by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS NITZOVIM-VA'YEILECH 5771 BS"D
Ch. 29, v. 18: "V'hoyoh b'shomo es divrei ho'oloh hazose v'hisbo'reich bilvovo leimore sholo-m yi'h'yeh li ki bishrirus libi eileich" - And it be that when he hears the words of this curse and he will laud himself in his heart saying peace will be upon me in spite of my going as my heart sees fit - How can it be that a person recognizes that such an awesome warning comes from Hashem, and nevertheless he deludes himself into believing that he is beyond Hashem's reach? On the words in Dvorim 28:61, "Gam kol choli v'chol makoh asher lo kosuv b'sefer haTorah hazose" our Rabbis comment that this refers to the death of the righteous, something Hashem does not want to spell out in the Torah. This person then calculates that he can do as he wishes and when Hashem pour out His wrath He will bring about the death of the righteous to bring atonement and expiation for sins of the generation. The stress is on DIVREI, the actual words alluded to by the Torah, but given over verbally. Hashem's response is, "V'rovtzoh vo kol ho'oloh haKSUVOH b'sefer haTorah hazose." He will feel the wrath of the explicitly WRITTEN part of the Torah, and will suffer for his attitude and actions. (Eretz Hachaim)
Ch. 29, v. 18: "L'maan sfose horovoh es hatzmei'oh" - So as to add the inebriated to the thirsty - Rashi explains this to mean that given this person's attitude, Hashem will now include in His punishment the unintentional, not only the intentional. This is the response to one who does not take the warnings and admonitions to heart. Given that Hashem rewards the positive in a much more generous manner than punishing for wrong-doing, we can be assured that one who does take the warnings to heart, and in particular when Rosh Hashonoh and Yom Kipur come, then Hashem will surely add the unintentional mitzvos, those done without much thought or intention, to those done with serious intent. (Shem miShmuel)
Ch. 29, v. 21: "V'omar hador ho'acharon bonim asher yokumu mei'acha'reichem v'hanochri asher yovo mei'eretz r'chokoh v'ro'u es makos ho'oretz" - And a later generation sons who will stand up after your passing and the stranger who will come from a distant land - Since the verse is stressing the awesome destruction that will be seen why stress the impact on later generations and on strangers who will see the desolation? Why not simply say that you yourselves will be overwhelmed by what you see? Those who see the land in its splendour would be strongly impacted by seeing even a minimal amount of destruction, as it is very noticeable in comparison to the previour beauty. Our verse is telling us that even someone who never laid his eyes on the grandeur of the land and never saw its beauty, even he would be moved strongly by seeing such destruction. (Yalkut Eliezer)
Ch. 29, v. 22: "Sreifoh chol artzoh" - Its land is totally burned - When an army enters the land of its foe it does not lay the whole land desolate since it hopes to vanquish it and have something functional from the conquered land. Only areas that are strategic for success in warfare to be destroyed are destroyed. Seeing that the destruction is total, they will clearly realize that this was a punishment administered by Hashem as a result of the bnei Yisroel's forsaking their bond with Hashem. (Oznayim laTorah)
Ch. 31, v. 10: "Mikeitz sheva shonim shnas hashmitoh" - At the end of seven years the year of shmitoh - It is precisely when the nation has had a year off from agricultural and similar activities, free of the physical and mental distractions, and spent in spiritual pursuit, that it is most appropriate to hear the words of Dvorim, which would then make a most profound impact. (A'keidas Yitzchok)
Ch. 31, v. 12: "Hakheil es ho'om ho'anoshim v'hanoshim v'hatof" - Assemble the people the men the women and the children - Rashi (gemara Chagigoh 3) says that the command to bring the children brings reward to those who bring them. Logically, one might want to leave behind his young children since at the time of the great assemblage to hear the king recite Dvorim they would likely be disruptive, especially considering that there would be hundreds of thousands of children. However, the Torah is teaching us a profound lesson. The importance of bringing the children to witness such a phenomenal event and to have the words of the Torah enter their ears is of prime importance, even greater than having excellent decorum and the adults being able to hear the words of the Torah being recited without hearing background (foreground) noise. One has the responsibility to bring excitement into his children's hearts in their love of the Torah even at his own expense of being disturbed in his own pursuit of Torah. (Sfas Emes)
Ch. 31, v. 19: "V'atoh kisvu lochem es hashiroh hazose" - And now write for yourselves this song - If a person publishes his sefer not for the pure intent of advancing Torah knowledge, but also has the intention of reaping honour from it, a curse is lurking for him so that he not be successful in his endeavour. He will also not receive the honour he was hoping would come his way, as per the words of the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 1:13, "Nagid shma ovad shmei." There is also a prohibition intertwined in his publishing his sefer. The gemara Gitin 60a,b says that in essence it would be prohibited to write "Torah she'bal peh," and permission was granted only as a concession since the words of "Torah she'bal peh" might otherwise ch"v be forgotten. This is based on the verse in T'hilim 119, "Eis laasose laShem heifeiru Toro'secho." This only allows for "laasose laShem," and not for "laasose l'atzmo." (Responsa Chasam Sofer O. Ch. #208)
Ch. 31, v. 19: "V'atoh kisvu lochem es hashiroh hazose" - And now write for yourselves this song - The Chinuch in mitzvoh #613 writes an insight into the statement of the gemara that even if a person inherited a Sefer Torah from his ancestors he should still write one himself. This is because with the passage of time and much use the Torah's letters will wear and the person would tire of reading from a worn Torah.
Ch. 31, v. 19: "V'atoh kisvu lochem es hashiroh hazose" - And now write for yourselves this song - The word "V'atoh" deserves clarification. The Rosh writes that at the present time one fulfills this mitzvoh by writing mishnoh, gemara, and their commentaries. This is redacted as halacha by his son the Tur in Y. D. #270, and the Beis Yoseif as well. Thus the word "Va'toh" is understood as meaning that NOW, at the present time it is a mitzvoh to literally write a Sefer Torah, while in the future this can be fulfilled by writing "Torah she'bal peh" as well. (Imrei Emes)
Ch. 31, v. 27: "B'o'denu chai imochem" - When I am still alive among you - The word "imochem" requires clarification, as when one lives he is among living people and when he dies he is not alive, neither among nor not among others. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh explains that based on the maxim of Chaza"l that righteous people are considered alive even after their passing, Moshe is saying that in a sense he will live on, but not among the people on this world.
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