by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS R'EI 5772 BS"D
This week on the 26th of Menachem Ov is the 33rd yahrzeit of the Holy Admor Horav Yoel Teitelbaum ztvkllh"h. A very short snippet is offered which is less than even a glimpse into the powerful impact he had on rebuilding Torah-true Yiddishkeit on very foreign soil, and also into his sharp wit.
Regarding a certain religious matter he told his gabai to make public in his name that so and so is his opinion regarding …… His gabai responded that such an uncompromising position would further alienate other Torah-true groups who posited that a position of acceptance of some aspects regarding the matter. Did he want to alienate even those groups? The Holy Admor responded, "My name is Yoel. The letters of my name are the first letters of the phrase, 'Hashem Li V'lo Eera.' If I am on Hashem's side, even if I stand alone, I do not fear." Y'hei zichro voruch uzchuso yogein oleinu v'al kol Yisroel, omein.
Ch. 12, v. 4,5: "Lo saasun kein laShem Elokeichem, Ki im el hamokome asher yivchar Hashem" - Do not like this to Hashem your G-d, Except in the place where Hashem will choose - Verse 4 is interpreted as a prohibition to erase Hashem's Holy Name. a simple reading of the following verse seems to indicate that this is permitted when Hashem will disclose where His Beis Hamikdosh will be. This has been answered in a previous edition.
The gemara Sukoh 53b relates that when King Dovid dug the openings for the liquids to drain off the altar he reached a point where the waters from below threatened to flow and drown the whole world. After speaking to his advisor Achitofel he wrote the Holy Name of Hashem on a shard and cas it down the pipe he dug and it squelched the waters and the world was saved. This is the allusion in our verse, that when the Beis Hamikdosh would be built permission is granted to erase the Holy Name of Hashem. (Eitz Chaim by Rabbi Chaim Alfandri)
Ch. 12, v. 5: "Losum es shmo shom" - To place His Name there - This is an allusion to the fact that it would be King Shlomo who will build the Beis Hamikdosh. "Losum" has the same numeric value as Shlomo (i"h). As well, "losum" has the same letters as "sholo-m," indicating that he would build it, as in his days the wars had already ended and there was peace in the land, as stated in Mlochim 1:8:19. (Alshich Hakodosh)
Ch. 12, v. 5: "L'shichno sid'r'shu uvoso shomoh" - To His place of residence shall you seek and you will come there - This is an assurance from Hashem. Even before you have reached His Holy Abode, just by the virtue of your seeking it, you can rest assured that Hashem will help you to realize it. (Chasam Sofer)
Ch. 12, v. 15: "Rak b'chol avas naf'sh'cho tizbach v'ochalto bossor k'virkas Hashem Elokecho" - Only with complete yearning of your soul shall you slaughter and eat meat according to the blessing of Hashem your G-d - The Rambam hilchos dei'os 3:3 regarding eating writes: One should place in his heart that his body should be wholesome and strong so that his soul be forthright to contemplate Hashem. Even when one sleeps if his intention is to invigorate himself and not become ill, and that way he is able to better serve Hashem, his sleep becomes a service to Hashem blessed be He. This is the meaning of the words of King Shlomo in his great wisdom, "B'chol drochecho do'eihu v'hu y'yasheir orchosecho" (Mishlei 3:6).
We can thus explain our verse as follows: With all the yearning of your SOUL, meaning that your intention is for the betterment of your service of Hashem, shall you slaughter and eat meat. (Toras Mahari"Tzror Hamor)
Ch. 12, v. 21: "V'zovachto …… kaasher tzivisicho" - And you shall slaughter …… as I have commanded you - The gemara Chulin 28 says that we derive from these words of our verse that Moshe was orally commanded about the details of ritual slaughter and transmitted them to the bnei Yisroel at an earlier time. The gemara Sanhedrin 56b derives from "Kaasher tzivcho" (Dvroim 5) that both the laws of Shabbos and honouring one's parents were taught before the giving of the Torah, in Moroh. Why is it that we derive two dofferent conclusions from "kaasher ……?"
Rashi says that all the information given in the Ten Commandments was told to Moshe on Har Sinai. Shabbos and honouring one's parents is mentioned in the Ten Commandments. Saying that these were already commanded must refer to earlier than at Har Sinai, hence the conclusion that these were taught at Moroh. The laws of slaughtering were given to Moshe later, during the 40 days he was on Har Sinai, after the Ten Commandments were given. Here in Arvos Moav, "kaasher tzivisicho" means earlier, but after maamad Har Sinai, not at Moroh. (Turei Zohov)
Ch. 12, v. 23: "Rak chazak l'vilti achole hadom" - Only remain steadfast to not consume the blood - Rashi (Sifri 12:42) cites the opinions of both Rabbi Yehudoh and Rabbi Shimon, the former saying that the bnei Yisroel would be exposed to people who are so depraved that they consume blood, while the latter says that since consuming blood is disgusting and very easy to avoid, and nevertheless, the verse says one must strengthen himself to avoid it, all the more so must he strengthen himself to avoid sins that there is a natural tendency to be drawn to them.
It would seem that today we unfortunately find ourselves in a world where the most disgusting things are done openly with no shame, and not only that, but anyone who is opposed is narrow minded, ancient, phibiatic, etc. we truly need the warning of "rak" and "chazak" of Rabbi Yehudoh.
Ch. 12, v. 23: "V'lo sochal ha'nefesh im habossor" - And you shall not eat the soul with the meat - Eating meat is a very physical matter and one can readily totally immerse himself in the physical, corporal pleasure. This is not the way one is supposed to eat (see Tzetel Koton of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech printed in many sidurim). Eating is to give one physical strength to serve Hashem. This is what our verse is relating. Do not consume your own "nefesh," destroying any spirituality, along with the consumption of the meat. (Divrei Eliyohu)
Ch. 12, v. 28: "V'ossiso hatov v'ha'yoshor" - And you shall do the good that which is straight - Rashi (Sifri 12:52) says that "tov" means in regard to the heavens and "ha'yoshor" means in regard to mankind. The second half of this statement is very puzzling as the verse ends with "B'einei Hashem Elokecho," clearly indicating that both "tov" and "yoshor" refer to Hashem.
In Pirkei Ovos 3:10 the mishnoh says that he who is pleasing to people is likewise pleasing to Hashem. Thus one who is "yoshor" in the eyes of mankind is "yoshor b'einei Hashem Elokecho." (Amar Naka)
Ch. 13, v. 7: "Ki y'sis'cho ochicho ben i'mecho" - If your brother the son of your mother will entice you - A most G-d fearing person came to ask counsel from Rabbi Zalman Volozhiner. A marriage partner was suggested for him. She was wealthy and from her previous marriage she had sons. Unfortunately, they all had turned away from the proper Torah path, but the woman was very religious. His question was whether he should pursue this given that her sons strayed.
Rabbi Zalman answered that similar situations have been dealt with by halachic authorities, as the Rosh (klal #37) deals with a situation where a woman's sister who left our religion, Sh.O. Y.D. 228, and Sh.O. E.H. 50. Notwithstanding all of the above he advised him based on the advice of a great sage of earlier generations, that in this situation he should drop the idea. This is because if he were to have children with this woman, their maternal half-brothers might entice him to sin, as per our verse, "Ki y'sis'cho ochicho ben i'mecho." (Toldos Odom)
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