CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VO'ES'CHANAN 5771 - BS"D
1) Ch. 3, v. 26: "Va'yisa'beir Hashem bi l'maanchem" - And Hashem was angered in me because of you - Rashi on Dvorim 1:1 says that since Moshe was admonishing the bnei Yisroel he spoke in a covert manner, only mentioning the places where the bnei Yisroel sinned, rather than overtly spelling out their sins. We find in our parsha from this verse onwards that Moshe very clearly stated their sins.
2) Ch. 4, v. 2: "V'lo sig'r'u mi'menu lishmor es mitzvos Hashem" - And do not diminish from it to safeguard the precepts of Hashem - "Lishmor" sounds like a continuum of the previous words. Should not the verse have said "tishmor?"
3) Ch. 5, v. 25: "Heitivu kol asher di'beiru" - They have done good with all they have spoken - They said that they were afraid to hear more from Hashem and asked Moshe to relate the rest of the Commandments, as related in the previous verse. Why indeed is this good? Wouldn't it be better if they heard directly from Hashem?
4) Ch. 6, v. 6: "Al l'vo'vecho" - Upon your heart - Should the verse not have said "bilvo'vecho," in your heart?
5) Ch. 7, v. 3: "V'lo sis'cha'tein bom" - And you shall not enter into marriage with them - Does this prohibition apply even after they convert?
The Ra"n in his "droshos" #9 explains that Moshe's intention was not to admonish the bnei Yisroel, but rather, to tell them of how greatly they were loved by Hashem. Moshe told them that in spite of his exalted level, he did not merit to enter Eretz Yisroel because of one sin, and they would merit to enter Eretz Yisroel in spite of having sinned numerous times. Thus mentioning their sins even overtly was not admonishing them. To the contrary, it showed their great worth in the eyes of Hashem. This shows the power of a congregation, a "tzibur."
Some people attempt to surreptitiously undermine the sanctity and wholesomeness of the Torah by claiming that there are simply too many mitzvos with which to comply and people just give up. If there would be less mitzvos then at least the smaller amount would be kept by all. The Torah sternly warns against this! Do not diminish from the precepts of the Torah even if you feel that this will safeguard the mitzvos, "lishmor es mitzvos Hashem." (Hadoroh Shel Torah)
Moshe criticized the bnei Yisroel for saying this, as Rashi comments. However, the good aspect is that they were honest about their fears. (Rabbi Aharon Hagodol of Karlin)
The Holy Admor of Kotzk answers that not at all times is one in the frame of mind to fully absorb such lofty concepts as love of Hashem. The verse therefore tells us to place these words UPON our hearts so that at any time that there is an opening of the heart to accept these concepts they will fall in.
Alternatively, the Luach Erez offers that the verse teaches us that Torah values should be ABOVE the drives of our heart and master over our heart.
Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that this is a prohibition even after they convert. The Torah was more stringent with these seven nations than with others because they were the most depraved, degenerate, and immoral nations upon the face of the world.
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V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights