The Shabbos Table – Sh’mini: R’ Y. Sacks Shlita: The Tumah of the Siman Taharah

This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my mother Chaya Rochel Bas Dovid Tzvi A”H, my sister Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,


It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:

-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel

-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta


-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili

_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Yudka

-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis

-Yonatan Menachem Mendel Ben Orly, Eli Aharon Michel Ben Chaya

-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam) and other tragedies.


-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael during this dire time, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.

-The wounded should experience Refuah Shileimah, the captives should be returned safely, the fallen should experience Kevurah and Aliyah for their Neshamos and Nekamah for their Dam, their Krovim should experience Nechamah, the Chayalim should be Matzliach and Minatzei’ach, and Am Yisrael should experience Geulah.







Be”H, I will be translating / transcribing / paraphrasing Divrei Torah of my Rebbi, HaGaon R’ Yonason Avner Sacks Shlita. (Any inaccuracies, whether added, misrepresented, or due to omission and/or points lost in translation or context should be attributed to me alone. * = My addition.)


I apologize for not sharing my Rebbi’s Torah for the past several weeks. I am almost finished catching up on writing up Ki Sisa through Tzav and hope to share them in a single email in the coming days, be”H.








“Yirchars’menah Chazir MiYa’ar – The Tumah of the Siman Taharah”




Based on:

Sichah – Sh’mini: יְכַרְסְמֶנָּה חֲזִיר מִיָּעַר (2024)

“Yirchars’menah Chazir MiYa’ar” (Yomim MiKedem – Parshas Toldos, Page 265)



Eisav’s “Commonality” with Yitzchak


The Torah tells us in Parshas Toldos that Yitzchak Avinu married at age forty, and that Eisav followed suit. It is somewhat surprising that Eisav HaRasha would follow Yitzchak’s lead.


Nothing in Common – יְכַרְסְמֶנָּה חֲזִיר מִיָּעַר 


And lest one perhaps think that to some extent, Eisav embraced the Avodas Hashem of Yitzchak Avinu, Rashi cites the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 65:1) revealing that that was not the case at all. Yitzchak lived a life of Kedushah and Taharah, and married at an appropriate time. Regarding Eisav, just the opposite was true. He lived a life of Aveirah, violated Gilui Arayos, and then tried to create the false impression that he was following the Derech HaAvodah of his father.

Rashi cites the Pasuk in Tehilim (80:14), “יְכַרְסְמֶנָּה חֲזִיר מִיָּעַר” (“the swine of the forest gnaws at it”), that Eisav was compared to a Chazir. In what way was Eisav compare to a Chazir?


Eisav’s Commonality with a Chazir


In Parshas Sh’mini, in order for an animal to be classified as a Beheimah Tehorah, it requires two Simanim; it must be Mal’ei Geira (something that chews its cud) and Mafris Parsah (has split hooves).

The Torah delineates four animated that have a single Siman, but not both, three of which are in their own category, whereas the Chazir stands alone, as the Chazir’s hooves are split all the way through, but it does not chew its cud. It doesn’t have the internal Siman; it has only the external Siman.

Rashi describes how the Chazir has the ability to parade as though he possesses a Siman of Taharah. It sticks out it hooves, suggestive of the lie that it is a Beheimah Tehorah. This was exactly the life of Eisav who lived a life replete with Aveirah “internally,” but gave off an appearance as though he posseses a Siman Taharah.


The Tumah of the Siman Taharah – Kli Yakar


Obviously, an animal needs both Simanim to be considered a Tehorah, internal and external. But, if I were to ask why it is that one is not allowed to eat from a Gamal (camel), a Shafan (hyrax), an Arneves (hare) or a Chazir, one is likely to suggest that it is because each is lacking one of the Simanei Taharah.

However, the Kli Yakar comments stunningly that that is not exactly the sequence in our Parsha. The Chumash states that one cannot eat from a Gamal “כִּי־מַֽעֲלֵ֨ה גֵרָ֜ה ה֗וּא וּפַרְסָה֙ אֵינֶ֣נּוּ מַפְרִ֔יס,” literally, “because it is one that chews its cud, and it’s hoof is not split” (Vayikra 11:4). The sequel is somewhat odd. And this is true for all four of these animals. The Torah rules that it is Tamei and then immediately invokes each one’s Siman Taharah!

We would have explained that each of these animal is a Tamei by pointing to each one’s Siman Timei’ah, what each one lacked. Perhaps “כִּי” here means “despite” or “even though” it has one of the Simanei Taharah, since it lacks the other, it is Tamei.


Kli Yakar, however, points out an important Mussar Haskil. The Torah begins with each of these animal’s Siman Taharah to indicate that each of these animal is uniquely Tamei because it possesses a Siman Taharah, and in addition, coupled with that, it possesses a Siman Tumah!

Sometimes in life, society can be so abhorrent, that a person will natural distance himself. The Kli Yakar writes that the real fear is when one begins to feel comfortable and at home, as if there is commonality.


Yaakov’s Fear: Commonality with Eisav – The Beis HaLevi


The Beis HaLevi writes that this was precisely the fear of Yaakov Avinu. In the beginning of Parshas Vayishlach, Yaakov Avinu Davens, “הַצִּילֵנִי נָא מִיַּד אָחִי מִיַּד עֵשָׂו”-“Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Eisav” (Bereishis 32:12).

Yaakov was not merely afraid of Eisav HaRasha, but rather a more subtle threat which is even more significant, “Achi Eisav”-“my brother Eisav.” When the Umos HaOlam approach us, not with the belligerence of antisemitism, but “Hatzileini Na MiYad Achi,” when Eisav comes and preaches brotherhood, when our guard is down, “נִסְעָה וְנֵלֵכָה וְאֵלְכָה לְנֶגְדֶּךָ” (“Let’s travel and walk, and I will go beside you” – Ibid. 33:12), when the suggestion is that we walk together. That, writes the Beis HaLevi, is the real fear.


The UN vs. The US


We are beginning to become alienated in a society where we felt very much “at home.” It is clear that there are certain nations of the world that represent the antithesis of everything we believe in and it is not surprising that they are Sona’ei Yisrael.

But, we didn’t feel that way in America. But, when the United Nations adopted a resolution that is so blatantly antisemitic, and the best that the United States can do is to simply abstain, not veto… Maybe, we have a commonality with the society we live in, but there is something so foreign, so off.


Rav Pam in his Haggadah, Marah Kohein, in V’Hi SheOmdah, quotes the Gemara in Avodah Zarah (2A-B) which describes what will be L’Asid LaVo when the Umos HaOlam will be summoned to Din V’Cheshbon. They will brag about their accomplishments which they achieved, and all for the sake of Yisrael. HaKadosh Baruch Hu will not tell them that they are wrong, but that they are fools. Surely, everything they did ultimately was for the sake of Kneses Yisrael. But, they are fools nonetheless. Indeed, they are not wrong, but they are disingenuous, as they certainly did not act not for the betterment of Kneses Yisrael.

Rav Pam writes that when that day comes, they attempt to falsely claim and make their case. But, there is a Sefer Zikaron (book of records), a ledger, a document one can point to. And Rav Pam stated more than once that the sole existence of the United Nations is to provide that ledger. Because we can point to one resolution after another, after another, to demonstrate the true antisemitic self-interest of the Umos HaOlam. (There have been more resolutions against Medinas Yisrael than against Iran, Russia, China, North Korea combined!)


That might not surprise us because the United Nations has no Siman Taharah whatsoever. However, the fact the United States can only abstain, whether it is the fact that they lack a soul or spine, it is clear that if America has even one of the Simanei Taharah, it certainly does not have both. And that is a real fear in this Galus Shel Chessed.



*We should be informed and be Zocheh to the Rachamei Shamayim necessary to protect us from all of our enemies and deliver the Geulah and the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu!