Friday, May 29, 2015

The Korban of Gid'on

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

An impressive defense of Klal Yisroel

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?

The drinks of Naso

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.