An Enigmatic Understanding of the Prohibition to Break the Bones of the Korban Pesach

I know it’s after Pesach, but as we are still learning the kodshim perakim of Pesachim in the Kollel Gavoah, sources on korban Pesach are still fair game.  On that note, I found a comment by a Rishon I never heard of before, ר ‘ יעקב דילישקייאש מוינאin Sefer אמרי נועם(apparently a late Medieval collection of French and German commentaries on Chumash), in the new volume of תורת ראשנים by Mossad HaRav Kook (Pesachim Volume 4) that I don’t understand.  Any help would be appreciated. 

There is a prohibition of breaking the bones of the korban Pesach.  The exact parameters are a matter of dispute in the seventh perek of Pesachim.  Many reasons have been given for the prohibition.  For example (just taking the examples from the Torat Rishonim pages 686-7): 1) Breaking bones is not a thing that well to do free people would do, so we should not do it (Chinuch 16).  2) One does not break bones to suck out marrow when he is eating in a rush, so to commemorate the Jews rushing out of Egypt, we can’t break the bones (Haggadah of Rabbi Dovid HaNaggid, Bechor Shor to Shemot 12:46).  3) The Egyptians had to be able to recognize that the Jews were eating their gods, so the bones has to remain intact so the animals would remain recognizable (Ibn Ezra, cited approvingly in Orchot Chaim Hilchot Seder Leil HaPesach 28). 4) The Korban was supposed to be eaten when full, so sucking at the bones makes it look like one was hungry and did not eat the korban the way it was supposed to (Tosafot HaShalem to Shemot 12:46).

All of these reasons I understand.  However, in the Sefer אמרי נועםof this Rabbi Yaakov to Shemot 12:46 he writes as follows:

ועצם לא תשברו בו- פירוש כשם שאני לא שברתי עצם, דכתיב בעצם היום הזה וגו’, גם אתם לא תשברו עצם.

Any help understanding what this means would be much appreciated.


5 thoughts on “An Enigmatic Understanding of the Prohibition to Break the Bones of the Korban Pesach

  1. Two Possible Pshatim:

    1) It’s like option #3, of the Ibn Ezra and Orchot Chaim, that part of the point is to make it clear that we are eating the Sheep/Pesach, and breaking the bone would hide that. Just like God took Bnei Yisrael out BeEtzem HaYom, in the middle of the day, so too we should eat the animal in “broad daylight.”

    2) It’s part of a larger theory of Korban Pesach that it’s meant to facilitate discussion about Yetziat Mitzrayim. So just like Matzah, Maror, and Pesach all have symbolic meaning that will inspire questions and encourage Raban Gamliel’s three explanations, so too Dinei Achilas Peasch have “oddities” to inspire questions and discussion.

    Just my two cents!

  2. It might be similar to the Or Hachayim’s comment on Shemot 12:17 about Shemirat Hamatzot:

    ושמרתם את המצות וגו’. פי’ כשם שאני שמרתי היום ולא אחרתי יום אחד ובעצם היום הזה הוצאתי אתכם לטעם זה אתם גם כן לא תאחרו המצה עד שתחמיץ

    Perhaps Rabbi Yaakov is saying something similar regarding the Mitzva of Shevirat Etzem. Just as Hashem did not break His promise to take us out of Mitzrayim on that day, so too we should not break the bones of the Korban Pesach as a reminder.

  3. I assume it’s a bit of clever wordplay – God took us out בעצם היום הזה, not veering from the exact day when it was supposed to happen (חשב את הקץ), not breaking the promise, so we also can’t break the עצמות of the קרבן פסח.

  4. Thanks for the comments (both here and by email, gchat, in person, etc). It’s been fun trying to work out this puzzle.
    Others suggestions I’ve gotten: it is just a literary symbolism, or Hashem didn’t “break his promise” to us, God took us out without us being broken, etc.

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