More Discussions for this daf
1. Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel 2. Not Made in Heaven
DAF DISCUSSIONS - YEVAMOS 14

Moshe Tarko asks:

(a) The Gemara teaches that a Navi cannot teach us a Halachah based on Nevu'ah, "Lo ba'Shamayim Hi."

Now I understand that this does not include Moshe Rabeinu; his prophecy was Torah itself, unlike that of any other prophet (as we mention in the 13 Ani Ma'amin's).

But how could Yehoshua have written the 8 verses at the end of the Torah (Rebbi Yehudah, Bava Basra 15a)? How could his prophecy become Torah, and even teach us laws?

(b) What bothers me even more are the verses in Zecharyah (7:1-5) where the the Kohanim and Nevi'im have Halachic questions, and go to ask Hash-m - and He answers them with a Halachic decision, from which we infer Halachos that apply til today!

Thank you,

Moshe Tarko, Yerushalayim

The Kollel replies:

I have not found anyone who discusses these questions specifically but I will write my initial thoughts.

1) The Gemara (Yoma 80a) cites the verse in Vayikra 27:34: "These are the Mitzvos that Hash-m commanded Moshe unto the Bnei Yisrael on Har Sinai." The Gemara learns from this verse that a Navi is unable to make new Mitzvos. Therefore, Moshe Rabeinu also could not teach us a Halachah that he was not told in the 40 days and 40 nights that he was on Har Sinai.

2) If we look at the Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 9:1, I think we can understand more about Yehoshua. The Rambam writes that the Torah is an eternal Mitzvah which can never be changed. He writes, "Lo ba'Shamayim Hi. Therefore, one learns that a Navi cannot make anything new. If anyone rises up and adds a new Mitzvah or removes an existing Mitzvah, he is a false prophet."

The Rambam stresses that the prohibition is against adding a new Mitzvah. Yehoshua did not make any new Mitzvos in the last eight verses of the Torah, but rather merely told us about the death of Moshe Rabeinu.

3) On the basis of the above Rambam, we can also understand Zecharyah 7:1-5. Zecharyah was not attempting to add a new Mitzvah d'Oraisa. The Mitzvos discussed are more similar to a Rabanan level (or Takanos Nevi'im) connected with mourning for the Beis ha'Mikdash. This was something that the Nevi'im were capable of doing, and they certainly did not possess less power than that of Chazal to make Takanos.

4) Here are some more sources relevant to this topic:

(a) A good source to show that the prophecy of Moshe Rabeinu is also not considered Torah as such is the Maharsha in Shabbos 104a. The Gemara there cites the verse "Eleh ha'Mitzvos" -- "these are the Mitzvos" -- and states that we learn from this that a Navi cannot now add anything new.

The Torah Or, in the margin of the Gemara, writes that the verse cited by the Gemara is the very last verse in the Book of Vayikra. However, the Maharsha (DH Eleh) writes that the verse cited is the last verse in the Book of Bamidbar, which also states "Eleh ha'Mitzvos." The Maharsha writes that the Torah is teaching us that it is only the Mitzvos and laws given in the first four books of the Torah which are the crucial Mitzvos. In contrast, Sefer Devarim is Mishneh Torah, in which the Mitzvos are repeated a second time, but new Mitzvos are generally not given. We learn from the Maharsha that when the Gemara states, "A Navi may not from now on say anything new," this means that once Sefer Bamidbar was finished, no new Mitzvos could be given. So even in the 40th year that they were in the Bamidbar -- when Moshe Rabeinu said to them Sefer Devarim -- it was already too late to give any new Mitzvos.

Thus, when we say in the "Ani Ma'amin" that Moshe Rabeinu was the father of the Nevi'im, this does not mean that he could make up new Mitzvos. His Nevu'ah was the clearest of all, and he received the Torah on Har Sinai, but he also could not say any new Mitzvos after Sefer Bamidbar was finished.

(b) Here are a few more points to suggest why the verses in Zecharyah do not represent a problem concerning the idea of "Lo ba'Shamayim."

Fist, we see from the Gemara in Bava Metzia 59b that the chief reason why we say Lo ba'Shamayim is that there is a Mitzvah in the Torah (Shemos 23:2) to follow the majority. If we know the opinion of the majority of the Chachamim, it makes no difference to us what supernatural occurences can be produced to suggest what the Halachah is. Accordingly, there seems to be no reason why Zecharyah ha'Navi could not be told by Hash-m what the Halachah is, because there was no opposing opinion being offered there by other Chachamim, and it appears that everyone relied on Zecharyah's Psak.

In addition, it is worth looking at the explanation of Lo ba'Shamayim given by Rav Nisim Ga'on in Berachos 19b. He writes that the Torah of Hash-m is complete and has already been given to us on Sinai. There is nothing lacking from our Torah, and we do not have any doubts in our Torah which should lead us to require proofs from Heaven.

Again, according to this, I think we can understand why the passage in Zecharyah does not present a problem to Lo ba'Shamayim. The problem they had there was not how to understand a Mitzvah of the Torah, but rather they wanted to know how to mourn for the Beis ha'Mikdash, which is not a Torah Mitzvah.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

Mordecai Kornfeld comments:

(a) There are new Mitzvos in Mishneh Torah that do not appear in the previous four Chumashim, such as Yefas To'ar, listening to a king and prophet, etc., and countless Derashos. It is inconceivable to say that Devarim is not part of the Torah given to Moshe Rabeinu about which the Rambam writes (cited in Ani Ma'amin) "This Torah is immutable and will not be changed...."

The Maharsha you cited is therefore very difficult to understand. (He does not cite any source upon which to base his assumption that the Gemara is referring to the Pasuk in Bamidbar.) Perhaps he means that the verse written at the end of Bamidbar is *as if it were written* at the end of Devarim, and it was not put at the end of Devarim since Devarim is mostly a review, giving it a different status. (See Tosfos in the beginning of Gitin, and the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah in Yevamos 4a.)

(b) I also cannot accept that the last eight verses of the Torah are different from all the others (in Devarim), and we cannot learn from them Halachos. They are Torah just as any other verses! (See also Kesuvos 103b, where a Halachah is learned from those verses.)

Rather, we can answer the question about the last eight verses written by Yehoshua by clarifying the difference between writing the Torah and teaching new Halachos.

What Moshe learned during the 40 days on the mountain was obviously not the Torah that we have. For example, if he learned the words described how Moshe did not know the Halachah of Pesach Sheni, and asked Hashem about it -- then why did he indeed have to ask Hashem about it, since he already knew what to do! And how could he have known the sin of Mei Merivah, etc., before it happened?

Rather, Hashem taught Moshe *Halachos* (and perhaps the words of the Torah until Parshas Yisro) on Har Sinai. The Halachos that he learned included any Halachah that ever was or will be learned from the Torah using the methodology that Hashem gave us to derive Halachos from the Torah -- but Moshe was not shown how to learn the Halachah itself from the Torah, since he did not yet have a Torah to read. This was only given to him either piecemeal, as it happened, or all at once upon its completion (Gitin 60a).

Therefore, the Torah was certainly not fully written and completed until the last eight Pesukim were written. If they were written by Yehoshua, they were dictated to him either by Hashem or by Moshe. But the *Halachos* learned from the entire Torah, including any derived from the last eight Pesukim, were already given to Moshe on Har Sinai.

(c) It is clear from the Gemara in Temurah 16a that even when there is no argument involved (for example, if Halachos were forgotten entirely), one cannot resolve a Halachah based on prophecy.

(Although the Ramban in Shoresh Rishon of Sefer ha'Mitzvos writes that what a prophet "can reveal the meaning of a verse," I do not think he is referring to using prophecy to reveal the meaning of a verse. What he means is that what is written in the Nevi'im may have been extrapolated *by the Navi* from a verse.)

1. The Chida (Shem ha'Gedolim, on Rabeinu Yakov ha'Chasid, author of Teshuvos Min ha'Shamayim) suggests that an intractable uncertainty may indeed be resolved by prophecy. He bases this on the Bas Kol that announced "Halachah k'Beis Hillel," and the legitimacy of the work Teshuvos Min ha'Shamayim. According to that, it may be suggested that Zecharyah simply resolved an intractable uncertainty by asking for an answer through prophecy.

However, the Chida there shows that the Rambam (and the Kapos Temarim) disagree with this and maintain that even a factual question pertaining to Halachah may not be resolved through prophesy, all the more so an uncertainly in Halachah.

2. Nevertheless, to answer the question from Zecharyah, we may suggest that when a prophet (or Chacham) is not sure what would be the best Takanah for Klal Yisrael, he can *advise* through prophecy to decide what makes more sense.

