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Friday, March 24

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayikra

Today, 2 Nissan, is the 17th yahrtzeit of my Bubbie. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.

Also, I must mention the loss of a great man and master mechaneich – Rabbi Moshe Juravel z"l – who passed away this past week after battling illness for a number of months. He was my son's 5th Grade rebbe, introducing him to gemara. I developed a relationship with him as well as he was a formidable dikduk expert and we had numerous long discussions on various topics. He was one of Baltimore's "irreplaceable gems" and will indeed be sorely missed. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Moshe Shlomo ben Yosef Eliezer.

In this week's parsha, we are taught the procedures involved in the various sacrifices. The kohanim, the ones performing most of the duties, are almost always referred to as "b'nei Aharon hakohanim."  In one instance, however, with regards to the placing of the fire on the mizbei'ach, (1:7) the term "b'nei Aharon hakohein," is used. The singular form is used instead of the plural. Initially, I understood that the reference to the kohanim was simply reconstructed. Instead of being referred to as "the sons of Aharon," COMMA, "the kohanim," here they were simply referred to as "The sons of Aharon HaKohein." The sudden change was quite puzzling.


However, a number of commentaries comment on this anomalous structure. The sefer Moshav Zekeinim suggests that the placing of the fire took special skill and thus, a specially appointed kohein was needed. R' Chaim Kanievsky writes that the other procedures were in fact performed by numerous kohanim whereas this particular one was performed only by one. Clearly, they are understanding that this term is merely a singular version of the common term used to refer to the kohanim. "HaKohein" refers to the kohein himself, not to Aharon as I had suspected.

Have a good Shabbos.

Mishenichnas Adar Marbim beSimchah (see Rashi, bottom of Taanis 29a)

Eliezer Bulka


Weekly Shtikle Blog Roundup:

Dikdukian: Keves vs. Kesev

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