Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 11, v. 26: "R'ei onochi nosein lifneichem ha'yom brochoh" - The reward for mitzvos is reserved for the world to come. How can this be, as the Torah itself mandates that a worker be paid his wages on the same day or not beyond the passing of a night? This must be because the Torah was transmitted to us through Moshe, an intermediary. When hiring someone through an agent the law of timely payment of wages does not apply. However, for fulfilling the mitzvos of "Onochi" and "lo y'h'yeh," which we heard directly from Hashem, there must be payment in this world. "R'ei," see that for "Onochi," I give you the blessing TODAY, in this world. (Rabbi Dovid of Chmelnik in Bas Ayin)

Ch. 11, v. 26,27: "R'ei onochi nosein lifneichem ha'yom brochoh ukloloh, Es habrochoh asher tish'm'u" - There are two levels of faith. One is acquired by intellectual pursuit, an attempt at understanding to the fullest of one's capacity. This is called "r'ioh," seeing. A second level is that of "emunoh f'shutoh," simple faith, based on accepting the values transmitted by our parents and teachers, acquired through hearing what they teach us. This is called "shmioh," hearing. Although there is a blessing in the intellectual approach in that it gives one a grasp of understanding, it is likewise fraught with the danger of possibly denying, since it is based on intellect, since there is the possibility of counter-logic, rebuttal, that might seem sounder. Hence "r'ei" has in it "brochoh ukloloh," while "asher tish'm'u" only has "brochoh." (Rabbi Chaim Mayer of Vizhnitz in Ahavoh M'shuleshes)

Ch. 12, v. 3,4: "V'nitatztem, Lo saasun kein laShem Elokeichem" - Rabbi Gamliel asks, "Is it possible that a ben Yisroel would willingly destroy the Holy Sanctuary or any of its appurtenances? The intention of the verse is to tell us to not behave in a manner that would bring about the destruction of the Sanctuary.

Sefer Chasidim (#209) writes that if you see a synagogue or the home of a righteous person in a state of destruction or occupied by evil people, rest assured that when it functioned as a holy abode people behaved in a frivolous or disrespectful manner when occupying it.

Ch. 14, v. 1: "Bonim attem laShem Elokeichem" - We derive from the words "asher tik'r'u OSOM b'moadom," that even if the court incorrectly times the beginning of a new month, nevertheless, it is binding, because we read OSOM as ATTEM, "afilu shog'gim afilu m'zidim." Surely where the Torah actually says ATTEM, we are still Hashem's children, "afilu shog'gim afilu m'zidim." (Chidushei HoRi"m)

Ch. 14, v. 21: "Ki am kodosh atoh laShem Elokecho lo s'vasheil g'di bach'leiv imo" - Taken literally, the Torah seems to only prohibit only: 1) cooking 2) a goat 3) in its mother's milk. Yet our Rabbis explain and expand the prohibition to not only cooking, but also eating or even deriving benefit, any kosher animal, wild or domesticated, and not only in its mother's milk, but any kosher animal's milk. This is why the Torah predicates this mitzvoh with, "ki am kodosh atoh laShem Elokecho." Since proper fulfillment of this mitzvoh requires totally relying on the Rabbinic explanation, one who complies is called "KODOSH," in keeping with the words of the gemara Y'vomos 20, "He who fulfills the words of the Rabbis is called HOLY." (Rabbi Moshe Yechiel of Ozhrov in B'eir Moshe)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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