Vol 29.11 - Re'eh 3 Spanish French Audio Video
1. On the verse (Deut.14:3):
“You shall not eat any abomination” (לֹ֥א תֹאכַ֖ל כָּל־תּֽוֹעֵבָֽה)
(You shall not eat) any abomination: Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you-for instance, if he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn (animal), in order to (be permitted to) slaughter it in the country (i.e., outside the Temple walls, where blemished firstborns must be slaughtered). This is a thing that I have declared to be an abomination for you, for ’no blemish shall be in it’”.
(and afterward Rashi cites another example of )
“If one cooked meat in milk” which will be explanation in par. 4)
This means that the translation of “You shall not eat any abomination” is – that if some act was done in a thing that “I have declared to be an abomination for you”, namely that Torah prohibits – then it is “You shall not eat it” – the thing is prohibited to eat.
The reason that Rashi does not learn that the verse, “You shall not eat any abomination” is a general preface (הקדמה כללית) to the section of prohibited foods and that “any abomination” applies to these prohibited foods. Namely, that they are “abhorrent to a holy soul” is because, as has been explained many times, wherever possible, one must learn that the Torah is indicating a new command and law.
(And we do not say that the verse just comes to add another negative aspect and warning (לאו ואזהרה) in an express command).
Therefore, Rashi learns that, “You shall not eat any abomination” is innovating a new category of prohibited foods (which one is not aware of from the previous verses). Namely, that, “Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you” is prohibited to eat. As Rashi precisely notes in his comment – “This comes to teach here that one may not slaughter (the firstborn) and eat it”.
2. One must however understand the explanation that Rashi gives of “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal”?
Since “Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you”, in our case is the abomination of “no blemish shall be in it”, which speaks not just regarding a firstborn animal, but regarding every “Shelamim offering” (״זבח שלמים״). Why does Rashi cite the specific example of “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal” (especially since this is not something that is usual or common)?
Rashi could have said this in a general manner. For example, “one who inflicts a blemish in consecrated offerings” (בקדשים).
This question is even greater:
Rashi‘s source is from the Sifri on this verse. However, there, it cites two opinions:
The commentators explain that according to the view of “others”, making a “slit in the ear of a firstborn animal” is not in the realm of “You shall not eat any abomination”. For a firstborn animal that is blemished is permitted to be eaten without redeeming it. Therefore, it is not something that abhorrent. However, regarding Pesulei Mikdashim which must first be redeemed to permit their consumption- those are indeed in the realm of “abomination” and are therefore, forbidden to eat.
It is not understood:
Why does Rashi cite the example of “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal”,
(and with this decides – in the simple meaning of the verse – like the view of R’ Eliezer)
and does not state the simple and general example of Pesulei Mikdashim (or just cite the second example of “cooking meat in milk”)?
3. One must also understand the lengthy elaboration of Rashi, in his example. For seemingly, Rashi could have said concisely,
“For example “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal which is a thing that I have declared to be an abomination for you (as it states) ‘no blemish shall be in it’. Therefore it comes to teach us here that it may not be eaten”
Why does Rashi add:
It is not understood:
What difference does it make, in the simple meaning of the verse, whether the prohibition of eating remains forever or just until another blemish arises in it? Rashi’s commentary is not a book of laws, which must decide how the matter is according to Halacha.
4. Rashi, further states another example of “Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you”:
“If one cooked meat in milk, which is a thing that I declared an abomination for you; and here Scripture admonishes against eating it”.
This is puzzling (as the commentators question).
Rashi, already (twice, previously) explains:
“The prohibition of (“Do not cook a kid goat in its mother’s milk”) is written three times in the Torah: once to prohibit the eating (of meat cooked with milk), another to prohibit deriving any benefit from them, and once to prohibit cooking them”.
Why must one have a separate admonition (באזונדער לאו) against eating it, when anyway there is a prohibition due to the Negative Command of “You shall not eat any abomination”?
