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D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
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What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways. (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)

1. "V'Yishritzu Hamayim Sheretz Nefesh Chaya" (Perek Alef, Pasuk Chof). There are many different mefarshim explaining exactly what type of animal the Pasuk is referring to. Rashi says the Pasuk is referring to all living things not higher than the earth - flies, ants, worms etc. the Ramban says any creature that moves. One could also say it is the snake - the Nachash. The Roshei Teivos of the words "Sheretz Nefesh Chaya" are Shin, Nun, Ches. The word nachash, snake is written Nun, Ches, Shin. Of course the letters are seemingly not in the right order. If we look at the Rashi on this Pasuk we see that Rashi explains first "Nefesh Chaya" and the "Sheretz". Sifsei Chachomim explains that Rashi does this because this is the way the Pasuk was meant to be read. Following that way of thinking we can say Sheretz Nefesh Chaya is the Nachash.

2. "Ki Rabbah Raas Hadam B'Aretz" (Perek Vov, Pasuk Hey) "V'ynachem Hashem Ki Asah Es Hadam B'Aretz" (same, Pasuk Vov). The Chumash tells us that Hashem saw that the evil of man was increasing and V'ynachem Hashem that he had created man on the earth. Rashi offers two explanations on V'yinachem. First he says that Hashem was comforted by the fact that he created man on earth and not in Shamayim where he would have corrupted the heavens. Second he says that Hashem regretted that he had created man because of the evil that he had done. Puzzling is the use of the word B'Aretz, not once but twice and both times the word seems meaningless. Both Pesukim would seemingly make perfect sense without the word B'Aretz. The word Shamayim is a remez to ruchnius and the word Aretz is a remez to gashmius. Using the second explanation of Rashi, that Hashem regretted, we can say that after seeing the evil that man was doing Hashem regretted that he had created man dependent on the gashmius to survive - Ki Asah Es Hadam B'Aretz. - that he created man in the earth - in the gashmius.

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