זה הספר הנקרא תורת כהנים רבו בו פנים יותר משאר חלקי התורה כדתניא בסנהדרין דק״ג ב׳. This book, called [by our Sages] Toras Kohanim (Priestly Law),1“The greatest part of this book deals with the offerings, the laws of the offering itself and of those who perform its rite and of the place where it is to be brought; some commandments are also mentioned incidentally to those dealing with the offerings” (Nachmanides’ Introduction to Leviticus, pg. 4 as translated by Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel). has many more interpretations than the other sections of the Torah, as stated in Tractate Sanhedrin 103b:
מנשה הי׳ שונה חמשים וחמשה פנים בת״כ אחאב שמנים וחמשה ירבעם מאה ושלשה. Our Rabbis taught: Manasseh interpreted Toras Kohanim, (Leviticus), in fifty-five different ways, corresponding to the years of his reign, Ahab [in] eighty-five, and Jeroboam [in] one hundred and three [ways].
ואע״ג שהדקדוקים שבתורה מצד איזה יתור או שנוי בין פרשה לפרשה השוה בענינה. אשר ניתן לפרש ולדקדק. שוין בכל הספרים. כי אין דבר רק בכל התורה כולה. מכ״מ רבו פנים ביחוד בזה הספר יותר. Though all the [Torah’s] Books are subject to halachic inferences derived from [analyzing] textual nuances, i.e. additions or textual differences noted between two different parashios dealing with similar subjects 2An example is discussed below in footnote 25 pertaining to Lev. 5:21-23, that meshichah effects ownership.—as “there is no trivial matter in the entire Torah,”3“[Moshe stated regarding the Torah,] ‘For it is not an empty thing from you’ (Deut. 34:27). [This teaches us that the Torah is never an empty thing], but if it [seems] empty, it is from [i.e., because of] you. Why? Because you do not toil over it” (Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Peah 1:1).—this particular Book has more interpretations.
והיינו משום דבאמת יש הרבה דרשות והלכות שלא למדו חז"ל בספרא מחמת הדיוק והקושי שבלשון המקרא. אלא משום שהקבלות בע״פ בזה הספר הוא לרוב. כי מלא הלכות הרבה יותר מכל הספרים. ואין קבלה שאינו מרומז במקרא. מש״ה דקדקו ופרשו בפן א׳ והעמידו בו הרבה קבלות. והוסיפו עוד בפן אחר ללמד שיש לרמז בו עוד קבלות אלו וכן הרבה. אבל אם לא היו ההלכות מקובלות לא היו מוצאים מדיוק המקרא הלכות אלו. And that is because the Sages did not actually originate much of the exegesis or laws found in the Sifra4The Sifra is the primary collection of Tannaitic exegesis – mainly halachic in nature – on Leviticus. It is also known as Toras Kohanim. However, this title is generally avoided in our writings to avoid confusion with Leviticus, which shares the same name. [by use] of dialectics or [analysis of] textual difficulties; most of this Book’s laws were already known by oral tradition. Being that this Book contains more received laws than all the other Books and since there can be no received law without being alluded to in Scripture,5The Netziv is referring to laws that were decided by the previous courts. Scriptural sources are not provided for laws received by Moses from Sinai; see Darkhah Shel Torah, Part 1, Chapter 2. the Sages applied exegesis and explained Scripture in one manner, establishing it as the source for many accepted laws, and applied an another understanding to link the hints contained within Scripture as sources for other traditions; so did they apply this approach to a great extent. However, if those laws had not been received, the [Sages] would not have derived them from the verses.
ומש״ה משונה נגעים מאהלות כדאי׳ בחגיגה ספ״א נגעים מקרא מרובה והלכות מעוטות אהלות מקרא מועט והלכות מרובות. This [understanding helps explain] how the laws related to Negaim6The laws of Negaim are concerned with the ritual uncleanness resulting from Tzara’as, a leprosy-like disease referred to in chapter 13 and 14 of Leviticus. differ from those related to Ohalos,7Ohalos deals with the ritual impurity of corpses, and the peculiar quality they have to make all objects in the same tent-like structure impure as well (based on Num. 29: 14-16). as it is taught towards the end of the first chapter of Tractate Chagigah:811a. Negaim consists of many verses and fewer halachos [detailed laws], whereas Ohalos consists of fewer verses and many halachos.