The source of this comment of Rashi (“If one cooked meat in milk”) is in the Talmud:
“From where do we derive that eating meat with milk is prohibited - it states, “You shall not eat any abomination”
Yet there, in the Talmud, there are two opinions.
(One authority states that it is derived from, “You shall not eat any abomination”, whereas another authority maintains that it is derived from that which “The prohibition of “Do not cook etc.” is stated three times).
However, how can Rashi accept both derivations and opinions?
The commentators answer that the negative prohibition of “You shall not eat any abomination” does not incur Malkut (lashes). For it is an “Inclusive Prohibition” (לאו שבכללות) -
(Note: this refers to a singular Negative Command that includes within it many prohibitions)–
which does not incur the penalty of lashes. Therefore, one must have a unique prohibition of, “do not cook” to apply to eating milk with meat.
However, this answer is fitting when studying the actual Halacha. However, it is difficult to say that this is Rashi’s intent in his commentary on Torah. One does not find that Rashi cites in his commentary on Torah, the rule that one does not incur lashes on an “inclusive Prohibition”.
5. Seemingly, one could answer that this is similar to what Rashi states in many places. Namely, that the Torah adds a prohibition in order to “hold responsible and to punish (the transgressors) according to the number of negative precepts that they contain and according to the number of positive precepts which they contain” (and so forth). The same is in our case. By eating meat with milk, one transgresses two Negative Prohibitions.
According to this, one could also answer the changes in Rashi’s wording:
For regarding “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal”, the prohibition of eating it is derived from ‘here’ (“This comes to teach here that one may not slaughter and eat it”). Whereas, with meat and milk, whose prohibition against eating it is already known previously (from that which it states three times, “do not cook”). Here, however, it just comes as a warning - “Here, Scripture admonishes against eating it”.
However, this is not a sufficient answer, for:
Rashi’s intent in his comment on “You shall not eat any abomination” is (as aforementioned par.1) to bring out that this verse comes to teach an innovation, a new law and prohibition which is not stated elsewhere. Therefore, how is it fitting to cite and example from a prohibition in which the verse here, does not make any innovation of law. Rather it just adds a second prohibition, “To hold the transgressor responsible by stating two negative precepts”?!
6. One could say that the explanation of all this is:
Rashi is coming to resolve a puzzlement in the words, “You shall not eat any abomination”, in their own right (כשלעצמן).
Since it is speaking here regarding things that Scripture refers to as an “abomination” (not explaining what they specifically are). In other words, that it is known thing (from another place) that they are an aspect of abomination. It therefore, is not straightforward what the verse is accomplishing with the admonition “You shall not eat any abomination”. If they are an “abomination”, it is understood that they must be “abhorrent” – one must not eat them.
One must say that this verse refers to a special category of “abomination”, that without the command “do not eat etc.”, one would not know that it is prohibited to eat thereof. Specifically from this admonition, “You shall not eat any abomination” – any manner of “abomination” – one derives that even such an abomination is prohibited to eat.
This is why Rashi innovates immediately in the beginning of his comment,
“(You shall not eat) any abomination: Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you“.
The emphasis of this is the word “(I have declared to be an abomination) for you“. The abomination is not in the object – rather it is connected to the person (גברא) -“(I have declared to be an abomination) for you“.
In other words:
The verse here does not refer to regular prohibited foods which are things that are abhorrent in themselves
(And the reason that they are prohibited just for Yidden and not for non-Jews (Bnei Noach) is because the Torah did not prohibit, even something that is abhorrent to a non-Jew)
However, here the verse is innovating a new category. Namely, that there are things that “I have declared to be an abomination for you”. The “abomination” is just “for you” – in conjunction with the “person”. However, not that the thing itself is abhorrent.
Even these things – even though they are not abhorrent things - must not “be eaten”.
(This explains the flow of the verses:
After the Torah states (v.1) the prohibitions of, “You shall neither cut yourselves etc.” due to “You are a holy people . . and the L-rd has chosen you to be a treasured people for Him, out of all the nations that are upon the earth.
