Vol 7.23 - Bechukotai 1 Spanish French Audio Video
(5730) Debate between R' Yehudah and R'Shimon (Torat Kohanim 26:6): if (wild beasts) will be removed from the Land or tamed so that they do not harm.
Their viewpoints regarding burning Chametz (Tal Pesachim Beg. Perek 2)
"Work not needed for it's own sake" (Malacha Shein Tzricha L'Gufo - Tal Shab.73b) and "performing a forbidden act unintentionally" (davar shaino miskavein - ibid 41b)
Debate in the argument between R' Akiva and R' Yehudah (Tal. Rosh Hashanna 31a) in the explanation of the verse: "A psalm a song for the Sabbath day" and the words of the Talmud (ibid) that their argument is whether the world will be desolate "one thousand" or "two thousand" years.
The connection to the days of Sfirah.
1. On the verse (Lev. 26:6):
“I will remove evil beasts from the world, and no sword shall pass through your land”.
(וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי חַיָּה רָעָה, מִן-הָאָרֶץ, וְחֶרֶב, לֹא-תַעֲבֹר בְּאַרְצְכֶם)
Torat Kohanim cites a debate between R' Yehuda and R' Shimon:
Following this the Torat Kohanim cites a proof to R’ Shimon‘s view
“And thus is it written (Tehillim 92:1) "A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat": To rest/mashbit harmful agents from the world (למשבית מזיקין מן העולם) meaning that He will prevent them from causing harm (משביתן שלא יזוקו). (mashbit like the word "Shabbat") And thus is it written (Isaiah 11:6-8) "And the wolf will live with the lamb. . and a young child will lead them . . A suckling will play by a viper's hole. . this teaches that a Jewish child is destined to stretch his hand into the eye orb of an adder etc.”
It is not understood:
The word “resting/Hashavat” is from the word “resting” (שביתה), as is just like the word, “I will remove/Hishbati”.
Why then is “(a song) for the day of Shabbat” more of a proof that it means, “They will not cause harm” more than, “I will remove/Hishbati evil beasts”?
Just as R’ Yehuda translates “Hishbati” that it means, “they will be removed from the world”, so too, can he derive this from the verse “for the day of Shabbat”?
Therefore, how is it possible for R’ Yehuda to state that, “they will be removed from the world”?
2. R’ Yehuda’s reason in learning that “I will remove evil beasts” means “they will be removed from the world” is explained by the Rogotchover Gaon, that R’ Yehuda follows his opinion in the law of Destroying Chometz” (ביעור חמץ):
Concerning the manner in which Chometz must be destroyed, there is a debate between R’ Yehuda and the Sages:
What is the nature of their debate?
When one throws the Chometz into the sea
(And even when one “tosses it into the wind”, only the connection of its parts etc. (חיבור פון זיינע חלקים) is nullified, however)
it remains the entity of Chometz just as it was before. Therefore, since regarding Chometz it states,
“you shall remove all leaven from your houses” (תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם),
R’ Yehuda maintains that through crumbling the Chometz and tossing it into the wind or through throwing it into the sea, one does not fulfill the Mitzvah of “remove all leaven”. For according to R’ Yehuda, the translation of “Removal/Shevita” – means the nullification of its existence (ביטול המציאות). Therefore, he maintains that, “Biur Chometz is solely through burning”. For specifically through burning the Chometz, it its entity nullified
(And although even after the burning there remains the ashes. Nevertheless, ashes are considered a new entity (נייע מציאות) and the previous entity no longer exists).
However, the Sages (including R’ Shimon) maintain that even the nullification of the form and the quality (ביטול הצורה והאיכות) – in the widest meaning of form and quality, even including the possibility of eating it (or having benefit from it, in general), the scope of “seeing it”, and so forth – is called “Removal/Shevita”. Therefore, they maintain that even when “crumbles it and tosses it into the wind or throws it into the sea”, one fulfills the Mitzvah of “remove it” (תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ).
This, says the Rogotchover Gaon, is also the reason for the debate of R’ Yehuda and R’ Shimon in the explanation of, “I will remove evil beasts from the world”.
When a harmful creature refrains from harming, only the form is nullified. However, its entity remains as before.
(Even if the nature of the vicious creature to harm, was imbued in it from Creation, it would be understood that the nullification of this specific nature, just represents the nullification of the form. How much more so, is this when at the Six Days of Creation, these animals did not harm. For the nature to harm was just imbued in them after the Sin of the Tree of Knowledge. In this case, it is certainly understood that this very nature is solely an external characteristic (צורה חיצונית), and through the nullification of this specific tendency, the entity of the animal is not nullified).
