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Thursday, May 17

The Weekly Shtikle - Behar / Bechukosai

This past Tuesday was the second yahrtzeit of my great aunt, Lady Amélie Jakobovits, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Mayla bas Eliyahu.
Today, the 25th of Iyar, is the yahrtzeit of my mother, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Tzirel Nechamah bas Tovia Yehudah.

For the benefit of readers in Eretz Yisroel, I will focus on Bechukosai:

With the absence of the Beis HaMikdash, there are many sacrifice-related issues that simply do not apply in our day. However, not all components of the Beis HaMikdash are dependent on the rest. Many acharonim deal with whether or not it would be permissible to build a mizbei'ach in its place today and bring korbanos. T'shuvos Binyan Tzion brings a pasuk from the "tochachah," rebuke, in this week's parsha, (26:31) "vehashimosi es mikdesheichem, velo ari'ach berei'ach nichochachem." HaShem will destroy the Beis HaMikdash and will not smell the "rei'ach nicho'ach," the savoury smell of the korbanos. The gemara at the end of the fourth perek in Zevachim teaches that a korban which is not brought for the intended purpose of rei'ach nicho'ach is pasul. Therefore, if we have no rei'ach nicho'ach today then we may not bring korbanos. Netziv in Hemek Davar cites this pasuk as well. However, he adds that the Korban Pesach, unlike all other korbanos, contains no mention of rei'ach nicho'ach. It would seem, therefore, that nowadays it is possible to bring a Korban Pesach. Yavetz concurs with this opinion and brings a proof from the gemara in Pesachim 74a where Raban Gamliel tells his servant, Tevi, to roast for him the Korban Pesach. That incident clearly took place after the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash. He also quotes from the sefer Kaftor VaFerach that RA"CH MiParis wanted to build a mizbe'ach in its place and bring korbanos (which Yavetz interprets to be talking specifically about the Pesach). Chasam Sofer in his t'shuvos (Yoreh De'ah 236) cites the Yavetz and concludes that it would be possible to bring the Korban Pesach today. There are a number of other obstacles to the proper offering of sacrifices. Everyone is in a state of tum'ah and we do not have the Kohen's clothes which are necessary to perform any service. However, Chasam Sofer deals with these difficulties and avoids them. Nevertheless, he does conclude that since the Arabs would never give us permission, it is not possible to do. This really only the tip of the iceberg as there are many other acharonim who deal with this question.

There is an interesting practical application of this discussion. If it is theoretically possible to bring a Korban Pesach, we may then be required to do so. Since someone who is "b`derech rechokah," far away from Yerushalayim, is exempt from the Korban Pesach, a possible solution is to make sure that one is overseas for Pesach. However, with the advancements in modern transportation, one must question whether there is anywhere in the world that one may be considered unable to reach Yerushalayim. Although it is the opinion of R' Moshe Shternbuch in Moadim UZmanim (3:239) and Tzitz Eliezer that leaving Yerushalyim is not necessary, it is said of R' Pinchas Scheinberg, shlit"a, that he makes a point of being away for Pesach for this reason

May HaShem make this discussion obsolete and bring about the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash speedily in our day.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: Ironic Observation
Dikdukian: Hearing Los by R' Ari Storch

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