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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NOSSO 5772 BS"D

Ch. 5, v. 12: "Umo'aloh vo mo'al" - And she has acted with infidelity against him - We find a similar expression further on, in verse 27, where it says, "Vatimol maal b'ishoh."

In response Mahari"k shoresh #163 a question was raised. A woman committed adultery and her husband divorced her. She claimed her "ksuboh." Although she knew that she committed a wrong-doing, nevertheless, she claimed that she did not know that this was a Torah prohibition. The Mahari"k responded that even if we were to believe her that she was unaware that this was a prohibited act in relation to Hashem, nevertheless, she surely knew that this was being unfaithful to her husband. This knowledge is sufficient to have her lose her claim for divorce compensation, her "ksuboh." He cites a proof for this ruling from these words of our verse, which clearly state that when a woman commits adultery she has been unfaithful to her husband. The verse does not stress that she has been unfaithful to Hashem.

Rabbi Y.Z. Pollack adds that based on these words of the Mahari"k we have a better understanding of what Yoseif told Potiphar's wife, "V'lo chosach mi'meni m'umoh v'eich e'e'she horo'oh hagdoloh hazose v'chotosi lEilokim" (Breishis 39:9). Yoseif first mentioned that doing this act would be breaking the trust that Potiphar had in Yoseif and only after that did he mention that he would have sinned to Hashem.

Ch. 6, v. 20: "V'achar yishteh hanozir ya'yin" - And afterwards the nozir may drink wine - these words are most puzzling. When he is permitted to drink wine he is no longer a nozir. The nozir has become sanctified as mentioned in these verses numerous times. When his nozir stint comes to an end he might feel he is back to were he was before becoming a nozir. Our verse is telling him that even though he is now permitted to consume wine, he should nevertheless retain the elevated strata that he was on for the rest of his life, knowing that he has experienced a period of restraining from common indulgences. He should mentally always be a nozir even if not in practical terms.

Ch. 6, v. 23: "Ko s'vorachu" - Thus shall you bless - The simple meaning of "ko" is that the blessing should be expressed exactly as the Torah says. The Ksav Sofer offers an additional insight. A Kohein might bless the people to have an abundance of agricultural success so that he in turn would receive large amounts of tithes. The verse is saying that the Kohanim should bless the nation only with the intention of their benefit (as evidenced by the final Chof reiterated, addressing the recipient of the blessing only).

Ch. 6, v. 25: "Yo'eir Hashem ponov" - Hashem will illuminate His countenance - In practical terms what is this illumination? The previous verse is a blessing for having one's personal needs attended to and having them safeguarded. Once a person has this the blessing of our verse is that Hashem will open a person's eyes by virtue of this illumination so that he will plumb the depths of the wonders of the Torah and Hashem's actions, the world he sees around him. (Sforno)

Ch. 6, v. 26: "Yisa Hashem ponov ei'lecho v'yo'seim l'cho sholo-m " - Hashem will lift His countenance to you and place for you peace - The gemara Brochos 20b re;ates that the angels complained to Hashem, saying that in His Torah he has written, "Asher lo yisa ponim" (Dvorim 10:17). If so, why does He show favouritism to the bnei Yisroel as demonstrated by the words of our verse. Hashem responded that He cannot but show favouritism to the bnei Yisroel given that in the Torah it is stated, "V'ochalto v'sovoto uveirachto es Hashem." It is only after one eats and is satiated that he is required to recite grace after meals. Yet, the bnei Yisroel are stringent with themselves and even after eating only the volume of an olive or an egg they recite grace after meals. What is the correlation between these two?

The essence of the blessing of our verse is that Hashem will give us a peaceful existence. In the main the underlying cause of strife is when someone or some group feels that they are lacking. They then blame it on others and this can even bring to war and bloodshed. The bnei Yisroel by reciting grace after meals even upon having only eaten a small volume of food demonstrate that they feel satiated with even a small amount. This attitude is one that is totally contrary to the underlying cause of strife. Hashem, in kind, blesses them with peace. (n.l.)

Having cited the gemara in Brochos it is in place to offer the beautiful insight of Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner. The gemara says that the bnei Yisroel are stringent with THEMSELVES to even recite grace after meals on a small volume. What is the intention of "on themselves?" Rabbi Chaim answers that they satisfied themselves with a bit of food, but when a poor man came and asked for food they did not say to themselves that if a small bit is enough for me it will likewise suffice for the poor man. Rather, they gave him a large respectable amount of food, a true "shiur svioh."

Ch. 6, v. 26: "Sholo-m" - Peace - The gemara Brochos 59 says that one who sees a pot in his dream can look forward to peace. Rabbi Mordechai Banet explains that discord comes from those who have opposing opinions. A pot serves the purpose of containing water and when placed on a fire the water is cooked and is very useful. Thus, the pot makes peace between two totally contrary items, fire and water. This is why the one who sees a pot in his dream can expect peace.

What seems as a comical postscript to this insight rings very true: Although peace is brought between fire and water by a pot, the mediator, it ends up burned and black.

Ch. 6, v. 26: "Sholo-m" - Peace - The Mahara"l of Prague writes that the letters of the word SHoLo-M contain the essence of its nature. The first letter, Shin, is configured with three strokes and heads. There is one to the right, one to the left, and one in the middle. This is the quintessence of peace, when one is to the right and one is to the left, they come to a peaceful agreement in the centre. The letter Lamed, which rises above all other letters shows that when peace is achieved there is a great elevation. Those who make peace between/among themselves emulate Hashem, who is "O'she sholo-m bimromov." The final letter is a final Mem, which is closed on all sides. This is in contradistinction to an open Mem, which has a break at the bottom left side. The word "machlo'kes" begins with a Mem, but it has the break, the separation of hearts. The final Mem is sealed on all sides and creates a protective, impenetrable shield against punishment. The M.R. 11:7 says that peace is so great that even if ch"v the bnei Yisroel sin with idol worship, but if there is peace and unity among them, Hashem restrains the soton from injuring them.

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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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