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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Matos: In Sichon & Og We Ate Pig, But In Midyan We Kashered The Utensils?

 "Kol Asher Yavo BaEsh Taviru BaEsh; Everything that comes into fire, you shall pass through the fire and it shall be clean,"  The pasuk tells us that before using the vessels, which they took from Midyan, they must be Kashered.  Prior to the war with Midyan, the Jews had a major war with Sichon and Og. Why were the instructions of Kashering utensils not given immediately after the war with Sichon and Og?

Ramban answers, "The Gemorah (Chulin 17a) says in regard to the pasuk in Devarim (6:10-11) - 'It shall be when Hashem will bring you to the land of your forefathers... great and good cities that you did not build, houses filled with every good thing that you did not fill', that this includes permission to use 'Katlei DeChaziri=dried pieces of pork' - taken among the spoils or found in abandoned houses.

 Consequently, in the battle with Sichon and Og, since the land of Emori is part of the inheritance of the Bnai Yisrael, everything they took from them, including non-kosher utensils or foods, were permissible to use as is. However, the war with Midyan was strictly a war of revenge for the act they did against Klal Yisrael. Their land was taken as a vengeance, and is not part of the land, which was an inheritance to the Bnai Yisrael. Therefore, in order to use the utensils of Midyan, it was necessary to put them through the process prescribed by Elazar the Kohen."

 According to the Ramban, everything, including non-kosher food, captured while conquering the land, which is of Jewish inheritance, is permissible. However, according to the Rambam (Melachim 8:1), "It is permissible for soldiers to eat non-kosher food taken among the spoils, only when they are hungry and do not have other food."

 Daas Zekainim MiBaalai HaTosfos answers, "Unlike the war with Sichon, of which the Torah writes, 'He went out against the Bnai Yisrael in the wilderness (21:23), the Jews went to Midyan to battle with the Bnei Midyan.' Since the war with Sichon took place in the Midbar, and it is uncommon to have cooking utensils on the battlefield, none were captured, and it was not necessary to give instructions on how to make them permissible. However, the war with Midyan took place in the cities, and the Bnai Yisrael took various kinds of spoils, including cooking utensils. That is why it was necessary for Elazar to provide instructions for making the non kosher utensils fit for use by the Bnai Yisrael."
RELATED ARTICLES:kashering keilim  Midyan  Parshas Matos  pig  Sichon  war

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