(d) Rav Yosef Giktliyah (Kelalei ha'Mitzvos) writes clearly that if a Bas Kol tells us "the Halachah is like so and so," it must be that the issue under discussion is a Din Torah -- since a Mitzvah mid'Rabanan is not determined by a Bas Kol (see the original text at www.dayomi.co.il/general/yeva-014.2c1.jpg ).

However, here we can accept your suggestion that if there is no argument over the matter but rather the matter is in doubt, it is conceivable that a Bas Kol could indeed relate to a Halachah mid'Rabanan.

Perhaps we can bring support for your suggestion -- that a prophet *can* convey from Heaven details of a Mitzvah mid'Rabanan -- from the Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 9:4, who writes that "If a prophet tells us regarding a *Din Torah* that Hash-m commanded him to do such and such, or the Halachah is like so and so, he is a false prophet." The Rambam specifically mentions that this pertains to a Halachah of the Torah, implying that it may not apply to a Halachah mid'Rabanan.

However, the Me'iri (Sanhedrin 90a) writes clearly that a prophet may *not* convey from Heaven even details of a Mitzvah mid'Rabanan. Apparently, he learned that the words of the Rambam refer to Mitzvos mid'Rabanan as well, since we are bidden by the verse of Lo Sasur to follow the Rabanan. (This is consistent with the words of the Acharonim, such as Divrei Malkiel 2:72:25, who write that Lo ba'Shamayim Hi applies even to a Halachah of the Rabanan.)

Yasher Koach,

Mordecai Kornfeld

The Kollel replies:

Rav Mordecai,

(a) I agree that the Maharsha is difficult to understand. Probably what we have to say is that he means that the bulk of the Torah had already been given by the end of Bamidbar. There are some new Mitzvos in Devarim but these also were given to Moshe Rabeinu on Har Sinai. The Maharsha's point is that the end of Sefer Bamidbar is the end of the new Mitzvos of the Torah, with just a few isolated exceptions. That is why the Maharsha prefers the verse cited to be the last verse in Bamidbar; this stresses that we have now reached the end of the new part of the Torah. The majority of what comes after Bamidbar is a review of sorts. The point is that after we reach the end of the Mitzvos given on Sinai, no Navi can add anything new.

I cited the Maharsha as a proof that even Moshe Rabeinu cannot make new Mitzvos. I think the proof is still valid because he says that even Sefer Devarim is not essentially the place for new Mitzvos, even though Moshe Rabeinu taught it.

(b) I think that the status of the last eight verses of the Torah requires further research. The point I am making is that since we see from the Rambam (Yesodei ha'Torah 9:1) that the problem about Lo ba'Shamayim is adding on new Mitzvos, this is not what the last eight verses are trying to do. The Gemara in Kesuvos 103b says that Rebbi said that they should not mourn for him for more than 30 days, because he was not better than Moshe, but we would not have thought that if someone did mourn for more than 30 days that he transgressed an Isur d'Oraisa.

(c) I agree with your suggestion that a Navi can gain support from prophecy for his Takanah in the best interests of Klal Yisrael.

(d) The Me'iri is discussing a Navi who denies a known Din mid'Rabanan. It seems to me that this does not apply to Zecharyah, because he was not going against anything that was already known by everyone. The Divrei Malkiel is also discussing a Mal'ach coming to a person and telling him to fast on days when one is not allowed to fast. This does not apply to the case of Zecharyah.

Yasher Koach Gadol,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

Reb Moshe! You were right and I was wrong! I have found that the Maharsha in Temurah 16a writes explicilty that "a Navi may not from now on say anything new" does not apply to Moshe Rabeinu, so I have to retract from what I wrote above in (a).

1) The Gemara in Temurah 16a tells us that 3,000 Halachos were forgotten during the days of mourning for Moshe Rabeinu. Afterwards, they said to Yehoshua: "Ask!" Yehoshua replied that he could not ask what the forgotten Halachos were, because "Lo ba'Shamyim Hi."

The Maharsha explains that once Moshe Rabeinu had died, it was no longer possible to ask Heaven questions concerning doubt about what the Torah means. This is why the Torah is called "Toras Moshe." Any questions of doubt now had to be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Chachamim.