3. The expression ‘Removal/Shevita’ is also found with regard to Shabbat, as it states,
“But on the seventh day you must cease” (וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי תִּשְׁבֹּת)
One indeed sees, that even with regard to the prohibition of work on Shabbat (איסור מלאכה בשבת)
(which is also connected with “on the seventh day you must cease”)
there is a debate between R’ Yehuda and R’ Shimon, in two aspects:
(This means when one someone does a Melacha (a prohibited labor on Shabbat) with intent, however, his reason for doing so, is for a different thing. For example, “One who extinguishes a fire because he is afraid of non-Jews (attacking)” or “because of a sick person to allow him to sleep”, where the reason for extinguishing the fire is not for the purpose of the fire itself, for he needs the wick. Rather it is for a different reason).
R’ Yehuda maintains that is liable (חייב) and R’ Shimon maintains that he is exempt (פטור).
(This means a Melacha without intent. For example, when one pours cold water into a hot metal vessel, in order to warm the water. Although, through this, he strengthens (tempers) the vessel, which is considered the “finishing work of forgers” (גמר מלאכת הצורפין). Nevertheless, he completely, had no intent to do this work).
R’ Yehuda maintains that this is prohibited and R’ Shimon maintains that it is permissible.
The explanation of their debates is:
Regarding Shabbat it states, “The Torah prohibited intentional work (that violates Shabbat)” (Melechet Machshevet - lit. “Thoughtful work”)
Therefore, when intent is lacking,
(This does not just pertain to “Davar Sheino Mitkaven” when he completely has no intent to do the work, but even with “Melacha She’eina Tzricha L’Gufa”. Since his reason and intent is for another thing, therefore, regarding this Melacha, it is considered lacking intent)
the form of the Melacha (צורת המלאכה) is nullified.
And although regarding Shabbat it states,
“But on the seventh day you must cease” (וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי תִּשְׁבֹּת)”,
Namely, that there must be cessation from work.
R’ Yehuda who learns that that Removal/Shevita is specifically when the entire entity becomes nullified, maintains that even when one does a “Melacha She’eina Tzricha L’Gufa” or even a “Davar Sheino Mitkaven” – one does not fulfill “you must cease”. For the essential Melacha exists even when the intent is lacking.
However, R’ Shimon, who maintains that even the nullification of the form is called Removal/Shevita, maintains that even Melacha She’eina Tzricha L’Gufa and “Davar Sheino Mitkaven”,
since with these there is no form of Melacha (צורת המלאכה),
are in the realm of “you must cease”.
4. Since the explanation of Removal/Shevita (according to R’ Yehuda’s view) is - the nullification of the essence of the entity, it therefore comes out that in the verse “I will remove evil beasts from the world”, it expressly states that in the Future, the existence of the harmful creatures will be nullified. Therefore, he cannot learn that, “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”.
(Even though it states, “And the wolf will live with the lamb etc.”)
He must learn that, “they will be removed from the world”.
And although it states expressly in the verse, “And the wolf will live with the lamb” – meaning that there will indeed be harmful creatures in the Future (however, they will not harm), one must however learn (according to R’ Yehuda’s view) that these two verses are speaking of two separate times:
5. According to the aforementioned, one can also understand the proof that Torat Kohanim cites to the view of R’ Shimon, from the verse “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat”:
In the conclusion of Tractate Tamid, it discusses the:
“The Shir (daily psalm) that the Levites would recite in the Temple” on each day of the week:
He then interprets that it is “a song for the Future, for the day that will be entirely Shabbat and rest for everlasting life”.
This is what is stated in the Mishnah. However, in the Beraita, there is a debate in this.
(Rashi explains that “all six weekdays, these chapters of Psalms were recited on the past (על שם שעבר), whereas the Psalm recited on Shabbat is referring to the Future (על שם להבא))
Therefore, R’ Nehemiah learns that, “On the seventh day of the week, it is recited because He rested” (על שם ששבת). Namely, that even on Shabbat, they recited the psalm on the past – for the explanation of “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat” is
(Not referring “to the day that is all Shabbat”, which will occur in the Future, but rather)
since “He rested” – because G-d rested on the first Shabbat of Creation (בשבת בראשית).
After this, the Talmud states:
“These Tannaim disagree with regard to a statement of Rav Ketina, as Rav Ketina said: The world will exist for six thousand years, and for one thousand years it will be destroyed . . Conversely, Abaye said: The world will be destroyed for two thousand years”
In other words, the debate between (R’ Yehuda in the name of) R’ Akiva and R’ Nehemiah is dependent upon the debate of R’ Ketina with Abaye:
It is not understood:
R’ Nehemiah himself expressly states that the reason that he disagrees with (R’ Yehuda in the name of) R’ Akiva is because “what did the Sages see that led them to distinguish between these chapters”. Therefore, how can the Talmud state another reason?
This question is even greater:
From R’ Nehemiah’s words “what did the Sages see that led them to distinguish”, it seemingly is understood that even if one should accept the view of Rav Ketina, that, “the world will be destroyed for one thousand years”, he must also say that it is recited “because He rested”.
Therefore, how can the Talmud state, “They disagree with regard to a statement of Rav Ketina etc.” Namely, that R’ Nehemiah’s reason is since he maintains like Abaye. However, if he would have maintained like Rav Ketina – he would have indeed acceded to the view of (R’ Yehuda in the name of) R’ Akiva in the explanation of, ”the day that will be entirely Shabbat”?”
One must therefore say that with, “They disagree with regard to a statement of Rav Ketina etc.”, the Talmud means
(Not to say another reason for the debate between R’ Akiva and R’ Nehemiah, but rather)
to explain the reasonings of R’ Akiva and R’ Nehemiah, which are stated in the Beraita:
In other words, that the reason that R’ Nehemiah is forced,
because of the question, “what did the Sages see that led them to distinguish etc.”,
to say that “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat” does not mean “the day that will be entirely Shabbat” - whereas (R’ Yehuda in the name of) R’ Akiva does not acknowledge this question,
6. One can understand this by prefacing what is well-known, that each thousandth year of the
“Six thousand years that the world will exist” (שית אלפי שני דהוה עלמא)
is a different conduct (א באזונדער הנהגה).
For although the Talmud divides the “six thousand years that the world will exist” into three categories:
This is in general. However, in particular, each thousandth year
(Even in each one of the two-thousand year divisions -Tohu, Torah and the days of Moshiach)
is different from the other thousandth year.
From this it is understood, that even with regard to the “two thousand years that the world will be destroyed” (according to the view of Abaye), although in both thousand years it will be “destroyed”, nevertheless, the seven-thousandth year is not the same as the eighth-thousandth year. (Note: Fifth, sixth?)
According to this, one could say that Rav Ketina and Abaye differ according to the two views of R’ Yehuda and R’ Shimon (in Torat kohanim):
(In other words, there will always be the existence of harmful creatures yet they will not harm)
it is probable that it will just be “for one thousand years it will be destroyed”.
(There will be harmful creatures, but they will not harm).
In the first thousandth year there will be the destruction of the form – they will exist but they will not harm. Whereas, in the second thousandth year, “they will be removed from the world”.
7. According to this one can also understand why the question, “What did the Sages see that led them to distinguish between these chapters” is specifically if one learns that “for two thousand years it will be destroyed”:
As mentioned above (Par. 2), before the Sin of the Tree of Knowledge, the animals did not harm. From this, it is understood, that even on Shabbat Bereshit – although it was after the sin. Nevertheless, since the sin had not yet had an actual effect on the world (ווירקונג בפועל אין וועלט). As the Sages state
“Even though the luminaries were cursed from the Shabbat eve, they were not smitten until the termination of the Shabbat”,
Therefore, even the animals did not yet begin to harm.
Therefore, it comes out that the Removal/Shevita, of “they will not harm”, in the Future, for “the day that will be entirely Shabbat”, is not a new aspect which will first be manifested in the Future. For even in the past, on Shabbat Bereshit, it existed, as aforementioned.
Whereas, the Removal/Shevita of “they will be removed from the world” – is a completely new aspect, which will first be manifested in the Future.
According to this, it is understood why the Talmud states, “They disagree with regard to a statement of Rav Ketina etc.”:
According to Rav Ketina’s view, that there will be just be, “one thousand years that it will be destroyed”, this means that “(A psalm, a song) for the day of Shabbat” (ליום השבת) refers to “they will not harm”. Therefore one cannot ask “what did the Sages see that led them to distinguish etc.”
(Why the song of the six days is “on the past”, whereas the song of Shabbat is “on the future”)
For the aspect of “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”, which will be in the Future also existed in the past, on Shabbat Bereshit.
Whereas according to the view of Abaye, that “for two thousand years it will be destroyed”, this means that he accepts the view of R’ Yehuda that “they will be removed from the world”. Therefore, it follows that there is a question, “what did the Sages see that led them to distinguish”. For the aspect of, “they will be removed from the world” is a completely new aspect, which is solely connected with “the Future” and has no relation with “(referring to) the past”.
