Thursday, June 03, 2004

Megalgalin Zechus al yadei Zakai (Rashi, Bamidbar, 9,7)

Recently, certain members of this blog participated in an illicit (read “off-line”) conversation which brushed on the subject of Hashgacha Klalit vs. Hashgacha Pratit.

I noticed a Rash in this weeks sedra which is relevant to this general discussion. There were sound reasons for keeping that discussion off the web, but I see no good reason not to blog this, so here goes-

The Rashi is commenting on the Parsha of Pesach Sheini. For those who don’t remember, Pesach Sheini is introduced in the Torah in a slightly peculiar fashion. Instead of the Torah simply stating the law, we are told that individuals who were unable to participate in the Karban Pesach-Midbar, because they were Tamei, approached Moshe on Pesach to advocate a process by which their participation could be permitted. Moshe responded that he would check with The Boss. The Parsha of Pesach Sheini follows.

There are a number of subjects addressed in the Rashi I have cited. The one that interested me was Rashi’s statement that “It would have been fit for the subject of Pesach Sheini to have been stated through Moshe, but “Megalgalin Zechus al yadie Zakai.” I have not translated this last line because I am not certain exactly what it means. Disclaimer: there are a number of things about Rashi’s comment that I don’t understand, but I have remained focused here on the subject matter at hand.

Rashi seems to be bothered by the fact that the Parsha of Pesach Sheini needed this special introduction. It seems as if Rashi is wondering, did Moshe do something which warranted losing the Zechus of having the Parsha stated through him? His answer seems to be, no. Moshe did not do anything to warrant losing the zechus, rather- “Megalgalin Zechus al yadie Zakai.”

On the surface Rashi’s explanation seems to be satisfactory. Moshe didn’t lose the zechus, the Tamei guys just deserved some sort of Recognition, and this how G-d through them a bone, because HKBH is not “mepakeach schar kol beria”(See pasachim, Perek Kol Shaah “lekelev tashlichun Osso”).

But don’t we believe that “Hatzur Taamim Poalo?” Is it reasonable to suggest that Moshe Rabbeinu lost a Zechus without having merited losing the zechus? Even under a Hashgacha Klalit approach wouldn’t a Moses Rabbeinu merit Dikduk K’chut hasaira?

I have a number of thoughts on the matter- but I think I’ll shut up now and listen to what you guys have to say?