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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 2: "V'lokachto mei'reishis" - Should the verse not have said "v'hei'veiso mei'reishis?" The Nachal K'dumim answers that the Kidushin 7a says that although halacha mandates that to effect a marriage it is required to have the man GIVE an item of a minimal value to the consenting woman, nevertheless, if he is a very highly esteemed person, even if the woman gives an item to the man and he accepts it, she is considered to have received something of value from him. The item of value is the pleasure that she derives from having her offering accepted by such an important personage. Surely here we can say that the one who offers his first ripened produce, although he is the giver, is to be considered the receiver, hence "v'lokachto," since Hashem is willing to accept his offering.

Ch. 26, v. 3: "Higadti ha'yom" - How can one say that he has "related today" in the past tense? It is only after the giving of the Bikurim to the Kohein and his placing them in front of the altar that the Torah says "v'oniso v'omarto," - and you shall respond and you shall say ......" (verse 5). Last year's offering is being repeated, plus a novel answer from Haksav V'hakaboloh.

< Perhaps with the interpretation of the Sforno of the word "higadti" we can have a new insight into a well-known section of the Pesach Hagodoh.

"V'higadto l'vincho" (Shmos 13:8) - and you shall relate to your son. This is the mitzvoh of MAGID. The Hagodoh asks "Ee 'ba'yom hahu' yochol mi'b'ode yom? Talmud lomar 'baavur zeh, baavur zeh' lo omarti elloh bizman she'yeish matzoh u'moror munochim l'fo'necho," - since the verse says 'on that DAY,' might I not conclude that the mitzvoh of MAGID takes place while it is still during the day of the 14th, on the eve of Pesach? The Hagodoh answers that this is incorrect because the verse teaches us through the words 'baavur ZEH' that the mitzvoh of MAGID only takes place when you have "THIS" in front of you. "THIS" refers to the matzoh and moror, which you use only on the night of Pesach and not on the eve of Pesach.

According to the Sforno it is possible that the Hagodoh is asking that since we so clearly show through our actions of preparation of the Pesach sacrifice our connection to the values and ideals that Pesach encompasses, possibly this act in and of its own is a fulfillment of MAGID on the eve of the 15th of Pesach.>>

Haksav V'hakaboloh translates the word "higadti" as "I have been FORTUNATE," as we find "boh gad" (Breishis 30:11). Thus the one who brings his first ripened produce offering is stating, "I have been FORTUNATE today to be able to live in this land and bring .."

Ch. 26, v. 11: "V'somachto v'chol hatov asher nosan l'cho Hashem Elokecho u'l'vei'secho atoh v'haLevi v'ha'geir" - Your greatest joy should not be in the good that you have received, but rather, in the fact that it was given to you by Hashem. (Tiferes Shlomo - The Holy Admor of Radomsk)

Your greatest joy should not be in the good that you have received, but rather, in your sharing it with your family, the Levi, and the convert. (Va'y'da'beir Moshe)

Ch. 26, v. 12: "Bashonoh hashlishis shnas hamaa'seir" - Rashi says that the term "shnas hamaa'seir," the year of (one) tithing, refers to the third year of the "shmitoh" cycle. Although there are two tithes that year, just as the previous two years, nevertheless, only ONE of the tithes of years one and two are tithed in year three, thus understand "shnas hamaa'seir" as the year of ONE of the two tithes. Haksav V'hakaboloh finds this explanation a bit difficult since in fact the third year also has two tithes, that which is given to the Levi and that which is given to the poor. He translates the word "shnas" differently. Its meaning is CHANGE, as in "Ki ani Hashem lo SHONISI" (Malachi 3:6), the year of CHANGE of the tithing. The previous two years had tithing of "maa'seir rishon" and "maaseir sheini," and in the third year one tithes "maa'seir rishon" an "maa'seir oni."

Ch. 26, v. 13: "Lo ovarti mimitzvosecho v'lo shochochti" - Sometimes people get so bogged down with the halachic minutiae of a mitzvoh that they totally lose sight of their connection with Hashem, the One who commanded that we perform the mitzvoh, like not seeing. Hence, the person who brings his first ripened offering states that he has not forgotten Hashem Who has commanded that we do the mitzvoh. We sometimes get so involved in a mitzvoh that we forget the M'tza'veh. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 26, v. 15: "Hashkifoh" - Rashi says: "We have done what You have decreed upon us to do. Fulfill Yours , as You have stated, 'Im b'chukosai tei'leichu .. v'nosati gishmeichem b'itom'(Vayikroh 26:3)." Why is the blessing of timely rains singled out among all the blessings that Hashem promised to confer upon us when we hearken to His word? Our Rabbis have taught that Hashem holds back rain as a punishment for pledging to give alms to the poor and not fulfilling the pledge. Thus when we fulfill "osisi k'chole asher tzivisoni" (verse 14), giving all that is required of us to the poor, we have removed the cause for restraint of rain. (Avodas haGeirshuni)

Ch. 27, v. 2,3: "V'hoyoh ba'yom asher taavru es haYardein .. vaha'keimoso l'cho avonim, V'chosavto a'lei'hen es kol divrei haTorah" - The Abarbenel writes that the writing of the complete Torah upon stones at the time of entry into Eretz Yisroel is similar to the writing of a mezuzoh for the doorposts of one's home. Just as the mezuzoh contains the text of acceptance of the Heavenly yoke, so too the bnei Yisroel were required to have the complete Torah written upon stones at the "gateway" to Eretz Yisroel. Thus when they will be victorious in their battles and vanquish the inhabitants of the land, they will remember that the success is not theirs, but rather, the hand of Hashem, "Hashem ish milchomoh" (Shmos 15:3).

Ch. 27, v. 5: "Mizbach avonim lo sonif a'lei'hem barzel" - In Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #180:5 it says that it is customary to cover the knife when grace after meals is recited, but it is also customary to not do so on Shabbos or Yom Tov. The Mo'gein Avrohom explains that the custom is based upon the concept that one's table is to be dealt with as an altar, and our verse says to not raise iron upon the stones of the altar. Therefore on Shabbos and Yom Tov, when building of the altar is prohibited, we do not have the comparison to the altar, and we do not cover the knife. I heard that according to the reason for dipping bread into salt because of the table/altar relationship, and the verse says, "al kol korboncho takriv melach" (Vayikroh 2:13), it is also not necessary to do so on Shabbos.

Ch. 27, v. 8: "Es kol divrei haTorah hazose ba'eir HEI'TEIV" - Even though the Torah contains admonitions, many of them contained in our parsha, nevertheless, the words of the Torah should be written in a manner that allows the righteous people of each generation to interpret the words as a blessing (see gemara Taanis 20a). This is the intention of "ba'eir HEI'TEIV," - allow the words to be explained in a positive manner. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 27, v. 9: "Va'y'da'beir Moshe v'haKohanim .. ha'yom ha'zeh ni'h'yeiso l'om'" - The Sforno says that not Moshe alone, but he and the Kohanim spoke to the bnei Yisroel, telling them that now that they had the Torah, they were a nation, to teach the Kohanim that it was their responsibility to teach the nation the Torah in depth. This explains why the Kohanim spoke, but why wasn't it sufficient for just the Kohanim to make this statement and leave Moshe out of it? Perhaps with the insight of the Droshos hoRa"n Drush #8 we can answer this. He explains the concept that influences of different sorts that Hashem desires to send down to our world are done through mediums that have already had that influence brought through them. An example he offers is that Hashem commanded Moshe to bring along his staff when he was to speak to the rock to give forth water (Bmidbar 20:8), even though the staff was not to be used. This was because the staff was the medium through which numerous miracles took place in Egypt. Even though it was not to be used, its mere presence at the scene of the rock being spoken to would be helpful in bringing about the desired miraculous result. Possibly, here as well, since Hashem told Moshe "V'e'es'cho l'goy godol" (Shmos 32:10), Moshe embodied the ability to create a nation, and the message conveyed in this verse is that the bnei Yisroel have now become a nation, hence there is a need for Moshe to convey this.

Ch. 27, v. 26: "Orur asher lo yokim es divrei haTorah hazose laasose osom" - The gemara Yerushalmi Sotoh 7:4 asks, "Has the Torah then fallen that it requires one to lift it up? Rabbi Shimon ben Yokim answers that this verse refers to the 'chazan.'" The Ramban explains that the "chazan" means the person who was honoured to lift the Torah so that all can see its letters before or after its reading, as mentioned in Ma'seches Sofrim 14:14. Rashi says that the words of our verse are an all encompassing admonition, covering the responsibility to fulfill all that the Torah demands of us. The total number of admonitions in our parsha is 98. The Ramban says that our verse refers to the lifting of the Torah. This is called "hagbohoh u'gliloh," lifting and rolling closed, done by one person according to the Shulchan Oruch, and still the custom in some communities. The numerical value of "hagbohoh" and of "g'liloh" is 98. By doing "hagbohoh" and "g'liloh" properly, one can ward off the negative aspects of the 98 admonitions, as this act is expressed in our verse as an all encompassing admonition. An alternative explanation of the gemara Yerushalmi Sotoh is offered by the Ponim Yofos. "Chazan" can mean a teacher of young children, as we find in the gemara Shabos 11a, "The 'chazan' supervises where the young children read." The rebuke of our verse is upon a teacher who does not uphold the Torah, through his incorrect teaching. The gemara B.B. 21b states that Yoav's teacher incorrectly taught him the words of the verse "timcheh es zEIcher Amo'leik" (Dvorim 25:19) as "timcheh es zOchOr Amo'leik." This changed the meaning of the verse from the correct "eradicate the MEMORY of Amo'leik" to "eradicate the MALE of Amo'leik." This incorrect reading resulted in Yoav's eradicating only the males of Amo'leik. When King Dovid advised Yoav of the correct reading and intention of the verse, Yoav applied the verse "Orur oseh m'leches Hashem r'moyoh" (Yirmiyohu 48:10) to his teacher. We can thus say that the intention of the gemara Yerushalmi is that the teacher who does not uphold the Torah, through his incorrectly reading the vowels of the words, and from this there results incorrect action, receives admonition. This is why the verse ends with the words "laasose osom." The admonition applies when there is an incorrect action, as was the case with Yoav, resulting from the teacher's mistake.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha

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