Acharei Mos 5782

1 – Topic – A Lesson from Hashem Zokeif Kefufim and Standing up with Shtoltz for what is right

As we count the days of Sefira heading towards Shavuos and of course prepare for Shabbos Parshas Acharei Mos which is primarily the Avodas Yom Hakippurim. Let’s talk a little about the Avodas Yom Hakippurim and some ideas that we can take away for the Yemai HaSefira.

One of the primary ideas that we could gain from learning the Avodas Yom Hakippurim has to do with the Avoda of the Kohen Gadol. The Kohen Gadol has a certain Shtoltz, a certain pride. He carries Klal Yisrael on his back. We find that in the Avodas Yom Hakippurim one of the most emotional parts, one of the parts that people remember best, is the (וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָעָם הָעוֹמְדִים בָּעֲזָרָה. כְּשֶׁהָיוּ שׁוֹמְעִים אֶת הַשֵּׁם הַנִּכְבָּד וְהַנּוֹרָא מְפֹרָשׁ יוֹצֵא מִפִּי כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל בִּקְדֻשָּׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה). That when the Kohen Gadol said HKB”H’s name (not the Adnus name as we do with an Aleph Daled), as it was said in the Beis Hamikdash, the people who heard it (הָיוּ כּוֹרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וּמוֹדִים וְנוֹפְלִים עַל פְּנֵיהֶם. וְאוֹמְרִים בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ). It elicited a response by the people of falling, bowing and praising HKB”H’s name.

The Kasha on this is that usually HKB”H’s name is just the opposite. Hashem Zokeif Kefufim. It says in Shulchan Aruch that when you Daven Shemoneh Esrei that by Baruch you kneel, Ata you bow and by Hashem you stand. When you say HKB”H’s name you are supposed to be standing straight. So it seems to be a contradiction that in the Beis Hamikdash when they heard HKB”H’s name they bowed and fell on their faces. It needs an explanation.  

The answer is an important Yesod. There is a difference between the person who hears the Kohen Gadol saying Hashem’s name and the person who he himself is saying Hashem’s name. What I mean to say is this. Hearing the Sheim Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash (בִּקְדֻשָּׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה) is supposed to elicit a response of bowing, of falling, of subjugation, of feeling the great Kavod and Nora of HKB”H’s name compared to us mortal people, and we bow and fall on our faces and praise Hashem. But the one who is saying the Sheim, the Kohen Gadol himself, he didn’t bow. Hashem Zokeif Kefufim. He stands with a Shtoltz, he stands with a pride, he stands with a Gaiva D’kedusha, with a sense of holiness. It is his job to say HKB”H’s name (בִּקְדֻשָּׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה). For him it is supposed to be with a pride.  

The Shulchan Aruch says that when you are Davening Shemoneh Esrei you say Baruch Ata and you say Hashem, Hashem Zokeif Kefufim. You are the one saying it, stand with a strength, stand with a pride. The one who hears it he bows. That is more than a technical Teretz.

Every Talmid who is learning from his Rebbi, he is Meshameish his Rebbi, he is Kafuf to his Rebbi, he bows to his Rebbi, he bends to his Rebbi. His sense of a job in this world, of purpose in this world is all subjugated to the Mesorah that we have which comes from Rebbi to Talmid. If the Rebbi tells him don’t do that or do that with your life, he follows.

A few minutes later they are learning a Tosafos and the Rebbi says Pshat. The Talmid argues with him. He argues with a pride, he argues with a strength, he argues with a Shtoltz. Suddenly he is someone else, he is not Kafuf.  He is standing proudly. Why so? It is a fundamental difference. A person is Kafuf, a person bows to Kedusha, to Tahara. A person bows to the Ratzon Hashem. Yet, as it says in Devarim 4:10 (יוֹם, אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְרוָר אֱלֹריךָ בְּחֹרֵב). Remember at Har Sinai that you stood. What is the Chiddush that you stood? The Chiddush is that we find Neviim in Nach who get Nevua who don’t stand, and fall to the ground when they get Nevua. Yet at Har Sinai Klal Yisrael stood?

The answer is that when you have a job to do, when you have a responsibility, stand proudly. When a Navi gets his Nevua, he bows and he falls to the ground. When he goes and does his job and gives over his Nevua he is standing proudly. There has to be a Shtoltz. (יוֹם, אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְרוָר אֱלֹריךָ בְּחֹרֵב). It is a job and it is an Achrayos to stand tall and pick yourself up and rise to an occasion when there is a challenge. It is a very important life lesson.

Klal Yisrael today finds itself here in NYS once again under attack by the state. The particulars are not for the phone call. But it is an insidious and purposeful attack against Yeshivos. The idea is to drive Yeshivos away from their purpose. It is not about teaching English, Math, Social Studies and Science. It is about teaching the cultural values of the society around us. It is really about the state imposing its will on the Yeshivos. We have to stand tall, we have to stand with a Shtoltz. We have to do what we could do.

In the coming weeks there will be a call for people to give a public comment. We are entitled by law to comment. We are invited by law to comment on these regulations. By law it is not limited to NY residents. Those who are in Lakewood or in other parts of NJ or wherever you may be, stand tall for what we believe in. We believe in the Derech Hatorah. We believe in the Yeshivos. The newspapers and I am sure the internet will tell you how to make a comment. Make your comment properly. Tell the state that the Yeshivos work just fine. Yeshiva graduates are doing perfectly well in the world. Much better than the public school graduates. Say it! Stand up with a Shtoltz for Klal Yisrael. This is a lesson from Hashem Zokeif Kefufim.  

2 – Topic – Why was the Kohen Gadol “Sas” when he mixed the bloods of the two Korbanos

Let me turn to a second part of the Avoda of the Kohen Gadol and that is he Shechted the Par Shel Yom Hakippurim and the S’ir of Yom Hakippurim and then mixed the blood together. The language that we say on Yom Kippur in the Avodah is Sas V’ira Dam Haparah L’toch Hamizrak Shebo Dam Hasair. With great joy he poured the blood of the Par into the basin that had the blood of the Sa’ir, V’nasan Malei B’raikan. Then to mix it well he poured the full basin which now had both bloods back into the empty one K’dei She’yisarvu Yafa Yafa Zeh B’zeh. So that they should mix properly. Afterwards he would Shpritz the Dam of the two together. The question obviously is Sas, why over here was he especially joyful and happy?

I once heard the following. In the Gemara we find a Machlokes between Rav Yehuda and the Chachamim. Rav Yehuda holds that Min B’mino Lo Batul. Rav Yehuda holds that if you take a small amount of non-Kosher chicken soup and put it into a large amount of Kosher chicken soup, Min B’mino if they are both chicken soup Lo Batul. Even a small amount Assurs a larger amount.

The Chachamim say that Min B’mino is Batul. If a small amount falls into a large amount then there is a Din of Bitul B’rov Min Hatorah and Bateil B’shishim Mid’rabbanan. There is a Halacha that is Batul. Rav Yehuda brings as his source in Menachos 22 the mixing of the Dam Hapar which is the large animal with the Dam Hasa’ir which is a small animal and you mix the two bloods together. He says Min B’mino is Batul. So then the Dam Ha’sair has disappeared. It is Batul in the Dam Hapar. How are you allowed to mix them together? Must be that Min B’mino is not Batul.

We Pasken like the Chachamim and we say it is Batul. We say Olin Shani. We say here the Torah said Af Al Pi Kein, even though Min B’mino normally is Batul here we do it anyway and we mix the two together.

Now turn to the Kohen Gadol. Here he is he knows that there are opposing opinions about mixing it. Sas, he had a joy. He says the Halacha is this way with a Shtoltz, with a pride. Sas V’ira, not only did he mix it but he mixed it a second time so that it can be completely mixed. He said this is the Din, this is the way we Pasken and he does it with pride.  

I remember once that I was in the country and I had gone to Daven with a Minyan with Rav Shaul Brus Zatzal who was a well-known Maggid Shiur here in Brooklyn in Beis Hatalmid. An extraordinary Talmid Chochom. The Sefer Torah had become Pasul in middle and they had only been 6 Aliyahs. This is in a bungalow colony that we had walked to to be able to Daven early. We came back to our bungalow colony and Rav Brus said we are missing one Aliyah. After Mincha we should take out a Sefer Torah and do one more Aliyah for Shacharis. It seemed strange to everybody but we did it. There were 7 of us and we took 3 more to make a Minyan. We took out the Sefer Torah and said who is going to get the Aliyah? It is after Mincha and someone is going to go up to the Torah, make a Beracha and have an Aliyah? It is such a strange thing to do. We said we will give it to Rav Brus.

We called him up and with such a Geshmak and such a pride he got up and with the Shtoltz that we are talking about and he made the Beracha loud and clear to get this Aliyah which is a 7th Aliyah from Shacharis in a different place and in a different Sefer Torah. This is because that is the Halacha. If you establish that this is the Halacha then you do what the Halacha is. You do it with a pride and you do it with a Shtoltz. That is Klal Yisrael. Sas V’ira. The fact that we take it as a responsibility, we do it with a great joy. The Kohen Gadol mixed it amidst the Tumul if he should or should not mix it. He came with a Psak Halacha that you mix it and he did it with Sas, with great joy. A certain Shtoltz, a certain pride for a Kiyum of Halacha. So two parts of Yom Kippur with similar messages.

3 – Topic – A Question of the week

The Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur went into the Kodesh Hakadashim twice. The first time he goes into the Kodesh Hakadashim holding in one hand a shovel of coals and in the other hand a spoon with the Ketores. He puts the shovel with coals on the floor, pours the Ketores into it and waits until the room is full of smoke and then he leaves. Later in the end of the day, at the end of the Avodah he has to go in again after he changes again into Bigdei Lavan and go in to take out the spoon and the shovel. I got an Aliyah this morning and I was looking at the Chumash. Where does it say that he has to go in two times, it doesn’t say any such thing.

It says that he goes in to bring in the coals and the shovel with the Ketores and he burns it. Why didn’t he just put the coals on the ground, put the Ketores on top of it and leave once and for all. Take his shovel and his spoon with him?  

There must be an explanation in one of the Meforshim that I did not see. I didn’t see it in the Mishnayos either. Not only that, you will tell me maybe it is a Halacha that the burning has to be on the shovel. Maybe! But why is he leaving the spoon in the Kodesh Hakadashim. He poured the Ketores from the spoon onto the coals, why didn’t he take the spoon out with him, why did he just leave something laying around on the floor. Would you do that in a Makom Kadosh?

Obviously there is some sort of Halacha, a requirement that he do it. The fact that he did it needs a Biyur, a deep understanding of why. He goes into the Kodesh Hakadashim twice. Once to do this extraordinary Avodah of Ketores in the Kodesh Hakadashim and a second time to clean up after himself, to take out the shovel and to take out the spoon. We have to find a Mar Makom that teaches us the significance of the second time that he goes in. We have something to look for as Shabbos approaches. Wishing everybody an extraordinary wonderful Shabbos Kodesh!