The Maharsha adds that this is what Shmuel and Pinchas meant when they replied, "Ein Navi Rashai l'Chadesh Davar me'Atah." After Moshe Rabeinu died, it was no longer possible for any Navi to say new things from Heaven.

We see clearly from the Maharsha that "Ein Navi Rashai l'Chadesh Davar me'Atah" does not apply to Moshe Rabeiu.

2) The Brisker Rav on Temurah also writes that the special Madregah of Moshe Rabeinu was that he was able to ask Hashem directly about matters in which he had doubts. We learn this from Bamidbar 9:8. When Moshe Rabeinu did not know what the law was concerning people who had not been able to bring Korban Pesach on the 14th of Nisan, he told them, "Wait and I will ask what Hashem will command you." Other prophets do not have the power to ask, but only are able to hear what is said to them.

The Brisker Rav writes that according to this, it must be that when they said to Yehoshua that he should ask about the forgotten Halachos, they meant that he should ask through the Urim v'Tumim, because they knew that he was not able to ask directly. (See also Brisker Rav on Chumash, Parshas Pinchas, Bamidbar 27:18, where he describes the difference between the prophecy of Moshe and that of Yehoshua.)

3) How, then, are we to understand the Maharsha in Shabbos 104a that I cited above, which I thought was proof that "Ein Navi Rashai l'Chadesh Davar mei'Atah" applied even to Moshe?

I think we must say that the Maharsha is stressing that once the book of Bamidbar was completed, the work of the Torah in telling us new Mitzvos was largely finished, because the chief purpose of Sefer Devarim was not to give new Mitzvos but rather to repeat the old ones. Therefore, it may have been that if a new question would have arisen, Moshe Rabeinu was still able to ask Hashem about it. However, the Maharsha is explaining that once we get to the end of Bamidbar, the chief work of Moshe Rabeinu in teaching the Mitzvos had now come to an end, and from now on Moshe Rabeinu was primarily involved in explaining the Mitzvos that had already been given to Klal Yisrael.

4) Here is another approach, based on new sources, which may help us understand the passage in Zecharyah:

(a) This is based on the Sugya in Sukah 44a which discusses the Mitzvah of holding the Aravos on Sukos, when there was a special Mitzvah to take an extra Aravah every day in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Gemara states that this was a "Yesod Nevi'im," a "foundation of the Prophets." The Gemara questions this from a different source which states that it was a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai. The Gemara answers that they forgot the Mitzvah of Aravah and then re-founded it. Rashi (DH v'Yisdum) writes that they re-constructed this Mitzvah "Al Pi ha'Dibur" -- through what Hashem said to them.

The obvious question on Rashi is that this contradicts the concept of "Lo ba'Shamayim Hi." A number of Mefarshim deal with this question (see Mitzpeh Eisan, Aruch la'Ner, Rashash, Maharatz Chayus). However, I am now going to look at how Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt'l, in He'oros Al Maseches Sukah, approaches this problem.

(b) Rav Elyashiv asks another question. The Gemara in Eruvin 13b tells us that there was a dispute for three years about whether the Halachah follows Beis Shamai or Beis Hillel. Beis Hillel were the majority, but Beis Shamai were sharper. Eventually, a Bas Kol came forth from Heaven proclaiming that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel. Again, the question is how could the Bas Kol from Shamayim decide the Halachah? Rav Elyashiv answers that, in reality, the Sages of that generation were capable of deciding themselves that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel. They decided that we follow the majority even though the minority scholars may be sharper. The message from Heaven merely strengthened their decision and gave it additonal authority. The crucial decision had already been made by the Chachamim "down here." Rav Elyashiv asserts that a similar thing happened concerning the question of the Aravos in the Beis ha'Mikdash on Sukos. The Nevi'im who reinstituted the Mitzvah did so according to their own scholarship, and when Rashi writes that they were told from Shamayim to do so, this means that Shamayim merely reinforced their decision, but the real Psak was made by the Sages in this world.

(c) According to the above, we may suggest that a similar thing happened in the time of Zecharyah. Zecharyah actually decided himself, as the Gadol ha'Dor, that the fasts of mourning for the Beis ha'Mikdash need not be observed since the Beis ha'Mikdash was being rebuilt. The fact that Zecharyah was given this ruling from Hashem strengthened what his opinion was already, but he could have made this Psak on his own without the communication from Shamayim.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

Moshe Tarko asks:

This email is confusing please re-write with point by point ideas.

Here are my questions to what I seem to see are your answers to me.

[I did not bring up the Maharsha I didn't know of his shita]. The Chida please re-write... I'm getting confused by the back and forth especially since I only asked something and you have me saying things that I did not say.

You only focused on 1 aspect of the Lo Bashamayim drasha. The medrash and Gemara have a few points that come out of it [+ "Elu ha'Mitzvos" drasha.]

Zecharya was asked a shylah AND Hashem answered... and told him to answer them.

In Baba Metzia Rebbi Eliezer asks Hashem to prove him correct - to paskin - AND Hashem ans too through a Bas Kol. Neither Rav Eliezer or Hashem seem to hold the "LO Bashamayim" Drasha!

And also if you see the emphasis of when is the cut off is Har Sinai not the end of the Torah.

So How does Moshe continue to ask Hashem things? And how come Moshe does not know things if he was taught the Torah by Hashem at Har Sinai?

[BTW a bit off the topic - But I think something was said about this either in this email or the other question I asked - we see that Moshe did change things that he got from Hashem. Actually quite often too. For example 2 Parshas ago Hashem says that Klal Yisrael will listen to him (see Shemos 3:18 ) and in 4:1 Moshe contradicts that statement.

or 12:7 what Hashem says and 12:22 what Moshe says - not such a big deal maybe - but Moshe did change the order ... why? ... this happens quite a bit. Or that he changed the day of Matan Torah cause of what he thought Hashem meant acc. to many shitot.

This year I might be able to make a list of all the changes Moshe makes that are explicitly written in the Torah.]

Back to our topic-

Are the last 8 verses considered Torah? If so then if I leave out even 1 letter of those verses I have pasuled the Torah so I have memayla created Torah and a new halacha. At least to the Shita that Hashem told Yehoshua to write them.

Next- Yehoshua himself (in the Medrash) says [when asked by Klal Yisrael to ask Hashem to help remember laws that were forgotten - not make new laws] tells the Jews that we can't do that!

I'll wait for a seder that I can follow. This looks like parts of an email from someone else + stuff to me. I did not get anything from "the Kolel answers" on this question, so what is going on here? Sorry, it's just confusing to me.

Thank you for all your time and trouble,

Moshe

The Kollel replies:

Yes, Reb Moshe, I agree that this is qute confusing, so I will now try and summarize things in a more orderly way.

1) First, the point about the difference between the prophecy of Moshe Rabeinu and the other prophets (which you correctly raised in your original question when you wrote that the prophecy of Moshe was different from every other prophet): This is an important part of the Sugya. In the middle of my above replies I retracted from what I originally wrote, which added to the confusion, but I should make it clear that we are now following the Maharsha in Temurah 16a, which is an important source. The Maharsha writes that after the death of Moshe it was no longer possible to ask questions of doubt from Heaven. After the time of Moshe all doubts in Torah had to be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Chachamim. The Maharsha writes that this is what Yehoshua replied when they told him to ask about these Halachos. He replied that this was the difference between him and Moshe. Moshe could ask from Shamayim if he did not know what the Halachah was, but Yehoshua and all ensuing prophets were no longer able to do this.

So we now have a fuller explanation of the difference between Moshe and the other Nevi'im. Moshe was the only one who was able to ask his questions directly to Hashem, and this is why "Lo ba'Shamayim" did not apply to him.

2) The explanation of the Chida was mentioned not by me, but by the Rosh Kollel, Rav Kornfeld, who added his comments on what I originally wrote. I will summarize this. The Chida asserts that an intractable uncertainty may be resolved by prophecy. However, he then writes that not all agree with this unaminously, and in fact the Rambam does not agree with it.

3) The primary way I am suggesting that we answer the question from Zecharyah is to say that his question did not involve a question of Torah law. It was mid'Rabanan. "Ein Navi Rashai l'Chadesh Davar" does not apply to a Din d'Rabanan. In addition, Zecharyah, as the greatest Sage of his generation, had the power to decide such d'Rabanan matters in his own right, and what he heard from Heaven was merely a confirmation of his Psak as the Gadol ha'Dor.

4) Yes, the last eight verses of the Torah are indeed Torah, and a Sefer Torah missing one letter from those verses is Pasul. However, the Rambam (Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 9:1) writes that what a Navi is not allowed to do is to make up a new Mitzvah. When Yehoshua wrote those last eight verses, he did not make up any new Mitzvos. He gave those eight verses the Kedushah of a Sefer Torah, but this is included in the existing Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah, and therefore Yehoshua was entitled to do this.

I will now attempt, bs'd, to relate to the other points raised.

5) Concerning Bava Metzia 59b: Does the fact that Hashem answered the questions of Rebbi Eliezer show that Hashem does not agree with the Derashah of "Lo ba'Shamayim"?

It certainly does not. What Rebbi Eliezer was trying to show the Chachamim was that Shamayim agreed with his Psak about the oven. Shamayim performed whatever miracles he requested. However, all of this proves merely that Shamayim agreed with Rebbi Eliezer's Psak; it does not prove at all that down in this world the Halachah follows Rebbi Eliezer. Accordingly, Hashem did not tell them what the Halachah is here. All He showed them is what the Halachah is in Shamayim, as it were. Hashem agrees that, in this world, the Halachah follows the opinion of the majority of the Chachamim.

I now found, Baruch Hashem, that what I wrote above corresponds quite closely with the Derashos ha'Ran, Drush 7, DH v'Zehu (cited by the Mesivta edition of Bava Metzia 59b, page 234). The Ran writes: "Everyone saw that Rebbi Eliezer was closer to the truth than the Chachamim, and that Shamayim had decided in favor of Rebbi Eliezer. Even so, they did not rule like Rebbi Eliezer, because the Sechel of the Chachamim was inclined to rule that the oven was Tamei. Since the decision is given over to the Sages, whatever they decide is what Hashem agrees with."

The Ran adds: "Since the ruling of the Torah has been entrusted to the Chachamim, the oven should be Tamei even though this is the opposite of the truth; since human reasoning decided it is Tamei, this is the Halacha."

(See Bava Metzia 86a, where Hashem said something was Tahor and the entire Heavenly Yeshiva said it was Tamei, and the Halachah follows the Heavenly Yeshiva.)

But does the very fact that Rebbi Eliezer *attempted* to bring proof from Shamayim for what the Halachah should be down here show at least that Rebbi Eliezer disagrees with the Derashah of "Lo ba'Shamayim"?

Again, I suggest that it does not show that he disagrees with the Derashah, based on the idea we saw earlier in the name of Rav Elyashiv, that the Bas Kol sometimes can strengthen the Psak made down here, but the essential decision is made by the majority of the Chachamim, not by the Bas Kol. I suggest that Rebbi Eliezer was trying to achieve something similar with his miracles. He did not think that the miracles actually changed the Halachah, but rather that when the other Chachamim disputing with him would see the Heavenly opinion of the Halachah, this would at least encourage them to reconsider their opinion. If they would have looked into the Halachah again in depth and decided that they agreed after all with Rebbi Eliezer that the oven was Tahor, then the Halachah would have followed the majority opinion not because that is what is ba'Shamayim, but because the miracles persuaded them to look into the question again.

However, Rebbi Eliezer's plan did not succeed. While the other Chachamim may have reconsidered their position, they concluded that there was no reason to change it, and they were not persuaded by the miracles ordered by Rebbi Eliezer.

There still is quite a lot more to write, but I will close here for the moment. Many thanks again for your comments which have made this Sugya so much clearer.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

Here is a Dvar Torah about one of the points you raised, Reb Moshe, from Parshas Bo, concerning why the verse (Shemos 12:7) says that Hashem said to Moshe that the blood should be sprinkled first on the two Mezuzos and only afterwards on the Mashkof, while in 12:22 Moshe told Bnei Yisrael that first they should put the blood on the Mashkof and afterwards on the two Mezuzos.

1) The Ba'al ha'Turim on verse 22 answers that we learn from the change in the order that the Halachah is that one fulfills the Mitzvah in whichever order it was done. The fact that the Torah does not seem to be insistent about the order in which it is done proves that this in fact is not a critical factor.

2) Indeed, we often find that even though one did a Mitzvah in a different way from how it should have been done l'Chatchilah, nevertheless b'Di'eved one has fulfiiled the Mitzvah. See Tosfos to Pesachim 11a (DH Kotzrin) who writes that one should not be amazed if we find that l'Chatchilah it is forbidden by the Torah to do a Mitzvah in a particular way, but if one did it that way then it is valid b'Di'eved. Tosfos writes that there are many examples of this; only if the Torah states twice not to do it the wrong way is it then Me'akev b'Di'eved. Tosfos writes that the latter rule applies to laws of Kodshim.

3) See also Gilyon Maharsha on the above Tosfos who cites the Ran in Pesachim (8b of the pages of the Rif, DH Madichan) in the name of the Ramban. He writes that we learn from Bamidbar 31:23 that when one wishes to Kasher utensils which were used by Nochrim, one should first Kasher them and afterwards immerse them in the Mikvah. This is derived from the fact that the verse states, "Pass them through the fire," and afterwards, "and purify it," which refers to the purity of the Mikvah. However, the Ramban writes that this is only l'Chatchilah, but if one did the process in the other order, it is also effective, because it does not say in the verse that the order is crucial.

Again, we see that the order of the verse is often only a Mitzvah l'Chatchilah but it does not affect the result b'Di'eved.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

I am now going to relate to the question asked above: How could Moshe not know things if he was taught the Torah by Hashem at Har Sinai?

1) In Bamidbar 9:6, we are told that there were people who were Tamei at the time of Pesach and were unable to bring their Korban Pesach at the correct time. They asked Moshe Rabeinu what they should do. Moshe replied (9:8) that he will ask Hashem.

Rashi there writes that it was fitting that the Parshah of Pesach Sheni be taught by Moshe Rabeinu just like the rest of the Torah. However, the people who were unable to bring the Korban Pesach had the merit of having a Parshah in the Torah written because of them, since there is a rule, "Megalgelin Zechus Al Yedei Zakai" -- if a person is worthy, then good things happen through him.

Rashi is answering your question and telling us that there is really no essential difference between the Parshah of Pesach Sheni and the rest of the Torah. It all should have been said to Moshe even if he would not have asked Hashem about it, like the rest of the Torah, but there was a special merit granted to certain people. This does not represent any lack in the power of the Torah of Moshe.

2) Later in Bamidbar (27:5) we find that Moshe Rabeinu did not know what the law is concerning inheritance when a man dies without sons and leaves only daughters. Rashi writes that this was a punishment for Moshe saying (Devarim 1:17), "Whatever matter is too hard for you should be brought to me." Rashi then adds a similar comment to what he wrote concerning Pesach Sheni, that is was fitting that the Parshah be written by Moshe, but again "Megalgelin Zechus Al Yedai Zakai."

The Rashbam (Bava Basra 119a, DH u'Re'uyah) writes that this means that we should not say that if the daughters of Tzelafchad would not have spoken up, this Parshah would never have been written. If we were to think along these lines we could come to think that a lot of Mitzvos are missing from the Torah. This is not the case at all.

In other words, we are taught that the entire Torah was worthy to be given to Moshe on Har Sinai. There are certain isolated parts which were given afterwards, but in each of these cases there was a special reason for this and it does not impinge in any way on the completeness of the Torah.

In addition, in the case of the daughters of Tzelafchad, Moshe was quite capable of knowing the Din, but the reason he did not know was because of an external reason that the Halachah was hidden from him as a punishment. In the case of Pesach Sheni, there was a particular reason for why he did not know -- in order to honor other people, but in this case there was nothing missing in Moshe's capabilities.

3) However, after having said all of that, we should realize that there was a limit to the knowledge even of Moshe Rabeinu. The Gemara in Nedarim 38a tells us that 50 Gates of Understanding were created in the world, all of which were given to Moshe, with the exception of one. We learn this from Tehilim 8:6. There is a limit to the understanding of even the greatest human being.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

I sent to a Gadol your original question: How could Yehoshua have written the last 8 verses in the Torah since we know that a Navi is not allowed to be Mechadesh Torah?

He replied "Moshe Tzivahu" -- Moshe commanded Yehoshua to write what he wrote in the last 8 verses.

Before Moshe Rabeinu was Niftar, he knew what the last 8 verses of the Torah would be, and he left instructions to Yehoshua what to write after he died.

Accordingly, this is not considered as though Yehoshua wrote something new, because Yehoshua did not write any of his own ideas.

I will just add a few comments, and first point out that there is an important source for our topic in the Klei Chemdah at the end of Parshas Bechukosai, where he writes at length on this topic. He cites the Ritva, whose words appear to be a support for the answer I cited in the last reply, that there were certain things which were passed directly from Moshe to Yehoshua, and these matters are not considered as new things that Yehoshua said on his own.

1) The discussion there starts with the Gemara in Yevamos 71b where Rabah bar Yitzchak said in the name of Rav that the Mitzvah of Peri'ah, as part of Bris Milah, was not given to Avraham Avinu. The proof for this is that in Sefer Yehoshua we learn that Yehoshua performed Milah a second time for the Bnei Yisrael in order to perform the extra Mitzvah of Peri'ah.

2) The Ritva asks, how was Yehoshua allowed to create a new Mitvah? This contradicts the rule that a Navi cannot make any new Mitzvos! The Ritva answers (in his second answer) that in fact Moshe Rabeinu was told that the Mitzvah of Peri'ah should be performed when they enter Eretz Yisrael, and the Mitzvah was later fulfilled by Yehoshua.

3) We learn from the Ritva that Peri'ah was a Mitzvah that was commanded to Moshe but that was not possible to be carried out in the lifetime of Moshe. Moshe commanded Yehoshua before he died that when the Bnei Yisrael would enter Eretz Yisrael they would perform this Mitzvah.

4) I suggest that we now have a new insight into the first Mishnah in Pirkei Avos, that "Moshe transmitted the Torah to Yehoshua." There was something special about the Torah of Moshe, namely that he was able to say new Mitzvos, as he received them directly from Hashem. He passed on to Yehoshua this special strength; not that Yehoshua could say new Mitzvos of his own, but at least Yehoshua could introduce a new Mitzvah that nobody had ever seen before. The Mitzvah of Peri'ah was not Yehoshua's personal Chidush, but he was the first person to bring it into this world in practice. It was a Mitzvah that was waiting, so to speak, from the time that Moshe had been commanded it but was unable actually to implement it.

5) In a similar way, the last 8 verses of the Torah had been composed by Moshe but it was not possible for him actually to write them down in his lifetime. When Yehoshua wrote down these 8 verses, they were new to the entire world apart from Moshe. Yehoshua had this special Ko'ach that nobody else possessed -- he was able to present the Torah of Moshe to the world.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

I will just add on a few comments and firstly point out that there is an important source for our topic in the Klei Chemdah at the end of last week's Parsha Bechukotai, where he writes at length on the sugya. I saw there that he cites a Ritva which apears to be a support for the answer I cited in the last reply:- that there were certain things which were directly passed from Moshe to Yehoshua and these matters are not considered as new things that Yehoshua said on his own

1) The discussion starts with the Gemara Yevamos 71b where Rabah bar Yitzchak said in the name of Rav that the Mitzvah of Periah, as part of the Bris Milah, was not given to Avraham Avinu. The proof for this is that in the Book of Yehoshua we learn that Yehoshua carried out Milah a second time for the Bnei Yisrael, in order to perform the extra Mitzvah of Periah

2) The Ritva asks how was Yehoshau allowed to create a new Mitvah - this contradicts the rule that a Navi cannot make any new Chidushim?! The Ritva answers (in his second answer) that in fact the Mitzvah of Periah was commanded to Moshe that they should perform it when they entered Eretz Yisrael and the Mitzvah was later completed by Yehoshua

3) We learn from the Ritva that Periah was a Mitzvah that was commanded to Moshe but that was not possible to be carried out in the lifetime of Moshe. Therefore Moshe commanded Yehoshua before he died, that when the Bnei Yisrael would enter Eretz Yisrael they would perform this Mitzva

4) I suggest that we now have a new insight into the first Mishnah in Pirkei Avot, that Moshe passed the Torah on to Yehoshua. There was something special about the Torah of Moshe, namely that he was able to say new Mitzvot. He passed on to Yehoshua this special strength:- not that Yehoshua could say new Mitzvot of his own, but at least Yehoshua could introduce a new Mitzvah that nobody had ever seen before. The Mitzvah of Periah was not Yehoshua's own personal chidush but he was the first person to bring it into this world in practice. It was a Mitzva that was waiting in the wings ,so to speak, from the time that Moshe had been commanded it but was unable actually to apply it

5) In a similar way the last 8 verses of the Torah had been composed by Moshe but it was not possible for him actually to write them down in his lifetime. When Yehoshua wrote down these 8 verses they were new to the entire world apart from Moshe .Yehoshua had this special Koach that nobody else possessed:- that he was able to present the Torah of Moshe to the world

Chag Matan Torah Sameach!

Dovid Bloom