Vol 32.09 - Shemini 2 Spanish French Audio Video
Rashi (11:8) "and you shall not touch their carcasses" The necessity according to the simple understanding of the verse that the warning is specifically during the festival. The opinion of Rashi that a persion is obligated to purify himself for the festival even in the Diaspora and not during the existence of the Temple. The necessity for this according to the simple understanding of the verse, and many innovations in halacha regarding the obligation to purify oneself on the festival according to Pshat.
1. In our Parsha, on the verse (11:8):
"and you shall not touch their carcasses",
"One might think that Yisroel are prohibited to touch a carcass. Scripture, however, says, “Say to the Kohanim . . (a Kohen) shall not defile himself for a (dead) person among his people” (Lev. 21:1); thus, Kohanim are prohibited from defiling themselves by human corpses, but ordinary Yisroel are not prohibited.
Now a Kal v’Chomer can be made: Since in the more stringent case of defilement by a human corpse, only Kohanim are prohibited, then in the more lenient case of defilement by animal carcasses, how much more so should only Kohanim be prohibited!
If so, what does Scripture mean by, “you shall not touch their carcasses”? (It means that Yisroel may not touch animal carcasses on the Festivals since at those times they deal with holy Korbanot and enter the Temple)
(Afterward, Rashi’s comment concludes, according to our version):
“This is what they said: ‘A person is obligated to cleanse himself on Festivals’" (as will be explained).
The source of this Rashi is from Torat Kohanim on this verse, and in the Talmud Tractate Rosh Hashana. However, it is known that it is not Rashi's style to cite the homilies of the Sages etc. Moreover, in a place where Rashi does cite them, it is because it is necessary for the simple meaning of the verse. Especially in our case where Rashi does not precede his comment with the words, “and our Rabbis say” and so forth, from which is proven that his comment is entirely based on the simple meaning of the verse.
The necessity for his explanation here, in the simple meaning of the verse, is understood from Rashi’s words themselves:
It has been mentioned many times, that mostly, it is not Rashi‘s style to cite the difficulty in the verse. Rather, he explains and clarifies the explanation of the verse as it is according to the simple meaning of the verse – and the question is automatically resolved.
However, in our case Rashi also cites the supposition,
“One might think that Yisroel are prohibited to touch a carcass etc.”
In other words, since the topic of the verses in this Parsha are speaking of warnings (באזהרות) to all Yisroel. And so too, this verse itself states plainly, “You shall not eat of their flesh” – referring to all Yisroel. Therefore, according to the simple understanding of the verse, we would explain that all Yisroel are warned from touching a carcass. However, there is a necessity from another verse, “Say to the Kohanim”, that Yisroel are not warned on the impurity.
(According to this, it is also understood why Rashi did not explain like the words of Ramban that:
“This is not a warning to prohibit us from touching (a carcass). Rather, Scripture states, ‘and you shall not touch their carcasses’, for they are impure to you. In other words, you may not touch them without becoming unclean. The aspect is to say that whoever touches them should be aware that he has become unclean and should therefore be careful not to enter the Temple nor (to eat) of the hallowed offerings”.
- for from the simple meaning of the verse, the words, “and you shall not touch their carcasses”, implies that this is a “warning” just like “You shall not eat of their flesh”.
Therefore, Rashi needs to explain and clarify that this verse, although its aspect is a warning to Klal Yisroel, it is not a command for all time, but rather only for a certain time - on the festival.
However, one must understand:
What is the source (and the reason) in the simple meaning of the verse that the warning of, “and you shall not touch their carcasses” is specifically during the time of the festival?
It is indeed true that the Talmud and Torat Kohanim (the source of Rashi’s comment) does not state the reason for this. However, Rashi’s aspect is to explain the verse (and not to explicitly cite the expressions of the Sages (as aforementioned).
Moreover, we find many times that even when Rashi writes in his comment “our rabbis say” or “it is cited in Torat Kohanim” and so forth, he is not satisfied with citing the language of the Sages (or its content). Rather, he brings it with additional explanation, and so forth, so that it is understood according to the simple meaning of the verse.
2. The commentators of Rashi write that the reason for "do not touch - on the festival" is –
"Because all Yisroel are obligated to then bring an “Olat Riya” (a burnt-offering when appearing at the Temple on the festival) and one must therefore enter the Azarah, which is not so during the other days of the year."
However, according to this, it is not understood why Rashi plainly writes, “on the festival”. In other words, everywhere and for every person, and does not explain, nor even hint, that it is because of the obligation of bringing a Korban (In other words, that it is just related to the obligatory and possible Korban).
