Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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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) 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 significance?

3) Ch. 29, v. 19: "Haksuvoh ba'seifer ha'zeh" - This verse tells us that for the person who will not comply with the dictates of the Torah there await punishments that are WRITTEN in this Book. Yet in the admonitions of the previous parsha we find the opposite, "asher LO chosuv b'seifer haTorah hazose" (28:61).

4) Ch. 30, v. 11: "Ki hamitzvoh hazose" - The Ramban says that these words teach us that it is a mitzvoh to repent, to do teshuvoh, for our sins. According to the Ramban why is there no brochoh instituted for the act of teshuvoh?

5) Ch. 30, v. 14: "Ki korove ei'lecho hadovor m'ode b'ficho uvilvovcho laasoso" - Because the matter is very close to you in your mouth and in your heart to do it - The Ramban explains that this verse refers to teshuvoh, and "b'ficho" refers to oral confession, while "bilvovcho" refers to the emotional commitment to walk the straight and narrow in the future.

Why is the "b'ficho" component mentioned ahead of the "bilvovcho" component? One surely has the intent to repent in his heart before he confesses to having sinned?



Without "arvus" we would not take notice of another's acts and he would turn further and further away from the Torah until he might ch"v totally abandon it. The next person and the next person might do the same. By having this "mashgiach" system in place, when someone does not toe the line he is almost immediately reprimanded, and thus we remain loyal to the Torah. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)


1) The meaning of the word Lamed is to teach. The reason for Hashem's removing us from our land and throwing us into another land is to expose our teachings and values to the non-Jews so that they might consider joining our ranks, as stated in the gemara P'sochim 87b, "Lo niglu Yisroel l'vein ho'umose elloh l'hosif a'leihem geirim." (Rabbi S.R. Hirsch)

2) The Paa'nei'ach Rozo points out that "va'yash*L*i'cheim" is spelled deficiently, lacking the letter Yud that normally should appear between the Lamed and the Chof. He points out that this alludes to the ten tribes (The letter Yud has the numeric value of 10) who will be thrown far away, beyond the dark mountains to the other side of the Sambatyon River. He adds, however, that there is also a message of consolation in this word. Since the Lamed is so large and elongated, with a majority of its length above and beyond the height of the rest of the letters of this word, we can consider it as if the Lamed is removed from the word, leaving us with "v'yesh'chem," - and you are still existent. This also alludes to the 310 worlds set aside for each righteous person (See the last mishnoh in Okotzin), as the word "v'yesh'chem" also means that there is "YeSh" (Yud and Shin equal 310) "chem," for you ("Chem" is a possessive suffix meaning "yours" plural).


The medrash says that this refers to the untimely death of the righteous. The person who does not comply with the Torah would likely treat the threat of the untimely death of the righteous lightly, saying "sholo-m yi'h'yeh li," since he is not of their camp. Therefore the Torah says in our verse that the punishments that await him are the ones that are written in the Torah, the rest of the 98 admonitions of parshas Ki Sovo, which even he would agree would impact upon him heavily. (Va'y'da'beir Moshe)


The Beis Yitzchok Y.D. #168 s.k. 12 answers that a blessing is never instituted for a mitzvoh that can only come about through an "aveiroh" first being committed. An example for this would be the mitzvoh of "hashovas g'zeiloh," the returning of an object that one stole. The Birkas Aharon on Brochos maamar 308, answers that a mitzvoh which is done only by the mind and not in action requires no brochoh. An example for this would be "bitul chomeitz." Although a blessing is said prior to the search for chomeitz on the night of the 14th of Nison, nevertheless, no blessing is made at the time of bitul on the morning of the 14th.

Perhaps another answer might be that a person does make a blessing on the act of repenting. The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 2:10 and the gemara Shabbos 153a say that a person should repent a day before his death. In practical terms this means that he should repent daily. We make a daily blessing (save Shabbos and Yom Tov) of "Horotzeh bis'shuvoh."


This teaches us that one should verbally confess as soon as he has even the slightest feeling of remorse, even before his heart is filled with remorse. Just by verbalizing that he has done such and such a sin he is well on the way to total teshuvoh. (Rabbi Hirsch Levinson, son-in-law of the Holy Chofetz Chaim)



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

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