by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NITZOVIM-VA'YEILECH 5763 BS"D
Ch. 29, v. 9: "Kulchem" - All of you - All the bnei Yisroel were already assembled, as per 27:9, "Va'y'da'beir Moshe .. el KOL Yisroel." This seems to be repeated in 29:1, "Vayikroh Moshe el KOL Yisroel," as they hadn't left the previous assemblage. What is added in 29:1 is that Moshe called the women and children to join the assembly, as is indicated here, "tapchem, n'sheichem" (verse 10). (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)
Ch. 29, v. 9: "Rosheichem shivteichem - Your heads your tribes - The Ibn Ezra translates these words as "heads OF your tribes," as if it were written "roshei shivteichem." The GR"A says that "rosheichem" refers to the ministers over each 1,000 people, "shivteichem" to the ministers over 100 people, "zikneichem" to the ministers over 50 people, and "v'shote'reichem" to the ministers over 10 people.
Ch. 29, v. 1: "Tapchem n'sheichem" - Your children your wives - Sforno explains that this is a separate verse, even though it is a continuation of the list of who was standing, because children and wives take guidance from their parents and husbands. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh says that this is a separate verse because those in the previous verse have the added responsibility of "arvus," being guarantors for the behaviour of others, while children, women (see Rosh on the gemara Brochos piska #13, Shaar Hatziun on O.Ch. 271:9), and converts do not have this responsibility.
Ch. 29, v. 12: "L'maan hokim" - To establish - Rashi says that admonitions and suffering, "klolos visurim," maintain our existence and keep us standing, "m'kaymin u'matzivin." What is the intention of the double expressions? "Klolos" maintain our existence because they scare us into compliance. If this is not successful and we ch"v sin anyhow, then "yisurin" cleanse us of our sins and we will remain standing in the world to come. (Maskil l'Dovid)
This is the intention of Rashi when he says that Hashem HAS given us light, i.e. guidance on this world through the admonitions, and thus He will give us light in the future, i.e. by punishing us for our sins on this world He brings us to the rewards of the world-to-come without having to suffer terribly in Gehinom. (B'eir Baso'deh)
Ch. 29, v. 15: "Eis asher yoshavNU b'eretz Mitzroyim v'eis asher ovarNU b'kerev hagoyim asher avarTEM" - That WE resided in the land of Egypt and that which WE passed through the midst of the nations that YOU have passed - Why the change from first person plural to second person plural, and why the repetition of "passing through"? Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates "ovarnu" as "the strengths displayed by Hashem that have passed over us." This answers the seeming repetition. The change from second to third person might be as follows: Moshe, who is speaking, says that WE resided in Egypt, as he refers to himself and the survivors of the exodus generation, i.e. those who were below the age of 20, above 60, and women. The strength shown by Hashem saved US, including the new generation. The point made by saying that there was traveling through the nations where they saw the abominations and idols and in turn there is the fear that one might ch"v interest himself in them (verses 16 and 17), is directed at the next generation that will enter the Promised Land and will again be exposed to the same. Those who left Egypt were already tested there and passed the test. The new generation was not yet tested.
Ch. 29, v. 17: "Asher l'vovo foneh ha'yom mei'im Hashem" - Whose heart turns away today from Hashem - The Ramban explains that a parent can have a fleeting thought of pursuit of a false god and this can negatively affect his offspring, even a number of generations later to ch"v turn to a false god. Perhaps this is alluded to in the spelling of "foneh" without a letter Vov, allowing it to be read "fonoh," he HAS turned. Because the father HAS turned his heart away from Hashem, albeit only for a moment and it has not come to fruition for him, his offspring is FONEH today. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 31, v. 2: "Lo uchal ode lotzeis v'lovo" - I will not be able to go and to come any more - Rashi's second explanation of these words is that Moshe had his conduits of "m'soros" and wellsprings of wisdom blocked. The text in the gemara Sotoh 13b is "shaa'rei chochmoh" with no mention of "m'soros." Perhaps Rashi, in an attempt to clarify the words "lotzeis v'lovo," explains them as ""m'soros" and "mayonos hechochmoh." "Lotzeis," to go out, refers to giving over wisdom to others, hence "m'soros," matters that are given over. "Lovo," to come, connoting information that is received, is expressed as "mayonos hechochmoh." Although "gates of wisdom" can mean the same, this expression does not clearly indicate incoming information, as one enters or leaves gates. "Mayonos," wellsprings, surely show being fed by the wellspring, i.e. incoming wisdom, which no longer flowed to Moshe.
Ch. 31, v. 2: "VaShem omar ei'lay" - And Hashem has told me - Rashi says, "Do not be mistaken into believing that Moshe was unable to go and come because he was feeble. The verse says 'lo chohasoh eino' (Dvorim 34:7). Rather it is BECAUSE Hashem told me." Rashi translates the prefix letter Vov of "VaShem" as "l'fi," - because. The Mizrochi questions this translation, as we do not find a prefix Vov anywhere else translated as BECAUSE. It seems that the Mizrochi simply translates it as AND. However, the Nachalas Yaakov and the Tzeidoh La'derech come to Rashi's aid, citing "ki lo himtir .. v'odom ayin laavode es ho'adomoh" (Breishis 2:5). The prefix Vov of "v'odom" is surely translated as BECAUSE. Hashem did not bring rain BECAUSE man was not yet in existence to work the land.
Ch. 31, v. 16: "Hincho shocheiv im avosecho" - Behold you will lie with your Patriarchs - Since Moshe was buried in Mount N'vo and our Patriarchs in the M'oras Hamachpeiloh, Targum Yonoson translates these words as, "You will lie in the ground with your Patriarchs and your soul will be placed in their sphere." However, the Yalkut Reuveini writes in the name of Sefer T'munoh that Moshe and Tziporoh were buried in the M'oras Hamachpeiloh. If so, we can take these words of our verse literally. Although the Torah tells us that Moshe was buried in the land of Moav (Dvorim 34:6), the Torah says "gam atoh lo SOVO shom" (Dvorim 1:37), - also you will not come to the land, but you will be brought there by angels. (Shaa'rei Aharon)
Ch. 31, v. 16: "V'zonoh acha'rei elohei neichar ho'oretz ASHER hu vo shomoh b'kirbo" - And he will turn after strange gods of the land that he comes there within them - If we translate ASHER as BECAUSE or "as a result of," the verse advises that he will turn after the false gods BECAUSE he has not kept his distance from their worshippers. He has mingled AMONG them, "b'kirbo." (Nirreh li)
Ch. 31, v. 16: "Vaazovani" - And he has forsaken Me - Although the verse states that he has already turned to false gods, "v'zonoh acha'rei elohei neichar ho'oretz," it is possible to forsake Hashem afterwards, and in the interim straddle the fence. We find that Eliyohu bemoaned this behaviour, crying out, "Ad mosay a'tem pos'chim al shtei has'ifim" (M'lochim 1:18:21).
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