The Torah continues, “You shall not eat any abomination” – “Anything that I have declared to be an abomination for you”. Namely, that this abomination is just due to the virtue of Yisroel as a “a holy people . . to the L-rd your G-d etc.”)
7. Regarding this, Rashi cites the first example – “he made a slit in the ear of a firstborn animal” and does not state simply “placing a blemish in consecrated offerings”.
For specifically in a firstborn animal, does it emphasize that due to the “thing” itself there is no abomination. (The abomination is just due to the person)/
With all consecrated offerings where a blemish invalidates an animal for the altar, nevertheless, the animal remains consecrated until it is redeemed. The entity of “invalidated offerings” (פסולי המוקדשים) (before they are redeemed) is something that is prohibited (“abhorrent”) due to the object.
(For specifically due to its being redeemed does it become permitted to be eaten).
Whereas, with regard to a blemished firstborn animal, since it permitted to be eaten (without its being redeemed), it comes out that in its being there is no abhorrent thing. The lacking (חסרון) here (the “abomination”) is just due to the person, who (by inflicting the blemish) removes from the firstborn animal the sanctity to be fit for the Altar. (However, even afterwards, the blemished firstborn animal is not an abominable thing).
Only due to the inflicting of the blemish in the firstborn animal, is it “A thing that I have declared to be an abomination for you” – it becomes prohibited to eat.
With this, one can also understand why Rashi:
For making a slit in the ear is not a blemish which impairs, in any way, the animal and its functionality. On the contrary, the aspect of blemishing the ear is an accustomed and common thing, even in people (e.g. earrings).
8. According to this, the conclusion of Rashi, “This comes to teach here that one may not slaughter (the firstborn) and eat it based on that (deliberately made) blemish” is also resolved:
Since the animal is not “abhorrent”. It is just that “I have declared to be an abomination for you” – Torah prohibits the person from doing this and therefore, it must “not be eaten”. The prohibition of “You shall not eat it” (according to Pshat) is just with regard to that person which transgressed the “I have declared to be an abomination for you”.
Whereas, for others, who did not commit the prohibited deed - the thing itself is not an abominable thing – there is not prohibition to eat it.
This is why Rashi precisely notes:
9. According to all this, Rashi’s second example, “cooked meat in milk” is it understood, simply:
Rashi, precisely comments, “cooked meat in milk”. This is not like the wording in the Talmud, “from where do we derive that meat in milk is prohibited to eat”.
For according to Rashi’s view (in his commentary on Torah, the simple meaning of the verse) the entire prohibition of “You shall not eat any abomination” is just an aspect that concerns the person that transgressed and committed a prohibitive deed (even when in the thing, there is no an aspect of abomination).
Similarly, in our case:
The prohibition of eating meat and milk which is derived from “You shall not eat any abomination”, is not connected to the body of the food (גוף המאכל). Rather with the person who transgressed and cooked the meat and milk together. Due to his prohibitive deed in the food, for him the food becomes prohibited with an additional prohibition in his eating it – (“You shall not eat any abomination”).
Whereas, with regard to other Yidden, who did not transgress the prohibition of “cooking meat and milk”, they are not prohibited in this due to “You shall not eat any abomination”. Rather it is just due to that which “The prohibition (“Do not cook a goat in its mother’s milk”) is written three times in the Torah”.
This is why Rashi precisely states, “cooked meat in milk. . and here Scripture admonishes against eating it”. For from this verse one learns a unique admonition (אזהרה מיוחדת) (“here Scripture admonishes”) to that which “cooked meat and milk”, since he did a thing that “have declared to be an abomination for you“.
This brings out (as aforementioned) even more so, the virtue of Yidden, as they are “a holy people . to the L-rd” and “the L-rd has chosen you to be a treasured people for Him, out of all the nations that are upon the earth.”
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Re’eh 5744
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