Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tanchuma Bamidmar 4 & Shavuos

There is a beautiful Tanchuma this week (maybe more, but I saw this one). Comments as we go along:
סימן ד
וידבר ה' אל משה במדבר סיני. זה שאמר הכתוב, שררך אגן הסהר, אל יחסר המזג, בטנך ערמת חטים, סוגה בשושנים (שה"ש ז ג). מדבר בסנהדרין של ישראל, שהיתה נתונה בלשכת הגזית, והיא משולה בשרר הזה. ולמה נמשלה בשרר. מה השרר הזה נתון באמצע הגוף, כך הסנהדרין יושבין באמצעית של בית המקדש. אל יחסר המזג, שלא היו חסרין אחד משלישתן. אל יחסר המזג. מי שהוא מוזג כראוי, מוזג שלישי של כוס יין ושני חלקים מים. כך היו סנהדרין יושבין מתמיד של שחר עד תמיד של בין הערבים. ולא היה אחד מהן נפנה לצרכו. ומה היו עושין כשהיה אחד מהם מבקש לצאת היה סופר, אם היה שם עשרים ושלשה, היה יוצא. ואם לאו, אינו יוצא. למה. שכך כתיב, אל יחסר המזג.
Parts are very similar to Sanhedrin 37a and some aren't.
The belly is the center of a person - see Sotah 9:4 - this is like R' Eliezer.
1/3 & 2/3 seems to be that they sit between tamid shel shachar & tamid shel bein ha'arbaim, which is 1/3 of the day, about 8 hours. See Pesachim 5:1 & Yoma Ch 3; Rambam Temidin Umusafim 1:2-3. Just like you would fill the cup with 1/3 wine and 2/3 water, 1/3 of the day was "filled" with the very fine, valuable Sanhedrin (derech agav compared to wine) and 2/3 was not. Additionally, we could have explained al yechsar hamazeg referring to the fact that 1/3 of the Sanhedrin must always be there - not all 70 members must sit at all times, but at least 23, a third of 70, must remain there during the day.

בטנך ערמת חטים. למה נמשלו לחטים. מה ערמת חטים זו נכנסה לאוצר במנין ויוצא' במנין, אף כאן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא, שיהיו נמנין בכל שעה. לכך נאמר, בטנך ערמת חטים.
At this point the Midrash seems to still be talking about the Sanhedrin - because no one can leave without counting and checking that a quorum of 23 dayanim remain, they are considered always being counted. However, from the continuation of the midrash this seems to be discussing Bnei Yisrael (they were counted in this week's Parsha). Why does it jump from Sanhedrin to Bnei Yisrael? Maybe like Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik's yesod that Sanhedrin is a judicial body, but they are also representatives of Bnei Yisrael. So what is true of the Sanhedrin is true to an extent, in regard to Bnei Yisrael.

And regarding comparing counting Bnei Yisrael to the wheat which is counted by number to & from the storehouse - a friend (M. Kanter) once told me a vort on this week's parsha, comparing counting Bnei Yisrael to what is considered in Y"D 98 "davar shebiminyan" - something always counted (I think they give eggs as an example - maybe because they are sold "by dozen" - a number, not a weight) each and every Jew is important, and none are batel.

אבל התבן והקש אינן נמנין ולא נמדדין. כך אומות העולם נמשלין כתבן וכקש, שנאמר, יהיו כמוץ לפני רוח (תהל' לה ה). וכן הוא אומר, ובית עשו לקש (עובדי' א יח). למה. שאין לו להקדוש ברוך הוא מהן הנאה, שנאמר, כל הגוים כאין נגדו, מאפס ותוהו נחשבו לו (ישע' מ יז). אבל ישראל להקדוש ברוך הוא, הנאה לו בהן, קורין קריאת שמע ומתפללין, ומברכין שמו בכל יום ובכל שעה על כל דבר ודבר, לפיכך הם נמנין בכל שעה. ולכך נמשלו בחטים, בטנך ערמת חטים:

What is the Hana'ah?
Kriyas Shma is simple - Yichud Hashem; we acknowledge Hashem as the One, Supreme G-d.
Davening - even though the chiyuv to daven 3 times a day is midirabanan, when we do daven and say Borchu and Kiddusha, we have a kiyum of "Venikdashti besoch bnei Yisrael."
But we can't say that for every Bracha we make. But there are at least 2 answers to explain the Hanaah Hashem gets when we say Brachos. There are two opinions of what is a Bracha - what do we mean "Baruch Atah Hashem..."? One explanation is that we acknowledge that Hashem is the source of Bracha. So Hashem gets hanaah when we make a Bracha. But the other opinion of Bracha is somewhat Kabbalistic, that when we make a Bracha, we give Hashem more power, because our deeds affect the upper worlds (see Nefesh Hachaim). Then, too, whenever we make a bracha, we are giving Hashem hanaah.

Boaz was a member of Sanhedrin. (Even out of session, members of Sanhedrin had a special status - see Chidushei HaGram, Hil. Kiddush Hachodesh.) While he did not make his drasha of Moavi v'lo Moaviah in the Sanhedrin, the Brisker Rav says he took 10 people - a minyan, to make the drasha birabim. Tosfos somewhere explains when the Gemara says "pasach rabi ___ v'darash" that he opened a sefer Torah, started reading, and then made drashos. Maybe Boaz did that also, and maybe you would have a kiyum of kriyas Hatorah bitzibur when you would do this, so it requires a minyan, and also you would have a kiyum of Venikdashti besoch bnei Yisrael.

Furthermore, Rus was in Boaz's field to get matanos aniim, which you had to COUNT to see if 2 sheaves fell (& it is mutar for the ani to take, because it is shichicha), or if 3 sheaves fell.


Yaakov said...

thank you I am going to use this for a divar torah this shabbos

The Talmid said...

My brother gave a beautiful hashkafic reason why the Sanhedrin has 70 members: Because the family of Yaakov numbered 70 when they entered Egypt. This fits Rav Yoshe Ber's explanation quite nicely - this represents that Sanhedrin Hagadol represents all of Klal Yisrael - with 70 members.