ק׳ ק׳ שׁערי תפילה
On the Shabbat
following Purim we read “Parashat Para,” the portion which discusses the Para
Aduma, the Red Heifer. The Para
Aduma was a sacrificial cow whose ashes were used for ritual purification. One
who became impure, such as by coming in contact with a corpse, was required to
have himself sprinkled with the ashes of a Para Aduma in order to become pure
once more. The sages instituted the reading of the Para Aduma at this time of
year in order to remind us of the purification process that was traditionally a
part of the Pesach preparations. This is because one who was impure was not
only forbidden from entering the Beit Hamikdash but was even forbidden from
partaking in the Korban Pesach, as well.
Among the many
interpretations for the Para Aduma ritual is that it was intended to serve as
an atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf. As a result
of having toiled in the service of a cow designated for idolatry, the Jewish
people were now required to toil in the service of a cow designated for purity
and atonement. Indeed, our sages call the Para Aduma ritual “a mother who comes
to clean up the mess that her child made”. Additionally, the Para Aduma was
required to be unblemished. This was intended to recall the “blemish” that the
Jewish people caused through the sin of the golden calf.
According to a
number of authorities, it is actually a Torah obligation to hear the reading of
Parshat Para in the synagogue. One reason for this is that in addition to recalling the ancient
purification procedure, the reading also serves to recall the sin of the Golden
Calf which is a mitzva in its own right. In fact, there are actually six events
that one is required by Torah law to always remember and the incident of the
Golden Calf is one of them. In many
congregations, it is customary for the gabbai to
remind the congregation to have kavana, to have in
mind to fulfill the mitzva of remembering the sin of the Golden Calf, while
Parshat Para is read.
The consensus of
most authorities, however, is that the requirement to hear the Parshat Para
reading is rabbinical in nature. The only Torah reading that one is truly
required to hear by Torah law is Parshat Zachor, which is read before Purim. In fact, there are those who insist that the “opinion” that the
Parshat Para reading is a biblical obligation is merely the result of a
It might also just
be that those who rule that the Parshat Para reading is a biblical
obligation are basing themselves on a completely different consideration. All
authorities agree that the Kohanim were required by Torah law to read Parshat
Para, as they were the ones who would prepare the Para Aduma. Therefore, it can
be suggested that since the reading of Parshat Para was once treated as a Torah
obligation – for at least some of the population — it should continue to be
treated as such. Although
women should make an effort to hear Parshat Para read in the synagogue, there
is no true obligation for them to do so. Indeed, it is argued that women should be completely exempt from
having to hear the Parshat Para reading because they were not involved in the
sin of the Golden Calf.
Parshat Para was not read at its proper time, it can be read on the next
Shabbat, or any Shabbat up until Pesach, for that matter. It is noted that the Para Aduma is referred to as a “chukat olam”
– an eternal decree. This teaches us that Parshat Para must be read even though
we are no longer able to perform the mitzva of Para Aduma. We are told that after the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed there were
people who preserved some ashes of a Red Heifer so that it could be used
immediately upon the arrival of Mashiach.
תפלה לחורף תשפ״ג
Winter Timetable 5783 – 2022/23
סוף זמן קריאת שמע
מנחה וקבלת שבת
Minha & Kabbalat Shabbat
כי תשא (פרה)
- How many “geira” are in a shekel?
30:13 – Twenty.
- What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army?
30:14 – Twenty.
- What were the three different types of terumah donated?
30:15 – For the adanim (sockets), for the purchase of communal sacrifices, and for the building of the Mishkan.
- The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?
30:16 – Their ages were calculated based on Rosh Hashana, not based on their individual birthdays.
- How many ingredients comprise the incense of the Mishkan?
30:34 – Eleven ingredients were used making the incense.
- According to Rashi, why are sailors called “malachim” ?
30:35 – Because they stir (malach) the water with their oars.
- What is the difference between between chochma (wisdom), bina understanding),and da'at (knowledge)?
31:3 – Chochma is knowledge acquired from others. Bina is the deduction of new knowledge from what one has already learned. Da'at is holy inspiration.
- Shabbat is a “sign.” What does it signify?
31:13 – It is a sign between G-d and the Jewish People that He has chosen them and a sign to the nations of the world that He has sanctified the Jewish People.
- When did the Jewish People begin to give contributions for the building of the Mishkan?
31:18 – The 11th of Tishrei.
- How many books are there in Tanach?
31:18 – 24.
- From where did the men take the earrings that they donated to make the calf?
32:2,3 – From their ears.
- Why did Aharon build the altar for the golden calf by himself?
32:5 – He hoped that by building it by himself it would take longer and in the interim Moshe would return.
- Why did Moshe break the Tablets?
32:19 – Moshe reasoned: If the Torah forbids those who have estranged themselves from the Torah to partake in even a single commandment (Pesach sacrifice), surely the entire Torah cannot be given to a whole nation which has estranged itself from G-d!
- How can two brothers belong to two different tribes?
32:27 – Half-brothers, sharing the same mother.
- Why did Moshe ask that his name be erased from the Torah?
32:32 – So people shouldn't say “Moshe was unworthy to plead for mercy on behalf of the Jewish people.”
- How has the sin of the golden calf affected the Jewish People throughout history?
32:34 – Whenever G-d punishes the Jewish People, part of that punishment comes as payment for the sin of the golden calf.
- In verse 33:2, G-d says that the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan would be driven out of the Land. In that verse, only six of the seven Canaanite nations are mentioned. What happened to the seventh?
33:2 – The seventh nation, the Girgashites, voluntarily emigrated.
- How did G-d show that He forgave the Jewish People?
33:14 – He agreed to let His Shechina dwell among them.
- How did Moshe become wealthy?
34:1 – Moshe carved the Tablets out of precious stone. G-d commanded Moshe to keep the leftover fragments.
- How do the light rays shining from Moshe's face show us the powerful effect of sin?
34:35 – Before the sin of the golden calf, the people would not have been afraid to look at the light rays, but after the sin they were afraid.
שלושים יום קודם הפסח – חג
היות ואנו עומדים סמוך ונראה
לחג הפסח, ודיני הפסח מרובים מאד, על כן אנו חוזרים ושונים את כל עיקרי דיני החג,
לפי מה שפירסמנו בשנים קודמות, ובתוספת נופך .
במסכת פסחים (דף ו:) אמרו, “שואלין בהלכות הפסח קודם הפסח שלושים יום”.
ובפשיטות נראה, כי כוונת הדברים היא, ששלושים יום קודם חג הפסח, יש להפסיק מכל
הלימודים, ולהתחיל בלימוד הלכות הפסח.
והקשה מרן הבית יוסף (סימן תכט)
שהרי אמרו בגמרא במסכת מגילה (דף לב.) “משה תיקן להם לישראל, שיהיו שואלין
ודורשין, הלכות פסח בפסח, הלכות עצרת (חג השבועות) בעצרת, הלכות חג (הסוכות)
בחג”. ואם כן משמע, שדווקא בפסח עצמו יש חיוב ללמוד הלכות פסח, ולא שלושים
יום קודם לפסח?
וכתב לתרץ מרן הבית יוסף, שאין
הכוונה באמת שמחוייבים לשאול ולדרוש בהלכות הפסח שלושים יום קודם הפסח, אלא הכוונה
מה שאנו פוסקים, שאם באים שני תלמידים לשאול, ואחד שואל כענין (כלומר, בענין שעסוקים בו
בבית המדרש), והשני שואל שלא כענין, עונים לשואל כענין. ובגמרא חידשו לנו, שכל
השואל בהלכות פסח קודם הפסח שלושים יום, נחשב כמי שהוא שואל כענין. וכן פירש
הר”ן (רבינו ניסים, מרבותינו הראשונים).
ובאמת שהגאון המשנה ברורה כתב
בביאור הלכה, שאין הלכה כדברי הר”ן, ושיש חובה “לדרוש” ולא רק
“לשאול” בהלכות הפסח קודם הפסח שלושים יום. אולם מרן רבינו הגדול זכר
צדיק לברכה, בספר שו”ת יביע אומר (חלק ב'
סכ”ב) האריך לקיים את פסק מרן השלחן ערוך, שאין חובה ממש להפסיק את סדרי
הלימודים קודם הפסח כדי לעסוק בהלכות פסח, ורק לענין “שואל כענין” אנו פוסקים שמי ששואל
קודם הפסח בהלכות פסח נזקקין להשיב לו. (מתפנים להשיב לו).
