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Parshas Teruma 5774
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January, 31 2014
Volume 10 Issue 16
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Dvar Torah

No Pain, No Gain


By Rabbi Yakir Schechter


The verses in the beginning of the parsha tell us of the various materials that were donated for the construction of the Mishkan.  They included gold, silver, copper, leather, oil and more, totaling eleven raw materials.  At the end of the list appear two additional items: the shoham stones and the stones for the settings, both to be used for the kohen's breastplate.  The Ohr Hachaim points out the peculiarity of the placement of these two sets of stones in the verses.  Ostensibly, precious stones are the most valuable, even more valuable than gold.  Why, then, are they mentioned at the end of the list?  It would have made more sense to place them at the beginning. 


 In order to appreciate what the Torah is teaching us we need to look ahead in Parshas Vayakel to see who made these donations.  In chapter 35 verses 21-29 the Torah records that everyone donated whatever they wished from the aforementioned list (Rashi in our parsha alludes to this - see chapter 25 verse 3).  However, in verse 27 it says that it was specifically the nesiem, the tribal leaders, who brought the stones.  The gemara in Yoma (75a) says that the stones were delivered by the ananei hakavod (the clouds of glory).  The tribal leaders then gathered the stones and brought them to Moshe for the Mishkan.  The Ohr Hachaim explains that those who donated the other materials suffered some loss by donating their personal items.  The tribal leaders, however, incurred no loss.  It took little effort to make their donation and therefore it was indeed less valuable than the other materials.  It is for this reason that their donation is listed last. 


From here we learn a tremendous lesson.  The value of something is much greater when it was earned through hard work and sacrifice.  As Chazal say, l'fum tza'ara agra - through the pain and suffering comes the reward.  Though this idea can be applied to many areas, perhaps one of the most important is in learning Torah.  While learning Torah may be tough at times, the reward we get by pushing on and toiling in Torah is invaluable.  


There is a well-known story said over in the name of Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman zt"l.  Someone once came to him and posited the following: the law is that one must stand up for a Torah scholar in honor of the Torah that he knows.  The gemara also tells us that a child in utero is taught the entire Torah.  Perhaps the law should be that one is required to stand up for an expectant woman in honor of the Torah that her unborn baby knows.  Rav Gustman cleverly answered that the Torah knowledge of the unborn baby is worth much less since no toil and effort was exerted in its acquisition. 


Whether one learns five minutes a day, five hours a day, or fifteen hours, one must always remember the lesson of the stones.  May Hashem give us the strength to toil over the Torah with vigor, fortitude, and excitement.





Dvar Halacha

 Halachos of Basar B'Cholov      part 2



By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi




One of the most practical applications of the laws of Basar B'chalav is to wait a period of time after eating meat before eating dairy. The source for this halachah is the Gemara [Chullin 105a] that states Chazal decreed that one may not eat cheese after eating meat, but may eat meat after eating cheese. Mar Ukvah said he would wait to eat cheese to the next meal after eating meat.

There is a machlokes Rishonim what is the interpretation of "waiting from meal to meal." Some understand this as a waiting period, i.e. Mar Ukvah was explaining that one is required to wait an amount of time between the morning meal and the evening meal (Rambam 9:28, Rosh Chullin 8:5). The Gr"a [Be'ur HaGr"a 89:2] explains this time period is 6 hours (More opinions on this will be explained next week, imy"H). Tosfos [ibid. s.v. l'sueda] argues that one does not need to wait a period of time; rather one may not eat meat and dairy in the same meal. Therefore, as long as one recited a brachah achrona (after blessing) and cleared the table, one would be permitted to eat dairy.

There are two reasons given in the Rishonim as to why Chazal decreed the need to wait 6 hours. Rashi [ibid. s.v. assur] explains that when one swallows meat, the fat of the meat leaves a fatty residue in the throat and the mouth for that amount of time. Rambam [9:28] holds that some meat might get stuck in between the teeth, and until 6 hours that stuck meat is considered "meat". After 6 hours the stuck meat is no longer halachically considered meat because the saliva dissolves it (Taz YD 89:1).

L'halachah we paskin like both Rashi and Rambam's opinion and as long as at least one is relevant, one would be required to wait 6 hours (SA YD 89:1). Therefore, if one swallowed a piece of meat whole without chewing it would be required to wait 6 hours. Additionally, if one merely chews on meat, even if he did not swallow it one would still be obligated to wait (Taz YD 89:1). However, if one merely tastes meat with his tongue and then spits it out without swallowing it, would not need to wait 6 hours (Aruch Hashulchan YD 89:14).

According to what was explained, in principle one who found meat in between his teeth and swallowed it, either within the 6 hours or after, would be required to wait 6 hours from that point, since according to Rashi's opinion he swallowed meat. However, the minhag is not to wait (Haf'lah YD 89, Badei Hashulchan 89:13 Tzi'yunim 22).

One who swallows a meat vitamin [e.g. a liver pill] does not need to wait 6 hours (Igros Moshe YD 2:26). Additionally, one who eats a parave food that was cooked in ben yomo meat pot does not need to wait 6 hours (Rama 89:3).

If one cooks a davar charif (sharp food) [e.g. onion] that was cooked in a meat pot or cut with a fleishig knife, he is not required to wait (Ha'gaos Reb Akiva Eiger YD 89:4).

There is a difference of opinion between Sefardic and Ashkenazic custom, if one eats a food that was cooked with meat [e.g. a potato from the cholent]. Sefardic custom is that one does not need to wait 6 hours, however Ashkenazic custom is one is required to wait 6 hours (Rama YD 89:3). In the above case, one is required to wait 6 hours even if one wants to eat a food that was cooked with dairy (Ha'gaos Reb Akiva Eiger YD 89:3 quoting Mar'shal & the implication of the Igros Moshe YD 2:26).
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