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Friday, March 25, 2011

Parshat Shmini – The Se’ir Hachatat by Tzvi Briks

Parshat Shmini – The Se’ir Hachatat by Tzvi Briks

The Torah states in our Parsha: “And for the goat of the sin offering, Moshe diligently inquired (Darosh Darash Moshe), and behold it was burnt (Veheenei Soraf), and he was angry (Vayeektzof) with Elazar and Itamar, the sons of Aharon that were left, saying: Wherefore have you not eaten the sin-offering in the place of the Sanctuary (Beemkom Hakodesh) seeing it is most holy (Kee Kodesh Kadashim Hee), and He has given it to you to bear the iniquity of the Congregation, to make atonement for them before Hashem. Behold, the blood of it was not brought into the sanctuary within; you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded. And Aharon spoke onto Moshe: Behold, this day they have offered their sin-offering and their burnt offering before Hashem, and there have befallen me such things as these, and if I had eaten the sin-offering today, would it have been well pleasing in the sight of Hashem? And when Moshe heard that, it was well pleasing in his sight.”

Why did Moshe diligently inquire about the Seir Hachatat? Why did he get angry with Elazar and Itamar, the sons of Aharon? What did Moshe mean by the korban being totally burnt or the Korban being eaten? What is the meaning of Aharon’s response to Moshe? Why did Moshe agree with Aharon’s response? What does this represent in terms of the future spiritual and historical process of Yisrael?

This event occurred on the eighth day of completion. On the first seven days Moshe himself served as the Kohen Gadol, and now it was necessary through the commandment of the Kadosh Baruch Hu (KBH) to give the priesthood over to Aharon and his sons. From this day onward begins the counting of the month which is the Yom Rishon to the days of the Mishkan and the Kehunah with Aharon. It was Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
1. It was the first of the Maaseh Bereishit (according to the one who states that the creation of the world occurred in Nissan).
2. It was the first of the months.
3. It was the first of the Princes.
4. It was the first of the Kehuna.
5. It was the first day of work in the Mishkan.
6. It was the first day that fire descended to consume the Kodashim.
7. It was the first day of forbidding the bamot (a high place of sacrifice other than the Mishkan or Beit Hamikdash).
8. It was the first day of the inhabitation of the Shechina within Yisrael.
9. It was the first day of the Yichud of the KBH and the Shechina
10. It was the first day to bless Israel.

The amount of work was prodigious for one individual to handle, even with the help of one’s sons. The amount of food to be eaten of the Korban was impossible for Aaron and his son’s to handle, digest, and assimilate. Certainly, it was miraculous to say the least. 41 Behemot were sacrificed on that day. I get full just thinking about it.

Of the 41 Behemot, there were 3 goat sin offerings:
1. The goat sin offering as a sacrifice of the people
2. The goat sin offering on the Musaf of Rosh Chodesh
3. The goat sin offering of Nachshon Ben Aminadav, the first of the Nissi’im.
Yonatan Ben Uziel claims that all of the above 3 were burnt while Rashi claims that the sin-offering of the Musaf of Rosh Chodesh was burnt and the other 2 were eaten.

In order to understand the motives of Aharon and Moshe we have to return to Adam Harishon. In the Cheit of Eitz Hada’at Tov Vera, Adam Harishon should have waited until Shabbat to unite with his wife Chava in order to reunite the Shechina with the KBH. By waiting until Shabbat to unify, the dimensions and worlds that were not completed would have been amended and repaired. The Yemot Hamashiach would have been actualized. The acronym of Adam would have been realized: Aleph for Adam, Daled for David, and Mem for Mashiach. Hence Adam would have completed history by fulfilling his mission as the Mashiach. However, there are sources that state that Adam Harishon desired to skip spiritual levels in order to cleave to the KBH even though he was not ready to do so. He wanted to accelerate history and bring an end to it. The preparation was not done to cleave to the KBH and correct the worlds. Hence because of the great desire to cleave o the KBH, Adam Harishon jumped levels and united with Chava prior to Shabbat and not only did this not correct the worlds but caused greater defects within them.

Adam Harishon performed his misdeed of an alien fire (Eish Zara), and in drinking the dross of wine from the original grapes of the Eitz hada’at Tov Vera (the true fruit of the garden). These were the nations that cleaved to Adam Harishon. The purpose was to accelerate the process of Tikun and speed the Messianic age.

Nadav Ve’Avihu were the sons of Aharon. They came to correct the defect of Adam Harishon and were the gilgulim of Adam Harishon and his 3 sons. They were therefore greater than Moshe Rabbeinu from their spiritual precedents. Moshe was the gilgul of Hevel and Sheit. Nadav V’Avihu were the gilgul of Adam Harishon and his 3 sons. They wanted to skip spiritual levels and accelerate the messianic age. They utilized the mechanism of an Eish Zara and drank of the Shmarim or dross of the grapes. They desired to dominate the Sitra Achra but the opposite occurred.

The Seir Hachatat for Rosh Chodesh Nissan was another attempt of Moshe Rabbeinu to bring an accelerated end to history the way we know it, and bring the era of the Mashiach speedily to our dimension. Moshe Rabbeinu and therefore B’nei Yisrael had attempted many times to bring a speedy end to history. After noting what had occurred to the great personages of Nadav V’Avihu, their souls being consumed by fire, Moshe’s idea was to utilize the Se’ir Hachatat for Rosh Hodesh and partake of the eating of the meat of the se’ir in the area of Kodesh and change history again very quickly. The Se’ir Hachatat is the Kodshei Dorot and according to the Arizal partaking of eating it by Aharon and his sons would have fulfilled and corrected the defect of the diminution of the Levana (the shrinkage of the Shechina) and the light of the Levana would be as great as the light of the Chama. This means that the light of the Schechina would be as great as the light of the Ze’ir Anpin or Hashem Elokei Yisrael and the great Yichud would have occurred and would have brought the Messianic age speedily.

Now we understand why Moshe was so annoyed. Here was another attempt through the se’ir hachatat to correct the defect in creation speedily and through skipping spiritual levels and ending the historical process the way we know it This process in Jewish history is called the Moshe’itic process.

In contradistinction to the Moshe’itic process is the Aharonic process. That process evolves a slow process of corrections based upon the opportunity of and the ability to correct the defects of creation over a long period of time without any acceleration of the process. Burning the Se’ir Hachatat gave greater and slower opportunities to correct the defected dimensions of creation over a prolonged period of time due to its progressive process. It is a step by step process where the end of one level gives rise to the next level of spiritual correction. Hence the Aharonic process gives one multiple opportunities to eventually achieve the Yemot Hamashiach but over a long time.

Moshe Rabbeinu was appeased by the words of Aharon. He agreed with him.

If one views the processes of Jewish history and its unfoldment one can see these two forces at play. Sometimes they negate one another. Other times they follow one another but they are always at play. Which process do you prefer, the Aharonic or the Moshe’itic process?

Tzvi Briks – based upon a conversation with Yehoshua Rochman
21 Adar Sheni 5771

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