[Avodah] 13 Middos

Marty Bluke via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Tue Sep 8 03:51:38 PDT 2015

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.

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