ויום פורים עצמו, שאנו עומדים
בו (יום ט”ו באדר), הוא בכלל ה”שלושים יום” קודם הפסח, אבל אם באו
שניים לשאול הלכה מאת הרב אחד שואל בהלכות פורים ואחד שואל בהלכות פסח, יש לענות
תחילה למי ששואל בהלכות פורים, שהיא חובת היום וחביבה מצוה בשעתה.
ויש לציין, שאף שאין חיוב ללמד
ברבים הלכות פסח שלשים יום, מכל מקום כל אחד ואחד מחויב ללמוד הלכות הפסח היטב,
שלא יבא חלילה לידי מכשול בימים אלו שהלכותיהם רבות מאד.
ועל כן גם אנו בהלכה יומית נדבר
כמה שניתן מהלכות הפסח, ולא נאריך בטעמי הדינים כפי שאנו נוהגים כל השנה, אלא
בעיקרי ההלכות, כדי שבמשך הזמן נוכל להקיף את עיקרי הלכות בפסח עד כמה שניתן.
ומלבד מה שעלינו לבאר את ההלכות
השייכות לחג הפסח, כגון הלכות מצה והלכות הכשרת הבית לפסח, כן עלינו לבאר קצת
מדיני ברכת האילנות שנוהגים לברך בתחילת חודש ניסן.
Thirty Days before Pesach and the Holiday of Purim
we are nearing the holiday of Pesach and the laws of Pesach are quite vast, we
will begin to review the primary laws of this holiday based on what we have
written in previous years in addition to some new insights.
Pesachim (6b) writes that one should begin to inquire about the laws of Pesach
thirty days before the actual holiday. The simple meaning of this law seems to
imply that thirty days before the holiday of Pesach, one must halt study of any
other Torah topics and focus solely on the laws of Pesach.
Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 429) asks that the Gemara in Megillah (32a) says
that Moshe Rabbeinu instituted that the Jewish nation should expound the laws
of Pesach on Pesach, the laws of Shavuot on Shavuot, and the laws of Sukkot on
Sukkot. Based on this, it would seem that there is only an obligation to learn
the laws of Pesach specifically on Pesach and not thirty days beforehand!
Maran Ha’Bet Yosef answers that this does not actually mean that one must
inquire about and expound the laws of Pesach thirty days beforehand; rather,
this refers to the ruling that if two students come to ask their rabbi a
question and one asks about a matter at hand (a topic being discussed in the
Bet Midrash) while the other asks about an unrelated matter, the rabbi must
answer the one who asks about a matter at hand. The Gemara therefore teaches us
that asking a question about Pesach thirty days before the holiday is
considered a matter at hand. The Ran (Rabbeinu Nissim, one of the great
Rishonim) explains likewise.
of Rabbeinu Nissim and one must actually “expound” and not merely “inquire
about” the laws of Pesach thirty days prior to the holiday. However, Maran
Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l in his Responsa Yabia Omer (Volume 2, Chapter 22)
writes lengthily to defend the ruling of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch that there is
no actual obligation to halt any other regular study topics before Pesach in
order to delve into the laws of Pesach; only with regards to one “inquiring
about an issue at hand” do we say that if one asks a Pesach-related question
thirty days before Pesach are we obligated to make time to answer the
The day of Purim itself (today, the 15th of Adar II, which is Purim
in Jerusalem) is also included in the “thirty days” before Pesach. However, if
two people pose a question to a rabbi and one asks about a law pertaining to
Purim while the other asks about a law pertaining to Pesach, the rabbi must
respond to the one inquiring about Purim first since this is the obligation of
the day and a Mitzvah at its proper time is dearer.
We must point out that although there is no obligation to expound the laws of
Pesach publicly during the thirty days before the holiday of Pesach according
to the letter of the law, nevertheless, everyone is obligated to study the laws
of Pesach thoroughly so as not to, G-d-forbid, transgress any of its vast laws.
as possible; we will not delve into the sources and reasons behind these
Halachot in order to have the opportunity to cover as many of the pertinent
laws as possible before the holiday of Pesach.
Matzah and the laws of koshering the house for Pesach, we must also discuss
some of the laws of the Blessing of the Trees customarily recited in the
beginning of the month of Nissan.