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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS EIKEV 5770 BS"D

IN HONOUR OF THE BAR MITZVOH OF OUR GRANDSON SHOLO-M BEN HORAV MAYER MOSHE NR"U

Ch. 7, v. 12: "V'hoyoh eikev tish'm'un ushmartem vaasisem" - And it will be as a result of your hearkening and you will safeguard and you will do - All of these requirements are expressed in the plural form. Yet, when it comes to Hashem's response we find it expressed in the singular form, "v'shomar, vaa'heivcho, uveirach'cho." This is explained by the Kli Yokor. The command to all members of the bnei Yisroel is equal, hence the plural expressions. However, when it comes to the fulfillment there are varying degrees in varying aspects, effort, energy, level of commitment, etc. Hashem responds in kind and therefore for each individual there is a custom made response of "v'shomar, vaa'heivcho, uveirach'cho."

Ch. 7, v. 13: "U'veirach pri bit'n'cho ufri admo'secho" - And He will bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land - We only find the word "u'veirach" once in the Torah, "u'veirach es lach'm'cho" (Shmos 23:25). This teaches us that along with our increase in the number of our children Hashem sends along an increase in bread. (Ohr Pnei Moshe of Pshavorsk) This would also explain the text of our motzoai Shabbos zemer, "Za'reinu v'chaspeinu yarbeh kachole."

Ch. 8, v. 10: "U'veirachto" - And you shall recite a blessing - The story is told of the Chasam Sofer, that he had his shamash bring him a piece of cake and a glass of coffee right after his morning prayers on a daily (weekdays) basis, and he would consume them and then launch into uninterrupted learning. Food was a bit scarce for the shamash, and realizing that the Chasam Sofer was so engrossed in spirituality he thought that he could get away with eating the slice of cake and the Chasam Sofer would likely not even realize that he had not consumed it. To facilitate this ruse, after having eaten the cake, he even left a few crumbs over in the plate. The shamash came back to serve the Chasam Sofer a bit past midday and the Chasam Sofer asked him why this time he had not been served his regular slice of cake. The shamash said that he had indeed served a slice of cake and perhaps the Chasam Sofer forgot. The Chasam Sofer's response was quick and sharp. "Whether I ate the cake or not, I honestly don't remember, but I know that I would not eat it without making a blessing before and afterwards. This I would not forget, and I am sure that I did not make either blessing. Hence, I am sure that I did not eat a slice of cake this morning."

Ch. 10, v. 2: "Vsamtom bo'orone" - And place them into the ark - Isn't it obvious that their place would be inside the "orone hakodesh?" Bchor Shor answers that the intention of these words is that Moshe should place the two new tablets into the ark and leave them there. If for some reason he again becomes very displeased with the behaviour of the bnei Yisroel he would thus not take them and shatter them as he had done with the first set of luchos.

Ch. 10, v. 12: "V'atoh Yisroel moh Hashem Elokecho shoi'eil mei'imcho" - And now Yisroel what does Hashem your G-d ask of you - The M.R. #21 says that the word "atoh" (with an Ayin) alludes to teshuvoh, repentance. The holy Chofetz Chaim explains that the impetus to repent is contained in the word "atoh." The evil inclination tells a person that that he still has a long life ahead of him, and even if he should repent, he should continue in his sinful ways and towards the end of his life when his lusts and ability to sin have waned, then it is time to repent. Later on in life the evil inclination has a new line, that he is so sullied with sin that he is beyond repentance. The one and only way to counter the wily evil inclination is with "atoh," NOW! Don't accept any rationalizations for not acting immediately. No one is guaranteed that he will live beyond today, and no one, no matter how sullied he is by sins, is beyond repentance.

Ch. 10, v. 20: "Es Hashem Elokecho tiro" - Hashem your G-d should you fear - The gemara Nidoh 16b says, "All is in the hands of heaven save fear of heaven." The holy Admor of Kotzk explains this to mean that when we supplicate Hashem Who is in heaven our wishes are judges and sometimes the response is a no. however, when one asks for help in attaining fear of heaven this is not judged in the heavens, as the response is always a yes.

Ch. 11, v. 6: "Vaasher ossoh l'Doson vaAvirom bnei Eliov bnei Reuvein asher potz'soh ho'oretz es pihoh vativlo'eim v'es bo'teihem v'es oho'leihem v'es kol ha'y'kum asher b'ragleihem" - And what He did to Doson and Avirom the sons of Eliov that the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses and their tents and all their upright possessions which was at their feet - Rashi (gemara Psochim 119a) says that one's assets are the items that keep him stalwart and upright. When Moshe sent for Doson and Avirom by the Korach uprising they did not even come as per Moshe's bidding. Instead, they stood defiantly at the entrance of their homes. A great factor in their being do arrogant was their many possessions. Had they come in front of Moshe with some level of subordination and heard his logical words there is the possibility that they would have been persuaded to change their stance. This might be a hidden message also included in the words of our Sages, that one's money puts a person on his feet, that rather than submissively coming in front of Moshe they stood their ground, "maamido al raglov," because of their many possessions. (n.l.)

Ch. 11, v. 11,12: "V'ho'oretz asher a'tem ovrim shomoh l'rishtoh eretz horim uvko'os limtar hashomayim tishteh moyim, Eretz asher Hashem Elokecho doreish osoh tomid" - And the land that you are passing over to inherit it is a land of mountains and valleys through the rain of the heavens will it drink water, It is a land that Hashem your G-d inquires of it steadily - The Yalkut Shimoni #860 comments on these words that it the land that Hashem inquires if from its produce chaloh, trumoh, and maa'seir was tithed, but no other land. This enigmatic medrash deserves an explanation. The Kli Yokor says that the earlier verse tells us that Eretz Yisroel is not like Egypt, where when if there was an insufficient supply of water it would require carrying water by foot to make things grow. Rather, there will be sufficient rains, which would also reach the valleys, as mountain runoff. Since Hashem will save people all the trouble of shlepping water, He is an active partner in the resultant crops and in turn He deserves a portion of the produce. This is the chaloh, trumoh, and maa'seir.

Ch. 11, v. 17: "V'choroh af Hashem bochem" - And Hashem's anger will burn in you - The story is told of a Bobover Chosid who was in a concentration camp and one night the Kedushas Tzion of Bobov appeared to him in a dream and asked him for the meaning of these words in our verse. He responded that the translation is well known, so what does the Rebbe want? The Kedushas Tzion answered that there was a message of hope even when one is in the most severe of circumstances. "V'choroh af," even when it is obvious that Hashem's anger is present, still "Hashem bochem," rest assured that Hashem is within you and is guarding you. He told this dream over to others who were with him in the camp and it lifted their spirits greatly while they were in this most trying of situations.

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


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