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Torah Reading for Shemini

Torah Reading for Shemini

Leviticus 9:1-11:47

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Chapter 9

24. And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fats upon the altar, and all the people saw, sang praises, and fell upon their faces.   כד. וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֶת הָעֹלָה וְאֶת הַחֲלָבִים וַיַּרְא כָּל הָעָם וַיָּרֹנּוּ וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל פְּנֵיהֶם:
and sang praises: Heb. ויַָּרֹנּוּ, as Targum [Onkelos] renders it [namely, “and they praised” God].   וירנו: כתרגומו:

Chapter 10

1. And Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his pan, put fire in them, and placed incense upon it, and they brought before the Lord foreign fire, which He had not commanded them.   א. וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם:
2. And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.   ב. וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל אוֹתָם וַיָּמֻתוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה:
And fire went forth: Rabbi Eliezer says: Aaron’s sons died only because they rendered halachic decisions in the presence of Moses, their teacher. Rabbi Ishmael says: [They died because] they had entered the sanctuary after having drunk wine. The proof is that after their death, [Scripture] admonished the survivors that they may not enter the sanctuary after having drunk wine. This is analogous to a king who had a faithful attendant. [When he found him standing at tavern entrances, he severed his head in silence and appointed another attendant in his place. We would not know why he put the first to death, but for his enjoining the second thus, “You must not enter the doorway of taverns,” from which we know that for such a reason he had put the first one to death. Thus [it is said], “And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” But we would not know why they [Nadab and Abihu] died, but for His commanding Aaron, “Do not drink wine that will lead to intoxication.” We know from this that they died precisely on account of the wine. For this reason Scripture showed love to Aaron by directing the divine utterance to him alone, thus, “Do not drink wine that will lead to intoxication,”] as recounted in Vayikra Rabbah (12:1).   ותצא אש: רבי אליעזר אומר לא מתו בני אהרן אלא על ידי שהורו הלכה בפני משה רבן. רבי ישמעאל אומר שתויי יין נכנסו למקדש, תדע שאחר מיתתן הזהיר הנותרים שלא יכנסו שתויי יין למקדש. משל למלך, שהיה לו בן בית וכו', כדאיתא בויקרא רבה:
3. Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke, [when He said], 'I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.' " And Aaron was silent.   ג. וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל אַהֲרֹן הוּא אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה | לֵאמֹר בִּקְרֹבַי אֶקָּדֵשׁ וְעַל פְּנֵי כָל הָעָם אֶכָּבֵד וַיִּדֹּם אַהֲרֹן:
This is what the Lord spoke: But when did He speak? [It was when He said], “And I will meet with the children of Israel, and it will be sanctified through My glory (בִּכְבוֹדִי) ” (Exod. 29:43). Do not read בִּכְבוֹדִי, “through My glory,” but בִּמְכֻבָּדַי, “through My honorable ones.” Moses said to Aaron, “Aaron, my brother! I knew that this House was to be sanctified through the beloved ones of the Omnipresent, but I thought it would be either through me or through you. Now I see that they [Nadab and Abihu] were greater than I or you!”- [Vayikra Rabbah 12:2]   הוא אשר דבר וגו': היכן דבר ונועדתי שמה לבני ישראל ונקדש בכבודי (שמות כט מג). אל תקרי בכבודי אלא במכובדי. אמר לו משה לאהרן אהרן אחי יודע הייתי שיתקדש הבית במיודעיו של מקום והייתי סבור או בי או בך, עכשיו רואה אני שהם גדולים ממני וממך:
And Aaron was silent: [and did not complain. Consequently,] he was rewarded for his silence. And what reward did he receive? That God addressed him exclusively in the [ensuing] passage regarding those who drink wine [as verse 8 says, “And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying…”]. — [Vayikra Rabbah 12:2]   וידם אהרן: קבל שכר על שתיקתו. ומה שכר קבל, שנתייחד עמו הדיבור, שנאמרה לו לבדו פרשת שתויי יין:
