hebrew
1)

Why does "Vayikra" begin with a 'Vav'? What is the connection between the beginning of Seifer Vayikra and the end of Seifer Sh'mos?

1.

Ramban #1 (in the introduction): Since Seifer Sh'mos concluded with the Oel Mo'ed and the Kavod of Hashem that filled it, Seifer Vayikra discusses the Korbanos that were sacrificed in it and how to guard it. 1

2.

Ramban #2: Refer to Sh'mos 40:35:2:1.

3.

Rashbam and Seforno: Refer to 1:1:3:4.

4.

Targum Yonasan: Refer to 1:1:3:5.


1

See Ramban, who goes on to explain how the bulk of the Seifer is connected to Korbanos in one way or another (which explains why it is referred to as 'Sifra u'Levi'im'). See also Seforno (on Pasuk 2), who classifies the Korbanos and discusses various aspects concerning them.

2)

Why is the 'Alef' in "Vayikra" small?

1.

Moshav Zekenim, Ba'al ha'Turim: Because Moshe, in his humility, did not want to write "Vayikra", rather, "Vayikar", 1 as if Hashem had not spoken to him openly, but in a dream, like to Bil'am. (Rosh - Moshe did not want the Seifer to begin with himself, that Hashem called to him.) Hashem agreed that he write the 'Alef' small. 2

2.

Moshav Zekenim: Hashem said, no one was worthy that Torah be given to him after a thousand generations, other than you, and you belittle yourself?! When Aleph is spelled out, it is like Elef.


1

Refer also to 1:1:5:1. Toras Moshe, from Yalkut Reuveni and Shemos Rabah 47:6 - from the ink saved, he merited that his face radiated. Refer to Shemos 34:29:3:5*.

2

Rosh: In order that generations will know that it hurt Moshe to write this. (Which of course, highlights his greatness in the eyes of those who read it. Refer also to Sh'mos 40:21:1:1*. - EC).

3)

What is the significance of the fact that Hashem called Moshe before speaking to him?

1.

Rashi: It is a sign of esteem. In fact, whenever Hashem spoke to Moshe, 1 He always 2 called him first - using the expression "Vayikra" 3

2.

Ramban #1: Refer to Sh'mos 40:35:2:1.

3.

Ramban #2: Even though Hashem had told Moshe that He would speak to him from the lid of the Aron, 4 Moshe was afraid even to enter the Mishkan 5 until he was called.

4.

Rashbam, Hadar Zekenim, Seforno and Da'as Zekenim citing Tanchuma: Since Moshe was unable to enter the Mishkan on account of the Cloud, Hashem called him from the Oel Mo'ed 6 to enter, on the eighth day of the Milu'im 7

5.

Targum Yonasan: Because, when Moshe finished setting up the Mishkan, he figured that, if he was not permitted to ascend Har Sinai, which was only sanctified temporarily, before Hashem spoke to him, how much more so the Mishkan, which was anointed permanently, and whose Kedushah was permanent.

6.

Moshav Zekenim (from Chagigah 14a): From every utterance that comes out of Hashem's mouth, an angel is created to call to the one He wants to speak to. The Higher Kingdom is like lower kingdoms; kings send to someone before speaking with him. We find that Moshe saw an angel in the burning bush, and Hashem called to him (Shemos 3:2,4).

7.

Moshav Zekenim citing R. Eliezer of Garmaiza: We read Vayikra like Viykar (honor). Nevu'ah is called Yekar - "u'Davar Hashem Hayah Yakar" (Shmuel 1:13:1).

8.

Yoma, 4b: To teach us that one should not (out of the blue) speak to one's friend without first calling to him. 8


1

Irrespective of whether the term used is 'Dibur; 'Amirah' or 'Tzivuy' (Rashi).

2

Oznayim la'Torah: Even though the Torah only records it three times

4)

Why does the Torah insert "Vayikra" exclusively before "Va'yedaber"?

1.

Rashi: To teach us that it was only before a new Dibur that Hashem called Moshe, but not after each break, 1 whose purpose was to give him a chance to reflect on what he had just learned.


1

See Sifsei Chachamim.

5)

Why does the Torah here use the word "Vayikra" with regard to Moshe, and "Vayikar" (in Bamidbar 23:4) with regard to Bil'am?

1.

Rashi: Because, whereas "Vayikra" is an expression of esteem, which the angels use, 1 " va'Yikar" implies a chance occurrence, an expression of Tum'ah. 2 It is the expression that Hashem uses when addressing Nochri prophets, such as Bil'am. 3

2.

Hadar Zekenim, Moshav Zekenim: Hashem called Moshe to come to him, but He went to Bil'am. If they tell the king that a leper is at the gate, the king will go to him, lest he enter! If a noble comes, he calls him and speaks with him in his palace.


1

As we find in Yeshayah, 6:3 "Vekara Zeh el Zeh" (Rashi).

2

Like "Mikre Laylah" - Devarim 23:11 (a Lashon of 'Keri').

3

See Bamidbar 23:4 (Rashi)

6)

Why does the Torah write "Vayikra el Moshe" rather than "le'Moshe" or "es Moshe"?

1.

Rashi: To teach us that only he heard Hashem's Voice, 1 but nobody else heard it. 2

2.

Moshav Zekenim (citing R. Yeshayah in Yoma 4b): It teaches us that the people did not hear what Hashem spoke to Moshe


1

Oznayim la'Torah: This is because, initially, when they heard the Voice of Hashem, they complained that htey could not take it and asked Moshe to liaise between Hashem and them

7)

Why does the Torah mention Moshe's name before that of Hashem?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: It deliberately places Moshe's name close to the small 'Alef' in Vayikra to demonstrate that it was Moshe who wrote the 'Alef' small, and not Hashem, in whose Eyes it ought to have been written big.

8)

Why does the Torah insert the word "Hashem" before "Vayedaber" and not after "Vayikra"?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah (based on the ZOar): Because whereas He spoke to Hashem directly, He called him via the Mal'ach ha'Beris. 1


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Which also explains why the whole of Yisrael heard it. Refer to 1:1:6:2.

9)

What can we extrapolate from the word "EiLa'av"?

1.

Rashi: It implies that Hashem spoke specifically to Moshe, but not to Aharon. 1


1

Rashi (citing R. Yehudah): On thirteen occasions the Torah writes that Hashem spoke "to Moshe and to Aharon", and correspondingly, it writes thirteen preclusions, to preclude Aharon from receiving the Dibur directly

10)

From where exactly did Hashem's Voice emanate?

1.

Rashi: It emanated from on the lid of the Aron, from between the two K'ruvim. 1


1

Refer to 7:89:3:2.

11)

Since Moshe was standing outside th Oel Mo'ed when Hashem spoke to him from the lid of the Aron, hw come that nobody else could hear it?

1.

Rashi: Because me'Oel Mo'ed implies that the Voice stopped at the entrance of the Oel Mo'ed precisely qto prevent aanybody other than Moshe from hearing it. 1


1

Rashi: In spite of the fact that the Pasuk at the end of Naso refers to it as "the Voice", alluding to the powerful voice described in Tehilim, 29:4 & 5. Refer also to 7:89:3:1**.

12)

What are the connotations of the word "Leimor"?

1.

Rashi #1: Hashem instructed Moshe to boost Yisrael's spirits 1 by telling them that it is on their account that He was speaking with him. 2

2.

Rashi #2: 'Tell My words to Yisrael, and answer Me, whether or not they accept them'.

3.

Rashbam and Moshav Zekenim #1: It is a manner of speech (to say both "va'Yedaber" and "Leimor"). 3

4.

Moshav Zekenim #2: Tell Yisrael about Avodas ha'Kohanim, and also you (Moshe) learn them. Moshe thought that he need not engage in Torah any more.

5.

Moshav Zekenim #3: Even though Yisrael received the Torah at Sinai, they were not punished for it until it was explained to Yisrael in the Oel Mo'ed. However, they were punished for the Egel even before this.

6.

Moshav Zekenim #4 (from Yuma 4a): One who tells something to his friend, he is forbidden to tell another until his friend tells him "Lech Emor". 4


1

Moshav Zekenim: This does not explain "va'Ydaber Hashem El No'ach Leimor" (Bereishis 8:15)?

2

Proof of this lies in the fact that following the episode of the Meraglim, when Yisrael were ostracized, Hashem did not speak with Moshe using the personal term of 'Dibur', until all of that generation had died. See Devarim, 2:16, 17 (Rashi).

