TEMURAH 16 (3 Av) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Aharon Dovid ben Elimelech Shmuel Kornfeld (Muncasz/Israel/New York), who passed away on 3 Av 5761, by his daughter Diane Koenigsberg and her husband Dr. Andy Koenigsberg. May his love for Torah and for Eretz Yisrael continue in all of his descendants.
1) THE PEOPLE'S DESIRE TO KILL YEHOSHUA
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that just before Moshe Rabeinu died, he told Yehoshua that he would resolve any doubts that Yehoshua might have. Yehoshua told Moshe Rabeinu that he had no doubts, for he had never left Moshe for even a moment. As a punishment for saying that he had no doubts (see RASHI and MAHARSHA), Yehoshua forgot 300 Halachos, and 700 Halachic doubts arose. The Jewish people wanted to kill Yehoshua.
Why did the people want to kill Yehoshua?
ANSWER: The BRISKER RAV (Parshas Beshalach) quotes the RAMBAM (in his introduction to Yad ha'Chazakah) who writes that when Moshe Rabeinu died, Yehoshua became responsible for the transmission of Torah she'Ba'al Peh. This is alluded to in the verse, "Write this as a remembrance in a book, and place it in the ears of Yehoshua" (Shemos 17:14). Similarly, the Sifri explains the words, "Command Yehoshua" (Devarim 3:28), to mean that Moshe Rabeinu was to command Yehoshua regarding the transmission of Torah she'Ba'al Peh.
Since Yehoshua was responsible for the transmission of Torah she'Ba'al Peh, forgetting 300 Halachos was an irrevocable loss, and the Jewish people felt that such negligence was punishable with death.
The MAHARSHA adds that the people wanted to kill Yehoshua only while Moshe Rabeinu was still alive, since Yehoshua's refusal to ask any questions to Moshe Rabeinu was considered an intentional act of causing the nation to forget the Halachos (and the Mishnah in Avos (3:8) teaches that one who causes himself to forget his learning is Chayav Misah). (See EINEI SHMUEL for an additional, novel answer.)
2) THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING TORAH TO STUDENTS
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes the verse, "A poor man and average man meet, Hash-m enlightens the eyes of both" (Mishlei 29:13). Rebbi Nasan explains that this verse refers to a student (a "poor man" in Torah learning) who goes to his Rebbi and asks to be taught Torah. If his Rebbi does so, Hash-m enlightens the eyes of both student and Rebbi. If the Rebbi does not teach the student, then another verse applies: "A rich man and a poor man meet, Hash-m makes them both" (Mishlei 22:2). What is the meaning of this verse? Rebbi Nasan explains that it refers to a Rebbi who refuses to teach Torah to his student. In such a case, Hash-m "makes them both" -- Hash-m, Who originally made the Rebbi wise, now makes him lose his wisdom, while He makes the student who wants to learn become wise.
The MAHARSHA comments that the reason why the Rebbi is called "average" in the first verse is that without teaching students, he is unable to gain the additional Torah knowledge that would enable him to be called an "Ashir," a man rich in Torah. Similarly, a Rebbi who has already taught but then refuses to continue teaching can lose the special Torah wisdom that made him an "Ashir."
Why does one lose his Torah wisdom for not teaching a student? Also, what does it mean that one cannot reach the level of "rich" in Torah until one teaches students?
(a) The EINEI SHMUEL explains the Gemara based on a statement of the HAFLA'AH. The Hafla'ah cites the Gemara in Makos (10a) in which Rebbi says, "... umi'Talmidai Yoser mi'Kulam" -- "and from my students [I have learned] more than all." The Hafla'ah explains that every Jew has the ability to bring a unique part of Torah into the world through his learning. When a Rebbi teaches students, he becomes a "pipeline" through which this special portion of Torah is passed down to the student and subsequently brought into the world by the student. This gives the Rebbi a special merit, for he has enabled the student to bring this unique portion of Torah into the world. In this way, his own eyes are enlightened and he becomes "enriched."
(One may add that, in a simple sense, a Rebbi's Torah knowledge expands, broadens, and deepens only when he has a student to whom to teach Torah. The Gemara compares the relationship between a student and a Rebbi to the relationship between a nursing calf and its mother: "more than the calf wants to suckle, the mother wants to feed it" (Pesachim 112a). What is the meaning behind this metaphor for the relationship between student and Rebbi? Anatomically, the mother's body produces milk according to the needs of her suckling. The less the baby sucks, the less milk is produced; the more the baby sucks, the more milk is produced. Similarly, when a student asks his Rebbi questions and yearns to learn from him, the Rebbi's wisdom is increased in proportion to the degree that the student wants to learn. -Y. SHAW)
(b) Perhaps one may offer another explanation based on the Gemara in Avodah Zarah (35b; see Insights there). Rav Nachman brei d'Rav Chisda explains that the verse, "For the smell of your good oils" (Shir ha'Shirim 1:3), refers to a Talmid Chacham, who is like a flask of perfume in a number of ways: the aroma of a flask of perfume is noticed only when it is open but not when it is closed. Similarly, things that are covered and not accessible are, to a Talmid Chacham, revealed and accessible.
How are these characteristics of a flask of perfume manifest in a Talmid Chacham?
RASHI there (DH Misgalin Lo) explains that just as the exquisite smell of a flask of perfume is recognized only when the lid is open, a Talmid Chacham is recognized only when he teaches Torah to others. Moreover, when he teaches Torah to others, he merits to have the hidden aspects of Torah revealed to him without exerting extra effort.
The BEN YEHOYADA
explains that this is "Midah k'Neged Midah," a reward measure for measure. Since the teacher of Torah opens the hearts of the masses to understanding Torah, Hash-m opens his heart to understanding things that were previously hidden from him. This might be one of the meanings behind Rebbi's statement mentioned above, "... and from my students [I have learned] more than all." In the merit of teaching Torah to students, Hash-m reveals hidden aspects of Torah to the person that he otherwise would not have merited to comprehend. (See Insights to Makos 10:1
This approach sheds light on the Gemara here, which teaches that the opposite is true about someone who does not teach Torah. His Torah wisdom leaves him as a punishment "Midah k'Neged Midah," according to the Ben Yehoyada's approach. Just as he refrained from teaching his Torah wisdom to his students, Hash-m removes from him the Torah wisdom that he has attained. (Y. MONTROSE)
3) THE SOURCE FOR BEING "MAKDISH" AN "UBAR"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that one may consecrate as Hekdesh, but may not make a Temurah with, the limbs and fetus of an animal. What is the source that Temurah cannot be made with the fetus of an animal?
(a) RASHI (DH u'Makdishin) explains that the source is the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah in the Gemara earlier (10a). Rebbi Yehudah derives this Halachah from the verse, "v'Im Hamer Yamir Behemah bi'Vehemah" -- "if you do exchange an animal [of Kodesh] for another animal [that is not Kodesh]" (Vayikra 27:10). Rashi seems to understand that the verse's use of the word "Behemah" implies an animal that has been born, excluding a fetus from the laws of Temurah.
(b) The TOSFOS YOM TOV has difficulty with Rashi's explanation. The Gemara in Chulin (69a) clearly maintains that an animal fetus can be called a "Behemah." How, then, can Rashi say that the verse's use of the word "Behemah" excludes a fetus from the laws of Temurah?
Moreover, the Gemara in Chulin (69b) gives a different source for the law of the Mishnah here. The Gemara in Chulin explicitly states that the Tana of the Mishnah here is Rebbi Shimon, who learns that the Torah compares Temurah to Ma'aser Behemah in order to teach that just as Ma'aser Behemah cannot be done with an animal that has not yet been born, Temurah cannot be done with such an animal.
Why does Rashi give a different source?
1. The BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH answers that the Tosfos Yom Tov misunderstood the intent of Rashi. Rashi is not discussing the reason why Temurah does not work with a fetus, but rather why it does not work with individual limbs of an animal. This indeed is derived from the verse, "v'Im Hamer Yamir Behemah," as a limb of an animal is not called a "Behemah."
2. The BEIS DAVID (on the Mishnayos) quotes the RAMAZ who says that the question of the Tosfos Yom Tov on Rashi is no question at all. The Gemara in Chulin (69b), at least according to Rashi's understanding there (DH Lo Rebbi Yosi), seems to conclude that neither a fetus nor limbs are called "Behemah." (Y. MONTROSE)