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Shekalim 8

SHEKALIM 6-8 (1-3 Teves) - the Dafyomi study for the last days of Chanukah and 3 Teves has been dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisrael Zev Gustman ZaTZaL (author of "Kuntresei Shiurim") and his wife (on her Yahrzeit), by a student who merited to study under him.


QUESTION: The Mishnah says that written upon the three boxes used for the Terumas ha'Lishkah were the letters Alef, Beis, and Gimel, to denote which was separated first. Rebbi Yishmael notes that the letters on the boxes were actually written in Greek -- Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Why were these letters written in Greek?

ANSWER: The KORBAN HA'EDAH explains that using Greek letters on the boxes of the Terumas ha'Lishkah is based on the verse, "Yaft Elokim l'Yefes v'Yishkon b'Ohalei Shem" -- "Ascribe beauty to Yefes, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem" (Bereishis 9:27). The beauty of Yefes in this verse refers to the Greek language ("Yevanis" - Yavan, the patriarch of Greece, was one of the sons of Yefes). The tents of Shem refers to the Beis ha'Mikdash (just as the Gemara in Megilah 9b says that it refers to the Beis ha'Midrash, and therefore permits writing a Sefer Torah with Greek script).

This can be understood on a deeper level. Hashem puts objects of beauty into this world. The reason they are here, though, is not to serve our indulgences and gratify our appetite for pleasure. Rather, they are meant to be used in the service of Hashem by inspiring awe for Hashem's majesty. As the verse states, "Sheker ha'Chen v'Hevel ha'Yofi, Ishah Yir'as Hashem Hi Tis'halal" -- beauty is false, unless it is used to acquire *Yir'as Hashem*. That is why the Midrash (Shemos Rabah 35) tells us that the world is not fit to use such beautiful items as gold and the cedars of Levanon; those items were created only to be used for the Beis ha'Mikdash and the Mishkan. Similarly, we find in Kidushin (49b) that when Hashem put beauty into the world, He gave nine portions of beauty to Yerushalayim and one portion to the rest of the world. Yerushalayim is the place where beauty is utilized the way for which it was intended -- for the service of Hashem.

The Greeks prided themselves in beautifying their language and all of the objects of their creativity out of indulgence and hedonism. We demonstrate that the proper place for beauty is in the Beis ha'Mikdash, where it induces awe for Hashem's majesty, by using the Greek language upon the boxes of the Terumas ha'Lishkah, from which the Korbanos are brought.

This might also be why the Kohen Gadol was anointed by smearing oil on his head in the shape of "the *Greek* letter, Xi" (Horayos 12a). The Kohen Gadol, wearing his unique majesty-invoking garments of "Kavod and Tiferes," was a living demonstration of how beauty should be channeled towards Yir'as Shamayim. Similarly, oil was smeared on the breads of the Menachos offerings in the shape of "the *Greek* letter Xi" (Menachos 74b).


QUESTION: The Gemara asks whether one fulfills his obligation of drinking the four cups of wine on Pesach with wine of Shevi'is. The Gemara answers with a Beraisa that says in the name of Rav Oshiya that one does fulfill his obligation with wine of Shevi'is.

What was the Gemara's question to begin with? Why would we think that one does not fulfill his obligation with wine of Shevi'is?


(a) The TIKLIN CHADETIN says that the Gemara is asking whether one fulfills his obligation with wine of Shevi'is *after* the time of Bi'ur, when it becomes forbidden to eat Shevi'is products, which happens to be *Erev Pesach*, with regard to grape products (Pesachim 53a).

The Gemara answers that one does fulfill his obligation with wine of Shevi'is. The reason is because one is not considered to be deriving personal benefit from the wine, since he is using it to perform a Mitzvah, and "Mitzvos Lav le'Hanos Nisnu" -- the benefit one derives while performing a Mitzvah is not considered a benefit.

RAV CHAIM KANIEVSKY, in the name of the CHAZON ISH, adds a twist to this explanation. We know that once the time of Bi'ur has arrived for a particular Shevi'is item, one is still permitted to eat three meals' worth of that item. The Gemara in Eruvin (29a) says that a Revi'is of wine is considered one meal's worth (with regard to making an Eruv Techumin with it), and thus three Revi'ios are considered three meals' worth of wine. However, on Pesach night, one needs to drink *four* Revi'ios in order to fulfill the obligation of drinking the four cups. Therefore, the Gemara is asking whether one may drink all four cups on Pesach night from wine of Shevi'is, since they are all needed for the meal and they are like a single meal, or only the first three.

(b) The KORBAN HA'EDAH explains that we might have thought that one does not fulfill his obligation with wine of Shevi'is because wine of Shevi'is is Hefker and does not belong to anyone. When one drinks it, he is not drinking wine that he owns. When it comes to fulfilling the Mitzvah of Matzah on Pesach, one must *own* the Matzah that he eats (Pesachim 38a). We might have thought that the same applies to the Mitzvah of drinking the four cups of wine. The Gemara answers that one fulfills his obligation with wine of Shevi'is, and there is no obligation to own the wine (or it is only required l'Chatchilah).

(c) RABEINU MESHULAM explains that since wine of Shevi'is comes from grapes that were Hefker, the wine is not of a high quality. Grapes that were not carefully nurtured and tended produce wine of a lower quality. Therefore, we might have thought that one does not fulfill his obligation with such wine.

(d) The OR SAME'ACH (end of Hilchos Shabbos) writes that the Gemara (Bava Basra 97a) teaches that Kidush (and other Mitzvos which require a cup of wine) may only be recited on a type of wine which may be used for the Nesachim, the wine libations that were poured on the Mizbe'ach. Wine of Shevi'is was not permitted to be used for the Nesachim, because it is only permitted to be used for human consumption. The Gemara is asking whether such wine is also unfit for use as a Kos Shel Berachah, since it could not be used for Nesachim.

The Gemara answers that one does fulfill his obligation with such wine, because there is no inferiority to such wine; it is merely unfit for Nesachim since it must be consumed by man. Only if it is not used on the Mizbe'ach due to its inferiority, it may not be used for Kidush, therefore Shevi'is wine may be used for a Kos Shel Berachah.

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