1 – Topic – A Thought on Machar – Pushing off the Yeitzer Hora
As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Ki Sisa. As we march towards to the Yom Tov of Purim that is coming our way in just a month. Let us discuss Parshas Ki Sisa an Inyan of Machshava and even an Inyan of Halacha L’mayseh. Let’s start with a very Yesodosdika thought. Of course this week’s Parsha has the Cheit Ha’eigel which is the very first Aveira after Matan Torah. We have discussed here many times Rav Gedalyah Schorr Klal which I believe that he brings in the name of Rav Tzaddok that anything that happens in the Torah has its important identification in the first time that it happens, and therefore, there must be a lot to learn from Klal Yisrael’s response to the Cheit Ha’eigel.
Rav Hutner in the Pachad Yitzchok Mamarei Sukkos, Maimar Nun Beis, Os Ches (page Kuf Mem Daled and Kuf Mem Hei) says that in every Aveira there needs to be a Nekuda of good in order for a person to be able to do Teshuva. There has to be some Nekuda of sort of holding back from being totally Ra that a person didn’t fall into sort of the cesspool of Ra and there is something which he can pull himself out and that is a Zechus to be able to do Teshuva.
What was it in the Cheit Ha’eigel? Rav Hutner writes that when Aharon Hakohen told Klal Yisrael you want to make an Eigel? Machar, we will do it tomorrow morning. Klal Yisrael got up early in the morning to do it, but they waited the overnight. That Machar is the Chesed that Aharon Hakohen did with Klal Yisrael that they should be able to do Teshuva. Within the sin, within the Cheit, there was some sort of recognition of Cheit, and therefore, although they were carried away and Aharon could not convince them not to make an Eigel, the fact that he could push it off to Machar was the point, the Nekuda that had redeeming value and from that Klal Yisrael was able to do Teshuva.
Rav Tzaddok writes similarly regarding Malkus. The Gemara says Arbaim Yakenu, someone who is Chayuv Malkus gets 40 and we know that a person only gets 39. Zagt Rav Tzaddok the Cheit itself is deserving of 40 lashes but we assume that when a Yid does an Aveira there is a little bit of hesitation, there is a Nekuda of Tov and he didn’t do it totally. The Aveira is one less and we give him 39. The idea being, that within every Cheit, when there is a redeeming value the Cheit is less serious.
Rav Hutner is telling us a very big Chiddush. That even if someone would do an Aveira Rachmana Litzlon, but if he could push it Machar, if he could push it off until later that itself is a redeeming value in his recognition of the Cheit that makes Teshuva all the more possible.
The story is told about the Steipler when he was in the Russian army as a young man and he had guard duty in Siberia. There was a heavy coat that the guard would wear because the Siberian winter is freezing. The coat of course in the Russian army had not been checked for Shatnez here in Williamsburg, and when the Steipler went out to guard duty he realized he would have to wear the coat even though it was possibly Shatnez, because of Pikuach Nefashos. But he said to himself well I could wait 5 minutes, it is not a Sakana for the first 5 minutes and he pushed it off 5 minutes. Then he pushed it off 5 more minutes and so on. The point being that even if someone has to do something or knows he is going to do something, saying 5 minutes later is an extraordinary act of recognition that this is not what I should be doing.
If a person is sitting and learning and the Yeitzer Hora says you have to make a call, you have to call such and such. Or you are thirsty and you need a coffee, you got to step out. If you tell yourself 5 more minutes, even if you cut out later, there is a redeeming factor in being able to push it off.
I heard a similar behavior regarding Rav Elyashiv. At the end of his life, Rav Elyashiv had a very difficult time walking. The doctor said that if he sits and learns a whole day and doesn’t walk a little he will not be able to walk at all. The family wanted very much for him to go for a walk. So they got one of the close Talmidim and he rehearsed exactly how to present it to Rav Elyashiv to try to convince him to go for a walk. Rav Elyashiv is sitting with his Sefer and the Talmid sits down next to him and he presents to him Rebbi I spoke to the doctors etc. Rav Elyashiv listens quietly and when the Talmid finished speaking he says yes, Shpeiter, yes but a little later.
Try that. When you are sitting and learning and there is something distracting you, when you are at Night Seder and you just feel itchy to get going, say yes, Shpeiter, 5 more minutes I can do. Squeeze in the extra 5 more minutes. That itself is a redeeming value when a person is doing something that he should not be doing. By the way, very often 5 minutes later the Yeitzer Hora to be distracted is diminished anyway. The point being that Machar, Aharon’s Machar was a saving grace for Klal Yisrael. It did something for Klal Yisrael and from that came the Teshuva.
Rav Hutner points us to Rashi later when the Mishkan is put up in Tzav 9:7 where Rashi tells us that Aharon Hakohen in his Zechus the Mishkan was inaugurated. Rashi in Posuk 23 says that it is because of Aharon that there was a Kapparah on the Cheit Ha’eigel, because pushed off to Machar and that had the redeeming value.
2 – Topic – A Thought on the Makom of the Kesher Shel Tefillin
After the Cheit Ha’eigel Moshe Rabbeinu says as is found in 33:18 (הַרְאֵנִי נָא, אֶת-כְּבֹדֶךָ). Ribbono Shel Olam I want to see Your face, (it doesn’t mean Your face because the Ribbono Shel Olam has no face but Es Panecha, I want to see You, I want to have a clear revelation of the Ma’hus of the HKB”H. HKB”H said you can’t see the Panim of HKB”H, but what you can see the Achur, you can see me from behind and in doing so HKB”H did to Moshe Rabbeinu is He showed him, Kavayochel the Ribbono Shel Olam showed him Mai’achorav, and as Rashi brings in 33:23 that he saw the Kesher of Tefillin in the back Kavayochel of the neck of HKB”H.
In the Michtav M’eliyahu Cheilek Bais, page 91, he wonders of course Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to have an understanding of the Ribbono Shel Olam but what made it happen after the Cheit Ha’eigel more than when he went up to get the Luchos? When he went up to get the Luchos he also would have wanted to see Kavayachal and have a Havana of the Ribbono Shel Olam.
Answers the Michtav M’eliyahu, after HKB”H showed the extraordinary behavior that even after Klal Yisrael sins He is Mekabeil Baalei Teshuva happily and willingly, so Moshe Rabbeinu said (הַרְאֵנִי נָא, אֶת-כְּבֹדֶךָ). Show me what this is like, show me what it is Kavayochel. HKB”H showed him Kesher Shel Tefillin.
What is the Kesher Shel Tefillin? It is the Ahava that is Mirumaz in the Tefillin. Tefillin are the Os of Ahavah. Every Mitzvah that a person does is supposed to bring out something in the person. It is supposed to bring out certain Kochos in serving HKB”H. Those Kochos in serving HKB”H they come out with the energy of the person doing the Mitzvah. Shabbos is supposed to bring out a recognition of Maiseh Beraishis. Mezuzah is supposed to bring out a recognition of Hashgacha Peratis and the Mitzvah of Tefillin brings out the Ahava, it is a Kesher Shel Ahava it is an Os Hab’ris, it is a connection Kavayochel with the Ribbono Shel Olam. Therefore, He showed him the Kesher Shel Tefillin.
I want to talk to you a minute about where the Kesher Shel Tefillin will be. Much has been made about the fact that Tefillin in front have to be the hairline and not everyone is careful and it is something which needs to be taken care of and watched very carefully. At the same time there is a Makom for the Kesher Shel Tefillin. Let us talk about the mystery of the place of the Kesher Shel Tefillin.
The Mishna Brura in Siman Chaf Zayin, S’if Kotton Lamed Hei says certainly the Kesher Shel Tefillin has to be on the hair, it can’t be below the hairline in the back. That everybody does. Where exactly should it be? The Mishna Brura says (וטוב שיהיה מנח עקר הקשר למעלה מן הגמא). That it is proper that the Ikkur Kesher should be above the hole. In the center back of a person’s head there is an indentation and above it something of a bump (protrusion) in the center of the head and the Tefillin should be (למעלה מן הגמא) above that hole. That is where the Kesher Shel Tefillin should be and it sounds like from the Mishna Brura on the (גמא). Where does the Mishna Brura get this from? From the Shaarei Teshuva.
