MENACHOS 45 - dedicated by Rabbi Kornfeld's father in memory of his aunt, Malka Gitel bas Reb Yakov Mordechai (Malvina Marmorstein), who took him into her home and raised him like her own child after the Holocaust. Her Yahrzeit is 20 Nisan.
1) ELIYAHU WILL EXPLAIN THEM
QUESTION: In response to questions about two difficult verses, Rebbi Yochanan said that "in the future, Eliyahu will elucidate it." RASHI (DH Eliyahu) explains that Rebbi Yochanan was saying that until Eliyahu comes and explains the meaning of each verse, we will not know what it means.
One of the difficult verses is in Yechezkel. The PERUSH HA'MEYUCHAS LA'RASHBA asks an obvious question. In the future, why will we need Eliyahu to explain the verse? In the future, we will be able to go directly to Yechezkel ha'Navi himself and ask him what he meant! After all, Yechezkel ha'Navi will have already been revived at Techiyas ha'Mesim, before the arrival of Eliyahu and the Mashi'ach.
(a) The PERUSH HA'MEYUCHAS LA'RASHBA answers that Eliyahu might come slightly before Techiyas ha'Mesim, and he will be able to explain it to us before Yechezkel is revived.
(b) Alternatively, he explains that the Gemara in many places mentions that Eliyahu visited study halls and taught Torah. For example, the Gemara in Bava Metzia (85b) says that Eliyahu was often in the Yeshivah of Rebbi. Since Eliyahu sometimes visited study halls and taught Torah, Rebbi Yochanan hoped that Eliyahu would come and reveal the explanation of these verses, even before he comes to herald the arrival of Mashi'ach. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) AGADAH: SAVING "SEFER YECHEZKEL" FROM BEING HIDDEN AWAY
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses two apparently problematic verses from Sefer Yechezkel. Although the Gemara gives explanations for these verses, Rebbi Yochanan said about these verses that Eliyahu ha'Navi will have to come and explain them. Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav that Chanina ben Chizkiyah should be remembered for good, because if not for him Sefer Yechezkel would have been hidden away due to the verses that are so difficult to understand and to reconcile with the verses in the Torah (such as the problems raised by Rebbi Yochanan). Chanina ben Chizkiyah brought three hundred barrels of oil (to use as fuel for lighting), sat in an attic, and explained the difficult verses.
While it is true that some verses are difficult to interpret, Yechezkel certainly was a genuine prophet. Why should his entire book of prophecy be hidden away just because of a few difficult verses?
ANSWER: The BEN YEHOYADA (Shabbos 13b) explains that the Chachamim would have preferred to continue learning the Sefer. However, they were concerned that the heretics would discover these verses and use them as proof to their claims that the prophets contradict the Torah. Since the Chachamim did not have answers to these contradictions, they considered hiding the Sefer so that the heretics should not have the opportunity to prevail in an official debate. In those days, the winner of a debate was allowed to do whatever he wanted to the loser of the debate. This meant that the Chachamim faced considerable danger if these verses were discovered and used by the heretics for their purposes. When Chanina explained the meaning of these verses, the danger passed. (Y. MONTROSE)
3) THE "SHTEI HA'LECHEM" IN THE "MIDBAR"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah discusses whether the absence of the Kevasim on Shavuos prevents the Shtei ha'Lechem from being offered, or whether the absence of the Shtei ha'Lechem prevents the Kevasim from being offered. Rebbi Shimon ben Nanas maintains that the absence of the Kevasim prevents the Shtei ha'Lechem from being offered, but the absence of the Shtei ha'Lechem does not prevent the Kevasim from being offered. He proves this from the actions of the Jewish people in the Midbar. Even though the Jewish people did not offer the Shtei ha'Lechem in the Midbar, they did offer the Kevasim. This shows that the Kevasim do not depend on the Shtei ha'Lechem and may be offered without them.
Why did the Jewish people not offer the Shtei ha'Lechem in the Midbar?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Karvu) quotes RASHI (not found in our edition) as saying that the reason why the Jews did not offer the Shtei ha'Lechem in the Midbar was that they had only Man, and no flour, in the Midbar. Apparently, he maintains that they did not have the grain necessary to make the Shtei ha'Lechem. This opinion is also that of the RAMBAM in PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS.
Tosfos argues with this approach. He quotes the Gemara in Yoma (75b) that says that Nochri merchants brought food to the Jews while they were in the Midbar. In addition, the Gemara later (95a) implies that in the Midbar the Jews had Lechem ha'Panim and they brought the Korban ha'Omer (which consisted of barley).
The SEFAS EMES and CHAZON ISH (Kodshim 32:4) have difficulty with Tosfos' last statement. How could it be that the Jews brought the Omer from the barley of Nochrim? The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (13a) teaches that the barley of the Omer may be brought only from "Ketzirchem" -- "your harvest" (Vayikra 23:10), and not from that of Nochrim. How could the Jewish people have brought the Omer from the harvest of a Nochri?
The Sefas Emes answers for Tosfos that it must be that they had some land on which to plant and on which they grew enough barley for the Omer. This possibility is suggested by Tosfos himself in Chulin (88b, DH Ela). (See also this explanation in the MISHBETZOS ZAHAV of the PRI MEGADIM at the end of OC 345, HA'ELEF LECHA SHLOMO OC 114, and YOSHEV OHALIM, Bereishis 2:3.)
(b) Tosfos quotes RABEINU TAM who explains that the Jewish people had the means to bring the Shtei ha'Lechem, but they were not yet commanded to bring them. This is because Rebbi Shimon ben Nanas rules like Rebbi Yishmael, who says that the verse, "Ki Savo El ha'Aretz" -- "when you come to the land" (Vayikra 23:9), the verse which introduces the Parshah of the Omer and Shtei ha'Lechem, means that they should be brought only after the Jewish people settle Eretz Yisrael.
This explanation seems difficult. According to this explanation, none of the animal Korbanos listed in these Parshiyos should have been brought in the Midbar, and yet Rebbi Shimon ben Nanas explicitly states that the Kevasim were brought in the Midbar.
A number of Acharonim, including the TAHARAS HA'KODESH and SEFAS EMES, say that Tosfos ends his commentary on this explanation with the words "v'Yesh l'Chalek," which means that one still could differentiate, according to Rabeinu Tam, between the Shtei ha'Lechem which were not brought, and all of the other animal Korbanos which were brought. Tosfos does not elaborate on the distinction. The Acharonim explain that, according to Rabeinu Tam, the Shtei ha'Lechem -- the obligation of which apparently is a Chovas ha'Karka, an obligation that applies only in Eretz Yisrael -- are meant to be brought only in Eretz Yisrael. Animals, which have less apparent connection to the land, appear to be a Chovas ha'Guf, an obligation on a person regardless of where he is, from which one is not exempt when outside of Eretz Yisrael. (See TZON KODASHIM, who concludes that the words "v'Nir'eh l'Faresh" should be omitted, such that Tosfos' next explanation defends Rabeinu Tam's explanation in light of this question. This is why these words are in parentheses in our text of Tosfos.)
(c) Tosfos gives a third possibility, according to which the Jewish people were not supposed to bring the Shtei ha'Lechem in the Midbar, but not because of the verse discussed by Rabeinu Tam. Since the Shtei ha'Lechem are called "Bikurim" (see 46b), and Bikurim are brought only in Eretz Yisrael, the Shtei ha'Lechem are also brought only in Eretz Yisrael.
(d) Alternatively, Tosfos says that this may be derived from the Gemara later which discusses the verse of "mi'Moshvoseichem" -- "from your places of residence" (Vayikra 23:17). This verse excludes the bringing of the Shtei ha'Lechem outside of Eretz Yisrael. (Y. MONTROSE)