Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) 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.

2) Ch. 23, v. 5: "Al dvar asher lo kidmu es'chem ba'lechem uvamayim" - Because of the matter that they did not initially greet you with bread and water - The gemara Y'vomos 76b says that the prohibition against these two nations is limited to its male converts. The female converts may be married to a ben Yisroel, as we find with Boaz and Rus. The gemara explains that although there is a reason given, that they did not offer bread and water, this is only a claim against men, whose nature is to come into the public arena, and not against women, who usually stay at home. This seems to be a startling statement in light of the fact that the Moabite women offered themselves for licentious activities.

3) 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?

4) Ch. 24, v. 1: "Ki motzo voh ervas dovor v'chosav loh sefer krisus" - Because he found in her a shameful matter and he will write for her a writ of separation - What is the "ervas dovor?"

5) Ch. 25, v. 14: "Eifoh v'eifoh" - A measurement and a measurement - This is the prohibition against having false weights in one's possession, even if they are not used in commerce. Our Rabbis say that the punishment for use of false weights is greater than that of illicit relations. This is difficult to comprehend. Some illicit relation sins even carry the death penalty. Why should using false weights be harsher?



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 zt"l)


1) The women were coerced by the Moabite men to do this. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

2) Even though they did not behave as is proper for a woman, nevertheless, since it is inherently the nature of women to behave modestly, the Torah does not attribute the lack of hospitality to women. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

3) When they offered themselves for immoral behaviour their lusts for this activity motivated them as well, but when it came to offering hospitality, their natural modest behaviour mode ruled. (Dorash Moshe)


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 zt"l in Olomos Shechorvu)


The gemara Gitin 90 cites three opinions. Beis Shamai posits that one should only divorce his wife if he finds that she has not kept her fidelity to her husband. Beis Hillel posits that even if she burned the food prepared for him. Rabbi Akiva posits that even if he finds a prettier woman it is sufficient grounds for divorce. eais Shamai'a position is well understood, but Beis Hillel's and surely Rabbi Akiva's need clarification. The Tur E.H. #119 says that her act was one of defiance, "Sheposhoh ch'negdo." I heard in the name of MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l that the problem is that she burned HIS food. This means that although she did not intentionally burn the food, nevertheless, when she found it singed, some of it was salvageable. She proceeded to cut it into two portions, serving herself the good part and giving her husband the charred, burned offering. This shows a major attitudinal shortcoming. I once again heard in the name of MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l that Rabbi Akiva's opinion is that if the husband finds a woman who is more pleasing, it shows that he has some dormant and maybe not so dormant displeasure in his relationship with his wife, so it is permitted to divorce her even on these grounds.

Indeed, we find the term "m'tzioh" used where one is in search of something. In Bmidbar 15:32, "va'yimtzu ish m'kosheish eitzim." The M.R. says that "they found" indicates that there were people searching for Shabbos transgressors. This is because, once apprised of the death of that generation in the desert, the masses felt that the Torah was no longer binding on them, but rather, only on the next generation, which would enter Eretz Yisroel, and they began to desecrate Shabbos. Guards were on the lookout for Shabbos transgressors, hence, "va'yimtzu." We thus see that this term is used for one who is on the lookout for something. Similarly here when the gemara says "motzo no'oh hei'menoh," it indicates that the husband is on the lookout, a sorrowful situation.


The halacha is that if a person's life is in danger and he can be helped through his consumption of meat, and no kosher meat is available on Shabbos, we are required to slaughter for him on Shabbos. The Rosh (Yoma 8:14) and others ask why it is not preferable to feed him non-kosher meat that is available, only a "malkos" sin, rather than "chilul Shabbos," a "skiloh" sin. They answer that it is preferable to do a severe sin once, slaughtering, rather than a lighter sin, non-kosher meat, numerous times. Similarly here, one uses false weights numerous times. (Ohel Y'shorim, Rabbi A. Antebbi)



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

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