Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 21, v. 10: "Ki Seitzei lamilchomoh al oyvecho" - This alludes to the internal war we each have with our inclinations. Don't wait until your enemy pounces upon you. Rather, GO OUT to do war with him first. The best defence is a good offence. (Admor of Slonim in N'sivos Sholo-m)

Rashi says that the verse is discussing a voluntary war, "milche'mes horshus." In keeping with the allegory to the war one wages with his evil inclination, the main war is not a combat over transgressing a clearly prohibited act. It is when faced with a matter that is technically permitted, a war regarding "r'shus." (Admor of Radomsk in Tiferes Shlomo)

Ch. 21, v. 10: "U'n'sono Hashem Elokecho b'yo'decho v' shoviso shivyo" - When engaging in war be fully aware that any successes are Hashem's and are not your doing. This is stressed by the verse saying "u'n'sono Hashem Elokecho b'yo'decho." Hashem gives your foe into your hands, and "v'shoviso shivyO," anyone who is captured is His, Hashem's, captive. (Kanfei N'shorim)

Ch. 21, v. 18: "Einenu shomei'a" - The verse does not say "eino shonei'a," - he does not listen, but rather "eineNU shomei'a," - he is not a listener. Once the rebellious gluttonous son is beyond hearing there is no hope that he might turn a leaf. He is therefore removed from this world before he goes on to murder to keep up his addiction. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 22, v. 4: "Ho'keim tokim imo" - When you help your friend, not only is he elevated from the depths of his situation, but you too are elevated along with him in the merit of your help. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 22, v. 6: "V'ho'eim rovetzes .. lo sikach ho'eim al habonim" - Normally one cannot capture a bird, as it is swift and can readily fly away. The opportunity arises when it is resting upon its offspring, protecting or nurturing them. The Torah teaches us that it is immoral to take advantage of the bird when it is bringing up the next generation. (Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld) The medrash says that the Torah specifies the same reward for the mitzvoh of sending away the mother bird as for honouring one's parents, even though sending away the bird is the easiest of mitzvos and properly honouring one's parents is the most difficult mitzvoh. Whey indeed is the reward equal? This is because when a person sees the great challenge involved in doing a mitzvoh properly he responds with great determination to meet the challenge. Conversely, when it comes to a simple, no effort mitzvoh, he has no drive to do it. If one pushes himself to do a mitzvoh for which he has no urge he deserves a great reward. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 21, v. 21: "U'viarto horo mikirbecho v'chol Yisroel yish'm'u v'yi'ro'u" - The Perach L'vonone interprets: If you will cleanse the bad from within yourself, then when you deliver a mussar speech to others, they will accept it and it will bring fear of Hashem into their hearts. This will not happen if you yourself are not spiritually cleansed. Ch. 23, v. 8: "Lo s'sa'eiv Adomi KI OCHICHO hu" - These words can be interpreted homiletically. The word "odome," red, is symbolic of sin, as stated in Yeshayohu 1:18, "Im Y'h'yu CHato'eichem Kashonim Ka'sheleg Yalbinu." "LO s'sa'eiv ADOMI," do not hate the redness of sin, saying that it is hopeless to make amends, and that no good can come from a sin. Rather say that with repentance through love of Hashem, "teshuvoh mei'ahavoh," the sins become merits. The letters of KI OCHICHO, Kof-Yud-Alef-Ches-Yud-Chof, are the "roshei seivos," the first letters of, "Im Y'h'yu CHato'eichem Kashonim Ka'sheleg Yalbinu." (Y'sode haTorah)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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