Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 25, v. 10: "U'kro'sem drore bo'oretz l'CHOL yoshvehoh" - Since on Yom Kippur of the Yoveil year we herald the release of those who are enslaved, why does the verse say that we announce freedom in the land for ALL its inhabitants, "l'CHOL yoshvehoh"?

2) Ch. 25, v. 13: "Achuzoso" - What is the difference between "achuzoh" and "nachaloh"?

3) Ch. 25, v. 37: "Es kas'p'cho lo SI'TEIN lo b'neshech" - Shouldn't the verse say "lo SALVEH lo b'neshech" since a loan is taking place rather than a cash grant?


4) Ch. 26, v. 8: "U'mei'oh mi'kem r'vovoh yirdofu" - in keeping with the ratio of five pursuing 100, we should have 100 pursuing only 2,000, not 10,000.

5) Ch. 26, v. 26: "V'ofu esser noshim lach'm'chem b'sanur echod v'heishivu lach'm'chem bamishkol, va'achaltem v'lo sisbo'u" - What is the connection among these three curses, which at first glance seem disparate?



Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin in Oznayim laTorah answers that the prophet Yirmiyohu decries those who do not release their slaves in a timely fashion as required by the Torah. He says, "A'tem lo shma'tem eilai likro drore ish l'ochiv v'ish l'rei'eihu hin'ni korei lochem drore n'um Hashem el hacherev el ha'devver v'el horo'ov" (Yirmiyohu 34:17), - You have not hearkened to Me to herald freedom to your brother and friend (who are enslaved to you). In response, says Hashem, I announce that you are free (open) to the attack of the sword, the pestilence, and the famine.Thus if the bnei Yisroel release their slaves as prescribed by the Torah, ALL are freed from the sword, etc., that would otherwise ch"v befall them.


The GR"A in his commentary on Yechezkel 44:25 differentiates between "achuzoh" and "nachaloh" when used regarding Kohanim. "Nachaloh" refers to land that they receive, while "achuzoh" refers to other priestly benefits that they receive.


The Oznayim laTorah answers that the Torah is giving a warning to those who are so eager to make easy money by lending with the expectation of receiving interest payments. It is logical to lend to one who seems to have visible means to repay the loan. An eager loan shark might overlook this in his eagerness to collect interest and lend his money to someone who might very well not be able to repay. The Torah warns, "Don't GIVE AWAY your money for interest."


1) Rashi answers that a larger number of people are proportionately more powerful than a smaller number.

2) This question is also answered by many Rishonim (Rosh, Rabbeinu Tam, others) by saying that "u'mei'oh mi'kem" does not mean "one-hundred of you," but rather one-hundred of the above- mentioned amount, "a group of five" of you. Thus there are 500 of you pursuing 10,000 of your enemy, keeping the ratio at one pursuing twenty. Perhaps Rashi is not happy with this explanation as the verse gives no new information by adding that 500 will pursue 1,000, since after all, this is the same ratio as five pursuing 100.

3) Perhaps another answer can be given by first raising two questions on the wording of the verse. Why didn't the verse express itself the same way and in the same order by saying "V'rodfu mi'kem chamishoh mei'oh V'RODFU mi'kem mei'oh r'vovoh?" We would thus have the same term "v'rodfu" and we would have it mentioned both times before the numbers of the pursuers and the pursued. Perhaps the verse is telling us that only after five have already pursued 100, "v'rodfu" translates as "and they have pursued," will the 100 pursuing 10,000 take place. It is not unusual for an army that sees that its side is beginning to falter and the few are successful in pursuing the many, that its resolve weakens. Once in a weakened frame of mind and less courageous, 100 WILL THEN pursue, "yirdofu," 10,000. Thus the word "yirdofu" is placed at the end of the second encounter, as this is what will take place in the future as a result of the first successful pursuit. This does not explain the switching of order of the word "mi'kem," which is more understandable according to the Rosh and Rabbeinu Tam.


1) The Ponis Yofos explains these words to contain three curses, one connected to the next. It is obvious that the verse is discussing a situation where there is a shortage of fuel, thus necessitating ten women to simultaneously bake their bread together in one oven. Although the shortage of fuel is a curse, nevertheless there is one advantage in filling the oven with ten people's breads. The gemara Beitzoh 17a says that bread is better baked when the oven if full.

When bread is well baked it is noticeably lighter than when it was dough, as most of its liquid dissipates during the baking process. Only when it is not well baked is its weight about the same as when the raw dough went into the oven, as it retains almost all of its liquid. This is the second curse mentioned in this verse. Even though the oven is full and normally the breads bake very well, when they will be taken out they will have the same weight as when put in, "v'heishivu lach'm'chem bamishkol."

Even this deplorable situation normally has its good side. Although not well baked, a heavy bread remains in ones intestines for longer as it is more difficult to digest, as explained by the Avudrohom in his commentary on the Hagodoh, that this is why the Egyptians fed the bnei Yisroel matzoh, which is difficult to digest. By staying in ones intestines for longer the person feels satiated for longer. This is the third curse of this verse. Even though the bread is heavy and not well baked and should normally satiate for a long period of time, this will not be the case, "va'achaltem v'lo sisbo'u."

2) A different approach to these words is offered by Rabbi Yoseif Sho'ul Natanson in Divrei Sho'ul. The gemara B.M. 30a says that if a person finds a lost object he should hold it until the rightful owner claims it as per Dvorim 22:3. The gemara goes on to say that one is required to care for the item and tend to its needs. If a wall hanging was found it should be spread out so that it does not become moldy and deteriorate. However, the gemara says that it should not be spread out where guests view it as someone might cast an evil eye, "ayin hora," upon it and this will also cause its deterioration. Similarly, the gemara a few folios later (42a) says that items that are weighed or measured have no blessing in them, i.e. they will not flourish nor thrive. This is the curse of our verse. Because ten women will bake bread together they will each eye the others' breads and cause an "ayin hora." As well the verse says that the bread, when taken out of the oven, will be measured, v'heishivu lach'm'chem baMISHKOL." This also causes the bread to not be successful. Thus the verse ends, "va'achaltem v'lo sisbo'u," - and you will eat but not be satiated. He adds that we find by the blessing in this week's reading, "va'achaltem lach'm'chem losova" (26:5), that Rashi comments, "Ocheil kimo v'hu misbo'reich b'mei'ov," one eats A BIT and he feels the blessing (satiation) in his INNARDS. Here we have a blessing, as both of the above causes of "ayin hora" are avoided. He eats A BIT, a small amount that is not measured, and the blessing is in his INNARDS, away from the public eye.



See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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