Koarch 5778


ויקח קרח… (במדבר טז:א)

And Korach took… (Bamidbar 16:1)

Shalom, “peace” as it is often perceived, is seemingly the absence of conflict. The more two beings are alike, the greater the likelihood that Shalom will find its place. An examination of Hashem’s world, as He created and sustains it, leads directly to the appreciation of the extent to which conflict actually exists. In fact, the entire Creation is one big contradiction that truly exists only through constant Shalom.
The Heavens are a mixture of fire and water. Land should really be flooded by the vast waters that surround it. Man is flesh and blood, a being created from the physical world, tied to a Neshama, a lofty spiritual essence. Light and darkness, heat and cold. All coexist, and only through their coexistence can there be a world.
Among man himself there are no two alike. The Gemara (Brachos 58a) says, “One who sees myriads of Jews (600,000) makes a Bracha, ‘Baruch Chacham Harazim,’ ‘Blessed is the one who understands their secrets,’ for their minds think differently from each other and their appearance is different from each other.” Rav Gedalya Schorr explains that this is specifically molded to the unique purpose each individual has. People by definition are created to be different from each other.
This fact demonstrates that Shalom is not found in a situation where all things are equal. On the contrary, only where there is difference and individuality can true Shalom be revealed.
Every morning a Jew says עשה שלום ובורא את הכל. Hashem makes Shalom in the Briah, Creation, and through this He creates all. Only by making Shalom between all the varying elements can there be a world.
Shalom is the whole that is comprised of many different parts fusing together. A symphony is a cacophony of many different types of sounds – notes, keys, and instruments – and it is this blend that produces true music. Imagine an orchestra that only played one instrument and every musician played the exact same way. It would not be music!
The moon complained that it could not exist together with the sun. But there was no need for two luminaries. Hashem placed the moon into the night. The moon does not dominate the night, nor does the night swallow up the light of the moon. If the moon were in the daylight of the sun, it would be completely useless. Hashem taught the moon that only through Shalom, by coexisting, does it have a place, a purpose.
Korach sought to bring Machlokes, conflict, into the very core of Klal Yisrael. He claimed”כי כל העדה כלם קדושים” (שם ג), “The entire Nation is holy” (Bamidbar 16:3). “Everybody is Kadosh. We are all equal. We don’t need Moshe Rabbeinu to lead us.”
While it may be true that everyone is Kadosh, Klal Yisrael is made up of 600,000 individuals, all with one common purpose. Moshe Rabbeinu was the leader who could fuse all the different pieces into one beautiful Nation. Korach implied that we are at peace, we are all equal. This actually broke the peace that reigned – true Shalom that allowed for each person to reach his personal perfection, and also perfection as a whole. His punishment was exactly measured. He was swallowed up by the earth, for his belief was undermining the entire Creation.
Hashem is the central point that connects the myriad of different pieces. When all of Creation looks to serve Him, to bring glory to His name, then there is harmony and the world is a place of Shalom. Thus, Creation itself proclaims: Hashem is G-d!


The Mishna (Terumos 1:6) teaches that a mute ideally should not separate Terumah. The Talmud Yerushalmi explains that the problem here lies with the Bracha. Since this Mitzvah requires a Bracha, it should ideally be performed by someone who can say the Bracha. Similarly, an earlier Mishna (1:1) teaches that a deaf person ideally should not separate Terumah. The Rishonim explain that this too is because of the Bracha, as a Bracha needs to be heard by the one uttering it.
The Rosh in Chullin (1:3) applies this ruling to Hilchos Shechita and states that a deaf person should preferably not do Shechita. The problem is that the Rosh also appears to Pasken that a mute can do Shechita Lechatchila.
The Beis Yosef (Y.D. 1) points out a seeming contradiction. If a deaf person is not permitted to do Shechita based on his status regarding Terumah, shouldn’t that reference also preclude a mute from doing Shechita Lechatchila? The Beis Yosef concludes that the Rosh must hold that a mute is only problematic when there is no one available to be Motzei him with the Bracha. Since his problem lies in his inability to speak, why would this not be resolved if he would hear the Bracha from someone else?
What about the Mishna that says that a mute should preferably not take Terumah? The Beis Yosef waives this question, asserting that the way of the Mishna is to state the Halacha as is, without getting involved in how to resolve the issue. Hence, the Mishna states plainly that a mute ought not separate Terumah, without mentioning that he can be Yotzei with someone else. These Halachos of the Rosh, namely, that a deaf person should not Shecht Lechatchila but a mute may, providing that he is Yotzei the Bracha from someone else, are cited in Tur and subsequently in Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 1, 6-7).
The Taz is less than pleased with the idea that the Mishna omits such an easy fix. He points out that the adjacent case in the Mishna, which states that a person who is insufficiently clothed to make a Bracha may not separate Terumah, is a definite prohibition with no resolution. The Taz therefore concludes that regarding Terumah, there is no fix for a mute. It must be, he continues, that the Rosh saw a difference between Terumah and Shechita regarding being Motzei a mute.
The Taz explains this reasoning as follows. There is a rule in Birchas HaMitzvos that “Af Al Pi Sheyatza Motzei,” even when one has already fulfilled his own Mitzvah, he may still utter that Bracha for the express purpose of being Motzei someone else. This rule is based upon the concept of Arvus, each Jew’s responsibility for all others’ Mitzvos. Any Mitzvah that any Jew must do can justify his fellow Jew uttering a Bracha. The Taz follows this reasoning to contend that one could only do so for a Mitzvah that each Jew must do himself, such as Matzo. Terumah, he rules, would be an exception, because only one person need take that Terumah. There is no justification for splitting the Mitzvah and the Bracha between two people, since the Mitzvah would be done just as well if the Bracha-maker did it himself. It is for this reason that the Mishna states that a mute is not optimal for Terumah separation, without offering any solution.
What about Shechita then? Why would it be perfectly fine for a mute to be Yotzei his Bracha with someone else? The Taz answers that the Bracha on Shechita is different. Shechita is not a Mitzvah. It is only the Halachic way to resolve the issue of Neveila. The Bracha, he offers, is like a praise Bracha on the concept of Issur Neveila and Shechita. Therefore, no one is getting a Mitzvah anyway, so it makes no difference if the one doing the action is separate from the Mevareich.
The Pri Chodosh disagrees and argues that both Shechita and Terumah are the same in that they are not themselves actual Mitzvos. They must be done first only to render the respective food free from Issur. He therefore rules that neither Bracha could be made by someone else.
Rav Ahron Kotler points out that there is an elementary Machlokes regarding taking Terumah from Tevel. The Taz sees this as a Mitzvah incumbent upon that owner, whereas the Pri Chodosh considers it as simply a workaround for the Issur Tevel, just like Shechita.