[Avodah] Raiach Nichoach

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Mar 21 15:45:57 PDT 2013

On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 08:54:50PM +0200, Liron Kopinsky wrote:
: Being as we are now in Vayikra, does anyone know where I can find a
: good explanation of what Raiach Nichoach means?

The MC in his haqdamah to Vayiqra finds a balance between the Rambam's
and Ramban's shitos about the purpose of qorbanos.

Rambam (naively reading the Moreh Nevuchim): Hashem gave us qorbanos,
a normal idolatrous practice, to wean us from avodah zarah.

Ramban: How is this possible? Noach offered a qorban and there were no
idolators or peer pressure. Rather qorbanos are to unify all planes of
human existance: the thought of teshuvah, the speech of confession,
and the action of the qorban. In addition, the person who sinned and
brought a qorban sees the offering and realizes the severity of the act;
that justice untempered by mercy would have called for his own death,
not an animal's.

The MC says that the Rambam's notion of weaning was the role of bamos.
The weaning period ended when the Beis haMiqdash was dedicated in Y-m,
which is why bamos became prohibited at that time. However, we failed,
AS and bamos thrived throughout bayis rishon. Qorbanos in the Beis
haMiqdash is called a rei'ach nikho'ach (a pleasant smell before Hashem)
because they were to unify the worlds, as explained by the Ramban.

Perhaps we could add: reiach nikhoach particularly refers to the
unification of the worlds being represented by the conversion of the
animal's flesh to an intangible reiach. Thus the choice of term.

But... There is another MC:

R' Chaim (Tosafos Megillah 10a "vekhulei alma") says that even if one
holds "LO qidshah le'asid lavo", bamos would remain prohibited. The
machloqes is only whether qorbanos on the maqom hamizbeiach would still
be permitted.

Vayiqra 26:31 reads:
    Vehashimosi es miqdesheikhem,
    velo ariach bereiach nochichachem.

The Meshekh Chokhmah there explains that the first half is saying there
will be no miqdash, and the second half is saying -- and even so, you
can't bring qorbanos on bamos.

But the MC acknoqledged in the haqadamah that a reiach nikhoach doesn't
refer to bamah. So how could the 2nd half refer to one?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "As long as the candle is still burning,
micha at aishdas.org        it is still possible to accomplish and to
http://www.aishdas.org   mend."
Fax: (270) 514-1507          - Anonymous shoemaker to R' Yisrael Salanter

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