Parshas Vayikra/Zachor 5779
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March 15, 2019
Volume 15 Issue 18
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Dvar Torah

A "Hands On" Lesson 
By Rabbi Yosef Prupas
 
The Kuzari warns us that intellectual reasoning alone will never give us the full picture of closeness to G-d which the Korbanos (or, for that matter many other Mitzvos,) gave. The Korbanos are G-d's Will - and doing His Will gives us an element of spirituality which intellect alone could never anticipate. Korbanos are a Chok, never to be fully grasped by man, and it would be tragic for man to reduce the full force of G-d's wisdom to the limitations of our own understanding. Therefore any explanation of such an esoteric concept can never do true justice to the entire picture. However, its ever present reality demands that we extrapolate the lessons that can be learnt on our respective intellectual levels of understanding.
The Ramban famously writes, that since the acts of man are comprised of thought, speech, and action, G-d commands that when an individual sins and brings an animal sacrifice, he should rest his hands upon its head, corresponding to the element of action; he should verbally confess what he did wrong, corresponding to the element of speech; he should burn the innards and kidneys that are the seat of all human thought and passion, and the animal's limbs, corresponding to the sinner's hands and feet, which carry out all of his activity; and he should cast the sacrifice's blood upon the altar to bring to mind the phrase, "his blood will be on his soul." [This is] so that the person doing [or watching] all of these actions will come to realize that he has sinned against God with his body and his soul, and that he deserves that his own blood be spilled and his body burned, had it not been for the compassion of the Creator who has accepted a substitute instead. Therefore the sacrifice atones by its blood corresponding to the sinner's blood, its soul corresponding to the sinner's soul, its limbs corresponding to the sinner's limbs; and the portions (that are given to the Kohanim) will give life to Torah teachers, who in turn will pray on his behalf.
The Chinuch adds, that the reason sacrifices are from bread, wine, and meat, is because these are central items of importance in a person's life. Therefore a person's heart is greatly affected when using these items in the process of serving G-d.
The Chinuch further explains that animals are biologically very similar to a human being - are only difference in intellect. Seeing the animal slaughtered has a tremendous impact on ones psyche, making the effects of sin very real. Burning this animal without intellect, vividly drives home the point that a person who lives without thinking will end up being nothing - like his sacrifice animal. At the time, one will come to appreciate his own existence and realize that he lives for a higher purpose. This visual lesson has the greatest potential to redirect a person away from sin.
One might think that for the Peace Offering the above explanation is not applicable, and therefore why should it be a form of sacrifice? The Chinuch beautifully explains that it is a Mussar lesson about life, how to be grateful, and focused on doing the right thing. By bringing such sacrifices, a person inculcates within himself the right perspective, thus potentially preventing him from sinning in the first place. The harmonious existence indicated by the dividing the parts between G-d, the Kohanim, and himself, imbues him with the lesson of maintaining the right balance between the spiritual and the physical, and that it all serves to bring one closer to G-d.
The Prophet Hoshea says, "Take words with you, and turn to the Lord. Say to Him: forgive all iniquity and receive us graciously, so we will offer the words of our lips instead of calves." Although we may not have the enhanced ability to learn the above lessons, as it was in the time of the Beis Hamikdash, the prophet reveals to us, that by reciting the Service of the Sacrifices, one can accomplish the same even in our present state. May we merit the day soon that only offerings that will be brought will be the "Peace Offerings," indicating the peaceful and harmonious relationship between the Jewish People and G-d.


 
Dvar Halacha
Chosamos: 
Sending Kosher Food

Based on the Sunday morning Halacha Shiur 
given by Rabbi Y. Biberfeld, Rosh Kollel
Written by: Ovadia Gowar

You order some pizza from your favorite Kosher pizza store, which has conveniently partnered with Uber Eats. The pizza gets delivered to your front door and you waste no time getting started. Half way through your third slice you stop and wonder to yourself: "How do I know that this is really the pizza I ordered? Maybe the delivery guy ate my kosher pizza and then replaced it with Domino's?"
 
This gets us onto the topic of chosamos (seals). Chazal decreed that when kosher food is sent through a non-Jew, the food needs to have a seal that serves as proof that the food was not tampered with. The logic is that the inconvenience and difficulty of removing the seal and then having to replace it in an identical manner will deter the delivery person from interfering with it.
 
The source for this halacha is from the Gemara in Avodah Zara (39a). The Gemara defines two groups of items that need to be transported with a seal: "CHaVIS" and "CHaMPaG". CHaVIS stands for "chatichas dag" (a piece of fish), "basar" (meat), "yayin" (wine) and "techeiles" (the blueish dye used on tzitzis). Some say that the first item is not chatichas dag, but rather "cholov" (milk). CHaMPaG stands for "chiltis" (a type of pungent vegetable), "muryas" (fish brine), "pas" (bread) and "gevinah" (cheese).
 
The halacha is that the items in CHaVIS require two seals when being transported, while CHaMPaG only requires one seal.
 
What distinguishes the items in the strict group CHaVIS from the more lenient group CHaMPaG? There is a three-way disagreement regarding this.
 
1)      The Rashba says that the items in CHaVIS are all items that if swapped with a non-kosher equivalent, would result in you transgressing a prohibition from the Torah. Non-kosher fish or meat are both forbidden from the Torah. Yayin nesech, which is wine that was poured out in a libation for avodah zara, is forbidden from the Torah. Techeiles allows you to wear tzitzis that contain a mixture of wool and flax. Without it, you would be transgressing the Torah prohibition of sha'atnez.
Conversely, the Rashba holds that CHaMPaG represents items that are only rabbinically prohibited. We are concerned that the delivery person will swap the kosher bread with pas akum, which is only assur m'derabbanan. With regards to non-kosher cheese, the non-kosher part of it is that they would coagulate it with non-kosher rennet. Since the non-kosher element within it is only giving it structure and not flavor, this is only assur m'derabbanan.
 
2)      The Tur writes that the distinction between CHaVIS and CHaMPaG is that the items in CHaVIS are all more expensive (and therefore more exclusive) than the items in CHaMPaG. Therefore the delivery person would be more tempted to help himself to the expensive items and so they require two chosamos.
 
3)     The Ran writes in the name of the Yerushalmi that with CHaVIS, the prohibition is in the body of the food item itself, while with CHaMPaG, the prohibition is only from a ta'aroves (a mixture), which makes it a more lenient type of issur and therefore only needs one chosam. But didn't we just say that bread is one of the elements of CHaMPaG? Bread is not part of a mixture?! The answer is that since it is only assur m'derabbanan it is also sufficient with only one chosam.
 
The Shach says that one should be concerned for any one of the three opinions i.e. if an item is either d'oraisa, or expensive, or the issur is in its body, then it needs two chosamos.
 
In conclusion, Chazal required kosher food to be secured with a seal when sent through a non-Jew. Some foods require only one seal, some require two. Next week we will begin the Shulchan Aruch and start looking more in depth.


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