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Parshat Shmini

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

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PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 17
6 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
11 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 91

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1238

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 4670

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Shmuel II / II Samuel 6:1 - 7:17 (Ashkenazim);
Shmuel II / II Samuel 6:1 - 19 (Sepharadim)


Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh Iyar which falls on Wed & Thurs Apr. 26 & 27.

This Shabbat afternoon we begin the weekly study of a Chapter of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers," every Shabbat until Rosh Hashana. This week we study Chapter 1.

פרשת שמיני
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode, for seven days, Moshe demonstrated the ins and outs of the Avodah, while setting up the Mishkan and taking it apart every day.

Our Parsha opens on the eighth day of celebration, the first day of Nisan, as the Mishkan is set up permanently, and the Kohanim prepare to perform the Avodah for the first time. All of Bnei Yisroel gathers in the courtyard of the Mishkan when they hear that Hashem's Fire will descend onto the Mishkan and consume the special Korbanot that Aharon and his sons will offer to Hashem. This will show the Bnei Yisroel that Hashem has forgiven them for the sin of the Eigel Hazahav (Golden Calf). Hashem will again rest his Shechina amidst the Bnei Yisroel. For the first time, Aharon blesses the Bnei Yisroel with the Birchat Kohanim (priestly blessings). When the Bnei Yisroel witness this great miracle they spontaneously break out into prayer.


YOU'RE
FIRED

Now Aharon's two sons, Nadav and Avihu, step up to the plate. But while the entire Bnei Yisroel has been cheering about the fire from heaven, these two Kohanim aren't too thrilled. They want to be even closer to Hashem. So they decide to bring an incense offering.

BIG MISTAKE!

First of all, they do this without asking Moshe or Aharon if Hashem's even interested. Second, the brothers brought incense [that normally goes on the Mizbayach Haketoret (Incense Altar) in the Kodesh] into the Kodesh HaKodoshim (Holiest of Holies). No one but the Kohen Gadol can enter this holiest of places - and that is only on Yom Kippur! They might have thought it out more, but they were drinking during the celebration.

Now, Nadav and Avihu happen to be a couple of the greatest tzadikim amongst the Bnei Yisroel and Hashem understands that their intentions are righteous, but if they get away with this then everyone will think it's okay to just waltz into the Kodesh HaKodoshim. So Hashem shoots them down with a streak of heavenly fire!

Moshe explains to Aharon that a great lesson will be learned by Bnei Yirsroel. Even tzadikim are punished for their sins. Now all of Bnei Yisroel will fear Hashem and do teshuvah. Aharon accepts this great tragedy without question.

Moshe orders his cousins, the Leviyim, Mishoel and Eltzafan to retrieve the bodies of Nadav and Avihu and bury them outside of the camp. Then he commands Aharon's two surviving sons, Elazar and Itamar to continue the Avodah.

Hashem is proud of Aharon for not even doubting Hashem in his heart. To reward Aharon, Hashem speaks to him directly (instead of speaking to him through Moshe) and commands him that if a Kohain drinks wine he may not serve in the Mishkan.


KOSHER
CORNER

animalsHashem commands the Bnei Yisroel to be a holy people.

How?

Eat only Kosher animals, birds and fish.

Hashem shows Moshe every species that will EVER exist so that he may teach the Bnei Yisroel which are kosher and which are not.

The Torah mentions the two tell-tale signs of a kosher animal:

  • Split hooves      and,

  • If it chews its cud.

Certain animals chew their food, swallow it and then return the food to the mouth again for a second chewing.

A kosher animal MUST HAVE BOTH kosher signs - don't be fooled by some animals that have only ONE sign and not the other.

  • A camel chews its cud but does not have fully split hooves.
  • A Badger chews its cud but does not have split hooves.
  • A Rabbit chews its cud but does not have split hooves.
  • A pig has split hooves but does not chew its cud.

Hashem knows ALL His creatures.

Did you know, that other than the ten animals listed in the Torah (Devarim, Parshat Reeh 14,5) as kosher, none other has EVER been found?
The same is true of the 'one sign' kind. Only the four animals listed here, have only one of the two kosher signs.

We may not eat the meat of a non-kosher animal, and we may not drink their milk.


FISH &
BIRDS

fishA Kosher fish must have two signs:
Fins and Scales.

If we find a fish with scales we may eat it, because all fish with scales always have fins. The opposite (a fish with fins having scales) is not always true.

When it comes to birds, the Torah mentions 20 non-kosher birds that are forbidden to eat. THERE ARE NO OTHERS. All others are kosher. Basically, the Torah forbids birds of prey - birds that hurt other animals.


KOSHER
GRASS-
HOPPERS
??

Don't plotz, but there are eight kinds of kosher grasshoppers. We don't eat any today because we don't know which one's are kosher for sure, but it's always good to know that someday we'll be able to add grasshoppers to our chulent.

Insects, worms, snakes and scorpions are forbidden.

Tune in next week for the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Mavin on Shmini

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