אע״פ שאל אחד נתן שתי פרשיות אלו. אבל ההפרש אינו מצד תורה שבכתב אלא מצר תורה שבע״פ. שבאהלות הין קבלות מרובות מבנגעים. ע״ב עשו רמזים יותר בפ׳ אהלות מבפ׳ נגעים. Though one God bequeathed both Torah sections of law etc.,9It is unknown to us why God in His infinite wisdom decided to have more oral laws or written laws for particular Torah topics. the [significant] difference between them is not due to the Written Torah but the Oral Law.10The ratio of the Oral Laws to the Written Laws. Ohalos consisting of many more received laws than Negaim, led the Rabbis to produce more remazim, [Scriptural allusions to the laws] in the area of Ohalos than Negaim.
וכן תראה שהתנא דספרי זוטא העמיס הרבה דרשות יותר מבספרי שלפנינו. ואין ביניהם מחלוקת בדינים. אלא שזה התנא העמיס הקבלות הידועות להם שיהא מרומז במקרא. יותר מזה התנא. ואחר כ״ז. You can also see that the Tanna11A Tanna (pl. tannaim) is a Rabbinic sage whose views are recorded in a Mishna or Baraisa. The period of the Tannaim, lasted about 210 years (10-220 C.E.). who authored the Sifre Zuta12The Sifre Zuta is a halachic Midrash on the Book of Numbers attributed to the Tanna, R. Yishmael ben Elisha of the 1st and 2nd centuries. The Sifrei Zuta has not been preserved; the Netziv is most likely referring to the numerous quotations from the Sifre Zuta found in the Yalkut Shimoni and various Rishonim. An edition of the Sifre Zuta, can be found at www.hebrewbooks.org that was published in Lodz, Poland 1928. This edition – being reconstructed in-part using the recently discovered Midrash HaGadol and the above mentioned sources by Rabbi Chaim Shaul Horovitz (published in Leipzig, Germany 1917) – contains copious notes provided by Rabbi Yaakov Ze’ev Yaskovitz. Part IV to Rabbi Yaskovitz’s introduction to the first volume of this edition contains a listing of the numerous citations of the Sifre Zuta found in the writings of the Rishonim. presents many more Scriptural inferences for the halachos than our Sifre.13The oldest commentary on Numbers and Deuteronomy, consisting of a collection of Baraisos compiled by Rav and often quoted in the Talmud. There is no disagreement between them about the actual laws rather, one Tanna exerted himself more to determine the allusion for the previously known laws than the other. Accordingly, this is what is taught in Toras Kohanim in Vayikra, parashah 4, halacha 5,14It is also cited in Tractate Zevachim 13a. [R. Tarfon complimented R. Akiva,] “You have expounded and are in agreement with the tradition (Shemuah),”15R. Tarfon had remembered that there where halachic differences between receiving the sacrificial blood and throwing it, but he could not recall what they were. R Akiva, based on his independent derivations from Scripture, explained to R. Tarfon, three differences between them. R. Tarfon then recalled that R. Akiva’s derivation aligned exactly with the traditions that he received and exclaimed, “Akiva, you have expounded [on your own] and are in agreement with the tradition.” i.e., the law is mainly based on Shemuah, meaning an oral tradition passed from one man to another.16R. Tarfon was hesitant to accept R. Akiva’s derivations, were it not that he recalled that it accorded with what were previously known laws.
הדבר מובן שאין כל הדרשות נוגעות לפשט המקרא שעלינו לעשות את דברי התורה. שפירושו להבין ולהשכיל בדיוק לשון המקרא ולהעמידו עה״נ. כמש״כ בפי׳ המקרא דברים ל״ב מ״ו: Following this entire [discussion, it is important to note that] it is well understood that not all exegesis [within the Sifra] relates to the straightforward meaning of the verses. As we are responsible, la’asos,17From Deut. 32:46; see following notes for the Netziv’s translation of la’asos. “to produce the words of the Torah” meaning, to understand and elucidate by applying exegesis and analyzing the Scriptural nuances to establish its intended understanding,18I.e. God’s intended understanding and purpose. as we wrote in our commentary to Deut. 32:4619[Verse 46:] “He, [Moses], said to them, ‘Apply your hearts to all the words which I bear witness for you this day, so that you may command your children to observe, la’asos (to enhance) all the words of this Torah…. [Verse 47:] For it is not an empty thing for you, for it is your life, and through this thing, you will lengthen your days upon the land to which you are crossing over the Jordan, to possess it.’” A common translation of the phrase, “la’asos es kol divrei haTorah hazos” is “to perform all the words of this Torah.” The Netziv finds such a translation problematic as why would the Torah stress that performing any of God’s mitzvos “is not an empty thing for you?” Would anyone argue that God provides meaningless directives? In addition pertaining to this verse the Jerusalem Talmud in tractate Peah 1:1 states that this verse is referring to the toil of Torah (see Footnote 3).If the verse is stressing the importance of practicing all of the mitzvos, how does the Talmud connect this to the lack of toiling in the Torah in the verse’s next phrase? Therefore, the Netziv translates la’asos es divrei haTorah to be a directive for us to make, i.e., “to enhance [or originate] words [halachos] of the Torah.”; and [this obligation] being more specified in Deut. 6:24: “And the Lord commanded us la’asos (produce) all of these chukim20According to the Netziv, chukim in this context refers to applying analysis or analytical rules, such as the thirteen hermeneutical principles of R. Yishmael. This subject is also expanded by the Netziv in Darkhah Shel Torah, Part 3, Chapter Eight. (laws).” One can find many other verses that express [the imperative in applying this methodology], however this approach is unrelated to the plain meaning of the Torah.
אמנם ודאי הרבה דרשות יש בספרא שהעלו התנאים מדיוק המקרא אפי׳ לא היו מקובלים. ומש״ה יש מחלוקת בין התנאים. מר דייק הכי ומר דייק הכי. דרשות כאלו נקראו פשט המקרא לפי הבנת הלשון בדיוק. However, the Tannaim certainly derived much exegesis in the Sifra from meticulous analysis of the verses, even when lacking oral traditions. Thus there can be a halachic disagreement among the Tannaim: one master deriving a law one way, while the other [deriving a different law] in an alternate way from [the same verse]. This form of exegesis, is considered to be pshat haMikra, i.e. understanding the plain meaning of the verses, arrived by their careful understanding of the Torah’s language.21See Tractate Shabbos 63a, “A verse never departs from its plain meaning.” The Netziv’s understanding of “plain meaning” refers to interpretations that align with the context. “Plain meaning” can be misleading as its understanding may entail much study and analysis. The entire Torah (including the plain meeting) is compared to a poem (Deut. 31:19, as interpreted in Sanhedrin 21b), where the text is allusive, layered and symbolic (See Netziv’s Preface to Ha’amek Davar chapter 3).
ולא עפ״י הספרא לבד עמדנו על כל הספר בדיוקן. אלא הרבה דיוקים באו בתלמוד. כמו דאמר רבא בגיטין ספ״ד קרא דייקי דקנין הפירות לאו כקה״ג. ובב״מ דמ״ח קרא דייקי דמשיכה קונה. Not only through the Sifra can we comprehend the inferences [applied] to this entire Book, but many inferences are cited in the Talmud. For example, Rava states at the end of chapter four of Tractate Gittin22Gittin 48a-b. that we infer from the verse [discussing the sale of land when Yovel23Yovel, commonly translated as Jubilee, is the year following the conclusion of a set of seven shemittah cycles. On Yom Kippur of that year, the shofar is sounded, signaling the return of the fields sold in Israel during the previous 49 years to their original owner. Since the field will revert back to the original owner in Yovel, perhaps the buyer is considered as the owner of only the produce and not the land. According to R. Yochanan, the ownership of the right to the produce is tantamount to ownership to the ground to which it is connected, whereas according to Reish Lakish the buyer is not the owner of the land, as the right to the produce is not tantamount to ownership to the ground to which it is connected. is observed] that the ownership of the right to the produce is not tantamount to ownership of the [ground] to which it is connected.24It is written regarding a sale of land while the law of Yovel is in force, “According to the number of crop-years shall he sell it to you” (Lev. 25:15). The straightforward reading of the verse implies that only the crops are sold (for the number of years between the sale and Yovel), not the essence of the land. Rava uses this verse to support the ruling of Reish Lakish that the buyer is not the owner of the land but is the owner only of the produce. And in Tractate Bava Metzia 48a [Rava] infers from the verses [in Lev. 5:21-23] that meshicha25Meshichah is a method used for possessing movables by drawing towards oneself the object to be acquired. In the fourth chapter of Tractate Bava Metzia, there is a disagreement as to how movable property is acquired according to Torah law. According to R. Yochanan, the payment of money is the Biblical means of acquiring movables; whereas according to Reish Lakish, it is meshichah – not the payment of money. effects ownership.26Rava infers that according to Torah law, meshichah effects ownership by comparing the verses in Lev. 5:21-23 which list the cases where sacrificial offerings are offered to atone for dishonesty i.e., one who falsely denies his monetary obligation under oath. In verses 21 and 22, the Torah lists five examples involving dishonest denial, one of which is teshumas yad, a loan. According to Rav Chisda, teshumas yad is referring to a loan where the borrower designated a utensil as collateral for the lender, but that collateral was left in the borrower’s possession. Verses 23 and 24 then state one is to make restitution, by returning to the rightful owner the principal and paying an additional fifth of its value, and to complete his atonement by bringing an asham gezalos, a sin offering for dishonesty. Rava ask why when verse 23 repeats the list of items that are to be returned, it omits teshumas yad. He answers that we thus see that according to Biblical law, meshichah effects ownership and since the lender never performed meshichah on the utensil (as it remained with the borrower), the collateral does not belong to the lender.
וכן הרבה פרשיות עמדנו על דיוקן עפ״י המדרש רבה. כמו פרשה יוה״כ בפ׳ אחרי שנאמרה שלא על הסדר. אכן עפ״י המ״ר שאהרן הי׳ רשאי ליכנס לפנים בכל יום בסדר הפרשה. ואצלו הי׳ הסדר נכון כמש״כ הגר״א ז״ל. וכן פ׳ שחוטי חוץ מבואר ברבה שבמדבר הי׳ אזהרה זו באופן אחר מלדורות. ועפי״ז מובן פי׳ הפ׳ על נכון. ובספרא לא חש התנא אלא להעמיד קבלות שנוגע לדורות שיהיו מרומזין במקרא. ועוד יש הרבה מקראות שלא נתפרש דיוק הלשון בספרא. מחמת שלא הי׳ בהם קבלות ולא העלו בזה המקרא. Likewise, in many parashios we come to discover the significance of the textual nuances through [the study] of the Midrash Rabbah. For instance, the passage of the Yom Kippur [service] found in Acharei Mos27Lev. 16: 1-34. [when describing the sequence of the service] is written in a different order [from what is to be performed by the High Priest].28See Rashi on verse 23, citing Yoma 32a, that Lev. 16:23 which describes the entry of High Priest into the Sanctuary is not the proper place for this verse, but that it should rather be read after verse 25; for this entry followed the performance of his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering, as well as the burning of the sacrificial parts of the bull and the he-goat, described in verses 24 and 25 respectively. [However], certainly, according to the Midrash Rabbah,29Midrash Rabbah, 21:7: “’At all times’ (Lev. 16:2)… [teaches us] that any time he [Aharon] wishes to enter [the Holy of Holies] he may enter, provided only that he enter [by first performing the described service] in the prescribed manner.” Aharon was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies daily [provided he performed the service] in the order stated in the passage.30See Netziv’s Preface to Ha’amek Davar where he writes that in many places the Torah is written in a manner such that it may be read in two different ways. Thus with respect to Aharon’s [daily entry], the chronology [of the service] is correct [as written]; this is explained by the Gra31An acronym for the Gaon [genius] Rabbi Eliyahu [of Vilna]. [in Eliyahu Rabbah].32See Netziv’s Preface to Ha’amek Davar, that when the Torah is written in a manner that it can be read in two different ways, it is considered, p’shuto shel mikra. The order of service as listed in the Torah is exactly as it was followed by Aharon prior to his daily entrance to the Holy of Holies; whereas, reading this parasha in an alternate manner describes the Yom Kippur service. Further, in the passage dealing with shechutei chutz (the prohibition of slaughtering offerings outside the Temple Courtyard),33These laws are discussed in Lev. 17:1-9. it is clear from the Midrash Rabbah that this prohibition34This is in reference to when the children of Israel were traveling in the wilderness; when one was slaughtering meat (i.e. slitting the animal’s throat) for one’s meal, they were required to be offered as shelamim (peace offerings) within the Tabernacle’s courtyard. The Netziv, based on what the Rambam writes in the laws of Shechitah 4:17, explains that both R. Akiva and R. Yishmael (in Tractate Chulin 17a) agree that Leviticus chapter 17 is referring to both consecrated offerings and meat being slaughtered for an ordinary meal. That is to say that while the children of Israel were traveling in the wilderness, whether one was offering a sacrifice or one was slaughtering meat (i.e. slitting the animal’s throat) for one’s meal, they were to be offered as shelamim (peace offerings) within the Tabernacle’s courtyard. According to R. Akiva, this restriction pertaining to meat for an ordinary meal only applied if one wanted to ritually slaughter the animal; however one was allowed to eat the meat outside of the courtyard if he stabbed the animal instead. According to R. Akiva, the Israelites were allowed to eat meat from stabbed animals, until they entered the Land of Israel. The Torah forbade eating ritually slaughtered meat outside of the courtyard to distance their association with idol worship; idolaters would slit the throat of the animal – not stab it – to obtain an abundance of blood for their offerings. Whereas according to R. Yishmael, it was forbidden in the wilderness to eat any meat for one’s personal meal, unless it was offered as a shelamim sacrifice in the