by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VO'ES'CHANAN 5770 BS"D
Ch. 3, v. 24: "Asher mi eil asher yaa'seh ch'maa'secho v'chigvurosecho" - That who is a power who can replicate Your creations and Your strengths - The verse in T'hilim 104:24 says, "Moh rabu maa'secho Hashem kulom b'chochmoh ossiso moloh ho'oretz kinyo'necho." The Malbim explains that creating with wisdom means that things are structured in such a manner that although there are many creatures that are stronger than others and are also predators, nevertheless, Hashem has set up a system where the weaker species have found ways to protect themselves, and to reproduce as well. This is the intention of "How great are Your workings, all were made with wisdom, in a manner that the earth can be FULL of Your creations and the weaker, slower species not only do not become extinct, but rather fill the earth."
We might apply this insight into our verse as well. "Who can replicate Your creations and Your strengths," i.e. creating creatures that are much stronger than others, and nevertheless all the species not only survive, but also multiply.
(Of course, this is all so until mankind comes along and upsets the system.)
Ch. 3, v. 25: "E'ebroh noh v'e'reh es ho'oretz hatovoh" - May I please pass over and see the good land - The M.R. parshas Ki
Sovo #11 makes the following enigmatic statement: "Hakodosh boruch Hu said to Moshe, 'You are grabbing the rope at both ends. If you request "e'ebroh" then you are negating 'slach noh,' and if you are requesting 'slach noh' then you are negating 'e'ebroh noh.'"
By the sin of the golden calf Moshe said something that seems quite startling. He said, "Onoh choto ho'om ha'zeh chato'oh g'doloh." This seems totally contrary to Moshe's nature, to enlarge a sin that has been done. (We have dealt with this in a previous issue on parshas Ki Siso.) To explain this we must point out two issues in regard to a sin. They are the actual sin and the perpetrator. Even if a sin is very great, nevertheless, if the sinner is a person of a low stature, it somewhat mitigates the sin. In this case it was the "om," the "eirev rav" that sinned, notwithstanding that Moshe had to admit that the sin in and of itself was severe.
If the sinner is a person of great stature, it aggravates the matter as Hashem is very punctilious with the righteous, "Usvivov nisaroh m'ode." On the other we could stress that the sin is in and of itself minor.
When it came to Moshe's defending the sin of the golden calf he stressed the aspect of the perpetrators. They were only the "om." Here by his shortcoming by "mei m'rivoh" he could only stress the "small sin" aspect. This was Hashem's response to him. If Moshe would be forgiven the sin of "mei m'rivoh" and be allowed entry to Eretz Yisroel, it would be by virtue of zeroing in on the sin aspect and not the sinner. If so, by the sin sin was in the realm of idol worship, a tremendously grievous sin. If he wanted to maintain "slach noh" he was stressing the aspect of the transgressor. If so, how could he, the greatest person who ever lived and the greatest of all prophets, expect to be forgiven for the "mei m'rivoh" incident? (Beis Aharon, Rabbi S.Z. Horowitz)
Ch. 3, v. 26: "Rav loch" - It is much for you - Moshe was exceedingly eager to enter Eretz Yisroel so that he could fulfill the mitzvoh of residing in Eretz Yisroel, which is a continual ongoing mitzvoh, day and night. Hashem responded that he would give Moshe a similar opportunity while remaining in the desert, and that was the mitzvoh of not entreating Hashem any further to be allowed entry into Eretz Yisroel. (Admor of Tolna)
Since positive mitzvos are greater than negative refraining mitzvos, as explained by the Ramban in his commentary on the first set of the Ten Commandments and the Ritv"o on the gemara Y'vomos 5, how would this satisfy Moshe?
Ch. 3, v. 27: "Ur'ei v'einecho" - And see with your eyes - Moshe begged to be allowed to enter the land and his entreaties were denied. What was accomplished by having him see the land? The Sforno on Dvorim 33:1 explains that Moshe's seeing the land brought blessing to the land and to its upcoming inhabitants, the bnei Yisroel. The Riv"o says that this was done so that it would be clearly demonstrated that although Moshe was not allowed ingress into the land, he was not included in, "v'chol m'naatzai lo yiruhoh" (Bmidbar 14:23).
According to the explanation of the Sforno it is more readily understood why he miraculously (Rashi on our verse and on Dvorim 34:2) saw all the land from his vantage point (see Dvorim 32:49,52).
Ch. 4, v. 2: "Lo sosifu al hadovor asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem v'lo sig'r'u mi'menu lishmor es mitzvos Hashem Elokeichem asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem" - Do not add onto the matter that I command you and do not diminish from it to safeguard the precepts of Hashem your G-d that I command you - The last four words of this phrase are a repeat of what was said earlier in this verse word for word.
The ChasaN Sofer explains that our Rabbis were invested with the power to add to the mitzvos of the Torah, such as reciting Hallel, reading Megilas Esther, etc. Similarly, they are allowed to diminish form the mitzvos, for example, not sounding the shofar when R.H. falls on Shabbos. However, this is all provided that they clarify that it is Rabbinic in nature. This is why our verse says "asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem" both by the addition and by the diminishing of mitzvos.
Ch. 4, v. 2: "V'lo sig'r'u mi'menu lishmor es mitzvos Hashem Elokeichem asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem" -And do not diminish from it to safeguard the precepts of Hashem your G-d that I command you - What is taught by adding the words "lishmor es mitzvos Hashem Elokeichem," and why is this placed by the prohibition to not diminish? As just mentioned in the previous offering, a prime example of diminishing from mitzvos that is Rabbinically sanctioned is when they prohibit us to blow a shofar of Shabbos R.H. our verse is telling us that we may not do so even if it is "lishmor," to safeguard, as in our case of avoiding Shabbos desecration, if it is structured as "asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem," a Torah level prohibition, as just mentioned in the previous offering. (n.l.)
Ch. 6, v. 7: "V'shinantom l'vo'necho" - And you shall teach them to your sons - Rashi explains that "your sons" means "your students." The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 1:1 says, "V'haamidu salmidim harbeh," and stand many students on their feet. The mishnoh does not say "teach many students." Their intention with using the word "v'haamidu" teaches us that it is incumbent upon us to see to it that our students can stand on their feet, by our seeing to it that their physical needs are attended to so that they may be free to pursue Torah study unimpeded. (Chosid Yaavitz)
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