Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS KI SOVO 5769 - BS"D

Ch. 26, v. 2: "V'lokachto mei'reishis" - Should the verse not have said "v'hei'veiso mei'reishis?" "V'lokachto" connotes receiving.

Ch. 26, v. 6: "Va'yo'rei'u OSONU haMitzrim" - In Bmidbar 20:15 we find that when the bnei Yisroel attempted to persuade the nation of Edom to allow them to traverse their land on the way to Eretz Yisroel and the bnei Yisroel related their travails, they said "va'yo'rei'u LONU haMitzrim," Why the change in wording?

Ch. 26, v. 15: "Hashkifoh" - Rashi says: "We have done what You have decreed upon us to do. Fulfill Yours, as You have stated, 'Im b'chukosai tei'leichu v'nosati gishmeichem b'itom'(Vayikra 26:3)." Why is the blessing of timely rains singled out among all the blessings that Hashem promised to confer upon us when we hearken to His word?

Ch. 26, v. 15,16: "Udvosh, Ha'yom Ha'zeh Hashem" - And honey, This day Hashem - The Ibn Ezra on verse 16 says that "Ha'yom ha'zeh" are the words of Moshe. The Avi Ezer, a commentator on the Ibn Ezra says that the Ibn Ezra is explaining that one should not think that the words of this verse are a continuation of the declaration of the person who brings bikurim, but rather that the declaration ends with the word "udvosh." Why would one even contemplate that this is a continuum? We have a paragraph space between these two words clearly indicating that the previous chapter has come to an end.

Ch. 27, v. 9: "Va'y'da'beir Moshe v'haKohanim ha'yom ha'zeh ni'h'yeiso l'om'" - The Sforno says that not Moshe alone, but he and the Kohanim spoke to the bnei Yisroel, telling them that now that they had the Torah, they were a nation, to teach the Kohanim that it was their responsibility to teach the nation the Torah in depth. This explains why the Kohanim spoke, but why wasn't it sufficient for just the Kohanim to make this statement and leave Moshe out of it?

ANSWERS:

#1

The Nachal K'dumim answers that the Kidushin 7a says that although halacha mandates that to effect a marriage it is required to have the man GIVE an item of a minimal value to the consenting woman, nevertheless, if he is a very highly esteemed person, even if the woman gives an item to the man and he accepts it, she is considered to have received something of value from him. The item of value is the pleasure that she derives from having her offering accepted by such an important personage. Surely here we can say that the one who offers his first ripened produce, although he is the giver, is to be considered the receiver, hence "v'lokachto," since Hashem is willing to accept his offering.

#2

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh derives from the use of the word OSONU rather than LONU that the intention of these words is that the Egyptians turned us into bad people. Perhaps since the bnei Yisroel were making a plea to be allowed to enter Edom's land, they felt that it would not further their case if they would be self-incriminating and state that they had become bad people, even if it was caused by their host country, Egypt.

While on this verse, the N'tzi"v says that the intention of our verse is to say that the Egyptians gave us bad press. For a supposedly enlightened ruler to Issue such harsh and heartless edicts against an innocent people would be impossible, as he would be met with a public outcry bemoaning the injustice. However, if enough bad press is aimed at the bnei Yisroel, he could change public opinion and get away with even the greatest injustice. It seems that history has repeated itself numerous times in this manner, even in most recent years.

#3

Our Rabbis have taught that Hashem holds back rain as a punishment for pledging to give alms to the poor and not fulfilling the pledge. Thus when we fulfill "osisi k'chole asher tzivisoni" (verse 14), giving all that is required of us to the poor, we have removed the cause for restraint of rain. (Avodas haGeirshuni)

#4

Perhaps one might think that it is a continuation since one of the 12 "tzirufim," permutations, of Hashem's Holy Name of 4 letters is an acronym of the first letters of the words "Udvosh Ha'yom Ha'zeh Hashem," (Look into your siddur in the Musof service of Rosh Chodesh and you will find it there on the blessing "m'ka'deish Yisroel v'roshei chodoshim.") we might think that it is also a continuation of the declaration of the one who brings bikurim. Obviously, this is a very weak answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#5

Perhaps with the insight of the Droshos hoRa"n Drush #8 we can answer this. He explains the concept that influences of different sorts that Hashem desires to send down to our world are done through mediums that have already had that influence brought through them. An example he offers is that Hashem commanded Moshe to bring along his staff when he was to speak to the rock to give forth water (Bmidbar 20:8), even though the staff was not to be used. This was because the staff was the medium through which numerous miracles took place in Egypt. Even though it was not to be used, its mere presence at the scene of the rock being spoken to would be helpful in bringing about the desired miraculous result. Possibly, here as well, since Hashem told Moshe "V'e'es'cho l'goy godol" (Shmos 32:10), Moshe embodied the ability to create a nation, and the message conveyed in this verse is that the bnei Yisroel have now become a nation, hence there is a need for Moshe to convey this. (n.l.)

Ch. 27, v. 16: "Orur makleh oviv v'imo" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH explains that the source for the word "makleh" comes from the term "kal," denigrate, belittle. He suggests that this is often the result of the son's assuming that his father is greatly concerned with his son's being punished by Hashem for his lackadaisical attitude towards his parents and therefore his father will forgive him, as per the gemara Kidushin 32a, that a father may forego the honour due him by his child. The Torah therefore places a curse upon the child. This explains why Rav would not allow his son to remove a splinter from Rav. Even though there was the possibility that in the process of removing the splinter his son might cause him to bleed, but if Rav were to forgive his son for causing the bleeding, his son has not sinned. However, this would still be an act of "makleh oviv," and would lower Rav's honour in the eyes of his son, bestowing upon his son an "orur."

We now understand the gemara Yerushalmi N'dorim 9:1. The Rabbis state that when a person comes to the court to find an "opening" for the annulment for his vow, the Rabbis may not ask him if he would have taken into consideration that attempting to fulfill the requirements of the vow would cause pain to his father. We fear that out of embarrassment he would say that had he thought of this he would have refrained, but in truth he would not have refrained.

Rabbi Eliezer agrees when this person's father is no longer living. He might truly not have cared for his father's feelings and made the vow in spite of this. The reason he would tell the Rabbis that he would have refrained had he taken this into consideration is that he is embarrassed to say that he cares not for his father's honour. However, if his father is alive, Rabbi Eliezer posits that this is a legitimate "opening" to annul his vow. We do not assume that if his father is living that he would be as embarrassed. Even if he vowed and realized that this would cause his father anguish, he knows that his father would forgive him, and thus if he says that he did not take his father's feelings into consideration, and if he had done so he would have refrained, we believe him.

We now also understand why even Rabbi Eliezer agrees that an "opening" of "Would you have taken on this vow had you thought of the anguish it would cause your Rabbi?" is not to be used. Since he posits that even if one's Rabbi foregoes his due honour, it is not negated, as we see from the story related in the gemara Kidushin 32b, that Rabbi Eliezer would not accept a goblet containing a drink from his teacher Rabbon Gamli'eil, we fear that the disciple might lie to us out of embarrassment, as one's Rabbi's honour is not to be negated, and the Rabbi's foregoing his honour is not valid.


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