Courtyard. According to R. Yishmael, meat from a stabbed animal was never allowed even when the Israelites were in the wilderness. See Nachmanides ad loc. for an alternate explanation of the disagreement between R. Akiva and R. Yishmael. is applied differently in the wilderness than for future generations.35Devarim Rabbah 4:6 states, “Many things [first] stated by the Holy One blessed be He [to be kept] were later reversed and permitted… For the Holy One blessed be He required that [when] slaughtering meat for eating [in the wilderness, it should only be done so] if it was brought [as a sacrifice] at the gate of the Tent of Meeting. How is this known? As the Torah states, ‘And [if a person] does not bring it to the Tent of Meeting to present it to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people,’ (Lev. 17:9). And what is written there? ‘And [if he] does not bring it to the Tent of Meeting to be offered as a sacrifice to the Lord before His sanctuary, it shall be considered as blood shed for that man, he has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from his people.’ (Lev. 17:4). Whereas, here [in Deut.], He reversed this law and allowed them [to slaughter meat for one’s personal meal in any location one desires]. As the Torah states, ‘However, in all of your soul’s desire you may slaughter and eat meat, according to the blessing of the Lord your God, will have given you in all your cities, the contaminated one and the pure one may eat it, like the deer and like the hart’ (Deut. 12:15). And it is known [that it is discussing slaughtering meat for one’s personal meal] as the Torah states, ‘If the place where the Lord your God will choose to place His name will be far from you, you may slaughter from your cattle and your flocks that the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat it in your cities according to your heart’s entire desire’ (Deut. 12:20).” And by using this interpretation, the [seeming textual oddities of the] passage can be properly understood36By understanding how this parasha includes slaughtering animals for meat for an ordinary meal in the wilderness, we can understand the inexact wording, i.e. the placement of the word, osam (them) in the ending phrase of Lev. 17:5: “…and slaughter peace offerings to the Lord, (osam) them” - the phrase should be written as, “…and slaughter (osam) them as peace offerings to the Lord.” (Translator’s note: The English translations of this verse address this textual difficulty by not translating the verse as it is written but as the latter). However, if osam is translated as “with them,” the phrase is then translated as “and slaughter peace offerings to the Lord with them.” The verse is thus stating that together with peace Offerings, “they,” – meat slaughtered for the purpose of being devoured for pleasure – may be offered. The purpose of requiring in the wilderness that the slaughtering for a personal meal be performed in the Court of the Tabernacle, was to discourage the Children of Israel from offering sacrifices to the demons, as stated ad loc. in verse 7, “And they shall no longer slaughter their sacrifices to the satyrs after which they stray.” However, once they entered the Land of Israel, Peace Offerings could only be offered for the sole purpose of the Almighty and no longer be intermingled with one’s personal benefit. Thus inexact wording is employed here by Scripture to enable the verse be read in both the context of holy sacrifices and the slaughtering of animals for a personal meal.; whereas the Tanna of the [baraisa cited in the] Sifra is only concerned in connecting the traditions to the Scriptural allusions applicable to the subsequent generations.37The Sifra’s focus being related to the laws applicable to the future generations, it only discusses the derivations that apply to holy sacrifices. As Rashi comments to verse 17:3, “Scripture is speaking of [slaughtering] holy sacrifices [and not of slaughtering ordinary animals], for Scripture continues (verse 4), ‘to offer up as a sacrifice’ – (Sifra 17:91).” Additionally, there are many other verses for which the Scriptural allusions have not been explained by the Sifra, as [its authors] lacked a tradition and thus did not address the nuances.