8. According to the aforementioned, it will also be understood why the Torat kohanim brings a proof from the verse “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat” to the view of R’ Shimon that, “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”:
Since the verse, “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat” proves
(according to the explanation that it refers to the Future)
that it is like the view of Rav Ketina,
that, “the world will be destroyed for one thousand years”–
and the debate of Rav Ketina and Abaye is dependent on, as aforementioned, on the debate of R’ Yehuda and R’ Shimon.
It therefore follows, that from the verse “A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbat”
(from which it proves that the “destruction” will be for one thousand years)
also proves that “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”.
9. It has been mentioned many times, that each Sidra has a connection to the time in which it is read. According to this, it is understood that the verse, “I will remove evil beasts from the world” which is stated in Parshat Bechukotai,
which is always read in the time of Sefirah (and close to its conclusion – Shavuot)
has a connection to the aspect of Matan Torah – when the days of Sefirah will be complete –”you shall count fifty days”.
One can understand this according to the well-known explanation in the aspect of Chometz
(For also regarding Chometz it states, “You shall remove all leaven from your houses” (תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם). This is similar to, “I will remove (וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי) evil beasts from the world” – as stated above),
that on Pesach, Chometz is prohibited. Whereas on Shavuot – not only is Chometz permitted – but on the contrary, the Two Loaves (שתי הלחם) that one offers on Shavuot must specifically be “baked leavened” (חמץ תאפינה).
The explanation of this is well-known. Chometz depicts ego and arrogance (הגבהה והתנשאות), from which comes all sorts of evil. Therefore, on Pesach – when one is first standing at the “exodus from Egypt”, one must “flee” (אנטלויפן) from Chometz. So much so, that Chometz must not be “seen” (לא יראה) nor “found” (לא ימצא).
Whereas on Shavuot, which comes after the Avodah of Sefirat HaOmer - when one has refined all the seven Middot of the Animal Soul, then not only is Chometz, not a contradiction to Avodat HaShem, but on the contrary: one makes from it a Mitzvah . This is similar to, “lifting one’s heart in the ways of G-d” (ויגבה לבו בדרכי ה׳).
Since after Sefirat HaOmer, one stands at such a condition where one can make from Chometz a Mitzvah. Therefore, indeed one must make from it a Mitzvah. For the epitome of the virtue (תכלית העילוי) is to “transform darkness into light” (אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא). Namely, that the darkness itself should be transformed to light. Therefore, on Shavuot – it must specifically be “baked leavened” (חמץ תאפינה).
This is also the relation of the days of Sefirah to, “I will remove evil beasts from the world”, according to the view of R’ Shimon
(where the Halacha is like his view, as will be explained in Par. 10).
that, “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”.
For in “they will be tamed so that they do not harm” there is manifested the great virtue of Ishapcha - transforming darkness into light”.
As it states in Torat kohanim,
“R’ Shimon said: What redounds more to the praise of the L–rd, the absence of harmful agents or their existing but not causing harm? “
Namely, that the epitome of virtue and praise is (not the nullification of the “harmful beings” (מזיקים) but rather) that the harmful agents themselves should be transformed to good.
10. In this debate between Rav Ketina and Abaye
(Whether the world will be destroyed ‘for one thousand years’ or ‘for two thousand years’),
the Talmud states:
“We learned in a Beraita that it is like Rav Ketina’s view”
From this, it is understood that the Halacha is like Rav Ketina, that “the world will be destroyed for one thousand years”. Therefore, since the debate between Rav Ketina with Abaye is dependent on the debate between R’ Yehuda and R’ Shimon (as aforementioned Par. 7), it therefore comes out that the Halacha is like R’ Shimon - “they will be tamed so that they do not harm”.
From this, it is also understood with regard to a person’s Avodah, now (איצטער). For all the revelations of the Future are dependent upon “our deeds and Avodah, now”). There must be an “awakening from below” that is similar (מעין) to the “awakening from Above”. Namely, that the primary aspect and the completeness of the Avodah must be
(not in “fleeing” and separating oneself from the world - world/Olam having the same root as the word Helem/Hiddenness. Rather (after the preparation) – one makes the world itself, which is filled with Klippot and the Other Side, into an abode for G-d (מלא קליפות וסט״א - פאר א דירה לו ית׳).
Through this, one will merit the fulfillment of the tiding, “I will remove evil beasts from the world”, to “the day that will be entirely Shabbat and rest for everlasting life”.
MSichas Yud-Tes Kislev and Shabbat Vayeshev 5730
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