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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 1: "V'hoyoh ki sovo el ho'oretz" - And it will come to pass when you will come to the land - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh cites Breishis Raboh 42:3, that "v'hoyoh" is an expression of joy. He adds that this is supported by the words of T'hilim, "Oz yimo'lei s'choke pinu" (126:2). The Holy Zohar in Bmidbar says that the seeming contradiction between one verse that says "Ivdu es Hashem b'simchoh" and another that says "Ivdu es Hashem b'yiroh" is reconciled by where the bnei Yisroel live. When they are among the nations the verse of "b'yiroh" applies, but when they are in the Holy Land the verse of "b'simchoh" applies.

Possibly, joy is experienced when we are constantly cognizant of "asher Hashem Elokecho NOSEIN loch" that follows. When one becomes accustomed to residing in Eretz Yisroel and feels he has "arrived" and has total control over the land, regardless of his level of adherence to the laws of the Torah, and Hashem's giving the land to the bnei Yisroel is a thing of the past, then he will be sorely disappointed. Only when he realizes that his residency in the Holy Land is judged daily, NOSEIN present tense, subject to compliance with the Torah, will he experience true joy. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 26, v. 2: "Mei'reishis" - From the first - Rashi (gemara M'nochos 84b) says that one only brings "bikurim" from the first-ripened produce of the seven species. This is the list of species mentioned in parshas Eikev, 8:8. Rashi here goes on to clarify the technical meaning of the words "zeis shemen" and "d'vash" in Eikev. This seems to be out of place and should have been clarified there.

In his commentary on Nechemioh 10:36 he writes that the bringing of "bikurim" from other fruit species in a Rabbinic decree. The Chasam Sofer on Sh.O. O.Ch. #197 writes that he has found no source for a Rabbinic requirement to bring "bikurim" from any other species.

The Chizkuni has a novel understanding of Rashi. He says that his intention is that one need not bring a complete fruit. It is sufficient to bring a piece of the first-ripened fruit. This is quite puzzling, as Rashi clearly states that his intention is to exclude produce not of the seven species.

Ch. 26, v. 13: "V'lo shochochti" - And I have not forgotten - Rashi says that this means: I have not forgotten to bless You when tithing "maasros." Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi asks how Rashi could explain that this refers to the blessing. It is surely not on a Torah level. He offers that Rashi's intention is not the text of "Boruch atoh .. asher kidshonu ..," but rather, a general verbalizing of praise and blessing. This is most difficult, because Rashi on the gemara Brochos 40b clearly says that this is the blessing "asher kidshonu .. l'hafrish trumoh umaa'seir." (Mahar"sha on the gemara, Divrei Dovid)

Ch. 26, v. 13: "V'lo shochochti" - And I have not forgotten - In the following offering the issue of the expression "viduy maa'seir" is explained. These words of our verse can also contain an explanation. The Kedushas Levi offers his insight into the words of our High Holiday prayer "Ki zocheir kol hanishkochos atoh," because You are the One Who remembers all that is forgotten." A person does a mitzvoh and is exceedingly proud of his act. It is embedded in his mind and is not forgotten. This attitude brings in its wake Hashem's forgetting, i.e. diminishing, the mitzvoh. However, when a person does a mitzvoh and thinks very little of his act, and in short order simply forgets it, this is a great act, and the "forgotten" is remembered, i.e. held in great esteem, by Hashem. Based on these words of the Kedushas Levi, the Holy Admor of Satmar offers that this is the confession of "maa'seir." "I have done all You commanded me," but unfortunately, "I have not forgotten" the mitzvoh.

Ch. 26, v. 14: "Osisi k'chole asher tzivisoni" - I have done everything that You have commanded me - Verse 5 through verse 16 of our chapter discusses the verbal declaration that accompanies the bringing of "bikurim" and the "maa'seir" of the third and sixth year. In the common parlance of the Talmud the former is called "mikra bikurim," reading of bikurim, while the latter is called "viduy maa'seir," confession of tithing. Many commentators deal with this difference of terminology. Note should be taken of Rashi on the gemara Y'vomos 73a, who also calls the recital accompanying bikurim "viduy," as does the Rambam as well in hilchos bikurim 3:10.

To add to the difficulty, notwithstanding the difference, even if both were called "viduy," what sort of confession is "osisi k'chole asher tzivisoni"? Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac of Ziditchov in Likutei Torah quotes Rabbi Mendel of Riminov who says that an answer to the second question likewise answers the first. One who feels that he has one any mitzvoh in its entirety is indeed lacking the sensitivity that there are higher planes of service of Hashem. No matter how much effort has been expended, how much intention has been invested, there is always a more exalted manner to fulfill a mitzvoh. If one thinks that he has reached perfection in the performance of a mitzvoh and verbalizes this, he is in essence confessing his shortcoming.

On a simple level we might say that since the recital for bringing bikurim entails "v'oniso v'omarto" (verse 5), which Rashi explains to mean that it should be said in a raised voice, this excludes the recital from being called a confession, as one should not confess his sins in a loud public manner. The Divrei Yechezkeil, Admor of Shinov uses the same concept as Rabbi Mendel of Riminov to explain why the Torah says to count 50 days from the harvesting of the Omer until Shovuos (Vayikra 23:16), when in reality the intention is only 49 days, and similarly the Torah says that when one deserves lashes it should be 40 lashes (Dvorim 25:3), although in reality, there too, it is only 39. A person should strive to elevate himself for 49 days prior to the anniversary of the giving of the Torah. Every day is one step in the elevation. These days correspond to the 49 "gates of wisdom." In reality, there are 50 gates of wisdom, and the 50th is beyond the grasp of humanity, although commentators say that Moshe reached this level on the day of his death, and Rabbi Akiva reached it as well. The Torah therefore tells us to count 50 days, alluding to the 50 "gates of wisdom," but in reality we only count 49, leaving us with the understanding that no matter how many great strides we have made, there is stillroom for improvement. Similarly, when one transgresses a sin that carries the punishment of lashes, he receives only 39, while the Torah expresses this as 40, thus bringing home the concept that with lashes alone, one has not totally cleaned the slate (albeit the gemara Makos says that once one receives his lashes he is considered "your brother," i.e. cleansed of sin). He also has to repent.

Ch. 28, v. 53: "V'ochalto fri vit'n'cho b'sar bo'necho uvnosecho asher nosan l'cho" - And you will eat the fruit of your womb the flesh of your sons and your daughters that He has given you - As pointed out earlier in the first verse of our parsha, a person should always be cognizant that the Holy Land is constantly being GIVEN to us, i.e. our ownership is tenuous and is dependent upon our behaviour. Similarly, when a person merits having offspring, he should not think that he is guaranteed that they are his and will survive him. If he has the attitude of "asher NOSAN," in the past tense, there is the distinct possibility that things could so drastically deteriorate to the point that he would be forced to eat their flesh ch"v. (Nirreh li)



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

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