Rabbi Menachem Genack
The Connection between Korbanos and Parsha Pinchas
The pasuk says, “Command the children of Israel and say to them: My offering, My food for My fire offerings, a spirit of satisfaction for Me, you shall take care to offer to Me at its appointed time” (Numbers 28:2). Rashi (s.v. Tzav; Command the children of Israel) brings down, What is stated above? “Let the Lord appoint” (id. 27:16). The Holy One, blessed is He, said to him (Moshe), “Before you command Me regarding My children, command My children regarding Me.” This is analogous to a princess who was about to depart from the world and was instructing her husband about her children, (and he replied, “Before you instruct me about them, instruct them about me”), as it is stated in Sifrei Pinchas 2:4.
Rabbi Genack says the Sifrei was bothered by two questions. Firstly, how are korbanos relevant to parsha Pinchas and secondly the place to mention korbanos is in sefer Vayikra for that’s Torat Kohanim, where the mitzvos of the avoda are stated (see the Torah Temimah for his explanation).
Rabbi Genack answers that the relation of the timidim and musafin to parsha Pinchas is that parsha Pinchas is talking about inheritances. In the beginning of the parsha it describes how Pinchas became a Kohen followed by inheritances of the land and then inheritances of each individual. Thereafter, Moshe said, "Let the Lord, the God of spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation” (id. 27:16), referring to Yehoshua’s inheritance of Moshe’s mantel of leadership. Therefore, since all the inheritance issues were discussed here it also adds korbanos because the “main reason” for all of theses inheritances is to build the Beis Hamikdash where korbanos can be brought, as it says, “For you have not yet come to the resting place or to the inheritance, which the Lord, your God, is giving you” (Deuteronomy 12:9), and on this the rabbis expounded: “to the resting place is Shiloh and [or to] the inheritance this is Jerusalem” (Sifrei; Zevachim. 119a).
Also Rabbi Genack says – the inheritance of the land comes in the merit of bringing korbanos, as it says in the Gemara (Taanis 27b), when Avraham asked Hashem, ‘In what way will I know I will inherit you – that with Israel the inheritance lies – and Hashem responded - "Take for Me three heifers ….’”(Genesis 15:9) that is, through the zechut of korbanos, we will merit the land (brought down by Rashi, Veychshevena Le’Tzedakah). So it mentioned here the sacrifices of the community because it is in the merit of these sacrifices that the promise of inheriting the land will remain intact.
Birchat Yitzchak Page 236
Rav Avrohom Genechovsky Zt”l
Shulchan Aruch – Siman 158 and Siman 152
Washing Hands for a Meal
There was a case where one washed his hands and made a bracha and then noticed that there was an object on his hand which caused a chatzizah; so he took off the object to avoid a chatziza in order to wash again. The question is whether he has to make a second bracha. (The question is only if the chatzizah was on the fingers, not on the place of his main hand, for there are opinions in Shulchan Aruch; 161:64, that the chiyuv is only until kishrei etzbeoseha.)
One can’t bring a proof from a case of where one chooses to use a different shofar, for there a new bracha must be made (Mishna Berurah: Siman 685; Seif Katan 4) because it was a different object whereas here it’s just a second action and is similar to a case where one takes a lulav and sees he took it upside down, and then turns it over, where he need not make a second bracha (however, see Mishna Berurah: Siman 651; Seif Katan 56 where it seems to say you do have to make a bracha – this is discussed later in this Seif of Rav Avrohom’s sefer).
However, it may be said that one must make a new bracha because he had a hesech hada'as, as he thought he already fulfilled the mitzvah and therefore the bracha becomes batel as proven in the Biur Halacha (Siman 690: Siman 4 s.v. ein). (Rav Avraham then discusses a question by lulav regarding nanuim.)
Perhaps, however, it can be argued that a bracha shouldn’t be made because of the second hand (that didn’t have the chatzizah) where a new washing wouldn’t be needed. But Rav Avrohom rejects this because both hands were wiped against each other and the one that had the chatzizah was metameh the one that didn’t require a second washing.
Rav Avrohom concludes that based on hesech hada'as, it seems a new bracha would be necessary but still leaves it be’tzarich iyun.
(Rav Avrohom discusses this issue further in this Siman.)
Sefer Bar Almugim Pages 130-131
Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Genack)
Loving Man - In Pirkei Avot
In his hakdamah to Shir HaShirim (Olat Reiyah: Vol. 2, 4:42), Rav Kook divides Rabbi Akiva’s life into three categories of love. When Rabbi Akivah was a simple shepherd he had a love for his wife Rachel. When he became among the Torah greats he gained a love of man, as he says; “Love your friend like yourself; this is a main principle in the Torah” (Sifrah Kedoshim 2:4). At the end when he met death by the Romans who scraped off his skin with brass combs, he reached the level of love of G-d and fulfilled, “Love Hashem your G-d with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 6:5) – ‘even if G-d takes your soul’” (Brachos 1b).
Rabbi Akiva knew all three loves were connected and therefore says the love in Shir Hashirim is allegorical to love between Bnei Yisroel and Hashem, as it says, “Rabbi Akiva said: Far be it! No man in Israel disputed that the Song of Songs [saying] that it does not defile the hands. For the whole world is not as worthy as the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel; for all the writings are holy but the Song of Songs is the holy of holies. If they had a dispute, they had a dispute only about Kohelet” (Yadayim 3:5).
