A tale of two he-goats: Acharei Mot (+ Eruv Tavshilin laws)

Identical goats, one to the temple and the other to the desert. Why? The Meshech Chochma gives a briliiant answer.

Danny Ginsbourg

Judaism two kid goats
two kid goats

We read in our parsha of the very differing fate of the two identical שעירים: he-goats, which play a central role in the atonement of Yom Kippur.

The one chosen by lot, to be ‘for Hashem’, is offered on the מזבח, and atones (16:16)’For the sanctuary for the contamination of the Children of Israel’.

Whereas (16:21-22) the Cohen Gadol ‘leans his hands upon’ the other he-goat, the ‘one to Azazel’, ‘and confesses upon it all the iniquities of the Children of Israel..and sends it to the desert’.

The Meshech Chochma offers a beautiful ‘insight’ into this wondrous matter- the following is only a ‘glimpse’ into his brilliant exposition:The he-goat ‘to Hashem’, is offered as atonement for transgressions between man-and-Hashem, and is therefore offered in the מקדש.

The he-goat ‘to Azazel’, on the other hand, is to atone for sins between man-and-man; and so, is not offered in the מקדש.

Rav Pinchas Friedman asks rhetorically: Why is the he-goat to Azazel, ‘cast’ from a high spot, to descend to its death, until it becomes ‘איברים איברים’: completely torn apart?

He answers: Because the שורש: ‘underlying cause’, of all sins between man-and-man, is גאווה:haughtiness, the offendor ‘seeing himself’ as being ‘higher’ than others; and the atonement, therefore, is to ‘descend’ from this ‘high’ place, and, to symbolically totally ‘destroy’ the root cause, till no part of it ‘remains’.

Adds Rav Friedman: We can also now ‘understand’ why the two he-goats have to be ‘identical’ in their appearance: To teach us that we must be equally meticulous in the mitzvot בין אדם למקום, as in mitzvot בין אדם לחבירו.

The Chafetz Chaim comments that this is ‘why’ the Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments were exactly equal- as our sages note; the five commandments between אדם למקום, being on one tablet, and the five commandments between אדם לחבירו, being on the other, ‘identical ‘ tablet.

Comments Rav Friedman:There are people who scrupulously observe the mitzvot למקום, but are far less meticulous in the mitzvot לחבירו, such as abstaining from לשון הרע, and in financial matters; and, equally, there are those who are very generous in צדקה and other matters לחבירו, but far less stringent in prayer, and other mitzvot למקום.

The commandment that the two he-goats on Yom Kippur are to be ‘identical’, is to teach us that, in the eyes of Hashem, both are of equal importance!

A parting ‘spiritual קינוח׳: ‘dessert’ from the Komarna Rebbe: the gematria of ‘ואהבת את ה׳ אלקיך’, is identical to that of: ‘ואהבת לרעך כמוך אני ה׳’- to allude that there is no ‘difference’ between the מצות בין אדם למקום, and the מצות בין אדם לחבירו!

Eruv Tavshilin - reminder and laws- For the Last Days of Pesach 

Source: Halachah Hotline of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway, New York

Before Rosh Hashanah 5778 we presented two articles regarding Eiruv Tavshilin: the first was an introduction to the concept of Eiruv Tavshilin and some of its basic parameters, and the second explained the basic procedure and presented some halakhot relative to Eiruv Tavshilin. In this article, we present an explanation of the basic procedure and present some halakhot relative to Eiruv Tavshilin geared specifically for the last days of Pesach.First we present a one-paragraph introduction, culled from Part 1. (To see Part 1 in its entirety, click here.) 

Many food-related melakhot[1] (herein this article referred to as “cooking”) are generally permitted on Yom Tov for the needs of that day of Yom Tov.[2] However, it is forbidden to cook[3] on the first day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov. By making an Eiruv Tavshilin before Yom Tov,however, one is permitted to cook[4] on Friday of Yom Tovfor purposes of Shabbos. Thus, if one makes an Eiruv Tavshilin on Thursday – the last day of Chol Hamoed[5]Pesach, one would be permitted to cook on Friday – the seventh day of Pesach – for Shabbos (the eighth day ofPesach in Chutz La’aretz).[6] 

We present now the basic procedure and some halakhot relative to Eiruv Tavshilin: 

1) There is a mitzvah for each household to make an Eiruv Tavshilin.[7] The basic procedure is as follows: On Erev Yom Tov – Thursday of Chol Hamoed Pesach – one takes a food that is cooked (or broiled, roasted, fire-smoked, et al.)[8] – such as meat, fish, or an egg[9] – and matzah, and recites the following b’rachah: בָּרוּךְ .... אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת עֵרוּב. [10]1 

One then makes the following declaration: בַּהֲדֵין עֵרוּבָא יְהֵא שָׁרֵא לָנָא לַאֲפוּיֵי וּלְבַשּׁוּלֵי וּלְאַטְמוּנֵי וּלְאַדְלוּקֵי שְׁרָגָא וּלְתַקָּנָא וּלְמֶעְבַּד כָּל צָרְכָּנָא, מִיּוֹמָא טָבָא לְשַׁבְּתָא (translation in note 11).[11],[12] One who does not understand the Aramaic text of the declaration must say it in a language one understands.[13] 

2) As mentioned above, one takes both a cooked food and matzah for an Eiruv Tavshilin. Actually, one need include both in the Eiruv Tavshilin only if one wishes to cook and bake on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos; but if one does not plan to bake on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos, one need not include matzah in the Eiruv Tavshilin. It would seem, however, that common practice is to include matzah in the Eiruv Tavshilin even in such a case. 

