Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 32, v. 1: "Ha'azinu hashomayim va'adabeira, v'sishma ho'oretz imrei fi" - We find in the prophet Yeshayohu 1:2 "Shimu shomayim v'ha'azini eretz" Why are the terms "ha'azonoh" and "shmia" switched?

2) Ch. 32, v. 1: "Haazinu hashomayim vaada'beiroh v'sishma ho'oretz" - Heavens, hearken and I will speak and the earth will hear - Why is the remark to the heavens addressed in second person form while to the earth in third person?

3) Ch. 32, v. 2: "Yaarofe kamottor likchi" - Targum Onkeles says "Y'va'seim k'mitro ulponi," - may My teaching be sweet as rain. Similarly, Targum Onkeles says on "Va'yim't'ku hamayim" (Shmos 24:7), "uvsimu mayoh," - and the water was sweetened. How does Targum Onkeles derive the translation "sweet" from the word "yaarofe?"

4) Ch. 32, v. 3: "Ki sheim Hashem ekro hovu godel lEilokeinu" - When I will call in the name of Hashem respond with grandeur to our G-d - The gemara Brochos 21a derives from these words that before one embarks upon learning Torah he must make a blessing. Since much Torah was taught to the bnei Yisroel before parshas Haazinu, why was this most important piece of information not taught earlier?

5) Ch. 32, v. 18: "Tzur y'lodcho teshi" - The Psikta and the Yalkut Shimoni on this verse say that when the bnei Yisroel fulfill Hashem's mitzvos they "kavyochol" add vigour to Hashem, as indicated in the words of the verse "V'atoh yigdal noh ko'ach Hashem" (Bmidbar 14:17). When they ch"v sin, they "kavyochol" weaken Hashem, as indicated by the words of our verse. See how far reaching are the actions of a human being. (Shal"oh Hakodosh)

How is this to be understood? How can a person's actions impact upon HaKodosh Boruch Hu?



The Sifri answers that the term "ha'azonoh" is used when the listener is nearby. The term "shmia" is used when the hearing is from a distance. Moshe was so spiritual that he was considered close to the heavens. Therefore, he said "ha'azinu" to the heavens as they were right nearby, and to the earth, which is considered distant from him, the term "shmia" is used. The prophet Yeshayohu however, not being as spiritual as Moshe, considered the heavens distant and the earth nearby, so he switched the terms.


The gemara Sanhedrin 23a states that the idealistic elevated people of Yerusholayim would not sign a document unless they personally knew who would be signing along with them. We may say that the heavens, aware that they would not be the only witnesses to Moshe's farewell testament had to be advised who else would bear witness. Thus Moshe directed his words to the heavens, second person, and advised that the earth, third person, would be the other witness. (Yalkut Ho'urim)

Alternatively, we can say that the heavens represent the great, learned leaders of the nation, while the earth represents the common masses. Once the heavens would directly hear Moshe's words of admonition, the information would be passed on to the rank and file. (Shaa'rei Simchoh)


It seems that he switches the letter Fei for a Veis, as per the rule that letters that are pronounced from the same part of the vocal system are interchangeable. Pei/Fei and Beis/Veis are part of the Beis-Vov-Mem-Pei group. Thus we have the word "yaarove," as in our daily blessing "v'haa'rev noh," and "ye'erav olov sichi" (T'hilim 104:34).

In which aspect is rain sweet? The evil inclination entices a person to follow on the path of his base inclinations. The road starts off pleasant, but after a short while it sours, often ending with very, very, bitter results. The path of the Torah has the opposite scenario. Although sometimes starting out has its challenges and is an uphill struggle, after a bit it becomes very pleasant and sweet. This is why the bnei Yisroel upon accepting the Torah said "kole asher di'ber Hashem naa'seh" (Shmos 19:8), while later they responded with "naa'seh v'nishmo" (Shmos 24:7). This is because upon accepting the Torah they had increased passion to fulfill its commandments. This is like the sweetness of rain. When it falls it inconveniences some people, i.e. those who are traveling and those who have their wine stored in open pits (see Rashi). However, upon waiting to see the results of rain, all are pleased, as rain is needed for the sustenance of mankind. (Medrash Shmuel)


The Malbim in his preface to Sefer Dvorim posits that the interpretation of the gemara Megiloh which states that Moshe wrote Sefer Dvorim is that first Moshe wrote it of his own accord and later Hashem told him exactly the same words, stating that they should become the text of Sefer Dvorim.

Thus this "shiroh" is different from the rest of the Torah because it was written by a human and then transmitted. The first 4 volumes of the Torah was transmitted as "Sh'chinoh m'da'berres mitoch grono," a miraculous form of transmission, therefore there was no need for "birkas haTorah" to be mentioned earlier, just as we find that there was no information given about grace after meals when they ate the miraculous manna. This section was first written down by Moshe, hence it was transmitted on a "b'derech ha'teva" level, and thus requires "birkas haTorah". If you will ask why "birkas haTorah" wasn't taught at the beginning of Sefer Dvorim, it is because this area was a lower level even within Sefer Dvorim, as Moshe's "mayonos hachochmoh" started to wane close to his death, as is mentioned in Rashi. The blessings of parshas V'zose Habrochoh, a very high level of prophecy, was a fulfillment of "lifnei shever ga'on" (Mishlei 16:18), just before a fire extinguishes itself, the flame becomes most intense and powerful. (N'tzi"v)


Perhaps with the concept mentioned in the writings of the Holy Zohar (1:157a) and the gemara Brochos 58a that "malchuso d'aro mei'ein malchuso dirokia," that the kingdom of earth replicates the Kingdom of Heaven, this can be comprehended. Since we realize that when a king's subjects rebel against him his stature is weakened, so too, this must be the case in the heavenly spheres. This explanation is quite lacking but at least gives us a finger hold towards understand the words of the P'sikta and the Yalkut Shimoni.



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

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