More Discussions for this daf
1. Fitting 1,200,000 Korban Pesachs in the Azarah 2. The kidneys that were counted 3. COUNTING THE JEWS
4. Questions about the Korban Pesach 5. Pesachim 064: Questions about the Korban Pesach 6. Kahal Adas Yisrael
7. Are doors smarter than walls? 8. When the 14th of Nissan is a Shabbos 9. Amah of the Beis ha'Mikdash
DAF DISCUSSIONS - PESACHIM 64

SHABSY LEDEREICH asked:

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACT THAT THE NUMBER OF KLAYOT WAS DOUBLE THE YOTZAI MITZRAYIM?THE FACT THAT THE COW HAS TWO KIDNEYS TOTALING ETC.IS NOT INDICIATIVE ANYMORE THAN THE FACT THAT IT HAD FOUR LEGS ,SHOULD THE GEMARA SAY THAT THIS WAS 4 X THE YOTZAI MITZRAYIM??

SHABSY LEDEREICH, MONSEY NY

The Kollel replies:

I understand the Gemara to mean that he took a single kidney per Pesach and ended up with 1,200,000 kidneys, representing that many Korbanos, double the number of people leaving Mitzrayim (and of course there were numerous Menuyim per Korban).

Best Regards!

M. Kornfeld

SHABSY LEDEREICH responds:

yes,but in fact the klayot were not taken in pairs,but one from each,so why were they counted as pairs?

Shabsy Ledereich, Monsey, NY

The Kollel replies:

(a) First of all, I believe the simple understanding of why the kidneys were counted in pairs is not because each animal has two kidneys. It was because each of the Kohanim brought a pair at a time to the counters, one in each hand. (That still does not answer the question entirely, of course.)

Note, also, that certain things were usually counted in pairs. For instance, groups of Talmidim are counted in pairs - see Nedarim 50a, Yevamos 62b, Chagigah 16b. (The Mishnah in Bechoros 60a refers to a method of counting called counting by pairs.)

This may have been done to prevent the Ayin Hara that arises from counting one by one (see Sotah 36b, and the Gemaras regarding the prohibition of counting on Berachos 62b and Yoma 22b). If so, the same logic may apply here. Another possibility is that Talmidim come in groups of two (Chavrusos). The same may have been true regarding the Chaburos of Pesach as well; perhaps it was common for two Chaburos to eat with each other. The Korbenos Pesach may have arrived in pairs.

(b) To understand this Agadah on a deeper level, one would probably need a clearer understanding of why the Gemara emphasized that 1,200,000 was the exact number of Jews in the Azarah at that time. I do not presume to be at all proficient in these topics, but I will write what comes to mind in the hope that you will be able to make something of these somewhat disorganized thoughts.

The Gemara often uses the number 600,000 to represent the largest gathering of Jews that can be found together. (In Berachos 59a it is called an "Uchlusa," and witnessing it warrants a special blessing.) It seems that the number of Jews that left Egypt represents the number of different types of Jews that can be found anywhere, at any given time. No matter how many gather together, they are always different combinations of those same 600,000.

However, we sometimes find - as in this Gemara - that the Gemara describes a group double that size. See, for example, Sukah 51b and Gitin 57b (regarding the amount of Jews in Alexandria), Gitin 57a (the number of Jews in the large cities of Har ha'Melech) and Megilah 14a (the number of Nevi'im in Yisrael during the times of the prophets).

In fact, with regard to the number of prophets we find that the Midrash brings an argument among theAmora'im as to whether there were only 600,000 or double that figure (Midrash Chazis, 4:11). Similar arguments are recorded in the Midrash with regard to the number of sheepdogs that Yakov had at Lavan's house (Bereishis Raba 73:11) and the number of angels that escorted him back to Israel (ibid. 79:1). These Midrashim are clearly alluding to a parallel between Yaakov's experience with Lavan and the experiences of the Jews who left Egypt. From this it would seem that there is a strong connection to the number 600,000 and its "double".

My suggestion is that the number 600,000 encompasses all of the personalities in Klal Yisrael because that was the number of Yotz'ei Mitzrayim who received the Torah. But there were another 600,000 who were just as important - the generation that arrived in Eretz Yisrael. When we join their personalities to our count, we arrive at the larger figure of double 600,000. (Perhaps the Yotz'ei Mitzrayim actually embodied, to a certain extent, the generation who arrived in Eretz Yisrael - if you will, they had "split personalities." Had they not served the Egel, they would have used the correct side of their personality and arrived in Eretz Yisrael. But they emphasized the wrong side of their personality and didn't make it to Eretz Yisrael.)

This explains why the kidneys were counted in pairs. Their number was "double 600,000", not just 1,200,000, since it was the two 600,000's that were added together to arrive at the figure of 1,200,000 personatlities.

Best wishes,

Mordecai Kornfeld

David Quint asked:

If an animal has two kidneys was the number 600,000 or 1.2 million?

Thank you for all you do.

David Quint

The Kollel replies:

Here is a copy of a question we sent out a couple of days ago:

SHABSY LEDEREICH asked:

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACT THAT THE NUMBER OF KLAYOT WAS DOUBLE THE YOTZAI MITZRAYIM?THE FACT THAT THE COW HAS TWO KIDNEYS TOTALING ETC.IS NOT INDICIATIVE ANYMORE THAN THE FACT THAT IT HAD FOUR LEGS ,SHOULD THE GEMARA SAY THAT THIS WAS 4 X THE YOTZAI MITZRAYIM??

SHABSY LEDEREICH, MONSEY NY

The Kollel replies:

I understand the Gemara to mean that he took a single kidney per Pesach and ended up with 1,200,000 kidneys, representing that many Korbanos, double the number of people leaving Mitzrayim (and of course there were numerous Menuyim per Korban).

Best Regards!

M. Kornfeld