by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SOVO 5767 BS"D
Ch. 26, v. 1: "V'hoyoh ki sovo el ho'oretz" - And it will be when you come to the land - These first words of our parsha are preceded by the words of the final verse of the previous parsha, "Timcheh es zecher Amoleik" (25:19). This alludes to the statement of our Rabbis that we are commanded to destroy the memory of Amoleik immediately upon entering the land. (Baal Haturim)
The Aderres, Rabbi Rabinowitz-Tumim, in Itros Eider takes issue with the wording of the Baal Haturim, where he says that this responsibility begins IMMEDIATELY upon entry into the land. The gemara Sanhedrin 20b says that the bnei Yisroel were given three commands upon entry, to appoint a king, to eradicate Amoleik, and to build the Holy Temple. We see from this that the eradication of Amoleik is incumbent upon us only after the appointing of a king. He therefore says that the word "miyad" in the Baal Haturim is not to be taken literally.
Kerem Yaakov counters the Aderres and says that "miyad" is very accurate. The Baal Haturim is basing this on the words of Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer ch. #44, where Rabbi Dovid Luria, the Bichover Rov, explains the Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer to mean that the eradication of Amoleik should take place first, even before the appointment of a king, and is in disagreement with the gemara Sanhedrin.
Ch. 26, v. 2: "V'samto ba'tenne" - And you shall place it into a basket - The mishnoh Bikurim 3:8 says that each person according to his financial ability brought a basket to beautify the mitzvoh. The wealthy man brought the "bikurim" in a gold or silver basket, while them poor man brought it in a wicker basket. The Sifri says that our verse teaches us that it is a requirement to bring the first-ripened produce in a basket.
We know that every mitzvoh is to be enhanced and beautified, as per the verse "Zeh Keili v'anveihu" (Shmos 15:2), which the gmera Shabbos 133b interprets to mean that we should enhance every mitzvoh. If so, why does the Torah spell it out here, since this has to be done anyway?
Perhaps it is because the purpose of this exercise is to implant a true feeling of appreciation into the heart of the farmer, who himself went through a spring and summer of back-breaking work to come to the point of having ripened produce ready for consumption. It is only natural to take credit for this. Bringing "bikurim" and stating the prescribed verses should "do the job" of bringing the farmer to grasp that his "silent Partner" is Hashem. However, even this might not be enough for many people since they themselves put in so much effort. Requiring them to also enhance and beautify the mitzvoh will surely bring them to say "Zeh Keili v'anveihu," I realize the presence of Hashem's involvement in these first-ripened fruits. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 26, v. 9: "Va'y'vi'einu el hamokome ha'zeh va'yi'tein lonu es ho'oretz hozose" - And He has brought us to this place and he has given us this land - We have dealt in the past with the obvious question: Hashem first gave us the land, and only afterwards was the place of the Beis Hamikdosh designated. If so why are these events inverted in our verse?
The Mahara"m Algazi writes that a major accomplishment of having the Beis Hamikdosh built in Eretz Yisroel at Hashem's bequest is that it lays to rest the incorrect complaint of the pagan nations that we have stolen their land. Hashem hates theft, as per the verse in Yeshayohu 61:8, "Ani Hashem sonei gezel b'avloh." He surely would not have us build His Holy Temple on stolen property.
Through "va'y'vi'einu el hamokome ha'zeh," we have proof that "va'yitein lonu es ho'oretz hazose," and it was not stolen. (A'derres Eliyohu)
Ch. 27, v. 12: "Eilu yaamdu l'vo'reich es ho'om" - These will stand to bless the nation - By the curse the verse does not say "to curse" - "l'ka'leil," but rather, "al hakloloh," in a passive sense. This is because the blessing is brought in an active manner, i.e. Hashem sends the blessing. The negative response to sins is not an active response from Hashem, as per the verse, "Mipi Elyon lo seitzei horo'ose" (Eichoh 3:38). Negative happenings come about through Hashem's removing His protective powers, "hester ponim." (Kli Yokor)
Ch. 27, v. 24: "Orur ma'keh rei'eihu baso'seir" - Cursed is he who smites his friend covertly - Rashi (Sifri, Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer Ch. #53) says that this refers to "loshon hora." The Baal Haturim notes that the numerical value of "baso'seir" is the same as that of "b'loshon hora."
Va'ye'esof Dovid says that the "milluy" of "rei'eihu," the hidden letters of the Reish-Ayin-Hei-Vov have the same numerical value as "loshon." This is the intention of "baso'seir," the hidden part of "rei'eihu."
Ch. 28, v. 9: "V'holachto bidrochov" - And you shall walk in His ways - The Chinuch writes that this is a command to do all our actions in a straight-forward, pleasant, and kind manner. All our interaction with others should be done in a manner of promoting kindness and mercy. This emulates Hashem's traits. As well, this brings merit upon us and allows for Hashem to reward us with kindness, which is his wish. This is a fulfillment of these words of our verse.
It is most interesting to note that in the Chinuch this is mitzvoh #611, whose numeric value is "Torah."
Ch. 28, v. 31: "Shorcho tovuach l'ei'necho v'lo sochal mi'menu" - Your ox will be slaughtered in front of your eye and you will not partake of it - The Holy Zohar writes that in each of the admonitions blessings are hidden.
The Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim says that the blessing of this verse is found in reading the verse in reverse. "Moshia l'cho v'ein l'oivecho n'sunos, tzone'cho l'cho yoshuv, v'lo milfo'necho gozul chamorcho, mi'menu sochal v'lo l'ei'necho tovuach shorcho."
Ch. 28, v. 31: "Shorcho tovuach l'ei'necho v'lo sochal mi'menu" - Your ox will be slaughtered in front of your eye and you will not partake of it - Even though your ox is slaughtered in front of you, you will not partake of it. If it were to be slaughtered and would not be kept in your sight, even without the negative result of the admonition, you simply may not eat it, based on the Rabbinic ruling of "bossor shenisa'leim min ho'ayin." This ruling is thus alluded to in our verse. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 28, v. 36: "V'ovadto shom elohim acheirim" - And you will serve there foreign gods - Mei'am Lo'eiz relates that during the expulsion from Spain a noted great Torah leader, who was formerly so respected by even the gentiles to the point that they stood up in his honour, succumbed to pressures and accepted their religion. He was no longer accorded honour by them, as they said that previously he was a great Jewish personality. Now he was but a new comer to their religion and as such was not exceptionally knowledgeable, nor righteous in his compliance with their laws.
This, says the M'ga'leh Tz'funos, is the intention of these words of our verse. "Yolich Hashem os'cho v'es mal'k'cho," Hashem will lead you and your great leader into exile. If you succumb to their pressures and ch"v "v'ovadto shom elohim acheirim eitz vo'ovven," and you will expect to be accorded great honour by the gentiles, it will not happen. Instead, "v'hoyiso l'shamoh l'moshol v'lishninoh." You will be despised by them.
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