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Sunday, May 02, 2021

The Korbanot of Meron

 הנסתרות לה' אלקינו

The tragedy of what occurred in Meron at the Hillula of Ribbi Shimon bar Yohai is a heartbreaking one for all of Kelal Yisrael.  We don't know Hashem's ways, but we know that they are perfect, so we try to understand, as difficult as it may be sometimes.

My nephew was mere feet away from the area of the tragedy as it was happening.  A member of his Yeshiva was tragically one of the victims.

The brother of a member of my shul who not so long ago spent months visiting his brother here in Chicago, and who was someone I remember as a wonderful person, was tragically one of the victims.

Here is a heartrending video with the names and pictures of the victims:

'וכל ישראל יבכו את השריפה אשר שרף ה

There is a possible connection of the tragedy to the Parasha in which it occurred - Parashat Emor.  Let's count the words or phrases in the Parasha that have to do with Korbanot that are brought:

Perek Pasuk Words Number Added Running Total Comment
21 6 אֶת-אִשֵּׁי יְהוָה 2 2 Minimum of plural is 2
21 6 לֶחֶם אֱלֹהֵיהֶם 1 3
21 8 לֶחֶם אֱלֹהֶיךָ 1 4
21 17 לֹא יִקְרַב, לְהַקְרִיב לֶחֶם אֱלֹהָיו 0 4 0 since it is said in the negative
21 21 לֹא יִגַּשׁ, לְהַקְרִיב אֶת-אִשֵּׁי יְהוָה 0 4 0 since it is said in the negative
21 21 אֵת לֶחֶם אֱלֹהָיו, לֹא יִגַּשׁ לְהַקְרִיב 0 4 0 since it is said in the negative
21 22 לֶחֶם אֱלֹהָיו 1 5
22 18 קָרְבָּנוֹ 1 6
22 18 לְעֹלָה 1 7
22 21 זֶבַח-שְׁלָמִים 1 8
22 22 וְאִשֶּׁה, לֹא-תִתְּנוּ מֵהֶם עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ--לַיהוָה 0 8 0 since it is said in the negative
22 25 לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ אֶת-לֶחֶם אֱלֹהֵיכֶם 0 8 0 since it is said in the negative
22 27 לְקָרְבַּן אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה 1 9
22 29 זֶבַח-תּוֹדָה 1 10
23 5 פֶּסַח 1 11 See Rashi on this word
23 8 וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים 7 18 1 korban for each day of Pesah
23 12 לְעֹלָה 1 19
23 13 וּמִנְחָתוֹ 1 20
23 13 אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה--רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ 1 21
23 14 קָרְבַּן 1 22
23 16 מִנְחָה  1 23
23 18 עֹלָה 1 24
23 18 וּמִנְחָתָם  1 25
23 18 אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ-נִיחֹחַ לַיהוָה 1 26
23 19 לְחַטָּאת 1 27
23 19 לְזֶבַח שְׁלָמִים 1 28
23 25 וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם אִשֶּׁה, לַיהוָה 1 29 Rosh Hashana
23 27 וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם אִשֶּׁה, לַיהוָה 1 30 Yom Hakippurim
23 36 שִׁבְעַת יָמִים, תַּקְרִיבוּ אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה 7 37 1 korban for each day of Sukkot
23 36 וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה 1 38 Shemini Atzeret
23 37 אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה 1 39
23 37 עֹלָה  1 40
23 37 וּמִנְחָה  1 41
23 37 זֶבַח  1 42
24 7 אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה 1 43
24 9 מֵאִשֵּׁי יְהוָה 2 45 Minimum of plural is 2

45 Korbanot altogether.

The Parasha's central theme is the Mo'adim - the holidays.  There are Mitzvot about Kohanic restrictions in the beginning of the Parasha and the end of the Parasha talks about the Menorah, the Show-bread, and the blasphemer.  But the central theme is about the holidays.

Within this central theme, there is a verse that seems to not belong (23:22):
כב  וּבְקֻצְרְכֶם אֶת-קְצִיר אַרְצְכֶם, לֹא-תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָׂדְךָ בְּקֻצְרֶךָ, וְלֶקֶט קְצִירְךָ, לֹא תְלַקֵּט; לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם, אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם.22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God. 

Bothered by this, Rashi comments on this verse:

אמר רבי אבדימי ברבי יוסף מה ראה הכתוב ליתנם באמצע הרגלים פסח ועצרת מכאן וראש השנה ויום הכפורים וחג מכאן ללמדך שכל הנותן לקט שכחה ופאה לעני כראוי מעלין עליו כאילו בנה בית המקדש והקריב עליו קרבנותיו בתוכו
Ribbi Avdimi the son of Ribbi Yosef said: What did the verse see to place them [these laws] in the middle of the holidays - with Pesah and Atzeret (Shavu'ot) on one side of this verse and Rosh Hashana, Yom Hakippurim, and Sukkot on the other side of this verse? It is to teach you that whoever gives Leket, Shik'ha, and Pe'ah to the poor properly - the verse considers it as if he built the Beit Hamikdash and brought its sacrifices inside it.
We see from this Rashi that not only does this verse belong - it is the central theme within the central theme of the Parasha.  

