Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shabbos Table Follow-Up

We were discussing the question of why is the Parsha of Temidim and Musafim taught in Parshas Pinchas? Were these offerings not being brought for the past 40 years? And, if so, this command must have been issued 40 years earlier?

I have been alerted in the interim that there seems to be an opinion in the Talmud Yerushalmi that, in fact, no korbonos were actually brought over the last 40 years. It is not completely clear if this may be the opinion of Rabi Elazar in Chagiga 6b. The gemara seems to imply that even according to Rabi Elazar, all the details were commanded at Sinai. Also, the Torah clearly indicates that the Tamid and musaf Rosh Chodesh were at least brought at the inauguration ceremony. The mishna in Menachos (4:3) says explicitly that the musafim of "Chumash Pekudim" (Pinchas) were brought throughout the 40 years. So apparently these words from Hashem were not said now at year 40 but much earlier (which is our question).

One anonymous gentleman (who is apparently enamored by expensive black hats) posted publicly to point us to a Netziv in Parshas Pinchas that I missed. The Netziv writes that the zechus of the Temidim served a different purpose throughout the 40 years until this point. For the 40 years, the Temidim brought the hashpaah of Torah to Moshe Rabbenu - the day Korban for Torah sh'B'Ksav and the evening Korban for Torah she'Baal Peh. Klal Yisroel did not need a zechus for Parnassah because the mahn fell in Moshe's zechus. But now things are changing - Moshe is about to leave the scene and his zechus for mahn (parnassah for the tzibbur) is about to cease. He prays to G-d -let them not be like sheep without a shepherd - i.e., nobody to be mefarnes them. Hashem responds, "Es korbani lachmi l'ishai..." From now on, the Temidim will be their zechus for parnassah.

As such, Hashem actually did tell Moshe these words in the 40th year even though He apparently said them earlier as well.

I am very happy to have been shown this Netziv. However, our discussion on Shabbos did not involve the Netziv and we took a different more esoteric approach. We wanted to suggest that perhaps the tzivui of TuM (that's Temidim u'Musafim NOT that other term) was done at Sinai and it is only being recorded here in Pinchas - i.e. ein zu mekomo. And why was it recorded here?

Perhaps, HKB"H "foresaw" our mesorah that we read the Torah on a fixed yearly cycle and there is a spiritual relevance between every Parsha and the time of year that it falls on. As such, Parshas Pinchas is always just before or after 17 of Tamuz and always ushers in the 3 weeks of mourning over the loss of the Bais HaMikdash and the korbanos. It is a time of sadness and introspection over what we lost and brings the galus more to the forefront. As such, Hashem wanted especially in this time that we usher in the yemei hachurban to remind us that the commandment of the TuM is still in effect and that we are not to be meya'esh (despair) from them despite the fact that the 3 weeks are beginning "again".

May we be zocheh to partake of the zevachim and the Shlamim, BB"A.

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