Take a look at the Shaarei Teshuva and it is a bit mysterious because he is not clearly saying that. The Shaarei Teshuva begins by saying in the name of the Shiltei Giborim that (דהמניח שם למטה מצמיחת השער על הצואר) lower than the neckline in the back, (לא יצא). That part we certainly understand. (וכמדמה לי שראיתי בספר קטן). The Shaarei Teshuva quotes some small Sefer (כשהקשר שמאחורי הראש הוא בגמא לא יצא). This Sefer Kotton says that if the Kesher is in this indentation a person is not Yotzi Tefillin. (ולא ידעתי מאין יצא לו זה) and the Shaarei Teshuva says where did he get this from? (שהרי מלשון השלטי הגבורים משמע דבצמיחת שערות תליא מלתא). From the Rishonim it is Mashma that as long as it is in the place where the hair grows. He asks it as a Kasha.
Then he says (ומכל מקום נראה שיש לעשות כן לכתחילה). Still you should do it. (דבעינן שיהא הדק היטב סביב לראשו). It should stay well around the head. In the flow of the Lashon when he says that L’mayseh, (ומכל מקום נראה שיש לעשות כן). It is not clear if he means to put it on the bump or in the (גמא). But he says a reason (לעשות כן) that it should stay well. It sounds like he means in the (גמא). It is not so clear that he means the bump in the back. The good news is you are Yotzi either way. The Mishna Brura says (וטוב שיהיה מנח עקר הקשר למעלה מן הגמא). Years ago I asked Rav Dovid Feinstein what should I tell Bar Mitzvah Bochurim. He said tell them it should be on the bump.
Our Kesharim are quite large so on the bump but if it is bigger than the bump than it should go below. Because it is not at all clear where the Makom of the Kesher Shel Tefillin but you got to be careful that it should be Ikro on the (גמא).
PS - What is the Sefer Kotton of the Shaarei Teshuva? It is not so clear what he is referring to. There is a Sefer called Kitzur HaShla. The Shla Hakadosh of course is a standard basic Sefer by Klal Yisrael. It is quoted by the Magen Avraham, it is quoted by the Ikkur HaPoskim. There is a Kitzur HaShla. In the Kitzur HaShla it says this language and it sounds like Sefer Kotton is referring to a Sefer Kotton an abridged Sefer of the Shla.
And so, we have spoken about Machar, pushing off the Yeitzer Hora to do something that is not so good and we have spoken about the Makom of the Kesher Shel Tefillin. Wow, we are really ready to go to a Heilege Shabbos Kodesh.
3 – Question of the week
In the Parsha of the Shemen Hamishcha in this week’s Parsha we have a Lav as is found in 30:32 (עַל-בְּשַׂר אָדָם, לֹא יִיסָךְ) an Issur Kareis. It is Assur to put the Shemen on somebody where it is not a Mitzvah. We also have a Mitzvas Asei to put it on Aharon U’banav. Where it belongs it is a Mitzvah to put it and where it doesn’t belong it is an Issur Kareis.
What is the Mekor that we do Meshicha to a Melech? The Rambam says from Perek Yud of Shmuel Aleph. We find that Shaul was Nimshach and there is a dispute if he was Nimshach with Shemen Hamishcha or not. The Rambam holds like Rashi that Shaul was Nimshach with the real Shemen Hamishcha and that Posuk in Nach is a Mekor that a king is Nimshach with Shemen Hamishcha. Wonderful I have told you something very clear. Where is the Kasha?
The Kasha is if Shaul was Nimshach with the Shemen Hamishcha, remember what happened afterwards? After Shmuel tells him you are king he goes home. Shaul goes home. He is not busy with being king. Then the Navi Shmuel calls together Klal Yisrael and says you are king and he goes and hides in the closest because he doesn’t want to be king. Pelai Pelaim. I don’t understand, if he hides in the closet so that he is not king he is going to cause L’mafrei’a that there was an Issur Kareis that Shmuel was Over. This is because when Shmuel put it on him the Heter was he is making him king. If he refuses to be king then isn’t he being Machshil Shmuel? Tzorech Iyun Gadol! Wishing everyone an absolutely wonderful, delightful and extraordinary Shabbos Kodesh!