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(5736) Rashi (Lev. 1:15): "Its blood shall be squeezed out"  



1. In the verse:

“And the Kohen shall bring it near to the altar, and nip off its head, and cause it to (go up in) smoke on the altar, and its (the bird's) blood shall be pressed out upon the wall of the altar”. (וְהִקְרִיבוֹ הַכֹּהֵן אֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמָלַק אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ וְהִקְטִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחָה וְנִמְצָה דָמוֹ עַל קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ)

Rashi cites the words:

“And its (the bird’s) blood shall be pressed out ( v’Nimtza/ וְנִמְצָה)”,

and writes:

(The word וְנִמְצָה) an expression similar to:

  • The pressing out (מִיץ) of wrath” (Prov. 30:33); and,
  • For the milking (הַמֵּץ) has come to an end” (Isa. 16:4).

He presses the slaughtering area (of the bird’s neck) against the wall of the altar, and thereby, the blood is pressed out and runs down (the wall).

(ונמצה דמו: לשון מיץ אפים (משלי ל לג), כי אפס המץ (ישעיה טז ד), כובש בית השחיטה על קיר המזבח והדם מתמצה ויורד)

In simplicity Rashi is coming to translate the word “v’Nimtza/Pressing” – a word which is not stated previously in the Chumash and in general is not common in the Torah. Therefore he explains that this is “the pressing out of wrath”

One must however understand:

  1. What is the connection of this reason which immediately follows: “He presses the slaughtering area of the bird’s neck against the wall of the altar, and the blood is pressed out and runs down the wall” to the translation of the word: “v’Nimtza”, which Rashi states in one comment? Seemingly if Rashi wants to explain the manner of the pressing, he should have explained it in a separate heading (דיבור המתחיל).
  2. Why must Rashi cite two proofs on the explanation of “v’Nimtza” and is not satisfied with just one of them?
  3. Why did Rashi choose to cite these verses specifically - this wording is found in many places in the Prophets and the Writings (Nach)?
  4. Moreover: in Mishlei - from where he cites the verse “an expression similar to the pressing out of wrath” – Rashi explains there that the word “pressing/מִיץ”  is from the word: “and squeezed (וימץ) dew etc.” (Which is stated previously in Shoftim,6:38).


Therefore Rashi should have brought the proof from “and squeezed dew etc. “ from Shoftim since:

  1. It precedes Mishlei
  2. The explanation in Mishlei is known (according to Rashi) from Shoftim?


  1. In the cited proofs themselves – he first cites the proof of “the pressing out of wrath” which is stated in Mishlei, and not the verse “for the milking has come to an end” which is stated beforehand - in Yeshaya?
  2. In the (first) verse that he cites from Mishlei it states beforehand (before “the pressing out of wrath”) the word “pressing/מִיץtwice (in Prov. 29:33):
  • “For pressing milk will give out butter”, and
  • “Pressing the nose will give out blood”

Yet Rashi just cites the third occurrence of the word “pressing/” (“the pressing out of wrath” (Prov. 30:33).

2. The explanation of all this is:

Rashi is not just coming to translate the word “v’Nimtza”, but also to answer a question which arises in the verse:

The word “v’Nimtza” is in the passive tense (לשון נפעל), which means that this is as if it is done by itself. The blood is squeezed out (אויםגעקוועטשט) by itself on the wall of the altar – through “causing it to go up in smoke on the altar“ (והקטיר המזבחה) (or through the “nipping off its head (מליקה) and so forth .

Therefore it is not understood:

We know previously regarding a korban Olah (burnt-offering) (of an animal) that there are the services (עבודות) of Schechitah, Sprinkling the blood on the altar (Zerikah) and causing it to go up in smoke. The question is, the services of Schechitah and causing it to go up in smoke are also found regarding the korban of a fowl (except that in the place of Schechitah there is Nipping/Melikah). One does not however find that with the korban of a fowl a service that is similar to the Avodah of sprinkling the blood (Zerikah/זריקת הדם) on the altar?

