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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS SHLACH 5774 BS"D

Ch. 13, v. 1: "Ish echod lama'teh" - One man per tribe - No representative was chosen for the tribe of Levi because the L'viim would not receive a normal apportionment of land. Conquering Eretz Yisroel was not a great concern for them, so no spy was sent to represent them. (Ritv"a)

Ch. 13, v. 16: "Vayikra Moshe l'Hoshei'a ben Noon Yehoshua" - And Moshe called Hoshei'a the son of Noon Yehoshua -Rashi comments that this contained a blessing, that Hashem should save him form the machinations of the spies. Why was Moshe more concerned about Yehoshua than the others? The Meshech Chochmoh answers that Yehoshua had already led an army against Amoleik (end of parsha B'shalach). He weakened them. If Yehoshua, of all the spies, who had already won a war against the Amoleikim, who were the greatest concern for the bnei Yisroel, would become fearful of them, all the other spies would surely run scared.

Ch. 14, v. 45: "Va'yeired hoAmoleiki v'haKnani ha'yosheiv bohor va'yakum va'yaksum" - And the Amoleiki and the Canaani who resides on the mountain descended and he hit them and he smashed them - In verse 25 it says that Amoleik resided in the depths, "b'eimek," and here it says that he descended. Daas Z'keinim answers that they heard that the bnei Yisroel were coming so they left their residence and ascended the mountain to be able to attack the "mapilim" of the bnei Yisroel from an advantageous position.

Perhaps we can say that the majority of the Amoleikim lived in "eimek," but our verse stresses that those who "lived on the (specific) mountain" descended. (n.l.)

Ch. 15, v. 18: "B'och'l'chem mi'lechem ho'oretz torimu trumoh laShem" - When you eat from the bread of the earth you shall elevate a tithe to Hashem - When you eat bread, which is earthy, elevate your eating. Keep in mind that it strengthens you to serve Hashem. (Avodas Yisroel of Koznitz)

Ch. 15, v. 18,19,20: "B'vo'achem el ho'oretz, Mi'lechem ho'oretz torimu, Reishis arisoseichem chaloh torimu" - When you enter the land, from the bread of the land shall you tithe, The first of the dough shall you tithe - The verses first say to tithe bread and then go on to say to tithe dough. People bake bread regularly. Hashem commands that upon entry into the land, when the appreciation of living in an agriculturally viable land is fresh in everyone's mind, a tithe should be taken from a finished, baked bread. As time goes on this wears off and giving away baked, ready-to-eat bread is difficult. Hashem then allows for tithing from a raw dough. (ChasaN Sofer)

Ch. 15, v. 24: "Echod l'oloh echod l'chatos" - One as an oloh one as a sin offering - This is an anomaly. Whenever a chatos and an oloh are required, the chatos comes first, first an appeasement and then a present. A chatos is usually partially burned and partially eaten by a Kohein. There is thus a two-fold atonement, and this is why it comes before an oloh. Here the chatos is totally burned just like the oloh and it has no priority. (Hadrash V'ho'iyun) I don't understand why the oloh must come first. Based on this explanation either could come first.

Ch. 15, v. 35: "Mose yumas ho'ish rogome oso vo'avonim" - The man shall surely be put to death pelt him with stones - The seeming repetition is explained as: Put him to death - for all generations, pelt him with stones - for the present time. This is explained by Rabbi Shimshon ben R'foel Hirsch based on the opinion of Rabbi Yehudoh in the gemara Sanhedrin 78. He posits that the required warning to not sin lest he receives the death penalty requires the elucidation of exactly which of the four possible manners of death will be administered. We thus have a problem. Moshe only found out which death form it was after the fact. How could they put him to death given that he received an incomplete warning? The answer is "rogome - l'sho'oh," with this present case Hashem told Moshe to put the Shabbos desecrator to death notwithstanding the faulty warning. Once Moshe was apprised of which death a Shabbos desecrator receives "mose yumas - l'doros," for all future generations he can be put to death following the standard rules of warning.

Ch. 15, v. 38: "Al kanfei vigdei'hem l'dorosom" - On the corners of their garments for their generations - Chaza"l explain "l'dorosom" as "l'dor tam," a complete generation. What does this mean? The medrash says that Moshe told Hashem that the sign of tefillin is not present on Shabbos to remind a person to not sin. Hashem responded with the nest parsha, the mitzvoh of tzitzis, which are also worn on Shabbos. Why isn't the sign of circumcision sufficient, as it is present 24/7?

The bnei Yisroel did not circumcise in the desert because it was dangerous to do so there. This is why they needed a new sign, namely tzitzis. In the future the bnei Yisroel would circumcise for all future generations. We might thus think that the mitzvoh of tzitzis is no longer relevant. Hashem told Avrom, "His'ha'leich l'fonai ve'he'yei somin." "Tomim" means complete with the mitzvoh of circumcision. This is the intention of the words of our Rabbis that the mitzvoh of tzitzis applies to a "dor tam." Even in future generations when the bnei Yisroel will be "tam" and have the sign of circumcision, the mitzvoh of tzitzis is still to be done. (Rabbi Moshe Elchonon Alter)

Ch. 15, v. 38: "Psil" - Twisted thread - Rashi says that the eight threads that we have in each corner of our four-cornered garments corresponds to the eight days the bnei Yisroel spent from the day of their exodus from Egypt until they sang their praise, "shiras ha'yom." All commentators ask that it was only seven days. The most common answer offered is that we are to add the 14th of Nison to the number of days because the Paschal lamb was slaughtered then and this is to be considered the beginning of the exodus.

Given two points of information we might well immerge with a new answer. Before the giving of the Torah a day began in the morning and ended the next morning, not like our present night-to-night calculation. The bnei Yisroel actually left Egypt twice, once on the night that they ate their Paschal offerings, as they were miraculously transported to the site of the future Beis Hamikdosh in Jerusalem, and were afterwards brought back to Egypt, and again the next day. This is clearly stated in Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Shmos 19:4. We can thus say that the night departure was on the 14th of Nison and "shiras ha'yom" on the 21st, a total of 8 days.

Rashi explained that the word "t'cheiles" is sourced from "shikul," loss of children. The Egyptians lost their firstborn on the night of Pesach when the sky was dark. The colour was similar to that of "t'cheiles." Rashi is actually explaining all eight threads. The one dark one (as per Rambam) is "t'cheiles," as the first day corresponding to this thread had its event take place at night. The intervening days also had daylight, including the splitting of the sea and the death of the Egyptians. This is why the other seven threads are white, like daylight. (Nirreh li)

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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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