[Avodah] 13 midos

Zev Sero via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Tue Sep 8 10:08:00 PDT 2015

On 09/08/2015 06:50 AM, Marty Bluke wrote:
> R' Zev Sero wrote;

>> "It's described as a secret that the Malach Hamaves gave Moshe, that
>> ketores stops plagues.  Moshe didn't tell Aharon what kavanos to
>> have, just take some ketores and go there.  And when Aharon got there
>> the Malach Hamaves protested, and wanted to continue his work, so
>> obviously it was the ketores that was stopping him, not anything else.
>> How is that not an explicit statement that it works like a magic spell?"

> Rashi in Chumash quoting the Mechilta offers a second explanation of
> why the ketores was used to end the plague. Bnei Yisrael were
> complaining about the ketores that it was a sam hamaves, that it
> killed people. The ketores killed Nadav and Avihu, it killed the 250
> people, therefore Hashem said watch that it can stop the plague and
> that sin is what really kills people.
> We see clearly from this explanation that there was nothing magical
> about using the ketores, rather Hashem wanted to make a point to the
> Jewish people about the ketores.

Yes, this is an alternative explanation, offered because the primary
explanation leaves some question unanswered.  But it is the second
explanation rather than the first, because the problem with it is
obvious: Hashem didn't tell Moshe to do this.  Moshe told Aharon on
his own initiative, which is why the gemara wonders how he knew that
it would work.  This is also why the Malach Hamaves challenged Aharon's
right to stop him; if the instruction had come from Hashem he would
have had no reason to object to being stopped.

Zev Sero               I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you
zev at sero.name          intend to commit felony...if a robber meets me in
                        the street and commands me to surrender my purse,
                        I have a right to kill him without asking questions
                                               -- John Adams

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