CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS R'EI 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 11, v. 26: "Ha'yom brochoh ukloloh" - Today a blessing and a curse - The word "ha'yom" seems unnecessary.
2) Ch. 12, v. 7: "Usmachtem b'chol mishlach yedchem" - And you shall rejoice in all that you apply your hand - What does this mean?
3) Ch. 13, v. 5: "Acha'rei Hashem Elokeichem teileichun …… uvo sidbokun" - After Hashem your G-d shall you walk …… and in Him shall you cleave - Why does our verse says "acha'rei" rather than "achar," given that "acha'rei means "after at a distance" while "achar" means "right after?"
4) Ch. 16, v. 15: "V'hoyiso ach so'mei'ach" - And you will be only joyous - The gemara Sukoh 12 derives from this expression that the night going into Shmini Atzerres is also included in the status of being joyous. "Ach" is a term that connotes limitation, and yet, it seems that we expand the joyous activities into the night of Shmini Atzerres.
5) Ch. 16, v. 16: "Sholosh p'omim bashonoh yeiro'eh chol z'churcho es pnei Hashem Elokecho" - Thrice a year shall all your males appear to the countenance of Hashem your G-d - Our Rabbis expound on the words in Shir Hashirim 7:2, "Mah yofu foma'yich banolim," that the footsteps of the bnei Yisroel when they make their thrice yearly pilgrimage is beautiful. This is puzzling, as when the bnei Yisroel actually appear in front of Hashem in the Mikdosh compound they are prohibited to wear shoes.
This word is key to understanding an insight into these words. No matter how productive or otherwise yesterday was, one must realize that Hashem gives him the present day, and it is up to him to either make it a day of blessing or ch"v the reverse. As well, each day should be viewed as a person's final day on this ephemeral world and therefore "Shuv yom echod lifnei misos'cho." A wise G-d fearing person will use the day for Torah, tefiloh, and maasim tovim. A foolish person will fill it with perceived "fun." Thus each and every day of life carries in it the potential for "brochoh" or "kloloh." This gives us a new understanding of the Rosh Hashonoh prayer "Ha'yom haras olom," - every new 'today' is the conception of a new world, a new opportunity, "Ha'yom yaamid bamishpot kol y'tzurei olomim," all the creations of the world will stand in judgment for how they used the "ha'yom." (The Holy Admor of Kotzk)
1) The Sifri derives from the word form "simchoh found here and also later in verse 27, that just as over there the verse discusses offering "shlomim" sacrifices on Yom Tov (called "shalmei simchoh"), so too here, the verse means "shalmei simchoh."
2) Sforno says that it means that all your endeavours should be done in joy, as per the verse, "Ivdu es Hashem b'simchoh" (T'hilim 100:2).
3) Rabbi S.R. Hirsch writes that we are to rejoice in our realization that the success of "b'chol mishlach yedchem" comes from "asher beirach'cho Hashem Elokecho."
The Chofetz Chaim was together with the Imrei Emes on their way to the Kneisioh G'doloh. The Chofetz Chaim asked the Rebbe this question. The Imrei Emes answered that this is to convey the view of the person who is attempting to go after Hashem. The further away he feels, notwithstanding all his efforts, the more he is cleaving to Hashem, "uvo sidbokun," as per the words in T'hilim, "Korov Hashem l'nish'b'rei leiv."
Commentators struggle with this statement. The Chasam Sofer in his "droshos" explains that if we were to not add on the night of Shmini Atzerres we would not slaughter a shlomim offering on Hoshanoh Raboh, as it would be sufficient to slaughter it the next day. A shlomim may be consumed on the day it was slaughtered, the following night, and the following day until nightfall. Although we are expanding the joy into the night of Shmini Atzerres, we are actually diminishing the joy, because we would then slaughter the shlomim on Hoshanoh Raboh and it would become void, "nosar," the next evening, rather than slaughtering it on the day of Shmini Atzerres and extending the joyous consumption of the shlomim into "isru chag."
In our Yom Tov prayers we say, "V'hosheiv Kohanim laavodosom uLviim l'shirom ulzimrom v'hosheiv Yisroel linveihem." True that it is a befitting prayer that the bnei Yisroel be returned safely to their abodes after their coming to Yerusholayim for the Yom Tov, but how does this request flow after the requests for those who do their services in the Beis Hamikdosh should be reinstated? The answer is that we pray that after being exposed to the holy services done by the Kohanim and Lviim, we express our wishes that the bnei Yisroel return to their homes with these exalted matters still percolating in their minds. If so, this is the intention of "banolim." When the bnei Yisroel make a pilgrimage their footsteps when shod and returning home with the spiritual fire still within them are "mah yofu." (Rabbi Shimon Schwab)
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