Written by Y Alt, 20/5/2019

 יט' אייר תשע"ט                                                                            בחקתי 

 May 24, 2019                                                 6th year, edition 283

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             The Purpose

The Torah tells us the different dates of the Yomim Tovim- Pesach is on the 15th of Nissan,[1] Succos is on the 15th of Tishrei[2] and so on. So, why when it comes to Shavuos does it not give a precise date, as it just says that it is on the 50th day?[3]

 

Hashem chose us as a nation as we say אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים; Who selected us from all peoples. Through what were we chosen? Through the 210 years in Mitzrayim as is alluded to inבחר  as it has a Gematria of 210.[4] Why were we taken out? For the Torah as the Bracha continues ונתן לנו את תורתו; and gave us His Torah. 

 

The purpose of something can be shown by its ending as we say סוף מעשה במחשבה תחלה;[5] the last action is first in thought. For example, man was created last since the purpose of creation was man. Shabbos is the last day of the week and that is the purpose of the week. Matan Torah which is in Parshas Yisro is followed by Mishpatim- the judgments of the Torah. What are the first letters of the titles of these Parshiyos?י  and מ-יתרו  and משפטים. These are the same initials asיציאת מצרים[6]  because the purpose of leaving Mitzrayim was to get the Torah. This is just as it says שלח את עמי ויעבדני; send out my nation so that they will serve me.[7]

 

The month of Nissan is referred to asהחדש אשר ישועות בו מקיפות;[8] the month surrounded by salvations as we were taken out of Mitzrayim in Nissan with the splitting of the sea, the מן…. The Chidushai Harim offers an alternative explanation: Since the wordמקיפות  also means credit- as in שניהן רוצין בהקפה; they both prefer credit-[9] it can be understood that the month of Nissan is when we were taken out on credit- on condition to get the Torah.[10]

 

We were taken out of Mitzrayimלמען תעבדון את האלה-ים על ההר הזה; to serve Hashem on this mountain- Sinai, Torah.[11]תעבדון  is a contraction of תעבדו נ- to serve Hashem on the 50th day (נ has a Gematria of 50), Shavuos,[12] since the purpose of Yetzias Mitzrayim is Matan Torah.[13] Indeed, the numerical value of יציאת מצרים is 891, the same as נעשה ונשמע![14] In fact, Pesach is called Shavuos in הפסח חג שבעות.[15]

 

The Ramban[16] says that Pesach and Shavuos are connected through the Sefira where the Sefira is like a Chol Hamoed. These two are connected because the reason we were taken out of Mitzrayim, (Pesach) was to get the Torah (Shavuos).

 

Shavuos not having a date alludes to that it is contingent on Pesach as we were taken out of Mitzrayim (Pesach) in order to get the Torah (Shavuos).[17] We should all merit to use our freedom from physical bondage for Torah.


[1] Vayikra 23:6

[2] Vayikra 23:34

[3] Vayikra 23:16

[4] It is said from the Chida that because of the pain Avraham and Sarah endured as a result of Sarah being barren, the 400 years in Mitzrayim were minimized  to 210. This is because Avraham was 100 and Sarah 90 when Yitzchok was born. 100 and 90 is 190, the number of years deducted from 400, leaving us with a total of 210 years in Mitzrayim.

[5] In Lecha Dodi

[6] These two letters comprise the word ים, referring to the ים סוף, since this is how we were taken out of Mitzrayim. Additionally, these two letters represent י' מכות; the ten Makkos.

[7] As in Shemos 7:16. Hashem tells Avraham ...דן אנכי ואחרי כן יצאו ברכש גדול; the nation they will serve I will judge and afterwards they will leave with great wealth (Breishis 15:14). Such a statement- רכש גדול- is dependent on who is talking. If a pauper is the one saying this, then רכוש גדול can mean 10 dollars. By a wealthy man, it can mean 1,000,000 dollars. Because Hashem is the one saying this, it must be that which is spiritual. Consequently, it can be understood that after Pesach- ואחרי כן- which is Shavuos, you will go out with a רכוש גדול- the Torah, since that is the purpose of Pesach! Indeed, there are many Pesukim that speak of Torah as greater than material wealth. Examples areטוב לי תורת פיך מאלפי זהב וכסף; the Torah of your mouth is better for me than thousands in gold and silver (Tehillim 119:72) and הנחמדים מזהב ומפז רב; they are more desirable than gold, even much fine gold… (Tehillim 19:11.)

[8] Mussaf to Parshas HaChodesh

[9] Shavuos 45a. The phrase וירא ישראל את מצרים מת (Shemos 14:30) can be understood that we were saved from Mitzrayim in order to get to מת- מתן תורה.

[10] Mayana Shel Torah Shemos 3:12. With this, we can graspאנכי ה' אלה-יך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים; I am Hashem who took you out of Mitzrayim (Shemos 20:2) as I took you out of Mitzrayim because of אנכי ה' אלה-יך, the Torah.

[11] Shemos 3:12. See the Raan in the end of Pesachim, Chinuch in Mitzva 306.

[12] מצה is called לחם עוני because לחם שעונין עליו דברים הרבה; the bread that many words are spoken about- Hallel, the Haggada (Pesachim 36a).  דברים הרבה can also refer to Torah as in כל העוסק בתורה לשמה זוכה לדברים הרבה  (Avos 6:1).

[13] The Sefas Emes (Shavuos תרמה, s.v. כתיב) says with Har Sinai, Yetzias Mitzrayim was complete.

[14] In regard to the Luchos (Torah), it says ...חרות על הלחת; the Luchos are Hashem’s handiwork and the script was Hashem’s script engraved (חרות) on the Luchos (Shemos 32:16). חרות can also be read as חרות; freedom )see Avos 6:2). So, Shavuos- Torah- is the outcome of Pesach, the time of זמן חרותנו, freedom.

[15] Yechezkal 45:21. In a similar vein, the Gemara says (Temura 18b) כל היכי דקתני פסח תני עצרת- Pesach can be referring to Shavuos (Atzeres).

[16] Vayikra 23:36

[17] One reason for eating an egg at the Seder is because there are two hatchings.  First it gives birth to an egg followed by the egg hatching to a chick. This is unlike other animals as a camel gives birth to camels, elephants to elephants and so forth. The egg on Seder night represents the two births of our nation- being taken out of Mitzrayim followed by the second birth- Matan Torah. It therefore is no wonder that it states יום הולדת twice (Yechezkel 16:4-5. In the name of the Izbita, מי השלוח.). 

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.


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Discussions - Answers and Comments (1)
benolamhaba123 (21/5/2019)
Beautiful Dvar Torah.

Great preparation for Shavuos