Vol 36.19 - Mishpatim 2 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash-Shmot|
1. On the verse (Ex. 23:15):
“You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread as I have commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of springtime”.
“The month of springtime: Heb. חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, (the month) in which the grain fills out in its greenness (בְּאִבֶּיהָ). (Alternatively,) אָבִיב is an expression (related to the word for) a father אָב, the firstborn and the earliest (month) to ripen fruits”
One must understand:
In Parshat Bo, it already states:
“On this day you went out, in the month of Aviv (spring)”
Yet there Rashi does not explain the words “Aviv/spring” (he just explains the virtue of this month with regard to the going out of Egypt –
“But did they themselves not know in which month they went out? But this is what he (Moshe) said to them: "See the kindness that He has bestowed upon you, that He took you out in a month in which it is suitable to go out, when there is neither heat nor cold nor rain,” and so it says: “He takes the prisoners out at the most opportune time (בַּכּוֹשָׁרוֹת)” in the month when it is best suited (כָּשֵׁר) to go out”)
It is puzzling, why doesn’t Rashi explain the words “(The month of ) spring”, the first time?
One cannot say that he relies on the what he explains beforehand at the end of Parsha Va’eira :
For in addition to that which, if so, why does Rashi need to explain it here in our Parsha, and does not rely on his explanation in Parsha Va’eira,
(Furthermore, it is seemingly difficult to say that this is because of the interlude of many Parshiot).
it is impossible to explain that “The month of spring”, that is stated in Parshat Bo, means the same as the word “spring” at the end of Parshat Va’eira.
For in Parshat Va’eira it refers to the time of the plague of Hail, and each plague lasted one month.
(As Rashi states that “each plague functioned for a quarter of a month, and for three quarters (of a month) he would caution and warn them”.)
(Even if one were to say that, for the purpose of the plague of the Firstborn, whose time was a moment - at midnight, its warning was not three quarters of a month, nevertheless)
we find that the time of plague of Hail is close to the end of (the month of) Tevet and the month of Shvat. For after the plague of Hail there were an additional two plagues (besides the plague of the Firstborn) - Locusts and Darkness.
One must also examine:
“Spring/Aviv is an expression related to the word for a father (אָב) the firstborn and the earliest (month) to ripen fruits”.
And he does not suffice with the beginning of his comment
“(the month) in which the grain fills out in its greenness (בְּאִבֶּיהָ)
which is similar to what he writes at the end of Parshat Va’eira:
“It has already ripened and is standing in its stalks . . it has stood in its stalks, an expression like “the green plants of (בְּאִבֵּי) the valley ”
and he does not write that:
“The month of early ripening, when the grain first ripens.”
One must examine:
Even if one were to say that after the interlude of many Parshiot, Rashi needs to again explain (albeit concisely) the explanation of the word “Aviv/spring”. Why does he specifically use these words, which do not emphasize, so much, the connection to the word “spring”?
Moreover, why does he not write:
“That the grain fills out in its greenness (בְּאִבֶּיהָ)”.
In addition, why does he add in the beginning of his comment the words
“The month (of early ripening)” which is stated in the verse?
2. One could say that the explanation of all this is:
According to the simple understanding of the verse, the explanation of “The month of Aviv” – is that it is the name of the month. Yet, Rashi’s style in his commentary on Torah, in general, is not to explain the translation of names.
Even if one were to say that there is a relation between the essence of the name to the thing that it is called after, here the connection is understood simply.
For this month is, “the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year”.
Therefore, it is called “The month of Aviv/spring” for “Aviv” (אָבִיב), “is an expression of father (אָב)”, which is the father and head of all the months.
However, in our Parsha, Rashi needs to answer a question that arises in these verses:
These verses speak of the “Three Festivals”. However, the establishment of the festivals in this Parsha is connected with the produce of the land, as it states,
“And the festival of the harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you will sow in the field, and the festival of the ingathering at the departure of the year, when you gather in (the products of) your labors from the field.”
(This reason is understood simply, for the admonition for the festivals in our Parsha, is related to the aspect of Shvi’it, as Rashi explains on the verse “three times”,
“Since the context deals with the seventh year, it was necessary to say that the three pilgrimage festivals would not be uprooted from their place”
Therefore, the verse precisely states that the festivals are related to the produce of the field which is why there was a supposition that this occurs just in the six years that “you may sow your land and gather in its produce”. Which is not so “in the seventh (year, where) you shall release it and abandon it”. For then the Three Festivals are uprooted. Therefore, it needs to say that they are not uprooted etc.)
Accordingly, it is not understood:
All this is well, with regard to Shavuot and Sukkot, whose entire essence is based on produce, as it states, “the festival of the harvest” and “the festival of the ingathering”. However, what does “The month of spring” have to do with produce of the field, and what is the connection and supposition with regard to the festival of unleavened bread (Pesach)?
Therefore, Rashi explains that “The month of spring” here is not just a simple name of the month (like in Parshat Bo). Rather, it is also related to the produce of the field, “the month) in which the grain fills out in its greenness (בְּאִבֶּיהָ)”. Therefore, we find that also the time of the festival of Pesach is related to produce.
However, Rashi does not suffice with this, since it is problematic to him. For since the root of the holidays that are connected with produce of the field, are the festival of the harvest, and the festival of the ingathering. For only they are called with this name, Scripture should have prefaced the festival of the harvest and the festival of the ingathering before the festival of Pesach, which is just in “at the appointed time in the month of spring”.
Therefore, Rashi adds
“אָבִיב is an expression of father (אָב) the firstborn and the first (month) to ripen fruits”
Namely, that not only is Pesach also related to produce, but even more than this, it is “the firstborn and the first (month) to ripen fruits”. Therefore, even when the festivals are enumerated in Scripture as being related to produce of the field, the head of them is the festival of Pesach, which is “at the appointed time in the month of spring”.
3. According to all the aforementioned, one could say that in his aforementioned comment in Parshat Tisa, Rashi’s intent is also to explain the verses there:
Even the verses in Parshat Tisa speaks of the Three Festivals with regard to produce of the field.
If so, it requires explanation:
After the verse:
“The Festival of Matzot you shall keep; seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes which I have commanded you, at the appointed meeting time of the month of spring, for in the month of spring you went out of Egypt”,
it explains many other Mitzvot for example:
“All that opens the womb (Peter Rechem) is Mine, and all your livestock (that) bears a male, (by) the emergence of ox or lamb. And a firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a lamb . . every firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. . Six days you may work, and on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing and in harvest you shall rest”, “And you shall make for yourself a Festival of Weeks, the first of the wheat harvest, and the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year”.
It is not understood:
The reason it adds among the Three Festivals, “In plowing and in harvest you shall rest” is understood according to Rashi:
“Why are plowing and harvesting mentioned? (Either this refers “to the plowing of the year before the Shvi’it year which leads into the Shvi’it year, and the harvest of the Shvi’it year which extends into the post- Shvi’it year etc.” or it is related to the “harvesting of the Omer which is obligatory and takes precedence over Shavuot”. For the time of the Omer is on the festival of Pesach”)
However, why does the command regarding Peter Rechem come here? For although the Mitzvah of Peter Rechem, at the end of Parshat Bo, was said with regard to the exodus of Egypt, as is expressed in the verse there,
“When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to send us out, the L-rd slew every first-born in the land of Egypt etc.” ,
nevertheless, seemingly, this is not a sufficient reason to insert it within the section dealing with the festivals that are related to the produce of the field.
(Especially since there are additional Mitzvot that are a remembrance of the exodus of Egypt, as is stated in Parshat Bo there, in continuation to the aforementioned verse regarding the Mitzvah of Tefilin, as it states “And it shall be for a sign upon your hand and for ornaments between your eyes, for with a mighty hand did the L-rd take us out of Egypt.”)
Therefore Rashi explains there,
“The month of spring” – “The month of early ripening, when the grain first ripens.”
to emphasize that that the festival of this month is not (just) due to the produce that ripens, but rather that the month is called with the name “The month of early ripening” (חודש הביכור). Therefore, the relation here of the Mitzvot that are dependent upon a firstborn, is apropos.
4. One could say that the difference between Rashi’s comment in Parshat Bo and of our Parsha is connected with the difference in the nature of the Mitzvot that are discussed in these Parshiot:
In Parshat Bo, it speaks mainly regarding the remembrance of the going out of Egypt, as it states in the preceding verse “Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt”
(And also in the subsequent verses, the emphasis is not (so much) on the establishment of the festival, but rather on the different deeds that evoke remembrance on the going out of Egypt.
“You shall perform this service in this month. .For seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes. . Unleavened cakes shall be eaten during the seven days. .And you shall tell your son. . ‘Because of this etc.’
(As Rashi states, “In order that I fulfill His commandments, such as the Passover sacrifice, Matzah, and bitter herbs” that remember the exodus from Egypt)
“It shall be to you as a sign upon your hand” – “The Exodus from Egypt shall be to you as a sign”).
Whereas in our Parsha, it speaks regarding the establishment of the festivals (for the generations in Eretz Yisroel) in the three times of the year, as it states,
“Three times you shall slaughter sacrifices to Me during the year. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread . . as I have commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of spring”.
Therefore, in each place Rashi explains the main point that obligates, and the cause:
In Parshat Bo, he writes,
“See the kindness that He has bestowed upon you, that He took you out in a month in which it is suitable to go out”
For this is the cause that obligates the remembrance of going out of Egypt, the great kindness that G-d bestowed.
One could add, that this is also the reason for the remembrance of going out of Egypt, not just in the time of going out of Egypt - the “month of spring”. But rather, throughout the entire year as Rashi states there, “This teaches us that we are to mention the Exodus from Egypt daily.”
