SHEKALIM 16 (24 Nisan 5781) Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Yitzchak ben Baruch Hersh, in honor of his first Yahrzeit. Sponsored by his brother in law Ze'ev Rosenbaum of Yerushalayim.
1) THE CORONATION OF A "MELECH BEN MELECH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara rules that a "Melech Ben Melech," one who becomes king by virtue of being the son of a king, does not need to be anointed with the Shemen ha'Mishchah. The Gemara questions this from a number of cases in which a Melech Ben Melech was anointed with the Shemen ha'Mishchah (such as Shlomo ha'Melech). The Gemara answers that whenever there is a dispute as to who should inherit the throne, the king is anointed with the Shemen ha'Mishchah, even when his father was king.
(a) The KORBAN HA'EDAH and others explain that when no one disputes the succession of the throne, the next king inherits his position and does not need to be anointed. When, however, there is disagreement concerning his right to the throne, the throne does not pass to him by inheritance (since it is not certain to whom this inheritance should go), and thus the new king must be anointed. This is also the explanation of RASHI in Kerisus (5b, DH b'Zeman). Accordingly, the oil is used only to bestow upon him the status of king.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 1:11) writes: "A king who is the son of a king does not need to be anointed, because he inherits his father's position. If his inheritance of the kingship is disputed, then he is anointed in order to dispel the dispute and proclaim him unquestionably as king." It appears that the Rambam maintains that the anointment is not necessary to actually bestow upon him the status of king (that is, to transform him from a layman into a king), but rather its purpose is merely to dispel any doubts concerning his right to the kingship.
According to both opinions, it is clear why the son of a Kohen Gadol, unlike the son of a king, must always be anointed. The position of Kohen Gadol cannot be bestowed merely through inheritance. It involves an elevated measure of Kedushah, sanctity, and Kedushah is not automatic. Therefore, the oil must be applied to him to bestow upon him the Kedushah of the position.
2) AGADAH: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND "LUCHOS"
The Gemara describes the Luchos, the tablets of the law, that Moshe Rabeinu received at Har Sinai. Rebbi Chananyah says that between each of the Aseres ha'Dibros that were inscribed on the Luchos were written all of the details and letters of the entire Torah (miraculously; see Shabbos 104a).
The BEIS HA'LEVI (Derush #18) makes a novel assertion that this feature of the Luchos applied only to the first set of Luchos (which were broken by Moshe Rabeinu when the Jewish people sinned with the Golden Calf). (See also ha'Kesav veha'Kabalah to Devarim 10:4. See also Insights to Bava Kama 55:1 for an elaborate discussion of the differences between the two sets of Luchos.)
(a) The Beis ha'Levi cites the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #405; see also Tosfos to Gitin 60b) that teaches that the only reason why the Oral Torah (Torah she'Ba'al Peh) was not written down at the time the Torah was given was to ensure the enduring distinctiveness of the Jewish people. Even though the Jews eventually would be subjugated and the written Torah would be taken away by the Nochrim and translated for themselves (as in the times of Ptolemy; see Megilah 9a), the Jewish people would remain unique due to their exclusive possession of the Oral Torah.
The Beis ha'Levi asks that the Gemara in Eruvin (54a) says that had the first Luchos not been broken (that is, had the sin of the Golden Calf not occurred), no nation would have been able to exercise dominion over the Jewish people. The Gemara proves this from the verse, "[the writing] on the Luchos was engraved (Charus)" (Shemos 32:16), which can be read, "[the writing] on the Luchos was able to bring freedom (Cherus)." Accordingly, at the time that the Torah was given the Jewish nation was not yet destined to become subjugated by the nations of the world, and therefore the Oral Torah could have been written down.
It must be that the first Luchos indeed contained the entire written and oral Torah. When the Mishnah says that the Oral Torah was not written down, it refers only to the second set of Luchos. At the time of the writing of the second Luchos it had already been decreed that the Jewish people would be subjugated by the nations.
(b) The Beis ha'Levi offers several proofs for his thesis that only the first Luchos contained the entire Torah.
Moshe Rabeinu said with regard to the first Luchos, "Hash-m then gave me the two stone tablets that were written by the finger of Hash-m, and upon them were all of the words that Hash-m spoke to you on the mountain" (Devarim 9:10). This verse implies that "all of the words that Hash-m spoke" at Har Sinai were written on the Luchos, because the Midrash (ibid.) derives from the word "all" in a different verse (Shemos 20:1) that the entire body of Torah, including both the Written and Oral Torah, was taught to Moshe Rabeinu on Har Sinai. (See also Megilah 19b, where the Gemara explains that the word "all" in this verse refers to all sections of Torah, even to the later enactment of the reading of Megilas Esther on Purim.)
In reference to the second Luchos, however, the Torah emphasizes repeatedly that the only thing that was written on the Luchos was "the ten utterances" (Shemos 34:28, Devarim 10:4). The Torah never uses these words to describe what was written on the first Luchos. While the second Luchos contained only the Aseres ha'Dibros, the first Luchos contained all of the Torah and not only the Aseres ha'Dibros.
