachaye and other Meforshim explain that the Levi’im will act as guards not allowing Bnei Yisroel to come too close, because a Zar who comes close will die. The Chizkuni takes a unique approach in explaining this pasuk. He says that before Levi was designated as the overseers of the Avodas HaMishkan, the natural choice was the Bechorim. However, says the Chizkuni, that presents a problem. Since a bechor can be the son of a non-bechor and the grandson of a non-bechor, he would have no family tradition regarding the avodah. This can cause him to do the avodah in an improper way that would make him liable to death. Because of this, Hashem in His mercy, designated a Shevet to be in charge of the avodah so that they would have a long and rich tradition of avodah, ingraining it in their family genes for generations, thus saving many casualties in this highly sensitive and dangerous workplace!

Rioting Over Food? After travelling a few days in the midbar, certain elements of Bnei Yisrael got a craving for meat and complained to Moshe. Moshe spoke to Hashem and Hashem sends them an abundance of meat with which they stuff themselves with and die. However, right in middle of this narrative, Hashem tells Moshe to gather seventy men whom Hashem will grace with the spirit of Moshe. Why do these pasukim interrupt right in middle of this seemingly non related story? Rav Shamshom Rephael Hirsch answers that Bnei Yisrael were complaining about their physical conditions and their hunger for materialism. To this Hashem told Moshe that it is not meat that they lack that is causing them to revolt, it is their lack of spirituality. They feel empty but don’t understand the true cause. Gather seventy representatives and feed their starving souls with Torah and Mitzvos. Then their appetites will be satiated with the true pleasure of dveykus in Hashem and they will no longer riot over food.

Could Have Silenced Eldad And Meidad The Gemara in Megila 18b says, “Mila B’Sela Shtikusa B’Trein,” if each word a person uttered would cost one coin then silence would cost two coins. The Vilna Gaon plays on these words to explain the story of Eldad and Meidad who Chazal say were prophesizing that Moshe would die, and Yehoshua would take Bnei Yisrael into
ל׳עלוEretz Yisrael. Moshe was barred from entering Eretz Yisrael because he hit the rock at Mei Meriva rather than talk to it. The Vilna Gaon explains that the word Sela also means
rock in addition to coin. “Mila B’Sela,” had Moshe said one word to the Sela as opposed to hitting it, “Shtikusa B’Trein,” he would have silenced two, both Eldad and Meidad who said he would not enter Eretz Yisrael.

Created By Rov Avrohom Sherman
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