For the week ending 5 March 2011 / 28 Adar I 5771

Zevachim 114 - 120

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Animals disqualified for sacrifice in Beit Hamikdash which are offered outside of it
  • The asham sacrifice of the nazir and the metzora
  • Sacrificial service before establishment of the Mishkan Sanctuary
  • The sacred silence of Aharon
  • The animals which found refuge from the great Deluge and which were offered as sacrifices
  • The reverberations of Torah given at Sinai
  • The sacrifices of non-Jews
  • The camps in the wilderness and their counterparts in Yerushalayim
  • Which sacrifices were offered on the bamah altar outside the Mishkan
  • What was heard by Yitro and Rachav
  • The wanderings of the Mishkan
  • Differences between the Mishkan and the major and minor bamah

Speech and Silence

  • Zevachim 115b

"A time to speak and a time to be silent." (Kohelet 3:4)

Our Sages explain this profound observation of King Shlomo as a reference to the reward one can sometimes receive for speaking and sometimes for remaining silent.

The silence which earned a reward was that of Aharon who silently accepted the tragic death of his two sons. When Moshe comforted his brother that the sudden death of his son served as a sanctification of G-d's Name, Aharon responded with silent acquiescence. The midrash cited by Rashi states that his reward was that the very next command given by G-d was only to Aharon (Vayikra 10:8) and not to Moshe.

While the time to remain silent is explicitly mentioned in our gemara, we turn to Rashi in Kohelet for an explanation of when there is a time to speak. Three examples are listed there: The song of Moshe and the Children of Israel at the splitting of the sea, the song of the Prophetess Devorah after the victory over the Canaanites, and the call of the Prophet Hoshea to return to G-d and "take words with you".

The reward for such speech is self-evident and needs no elaboration.

What the Sages Say

"What did Yitro hear that motivated him to join the Jewish People? The splitting of the sea."

  • Rabbi Elazar ben Yaakov - Zevachim 116a

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