There are a few additional interesting thoughts I had about this verse:

1) It is referring to the the wheat harvest time, which is this time of year.

2) The beginning of the section of the Torah where this verse appears talks about Sefirat Ha'omer, as it starts out in verse 15, while the verse we are discussing (verse 22) is the last verse in that section.  See below. 

Although much of this section discusses the Korbanot brought on Shavu'ot, since the beginning of the section discusses Sefirat Ha'omer, we can possibly call this section "Omer".  

There is only one word from this section that contains a ל and a ג together - and that is the word ולגר from the aforementioned verse - Vayikra 23:22. 

We can therefore say that this verse contains an allusion to ל"ג בעומר since it contains "לג" in the section called "Omer".  This is telling us that Lag Ba'Omer is a holiday alluded to in the central verse of the part of the Torah that speaks about the holidays.

3) The year תשפ"א is also hinted to in this verse:  לֹא-תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָׂדְךָ בְּקֻצְרֶךָ

The Torah may be telling us something about Lag Ba'Omer, 5781 in this verse. 

For this tragedy, Hashem was (thank G-d) not מכלה (which would imply a larger destruction), but He was מלקט (based on Midrashim to דודי ירד לגנו...).  He plucked away the Tzadikim - the 45 Korbanot.   The question "why" is difficult to understand. 

And I'm not talking about blaming the police or anyone else for what happened at the time since I don't think this is the time for those questions yet.  I'm talking about why Hashem allowed it to occur.  This question is indeed difficult.  

As I started off, הנסתרות לה' אלקינו.

(Although Rav Hillel Shlit"a makes an attempt at understanding this.)

May those who lost loved ones be comforted and those who have been injured be healed.

בִּלַּע הַמָּוֶת לָנֶצַח וּמָחָה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּמְעָה מֵעַל כָּל פָּנִים

May the Ani Ma'amin that was sung so beautifully moments before this tragedy occurred be a merit for us by showing Hashem how much Emunah we all have in the coming of Mashiah, and may Hashem expedite his coming speedily and with mercy, Amen.


At Sun May 02, 08:32:00 PM 2021, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Sun May 02, 10:27:00 PM 2021, Blogger Yakov Butterfield said...

The Police caused "Stampede" was like shouting Fire in a crowed Theater with all the exits locked and guarded by the Police. This was a Police Pogrom against the Haredim.

At Mon May 03, 12:31:00 AM 2021, Blogger Neshama said...

I posted this from Rabbi Glazerson, yesterday:
He points out some amazing connections.

At Mon May 03, 07:23:00 AM 2021, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a decree of annihilation – and Rabbi Shimon saved us

Rav Berland explained two weeks’ ago, how Rabbi Shimon was going to ‘sweeten’ the decree of annihilation

Excerpt of a shiur given by Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, on Sunday, April 11th, 5781

Now, I read about the Pressburg Yeshiva, that 60 years ago a bus turned over on the return from Meron [on L’ag B’omer], on the Rosh Pina road, on the bends, on the turns.

And the Rosh Yeshiva and the mashgiach were killed, and another 40 students were seriously wounded.

The Rosh Yeshiva and the mashgiach ascended straight to Gan Eden….

….In the merit of Rabbi Shimon, all the gezeirot (negative decrees) will be cancelled now.
There was a decree that all of Am Yisrael would be wiped out.

Biden said that it’s permitted that there will be a nuke, that Khameni is permitted to have a nuke. He [i.e. Biden] himself will help him, he himself will send him uranium, he himself will deliver enriched uranium to him.

He says that the nuke will be dropped on Israel.
So now, we made a balaclava, that will have ‘Shuvu Banim’ written on it, and this will ping it back at them.


Now, we were in danger of being annihilated, we were in danger of being made extinct.
Khameini said, first thing, we’re going to extinguish Am Yisrael, no remnant from Am Yisrael is going to remain, as it’s written in Tehillim 83: “so that the name of Israel will not be remembered.”

So now, who saved us?

This is only Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai….

Translated from the Shivivei Or Newsletter, #208.


May this Torah be a zchut for the neshamot of those who died in Meron this year, L’ag B’Omer 5781.

At Mon May 03, 01:18:00 PM 2021, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous 7:23,

That was what I was hinting to by saying that Hashem was not מכלה - he was מלקט. That there may have been a greater destruction that was averted because of these 45 Korbanot. But I don't have enough Ru'ah Hakodesh to say such a thing outright.

I just thought of a remez to this idea from the Pasuk with Avraham pleading for Sedom (Bereishit 18:28):

אוּלַי יַחְסְרוּן חֲמִשִּׁים הַצַּדִּיקִם, חֲמִשָּׁה--הֲתַשְׁחִית בַּחֲמִשָּׁה, אֶת-כָּל-הָעִיר; וַיֹּאמֶר, לֹא אַשְׁחִית, אִם-אֶמְצָא שָׁם, אַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה.

At Tue May 04, 09:35:00 AM 2021, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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