by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS R'EI 5771 BS"D
Ch. 11, v. 26: "R'ei onochi no'sein lifneichem ha'yom brochoh ukloloh" - See that I give before you today a blessing and a curse - "Lifniechem ha'yom" refers to the benefit that is accrued "today," i.e. in this world. "Ukloloh" refers to the principle reward, which is reserved for "olom habo," as is alluded to in the word "ukloloh," whose letters are an acronym for "V'ha'keren Ka'ye'mes Lo L'olom Habo." (Niflo'os Chadoshos)
Ch. 11, v. 26: "Brochoh ukloloh" - Blessing and curse - The gemara Kidushin 40 says that a person should make the following calculation before embarking upon acting. He should view himself and the world as half meritorious and half liable. If he were to do a positive act he would sway the balance scale to majority meritorious both for himself and the whole world. This is the "brochoh ukloloh" of "ha'yom." At the present time when you are about to do something this awesome responsibility lies in your hands. (Chasam Sofer)
Ch. 11, v. 26: "Ha'yom brochoh ukloloh" - Today a blessing and a curse - The word "ha'yom" seems to be unnecessary. However, this is key to understanding an insight into these words. No matter how productive or otherwise yesterday was one must realize that Hashem gives him the present day, and it is up to him to either make it a day of blessing or ch"v the reverse. As well, each day should be viewed as a person's final day on this ephemeral world ans therefore "Shuv yom echod lifnei misos'cho." A wise G-d fearing person will use the day for Torah, tefiloh, and maasim tovim. A foolish person will fill it with perceived "fun." Thus each and every day of life carries in it the potential for "brochoh" or "kloloh." This gives us a new understanding of the Rosh Hashonoh prayer "Ha'yom haras olom," - every new 'today' is the conception of a new world, a new opportunity, "Ha'yom yaamid bamishpot kol y'tzurei olomim," all the creations of the world will stand in judgment for how they used the "ha'yom." (The Holy Admor of Kotzk)
Ch. 12, v. 4,6: "Lo saasun kein lAshem Elokeichem, V'ha'vei'sem shomoh oloseichem v'zivcheichem" - You shall not do so to Hashem your G-d, And you shall bring there your oloh offerings and your slaughter offerings - Verse four is interpreted as a prohibition to erase Hashem's Name. The gemara Sotoh says that if an innocent womanwent through the sotoh water procedure and was innocent, if she had no children until now, she will be blessed with children, if no sons, then she will be blessed with sons A woman who has no children might cook up the following scheme: She would go into seclusion with someone and her husband would warn her not to and she would again do so and have to go through the sotoh procedure. However, she is restained from doing so intentionally because of the prohibition against erasing Hashem's Name. if so it seems that she has no alternative (besides praying etc. of course). Along comes verse 6 and tells us that we must bring assorted offerings. The M.R. Shmos 31:8 says that he who brings these offerings will merit to have sons. (Avnei Shoham)
Ch. 13, v. 5: "Acha'rei Hashem Elokeichem teileichun uvo sidbokun" - After Hashem your G-d shall you walk and in Him shall you cleave - The Holy Chofetz Chaim was together with the Imrei Emes on their way to the Kneisioh G'doloh. The Chofetz Chaim asked the Rebbe why our verse says "acha'rei" rather than "achar," given that "acha'rei means "after at a distance" while "achar" means "right after." The Imrei Emes answered that this is to convey the view of the person who is attempting to go ater Hashem. The further away he feels, notwithstanding all his efforts, the more he is cleaving to Hashem, "uvo sidbokun," as per the words in T'hilim, "Korov Hashem l'nish'b'rei leiv."
Ch. 13, v. 11: "Ki bi'keish l'hadichacho mei'al Hashem Elokecho" - Because he attempted to push you away from upon Hashem your G-d - What is the intention of "mei'al," from upon? The gemara Brochos 6a says that in Hashem's tefillin is written "Umi k'amcho Yisroel." The person who is inciting you to forsake Hashem and to take on another deity is attempting to push you, the nation Yisroel, form upon Hashem, from upon the tefillin that Hashem wears. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 14, v. 1: "Lo sisgod'du v'lo sosimu korchoh bein ei'neichem l'meis" - Do not gouge and do not place a bald patch between your eyes over a dead person - The gemara Y'vomos 13 interprets "lo sisgod'du" to mean do not make confrontational groups. Although a somewhat straightforward explanation of these two words, how does it fit in with the end of the verse where it prohibits showing extreme forms of morning? The Ramban explains that one should not display extreme mourning because upon death there is the loss of the soul in the physical body, but there is a spiritual remainder of the soul, which is permanent. The flow of the verse is thus understood very well. People creating combative groups do so only because they view the now and present, not taking into account the spiritual, the soul. In the world of souls there is only unity. (Avnei Nezer)
Ch. 15, v. 9: "V'ro'oh eincho b'ochicho ho'evyon v'lo si'tein lo v'koro el Hashem v'hoyoh v'cho cheit" - And your eye will be stingy in your destitute brother and you will not give him and he will call to Hashem and there will be a sin in you - When a person is stingy and does not want to give alms to a poor man he mentally finds excuses for this, usually in the realm of finding a shortcoming and sin in the poor man. This in turn results in your ledger being checked to see if you are meritorious and deserving of your wealth. Likely, a sin will be found in you. (Rebbe Reb Shmelka of Niklesburg)
Ch. 15, v. 10: "Nosone ti'tein lo ki biglal hadovor ha'zeh y'vo'rech'cho Hashem Elokecho" - Indeed give to him because as a result of this matter Hashem your G-d will bless you - The gemara B.B. 9b says that he who gives charity is blessed with six blessings and he who comforts the petitioner receives eleven blessings. The GR"A says that this is alluded to in the word "ha'zeh," whose numeric value is 17, a combination of the six blessings for giving charity and the eleven blessings for comforting him.
Rabbi S.Z. Horowitz adds that this might be the reason that the verse mentions "giving" in a double expression, for giving the money and the comfort.
Perhaps there is another allusion for the concept of both comforting and donating to the poor man. The next verse says, "Onochi m'tzav'cho leimore poso'ach tiftach es yodcho." "Leimore" refers to offering words of comfort, and "poso'ach tiftach es yodcho" is the actual giving charity. (n.l.)
Ch. 16, v. 17: "Ish k'matnas yodo k'virkas Hashem Elokecho asher nosan loch" - A man according to the giving of his hand according to the blessing that Hashem has given you - "Ish," a person, is measured by two factors, according to his generosity, but this is tempered by his ability to give. It is improper to be too magnanimous or stingy. (Rabbi Shimshon R'foel Hirsch)
Ch. 16, v. 17: "Ish k'matnas yodo k'virkas Hashem Elokecho asher nosan loch" - A man according to the giving of his hand according to the blessing that Hashem has given you - According to how much a person gives is the blessing Hashem will bestow upon him. (Mahara"m Schiff)
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