Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 7, v. 12: "V'hoyoh eikev tish'm'un ushmartem vaasisem" - And it will be as a result of your hearkening and you will safeguard and you will do - All of these requirements are expressed in the plural form. Yet, when it comes to Hashem's response we find it expressed in the singular form, "v'shomar, vaa'heivcho, uveirach'cho."

2) Ch. 8, v. 10: "V'ochalto v'sovoto u'veirachto" - And you will eat and become satiated and you shall bless - The gemara Brochos 20 says that he who has his wife or son recite the grace after meals to be "motzi" him has fulfilled the mitzvoh, but a curse of hunger will come upon him. Why is this so?

3) Ch. 9, v. 17: "Vo'espose bishnei haluchos vo'ashlicheim mei'al shtei yodoy vo'ashabreim l'eineichem" - And I gripped the two Tablets and I threw them from upon my two hands and I smashed them in front of your eyes - When Moshe was still in the heavens Hashem had already told him, "Lech reid ki shicheis amcho" (Shmos 32:7). If so, why did he bring the Tablets down with him, knowing full well that he would smash them? Why not just leave them in the heavens? If he would reconcile the bnei Yisroel with Hashem he could bring them down afterwards.

4) Ch. 10, v. 2: "V'samtom bo'orone" - And place them into the ark - Isn't it obvious that their place would be inside the "orone hakodesh?"

5) Ch. 11, v. 17: "V'choroh af Hashem bochem" - And Hashem's anger will burn in you - How can we take these words as a message of hope?



This is explained by the Kli Yokor. The command to all members of the bnei Yisroel is equal, hence the plural expressions. However, when it comes to the fulfillment there are varying degrees in varying aspects, effort, energy, level of commitment, etc. Hashem responds in kind and therefore for each individual there is a custom made response of "v'shomar, vaa'heivcho, uveirach'cho."


A son who is a minor and a woman according to some opinions only have a Rabbinic level of reciting grace after meals. They can therefore be "motzi" an adult male with "birkas hamozon" for a meal where he has not satiated himself. If, however he has satiated himself, he is required on the Torah level to recite grace after meals. A woman or child cannot be "motzi" him. Since this adult male is using a Rabbinic level recitation of grace after meals, he in turn will receive a curse that he will not be satiated, and thus he too will not be required to recite grace after meals on the Torah level, but rather, only on a Rabbical level. (Ponim Yofos)


1) By leaving the Tablets in the heavens the text of the commands to recognize that there is Hashem, that there is no other power, that it is prohibited to create forms of deities, would all be present in the heavens, and Moshe greatly feared that this would bring about an immediate powerful retribution. (Rokei'ach)

2) The previous verse says, "Vo'ei're v'hinei chato'sem." What need was there for Moshe to SEE that they sinned? Hashem told him that this was so. "Vo'ei're" means that Moshe saw the letters disappear from the Tablets. Once he saw that the text was gone he realized that they lost much of their worth, so he understood that they should be smashed. (Rabbeinu Tovioh)

3) Shmos Rabboh 43:1 says that Moshe considered the Tablets the marriage document drawn between Hashem and the bnei Yisroel. By breaking them he destroyed the marriage document and retribution would be limited to that of an engaged and not married woman, who was not faithful. (Ramban)

4) By breaking the Tablets in full view of the bnei Yisroel Moshe showed them the great treasure that they lost. This would bring to a powerful actualization of feeling great remorse. (Minchoh V'luloh)

5) By having broken Tablets a number of lessons are taught. Moshe hoped that Hashem would give the bnei Yisroel a second chance, and with it a second set of Tablets. To teach the bnei Yisroel that teshuvoh is accepted even for the most grievous of sins, and even if done by a large group of people, he brought the Tablets down to earth and broke them to leave a physical reminder of this. (n.l.)

6) A Torah scholar who has forgotten his Torah knowledge is still supposed to be treated with great respect. (K'hilas Yitzchok on Shovuos, in footnotes on parshas Nosso)

7) The broken Tablets represent the oral Torah.


Bchor Shor answers that the intention of these words is that Moshe should place the two new tablets into the ark and leave them there. If for some reason he again becomes very displeased with the behaviour of the bnei Yisroel he would thus not take them and shatter them as he had done with the first set of luchos.


The story is told of a Bobover Chosid who was in a concentration camp and one night the Kedushas Tzion of Bobov appeared to him in a dream and asked him for the meaning of these words in our verse. He responded that the translation is well known, so what does the Rebbe want? The Kedushas Tzion answered that there was a message of hope even when one is in the most severe of circumstances. "V'choroh af," even when it is obvious that Hashem's anger is present, still "Hashem bochem," rest assured that Hashem is within you and is guarding you. He told this dream over to others who were with him in the camp and it lifted their spirits greatly while they were in this most trying of situations.



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

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