by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS DVORIM 5769 BS"D
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh" - These - From this point in time until Moshe's death there were 36 days, the numerical value of "eileh." (Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid)
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh" - These - There are six parshios in the Torah that begin with the letter Alef. They are, "Eileh toldos Noach, Eileh pikudei, Im b'chukosai, Eileh massei," and "Attem nitzovim." This total alludes to the six sections of the mishnoh, which Moshe taught the bnei Yisroel. The letter Alef itself, among its meanings, also means "teaching." Four of the Talmud's tractates also begin with the word "Eileh," to allude to the four of the six sections that have gemara clarifying the mishnoh. "Eileh," whose numerical value is 36, also alludes to the 36 tractates of gemara. Five tractates that do not begin with the word "eileh" do begin with an Alef, Pei'oh, P'sochim, R.H., B.K., and Keilim, to allude to the strong connection of the written 5 volumes of the Torah to the oral Torah. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim" - These are the words/matters - Rabbeinu Bachyei, in a somewhat esoteric manner, explains why this word is not "V'eileh." He considers the default first word of a new volume of the Torah to surely be connected with the previous, and should therefore have a connecting Vov, except where there is an explanation to not have it. This is most interesting, and also in contra-distinction with the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, who at the beginning of parshas Shmos goes to some length to explain why it begins with "V'eileh" rather than "Eileh."
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim" - These are the words/matters - We find as a preface to transmitting the Ten Commandments, and with them a commitment to comply with the whole Torah, these same words, in Shmos 19:6. This teaches us, says Rabbeinu Zecharioh, that Moshe's admonitions carry the same weight as do the 613 mitzvos.
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Hadvorim" - The words/matters - This word can be broken into the letter Hei and the rest of the word, which can be pronounced "d'vOrim," bees. The five volumes of the Torah are sweeter than the honey bees produce. (Rokei'ach)
Ch. 1, v. 1: "El KOL Yisroel" - To ALL of Yisroel - Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid says that his father asked why here it says that he spoke to ALL, and in verse three it says that he spoke to "bnei Yisroel," not saying KOL, and even later, when it says that "Ho'il Moshe bei'eir" )(verse 5), it doesn't even say to whom he clarified. Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid answers that the admonitions and basic understanding of all the mitzvos transmitted through the Torah were taught to all, hence "el KOL." The teachings expounded through "kal vochomer, g'zeiroh shovoh, 32 midos," were only taught to those with sharp minds. The clarification of verse 5 refers to the rulings extracted through juxtaposition, the esoteric hidden meanings, and the extraction of Holy Names of Hashem from select letters were taught only to a select few, hence not even the mention of "bnei Yisroel."
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Bo'arovoh mole Suf" - In the low plain across from Suf - Rashi says that mention of "arovoh" recalls the sin of baal p'ore that took place in Shitim, which is in "arvose Moav." "Mole Suf" refers to the sins that took place at Yam Suf, as stated by the gemara Arochin 15a, that the bnei Yisroel sinned twice at Yam Suf. One sin took place before their entry into the water, when they had no trust in Hashem's salvation. The second sin took place while they were actually in Yam Suf, as per the verse in T'hilim 106:7, "Va'yamru al yom b'Yam Suf." They again did not trust in Hashem's salvation, saying that just as they are ascending from here, the Egyptians are also ascending from another location. Rashi separates "arovoh" from Yam Suf, explaining that they refer to different occurrences. However, Targum Onkelos combines "arovoh" and Yam Suf. He translates these words to mean "in the 'arovoh' across from Yam Suf." Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that it refers to the "splitting" (see next insight) of the Yam Suf.
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Mole Suf" - Across from Suf - This is the standard translation. Rabbi Yaakov of Vienna translates "mole" as "cut," like "miloh." "Mole Suf" is the cutting, splitting of Yam Suf.
Ch. 1, v. 1: "V'di zohov" - And an abundance of gold - This is Rashi's interpretation, that because of their taking an abundance of gold with them out of Egypt, they had the ability to create a golden calf. However, Targum Onkelos seems to translate "v'di" differently. He writes, "V'al daavodu eigel didhav." The Torah's word "v'di" semms to be translated as OF, which in Aramaic is a letter Dalet. "V'di zohov" is as if the verse said, "v'shel zohov," an item OF gold. This is an eye-opener. It might take you by surprise, but the total number of times the Torah has the word "shel," meaning OF, including pronoun suffixes, i.e. "sheli, shelcho, shelo, shelo'hem," etc., is ZERO. This is not the time to comment on this oddity, if for no other reason than that I don't have clarity in this matter. I have been told that "shel" is not a "loshon haKodesh" word. In Nach we do find it, for example "b'shelmi" in Yonah. In any case, according to Targum Onkelos we have a self-standing word in the Torah that means OF, albeit in the Aramaic language. Any comments on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 1, v. 34: "Va'yishma Hashem es kole divreichem" - And Hashem has heard the voice of your words - The word "kole" seems to be totally superfluous. However, the Haa'meik Dovor explains that there are two points conveyed here. The first is their upraised voices when they registered their complaint. This added to the diminishing of Hashem's honour in the eyes of the masses. Secondly, the actual content of their words, which were totally inaccurate, was also a source of displeasure.
Ch. 2, v. 7: "Lo chosarto dovor" - You did not lack anything - Rashbam explains that when there was no opportunity to purchase food and drink, Hashem supplied them gratis, and when there was an opportunity, they had the financial means to pay for these items.
Rabbi Yaakov of Vienna offers two other insights. The first is that you were not "diminished" in any manner. When one has a guest, he usually feeds him well at the beginning, but as time passes, he diminishes the meals. This was not the case with Hashem in the desert. The second is that you received food and clothing gratis, and thus did not have any of your funds diminish through having to purchase these items.
Ch. 2, v. 8: "Mei'eis acheinu vnei Eisov" - From our brothers the sons of Eisov - Why the endearing word "brothers?" They deserved this appellation simply because they did us no harm at that time. (Rabbeinu Yoel)
Ch. 3, v. 9: "Tzidonim yik'ru l'Chermon Siryon v'hoEmori yik'ru lo Snir" - Tzidonim will call Chermon Siryon and the Emorites will call it Snir - MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki ztvkllh"h derives from the wordage here that Tzidon was not the name of a nation, but rather, only the name of a family or clan, in contra-distinction to "v'hoEmori," which means of the NATION of Emor. Take note of the suffix of the letter Yud after the name Emor. Tzidonim is simply the plural form of a person belonging to Tzidon (see Yehoshua 13, "Um'oroh asher laTzidonim").
Just in case you don't grasp this point, I will elaborate. Canaan is the name of a nation. People who belong to this nation are called C'naanim, simply plural, two or more people of the Canaan nation. Canaani means pertaining to the Canaan nation. Apply this to our verse and this point is readily understood.
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