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Monday, April 06, 2009

Learning Torah in Place of Bringing Korban Pesach

In Parshas Tzav, the Chasam Sofer has Torah for Shabbos Hagadol. One of the pieces he writes is as follows.

Zos Hatorah la'olah lamincha velachatas....
אמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב (ויקרא ז) זאת התורה לעולה למנחה ולחטאת ולאשם כל העוסק בתורה כאילו הקריב עולה מנחה חטאת ואשם אמר רבא האי לעולה למנחה עולה ומנחה מיבעי ליה אלא אמר רבא כל העוסק בתורה אינו צריך לא עולה ולא חטאת ולא מנחה ולא אשם
The Gemara in the end of Menachos brings that Rava learns from this passuk that "one who learns Torah does not need the korbanos." Rava bases this on the word "La'olah," seeing the introductory article "la'" as a negative, as it is interpreted in the context of Nedarim-- 'la' as 'lo', meaning 'not.' Reish Lakish, on the other hand, learns it to mean that "one who learns Torah, it is as if he brought these korbanos." To explain the difference between these shittos, the Chasam Sofer notes that in the beginning of Tzav, each Korban is introduced with the words "zos toras ha...(whatever korban is being discussed)." Here, it does not say "la" anything. He explains that if one learns the parsha of the korban in order to understand how to bring it, then the learning, while meritorious, cannot be better than the actual bringing. This is what Reish Lakish is referring to. If, on the other hand, one learns because he loves the Torah and wants to see what God intended, such a learning elevates him above korbanos and he does need korbanos at all. Mamzer talmid chacham is greater than Kohen Gadol am ha'aretz.

Then he talks about the people who were tamei at the time the second Korban Pesach was brought, in the year after they left Mitzrayim. He says that when the people came to Moshe, and complained "We are tamei. Why should we be excluded from this great mitzvah of the Korban Pesach?" Moshe answered "Wait and I will see what God answers." He explains that Moshe's immediate response to the questioners was to apply the Gemara in Menachos: Don't worry about not being able to bring the Korban Pesach-- just sit and learn the parsha of the korban, and it will be as if you brought it. But they answered that this is not good enough, because the Korban Pesach is brought en masse, it is brought, as the Gemara says, Bich'nufya. This Kenufya cannot, they said, be achieved by learning the parsha of the Korban. Moshe Rabbeinu saw the justice of their argument, and asked Hashem what the answer was.

So we had two big problems with this Chasam Sofer.

Problem 1. If, as Moshe Rabbeinu said, 'learning' is like 'bringing', what kind of problem did they have that they would not be bichnuf'ya. Just as Reuven bringing his private korban at the same time as Shimon does creates knufya, so, too, Levi the Tamei learning the parsha while Klal Yisrael was bringing actual korbanos should join them together and give the temei'im the ma'ala of kenufya! I bring, you learn, we're all bringing the korbanos together!

So, you will answer that learning the parsha of a korban only creates a "virtual korban" insofar as intrinsic aspects of the korban are concerned, and kenufya is extrinsic. (Or, one is a din in the cheftza, and one is a din in the gavra.) In other words, kenufya is not a din in the korban itself, it is a circumstantial din, and learning only replicates dinim in the Cheftza of the korban, not in circumstances of the gavra who is bringing it. But that is not a good answer. It is a no good answer. Because eating the korban pesach is also essential to being mekayeim the halacha of Korban Pesach; or at least, it is essential that at the time of shechita, you are fit to eat the Korban. If learning counts for "ability to eat," then learning should count for rubbing elbows also.

Problem 2. So what did Hashem answer? No problem: you can bring a Pesach Sheini. What good is that answer according to the Chasam Sofer? The whole problem was that they were missing teh knufya aspect, and the Pesach Sheini is certainly not bich'nufya! As far as a Pesach "not bichnuf'ya", they could have been mekayem that at the time of the first Pesach!

My middle Brisker answered this question by saying the kenufya is only a din in the first Pesach, and one who brings it without kenuf'ya is bringing an imperfect Korban Pesach. But there is no din of Kenufya by the Pesach Sheini. That, then, would be a perfect Korban Pesach even without Kenufya.

This is a fine answer. It is simple, straigthforward, and directly resolves the question. But I still think the Chasam Sofer is tzarich iyun. The Brisker Mehalach to answer the Chasam Sofer makes Pesach Sheini like winning the gold at the Senior Olympics; you got a perfect score, but only because the bar was lowered.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

WARNING SUPER DRUSH:(fix it and or do with it as You Please)
Pesach and Birchas Yitzchak
Pesach is a time for questions, so I will go through the Parsha of Birchas Yitzchak and then Pesach and find the connection between them. First let us see the Parsha
1) Rivkah tells Yackov go bring two goats and you will give it to your father and thereby receive the Brochos.
WHY TWO GOATS?
2) Before giving the Brochos to Yackov the Torah says that Yitzchak drank wine the Targum Yonsan Ben Uziel adds that the angel Gavriel brought the wine.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THIS WINE?
3) Eisav walks in and demands the beans Yackov cooks for his fathers Avielus for Avraham, when he eats them the torah says he first ate “Bread”.
WHY DOES THE TORAH TELL US ABOUT THE BREAD HE ATE?
4) Back to Eisav Chazal say the day Avraham died Eisav did 5 (some say 3)sins they are he was:1) בא על נערה מאורסה 2) Killed Nimrod 3)He was כפר בתחיית המתים 4)he was כפר בעיקר 5) He sold the בכורות.
They are all easy to understand besides for בא על נערה מאורסה being that before receiving the Torah there was no חופה or קידושין and by non Jews there still is no such thing?
HOW WAS HE בא על נערה מאורסה?
5) Now we get to the ברכה itself the wording seems very strange, first why מטל השמים and not גשם? Why דגן ותירש and not יצהר?
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THESE ITEMS IN THIS ברכה?
Now we can get to the Pesach Questions.
1) What is the significance of the egg on the קערה?
2) What is the source and significance of stealing the אפיקומן?
Now the one word answer and the connection that will Blow you away it is Pesach. The whole story of the stolen ברכות happened on Erev Pesach and Pesach night. Now we will address the questions one by one and see the two concepts collide.
WHY TWO GOATS?
Here the Pesach Yesod begins, that is one for Korban Pesach and one for Korban Chagigah.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THIS WINE?
Our Pesach Yesod continues it was the 4 cups of wine he was drinking so the Angel had to bring it.
WHY DOES THE TORAH TELL US ABOUT THE BREAD HE ATE?
HOW WAS HE בא על נערה מאורסה?
Here our Pesach Yesod Gets into the Details. These 2 have to be combined as it is a question and its answer. Let me explain the way he was בא על נערה מאורסה was by eating the “Bread” otherwise known to us as מצה on Erev Pesach as it says in the Gemara Yerushalmi in Pesachim and brought in Tosfos in Bavli. That האוכל מצה בערב הפסח כבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיווהבא. That is because of course that at the Seder we make Sheva Brochos before eating the מצות .So the Torah tells us about it because it was the way we know Eisav did the five sins when Yackov gave him the beans and then Matzoh for later, he went and ate the Matzo first hence making him a בא על נערה מאורסה.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THESE ITEMS IN THIS ברכה?
The Ramban in His Sefer אמונה ובטחון answers with our Pesach Yesod. He says on Pesach we are judged on טל and not on גשם and therefore the ברכה is for טל, we are also judged on תבואה therefore he said דגן and finally תירש because in the future the Jews will drink the 4 Cups.
And now we follow through with our Yesod and Go the other direction by illustrating how things we do at the Seder actually represent this connection. Lets go to the Pesach Questions.
What is the significance of the egg on the קערה? Now this one is easy it is Avraham’s Yahrtzeit the egg represents the Avielus for Avraham.
Now, we have the second question.
What is the source and significance of stealing the אפיקומן?
It comes from Yackov stealing the ברכות from Eisav. It has a whole other level we tell the חכםa Halacha that אין מפטירין אחר הפסח אפיקומן why this Halacha? The answer illustrates the connection between Birchas Yitzchak and Pesach once more it was this Halacha that Yackov used when stealing the ברכות when Yackov brought the Meat from Korban Pesach Yitzchak was no longer able to eat because אין מפטירין אחר הפסח. We know that Yitzchak told Eisav “Go Prepare me food so I can eat and Bench You” .This means now that Yitzchak cant eat Eisav’s food he cant give him a ברכה..Then too throw in one last connection from Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld When Eisav came in and asked for his ברכה his father told him בא אחיך במרמה ויקח את ברכתך and if you calculate the Gematriah of במרמה it is exactly אפיקומן. וד"ק
(Sources are יד יוסף,שנים מקרא,כמוצי שלל רב)

Pesach said...

Very interesting comments!

SJ said...

read my blog. XD

Barzilai said...

Thank you, Pesach.

SJ, I'm sorry you're so confused. I, however, am not having a crisis of identity or faith, and have no interest in your apologetics. Apologetics??? What does he mean by Apologetics??? I mean that it is clear to me that you made up your mind only as a post facto rationalization of your dislike of Jewish ritual. If you enjoyed Pesach, you would believe in it; but you find it so burdensome that you convinced yourself that it is a lie. You are not the first. We read about your problem in the Hagada every year, when we talk of the Ben Rasha who asks "mah ha'avoda hazos lachem."