Seemingly, one could say that since it already been stated previously, "Do not appear before My Presence empty-handed", and Rashi states there that this refers to the command to bring an Olat Riya, one could say that the warning to purify oneself on the festival is because of the obligation to bring an Olat Riya, that he already knows about, since then they must enter the Azarah.
However, it still requires explanation:
if the command of “you shall not touch” is because of bringing the Korban, then logic dictates that this warning does not apply to the entire time of the festival. For after entering the Azarah and bringing the Olat Riya, one is no longer obligated to beware of touching a corpse. Yet the simple meaning of the word, “on the festival" means all the days of the festival.
If the warning of becoming impure is just because of the obligation of bringing a Korban on the festival – what is the difference between this Korban that is on the festival - from all the other Korbanot?
This obligation to beware of impurity applies to all the Korbanot that Bnei Yisroel bring (and eat from them) – and this has already been spoken about in the previous Parshiot (Vayikra, Tzav: The Peace-offering, the Sin-offering etc.).
Therefore, why does Rashi explain and restrict, in the simple meaning of the verse, that the warning of “and you shall not touch their carcasses” is only on "the festival"?
Even if one wishes to say, that this special warning comes only regarding a Korban that has a fixed time - on the festival. Which is not so regarding the other Korbanot that do not have a fixed time. Which is why they do not have the command to beware of impurity (for when should they be careful?),
Rather, it is included in the laws and obligations to bring the Korban
(that one must not offer it (and eat it) except when one is ritually pure) –
If that is so, there are quite many Korbanot that have a fixed time for their offering, such as a leper-offering (קרבן מצורע) on the eighth day of his purification, or Korbanot for giving birth that are offered following the woman’s days of purity.
And even if one differentiates that these Korbanot do not have a fixed time in the days of the year like the Korban of the festival, and therefore it is not fitting, so much so, to warn them.
Nevertheless, at the least, this is related to the Korban Pesach that comes on the 14th of Nisan in the evening. Yet it is still before the festival (which they have already learned about), where one must beware of impurity in order to offer his Korban.
Therefore, one must say that even regarding the Korban Pesach (and certainly the other Korbanot), it is not logical to warrant a special warning, not to be defiled because of the obligation to come to the Temple and offer Korbanot – since the person is warned on this, due to these obligations.
However, for this reason, there is no necessity for a verse of, “and you shall not touch their carcasses”, even regarding the festival. For on the festival one is commanded and ready to come to the Azarah and bring Korbanot, which for all this, one must be pure.
3. Additionally and more importantly:
According to the explanation that the verse,
“and you shall not touch their carcasses - on the festival"
is because all Yisroel must then bring a Olat Riya, we find that this warning is only while the Beit HaMikdash exists and for those who are in Eretz Yisroel (and in Yerushalayim).
If one wishes to say that this is Rashi's intent – Rashi should not have stated plainly "on the festival"
(and rely on the previous verse, “Do not appear before My Presence empty-handed – as aforementioned).
Rather Rashi should have added one word "upon their going up to the festival” (בעלותם לרגל) and so forth, so that it would be clear that the prohibition is only (in Eretz Yisroel, and) while the Beit HaMikdash exists.
Especially since the beginning of this verse, “You shall not eat of their flesh” is a command that applies everywhere and at all times. Therefore, Rashi surely should have explained it in a clear language
(so that the difference between the beginning and end of the verse would be understood).
For even “You shall not eat of their flesh” is a warning that applies everywhere and at all times. Therefore, the conclusion of the verse, “you shall not touch their carcasses” is a warning just during the time of the Temple.
Since Rashi plainly states, "on the festival" it is understood that this command applies to the time of the festival (and not to all the days of the year). However, it applies to all places and festivals even when the Temple does not exist.
One could say that Rashi, in his commentary on the Torah, follows his opinion, that is stated in his explanation on the Talmud:
It states in the Talmud (Yev. 29b):
“If one’s wife has only been betrothed, (the husband) is neither subject to the laws of Onan (a mourner prior to the burial) nor may he defile himself for her. And she, in his case is likewise not subject to the laws of Onan nor may she defile herself for him”.
Rashi explains the words, “nor may she defile herself for him” and states:
"She does not need to deal with him etc. So have I heard and it seems to me that the words ‘nor may she defile herself for him’ refer, for example, to the festival, where Yisroel are warned about becoming impure from the verse, ‘You shall not eat of their flesh’”.
From this it is understood that the warning of impurity on the festival is not because of entering the Temple and the pilgrimage for the festival, and the offering of the Olat Riya. For women are not obligated in all this, since it is a Positive Mitzvah that is dependent upon time (מ״ע שהזמ״ג).
