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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Naso

Angle of Advance

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by Rav Moshe Zev Granek

June 1, 2023


The one who brought his korban on the first day was Nachshon ben Aminadav of Sheivet Yehudah…one male goat for a chatas.

Bemidbar 7:12,16

A korban chatas normally atones for its offerer’s aveirah. According to the Sifri, quoted by Rashi here, the korban chatas of Nachshon ben Aminadav provided kaparah for tum’as hatehom (performing the avodah in the Bais Hamikdash while unknowingly tamei and never discovering the sin).[1]

This Sifri is difficult to understand. The Gemara (Gittin 60a) says that all the parshiyos of tum’ah and taharah were given on Rosh Chodesh Nisan (see Tosafos). That was the same day that Nachshon brought his korbanos for the Chanukas HaMishkan, including this chatas, so no violation of tum’as hatehom could possibly have preceded it! Perhaps we can answer that this chatas was intended not to rectify past events, but to ameliorate future incidents in which a kohein would offer korbanos in an unwitting state of tum’ah but never discover his aveirah.

[1] The Gemara (Zvachim 9a) understands it differently: This was an exceptional chatas, not brought for kaparah.

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