Parshas Ki Sovo

And it will be when you come into the land that Hashem, your Lord, gives you as an inheritence….You should take from the first of all fruit of the ground… and you should put it in a basket and go the place that Hashem, your Lord, will choose to have His name dwell there. (ax Devarim 26/2)

Rashi explains: From the first fruit- But not all first fruits, because you are not obligated to bring bikkurim from all types of fruits, only from the seven species. (We learn this from a gezierah shava– comparison based on two similar words in two pessukim) The word ” eretz” is written in our possuk and the word “eretz” is written when the Torah speaks of the seven species. (Therefore,) just like Eretz Yisroel is blessed with seven species so too there is only an obligation to bring bikkurim from the seven species.

Zera Shimshon asks in the name of the Mizrachi that if we learn from the gezeirah shava of “eretz” “eretz” that we bring bikkurim only from the seven species, then why did the Torah write the word FROM in the phrase “from the land” to learn the same halacha?

He asks a second question. This is not the only place in chumash where Chazal learn a halacha from the word “FROM”. When the Torah speaks of the mitzva to separate challah from dough it says (Bamidbar 15/21), “From the first of your dough…”. From that word “from”, however Chazal derive a different halacha: “from the first of your dough – but not your whole dough”. Meaning one can not make the whole dough challah but he must leave at least a small amount of dough for the owner to eat.

Zera Shimshon asks, why didn’t Chazal also learn concerning bikkurim, “from the first fruit but not all of your fruits” to prohibit making the whole field bikkurim?

He answers the first question by first answering the second question.

He points out that there is a difference between the pessukim that speak of bikkurim and the pessukim that speaks of challah. On the one hand they are similar in that in both places it is written “from” which implies to exclude something; either different species or “from… and not the whole”. However on the other hand they are different in that in the pessukim speaking of bikkurim it also says “all”, “from ALL your fruit”, which implies to include something, seemingly either all species or “even the whole”.

He also posits that the word “from” really implies “from the first fruit” and not the whole field bikkurim, like we learnt concerning challah.

Therefore, concerning bikkurim it isn’t possible to learn from the word “all”, all species, because of the gezara shava that bikkurim only applies to the seven species. Therefore we must conclude, by process of elimination, that it teaches that one can make a whole field bikkurim. After we learn that we can make the whole field bikkurim obviously we can’t learn from that the word “FROM” that you can’t (like we learnt concerning the mitzvah of separating challah).

According to this we can now understand why it is not enough for the Torah to just write “From all of your first fruits” without the gezeirah shava. If that would have been the case then we would have explained it like we did concerning Challah.

However it still has to be answered why isn’t it enough to just write the gezeirah shava without “from”.

The answer to this is that it teaches us that even the fruit that is brought with the bikkurim to adorn them also has to be of the seven species and not some other fruits.
To have new D’vrei Torah sent directly to your inbox fill in boxes below:

Parshas Shoftim

And you should to do him as he planned to do to his brother (Devorim 19/19).

This possuk speaks about the punishment of two witnesses who testified against a certain person that he deserves the death penalty. After that, two other witnesses come before Bais Din and testify that the first set of witnesses are invalid because at the time of the event on which they testified, they were in a different place and that it is impossible that they witnessed that event. (aid zomaim)

Our possuk teaches that the punishment for such a case is that the first set of witnesses are put to death in the same way that they planned that the defendant would be put to death.

Rashi explains that these witnesses are put to death only if Bais Din has not yet put the defendant to death. However if the second set of witnesses didn’t come to Bais Din until after the defendant is killed they are exempt from being killed.

He learns this halacha from the wording of the possuk, “as he planned” which implies, “as he planned and not as he did”.

Zera Shishmon asks (in the name the sefer Liviyas Chain) that although this din, that if the defendant is killed the aidim zomamiem are not killed, is mentioned in Chazal the Mishne derives it from a different possuk. It is written in the Mishna (Mesechta Makkos 5a) “…. the Tzaddukim contended that the zomamim were put to death only after the accussed was put to death, like it is written in Chumash, “a soul for soul”. The Chachamim said back to them, It says in Chumash you shall do to him what he planned to do his BROTHER. The words “his brother clearly implies that his brother is still alive (because after his is dead he is not his brother anymore!).”

How can we reconcile Rashi who derives it from the words “And you should to do him as he planned to do…” and not as he did, with the Mishne that derives this din from the word “his brother” which implies that his brother is still living?

Zera Shimshon answers that in truth the Tanna of the Mishne holds like Rashi that we learn it from the words “as he planned….” and not from the words “his brother”. (This has to be the case, since we find that the Gemorro in Sanhedrin learns a different din from the words “his brother”.)

The Tanna only wrote that we learn it from the words “his brother” to counter-argue the Tzaddukim who hold that we kill the witnesses ONLY if Bais Din killed the defendant. Since the Tanna knew that the Tzaddukim don’t agree with the din that our Gemorra learns from “his brother” therefore he reasoned that in their minds the words “his brother” are extra. He therefore argued that from those words we learn that the defendant must be alive in order to punish the witnesses. However, in truth he also holds that we learn it out from the words, “as he planned….”
To have new D’vrei Torah sent directly to your inbox fill in boxes below: