by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS EIKEV 5762 BS"D
Ch. 8, v. 4: "Simlos'cho lo volsoh mei'olecho" - Your garment has not disintegrated from upon you - The Kli Yokor offers a novel interpretation of these words by translating "mei'olecho" as the sweat that is upon you. Your garment has not disintegrated from your sweat which is upon you.
Ch. 8, v. 9: "Eretz asher lo v'miskeinus tochal boh lechem lo sech'sar kole boh" - A land that without deficiency will you eat in it bread nothing will be lacking in it - Rabbi Nachamon of Breslov in Likutei Mohora"n interprets: A poor man eats only bread because he cannot afford any accompaniments to this staple food. However, if he had the means he would surely eat numerous other foods along with his bread. However, our verse tells us that the sanctity of Eretz Yisroel is so great that it will spiritually affect you to eat only bread even though you are not poor and all assorted types of food are readily available. Your lust for eating tasty and exotic foods will be broken.
Ch. 8, v. 9: "Lo sech'sar kole boh" - Nothing will be lacking in it - Rashi on Koheles 2:5 writes that King Shlomo brought every species of fruit to Eretz Yisroel and had them planted there. They all survived and thrived. This is the meaning of "nothing will be lacking in it." Rabbi Dovid Tevel in Nachalas Dovid writes that every type of plant growth has its source in Eretz Yisroel. There are channels that emanate from Yerusholayim to all over the world which act as a conduit of sustenance for each specific species, even for those that do not grow in Eretz Yisroel. The Holy Rabbi Pinchos of Koritz writes in Imrei Pinchos #153 that Eretz Yisroel is the only land in the world where all 7 species grow.
Ch. 8, v. 10: "V'ochalto v'sovoto u'veirachto" - And you shall eat and you will become satiated and you shall say grace - The gemara Brochos 20b relates that justice claimed that Hashem states in His Torah that He would not favour anyone, and yet He favours the bnei Yisroel. Hashem responded that He must favour the bnei Yisroel as in the Torah it says that only when one eats and satiates himself is he responsible to say grace after meals. However, the bnei Yisroel are stringent upon themselves to even say grace after eating only a minimal amount. Rabbi Nachamon of Breslov in Likutei Mohora"n says that we see from these words that breaking one's lust for eating brings the desirable effect of gaining Hashem's favour. He says that we also find the opposite to be true. In Dvorim 31:17 we find, "V'histarti fonay mei'hem v'hoyoh le'echole," because of their great joy in eating ("v'hoyoh" is an expression of joy), i.e. they pursue their lust of eating, I will hide My countenance from them.
Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin notes that the above-mentioned gemara says that they are stringent UPON THEMSELVES when eating a minimal mount of food. From this we derive that when feeding a guest they offer him a large amount, surely enough to satiate himself.
Ch. 8, v. 16: "L'maan anos'cho ulmaan naso'secho l'heitivcho b'achari'secho" - So as to give you tribulation and trial to do good to you in the end - The N'tzi"v interprets: The trials and tribulations that you will pass will form you into a good person in the end.
Ch. 9, v. 9: "Luchos ho'avonim luchos habris" - Tablets of stone tablets of the covenant - Just as the essence of the Torah was etched into stone and stone does not decompose, wither, or change, so too, the covenant of the Torah is never open to change at any time. (Rabbi Shimshon R'foel Hirsch)
Ch. 9, v. 9: "Lechem lo ochalti umayim lo shosisi" - I ate no bread and drank no water - The M.R. asks, "How was it possible for one born of a woman to subsist for 40 days without food or drink?" The M.R. answers that when one goes to another community he should follow the customs of that community (i.e. in the heavens the angels do not eat). The Shvus Yaakov asks that the question posed by the M.R. seems to not be answered. Rabbi Binyomin Zev Blumenfeld, Rov of Lemberg, answers that when Moshe ascended to the heavens his physical being was so purified and elevated that he required no alimentation. This is the intention of the M.R.'s words to follow the customs of the community.
He adds that we can likewise understand the M.R. that states that when Moshe ascended to the heavens to receive the Torah the angels asked Hashem why a human being entered their exalted realm. Hashem formed Moshe's face to resemble that of Avrohom's and responded that they ate at Avrohom's home. Was there some sort of deception in forming Moshe's face to resemble Avrohom's? No, there wasn't, but rather, Hashem did this to remind the angels that when they descended to the earth they actually physically partook of food, as they were on earth where eating is required for one to be sustained as explained in the Holy Zohar on parshas Va'yeiro. So too, they should realize that once Moshe had ascended to the heavens, he also behaved as the angels do and required no food to remain alive, and it was therefore befitting to allow him to be in the heavens.
Ch. 9, v. 17: "Vo'espos bishnei haluchos" - And I gripped the two tablets - Ovos d'Rebbi Noson chapter #3 relates that when Moshe descended from the mountain and saw that people sinned with the golden calf, he turned back to the mountain. The 70 elders saw this and ran after him. They feared that he would not present the bnei Yisroel with the Holy Luchos and they grabbed onto them. Moshe likewise grabbed onto them and overpowered them and held the tablets. We can thus translate "vo'espos" as "and I grabbed them away." (Haksav V'hakaboloh)
Ch. 9, v. 17: "Vo'ashabreim l'eineichem" - And I shattered them in front of your eyes - Since the commands of "Onochi" and "lo y'h'yeh l'cho" both appear on the first tablet, why did Moshe shatter both tablets?
1) Idol worship is equated with transgressing all the mitzvos of the Torah, so the mitzvos listed on the second tablet were also transgressed.
2) The gemara Yerushalmi Shkolim chapter #6 brings an opinion that all Ten Commandments were etched into each of the tablets.
3) The Ibn Ezra in parshas Yisro says in the name of the Gaon that the text of the Ten Commandments of parshas Yisro appeared on the first tablet, while the text of the Ten Commandments in parshas Vo'es'chanan appeared on the second tablet.
4) Numerous commentators say that the first commandment corresponds to the sixth commandment, embodying the same concept, the second to the seventh, and so on. If so, by transgressing the first and second commandment, the sixth and seventh were also violated.
Perhaps this is the intention of Rashi (verse 10) when he states that we derive from the word "luchos" being spelled lacking a letter Vov that the 2 tablets are equal, i.e. that they each contain the same concepts.
Ch. 9, v. 23,24: "Vatamru es pi Hashem v'lo he'emantem lo v'lo shma'tem b'kolo, Mamrim he'yi'sem IM Hashem" - And you have altered the word of Hashem and you have not had faith in Him and you have not hearkened to His voice, You have been rebellious WITH Hashem - Should the verse not have said that you were deniers OF Hashem? Verse 23 recounts the sin of sending the spies and believing their negative reports to the point that they were reluctant to enter Eretz Yisroel. Commentators explain that the spies and the masses had mistaken spiritual calculations in wanting to remain in the desert. Thus we have the bnei Yisroel WITH Hashem, with mistaken spiritual reckonings. (Sforno)
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