Therefore, after Rashi cites the proofs on the word “v’Nimtza”, he forewarns and explains that the (passive tense of) “v’Nimtza” comes through an Avodah and deed of the person - and a special deed (פעולה מיוחדת) – namely “pressing (the slaughtering area of the bird’s neck) against the wall of the altar, and the blood is pressed out and runs down the wall“. This is similar to the Avodah of sprinkling the blood/Zerikah on the altar.

3. According to this it is understood why Rashi specifically chooses these proofs from the two verses, since it is emphasized in them that the nature of “v’Nimtza” – “pressing/מִיץ”- is connected with the deed of the person - “pressing”:

From the beginning of the verse in Mishlei : “pressing milk will give out butter, and pressing the nose will give out blood” - it is not a proof for our case that “v’Nimtza” is in a manner of “He presses (the slaughtering area)”– since both “butter“ from “milk” as well as “blood” from the “nose” do not come about through a deed of “pressing” and squeezing (קוועטשן, כבישה), but rather through “beating “(שלאגן) and “hitting“ (קלאפן) ( and so forth).

(And more than that – sometimes it comes about by itself: butter floats above the milk and the nose bleeds – sometimes from itself, which we actually see).

Therefore Rashi cites the specifically the conclusion of the verse Prov. 29:33): “pressing anger (will give out strife)” (וּמִיץ אַפַּיִם יוֹצִיא רִיב), since there, the “pressing/מִיץ”, is in the same manner of “pressing the slaughtering area”. Through pressing and squeezing out the anger (ארויסקוועטשן און ארויסדריקן לחוץ דעם כעס) – there “comes out strife” - there is a battle (קריגעריי).

This proof itself, however, is not sufficient since the “pressing/מִיץ” by the “anger/ "אַפַּיִם“ is not a physical deed (במעשה)

(Not like the “pressing the slaughtering area” which is a deed / עשי׳).

Therefore Rashi cites the verse “for the milking (הַמֵּץ) has come to an end” (Isa. 16:4)“. For there, it means (as Rashi states there) the “milk and butter“ which is squeezed (אויסגעקוועטשט) from the flocks and cattle, which is a physical deed and the milk does not come through striking (הכאה) and so forth but rather through actual squeezing.

however the proof of “for the milking has come to an end“ itself is also not sufficient since there, one can learn, that the word “milking (הַמֵּץ) “ does not emphasize the act of the pressing itself, but rather it is just an description (תואר) of the wealth and honor (וכבוד עושר) of the flocks and cattle, which is a result of that which milk and butter is taken from them.

As Rashi explains there:

“Your squeezing, your wealth and your glory, which you had through your flocks and your cattle, from which you would squeeze milk and cream“.

Therefore Rashi must also cite – and at the start – the proof of “the pressing out of wrath” where “pressing/מִיץ” actually means the deed of squeezing.

4. The reason that Rashi does not cites the proof from Shoftim:

“and he squeezed dew out of the fleece (וַיִּמֶץ טַל מִן הַגִּזָּה)“ (which is a deed)

is because in the same verse there ( in Shoftim) before the words “and he squeezed dew out of the fleece“ it states: “he pressed the fleece together (וַיָּזַר אֶת הַגִּזָּה) “. This means that he squeezed (געקוועטשט) the fleece,

(As Rashi states there that it is “an expression of pressing”)

and since there was already “pressing”, it is understood that the “squeezing of dew etc.“ which happened afterward, does not refer to the deed of pressing - of (and in) the fleece itself, but rather to the emitting of the dew (יציאת ה״טל״) from the “fleece “, as the verse concludes “a bowl full of water“.

And therefore is not an exact example for our case where the “pressing of its blood” comes to emphasize the deed of his “pressing the slaughtering area”.

However, in Mishlei where Rashi comes to explain the commonality of all the three aspects which the verse speaks of –

  • Pressing milk (will give out butter)
  • Pressing the nose (will give out blood)
  • Pressing anger (will give out strife).

which is not in the manner of the deed in the milk, nose and anger,

(For on the contrary: it occurs to every one of them – through a different sort of action (as aforementioned par 3).

and the only commonality between them is the result of the deed ( the deed which “emits / ״יוציא״) the “pressing/מִיץ”.

