web analytics
May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Candy Man

(Menachot 45b, 62, 68b, 94a, 96a; Berachot 54b; and Sotah 14a)

 

If the survival of Judaism is dependent on the next generation, there is no doubt that the most important person in the synagogue is the Candy Man.

Some kids approach him gingerly, stretch out their hands, close their little fingers around the prize, and take off without so much as looking up at the Candy Man. They worry, perhaps, that if they looked into the Candy Man’s eyes and said thank you, he might change his mind and take the candy back.

Other kids gaze in wonder at the Candy Man. They cannot take their eyes off this apparition of kindness. As they stretch out their hand, they smile and thank him. And the Candy Man smiles back, so happy that he wants to unload his whole tallit bag full of candy on the children who do so.

Then there is a third type of child – the one who is accompanied by a parent who does not allow the child to leave before expressing thanks.

We too have the opportunity to offer our own personal “thank you” to God for all the goodness He constantly showers on us. During the Temple era, this could be done at any time by bringing a personal peace offering, shelamim, or a thanksgiving offering, korban todah. But because we may be too preoccupied with ourselves to do so spontaneously and voluntarily, the Torah prescribes times when we must, as a community, thank Him for keeping us alive.

Such a time is Shavuot. The Torah commands us to bring a korban shelamim in the form of two lambs together with a korban minchah in the form of two loaves of leavened bread made of wheat, referred to in the Torah as shtei halechem.

The korban shtei halechem brought on Shavuot marks the end of the harvest season just as the korban omer, brought 50 days before on Pesach, marked its beginning. Now that the late blooming wheat harvest has been brought in, and the dangers and threats of destructive winds and rain have been averted, we as a community must offer thanks.

The korban shtei halechem brought with the korban shelamim in the form of two lambs, was unique in several ways. First, as already mentioned, it was the only korban shelamim that was obligatory and communal. All other shelamim sacrifices were voluntary and personal. Second, all other shelamim sacrifices belonged to the less holy category of kodashim kalim, whereas the shtei halechem belonged to the holiest category of kodshei kodashim with all the restrictions this implied. Third, unlike all other minchah offerings, which were not allowed to contain any leavened bread but had to be made up only of unleavened bread, the korban shtei halechem was expressly required to consist of leavened bread.

There was an additional reason why the korban shtei halechem was classified as a communal sacrifice. This is because the offering in the Temple of any korban made from chadash – that is, barley, wheat, oats, and rye or spelt crops that h had been planted or had taken root since the previous Pesach – was prohibited until the korban shtei halechem was brought on Shavuot of that year. The korban shtei halechem itself, however, had to be made from chadash, and this chadash grain had to be grown in Israel.

The shtei halechem are made in the following way. A quantity of three sa’in (between 384 and 504 ounces) of new chadash wheat is crushed, beaten and ground into wheat flour and filtered through twelve sieves leaving a quantity of 1 issaron, (between 86.4 and 172.8 fluid ounces) for each of the two shtei halechem. Each of the shtei halechem is kneaded separately outside the Temple. Yeast is then added to make the flour rise and the bread leaven. Each of the loaves is then baked separately inside the Temple.

The shtei halechem were square in shape, seven handbreadths long and four handbreadths wide and rose to the height of four fingers. Unlike other menachot, such as the minchat chavitin, which could be baked on Shabbat, the preparation and baking of the shtei halechem was prohibited on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Although the shtei halechem were brought on Shavuot together with 24 animal sacrifices – 3 bulls, 3 rams, 14 lambs (7 as an olah offering and 7 as a mussaf offering), two goats and two additional lambs (as a shelamim offering) – the shtei halechem was integrally tied to the two shelamim lamb offerings.

The shtei halechem were not burned on the altar. This was not possible due to the prohibition against burning anything on the altar containing chametz. Instead, they underwent the tenufah ceremony in which they were first waved by the kohen together with the two live shelamim lambs and then waved again together with the right thigh and the breast of the slaughtered lambs. Once the eimurim (the sacrificial parts) of the lambs were burned on the altar, the shtei halechem were eligible to be eaten, one by the kohen gadol and the other by the attending kohanim.

It seems that Pesach and Shavuot symbolize two different modes of Jewish life that have followed us in cyclical fashion throughout our national existence. Pesach and the korban omer of barley reflect the basic food the Jews take out on the run when there is no time or peace for fine cuisine. Shavuot and the shtei halechem of fine wheat symbolize periods of prosperity and tranquility. And on the spiritual level, the omer sacrifice of barley, fit for animal consumption, reflects the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk as they left Egypt. The shtei halechem of fine wheat symbolizes the refined heights they achieved by the time of Shavuot and Revelation.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Candy Man”

  1. Then why cheese on Shavuot? (or dairy?)

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

What if someone would come to you and offer you everything that is desirable in this world, but with one condition: you have to give up your essence.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Torah learning is valueless unless it enhances personal morality, fostering closer connection to God

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Why did so many of our great sages from the Rambam to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein live outside Israel?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Casting A Doubt
‘Shall We Say [They] Are Not Valid?’
(Nedarim 5a-7a)

I was about six years old at the time and recall that very special occasion so well.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Why was Samson singled out as the only Shofet required to be a nazir from cradle to grave?

“What do you mean?” asked the secretary. “We already issued a ruling and closed the case.”

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

This week’s video discusses the important connection between the Priestly Blessing and parenting.

Many of us simply don’t get the need for the Torah to list the exact same gift offering, 12 times!

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Why did so many of our great sages from the Rambam to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein live outside Israel?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

In most communities the rabbi will perform the eruv ceremony on Erev Yom Tov for all community members.

Are you kidding? You know the non‑Jew is not going to consume your chametz. He is not really paying you for it; neither is he taking possession of it.

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

This process, which is the most powerful form of kashering, is known as libun.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-candy-man/2014/06/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: