Thursday, September 3, 2015
The gemara in Brachos states that if one usually attends shul but misses a day, HaShem, as it were, asks about him. The Ein Yaakov states that the motivation for this drasha is the contrast between the first half of the passuk stated, which reference a y'rei HaShem, and the second, which refers to one who is "holeich chasheichim". The y'rei Hashem expresses this yir'ah by coming to shul before doing anything else in the day, setting his priorities in their proper order, but if he decides that a davar r'shus requires that he leave while it's still dark so that he is unable to daven in shul in the morning, he is condemned for not trusting in HaShem Who will provide his needs.
Friday, May 29, 2015
The gemara in Temurah 28 (cited in Rashi and Yalkut Shim'oni) brings down the statement of R' Abba bar Kahana states that when Gid'on was instructed by Hashem to offer a korban at the beginning of his mission (6:26), eight issurim were permitted: 1) offering a korban outside of Shilo, 2) offering a korban at night, 3) a zar offering a korban, 4) using tools from an asheirah, 5) using stones from a mizbe'iach of avodah zara, 6) using wood from an asheirah, 7) offering an animal that was muktzah to avodah zara, and 8) offering an animal that had been worshipped. However, the navi states explicitly that Gid'on did everything at night out of fear of his family and neighbors, rather than by day. From where did Gid'on derive the authority to violate the issur of night?
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Shoftim 6:13-14. Hashem reacts favorably to Gid'on's defense of Klal Yisroel - per Rashi, either they deserve to be saved in the merit of their righteous forefathers or because they're no worse than their wicked forefathers who were saved. If this day was Pesach, how could Gid'on have been threshing wheat? True, he used a shinui, but there isn't any such heter for dash as there is for tochein, is there?
Interesting parallelism between 5:26 (v'achar yashkeh es ha-isha es hamayim) and 6:20 (v'achar yishtei ha-nazir yayin). After all of the sotah's preparations, her test is when she's given the water to drink. So, too, perhaps the true test of the nazir is when he drinks a cup of wine after his n'zirus ends.