Moreover, this that the betrothed "does not defile herself for him", is plainly equal to “he does not defile himself for her” that refers to a betrothed who is a Kohen.
Indeed, the warning on a Kohen from becoming defiled for a corpse, is not only in Eretz Yisroel, but also abroad and even not solely during the time of the Temple.
Therefore, it is understood that even regarding the betrothed "not defiling herself for him"
(due to the obligation to purify himself on the festival),
it is also in effect abroad and even not during the time of the Temple.
4. According to this, one can explain the conclusion of Rashi’s comment (that exists in most of the extant printed versions):
“This is what they said: ‘A person is obligated to purify himself on Festivals’ “.
The source of this is in the Talmud Tractate Rosh Hashana:
“R’ Yitzchak said, A person is obligated to purify himself on the festival, as it is states: “And their carcasses you shall not touch”.
On this the Talmud brings the Beraita that is cited in Rashi, that “And their carcasses you shall not touch” refers to “the festival”.
This is seemingly puzzling:
It is not Rashi’s aspect in his commentary on Torah to clarify and explain the statements of the Sages in the Talmud.
Moreover, in the Talmud there is appears that they are two matters:
For R’ Yitzchak’s statement that, “A person is obligated to purify himself on the Festival” is a precision (דיוק) and innovation in the study of the verse, that is not implied from the Baraita.
(it is not just the negation of touching, but also the obligation to purify).
The proof that the Talmud brings is (seemingly) just that the verse (“you shall not touch their carcasses”), refers to the festival, and not to the essential innovation of R’ Yitzchak that “A person is obligated to purify himself etc. “.
However, from Rashi’s wording,
"This is what they said: a person must purify himself on the festival",
it implies that that this is the very aspect and derivation.
According to the aforementioned one could say:
If one wishes to say that the warning of “and you shall not touch their carcasses” is due to the entering into the Temple and the offering of Korbanot, there is room to say that they are two different matters, as aforementioned.
Namely, that due to the obligation of the pilgrimage for the festival, and the offering of Korbanot, one is warned not to defile oneself. However, this does not obligate one to purify oneself if he is already defiled. For since he is impure, one could say that the obligation of the pilgrimage and the offering of Korbanot has been removed from him.
(Rather, R’ Yitzchak adds the innovation that from “and you shall not touch their carcasses”, on the festival, one learns a second law, which obligates a person (not only to beware of impurity but also) to purify himself on the festival).
However, according to Rashi, that the obligation is not because of entering the Temple and bringing Korbanot, but rather that because of the festival, he is warned not to defile himself,
(and also in our times, as aforementioned) –
Therefore, it is understood that the warning in "do not touch" is not solely a negative matter, but rather that the festival obligates that one be in a state of purity. Therefore, even if he is defiled - he must purify himself.
Therefore, Rashi precisely states,
"This is what they said, ‘a person must cleanse himself on the festival’".
For the content of this warning, “and you shall not touch their carcasses - on the festival", is (also) the obligation to purify himself on the festival.
5. However it still requires explanation:
What is the source and necessity to explain, according to the simple meaning of the verse, that on the festival, Yisroel is warned about impurity - due to the festival- and not due to the obligations of the Korbanot that pertain to it?
"All Yisroel are warned to be pure on every pilgrimage festival, because at that time, they are ready to enter the Sanctuary and partake of consecrated foods. The Torah's statement Lev. 11:8: "You shall not touch their carcasses," applies only on the festivals”.
The Acharonim state that from Rambam’s precise wording:
implies that the reason that Yisroel is warned to be pure on every festival is not because they are able to enter the Temple (and bring Korbanot).
Rather, this is a revelation of the matter (גילוי מילתא) regarding the time of the obligation: Since this is a time that we are obligated to enter the Temple, one must therefore then be pure, which is not required at another time. Therefore, the Sages said that this warning of “and you shall not touch their carcasses” is during the time of the festival.
However, it is difficult to explain so in Rashi’s comment, who plainly writes, "on the festival" and does not explain the reason, relying that the aspect will be self-understood! Moreover, this reason is only a reasoning (הסברה) of the Sages’ statement that this warning is "on the festival".
However, the main question remains in its place - what is the source, in the simple meaning of the verse, that there is an obligation of purification on the festival?
To add to this:
it is well and good further on, in Parshat Re’eh when it states (again) “and you shall not touch their carcasses”, and where Rashi repeats the content of his comment here.
For there Rashi prefaces,
“The rabbis explain that this applies during the festivals, for a man is required to purify himself during the festival etc.”
In other words, that the source of this explanation is from "our rabbis" (and not from – the simple meaning of the verse).