And on this, the proof of Shoftim, where the “squeezing etc.” (וַיִּמֶץ) refers to the emitting (and squeezing) of the dew - is not applicable.

According to all the aforementioned, it is also understood why Rashi emphasizes: “He presses the slaughtering area” in the same heading in continuation to the proof of the expressions etc. – since this concerns the body of his comment (לגוף פירושו), since he is also (endeavoring) to explain that the “pressing” is through “pressing the slaughtering area”:

5. However, it remains not understood:

Why is it relevant here to emphasize that the pressing of the blood was specifically through the “pressing the slaughtering area”

(Which is why Rashi must specifically cite these two verses, as aforementioned)

and not through another deed?

One could say, according to the aforementioned that:

Since Rashi learns that “v’Nimtza” is in place of, and similar to, sprinkling blood on the altar (הזאה), it is probable that the deeds have a similarity between them – and this is specifically so if it is done through pressing - “pressing the slaughtering area”.

Blood which is emitted through “beating” (קלאפן) (and so forth) regarding the “pressing the nose will give out blood”, is not in the manner that the blood comes out in an orderly manner through the orderly deed. The beating (קלאפן) etc. causes the beginning of the emission of the blood which then is emitted by itself for an extended period.

Which is not so with liquids which are emitted by “pressing” (כבישה) (the milk of a cow etc.). There the continuation of the flow of the liquid is a result of further continuous acts (נאכאנאנדיקער) of “pressing”.

And since the Avodah of “pressing its blood” is in the place of Sprinkling/Zerikah (הזאה) which is completely accomplished through the deed of the Kohen, therefore Rashi learns that this is also by “pressing its blood”, namely that it is through “pressing the slaughtering area”.

6. From the aspects of the homiletic style of Torah (yayina shel Torah) which is alluded to in this commentary of Rashi:

It is known what the Ramban states regarding the services which one accomplishes with a korban (which atones for the person) that the person must contemplate:

“that he sinned against g with his body and soul and that ‘his’ blood should really be spilled and ‘his’ body burnt were it not for the loving-kindness of the Creator who took from him a substitute etc. the blood (of the korban) instead of his blood, life in place of life etc.“

And this is also the theme of the aspect of offering the fat of the korban and it’s blood on the altar, which in man’s Avodah represents the delight/ תענוג (fat) and excitement/קאך (blood) which one must offer (give over) to G-d.

Therefore, by the (conclusion of the) first typr of korban which is stated in the Torah - the korban Olah

(Which even the Olah atones (on Positive Mitzvah (Asei) and on a “Lav she'nitak l'asei”) 

(Note: A negative prohibition followed by a positive commandment which instructs us what to do in case the Lav has been transgressed is known as a Lav she'Nitak l'Aseh; literally, a Lav "loosened" into an Aseh. Often, the Aseh following teaches what remedial action to take in order to correct the Lav. For example, the Torah commands, "Lo Sigzol" - "Do not steal". If someone transgresses this prohibition, then the Torah instructs him to correct his misdeed through "v'Heshiv Es ha'Gezeilah" - "He should return the stolen object". Sometimes, however, the Aseh contains further instruction)

Rashi points out that by stating: “pressing its blood”

(by the sprinkling/Zerika of the blood which is the primary atonement)

that the aspect of the atonement of the korban, resides in the aspect of the “pressing/מִיץ”, (כבישה) - the Iskafia (Note: subjugating and subordinating the material nature of the body and the animal soul, and overcoming them) and bitul of one’s entity – and then the “the blood is pressed out and runs down“.The excitement (״קאדי) in the desires of the world is pressed (ארויסגעקוועטשט) and goes out of him.

Therefore Rashi cites that it is “an expression similar to the pressing out (מִיץ) of wrath” since in the aspect of “pressing anger will give out strife”, it also refers (by allusion) to the general nature of a sin. And the manner of Teshuvah and atonement of a sin as will be explained.

7. Regarding anger (כעם), the Sages state that “One who angers is as if he worships idols“

(And as the Alter Rebbe explains that “at the time of his anger, faith in G‑d and in His individual Divine Providence has left him“ since if he believed that this comes from G-d, he would not be angry).

This means that in the aspect of the anger, one’s separation (אפגעריסענקייט) from G-d is manifest – it is “as if he worships idols“. This is the essence (point) of all sins, as the Alter Rebbe explains, since through each sin which one transgresses the Supernal Will, one becomes, at the time, torn (אפגעריסן) from G-dliness, like through the sin of idol worship.

And this is the inner explanation of the conclusion of the verse “(pressing anger) will give out strife”):

Through a sin, there becomes a “strife“ with G-d.

However since with anger, it is emphasized and conspicuous (בהדגשה ובאופן בולט) not like the other sins,

(As we see that only regarding certain sins does it state: “as if he worships idols“)

therefore this is stated by “pressing anger” which is visibly there, as aforementioned.

And when a Yid offers a korban and does Teshuvah on the sin – even then it is “pressing anger will give out strife”. However there it is in a manner of the aforementioned “overcoming his anger” and also - “A man should always incite the Yetzer Tov (good inclination) (in his soul) against the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) “ .

(And in general it is with Teshuvah on each sin, in which he is overcomes and crushes (כובש ומבטש דעם יצה״ר) the Yetzer Hara which caused him to transgress the Supernal Will and become torn from G-dliness).

And through this it is also “give out strife“– with the Yetzer Hara.

Therefore, it states here: “the pressing out of wrath” (לשון מיץ אפים), in the plural. The anger which brings the strife with G-d, G-d forbid. And the (overcoming of the) anger to ward (himself) from transgressing a prohibition at the time of Teshuvah and the offering of a korban, which brings the strife with the Yetzer Hara.

8. There, however, can arise a question:

Since, of its own accord, sin is not applicable to a Yid, as the Alter Rebbe states “a Yid does not want and cannot tear himself from G-d”. And the reason that a Yid falters through a sin is because it is an aspect of “plotting“ (עלילה) from Above, as it were. Therefore it states that “Bal Yidach Mimenu Nidach- there will not be anyone that will left behind“ meaning that in the end, every Yid will do Teshuvah – if so why must there be the descent and concealment (ירידה והטתר) that comes through the sin?

On this Rashi continues: “for the milking (הַמֵּץ) has come to an end” (Isa. 16:4). This refers to the milk which one draws from the flocks and cattle, namely that which is emitted through the squeezing and pressing (סחיטה וכבישה) after he does Teshuvah, which is like the aspect of the “milk”.

Regarding “milk”, there is a supposition, according to the Torah of Truth (תורת אמת), that it should be prohibited (since its origin is from “blood that is decomposed and turns into milk“ (דם נעכר ונעשה חלב), or because it is regarded as a ‘eating limb from a living animal’ (אבר מן החי) ( Note: Since milk is the product of a live animal ). Yet Torah innovated that this is permissible, so much so that it is an aspect with which Eretz Yisroel is praised, as it states “a land flowing with milk and honey”. This depicts the aspect of Ishapcha (אתהפכא - transforming evil into good) – a thing that according to Torah should have been prohibited, yet Torah permits it and also praises it.

The same is in the spirituality of the matter:

The intent of “pressing anger will give out strife”, where previously the person committed a sin and, therefore caused the “strife” towards G-d, and afterwards, overcomes his anger, and the “strife” with the Yetzer Hara –

For the aspect of Iskafia and Ishapcha – transforming the evil to good, as it stated in Tanya regarding the explanation of the verse:

“The L-rd has made everything for His sake; even the wicked for the day of evil.”


“This means, however, that he should repent of his evil, and turn his evil into “day” and light above”

And through this it becomes a “a pleasing fragrance to the L-rd“ (רֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ לַהֹ) a “contentment“ (נחת רוח) for G-d from the “sweet and luscious foods, and the other of sharp or sour articles but have been well spiced and prepared so that they become delicacies which revive the soul“ and it becomes “the glory of G‑d in all the worlds“.

MSichas Shabbat Parshat Vayikra 5736

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