ואנחנו בעניותנו ובעזר ה׳ החונן ית׳ עמדנו על דיוק כמה מקראות. לא להעלות איזה חידוש מעצמנו ח"ו. אלא שעפ״י הדיוק אנו עומדים על הרבה קבלות והלכות שבא בגמרא. כמו שהראינו בפ׳ בחקתי דיוק הלכה דרבא שהקדש מפקיע מידי שעבוד. ובזה נתבאר יותר אור הלכה זו. ועוד הרבה יש בזה הספר. וכבר הראינו בחיבורנו הע״ש בסי׳ ס״ז ובסי׳ ק״ג. שרבינו בעל השאלתות הראה לדעת הלכות שבגמ׳ בדיוק המקרא אע״ג שלא נזכר בתלמוד. ומזה נתבררה אותה ההלכה יותר. Humbly and with the assistance of the Divine Dispenser of wisdom, we [too] have derived [the source of various halachos] by examining the Scriptural nuances. Heaven forbid, would we be deriving original interpretations38The Netziv is referring to originating new laws based on these derivations; rather by examining the Scriptural nuances, we have been able to [connect the verses to] many traditions and laws that have been cited in the Gemorah. For example, by applying examination to the verses in the Torah reading of B’Chukosai, we have shown [the source of the halacha stated] by Rava that hekdesh mafkia midei shibud, “consecration cancels the lien of a creditor,”39 If a borrower designates his property (real or moveable) for collection in case he is unable to pay his obligation (called apotiki), and then consequently consecrates his property to the Temple or as a sacrifice, the lender’s lien is dissolved. See Tractates Yevamos 46a, 66b, Kesuvos 59b, Gittin 40b and Bava Kamma 89b. and thus this halacha 40The Netziv, in Ha’amek Davar to Lev. 27:15, describes the scriptural source for Rava in the following manner: “Lev., Chapter 27 describes how when one redeems items consecrated to the Temple, he is to pay the valuation money (i.e. the principle) plus a fifth. When stating the redemption of houses in verse 15 and fields in verse 19, the one performing the redemption is described as the one ‘who consecrated it’: whereas pertaining to the redemption of animals described in verse 13, there is no mention of ‘who consecrated it, but it merely states ’if he redeems it.’ Rava in Bava Metzia 54b infers from ‘who consecrated it’ stated about the redemption of houses, that the one who consecrated the house in the first place adds a fifth; however if one redeems an item that he had used to redeem something else he does not add a fifth.” The Netziv asks why it is also necessary to state in verse 19 that the field is redeemed by “who consecrated it,” as it is obvious that the one who redeems it is the one who consecrated it, i.e. the original owner? Further why is the phrase “who consecrated it” not stated also in the verse discussing the redemption of animals? The Netziv answers that it is from these words that Rava infers that “consecration cancels the lien of a creditor.” It is only the one who sanctified it who is the subject of the verse – not anyone else who may have a lien on the field such as a lender. The fact that redemption is effective demonstrates that any existing liens on the property were cancelled by the owner’s sanctification. It was not necessary to state about the redemption of animals, “who sanctified it” – as it is self-understood that the verse would not need to exclude the case of a lender; as animals are not usually used as apotiki , since they can be hidden or smuggled away (see Rashi in Tractate Bava Metzia 67b). becomes greatly illuminated.41This understanding of the scriptural source, i.e. the redemption of consecrated fields, “supports the Rambam’s opinion in Hilchos Arachin 7:14, that the law that consecration cancels the lien of a creditor,” applies to any form of consecration, unlike the opinion of Rashi and Tosafos that the lien of the creditor is only cancelled with consecration of an animal for a sacrifice. There are many more [inferences found] in this Book [of Leviticus]. We have already shown in our compilation Ha’amek She’elah in siman 6742Tractate Megillah 4a states that according to R. Yehoshua ben Levi, one is obligated to read the Megillah in the evening and to repeat it in the day, as it is written in Ps. 22:3: “My God, I cry in the daytime, but You have not answered, and at night and am not silent.” R. Chelbo stated the ruling of R. Yehoshua b. Levi based on the verse, “So that Your glory be sung to You [i.e. by day] and not be silent [i.e. by night]. O Lord, my God, I will give praise to You forever” (Ps. 30: 13). When citing this halacha, the She’iltos only quotes the latter verse and not the former. The Netziv explains that the She’iltos is of the opinion that according to R. Yehoshua, the Megillah may be read in the evening beginning with plag hamincha, 1¼ halachic hours before sunset. The Netziv states a rule that when a verse states “lailah,” night, in reference to the performance of a mitzvah, the mitzvah may only be performed at night beginning with tzeis hakochavim, the appearance of three stars. The She’iltos, by not referencing the verse from Ps. 22:3 which states “night,” is stressing that the time for reading the Megillah begins with plag hamincha, even before the appearance of three stars. See Netziv ad loc., where he explains how the She’iltos interprets Ps. 22:3 in the following manner: “’My God, I cry in the daytime… even though at night I am not silent.’ Even if I delay the reading of the Megillah to the night, i.e. tzeis hakochavim, which is considered nighttime for every mitzvah, I still need to read the Megillah again by day.” and 10343When listing the seven relatives for which a Kohen may defile himself, Lev. 21:1-3 states, ”Let none [of you] defile himself for a dead person among his people, except for his she’ar who is close to him… he shall defile himself.” The Sifra (1:4) translates “his she’ar” as “his wife” based on Lev. 18:12, “The nakedness of your father’s sister you shall not uncover, she is your father’s she’ar.” The Netziv explains that the Sifra accords with R. Elazar, cited in Tractate Kesuvos 47b, that she’ar means conjugal relations and that she’ar is associated with “wife” – as she is the one who is designated for such a relationship. The Sifra translates Lev. 18:12 as, “The nakedness of your father’s sister you shall not uncover, she is like your father’s conjugal relations” – meaning due to the close relationship between your father and his sister, if one has relations with his aunt, it is considered as if he is having conjugal relations with his father. However, the She’ltos writes that she’ar means wife based on Ex. 21:10: “He shall not diminish her she’ar, her clothing.” The Netziv explains that the She’iltos follows the opinion of R. Eliezer ben Yaakov in Kesubos ad loc., that she’ar means “flesh,” and expounds Ex. 21:10 as, “He shall not diminish according to her flesh (bodily state), her clothing, (or clothing) needed for the particular season of the year.” Since she’ar means flesh, we thus know that “his she’ar who is close to him,” stated in Lev. 18:21 is referring to the Kohen’s wife, who is his flesh, similar to how Gen 2:24 describes Adam and Eve as “becoming one flesh.” Thus according to the She’iltos, Ex. 21:10 is not including a Biblical requirement for the husband to provide his wife with conjugal relations. that our master the Sheiltos attributes many halachos in the Gemorah to Scriptural inferences not stated in the Talmud; and with the noting of these Scriptural inferences, the halacha becomes further clarified.
וכבר אמרו בב״ר פ׳ ג׳ וירא אלהים את האור כי טוב. כנגד ס' ויקרא שהוא מלא הלכות רבות. It has been stated in Bereishis Rabbah 3: “And God saw that the Light was good,” refers to the Book of Leviticus which is filled with numerous laws.
ומשמעו כמו שטוב לעינים לראות את השמש. מקור האור המאיר. שבזה נהנה מן האור יותר. כך טוב לראות בס׳ ויקרא מקור מוצא הלכות רבות שבתלמוד. שבזה עומדים על אור ההלכות ביותר. The apparent understanding of this Midrash is just as it is beneficial to the eyes [i.e. for the one perceiving the light] to see the sun (i.e. the source of the light), and thus one appreciates the light even more; such is it beneficial to perceive in the Book of Leviticus, the source of the numerous laws found in the Talmud. [For by knowing the source of the laws] one understands the light of the laws even more.44The Torah’s statement, “And God saw that the light was good” (Gen.1:4), means that God had created man with an intellect whose capability for comprehension is greatly enhanced when he actually sees or experiences that which he is studying. Similarly, when the sources of the Torah laws are “seen” – in other words, understood – his understanding of these concepts is greatly enhanced. See Ha’amek Davar on Gen. 1:4.
ועוד יש הרבה דיוקי מקראות שלא עמדנו עליו ולא העלינו ביאורה. ואין בידינו המלאכה לגומרה. והמקום ית׳ ברחמיו יעמידנו על קרן אורה. ויעזרנו להגביר חיילים בתורה. אמן: There yet remain many other inferences of the verses that remain to be revealed and explained, but we lack the opportunity to complete this task. May the Omnipresent, may He be blessed in His Mercy, reveal to us the essence of its light, and assist us in strengthening the [future] soldiers of Torah, [in completing this task], Amen!