CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS KI SOVO 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 26, v. 10: "V'atoh hi'nei heiveisi" - And now behold I have brought - The medrash comments: "V'atoh," now immediately, "Hi'nei" with happiness, "Heiveisi," I have brought of my own. The first two points are self-understood, but what is added by the third point, given that it is obvious that bringing "bikurim" is the mitzvoh to bring the first-ripened produce of one's own field?
2) Ch. 26, v. 12: "Bashonoh hashlishis shnas hamaa'seir" - In the third year the year of the tithe - These words make it sound like the first and second years of the seven year cycle are not years of tithing, and this is not so, as there is the requirement to tithe "maa'seir rishon" and "maa'seir sheini."
3) Ch. 26, v. 16: "V'shomarto v'ossiso osom" - And you shall safeguard and you shall do them - Rashi says that this is a blessing. A voice from heaven emanates and says, "You have brought the tithe this year. You will merit repeating this next year." It seems that this comment is based on translating "v'ossiso" not as "you SHALL do," but rather, as "you WILL do." It seems as if one who brings the tithe will live forever.
4) Ch. 28, v. 3: "Boruch atoh bo'ir" - Blessed are you in the city - The medrash says that you are to be blessed on account of the mitzvos you do in the city. This is an enigmatic statement. Blessing comes upon a person no matter where he performs mitzvos.
5) Ch. 28, v. 13: "Unsoncho Hashem l'rosh" - And Hashem will place you to a head - What is the intention of the Lamed before "rosh?"
A person sometimes gives generously when he has plenty left for himself, but if giving involves any sort of belt tightening then he gives nothing. The medrash is telling us that the person who brings "bikurim" should even do so when it is "misheli," of my own, and impinges upon what I would have otherwise eaten and it is not excess. (Divrei Shaar Bas Rabim)
During the first and second years there is a responsibility to tithe for the Levi and for oneself to consume in Yerusholayim. Each of these can be accomplished in one go. The 1/10th for the tribe of Levi can be given in its totality to a Levi, and likewise a person can bring the complete 1/10th of his produce up to Yerusholayim for consumption in one go. However, in the third year where there is in addition to "maa'seir rishon, maa'seir oni," which is given to the poor, he may not give it all to one poor person. He thus gives it piecemeal to one destitute person after another. This is the intention of our verse. The third year is a "shnas hamaa'seir," a year of giving all year long. (Ponim Yofos)
The Chasam Sofer raises this question. His son, the Ksav Sofer answers that the intention is that notwithstanding his agricultural success, he will not experience "V'ochalto v'sovoto, Hishomru lochem pen yifteh l'vavchem ……" (Dvorim 11:16) and not tithe the following year.
An alternative understanding of "tishneh l'shonoh habo'oh" is that you should merit bringing twice as much next year. (Va'y'da'beir Moshe)
Some people refrain from doing mitzvos in the public eye, a sort of modest behaviour. However, there is a time and a place where the opposite is necessary. When Torah observance has unfortunately ebbed even those who are still devoted to keeping its mitzvos might be shy to make a display of their actions. At a time like this it is important to publicize one's fulfilling mitzvos, thus providing guidance and a thrust for others to do the same. (Divrei Shaa'rei Chaim)
One can be the head of a lower level such as being a head of a fox. In such a case it is better to be a tail of a lion, as stated in Pirkei Ovos. Our verse tells us that Hashem will place us to a head, a high level position, the head of a lion and not the head of a fox. (Oheiv Yisroel of Apt)
Alternatively, "l'rosh" is an acronym for "Laasose R'tzone Ovinu Shebashoma'yim." (Yeitev Lev)
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