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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vayikro 5:7. The Korban Oleh V’yoreid.

This is about korbanos. If kodashim makes your eyes glaze over, go read something like The Little Medrash Says, or this.

There is a category of korbanos called Oleh V’Yoreid, literally, ascending and descending. This means that a sliding scale is applied to people who have to bring these korbanos, according to their ability to pay. If one can afford it, he must bring a regular chatos, which is a female sheep or goat. If he cannot afford that, he brings two doves, one brought as a chatas and one as an olah. If he cannot even afford that, he brings a minchas chotei, just a couple of pounds of flour.

It is important to know that 'Oleh' does not mean that the sheep is a korbon Olah. It is most often a korban chattas, not an Olah. It is called 'Oleh v'Yoreid' because the expense of the korbon rises and falls according to the means of the one who brings it.

If you have a hard time remembering who brings an oleh v’yoreid, here’s a mnemonic: Shvatim.
Shmi’as Kol (someone who falsely swore that he didn’t know any testimony when called to be a witness)
Bitui (shvu’as Bitui, for breaking an oath to do or not do something,)
Tum’as Mikdosh veKodoshov (contact with hekdesh while in a state of tum’ah)
Yoledes (the chilbirth korbon. Also for a zov or a zovoh.)
Metzorah (one of the korbonos of a metzora upon becoming tahor.)

For an exhaustive list of mnemonics that can help remember Torah topics, I have compiled this.

The Gemara in Chullin 22 learns from a passuk that you can’t buy an Olas Ha’of from maiser sheni money. Tosfos asks, there is already a limud in the Sifri that tells us that you can’t use maiser sheni money to buy an olas nedovo, because it’s all burned, and there is no achila. The same logic should preclude the use of maiser sheni money to buy an olas ho’of, making this new drosho unnecessary.

Also, the Gemora has a drasha that you can’t be makriv ofos at night. The Gemara asks, we already knew this from the old drasha of ‘beyom tzavoso,’ that almost no avodah can be done at night. So the Gemara answers, that would be good for the chatas ha’of, but we still need the drasha for the olas ha’of. Reb Meir Simcha asks, why wouldn’t we know it for the olah just as we know it for the chatas? Why would we think an olah is any different than other korbanos?

He brings the Ibn Ezra that asks, “if the korban ohf replaces the chatas beheima, why do we need two, one a chatas and one an olah?” The Ibn Ezra answers that a chattas has achilas mizbeiach (eimurim that are burned), and achilas adam (the parts that are eaten by the Kohanim), but chatas ohf only has achilas adam, since none of the chatas ha'of is burned on the mizbei'ach. So you need a chatas ha’of to replace the achilas adam aspect of the chatas beheimah, and an olas ha’of to replace the achilas mizbei’ach of the chatas beheimoh. It is only when you have chatos and olas ha’ohf that you replace the chatas beheima.

With the Ibn Ezra he answers the kashes on the Gemora: since the Olas ha’ohf comes to replace the achilas mizbei’ach of the chatos beheima, and burning eimurim is allowed at night, we might think the olas ha’ohf is also kosher at night. Also, since the chatas and olas ha’ohf are really two parts of the same thing, maybe we can use maiser sheini money to buy the pair of birds, since you can use maiser sheini money to buy a chatos, which is partially eaten..
Kamashma lon, that the olas ha’ohf is considered a regular korbon bifnei atzmo.

The magi’ah in the chidushim there brings that Reb Meir Simcha later saw that the ‘laila’ kashe was asked to the Rashba, and the Rashbo only says that it’s shver, but tries to be meyasheiv with a alternate girsa there.

More interesting, in the hakdama to the sefer Mekor Baruch (also brought by the magi’ah,) he writes that Reb Meir Simcha told someone that the night after he thought of this, the Rashba came to him in a dream and told him that his teretz was much better than what he, the Rashba, had written.

If you have gotten this far, I have another interesting story about a dream.

When Horav Leib Bakst (I verified this story with his son) was a young man in Shanghai, he was stricken with severe appendicitis, and he was bein hachayim ubein hameisim.  He had a dream that he was in front of the beis din shel ma’aloh, and the Mashgiach, R’ Yeruchem, was on the Beis Din. They were arguing about who is more chashuv, malachim or people. Some said that people are more chashuv, because Malachim can only do one thing, but people can do many things at one time. They then asked him, what does he say, does this mean that people are better than malachim? He said he did not want to answer. They told him that he had no choice, and he had to answer. So he told them that this did not prove that people are better, because pshat that a Malach can do only one thing is that when he does his shlichus, he does it with his entire being, with all his kochos. But when people do more than one thing at a time, it is because they are not doing the things they are doing 100%, they are not being done perfectly. Even for people, if they need to do something perfectly, they can only do one thing at a time. R’ Yeruchem said that what he said was good, and the Beis Din paskened that he will live. And then he woke up. When the Mirrer oilom wanted to make a shinui hasheim, he refused, saying that Beis Din had already paskened that he will live, and he will live, and there is no reason to make a shinui hasheim. They say that his life reflected that idea, of focus and dedication to achievement by bringing all his power to doing one thing perfectly. He used to say, “A person can only do one thing at a time, if he does it the way it needs to be done.” The same thing applies to the times that we should be focused on achieving kedusha, like, for example, when we come to shul, or whenever we steal some time from our daily activities to say tehillim or to learn, we have to focus on it to the exclusion of all other things, including society news, sports, the latest in Jewish cuisine, whatever we plan to do afterwards, or whatever we would rather be doing, or whatever.

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