with those near to Me: [I.e.,] My chosen ones.   בקרבי: בבחירי:
and before all the people I will be glorified: When the Holy One, blessed is He, exacts judgment upon the righteous, He becomes feared, exalted, and praised. Now, if this is so concerning the righteous, how much more is it so concerning the wicked! Similarly, the verse says “You are awesome, O God, from Your sanctuaries (מִמִּקְדָּשֶׁי) ” (Ps. 68:36). Do not read מִמִּקְדָּשֶׁי “from Your sanctuaries,” but מִמְּקֻדָּשֶׁי, “because of Your sanctified ones.” - [Zev. 115b]   ועל פני כל העם אכבד: כשהקב"ה עושה דין בצדיקים מתיירא ומתעלה ומתקלס, אם כן באלו, כל שכן ברשעים, וכן הוא אומר (תהלים סח לו) נורא א-להים ממקדשיך, אל תקרא ממקדשיך אלא ממקודשיך:
4. And Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron's uncle Uzziel, and said to them, "Draw near; carry your kinsmen from within the Sanctuary, to the outside of the camp.   ד. וַיִּקְרָא משֶׁה אֶל מִישָׁאֵל וְאֶל אֶלְצָפָן בְּנֵי עֻזִּיאֵל דֹּד אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם קִרְבוּ שְׂאוּ אֶת אֲחֵיכֶם מֵאֵת פְּנֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה:
Aaron’s uncle: Uzziel was Amram’s brother, as it says, “And the sons of Kohath were [Amram…and Uzziel], etc.” (Exod. 6:18).   דד אהרן: עזיאל אחי עמרם היה, שנאמר (שמות ו יח) ובני קהת וגו':
carry your kinsmen [from within the Sanctuary], etc.: As a person would say to his fellow [when someone had died at a wedding feast], “Remove the deceased from before the bride so as not to disturb the joyous occasion.” [Here, too, Mishael and Elzaphan were to remove the dead “from inside the sanctuary,” so as not to disturb the serenity of the investitures of the Sanctuary.]   שאו את אחיכם וגו': כאדם האומר לחבירו העבר את המת מלפני הכלה, שלא לערבב את השמחה:
5. So they approached and carried them with their tunics to the outside of the camp, as Moses had spoken.   ה. וַיִּקְרְבוּ וַיִּשָּׂאֻם בְּכֻתֳּנֹתָם אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר משֶׁה:
with their tunics: [i.e., with the tunics] of the dead ones [the tunics of Nadab and Abihu, not Mishael and Elzaphan, for the latter were Levites and did not wear the tunics of the kohanim]. This teaches us that their garments had not been burnt, but [only] their souls. Two thread-like [sparks] of fire entered their nostrils [thereby destroying their souls along with all their internal organs, but leaving their external body structures intact. See Be’er Basadeh]. — [Torath Kohanim 10:25]   בכתנתם: של מתים מלמד שלא נשרפו בגדיהם אלא נשמתם כמין שני חוטין של אש נכנסו לתוך חוטמיהם:
6. And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, "Do not leave your heads unshorn, and do not rend your garments, so that you shall not die, and lest He be angry with the entire community, but your brothers, the entire house of Israel, shall bewail the conflagration that the Lord has burned.   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל אַהֲרֹן וּלְאֶלְעָזָר וּלְאִיתָמָר | בָּנָיו רָאשֵׁיכֶם אַל תִּפְרָעוּ | וּבִגְדֵיכֶם לֹא תִפְרֹמוּ וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ וְעַל כָּל הָעֵדָה יִקְצֹף וַאֲחֵיכֶם כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל יִבְכּוּ אֶת הַשְּׂרֵפָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְהֹוָה:
Do not leave [your heads] unshorn: [I.e.,] do not let your hair grow long. — [Torath Kohanim 10:25] [Had Moses not commanded them, they would have let their hair grow long as a sign of mourning. We learn] from here that a mourner is forbidden to cut his hair (Moed Katan 14b). “But you shall not disturb the happiness of the Omnipresent [at the investitures of the Mishkan].”   אל תפרעו: אל תגדלו שער. מכאן שאבל אסור בתספורת, אבל אתם אל תערבבו שמחתו של מקום:
so that you shall not die: But if you do so [and leave your heads unshorn and rend your garments], you will die. — [Torath Kohanim 10:31]   ולא תמתו: הא אם תעשו כן תמותו:
But your brothers, the entire house of Israel, [shall bewail]: From here [we learn] that when [Torah] scholars are afflicted, all of Israel is obligated to mourn for them.   ואחיכם כל בית ישראל: מכאן שצרתן של תלמידי חכמים מוטלת על הכל להתאבל בה:
