Parshas Korach 5776
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July 8, 2016
Volume 12 Issue 33
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Dvar Torah

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

 By Rabbi Yakir Schechter

In this week's Parsha we read of Korach's complaint to Moshe: "For the entire assembly - all of them - are holy and Hashem is among them; why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of Hashem?"  According to Rashi, Korach's complaint to Moshe was if you, Moshe, were chosen to lead B'nei Yisrael then it is not fair to choose your brother, Aharon, for the Kehuna.  In response to Korach's audacity, Moshe castigates: is it not enough that you were chosen above the other tribes as a member of the tribe of Levi?!  How dare you demand to be part of the Kohanim!
Moshe's response is difficult to understand.  Was Korach's request to be part of the Kohanim not legitimate?  What was wrong with desiring to be part of an elite, G-d chosen group?
In his sefer Divrei Bina, Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz, the Rebbe of Biala, writes that we all know that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 bones in the body and the 365 negative commandments correspond to the 365 sinews in the body.  When a person fulfils all of the commandments his body becomes spiritually uplifted and complete in the eyes of Hashem.  The problem with this is that no one person can possibly fulfil every mitzvah as some mitzvos are only relevant to Kohanim and others only to men while others only to women.  How then can one achieve completion?  The answer is through unity.  When we are all one and stick together we are like one person.  When the Kohanim fulfil their mitzvos, the men their mitzvos, and the women their mitzvos, each group complements the next, unifying the various mitzvos and Klal Yisrael as a whole.
Hashem gives each and every person certain strengths that only they possess.  Each person has special qualities that enable him/her to impact the world in a unique way, a way in which only he/she can accomplish.  No one person is better than the next as each person is necessary for his/her purpose.
This is what Korach failed to understand.  He erroneously believed that a person in a position of power necessarily means that he/she is inherently superior to others, resulting in his complaining about the Kehuna.  In truth, however, any position which a person holds is G-d given.  Hashem ultimately deems who is fit for what, placing people where they need to be in in order to fulfil their role.  Moshe was telling Korach that he has no right to complain.  Hashem decreed that he remain a Levi and only Korach, as a Levi, could fulfil his unique role in that capacity.
We must always remember this valuable lesson, that there is never a reason to envy a fellow Jew.  The Jewish people are made up of individual parts, all equally necessary for its thriving.  May Hashem aid us in internalizing this message so we can feel total unity, making way for the success of Klal Yisrael.

Dvar Halacha
Laws of Sending Away the Mother Bird part 2
By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi
We mentioned last week, since according to most Poskim a person only fulfills this mitzvah if he acquires the eggs, one should make every effort to take the chicks or eggs.  However, in a situation that one finds more than one egg, he is not required to take all the eggs, he only needs to take one.  Furthermore, in the above situation there is more than one egg, multiple people can perform the mitzvah; for example, one person should chase away the mother and take one egg.  After the mother returns a second person should chase away the mother again and take a different egg, and so on (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 50 quoting Reb Y.S. Eliyashuv zt"l).
There is a machlokes as how one needs to send away the mother bird.  According to Harav Y.S. Eliyashuv zt"l the only way to fulfill this mitzvah is to physically grab onto the mother bird.  However many Poskim disagree and hold one may send her away using any method (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 40-41 quoting Chazon Ish [YD 175:2], Steipler Goan, Satmar Rov, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Harav Shmuel Wosner zt"l and ybl"c  Harav Moshe Sternbuch shlit"a).  According to this latter opinion, one may use a broom or stick, throw a rock, spray with a hose or make a loud noise (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 76-77 quoting Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit"a).
It is important to mention, many times when the mother bird senses danger, she will fly away.  Therefore, upon approaching the nest one should have intention that he wants to fulfill the mitzvah, for even if the mother flies away before he scares her off, he will have nevertheless fulfilled this mitzvah (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 77 quoting Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit"a).
One only fulfills the mitzvah by sending away the mother and not the father (Shulchan Aruch YD 292:7).  Nowadays it is fairly common that during the day time hours the father and the mother alternate sitting on the nest.  During the night time [after sunset] only the mother sits on the nest.  Therefore, in order to ensure that one is fulfilling the mitzvah, it is preferable to chase away the mother during the night time hours (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 51).
The Torah states "When you happen upon a birds nest".  Chazal [Gemara Chullin 138b] explain what the Torah is teaching us is that if a nest was "prepared" there is no mitzvah to send away the mother (Shulchan Aruch YD 292:2).  This means, that if someone owns the birds [e.g. he made a kinyan (halachic acquisition), one may not send away the mother.  This lends itself to the following issue.  A person's property has the ability to acquire something for its owner, even without the owner being aware (Shulchan Aruch CM 268:3 & Shach CM 268:3).  Therefore, if a bird builds a nest on one's property, in many cases the owner has acquired the birds and may not chase away the mother.  In order to be able to perform the mitzvah on nests that are in one's property, one may have in mind that he does not wish to acquire any birds that are on his property. (Igros Moshe YD 4:45:1).
There is a machlokes haposkim whether one may relinquish ownership on a nest that he already acquired in order to perform the mitzvah.  According to Harav Y.S. Eliyashuv, zt"l, holds one may not, however Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l (Shu"T Igros Moshe YD 4:45:1) and ybl"c Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit"a, disagree that one may (Sefer Sha'laiach Tishalach pg. 64).  According to this second opinion, even after one has fulfilled the mitzvah by sending away the mother and then acquiring the eggs, if he has in mind to renounce his ownership of the eggs, then additional people can fulfill the mitzvah with the same egg, since it is currently ownerless.

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