Whereas the Three Festivals with regard to the establishment of the festival, each one in a set time of the year, is connected with the times of the produce of the field, which are considered “spring”, “harvest”, and “ingathering” of produce.
5. One can bring a proof for this aforementioned difference,
namely, that Rashi, in his commentary on Torah, on the verse,
“Today you are going out, in the month of spring”
does not refer to the establishment of the festival of Pesach.
Which is not so on the verse in our Parsha (and also in Parshat Tisa),
“at the appointed time of the month of springtime” –
from Rashi’s comment further on in Parsha Re’eh on the verse,
“Keep the month of spring”.
Rashi writes there,
“Before it (Nissan) arrives, watch that it should be fit for the אָבִיב, ripening (capable of producing ripe ears of barley by the sixteenth of the month), to offer up in it the Omer meal offering. And if not, proclaim it a leap year (thereby enabling you to wait another month, until the barley ripens).”
In the Talmud, it states
“The court may intercalate the year for three matters: For the ripening of the grain (על האביב), for the fruit of the trees, and for the equinox (התקופה), (i.e., to ensure that the autumnal equinox will precede Sukkot)”
Thus for three things one intercalates the year. Therefore, why does Rashi write that the primary aspect is:
“To offer up in it the Omer meal offering”
For simply, this is the ripening of the produce. Namely, that we, we intercalate the year (even) for the equinox (Tekufah) so that Pesach will occur in the time of spring, as we learn from the verse, “Keep the month of spring” - “Preserve the day of the equinox of the spring, to ensure that it will be in the month of Nisan”?
(This is primary, as is explained in Rambam:
“Why is this month added? Because of the season of spring, so that Pesach will fall then, as it states, "Keep the month of spring", namely that this month should fall in the spring etc.”
“The year is intercalated because of three factors:
What is implied? When the court calculates and determines that the vernal equinox will fall on the sixteenth of Nisan or later, the year is made full. The month that would have been Nisan is made the second Adar, and thus Pesach will fall in the spring. This factor (alone) is sufficient for the court to make the year full; other factors need not be considered.”
(and afterward he continues in a separate Halacha:
“Similarly, if the court sees that (the barley crop) has not ripened, but that it is late in sprouting etc.”, (that we intercalate the year))
However, Rashi follows his opinion, that the establishment of the festival of Pesach as a festival in the month of spring, is not because it must fall in the Tekufah of spring, but due to the ripening of the produce, as is explained in our Parsha.
Therefore, in the command,
““Keep the month of spring”
“Watch that it should be fit for the אָבִיב, ripening to offer up in it the Omer meal offering”
His intent simply, refers to the ripening of the produce in order to offer the Omer offering.
6. The aspect of Exodus from Egypt (and the remembrance of going out of Egypt) is,
“A great foundation and a strong pillar in our Torah and in our faith”.
One could say that one of the aspects that we learn from the Exodus from Egypt and the remembrance of going out of Egypt, compared to all the other aspects of the Torah and its Mitzvot - is the aspect that is stated in the two Parshiot (Parshat Bo and our Parsha). Namely, how great is the aspect of remembrance. So much so that the remembrance is not just in thought but it also comes into speech and actual deed in the offering of the korban and eating of Matzah. However, all this is not sufficient. In order that there be an establishment to the matter, it is only when there is a relation and deed, even in a world that is entirely outside of the person.
For in Parshat Bo, it mainly speaks of the remembrance of going out of Egypt. So much so, that the remembrance comes into actual deed, as aforementioned. Yet, it still does not have the established name of a festival. Only in our Parsha, where it speaks of the festivals’ relationship to the produce of the field, are they made permanent festivals.
The same is with “in our faith and in our Torah”. The amount of the strength and establishment of the faith and trust (bitachon) in a person’s soul, in a manner that all the aspects in the world do not weaken him and do not affect him, in the slightest manner is – when one’s faith and trust in G-d also influences Bnei Yisroel that are around him.
Similarly with “our Torah”. The true establishment of Torah and Mitzvot in a person, in a manner that he is eternally steadfast (דבל ימוט לעולם), is when his Torah and Mitzvot affect even those that are outside of him, and in Bnei Yisroel themselves – that he influences even those, who presently have no relation to Torah and Mitzvot.
Through influencing each and every one of Yisroel, in his surroundings, to imbue within them, faith in G-d and that he should unite with G-d’s Torah and Mitzvot,
For though this, one goes out of Egypt, like the statement of the Sages “In each and every generation, and each and every day, a person must view himself as though he personally left Egypt,” – to go out of one’s constraints and boundaries (ממיצרים וגבולים),
Through this, one hastens the going out of Klal Yisroel from constraints and boundaries, with the true and complete Geulah, speedily and in our days, mamosh.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim and Shabbat Parshat Terumah 5740
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|