7. And do not go out of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die, because the Lord's anointing oil is upon you." And they did according to Moses' order.   ז. וּמִפֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֹא תֵצְאוּ פֶּן תָּמֻתוּ כִּי שֶׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם וַיַּעֲשׂוּ כִּדְבַר משֶׁה:
8. And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying,   ח. וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר:
9. Do not drink wine that will lead to intoxication, neither you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, so that you shall not die. [This is] an eternal statute for your generations,   ט. יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר אַל תֵּשְׁתְּ | אַתָּה | וּבָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ בְּבֹאֲכֶם אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם:
wine that will lead to intoxication: Heb. יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר. [שֵׁכָר does not mean other strong drink,] but wine in a manner that leads to intoxication" [namely, sufficient wine to cause intoxication, undiluted, and drunk without interruption]. — [Torath Kohanim 10:35]   יין ושכר: יין דרך שכרותו:
when you go into the Tent of Meeting: We know only [that a kohen is forbidden] to enter the Heichal [after drinking wine]. How do we know that [this prohibition applies also to] approaching the altar [which is outside the Heichal]? [The answer is:] Here [in our verse] it speaks of “entering the Tent of Meeting.” Regarding washing the hands and feet [at the washstand-see Exod. 30:1721], “entering the Tent of Meeting” is [also] mentioned (verse 20). [Now, concerning washing, approaching the altar is regarded as similar to entering the Tent of Meeting insofar as both require washing the hands and feet, as it says, “When they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water… or when they approach the altar to serve” (Exod. 30:20). Hence,] just as there [in the case of washing], Scripture made approaching the altar the same as entering the Tent of Meeting, here too, it made approaching the altar the same as entering the Tent of Meeting [insofar as both are equally prohibited when the kohen has drunk wine]. — [Torath Kohanim 10:37]   בבאכם אל אהל מועד: אין לי אלא בבואם להיכל, בגשתם למזבח מנין, נאמר כאן ביאת אהל מועד, ונאמר בקידוש ידים ורגלים ביאת אהל מועד, מה להלן עשה גישת מזבח כביאת אהל מועד, אף כאן עשה גישת מזבח כביאת אהל מועד:
10. to distinguish between holy and profane and between unclean and clean,   י. וּלֲהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּבֵין הַחֹל וּבֵין הַטָּמֵא וּבֵין הַטָּהוֹר:
to distinguish: [I.e.,] so that you can distinguish between a holy service and one that has been profaned. Thus you have learned that if one performed a particular service [after having drunk wine], it is invalid. — [Torath Kohanim 10:39]   ולהבדיל: כדי שתבדילו בין עבודה קדושה למחוללת, הא למדת שאם עבד, עבודתו פסולה:
11. and to instruct the children of Israel regarding all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.   יא. וּלְהוֹרֹת אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל הַחֻקִּים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֲלֵיהֶם בְּיַד משֶׁה:
and to instruct: [This] teaches that an intoxicated person is prohibited to render halachic decisions. One might think that he incurs the death penalty [like the intoxicated kohen who performs the sacrificial service (see verse 9)]. Scripture [therefore] says, “[neither] you nor your sons with you…so that you shall not die” (verse 9). [This implies that only intoxicated] kohanim in their service incur the death penalty, whereas [intoxicated] sages who render halachic decisions do not incur the death penalty. — [Torath Kohanim 10:38]   ולהורת: למד שאסור שיכור בהוראה. יכול יהא חייב מיתה, תלמוד לומר אתה ובניך אתך ולא תמותו (פסוק ט), כהנים בעבודתם במיתה, ואין חכמים בהוראתם במיתה:
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