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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 1: "Nosein l'cho" - He gives you - These two words have the cantellation signs "meircho tifcho." Similarly, in the next verse we find almost the same words "nosein LOCH" with the same cantellation signs. If so, why here is the word L'CHO and there LOCH, since both mean "to you" masculine? Rashba"m answers that in our verse "l'cho" connects with the following word "nachaloh," so the proper vowelizing is "l'cho," while in the next verse the word "loch" ends a thought.

Note that "loch" is always used when referring to a female word. If this rule of the Rashba"m could somehow connect the end of a phrase with the female word form we would have an insight into the "l'cho-loch" phenomenon. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.

Ch. 26, v. 3: "El haKohein" - To the Kohein - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates, "l'vas Kahana di yehevei m'man'ei l'Cha'hein RAV," to the Kohein who was appointed as the Kohein Godol. This is most puzzling, as "bikurim" are brought to any Kohein.

Ch. 26, v. 5: "Arami oveid ovi" - Rashi says that this refers to Lovon of Aram. Why doesn't the verse clearly say "Lovon oveid ovi"? Rabbeinu Efrayim says that the Torah alludes to the character trait of Lovon "ramai," which is how he attempted to destroy Yaakov. The letters of "Arami" are the same as "ramai." MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l writes that the medrash relates that the whole community knew of Lovon's trickery when he passed off Leah as Rochel, and no one came to the aid of Yaakov to advise him of the change. Thus every Arami attempted to destroy our Patriarch Yaakov, as they were all eager partners in Lovon's plans.

Ch. 26, v. 5: "Va'yei'red Mitzraymoh" - And he descended to Egypt - Who descended to Egypt? Rashi says that this refers to our Patriarch Yaakov. Others say that this is a continuation of "Arami oveid ovi." Lovon of Aram descended to Egypt and continued his attempts to ch"v destroy us, as is related in the gemara Sotoh 11b, that Yisro, Bilom, and Iyov were Paroh's advisors and Bilom strongly agreed with the diabolical scheme to destroy the bnei Yisroel. Daas Z'keinim says that Bilom is Lovon.

Ch. 26, v. 18: "V'lishmore kol mitzvosov" - And to guard all His precepts - This means that Hashem will give us the opportunities to fulfill all his mitzvos, i.e. a house for the mitzvos of maakoh and mezuzoh, a vineyard, and a fruit and grain bearing field, for the agricultural mitzvos, etc. (Malbim)

Ch. 27, v. 15-26: "Orur" - Cursed - The 11 curse admonitions correspond to the 12 tribes, save Shimon (Rashi on verse 24). The Maskil l'Dovid explains how each tribe corresponds to its particular admonition.

V. 15: "Asher yaa'seh fessel" - This corresponds to the tribe of Levi which was careful to not serve the golden calf. Cursed is he who acts differently from the tribe of Levi.

V. 16: "Makleh oviv" - This corresponds to the tribe of Yehudoh. Yehudoh brought Yoseif's garment which was stained with the blood of a goat, in an attempt to fool Yaakov into believing that Yoseif was attacked by a wild animal. This act was one of demeaning his father.

V. 17: "Masig g'vul rei'ei'hu" - This corresponds to the tribe of Yisochor. When Yisochor's tribe brought its offerings at the dedication of the Mishkon ahead of the tribe of Reuvein, Reuvein's tribe complained. The tribe was advised that Yisochor acted upon the word of Hashem, and had not overstepped its bounds. However, cursed is he who does overstep boundaries.

V. 18: "Mashgeh i'veir ba'derech" - This corresponds to the tribe of Yoseif. Yoseif could have easily fooled Paroh by interpreting his dream inaccurately and not advising him of what the future portended, and Paroh would have been totally unprepared for the devastating famine.

V. 19: "Ma'teh mishpat ger" - This corresponds to the tribe of Binyomin. His tribe was awarded the prime area of Yericho to compensate for the area of the Beis Hamikdosh that would be built in his land inheritance. The descendants of Yisro, "geirim," occupied this area and Binyomin did not push them out. Only when the Beis Hamikdosh was actually built and Binyomin had relinquished that space did they take over the area in Yericho.