Rav Kook explains how it is that Rabbi Akiva first grasped love of man and then G-d; for when the Mishna discusses kinyanim needed to acquire the Torah, the love of G-d precedes the love of man (Pirkei Avot 6:6). However, as we will discover, Rabbi Akiva’s love of G-d was the root source for his love of man.
We see love of man based on Rabbi Akiva’s statement “Love your friend like yourself and this is a main principle of the Torah” (Sifrah Kedoshim 2:4). However, this statement must be qualified with another of Rabbi Akiva’s where he says, “Human beings are beloved because they were created in the image of God. It is an even greater love that this was made known to humanity, as it says, ‘and in the image of God were people created’” (Genesis 9:6, Pirkei Avot 3:12).
What became known to man is that he was created in the image of G-d which then indicated man’s love of his fellow man is steeped in the fact that he knows his fellow is created in the image of G-d. Therefore, hidden in Rabbi Akiva’s “main principle” is that love of man emanates from love of G-d.
Rav Kook opens his sefer by saying man is created in the image of G-d and that is the foundation of the Torah; in truth capturing the foundation laid down by Rabbi Akiva. It may be said that this secret was hidden from Rabbi Akiva’s talmidim who died because they didn’t give kavod to each other (Yevamos 62b). Perhaps this is why Rabbi Akiva expressed such a Mishna.
True love that’s not depended on anything (Pirkei Avot 5:16) hardly exists in nature without entanglement as we are biological beings that follow our instincts. But we know there exists a greater love above us and that is a Divine one as the Zohar (Trumah 146.2) explains, the root of Hashem’s name is aleph, hey, beis, hey, spelling ahava. Therefore the source of love in the human world is contained in the Tzelem Elokim that’s in each of us.
The Gemara (Sotah 17a) says a man and his wife, if zoche, the Shechina dwells among them, and if not they are devoured like a fire. Both ish and isha share an aleph and shin in their name. The extra yud from ish and extra hey from isha spells Hashem’s name. So if a man and women are connected then so is the name of Hashem complete on its own and with them.
So Rabbi Akiva’s words on Shir Hashirim were not just allegorical for the love between man and a woman is comparable to and drawn from Divine love and is thus kodesh kedoshim.
G-d’s essence and love of husband and wife both equal 13 (ahava and Echad) Ahava, 13 and Echad, 13 is one foundation. We say everyday “Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad” – and by man and woman the verse says "And they (husband and wife) will become one flesh (basar echad)" (Genesis 2:24). This sheds light on when Rabbi Akiva said Hashem “Echad” at the end of his life culminating all loves.
The opposite of love is hate. The second Beis HaMikdash was destroyed for sinat chinam which opposes the theme of the Beis HaMikdash which will only be built through ahava. The Beis HaMikdash sought to bring love among the nation of Israel and between the nation of Israel and G-d, as it says, “Rav Katina said that when the Jews came up for the pilgrimage festivals, the priests would pull back the curtain in the Beis HaMikdash and show them that the Cherubim (one of which had masculine features and one of which had feminine features) were embracing one another. The priests would say: ‘See how beloved you are before the Almighty, like the love of a male and female.’” (Yoma 54a).
Since Chazal blamed the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash on sinat chinam, the remedy is for us to build love for our fellow man which is inspired by love of Hashem as love of man is wrapped up in the love of G-d allowing an all-encompassing love to spring forth by means of our connection with G-d.
Translated Excerpt from Nishmat HaMishna 407-411
Notes from The Editor
“Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace”(Numbers: 25:12)
Midrash Rabbah (21:1) says Pinchas got this reward through “din” - he deserved it. Many explanations are offered on what it means he deserved it. In Divrei Siach (Parsha Pinchas), Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita explains the Midrash to mean that in general, for every mitzvah we perform, we “don’t deserve” reward because we are obligated to do it. Here, however, the Gemara notes that Pinchas entered a dangerous situation, not one of automatic obligation, giving him a reward based on “din.” Perhaps based on "drash" it can be said that the name Pinchas indicates potential hesitation as his name can be broken into two words 'pen' 'chas' “maybe I should take pity" (as a descendant of Aharon). However, Pinchas overcame his nature and took his deserving reward.
Lekavod Parsha Pinchas
The name Genack was originally Levine which then became Genechovsky. Within these three names lie many sefarim. I'm happy to have met all the authors except Rabbi Levine zt"l, the author of the "Yad Eliyahu," though I do present his Torah. Rav Avrohom Genechovsky zt"l, previous Rosh Yeshiva of Tchebin, was my father's first cousin and was an enormous figure that I got to know well. I feel humbled yet proud to present his Torah thoughts, personal stories and insights. The Torah of the Gadol Hador, Reb Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, is presented as he shared a close relationship with Rav Avrohom zt"l. My uncle, Rabbi Genack, a mechaber of many sefarim, is a world renowned personality, and someone I continue to grow with. My first cousin, Rabbi Yaakov Nagen (Genack), Rosh Kollel at Yeshiva Otniel, was mechaber two very important Hebrew books in Israel, "Awaking to a New Day: Stories and Insights from Life," and "Nishmat HaMishna," to which I present translated excerpts. Some of my own "notes from the editor" are presented as well. Interestingly, Rav Avrohom's last name is often transliterated as Genechovsky (with other variations existing as well), though in America the family name is spelled as Genachowski.