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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SEITZEI 5774 BS"D

Ch. 21, v. 19: "V'sofsu vo oviv v'imo" - And his father and his mother shall grab onto him - Verse 21 relates that the rebellious and glutinous son is put to death by the court. Since this is only carried out when the parents literally grab onto him and bring him, how is it that they are willing to do this? The gemara Sanhedrin 88a says that if his parents forgive him for his behaviour the punishment is not carried out. Where is their deeply embedded parental mercy? Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that when parents actually do bring him it is akin to Avrohom's bringing Yitzchok to the "akeidoh."

Ch. 21, v. 21: "Urgomuhu kol anshei iro vo'avonim vo'meis" - And all the men of his city shall stone him and he will die - In previous editions we have dealt with the difference between Yishmo'eil's being saved, notwithstanding what the future held and the "ben soreir umoreh," who is punished for the future. Another explanation: The angels declared to Hashem that since Yishmo'eil's descendants would bring death to bnei Yisroel through thirst Hashem should likewise allow him to die of thirst, and surely not make a miracle to save him. There seems to be a problem with this reasoning. If Yishmo'eil would die of thirst there would be no descendants who would We must say that since the angels saw the future it had to take place no matter what. Yishmo'eil would have to be saved. Their complaint was only that he didn't deserve a miracle. Here we have him killed so that he not sin in the future, "Yomus zakai v'al yomus chayov." (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 21, v. 21: "Urgomuhu kol anshei iro vo'avonim vo'meis uviarto horo mikerbecho v'chol Yisroel yish'm'u v'yeero'u" - And all the men of his city shall stone him and he will die and you shall cleanse the bad that is within you and all of Yisroel shall hear and fear - Rashi, citing the gemara Sanhedrin explains that he is put to death because he will eventually end up killing during a robbery, all this to fund his glutinous addiction. Even though we are treating him like murderer before he even committed this crime, why is he treated even worse than a murderer? He is killed by stoning and not the more lenient beheading. His killing is to take place in a very public setting, and is done with the participation of all the men of his community.

Not many people will be students of a murderer and themselves go on to kill. Unfortunately, a glutinous, addicted thief will likely have followers (This is indicated by the word "moreh," that he teaches others.) and this requires major eradication. This is why he is treated even harsher than an actual murderer. (Aperion)

Ch. 22, v. 8: "Ki sivneh bayis chodosh v'ossiso maakeh l'ga'gecho" - When you will build a new house you shall make a parapet for your roof - When a person builds himself a house he can either zero in on the physical conveniences it will provide him or the mitzvoh opportunities it provides him. Our verse tells us that he should build the new house TO enable himself to do the mitzvoh of "maa'keh." This way all the bulding materials become elevated as mitzvoh enablers. This removes any negative, destructive forces from the house and the owner and his family will be protected from " Ki yipol hano'feil mi'menu." (B'eir Mayim Chaim of Tchernovitz)

Ch. 24, v. 10: "Ki sasheh v'rei'acho mashas m'umoh lo sovo el beiso laavote avoto" - When you will lend your friend a minimal loan you shall not enter his house to fetch his surety - The words "mashas m'umoh" are most puzzling. One would think that the Torah should warn a person to not go into the borrower's house to fetch the pledge for a large loan, something that is more likely. The larger the loan and fear of not being paid is a greater motivator to get one's hands onto some form of collateral.

Rashi in his commentary in parshas Mishpotim where this mitzvoh is also mentioned says that the lender should take into perspective that Hashem likewise "lends" him his life force and returns it daily (Shehechezarto bi nishmosi). Any size loan is miniscule in relation to one's life. The Rambam in hilchos dei'os 7:7, in discussing the matter of revenge and grudge, says that a person should be very yielding when it comes to earthly matter, given that they are so miniscule. He should surely not think of extracting revenge, and he shouldn't even bear a grudge.

We thus have an understanding of the expression "mashas m'umoh." The Torah realizes that some loans can be of vast sums. Nevertheless, any size loan is considered minimal in contrast to Hashem's loan of our life's force and what we owe Hashem. (Holy Chofetz Chaim)

Ch. 23, v. 20: "Lo sashich l'ochicho" - Do not give interest to your friend - The Yalkut says that the words in T'hilim, "Anshei domim umirmoh lo yechetzu y'meihem," - people of blood and deceit they will not live half their days - applies to those hwo lend with interest. What is the connection? The gemara Shabbos 88b relates that Hashem came to Avrohom and Yitzchok, telling them that their descendants have sinned. Each responded in his own way that they should be taken to task for this. Then Hashem turned to Yaakov with the same claim and he responded that the totality of sins was very minimal. People's days are also taken up with physical needs, eating, sleeping, etc., which total many hours. The rest of the time when they could sin should be split between Hashem and Yaakov. Hashem accepted this and relented from punishing them.

This is true of most people, but those who lend with interest are amassing illegal funds every moment, even when they sleep and eat and so on their loans are accruing interest. For them Yaakov's defense will not apply. These "anshei domim umirmoh," lenders with interest, will not have their days split into minimal amounts of time, as Yaakov suggested. (Likutei V'somim)

Ch. 23, v. 20: "Lo sashich l'ochicho" - Do not give interest to your friend - These laws are mentioned in three places in the Torah. After this mitzvoh is mentioned in Vayikra 25:37 the next verse there goes on to say, "Ani Hashem Elokeichem asher hotzeisi es'chem mei'eretz Mitroyim." What is the connection? The goal of the exodus was to bring the bnei Yisroel, armed with the Torah, to the Holy Land and there, where all the mitzvos apply, have them merit a share in the world to come. The gemara Ksubos 111 says that people buried in chutz lo'oretz will have to roll to Eretz Yisroel before meriting "t'chias ha'meisim." Those who lend with interest will not stand up for "t'chias ha'meisim." If so, the exodus form Egypt has not helped them come to the ultimate goal. To those who are considering lending with nterest Hashem is reminding them that he took the nation out of Egypt for an ultimate purpose and this person might be destroying it for himself. (Noda bIhudoh)

Ch. 24, v. 13: "Hosheiv toshiv lo es haavote uvei'racheko ulcho ti'h'yeh tzedokoh lifnei Hashem Elokecho" - Surely return the collateral to him and he will bless you and for you there will be righteousness in front of Hashem your G-d - When a lender returns the needed collateral to the poor borrower, he will surely bless the lender. The lender, however, should not do this to receive a blessing. Rather, he should do this because this is the righteous thing to do because Hashem has so commanded. (Kedushas Levi)

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


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