by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS HAAZINU 5775 BS"DCh. 32, v. 1: "Haazinu hashomayim vaada'beiroh v'sishma ho'oretz imrei fi" - Heavens listen and I will speak and the earth shall hear the words of My mouth - Hashem brings the heavens and the earth as witnesses rather than He Himself being the witness. This is because "Shicheis lo," he has acted destructively to Him, Hashem, and thus Hashem cannot be a witness, "lo," when He is the plaintiff. As well, "Bonov mumom," they is his sons' flaws, hence Hashem cannot testify against His sons. (Yalkut haGeirshuni)
Ch. 32, v. 1: "Haazinu hashomayim vaada'beiroh v'sishma ho'oretz imrei fi" - Heavens listen and I will speak and the earth shall hear the words of My mouth - The Holy Zohar writes that "the heavens" refers to the wealthy people and "the earth" refers to the poor people. This bears out the change from "vaada'beiroh" to "imrei fi." "Dibur" connotes strong talk while "amiroh" connotes soft spoken words. When speaking to wealthy, who "yaaneh azus" we have "dibur," and when speaking to the poor "imrei fi" is the appropriate manner. (Shaarei Simchoh)
Ch. 32, v. 2: "Yaarof kamottor likchi tizal katal imrosi" - My purchase shall drop as rain My word shall flow as dew - The medrash says that "mottor" refers to the written Torah, while "tal" refers to the oral Torah. Rain is quantifiable while dew is not. Similarly the written Torah is finite in its words, letters, mitzvos, etc. The oral Torah is infinite, as Rabbis add insights in an ongoing basis. This is like dew, which is not quantifiable. (Chofetz Chaim)
Ch. 32, v. 3: "Ki shem Hashem ekra hovu godel lEilokeinu" - When I call in the Name Hashem give greatness to our G-d - Hashem is the Name that connotes mercy while Elokim connotes stringency. Moshe tells the bnei Yisroel that he has served Hashem with all his might and because of one sin he was denied entry into Eretz Yisroel. Nevertheless Moshe caals in the Name of Hashem, that he recognizes that all that Hashem does is actually merciful. Surely the bnei Yisroel, who have sinned numerous times and were forgiven and allowed ingress the Eretz Yisroel, should surely give greatness of praise even if they feel that there is stringency, Elokim. (Tzror Hamor)
Alternatively, Rabbeinu Yonah explains the words of "modim d'Rabonon, Al she'onu modem loch boruch Keil hahodo'ose" to mean that we give thanks for the opportunity to give thanks to Hashem. Similarly here in our verse, "When I call in the name of Hashem give greatness to our G-d for the opportunity to praise Him." (B'eir Mayim Chaim of Chernovitz)
Ch. 32, v. 4: "Hatzur tomim po'olo ki chol drochov mishpot" - The strong One's actions are perfect because all His paths are justice - Targum Onkelos says on KI "a'rei," since/because. He seems to understand these words to mean that Hashem's actions are perfect as demonstrated by His paths, i.e. actions, are dictated by true justice.
Ch. 32, v. 6: "Am novol v'lo chochom ha'lo hu ovicho" - An abominable nation and it is not wise is He not your Father - The Ramban at the beginning of parshas K'doshim explains "K'doshim ti'h'yu" to mean that one should act with restraint even in the realm of permitted matters, and not be a "novol birshus haTorah." Technically, one can do acts that are not transgressions and still be called an abomination. The M.R. Shmos 24:1 says that when we do Hashem's will He has mercy upon us like a father to a son, but when we do not do His will, He lords over us as a master over his servant. Commentators ask, "When we don't do His will why are we treated as servants? We should be considered rebellious people and treated more harshly." They answer that "His will" is not limited to the technical letter of the law, but to even behaving in a manner that is consistent with Hashem's will, even in matters not specifically prohibited. This is just like a father not spelling out certain matters to his son, but still expecting him to understand that the father wants them to be, or not be done. Doing "His will" gives us the status of "sons." Not doing "His will," but at the same time not transgressing open prohibitions, gives us the lesser title, "servants."
We now have a new insight into these words of our verse. When one acts like a "novol birshus haTorah," he acts unwisely. The verse goes on to admonish, "ha'lo hu OVICHO." Is He not your FATHER? Since He is your Father, you should reciprocate and behave like a son, complying not only with the written letter of the law, but you should also not be a "novol." (Nirreh li)
Ch. 32, v. 8: "Yatzeiv g'vulos amim l'mispar bnei Yisroel" - He establishes the borders of the nations as the count of the bnei Yisroel - According to the amount of bnei Yisroel in the lands of each nation, Hashem makes them more secure. In spite of our being their security they treat us unfairly, and even drive us out, even though this is self-detrimental. (Chofetz Chaim)
Ch. 32, v. 47: "Ki lo dovor reik hu mi'kem ki hu chayeichem" - Because it is not a meaningless matter for you rather it is your life - Rashi explains that you should realize that your work is not for naught. Hashem has great rewards in store for those who comply with his mitzvos.
The Chizkuni explains that it means that you should be knowledgeable of all the Torah, because if you won't be then you might transgress a sin that will bring about your death. This is "reik." Likewise, you might not fulfill numerous mitzvos that would bring you great reward. This is "chayeichem."
Ch. 32, v. 50: "Umus bohor" - And die on the mountain - Ibn Ezra says that the command was to prepare himself for death, as we find that he went to his burial spot.
Ch. 32, v. 51: "Al asher m'altem bi al asher lo kidashtem osi" - For your wrongdoing against me for your not having sanctified me - Rashi explains that the second phrase explains the first. The Meshech Chochmoh explains, based on the words of the GR"A that when a person sins he has a twofold issue, the actual sin and the misuse of the time. Similarly here, "m'altem" by misusing the time, and secondly you sinned by not sanctifying me.
Ch. 32, v. 52: "V'shomoh lo sovo el ho'oretz asher ani nosein livnei Yisroel" - And there you will not go to the land that I give to the bnei Yisroel - What need is there to add on "asher ani nisein livnei Yisroel?" It is self understood. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that this is understood based on the words of medrash Dvorim that Moshe will enter Eretz Yisroel with our Patriarchs, and the words of the Holy Zohar that Moshe will bring the bnei Yisroel from the far-flung corner of the exile into Eretz Yisroel. Our verse is thus saying that Hashem tells Moshe that he will not enter now with the bnei Yisroel whom Hashem is giving the land now.
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