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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 3: "Im b'chukosai tei'leichu" - If you will go in My statutes - "Going" refers to incorporating the laws of the Torah into our daily activities. (Sforno)

Ch. 26, v. 3: "Im b'chukosai tei'leichu" - If you will go in My statutes - The Toras Kohanim says that "walking" in my statutes means toiling in the study of Torah, similar to the command Hashem gave to Avrohom, "Kum his'ha'leich bo'oretz l'orkoh ulrochboh" (Breishis 13:17). What is the comparison of Avrohom's "walking" the length and breadth of the land to "walking" in Hashem's statutes?

The Rambam in his commentary on the mishnoh B.B. 1:1 writes that although walking through a property does not constitute an act of acquiring ownership, this is only the case when one attempts to become an owner. However, if one is indeed an owner, such as when the property is an inheritance, just that it is to be divided with other heirs, walking the borders to delineate what is one's portion is an acceptable act of binding ownership. We can thus understand the Toras Kohanim to be saying that since the Torah is our inheritance, and there is an allotment for each person, "v'sein chelkeinu b'Soro'secho" (Pirkei Ovos 5:25), our "walking" is a binding act of acquiring the Torah. The Toras Kohanim explains that "walking" means toiling in the study of Torah. (The Ragotchover Gaon in a personal letter)

Ch. 26, v. 3: "V'es mitzvosai tishmoru" - And My commands you will guard - We can interpret "tishmoru" as "you will await," similar to "v'oviv shomar es hadovor" (Breishis 37:11). For doing the mitzvos themselves reward awaits us in the world-to-come, as per the dictate of the gemara Kidushin 39b, "s'char mitzvoh b'hai almo leko," - there is no reward for mitzvos in this world. However, for the eagerness of anticipating the opportunity to do mitzvos, Hashem will shower us with reward even on this ephemeral world, "V'nosati gishmeichem b'itom" (verse 4). (Z'kan Aharon)

Ch. 26, v. 4: "V'nosnoh ho'oretz y'vuloh" - And the land will give forth its produce - The word "y'vul" is sourced from the word "boloh," to wither and rot. Produce only comes about when the seed withers and decomposes. All matter on this world is not permanent, and this is why the world is called "teiveil." (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Alternatively, its source is from the word "hovoloh," carried, transported. The earth carries its nutrients into produce. (N'tzi"v)

Alternatively, its source is from the word "bolol," mixed, a mixture. Agricultural produce is the result of a mixture of powers, the seed or plant, the nutrients of the earth, moisture, and the warmth of the sun. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vi'shavtem lo'vetach b'artz'chem" - And you will reside confidently in your land - This means that you will find sufficient income within your land and will not have to rely on support from outside the country. (N'tzi"v)

The Avnei Nezer in his responsa Y.D. #454 writes that even if one lives in Eretz Yisroel, but does not generate his livelihood from within the land, i.e. he is supported by others from outside Eretz Yisroel, or his business is outside Eretz Yisroel, he has not fulfilled the mitzvoh of residing in Eretz Yisroel.

Ch. 26, v. 9: "Vahakimosi es brisi itchem" - And I will establish My covenant with you - Rashi writes, "bris chadoshoh," - a NEW covenant - as you have nullified the first one. The new one will never be negated. The Mahari"k interprets Rashi to not ch"v mean that there is an annulment of the first covenant and there will be a replacement, as the original covenant is permanent. Rather the stress is on "vahakimosi." Hashem promised a fulfillment of the good brought about through proper behaviour. However, through improper acts there was an abrogation of the bond, hence Hashem rescinded His promise of bringing the blessings to fruition. What is NEW is the re-establishment of the fulfillment of good, and this Hashem promises will never be repealed.

Ch. 26, v. 12: "V'hoyisi lochem lEilokim" - And I will be for you as a G-d - I will be your judge to exact punishment from those who have wronged you. (B'chor Shor)

Ch. 26, v. 29: "Va'achaltem b'sar bneichem"- And you will eat the flesh of your sons - Although this verse relates a most horrific situation, it can also be interpreted as a comfort. If your sons carry on the kashrus standards of their parents, you will be permitted to eat the meat that they will serve you. (Itu'rei Torah)

Ch. 29, v. 31: "V'nosati o'reichem chorboh" - And I will make your cities desolate - The word "chorboh" does not mean destroyed. The words used to connote destruction are "horus, notutz," and the like. "Choruv" refers to desolation. Even if a synagogue is in perfect condition, but it is no longer functioning, this is "churbon." When a verse mentions the rebuilding of a "churvoh" it refers to reestablishing its function. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 26, v. 37: "V'choshlu ish b'ochiv .. V'lo s'h'yeh lochem t'kumoh lifnei oi'veichem" - And you will stumble one in another .. and you will not be upright in front of your enemies - Because you will have baseless hatred one for another and internal strife, you will be despised by your enemies. (N'tzi"v)

Ch. 26, v. 42: "V'ho'oretz ezkore" - And I will remember the land - After Hashem's stating that He will remember His bond with our Patriarchs, how does the remembrance of the land add to the mitigation of our sins? The earth did not follow Hashem's dictate to produce trees whose wood would have a similar flavour to their fruit. Thus the earth had the nature of non-compliance with Hashem's wishes. The same earth gave forth mankind. It passed on to mankind the nature of not totally complying with Hashem's wishes, thus lessening man's guilt. (Rabbi Yehoshua of Apt in Oheiv Yisroel)

Alternatively, the land of Eretz Yisroel was blessed 14 times in the Torah as a land that flows milk and honey. This abundance of physical blessing lends towards one's sinning, "Va'yishman Yeshurun va'yivot shomanto oviso kosiso" (Dvorim 32:15). (Ksav Sofer)

Alternatively, Rashi explains that the mention of the covenant with each of our Patriarchs means that if the merit of one doesn't suffice, then we add the merit of the next. If the merit of all three is insufficient, then as a last resort, Hashem remembers the land, i.e. even if there is not sufficient merit in all that was mentioned earlier in this verse, Hashem calculates the merit of the Holy Land. It did no wrong to deserve being left desolate of the bnei Yisroel. In this merit alone they will be brought back. (Kli Yokor)

Ch. 26, v. 44: "V'af gam zose bi'h'yosom b'eretz oyvei'hem lo m'astim .. l'ho'feir brisi itom" - And also in spite of this when they are in the land of their enemy I have not despised them .. to annul My bond with them - When the bnei Yisroel find themselves in the Diaspora, which is a result of their sinning, and their host countries attempt to ch"v annihilate them, Hashem does not despise them and instead constantly protects the from the nations' evil machinations. We might incorrectly conclude that this kindness is indicative of Hashem's intention to leave us in the Diaspora and have us continue surviving there. Our verse therefore tells us, "V'af gam zose," - and in spite of this, i.e. the protection afforded, which indicates that "lo m'istim v'lo g'altim l'chalosom," Hashem will not annul His covenant, and will redeem them and bring them back to Eretz Yisroel. (Shaar Bas Rabim)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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