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Parshat Shemini, 2nd Portion Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:17-9:23

Text

Chapter 9

17.
And he brought forward the meal offering, filled his palm with it, and caused it to [go up in] smoke on the altar, in addition to the morning burnt offering.
18. And he slaughtered the ox and the ram, the people’s peace offering, and Aaron’s sons presented the blood to him, and he dashed it on the altar, around,
19.
and [they also presented] the fats from the ox and from the ram: the tail, the [fatty] covering, the kidneys and the diaphragm with the liver.
20.
And they placed the fats on top of the breasts, and he caused the fats to [go up in] smoke on the altar. 21. And Aaron had [already] waved the breasts and
the right thigh as a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses had commanded.
22.
And Aaron lifted up his hands towards the people and blessed them. He then descended from preparing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace
offering.
23.
And Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting. Then they came out and blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.

Commentary

17. and he filled his palm. I.e., the ???????? [i.e., the “fistful,” namely, scooping out three fingers-full of the meal offering]. — [Torath Kohanim 9:11]
in addition to the morning burnt offering. All these sacrifices [Aaron] offered up [only] after [he had offered up the morning] continual burnt offering.
19. and the [fatty] covering. [I.e.,] the fat that covers the innards.
20. And they placed the [sacrificial] fats on top of the breasts. After the waving, the kohen who performed the waving gives [the portions] to another kohen
to make them go up in smoke. The result is that [the portions] that were on the top are now on the bottom [due to the kohen’s inverting the portions to
place them into the receiving hands of the next kohen. See Rashi on Lev. 7:30 for further explanation]. — [Men. 62a]
22. and blessed them. with the blessing of the kohanim [see Num. 6:2227]: ????????? -“May the Lord bless you”… ????? -“May the Lord make His face shine”…
???????? -“May the Lord lift His face….”- [Torath Kohanim 10:22] He then descended. from the altar.
23. And Moses and Aaron went into [the Tent of Meeting]. Why did they enter [the Tent of Meeting]? In the section of the investitures, I found a baraitha
added to our version of Torath Kohanim [which states the following]: Why did Moses enter with Aaron? To teach him about the procedure of [burning] the
incense. Or did he perhaps enter only for another purpose? I can make a deduction: Descending [from the altar (verse 22)] and entering [the Tent of Meeting
(this verse) both] required blessing [the people]. Just as descending [from the altar] is related to the service, so is entering [the Tent of Meeting]
related to the service. Hence, you learn from here why Moses entered with Aaron, [namely] to teach him about the procedure of [burning] the incense [which
is related to the service]. Another explanation [of why Moses entered with Aaron is]: When Aaron saw that all the sacrifices had been offered and all the
procedures had been performed, and yet the Shechinah had not descended for Israel, he was distressed. He said, “I know that the Holy One, blessed is He,
is angry with me, and on my account the Shechinah has not descended for Israel.” So he said to Moses, “My brother Moses, is this what you have done to
me, that I have entered and been put to shame?” At once, Moses entered [the Tent of Meeting] with him, and they prayed for mercy. Then the Shechinah came
down for Israel. — [Torath Kohanim 9:16] Then they came out and blessed the people. They said: “May the pleasantness of the Lord, our God, be upon us (Ps.
90:17); May it be God’s will that the Shechinah rest in the work of your hands.” [And why did they choose this particular blessing?] Because throughout
all seven days of the investitures, when Moses erected the Mishkan, performed the service in it, and then dismantled it daily, the Shechinah did not rest
in it. The Israelites were humiliated, and they said to Moses, “Moses, our teacher, all the efforts we have taken were so that the Shechinah should dwell
among us, so that we would know that we have been forgiven for the sin of the [golden] calf!” Therefore, Moses answered them (verse 6), “This is the thing
the Lord has commanded; do [it], and the glory of the Lord will appear to you. My brother Aaron is more worthy and important than I, insofar as through
his offerings and his service the Shechinah will dwell among you, and you will know that the Omnipresent has chosen him.”


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