Parshat Acharei Mos 5782: Defining B’Zos — “With This”

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Acharei Mos is dedicated Lilui Nishmas for My Mother: Chaya bat Zalman who was niferet on 22 Nissan 5775.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshat Acharei Mos 5782: Defining B’Zos — “With This”

by Moshe Burt

Torah opens our Parsha:

“Hashem spoke to Moshe after the death of Aaron’s two sons, when they approached before Hashem, and they died. And Hashem said to Moshe: Speak to Aaron, your brother — he may not come at all times into the Sanctuary [Kadosh Kedoshim]… so that he should not die… With this [B’Zos] shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary…” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 16, posukim 1-3 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Chumash)

The Sapirstein Edition: The Torah with Rashi Commentary notes on Sefer Vayikra, Perek 16, posuk 3, with note (page 193):

B’Zos — “With This.” It’s gematria is four hundred and ten, an allusion to the first Beit Hamikdash which stood for four hundred and ten years.

Vayikra Rabbah 21:9. The verse says that Aaron is to come into the Sanctuary with two animals as offerings. Why then does it use B’Zos — “With This,” rather than “B’Eileh” — “with these?” The Torah uses B’Zos to allude to the fact that the first Beit Hamikdash would stand for 410 years. (The Sapirstein Edition: The Torah with Rashi Commentary citing Minchas Yehudah : Sifsei Chachamim) The verse does not mean to imply that the prohibition against entering the Sanctuary at times other than Yom Kippur applies only to the period of the first Beit Hamikdash. Rather, the verse implies that the eighteen Kohanim who succeeded Aaron as Kohen Gadol during the period of the first Beit Hamikdash were all righteous men who carried on the tradition of their ancestor, Aaron. In this respect, Aaron is considered to have come into the Sanctuary for the entire 410 year period. (The Sapirstein Edition: The Torah with Rashi Commentary citing Maskil LeDavid)

Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein z”l, the Sochaczever Rebbe, comments on B’Zos — “With This.” in his sefer “Shem Mishmuel” (Rendered into English by Rabi Zvi Belovski, page 258-259):

[We] begin by quoting the great Maggid, Rabbi Ber of Rovna. He notes that there are two basic modes through which Hashem runs the world: the natural and the supernatural. These are both hinted at by the word Zos, which means “this,” spelled zayin, alef, tav. The zayin at the start of the word of the word (numerical value of seven) hints at the seven days of Creation, which point to the natural order. The remaining two letters, alef and tav, are, respectively the first and last letters of the alef-bet. This hints at the letters of the Torah, which are imbued with supernatural powers, pointing to the supernatural order,

There are entirely natural events which happen in the world directed by the forces of nature — the laws of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, etc. [all of course controlled by Hashem]

There are some completely supernatural events, such as the Splitting of the Sea, the existence of the pillars of fire and the cloud which accompanied Klal Yisrael in the wilderness, and the daily arrival of the manna.

However, there is a third category of occurrences in which one can see manifestations of both natural and supernatural forces. The subject of the occurrence does not change miraculously (like the Splitting of the Sea), but something about it is out of the ordinary.

A few examples:

The place of the Ark [Aron HaKodesh] in [the Beit Hamikdash] was not counted in the measurement. (“Shem Mishmuel” citing Megillah 10b) This means that although the Ark was physically in the Holy of Holies [Kadosh Kedoshim], it miraculously occupied no space, for the floor area filled all of the dimensions without the Ark, which was nevertheless included.

With respect to Eretz Yisrael, when people live in it, it expands [to accomodate them], and when people do not live in it, it contracts. (“Shem Mishmuel” citing Gitten 56a)

In the Beit Hamikdash… the people stood crowded together, nevertheless, they prostrated with plenty of space… (“Shem Mishmuel” citing Mishnah, Avos 5:7)

These miracles [of this third category of occurrences] all displayed the Hand of Hashem, but in a more subtle way than the open miracles of the Splitting of the Sea and the like. The Ark, Eretz Yisrael and the courtyard of the Beit Hamikdash all appeared completely normal. But none of them functioned within the normal space-frame. This sort of miracle is expressed by the word “Zos,” which is a conjunction of the natural order and the supernatural order: zayin plus alef and tav.

…In the physical world there are places that don’t obey the usual rules of space. Eretz Yisrael can expand or shrink. And the closer to the center of spirituality, the courtyard of the Beit Hamikdash unexpectedly provided adequate space for throngs of people to prostrate themselves before Hashem. Finally, in the Holiest spot on earth, the Ark [the Aron HaKodesh] did not occupy any space at all, despite its physical nature. Each of these is, as we have seen, a “Zos” type of miracle, where normality and super-normality are evident in one entity.

This author wonders if this “Zos” category of occurrences applies to world events as well, with particular emphasis on current world events, and whether what seems both normal and, at the same time, often illogical fits the “Zos” mode.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, all at total government expense; due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now free of his parole and restrictions and that he is now in his second year at home in Eretz Yisrael. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of seven years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese corona virus pandemic and all like viruses. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.