(c) The Beis ha'Levi takes this explanation further. The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #392) points out another contrast between the two sets of Luchos. The first Luchos were readable from both sides and were "the work of G-d" (Shemos 32:15-16). The second Luchos, on the other hand, were hewn by Moshe Rabeinu himself from ordinary rock (Shemos 34:1). Based on the Beis ha'Levi's thesis, the reason for these differences is understood. The first Luchos, which contained a vast amount of information, had to be made of a supernatural substance, and had to be written in a miraculous handwriting. The second Luchos, which contained only the Aseres ha'Dibros, could be written on ordinary hewn stone, and Moshe Rabeinu himself could inscribe the words in his own hand. Miracles were unnecessary in the material of, and in the inscription on, the second Luchos.
(d) The Beis ha'Levi uses this thesis to explain another Midrash. The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #393) says that when Moshe Rabeinu realized that the people had sinned with the Golden Calf, he looked at the Luchos and saw the words begin to fly off of them. At that point the Luchos became heavy in his hands and they fell to the ground and shattered.
At the moment that the Jewish people sinned at Sinai, their entire destiny changed. At that moment, it was decreed that the Jewish people eventually would become subjugated to the nations of the world, as mentioned above. At that time, therefore, it became impossible for both components of the Torah -- the Oral Torah and the Written Torah -- to exist in writing, lest the foreign nations claim the Torah for themselves. Moshe Rabeinu saw the words of the Oral Torah "fly off" from the Luchos, because Hash-m decided not to commit the Oral Torah to writing and He removed that part of the miraculous inscription from the miraculous Luchos. These were the words that Moshe Rabeinu saw fly off from the Luchos.
Moshe Rabeinu knew that no one would be able to understand the Written Torah without the guidance of the Oral Torah. The Luchos thus "became heavy in his hands" -- he realized that it was no longer possible for them to be given as an independent entity. Without the Torah she'Ba'al Peh, the Luchos would be "too heavy to bear."
This Midrash sheds light on what the Torah means when it describes the writing on the second Luchos as that which was "written on the first Luchos which you broke" (Shemos 34:1, Devarim 10:2). Why -- when the Torah describes what was written on the second Luchos -- does it need to mention that Moshe Rabeinu broke the first Luchos? The answer is that most of the words that had been engraved on the first Luchos "flew off" when the sin of the Golden Calf was committed. By the time Moshe Rabeinu broke those Luchos, the only writing left on them was the Aseres ha'Dibros. Only these ten statements that were on the Luchos "when you broke them" were written on the second set of Luchos.
3) LACK OF ORDER WITHIN A SINGLE VERSE
QUESTION: The Gemara cites the verse in which Hash-m commanded Moshe Rabeinu to "place the Kapores atop the Aron, and into the Aron place the testimony (Edus) which I will give to you" (Shemos 25:21). The Gemara challenges the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah (according to the Girsa of the Vilna Ga'on) from this verse. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that only the Luchos were placed inside the Aron, while the original Sefer Torah was placed next to the Aron and not inside of it (see Bava Basra 14a). According to Rebbi Yehudah, the order in the verse is incorrect -- it should say that the Edus (the Luchos) must be placed in the Aron before it says that the Kapores is to be placed atop the Aron! The Gemara answers that Rebbi Yehudah maintains "that there is no order in the Torah."
How can Rebbi Yehudah apply to this verse the principle that there is no order in the Torah? This contradicts the rule (Pesachim 6b; see Rashi there) that in one subject (one Parshah), everyone agrees that there is order, because otherwise no Halachos could be learned through a "Klal u'Prat," which depends on the order in a verse. How can the Gemara here suggest that Rebbi Yehudah maintains that there is no order even in a single verse?
(a) TOSFOS in Pesachim (6b, DH Aval b'Chad) cites a similar case in Sanhedrin (45a) where the Chachamim reverse the order of occurrences mentioned in one verse. Tosfos explains that there is license to reverse the order in a verse when there is a "Derashah v'Ta'am," either a source from another verse to reverse the order, or a good reason to do so. The same license might apply here, because there is good reason to say that the Luchos were placed in the Aron before the Kapores was placed on top, as that is what the Torah clearly states later, "He took and placed the Edus into the Aron... and he placed the Kapores atop the Aron" (Shemos 40:20).
(b) RASHI (Shemos 25:21) explains that when the verse says, "... into the Aron place the Edus," after it commands that the Kapores be placed on the Aron, it does not mean that Moshe Rabeinu was commanded to put the Luchos in the Aron after the Kapores was placed once on top of the Aron. A previous verse already states, "Place the Edus into the Aron" (Shemos 25:16), before this verse instructs that the Kapores be placed on the Aron. Rather, the Torah is teaching that it is not necessary to place the Kapores on the Aron first, remove it, and then place the Luchos inside the Aron. The Luchos may be placed in the Aron first, before the Kapores is ever placed on the Aron. Even though this verse (Shemos 25:21) commands that the Kapores be placed on the Aron, the verse later (40:20) limits this command and says that it not be placed on the Aron until the Luchos are placed inside.
Why would one have thought that the Kapores must be placed on the Aron first (and then removed so that the Luchos may be placed inside)? Perhaps one might have thought that the Aron is not considered a complete Kli until the Kapores is placed upon it. The verse, therefore, teaches that the Aron is considered one Kli and the Kapores is considered a separate Kli. Consequently, when Rebbi Yehudah says there is no order in the verse, he does not mean literally that the stages in the verse are out of order; rather, he means that there is a different way to learn the verse which excludes any implication of order, which is the way that Rashi explains the verse.