Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 21, v. 10: "Ki seitzei lamilchomoh al oi'vEcho unsonO Hashem Elokecho b'yo'decho v'shoviso shivyO" - When you will go out to war against your ENEMIES and Hashem your G-d will give HIM into your hand and you will capture his CAPTIVE - The verse begins with the plural form of enemies and continues with the singular.

2) Ch. 21, v. 12: "V'os'soh" - And she shall let GROW - This is Rashi's (Sifri) translation. Since this is inaction, why does the Torah express it as transitive?

3) Ch. 22, v. 2: "Vahasheivoso lo" - And you shall return it to him - When the Holy Admor of Satmar zt"l visited Jerusalem he was asked by a local doctor if the ruling of "v'rapo y'ra'peh" (Shmos 21:19), from which we derive that a doctor has permission to heal, requires of him to answer every call to heal. The Holy Rebbe responded, "This is clearly included in the mitzvoh of 'vahasheivoso lo.'" The next morning this response was publicized in a local shul. One upstart said, "What kind of answer is this? The verse quoted has nothing to do with the question!" What is the connection? Was this a whim of the Holy Rebbe or is it based in an earlier source?

4) Ch. 23, v. 4,5,6: "Lo yovo Amoni uMoavi bikhal Hashem, Vaasher sochar o'lecho es Bilom ben B'ore, V'lo ovoh Hashem Elokecho lishmo'a el Bilom" - An Amonite or a Moabite shall not enter the congregation of Hashem, And that he hired for you Bilom the son of B'ore, And Hashem did not desire to listen to Bilom" - The flow of these verses seems to indicate that if ch"v Hashem was willing to have Bilom's curses come to fruition then Amonites and Moabites would be accepted into our congregation, i.e. allowed to marry a bas Yisroel.

5) Ch. 23, v. 25: "Ki sovo b'cherem rei'echo v'ochalto anovim k'naf'sh'cho so'vecho" - When you come into the vineyard of your friend and you may eat grapes to your satisfaction to your satiation - Rashi (gemara B.M. 89b) explains that this refers to a hired worker. It is only when the worker is harvesting ripe produce and placing into the owner's vessels that the worker may also partake of the produce. If however, he is hired to prune the vines or the like he may not eat the fruit. The gemara Taanis 9a states that although Hashem gives reward for mitzvos in the world-to-come, when it comes to the mitzvoh of charity there is reward given in this world as well. The gemara goes on to say that we may even "test" Hashem in this by giving charity and expecting to see reward right here in this ephemeral world, based on the verse "b'chonuni noh b'zose." Why indeed is charity unique in this manner?



The commentators say that this verse strongly alludes to the internal war we have with our evil inclination.

The gemara Yoma 69b relates that the "men of the great assemblage" fasted and then prayed for the evil inclinations of serving false gods and of immoral unions to be removed. Both wishes were granted and idol worship stopped. However, the lack of urge for interaction with women created a problem. This permeated the atmosphere and there was no procreation. They prayed that in this realm things return to the former state, but they were able to pray for some lessening of this urge, and there was a great reduction of incest.

We can thus say that this is alluded to in our verse. When you go out to do spiritual war against your ENEMIES, plural, the inclinations for idol worship and immoral behaviour. Hashem will give HIM, the urge for idol worship only, into your hand. You will also capture ONE captive, this is the inclination for immoral behaviour, whom you will not kill in war, only capture. This is the lessening, but not obliteration of this urge. (Nachal K'dumim)


Someone once asked Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Brisker why the Yiddish expression, "Men macht em pei'os" is used at the "chalak'l," the ritual of cutting a three year old boy's hair and leaving over his pei'os. Since we remove excess hair and leave over what now becomes pei'os, how are we MAKING pei'os? Someone else present suggested that since the Yemenite Jews call pei'os "simanim," signs, perhaps this justifies MAKING pei'os, as instead of having a whole head of lengthy hair we create a SIGN of the child's being Jewish. This answer greatly pleased the Brisker Rov.

In our verse we have the woman prisoner of war leave her nails unkempt, not attending to them, and yet, this is called "v'os'soh," literally - and she shall MAKE (see Ramban). We see that having a feature of the body becoming conspicuous, albeit through inaction, it is nevertheless called an action, MAKING her nails. The same can be applied to pei'os. (Nirreh li)


A true Torah scholar was present and said, "Look into the Rambam in his commentary on the mishnoh N'dorim chapter #4, where he clearly states what you've just heard quoted in the name of the Rebbe. (Olomos Shechorvu)

Returning his lost item includes returning his health to him.


This can be explained based on the answer given to the most basic question: Why are those who bring suffering upon the bnei Yisroel punished since they are carrying out Hashem's will? The answer given by Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh is that they bring difficulties upon the bnei Yisroel not to fulfill Hashem's will, but rather out of hatred based upon the bnei Yisroel's properly fulfilling Hashem's will. If the bnei Yisroel were to ch"v worship their deities then their hatred would dissipate. They are punished for their baseless hatred.

Had Hashem agreed to have Bilom's curses take effect, then they would not be banished for hiring Bilom. However, the verse testifies that Hashem did not desire to have the bnei Yisroel cursed, and in spite of this they hired Bilom to curse them. This proves that their intention was negative and they are therefore excluded. (Holy Admor of Satmar)


Just as our verse says that when the hired worker places produce into the owner's baskets he may also partake of it, so too, when we give charity to Hashem's poor, and in particular to destitute Torah scholars, we are putting "fruit into the Owner's basket." At that time we may also derive benefit, so we likewise will benefit from giving charity even in this world. (Holy Admor of Satmar in Olomos Shechorvu)



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

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