subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim" - These are the matters - The medrash notes that in the past Moshe said to Hashem, "Lo ish dvorim onochi" (Shmos 4:10), and here we have Moshe portrayed as the one who said all these "dvorim." The Chasam Sofer in his Droshos page 338 interprets the medrash as teaching us an important lesson in representation of our nation to the outsider world. One might readily believe that it is best to send a person who is very polished, who is knowledgeable of national and international matters, and speaks the local language impeccably. Yet Moshe told Hashem that he was not the right person to send to Paroh as the bnei Yisroel's representative because he had lost the skill of speaking Egyptian, being away fro a number of decades. Nevertheless, Hashem said that He would be with him, "V'onochi e'h'yeh im picho" (Shmos 4:12). The man best suited for "Eileh hadvorim asher di'ber" is the one who is "Lo ish Dvorim," namely Moshe.

Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim asher di'ber Moshe" - These are the matters that Moshe spoke - Commentators spend much time explaining how the words transmitted in this volume, Dvorim, differ from those of the previous four volumes. This is based on the gemara Megiloh, which says that the book of Dvorim, "Moshe mipi atzmo omrom." The most startling explanation seems to be that of the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, which on the surface posits that the text this book is actually Authored by Moshe. This cannot really be his intention, as the gemara says that every last letter of the Torah was transmitted by Hashem to Moshe. He is best understood by saying that his intention is the same as the Malbim, that Moshe wrote a book based on his prophetic knowledge, and then Hashem told him that those exact words should become the text of the book of Dvorim. We have dealt with this at length in a previous issue on this parsha.

The Ramban, in his commentary on the Ten Commandments in parshas Vo'es'chanan says that Moshe spoke in first person, as if representing Hashem, in Dvorim, a manifestation of Hashem's words emanating from Moshe's throat, "Sh'chinoh m'da'beres mitoch grono shel Moshe."

We might well say that this is alluded to in Shmos 4:10, quoted just above. "Bi A-D-N-Y lo ish dvorim onochi." Within me there is A-D-N-Y, the voice of Hashem, but I am not the "ish Dvorim," the author of this volume. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 1, v. 5: "Ho'il Moshe bei'eir es haTorah hazose" - Moshe began to clarify this Torah - Rashi explains that Moshe translated the Torah into 70 languages. We now understand why Moshe chastised the bnei Yisroel through allusion only, so that the foreign nations not be privy to this. (Mo'ore Voshomesh)

Ch. 1, v. 23: "Vo'ekach mi'kem shneim ossor anoshim" - And I took from you twelve men - The cantillation for the word "shneim" is a "munach," a sort of comma. This is puzzling because the number twelve is obviously a unit. Why separate the two from the twelve? This is exactly the point. Moshe is recounting that he sent twelve people, but they ended up becoming two groups, Yehoshua and Koleiv, who brought back a positive report, and the other ten, who did otherwise. (Mahari"l Diskin)

Ch. 2, v. 17: "Va'y'da'beir Hashem eilai leimore" - And Hashem has spoken to me thus saying - Rashi explains that since the sending of the spies Hashem had not spoken to Moshe in a gentle manner, until this communication. The Mizrochi and other commentators are very hard-pressed to explain this, as it seems to be totally contradictory to the words of Rashi in parshas B'haalos'cho, where he says that "dibur" is an expression of harsh words, while "amiroh" is an expression of a gentle communication. We have dealt with this is a previous issue, and a most beautiful explanation, offered by the B'eir Baso'deh was cited.

<< The B'eir Baso'deh quotes the Holy Zohar (3:132b) who says that "dibur" connotes speaking in a raised loud voice, while "amiroh" connotes speaking in a soft voice. The Holy Zohar asks, "If so, why does Hashem usually speak to Moshe with the expression 'dibur'." He answers that another prophet would quake, tremble, and fall down in a trance out of fear when hearing even an "amiroh" communication from Hashem, while for Moshe, the father of all prophets, even a strong communication brings no such reaction. Says the B'eir Baso'deh, "This is the intention of the verse 'Va'y'da'beir Hashem ei'lai LEIMORE.'" When Hashem speaks with a DIBUR expression, "ei'lai," to me, it is as if it were LEIMORE, a soft expression." He concludes that the question raised by the Mizrochi is thus resolved. The words of Rashi on Bmidbar 12:1 only apply to a person speaking or Hashem communicating with another prophet. However, when communicating with Moshe, "dibur" is considered soft, while "amiroh" is considered harsh.

Although he does not elaborate on why "amiroh" is harsh, perhaps it is because when Moshe, who is capable of receiving a communiqu? in a sharp manner, receives it in a soft manner, it is a limitation of the clarity of the message, hence this is the harshness itself. It is somewhat like running a 220 volt appliance on a 110 volt current. If the appliance is made to be run on 220, the 110 charge is negative.

Perhaps we can now interpret every "Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe leimore" as "And Hashem spoke to Moshe in the DIBUR manner," which is harsh, but because it was to Moshe it is LEIMORE, soft.>>

I have recently come across another explanation of LEIMORE at the end of this most common verse. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh in parshas Yisro says that Hashem communicates with prophets by means of an angel, who is sent with the message. Even Moshe, who receives a most clear message, "b'aspaklaria ha'm'iroh," receives his prophecy through an angel. (This seems contrary to the opinion of numerous others.) This is the intention of LEIMORE. Hashem spoke to Moshe through telling the angel to transmit the message. However, this is contrary to the opinion of Rabbeinu Bachyei and the Rambam in hilchos yesodei haTorah, who both state that Moshe received a communication directly from Hashem with absolutely no angelic intervention.

Ch. 2, v. 30: "L'maan tito b'yodcho k'ha'yom ha'zeh" - So as to put him into your hand as this day - The last two words of this verse are unclear. If the intention is that Moshe combated Sichon the king of Cheshbon and vanquished him in a decisive clear manner, just as during the daytime all objects are clearly seen, "k'ha'yom" would have sufficed. When the bnei Yisroel did battle with Sichon Moshe prayed that the sun not set, but rather, it should be delayed so that the war could be completed that day, and this miracle indeed occurred. This is the intention of these words. Just as Hashem put "the day," the time of sunset, into Moshe's hand, so too, He put Sichon into Moshe's hand. (Kli Yokor)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel