This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Ki Tisa is being sponsored by Steven and Debra Glanz and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for the success of their chldren. To the Glanz family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.
You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.
Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.
Twenty-Five years ago in the year 5751 (1991), this author gave over the first of what would be years of Divrei Torah by way of emails and by way of the Israel and the Sin of Expulsion blog. It was during the height of the first Gulf War and Parshat Ki Tisa followed literally on the heels of Purim.
It was the seudah which followed after this author’s son Pinchas Ariel’s Bar Mitzvah Parshat Ki Tisa and the topic was our parsha and the mirroring and connection between Ki Tisa and Parshat Pinchas: how it came to be that the son of Elazar ben Aaron HaKohen, the only offspring born to a son of Aaron during the Egyptian enslavement, was not anointed as a Kohen with the others, but only later had the Kehunah, and eternal life, Divinely conveyed upon him in the merit of his action regarding Zimri and Kosbi in the run-up to B’nei Yisrael’s entry into Eretz Yisrael.
The Sapirstein Edition of the Chumash with Rashi Commentary renders translation of Sefer Sh’mot, Perek 30, posukim 30-31 (pages 433-434):
“You shall anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to be Kohanim to Me. To the B’nei Yisrael You shall speak, saying: ‘This shall be for Me oil of sacred anointment [mishchat or mishkhat] for your generations.'”
Rashi comments on consecration or anointment (The Sapirstein Edition of the Chumash with Rashi Commentary on Sefer Sh’mot, Perek 30, posukim 29 and 31, page 434):
All appearances of the word “M’shicha”, anointing” regarding the inauguration of the Mishkan and its implements and of Kohanim and kings are rendered by Targum Onkelos in the sense of “greatness”, for there is no purpose in their anointing other than to inaugurate them to their exalted positions.
“L’doroteichem” — “For your generations” — From here our Rabbis derived that which they said: that all (the anointing oil) made by Moshe still exists for use in the future.
Based on our previous Parshat Tetzaveh, anointment and the anointing oil signify exaltation (the act of exalting: raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; elevate — dictionary.com) and greatness, but it seems to this author that they also denote purity in the same way as does the Menorah.
In the sefer “Darash Moshe”, R’ Moshe Feinstein, z”l notes, citing Rashi’s commentary on Sefer Sh’mot, Perek 31, posuk 8 (pages 147-148):
“…the pure Menorah and all its implements…”
Rashi comments that the Menorah is called “pure” because of the pure gold from which it was made…. Just as the Menorah was a single unit made entirely of the most precious substance in the world, Torah too must be presented to students in a clear and pure form, totally free of additives from other systems of thought… We made this point also in the previous parsha, in speaking about the pressed olive oil to be burned in the Menorah. Only the first few drops from the olive were acceptable, since they came into the world totally pure without containing even the slightest contaminant that would need to be refined.
Referring back to The Sapirstein Edition of the Chumash with Rashi Commentary which renders translation of Sefer Sh’mot, Perek 27, posuk 20 which substitutes the word “clear” for “pure”, i.e. “clear olive oil” (Sefer Sh’mot, page 376), Rashi’s commentary defines “clear” and notes:
Without sediments, i.e. “He leaves it to ripen at the top of the olive tree, etc.”
It is not enough that the oil not have sediments at the time it is used in the Menorah. It must be oil which never had sediments in it.
Harkening back to a rendering and commentaries of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch z”l, in the new Hirsch Chumash (English translation by Daniel Haberman) on Parshat Shoftim regarding Malchei Yisrael (kingship) (The new Hirsch Chumash on Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posukim 14-15. pages 394-401):
“When you come to the land that Hashem… is giving you, and you have taken possession of it and will dwell in it, you will say: I will set a king over me, like all the nations… you will then set a king over yourself whom Hashem… will chose. From the midst of your brethren shall you set a king over yourself; you cannot set over yourself a foreigner who is not your brother.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posukim 14-15)
R’ Hirsch comments (R’ Hirsch commentary in the new Hirsch Chumash on Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posukim 14-15. pages 394-401) on — “When you come to the land that Hashem… is giving you, and you have taken possession of it and will dwell in it”:
…These words… state unequivocably at the very outset that it is not the role of Melech Yisrael to conquer the land and secure Israel’s possession of it; it is not his role to build up power to be used externally. For it is Hashem Who gives the Land to Israel, and with Hashem’s help Israel will conquer the land and dwell safely under His protection…. For these purposes Israel does not need a king: all Israel needs to do — so that Hashem’s promises may be fulfilled — is to be “Israel”; to prove that it is indeed the people loyal to Hashem’s Torah: to win a moral victory over itself from within so as to be sure of victory also against all enemies from without.
…This need [kingship] can arise for only one reason: … to assure the sole factor on which Hashem’s protection and blessing depend; … the nation be “Israel”, the people loyal to Hashem’s Torah.
You, too, [Israel] will feel the need for national unity in order to obtain the greatest good for yourself… for this purpose, you, too, will seek to establish national unity by means of subordination to one head of state. But… your head of state will… stand out… first among all Jews loyal to Torah…
Imbued with the spirit of your [referring to Am Yisrael] mission, he will seek to win over all hearts and minds to this spirit, in thought, word and deed. With the power of his word, his personal example, and his personal prestige, he will combat anything that will violate this spirit. You are to place all of your resources at his command, so that he may fight for and defend your national mission internally.
Thus Hashem has granted Am Yisrael exclusive possession of, monarchy in and sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael provided that we remain loyal to Hashem, Torah and our mission — unity and loyalty to Hashem’s Torah.
Rav Hirsch then makes this jaw-dropping observation, perhaps a prophesy about our times:
Indeed, this is the true vocation of the king in Israel, for… the nation was faced with a threat; the alienation of its individual segments from their one common moral task as a nation. The appointment of a king is meant to combat this danger. (ibid., R’ Hirsch commentary)
But the elites, the long-entrenched governmental, bureaucratic, law-enforcement, judicial, academic, journalistic and electronic media and monetary establishment powers have dumbed-down the governed by all means, even resorting to torturous interrogations and proofless “administrative detainments”, in order to disabuse the governed of their Jewish roots, history, spirituality and emunah in Hashem for no other reason other than for their jealousy of the loss of their lock on all power in Israel. These establishment powers are the very ones who, day-by-day, endeavor to brainwash Israeli governed by slandering and defaming those who love and seek Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael, accusing us of “Jewish terrorism” and of “plotting the overthrow of the government” (read: the entrenched establishment) and more.
The point seems to this author to be that the Jewish people have always sought, prayed and waited anxiously for Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, restoration of Malchut David — of governance as pure and just as the anointing oil and the gold Menorah, and, of course, our Third and permanent Beit HaMikdash.
May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of 1 1/2 years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.