Thursday, June 30, 2011


R' Yehoshua ben Kavsui said: My whole life I read the pasuk "V'hiza hatahor al ha'tamei" (19:19) as teaching that one person who is tahor may sprinkle [parah adumah ashes & water] on only one person who is tamei. Then I learned at the gathering of Yavneh... that one tahor may sprinkle even on a group of t'mei'im. (Dmai 3:4)

I saw a nice thought derech derush on this Yerushalmi. R' Yehoshua thought that his influence as an individual was limited in scope -- at best, he could have an impact on only one other individual at a time. Yavneh taught him otherwise. The remnants of the Chachamim left in Yavneh had an impact on all of Klal Yisrael; they preserved and taught Torah to the entire nation. R' Yehoshua realized that each one of us as individuals can also have an impact on the masses. (I have to bl"n look up where I saw this again.)


  1. I wanted to formally invite you to look at my new blog:

    It will contain a lot of "lomdus" in Yoreh Deah, so I thought you would appreciate it. The first post is already up.

    As always, I appreciate your feedback and comments!

  2. Anonymous5:37 PM

    odd in that parah is a chok, while
    it's pshut to everyday perception
    that an individual can influence more than one other person at a time (meaning paragraph 2 uses human observation, not insight [much less superrational insight
    with details all its own, that even a chacham might miss])...

    this assumes R' Yehoshua meant his remarks matter-of-factly {if he did, does this derush really belong on him personally?}...

    this objection forces one further--
    inasmuch as paragraph 2 concerns
    matters very interior to people(holiness, devotion, etc.[= tahor, para. 1]), maybe it's not so obvious that one can truly reach many at once (the possibility may come as a "revelation")...

    or is it a machlokes on the use of
    the singular in "v'es-ha'nefesh__
    asher-asu b'charan" (lech lecha)?!

    ~a Shabbos of yishuv ha'da'as

  3. A very nice drasha.

    I looked up the corresponding halacha in Rambam (Para Aduma 10:8), and noticed the adjacent halacha (10:7) that kavana/intention is essential for the one who sprinkles, but is unnecessary for the one who is being sprinkled upon. Along the lines of your drasha, with the right intention and dedication a person can even influence and help others who don't start out seeking or intending to improve. (Leading by example can work this way.)

  4. R' Maroof, nice to see you back blogging. Hope things are well.