Which is not so here, in our Parsha, where Rashi does not write this introduction but writes simply, "One might think . . on the festival".
Therefore, one must say that there is a source in the simple meaning of the verse, to say that there is an obligation of purification on the festival.
6. One could say that Rashi relies on what he has already explain beforehand:
In Parshat Bo, the first time where the aspect of Yom Tov is mentioned in the Torah, it states that it is a "Holy Assembly" (מקרא קודש).
“The word, “Assembly" (מקרא) is a noun (שם דבר). You must proclaim its holiness by means of eating, drinking, and clothing”.
Thus, the sanctity of Yom Tov is connected with a person’s eating, drinking, and clothing. Since this is so, it is understood that a person must be in a state of purity. For how is it possible that his eating and drinking etc. - in impurity - will sanctify the day?
According to this we learn - according to the simple meaning of the verse - many innovations in Halacha in the obligation to purify oneself on the festival:
According to the reason that the obligation to purify oneself on the festival is because of the Korbanot that we are obligated to offer, the Acharonim state that because of the obligation of Olat Riya and Chagigah Peace-offerings, one is not warned of defilement, except for the prolonged state of impurity (טומאה אריכתא) of the impurity of a corpse (טומאת מת) which is an impurity of seven days.
However, regarding the shorter evening impurity (טומאת ערב) like that of a creeping thing or a dead-animal (שרץ ונבילה), there is no warning.
For even if he has not yet brought the Olat Riya and Chagigah Peace-offerings, if he is still before the seventh day of the festival, he is permitted to become impure, since there is still time for him to become pure and bring them before the festival departs. For there is a rectification/make-up time (תשלומין) the entire seven days. However, regarding peace-offerings of happiness (שלמי שמחה) – since one is obligated to eat them all the days of the festival, and there is no day of the festival that one is not obligated to eat them, one may not defile oneself for all the days of the festival.
According to this we find:
However, according to Rashi (that the obligation to purify oneself on the festival pertains to the obligation of a "Holy Assembly" - to sanctify it by eating and drinking and clothing - which is connected with the very sanctity of Yom Tov) it is understood, that:
7. From the homiletic style of Torah in Rashi's commentary (Yayina shel Torah):
It appears, seemingly, that the aspect of purification, according to the view that the obligation to purify oneself on the festival is due to the obligation of the pilgrimage, etc., this is a loftier level than the aspect of purity according to Rashi’s view. For according Rashi’s aforementioned view, the purity is not associated with the Temple and its consecrations, but rather with the aspects and needs of the person – eating, drinking, and clothing.
However, in the Pnimiyut of the matter, one could say that it is the opposite:
If the obligation to purify oneself on the festival is because of the Temple and its consecrations, then in this purity there is no continuation of a new matter (ענין חדש), but rather only the preparation of the person to receive this sanctity of the Temple and its consecrations, that exists on the festival.
Whereas, if the purity is due to eating drinking and clothing, we find that there is a new aspect here. For although, these things (eating and drinking etc.) are not sacred of their own accord, nevertheless the person acts and draws down (purity and) sanctity even within them. In other words, even in mundane things, they are made (they are imbued) with purity and holiness on the festival.
Indeed, this is the inner theme (תוכנו הפנימי) of the festival that is called "Holy Assembly" (מקרא קודש), not like Shabbat that is called "Holy" (קודש).
For on Shabbat, the - the sanctity is of its own accord. Whereas regarding Yom Tov, we call and invite the Supernal Holiness (קודש העליון), that it be drawn down below. This is why Shabbat is "permanently sanctified" (miKadsha v'Kaima), for it is a holy and separate day from the Six Days of Creation. Whereas, regarding Yom Tov, Yisroel are those that sanctify it, at its time. Bnei Yisroel make a mundane day into a holy day (Yom Tov).
One could say that this is also the reason, according to Pnimiyut, why the obligation of purity due to the Temple and its consecrations, is only during the time of the Temple. Whereas, the obligation of purity due the "Holy Assembly" of Yom Tov - in eating, drinking and clothing - is an obligation at all times, even during the time of Galut.
For this is one of the advantages in the Avodah during the time of Galut, where one draws down and reveals Divine Holiness even outside the boundary of holiness – in the diaspora- and even further down - in the hiddenness and darkness of the Galut.
Through adding to the purity of each and every one of Yisroel, even in a person’s mundane and permissible matters, the “purity” of the body leads to the sanctity of the soul from the evil opinions (הדעות הרעות). And the sanctity of the soul causes one to resemble the Shechinah, as it states,
“You shall sanctify yourselves and you shall become holy, for I, the L-rd Who sanctifies you, am holy”.
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Shemini 5735
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