Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

Please send your answers and comments to: SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM


1) Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim" - These are the words - Rashi comments that Moshe admonished the bnei Yisroel and to protect their honour he spoke covertly, only mentioning the places where they sinned, and not overtly spelling out their sins. We find later that Moshe resoundingly rebuked them openly.

2) Ch. 1, v. 5: "Bei'eir es haTorah hazose" - Rashi explains that Moshe clarified the Torah in the 70 languages of the nations. What did this accomplish?

3) Ch. 1, v. 22: "Vatik'r'vun" - Rashi explains that Moshe rebuked them when he was approached to send the spies to Eretz Yisroel, saying that they had come in a disrespectful manner, with younger people pushing the elderly. Rashi says that later in Dvorim 5:20, when the word "tik'r'vun" is used again, referring to the time of the giving of the Torah, the people approached Moshe in an orderly and respectful manner. If at that time they approached Moshe in an orderly manner, why was it included in the admonitions?

4) Ch. 3, v. 9: "V'al tisgor bom milchomoh" - And do not incite a war against them - This is clearly a prohibition aimed at Moshe and his generation. Is this a permanent prohibition and included in the count of 613 mitzvos?

5) Ch. 3, v. 12: "LoReuveini v'laGadi" - To the Reuveinites and to the Gadites - Compare this with the next verse, "lachazi SHEIVET haMenasheh." Why isn't the word "sheivet" used in our verse by Reuvein or by Gad? Secondly, why do we find the suffix letter Yud by both Reuvein and Gad and not by Menasheh?



1) Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenura answers that Rashi's intention is that sefer Dvorim should not BEGIN with open words of rebuke.

2) The Ra"n in his droshos #9 says that the intention of Moshe in parshas Vo'es'chanan was not one of rebuke. Rather, he told the bnei Yisroel that they were very beloved to Hashem. Moshe sinned and was not allowed entry into Eretz Yisroel in spite of his greatness, and the bnei Yisroel sinned and in spite of this were permitted to enter. Thus by clearly spelling out their iniquities he brought this point home more pointedly. Why Hashem forgave them more readily than forgiving Moshe is also explained in droshoh #9.

3) The Maskil l'Dovid answers with the words of the M.R. Moshe was reluctant to admonish the bnei Yisroel for their sins because he too had sinned by saying "shimu noh hamorim" (Bmidbar 20:10). Therefore he only criticized them indirectly. Hashem told him to not be afraid to openly admonish them and Moshe then openly reprimanded them.

4) The Chasam Sofer in his droshos says that Moshe started rebuking them in a soft manner. Noting that they accepted his words he went into higher gear.

5) The Kli Yokor says that the covert rebuke was Moshe's own words, while the overt rebuke was Moshe's repeating Hashem's words, which he could not mince or soften, as we find in verse 3, "Di'ber Moshe el bnei Yisroel k'chol asher tzivoh Hashem oso a'leihem."


The Admor of Kotzk answers that this brought to the 70 nations a source of holiness and a level of spirituality and connection to Hashem, so that when the Jews are in exile among these nations, they should not be among people who are totally devoid of spirituality. This lessens the spiritual pain of being in exile. As well, in the time of Moshiach's coming, the 70 nations will have the ability to come closer to Hashem, to fulfill "V'chol bnei vossor yik'r'u vishmecha."


The Chidushei HaRI"M answers that once the bnei Yisroel had shown that when they are enthusiastic about something, they pushed and shoved, it was to their discredit that at the time of the giving of the Torah, they approached in an orderly fashion, indicating that it was not of the utmost of importance to them.


The Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos shoresh #3 explains that he does not include this prohibition in the count of 613 mitzvos because it only applies to that generation. Ramban disagrees and counts it, positing that it applies for all generations. The Holy Admor of Satmar brings a proof for the position of the Rambam. The Holy Zohar on Vayikra page 190a clearly states that this command only applied to Moshe. (Olomos Shechorvu page #108)


Perhaps both these questions can be put to rest with the following insight: Only SHEIVET Menasheh and no one else from his family took land in this area, while Yoir, from Yehudoh, (see gemara B.B. and Ibn Ezra on verse 14) took an extended area to G'shur and Maachoh. Since Reuvein and Gad were not the exclusive tribes who took this land the word "sheivet" is not used. In the same vein, ReuveinI and GadI connote not just purely from their tribe but also anyone who was of their leaning, i.e. a person who was willing to forsake his tribe and live totally among Reuveinites or Gadites. This was not the case in the land tract of Menasheh. (Nirreh li)



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

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel