CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHIOS NITZOVIM-VA'YEILECH 5766 - BS"D
1) 1) Ch. 29, v. 12: "L'maan hokim os'choh ha'yom lo l'om" - So that you are
established today for Him as a nation - These verses are discussing the
positive effects of commitment to "arvus," each individual's responsibility for the
actions of every ben Yisroel. This is an awesome undertaking. If someone has
acted incorrectly all have some level of responsibility. If so, how does this
help establish us as a nation? If anything, it seems that the opposite is true.
It adds demerits to each of us.
2) 2) Ch. 29, v. 19: "Lo yoveh Hashem slo'ach lo" - Hashem will not have the
DESIRE to forgive him - Why doesn't the verse simply say "Lo yislach lo
3) ) Ch. 29, v. 27: "Va'yash*L*i'cheim el eretz acherres" - We find an
oversized letter Lamed in the middle of the word "va'yash*L*i'cheim." What is its
4) Ch. 31, v. 17,18: "V'histarti fonay mei'hem v'hoyoh le'echol umtzo'uhu
ro'ose rabose v'tzorose v'omar ba'yom hahu al ki ein Elokay b'kirbi m'tzo'uni
horo'ose ho'eileh, V'onochi hasteir astir ponay ba'yom hahu al kol horo'oh asher
osoh ki fonoh el elohim acheirim" - And I will hide My countenance from them
and he will be as fodder and there will find him many bad happenings that will
compete one with another and he will say on that day, "Because my Hashem is
not within me have these bad happenings found me." And I will surely hide My
countenance on that day as a result of all the bad that he has done because he
has turned to gods who are strangers - If the person realizes that his lack of
belief in Hashem has brought about difficulties, why does Hashem respond
negatively by hiding His countenance?
5) Ch. 31, v. 28: "V'o'idoh bom es hashomayim v'es ho'oretz"- The letter Vov
of the word "V'o'idoh" appears as the first letter of the first word on a new
column in a Torah scroll. Although it is unusual to have any letter besides a
Vov as the first letter of a column, this word is accentuated, because
otherwise another word beginning with a Vov might have been the first word of this
column. What is the importance of emphasizing the Vov of specifically this word?
Answer to questions on parshas Ki Sovo:
1) Ch. 26, v. 5: "V'oniso" - What is the translation of this word?
1) Say in a raised voice. (Rashi, as per gemara Gitin 83a, Sotoh 32b)
2) Respond to the Kohein who has asked you, "What is this that you are
bringing?" (Ibn Ezra)
3) Open your remarks. (Ibn Ezra, as per Iyov 3:2, "Va'yaan Iyov horishon")
4) Act in a humble subordinate manner, as an "oni." (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh.)
Feel that you have received an undeserved wonderful gift from the King of
Kings, which automatically brings about this feeling of humbleness and
2) Ch. 26, v. 5: "Arami oveid ovi" - Who is Arami?
1) Rashi says it refers to Lovon.
2) Ibn Ezra and the Sforno say that it refers to Yaakov Ovinu.
3) Rashbam says it refers to Avrohom Ovinu.
3) Ch. 26, v. 9: "Va'y'vi'einu el hamokom ha'zeh" - And He has brought us to
this place and he has given us this land. Rashi explains "this place" to mean
the location of the Beis Hamikdosh. It would then seem that the two
occurrences mentioned here are out of order, as the bnei Yisroel first were given Eretz
Yisroel, and only afterwards were at the location of the of the Beis Hamikdosh.
1) Horav Chaim Aboleffia answers this with the words of the Targum Yonoson
ben Uziel in Shmos 19:4, on the words "Vo'essoh es'chem al kanfei n'shorim"
which most commentators translate as I WILL carry you on eagles' wings. The
Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates it as I HAVE carried you on eagles' wings. He
relates that on the night of the exodus from Egypt the bnei Yisroel were
miraculously transported to the site of the future Beis Hamikdosh and ate their
Pesach sacrifices there. Afterwards they were transported back to Egypt and left
the next morning. According to this, the bnei Yisroel were at the location of
the Beis Hamikdosh first, and later were given the land.
There is a bit of difficulty with this interpretation, as the verse says "And
He has brought US." Since this verse is referring to the new generation that
is about to enter the land, the word US is problematic. It was the previous
generation which had died that was brought to the Mikdosh site to eat the Pesach
2) Rabbi Shmuel Wolkin answers, instead, with a Medrash Shochar Tov on
T'hilim 68, s. 9, that says that at the time of the giving of the Torah on Har
Sinai, Har Hamorioh (the site of the future Beis Hamikdosh) was uprooted and
brought next to Har Sinai. At the time of the giving of the Torah the souls of all
the bnei Yisroel, including future generations were present, as it says in
Dvorim 29:14. Therefore it can be said that Hashem brought US to this place.
3) The Ari z"l writes that there really is no place for a public Mikdosh
outside of Eretz Yisroel as "chutz lo'oretz" does not have sufficient sanctity.
The only way it was possible to have the Mikdosh in the desert was by virtue of
Hashem's "exporting" the sanctity of the location of the future Beis
Hamikdosh to the desert. This spot is called "PI HASHEM." Whenever the bnei Yisroel
traveled to a new location the terra sancta "PI HASHEM" would travel with them
and would be the exact spot where they would relocate the Mishkon. Thus the
verse is interpreted as "al PI HASHEM yachanu v'al PI HASHEM yiso'u" (Bmidbar
9:20), the bnei Yisroel came to rest with the location called PI HASHEM and
traveled with the same location, PI HASHEM.
With the words of the Ari z"l we might have another answer. The location of
the future Beis Hamikdosh "came" to the desert, thus the bnei Yisroel, even
those who were born in the desert and eventually entered Eretz Yisroel, were at
the location of the Beis Hamikdosh before entry into Eretz Yisroel, thus
answering the original question and avoiding the problem raised by Rabbi Wolkin.
A most interesting numeric allusion to the words of the Ari z"l is that "al
pi Hashem yachanu v'al pi Hashem yiso'u" (i"h) equals "Zeh hu m'kome
haMikdosh." (Nirreh li)
4) Ch. 26, v. 17-18: "He'emarta, He'emircha" - What is the translation of
1) Rashi says: You have separated.
2) Rashi in gemara Chagigoh 3a says: You have praised.
3) Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Sforno, and Daas Z'keinim (first translation) say: You
4) Ibn Ezra in the name of Rebbi Yehuda haLevi haS'faradi says: You have
caused Hashem to say (that he has chosen you as his special nation).
5) Daas Z'keinim (second translation) says: You have exchanged (others, and
are only loyal to Hashem).
6) Targum Yerushalmi says: You have coroneted as a king.
5) Ch. 28, v.10: "Sheim Hashem nikra" - The gemara M'nochos 35b and the
medrash Shir Hashirim 7:6 (See also Targum Yonoson ben Uziel) say that this refers
to the tefillin "she'b'rosh," literally IN one's head. We have an halacha
l'Moshe miSinai that the exterior of the tefillin housing of the shel rosh has the
letter shin on it. a) Why a "shin"? b) Why does one of the two "shinin" have
four strokes and four heads rather than the normal three headed "shin"?
1) An allusion from our verse, the first letters of the words "SHeim-Hashem
(yud)-Nikra" create "shin."
2) The shin is indicative of Hashem's name as the four letter name of Hashem,
yud, kay, vov, kay equals 26, and their corresponding letters in the "atbash"
transpermutation system is mem, tzaddi, pei, tzaddi which equal 300, the
numerical value of the letter shin (Beis Yoseif on the Tur Orach Chaim #32 in the
name of the R"i Askandrani).
3) The Beis Yoseif in the name of the Orchos Chaim #27 says that "shin"
equals 300 and this is the number of days per year that a person wears tefillin. I
have found this last reason in the Rabbeinu Bachyei on our verse as well.
4) The Toras Chaim #101 says that since we have knots in the tefillin straps
that form a dalet and a yud, we create a shin on the shel rosh to complete the
name of Hashem, Shin-Dalet-Yud.
1) The Tosfos in gemara M'nochos 35a, d.h. "Shin" says in the name of the
Shimushoh Rabboh that the three-headed shin corresponds to the normal writing we
find in a Torah. The four-headed shin corresponds to the way the shin looked
in the luchos of the Ten Commandments. Since the script of the luchos was
actually a lack of stone, as the letters were etched out, the physical part of
each letter was its background. A circle drawn around a three-headed shin
would loosely produce an inverted four-headed shin.
2) The Likutei Hagohos on the Tikun Tefillin #9 quotes a gemara (which we do
not find) which says that Moshe asked Hashem the details of creating
tefillin. Hashem said that the shel rosh requires a shin. Moshe asked how it
appears, and Hashem (kav'yochol) showed Moshe four fingers. Moshe didn't know if the
intention was a four-headed shin like the four fingers he was shown, or a
three headed shin like the spaces between the four fingers, so he made both.
3) The Zohar interperets the words "shivasayim" (Tehillim 12:7) as seven
times seven. He says that this refers to tefillin shel rosh. He explains that the
shin is a composite of three zayins that are joined at their base. With a
four-headed shin on one side and a three-headed shin on the other side, we have
a total of seven zayins. Since the numeric value of zayin is seven, we have
the fulfillment of "shivasayim," seven times seven.
4) The Baal Tikun Tefillin, Rabbi Avrohom of Zuns'heim, a Rishon, says that
the configuration of the tefillin shel rosh corresponds to the encampment of
Bnei Yisroel in the desert. There are a total of 12 stitches closing the
tefillin, 3 on each side of the central cube. This corresponds to the 12 tribes
encamped in the desert, 3 on each side of the central area of macha'neh L'viyoh
and machaneh Sh'chinoh. In the centre, we have the cube that houses the
script, parshios, of the tefillin. The cube corresponds to the ark and the script
to the luchos which were inside. The ark had on its lid (kaporres) the two
cherubs whose wings were spread aloft. The cherubs with their wings spread aloft
loosely had a configuration similar to the letter shin. The luchos upon which
the Ten Commandments were etched had as their first word, "onochi." Here
again we have a striking similarity. The cube of the tefillin (k'tzitzoh) which
houses the script of four paragraphs of the Torah has two letters shin on the
outside, similar to the ark and the two cherubs. Rabbi Avrohom adds that these
last two similarities are alluded to in the verse in T'hilim 119:162,"Sos
onochi." "Sos" is spelled sin,sin. These are the two cherubs and also the two shins
on the tefillin housing. Onochi, the letters sin and sin, symbolizing the two
cherubs are over the Ten Commandments which begin with "onochi."
5) Rabbi Shimshon "Boruch She'omar" says that they are alluded to in Shir
Hashirim 4:1,2. "L'tzamosheich" equals tefillin. The next verse begins with the
word "Shin'ei'yich." We can interperet shin'ei'yich to mean "your two letters
6) He also says that two shins in "mispar koton" (a gematria calculation
that only deals with single integers and drops all tens, hundreds, etc.) equal
six, to indicate the six days of the week that we don tefillin.
7) He also says that the three-headed shin corresponds to our three
Patriarchs and the four-headed one to our Matriarchs. Possibly, the three-headed shin
is three zayins, as mentioned above from the Holy Zohar, equaling 21, the same
value as the first letters of our "Ovos," A-Y-Y. Rebbi Y.T.L. Michelhoizen (a
Rishon) says that the acronym of the four Matriarchs S-R-R-L equals 710, and
shin-yud-nun twice equal 700, plus add 10 for the extra yud stroke in the four
headed shin (to which the Matriachs correspond) and we also have 710.
8) He also says that the three-headed shin corresponds to the three days a
week that we read the Torah, and the four headed one to the four days we don't.
Incidentally the word tefillin is plural, referring to the rosh and the yad.
The singular form is "tefilloh." The word tefillin in gematria equals "l'rosh
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