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Acharei Mot

Acharei Mot

5 Facts About Parshat Acharei Mot that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Thursday April 26th, 2018

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וְהַכֹּהֵן֩ הַגָּד֨וֹל מֵאֶחָ֜יו אֲ‍ֽשֶׁר־יוּצַ֥ק עַל־רֹאשׁ֣וֹ ׀ שֶׁ֤מֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה֙ וּמִלֵּ֣א אֶת־יָד֔וֹ לִלְבֹּ֖שׁ אֶת־הַבְּגָדִ֑ים אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ֙ לֹ֣א יִפְרָ֔ע וּבְגָדָ֖יו לֹ֥א יִפְרֹֽם׃ (21:10)

The priest who is exalted above his fellows, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been ordained to wear the vestments, shall not bare his head or rend his vestments.

1.     How often does a Cohen Gadol must get a haircut?

  • A Cohen Gadol must get a haircut at least once a week, preferably on Fridays. (Sanhedrin 22b). The Kohen Gadol would have an especially beautiful hairstyle. It is said that Ben Elasa, the son in law of Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi, who was a very wealthy man, use to pay large sums of money to have this same hairstyle. He did this in order for others to know how the hairstyle should be. (Nedarim 51a)


שׁ֣וֹר אוֹ־כֶ֤שֶׂב אוֹ־עֵז֙ כִּ֣י יִוָּלֵ֔ד וְהָיָ֛ה שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים תַּ֣חַת אִמּ֑וֹ וּמִיּ֤וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי֙ וָהָ֔לְאָה יֵרָצֶ֕ה לְקָרְבַּ֥ן אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהוָֽה׃ (22:27)

When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall stay seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as an offering by fire to the LORD.

2.     What is the minimum age required for an animal to be eligible to be brought a a korban?

  • An animal can only be brought as a korban after it is 8 days old. This requirement is in order to be certain that it is a viable animal. (Chizkuni)


וּלְקַחְתֶּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן פְּרִ֨י עֵ֤ץ הָדָר֙ כַּפֹּ֣ת תְּמָרִ֔ים וַעֲנַ֥ף עֵץ־עָבֹ֖ת וְעַרְבֵי־נָ֑חַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם לִפְנֵ֛י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים׃ (23:40)

On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

3.     What do the Etrog and his bark have in common?

  • The Talmud teaches that the bark and fruit of the Etrog tree have the same taste. (Succah 35a) This is because the bark and fruit have the same chemical composition. Others say that the soft, green branches of a young Etrog tree have a similar taste to that of the Etrog fruit. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)


4.     Why do we shake the 4 species in all directions?

  • The reason we shake the 4 species in all directions is in order to symbolize our hope, that we not be visited by harmful winds, such as storms and tempests that could come from any  direction; We then raise and lower them to symbolize our hope that any harmful dews and rains are halted. (Sukkah 37b)


מִחוּץ֩ לְפָרֹ֨כֶת הָעֵדֻ֜ת בְּאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֗ד יַעֲרֹךְ֩ אֹת֨וֹ אַהֲרֹ֜ן מֵעֶ֧רֶב עַד־בֹּ֛קֶר לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה תָּמִ֑יד חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָ֖ם לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃ (24:3)

Aaron shall set them up in the Tent of Meeting outside the curtain of the Pact [to burn] from evening to morning before the LORD regularly; it is a law for all time throughout the ages.

5.     How long would the Western Lamp last before burning out?

  • Despite the fact that all the lamps were filled with the same amount of oil, the Western Lamp was always the last to burn out, even though it was always the first to be lit. In fact, when the Jewish people were worthy, the Western Lamp never went out. It was only from the  time of Shimon HaTzaddik onwards, that it would go out like the other lamps. (Rashi, Sifra, Rashi Shabboss 22b)
Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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