The Structure of the Chumash 03 – Shmitah and Har Sinai

Rabbi Triebitz has been understanding the structure of Chumash based on the Chazon Ish, Orech Chaim 125.

The story so far – Moshe was given the entire Torah at Sinai, but only related parts of it to the Jewish people as it became relevant, in Ohel Mo’ed.

However, in se’if 5 the Chazon Ish contradicts what he said earlier. To go through that se’if would take many hours, but basically he has a problem with the machlokes between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael in Chagiga 6a regarding the sacrifices that were brought at Sinai.

Rashi famously asks “What is the connection between Mount Sinai and Shemita”. He is quoting from Torat Cohanim.

Ramban (Vayikra 25:1) challenges Rashi, but Rabbi Triebitz claims that his explanation does not fit with the words of Torat Cohanim.

Furthermore, the Torah (Vayikra 7:27-28) specifically mentions Mount Sinai in the context of the sacrifices.

Ramban (ad loc) deals with this issue, and presents an alternative view to that of Chazal.

Rabbi Triebitz then asks why the phrase is ‘mah inyan shmita etzel har sinai’? It should have been the other way around, because it is Sinai which is out of place, not Shmita. He refers to an article by Professor Shamma Friedman, entitled “mah inyan sinai etzel shmita” (which I can’t find online). Then Rabbi Triebitz gives his own answer.

Rabbi Triebitz then elaborates on the idea he mentioned last week that when Chazal are describing the nature of the Chumash they are also describing the nature of Oral Torah and their role in its development.

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