If one plans to bake on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos but made the Eiruv Tavshilin using only a cooked food but not matzah, if Yom Tov has not yet arrived one should make a second Eiruv Tavshilin consisting of just matzah before Yom Tov; one should make the declaration, but not recite theb’rachah. If Yom Tov has already arrived, b’dieved (post facto) one may still bake on Friday for Shabbos despite having not included matzah in the Eiruv Tavshilin

If one made the Eiruv Tavshilin using matzah but not a cooked food, the Eiruv Tavshilin is invalid; one may not even bake on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos.[14] 

If one need not do any preparation from Friday of Yom Tovfor Shabbos except for kindling the Shabbos lights, one should make an Eiruv Tavshilin without a b’rachah (but see note).[15] 

3) The cooked item should be at least a k’zayis (the size of a halakhic olive; which is the size of half an egg).[16]L’chatchilah (preferably), the matzah should be at least ak’beitzah (the size of a whole egg).[17] To satisfy hidur mitzvah,[18] one should use a cooked food of significant size and a complete matzah.[19] 

If some of the cooked food of the Eiruv Tavshilin was eaten, spoiled, or lost before one cooked on Friday for Shabbos,but one k’zayis of it remains, the Eiruv Tavshilin is still valid. However, if less than one k’zayis remains, the Eiruv Tavshilin is invalid, and one may not “cook” (see notes 5 and 6) on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos.[20] One should ask one’s Rav for guidance as there are still several avenues to permit one to cook on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos; see note.[21] 

4) If one did not make an Eiruv Tavshilin, one may kindle one light for Shabbos on Friday of Yom Tov. It is questionable whether one may kindle more than one light.[22]

5) L’chatchilah (preferably/initially), the food for Eiruv Tavshilin should be cooked on Erev Yom Tov specifically for the Eiruv Tavshilin. If one cooked the food earlier in the week or even purchased the food, one may still use that food for an Eiruv Tavshilin.[23] 

6) One should be sure to cook food early enough on Friday of Yom Tov to theoretically allow unexpected guests to partake from the cooked food on Friday (but see note).[24] 

7) If sh’kiah (sunset) on Erev Yom Tov arrived and one did not yet make the Eiruv Tavshilin, one may still make the Eiruv Tavshilin – and recite the b’rachah – during bein hash’mashos[25] (see note).[26] If nightfall has already arrived, one should ask one’s Rav for guidance as there are still several avenues to permit one to cook on Friday of Yom Tovfor Shabbos; see note 21. 

8) Technically, once one has finished “cooking” on Friday for Shabbos one may eat the Eiruv Tavshilin (but see note).[27] However, the custom is to conduct oneself as follows: To use the Eiruv Tavshilin matzah[28] for lechem mishneh (two “loaves”) at the Friday night meal; break the other matzah;use the Eiruv Tavshilin matzah for lechem mishneh again at the Shabbos day meal; break the other matzah; then use the Eiruv Tavshilin matzah for lechem mishneh again at se’udah sh’lishis[29] and break that matzah. The reason for doing so is that since a mitzvah (Eiruv Tavshilin) was performed using that matzah we wish to use it to perform as manymitzvos as possible.[30] It would seem that it would be proper to eat the cooked food at the Friday night meal.[31] 

9) It goes without saying that the Eiruv Tavshilin permits one to perform on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos only those melakhot that one would be permitted to perform on Yom Tov for that day of Yom Tov. 

10) There is a discussion in the Poskim[32] whether Eiruv Tavshilin is effective – or necessary – to allow one to perform non-food related activities on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos (e.g. folding a tallis on Friday of Yom Tov – in a manner permissible on Yom Tov – to wear on Shabbos, or rolling a Sefer Torah on Friday of Yom Tov for the Torah reading of Shabbos).

[1] Labors prohibited on Shabbos
[2] Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 495:1. 
[3] Included are even processes that are forbidden on Shabbos only mid’rabainan (Rabbinically), such as heating up food items in a manner that is prohibited on Shabbos
[4] And bake, et al. 
[5] The Intermediate Days of Yom Tov. 
[6] In the diaspora – outside of Eretz Yisrael. Similarly, in Eretz Yisrael, one is then permitted to cook on Friday – the seventh (and last) day of Pesach – for Shabbos, the day after Pesach
[7] S.A. O.C. 527:7 and M.B. 527:56. In addition, it is a mitzvah for every Rav to make an Eiruv Tavshilinfor his entire community since his Eiruv Tavshilin can – at times – be effective for one who forgets to make his own Eiruv Tavshilin. See S.A. O.C. 527:7, Mishnah Berurah 527:26, and Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 527:18. 
[8] S.A. O.C. 527:5. 
[9] M.B. 527:11. 
[10] S.A. O.C. 527:12. (Blessed....Who sanctified us with His mitzvos and commanded us regarding the mitzvah of Eiruv.) 
[11] S.A. O.C. 527:12. (With this Eiruv it should be permitted for us to bake and to cook and to insulate [food] and to kindle the candle and to prepare and do all needs from Yom Tov to Shabbos.) 
[12] A Rav who makes an Eiruv Tavshilin for his entire community (see note 9) and who bequeaths ownership of his Eiruv Tavshilin to them as required (see S.A. O.C. 527:7–12) adds to the declaration the following words: לָנָא וּלְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל הַדָּרִים בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת (for us and for all Jews who dwell in this city). 
[13] Rema O.C. 527:12 with M.B. #40. 
[14] S.A. O.C. 527:2; M.B. 527:6-7. 
[15] See halacha #10 below and notes in Dirshu Mishnah Berurah 527:55. Perhaps it would be preferable, if possible, for one to create a situation such that one would actually do minimal food preparation for Shabbos (e.g., put up a pot of water to be used to make a hot drink on Shabbos), thereby enabling one to recite the b’rachah. 
[16] See S.A. O.C. 486:1; see also M.B. 486:1. If one used a cooked item the size of a third of an egg it would still be valid. 
[17] Rema O.C. 527:3. 
[18] Performing a mitzvah in an enhanced manner. 
[19] M.B. 527:8. 
[20] S.A. O.C. 527:15. If only the matzah was eaten before Shabbos, one need not be concerned (M.B. 527:46). 
[21] These avenues include (but are not limited to): 1) Relying on the Eiruv Tavshilin the Rav of one’s city made; 2) bequeathing ownership of one’s food to someone who made an Eiruv Tavshilin. (ForSukkos, Sh’mini Atzeres, and the first days of Pesach that fall on Thursday and Friday) there is yet another avenue.) 
[22] S.A. O.C. 527:19; M.B. 527:55. 
[23] M.B. 527:44 and Bi’ur Halacha 527:6 s.v. adashim. See S.A. O.C. 527:14 and M.B. 527:43-45 regarding the permissibility of reusing the Eiruv Tavshilin from a prior Erev Yom Tov. 
[24] M.B. 527:3 and Bi’ur Halacha 527:1 s.v. v’al y’dei eiruv. Mishnah Berurah writes, however, that when Friday is the second day of Yom Tov (such as on Rosh Hashanah, Sukkos, Simchas Torah, and the first days of Pesach) – and, thus, Rabbinic in origin – if one was delayed in “cooking” and has a pressing need, one may act leniently and cook until sunset, even though the food would not be ready for unexpected guests on Friday. He writes further that it is even possible to say that in cases of pressing need, even when Friday is the first day of Yom Tov (such as on the second days of Pesach, and onShavuos) – and, thus, Biblical in origin – one who made an Eiruv Tavshilin would be permitted to cook on Friday for Shabbos until sunset, even though the food would not be ready for unexpected guests. He adds though that l’chatchilah one should certainly be careful and cook early enough to accommodate unexpected guests. The Mishnah Berurah (ibid.; with Sha’ar Hatziyun #6) cites Levush and Elya Rabbahwho write that to ensure that people would not cook too late in the day on Friday of Yom Tov for Shabbos,there was a custom to accept Shabbos early on those Fridays. 
[25] Rema O.C. 527:1. Bein hash’mashos is the period between sh’kiah (halachic sunset) and tzeis hakochavim (nightfall), which is viewed halachically as a doubt whether it is classified as daytime or nighttime or a part daytime and part nighttime (see Gemara Shabbos 34b). 
[26] If one did not daven Minchah yet on Erev Yom Tov and one knows that if one would return to one’s house to make the Eiruv Tavshilin it will be too late to daven Minchah, one should ask one’s Rav for guidance. See M.B. 527:4. 
[27] S.A. O.C. 527:16. It would seem, however, that if one did so it would be questionable whether one would be permitted to kindle more than one light for Shabbos; see halacha #4, above. 
[28] If it is complete; see halacha #3, above. 
[29] The third Shabbos meal. 
[30] M.B. 527:48. One whose custom (per the Rashba, Maharshal, Shelah, and GR”A) is to cut both loaves of the lechem mishneh (see M.B. 527:4) should use the Eiruv Tavshilin matzah for lechem mishnehat the Friday night meal. Alternatively, one should use the cooked food for one meal and the matzah for another meal (Sh’miras Shabbos K’hilchasah n.e. chapter 2, note 37, citing Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach)
[31] See previous note. If one cannot eat it at the Friday night meal, one should eat it at the Shabbos day meal or, at least, at se’udah sh’lishis. 
[32] See M.B. 528:3; 302:17; and Sha’ar Hatziyun 667:7. See also Dirshu Mishnah Berurah to 302:17 and to 527:55.