3

Rashbam: See for example, Bereishis 8:15 and Bamidbar 8:2.

4

See Torah Temimah, note 2, who elaborates.

13)

When did this occur?

1.

Moshav Zekenim (Shemos 40:2): All the Parshiyos from here until "ba'Yom ha'Shemini" (9:1) were said during the seven days of the Milu'im, according to the opinion that the Torah is in order.

2.

Moshav Zekenim (Shemos 40:2, citing Midrash Chazis), Rashbam and Seforno: This occurred on the eighth day of the Milu'im; 1 the Torah is not in order. Moshe was unable to enter the Mishkan, since the Cloud and the Shechinah had entered it to sanctify it. 2 Subsequently, the Shechinah moved to the lid of the Aron, and Moshe was able to enter the Mishkan without express permission, 3 but not the Kodesh Kodshim.


1

Though whenever Hashem wanted to speak with Moshe, He spoke with him from within the Cloud, like we find at Har Sinai (See Shemos 24:16 [Seforno]).

2

As the Torah stated in Shemos 29:43, 44, and as will be repeated later in the first Beis ha'Mikdash (See Melachim 1, 8:11 [Seforno]).

3

Refer to 1:1:3:4.

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

14)

Rashi writes that Hashem's Voice emanated from between the two Keruvim on the lid of the Aron. Oel Mo'ed implies outside the Paroches!

1.

Rashi: Refer to Sh'mos 25:22:1:1.

15)

Rashi writes that Vayikra is an expression of esteem, which the angels use. It would be better to use an expression of Dibur, which Hashem used constantly!

1.

Moshav Zekenim: Vayikra is preferable, for all utterances and speech are included in it. Therefore, Hashem put it first.

16)

Rashi writes that "Kol Lo" teaches that only he heard Hashem's Voice. There is no such verse!

1.

Hadar Zekenim: It should have said "va'Ydaber Lo", and we would explain like 'Alav', and it does not reveal to whom He spoke. It says "Eilav" to teach that only Moshe heard.

2.

Moshav Zekenim: After the Egel, Yisrael were excommunicated and Moshe spoke with Hashem 2000 Amos away - "v'Kara Lo Oel Mo'ed" (Shemos 33:7). Clearly Yisrael did not hear Hashem then. Also here, when the Mishkan was amidst Yisrael, "Eilav" teaches that only Moshe heard.

3.

Moshav Zekenim citing Rashi (Yuma 4b): Bamidbar 7:89 could have said 'ha'Kol Medaber Lo.' Rather, it says "ha'Kol Medaber Eilav" to teach that only Moshe heard.

17)

Rashi writes that Hashem spoke specifically to Moshe. "L'Aharon" means that Moshe should tell Aharon. If so, the entire Torah should say "El Moshe El Bnei Yisrael", for .He told Moshe to tell Bnei Yisrael"!

1.

Hadar Zekenim: Hashem spoke to Moshe, but Aharon was able to hear. 1

2.

Hadar Zekenim citing Sefer ha'Gan: If not for the exclusions, I would say that Hashem spoke to both of them. The exclusions teach that only Moshe heard, but also Aharon was a Shali'ach for the matter.


1

Hadar Zekenim: This is difficult, for we must delete from the text in Sifra 'to tell Aharon'!

18)

Rashi writes that exclusions teach that Hashem spoke only to Moshe, and not to Aharon. In Shemos (12:1), Rashi writes that Hashem included Aharon in the Dibur of the first Mitzvah!

1.

Riva: Before the Mishkan was erected, Hashem spoke to both of them. After it was erected, He spoke only with Moshe, except for for matters that pertain to Aharon, e.g. the Isur of serving after drinking wine or with long hair. Some distinguish between before and after Matan Torah.

2.

Hadar Zekenim citing Sefer ha'Gan: If not for the exclusions, I would say that Hashem spoke to both of them. The exclusions teach that only Moshe heard, but also Aharon was a Shali'ach for the matter.

19)

Rashi writes that whenever Hashem spoke to Moshe, He always called him first with "Vayikra". Yoma 4b learns from here that one should call his friend before speaking to him. At the beginning of Tetzaveh and Matos, Hashem did not call to Moshe!

1.

Rosh: "Vayikra" here teaches that He always called to him.

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