by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS MATOS-MASSEI 5775 BS"D
Ch. 30, v. 15: "V'im hachareish yacharish loh ishoh" - And if silent he will be silent to her her husband - The gemara N'dorim 79a says that there are three manners of being silent after hearing her vow. One is he simply does not respond. Another is that he remains silent so as to cause her pain for her having vowed in the first place. Thirdly, he remains silent because he truly wants the vow to remain valid. The information in our verse seems to be redundant as in verse 12 all this information is stated. The gemara therefore derives from here that our verse tells us that even if the husband remains silent to pain his wife for having made the vow, but really plans to annul it, the vow is upheld if he does not annul it in the allotted time. We now understand the nuance of difference from here to earlier. In other verses of upholding the vow it says "v'komu," while here it says "heikim." "V'komu" means that they will be upheld, and this is because he either wants the vow upheld or is non-committal. In our verse he does not want the vow upheld but remains silent to bring his wife anguish. Nevertheless, he remained silent until the end of the day and he thus "heikim osom," he upheld them by not responding fast enough. This also explains the double expression of remqining silent. His wife's understanding is that he wants to uphold the vow, and his that he wants to pain her, but to actually annul the vow before the deadline. (Malbim, Shaarei Aharon)
Ch. 30, v. 15: "Miyom el yom" - From day to day - This time factor is only mentioned here by a full-fledged wife, and not by a betrothed woman, "arusoh," and not by a daughter. This is because there is a possibility of not having the "miyom el yom" opportunity for annulment for a daughter or an "arusoh." This is when the girl is in the stage of "naarus" and is about to enter the stage of "bagrus." When that happens, even if it is but a few minutes later, the father and husband cannot annul the vow. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 31, v. 17: "V'chol ishoh yodaas ish" - And every woman who knows a man - By the incident of Lote's daughters the verse says, "asher lo yodu ish," similar to our verse, placing the instigator of the intimacy on the woman. By Rivkoh the verse says differently, "v'ish lo y'do'oh." This is because normally the man is the instigator and this is why by Rivkoh we say that no man …… Here by the Midyonim the women seduced the bnei Yisroel, and similarly by the daughters of Lote, they brought their father to cohabit with them (Rabbi Yitzchok of Vienna)
Ch. 31, v. 30: "Umimachatzis bnei Yisroel tikach echod ochuz min hachamishim, v'nosato osom laLviim" - And from the half of the bnei Yisroel take one of fifty, and you shall give them to the L'viim - The Abarbanel offers a unique explanation of these words: And from the portion (not literally a half) of that which was given to the bnei Yisroel who did not go out to war, take 1/50th as their portion and they should give it in its entirety to the L'viim.
Ch. 33, v. 3: "Mimochoros haPesach yotzu bnei Yisroel" - On the morning after the Pesach the bnei Yisroel left - In Yehoshua the verse says that the bnei Yisroel ate from the new crop of grain "mimochoros haPesach," which the gemara Kidushin explains to mean on the 16th of Nison, when the Omer offeing is brought, while here the same words mean the 15th. How are we to reconcile this? The Chasam Sofer explains that the bnei Yisroel had the status of bnei Noach when they left Egypt and their calculation of days was from morning to morning. Thus on the 14th of Nison they both offered and consumed the Paschal lamb on the 14th. They left by day of the 15th. The verse in Yehoshua is well after the bnei Yisroel's receiving the Torah and a day was calculated as night first and then day. Thus the day after the Paschal lamb was consumed is the 16th of Nison.
Ch. 33, v. 4: "Uveiloheihem ossoh Hashem shfotim" - And in their gods Hashem wrought punishment - Daas Z'keinim and Rabbi Yaakov of Vienna say that this mens Hashem put their judges to death.
The GR"A cited in Halsav V'hakaboloh says that "their gods" are their firstborn, whom they deified. This explains the flow of our verse very well. It starts by saying the Egyptians are burying all their firstborn. Rather than "kovrim," the verse says, "m'kabrim," an expression of stressing the act. They so deified the firstborn and they were all killed. The Egyptians are rushing to bury their firstborn to hide their great shame, that their gods were smitten. Ch. 33, v. 7: "Va'yoshov" - And it returned - The nation did not actually return to Egypt. They just travelled in a direction that was towards Egypt. This can be considered an attempt to return to Egypt. Along comes Paroh and an army in tow. Obviously the bnei Yisroel have to run away. The Egyptians died at Yam Suf and there was no further need to return. (Bchor Shor) Some clarification of this insight is needed according to the opinion that Paroh survived and returned to Egypt.
Ch. 33, v. 22: "Va'yachanu biK'heilosoh" - And they encamped in K'heilosoh - The Baal Haturim says that this name alludes to Korach's congregating people to stand up against Moshe, as per the verse in Bmidbar 16:19, "Va'yakheil a'leihem Korach es kol ho'eidoh." On the words in verse 25, "va'yachanu b'Makheilos" he says that this alludes to the incident where the verse says "va'yikohalu al Moshe v'al Aharon." Shaarei Aharon asks that this cannot be, as these words are in Bmidbar 20:2 where we find the incident of "mei m'rivoh." This only took place after they entered midbar Tzin, much later. He adds that we cannot be referring to the other verse discussing Korach, 16:3, because this is already alluded to in the word "biKheilosoh."
Perhaps we can answer the Baal Haturim's intention is 16:3, and there were 2 assemblies, one in verse 3, where Korach assembled only the leaders, "nsi'ei eidoh," and Makheilos alludes to the assembly of all the common folk whom he persuaded, "es kol ho'eidoh" (verse 19).
Ch. 33, v. 49: "Va'yachanu b'Arvos Moav" - And they encamped in the plains of Moav - The previous verse already says that they encamped in the plains of Moav, so why the repetition? We might say that this is another encampment but in the same area. Haksav V'hakaboloh cites the GR"A who says that verse 48 and 49 are discussing only one encampment. Verse 49 elaborates on exactly where the camp was spread out in the plains of Moav.
Ch. 33, v. 53: "V'horashtem es ho'oretz" - And you will chase out (the occupants of) the land - "V'horashtem" contains the letters "Torah shom." It is only in Eretz Yisroel that all the mitzvos can be fulfilled. It is only if the inhabitants are chased out and their idols destroyed that you will have a pure environment in Eretz Yisroel and be able to keep all the Torah. (Shmeinoh Lachmo)
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