V. 20: "Shocheiv im eishes oviv" - This corresponds to the tribe of Reuvein. Although a straightforward simple reading of the words of the Torah seem to indicate that Reuvein sinned with his father's wife, this is not so (gemara Shabbos 55b). This is the only "orur" that is not separated from the previous one by a paragraph space. They are joined to indicate that there is a connection to the previous admonition. Reuvein did not literally sin with his father's wife, but after the death of Rochel he moved around the beds to reclaim the honour of his mother Leah. He stood up against what he perceived was a misjudgment, "ma'teh mishpot."

V. 21: "Shocheiv im kol b'heimoh" - This corresponds to the tribe of Gad. The tribe of Gad led the warriors into battle. They had first-line contact with the enemy including their women. The permission granted to take a "y'fas to'ar" is only a concession under the demanding situation of being at war. Since the women of the enemy nations are likened to animals, the tribe of Gad was especially warned.

V. 22: "Shocheiv im achoso" - This corresponds to the tribe of Asher. Although a person finds himself in close contact with his sister, there is a safeguard to his not sinning with her. If she has sinned, upon her marrying there would be no virginal blood. A brother would be suspect. However, our Rabbis interpret the words "U'chyo'mecho do'vecho" (Dvorim 33:25) to mean that the daughters of the tribe of Asher had no virginal blood discharge. Therefore Asher required special warning in this matter.

V. 23: "Shocheiv im chosanto" - This corresponds to the tribe of Z'vulun, which was the tribe of seafarers. Because they were away for extended periods of time their wives were left at home alone, presenting a situation where sinning with one's mother-in-law was more likely. This is not far-fetched, as the gemara P'sochim 113a warns, "He'vei zohir mei'ish't'cho meichosoncho horishon."

V. 24: "Ma'kei rei'eihu baso'seir" - This corresponds to the tribe of Dan. Rashi (Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer ch. #53) says that this refers to the sin of "loshon hora." It was Dan who brought negative reports to Yoseif about the actions of the sons of Leah, claiming that they called Bilhoh's and Zilpoh's children slaves.

V. 25: "Lokei'ach shochad l'hakos nefesh dom noki" - This corresponds to the tribe of Naftoli. When Yehudoh was having a heated discussion with Yoseif at the beginning of parshas Vayigash, he threatened to destroy Mitzrayim. He called upon Naftoli to quickly run through the metropolis to count the number of districts so that he would know how many brothers to send to each area. Naftoli responded that Mitzrayim was not to be compared to Sh'chem, which was destroyed by Shimon and Levi. He was reluctant to comply with Yehudoh's wish because he felt that the Mitzriim did not deserve to be killed.

Ch. 28, v. 11: "V'hosircho Hashem l'tovoh" - And Hashem will leave you over for goodness - This translation is according to the Ibn Ezra who says that even if there will ch"v be a famine, the bnei Yisroel will be sustained and will survive it. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel also says that "v'hosircho" is to be translated as "you will be left over."

However, Targum Onkeles posits that "v'hosircho" means "and you will have extra." Similarly, Sforno says that even if other nations have success in physical pursuits, you will have even greater success. Thus verse 4 tells us that if we "guard" we will be crowned with success, but when we also "v'holachto bidrochov" (verse 9), we will have success beyond that of any other nation. This could well be the intention of the words in our daily "shacharis" prayer, "chemloh g'doloh VI'SEIRO chomalto o'leinu."

The Chasam Sofer also explains "v'hosircho" as "and you will have extra." He quotes the Rambam who says that a person who completes his task on this world, even if his years are few, is a fortunate person, as he has properly fulfilled his earthly tasks. However, if a person is involved in positively influencing others to follow the path of Torah and mitzvos, he has years added to his originally allotted years. This says the Chasam Sofer is the intention of "v'hosircho Hashem l'tovoh bifri vit'n'cho." You will be given extra years on account of your offspring, so that you may teach them the path of Torah and mitzvos. We clearly see from these words that the Chasam Sofer translates "v'hosircho" as "and you will have extra (years)." (Shaa'rei Aharon)



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

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