Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 13, v. 2: "Livnei Yisroel ish echod ish echod l'ma'tei avosov tishlochu" - There are those who rely so strongly on their illustrious ancestry, "livnei Yisroel," that they do not feel compelled to accomplish much on their own. There are also those who do not feel that they have great ancestry and feel that they will therefore never amount to much. To each of these people, "ish echod ish echod," the verse says "l'ma'tei avosov tishlochu," dispense with your attitude regarding "ma'tei avosov." Everything depends upon your own accomplishments. (Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov of Kozshnitz in Va'yakheil Moshe)

Ch. 13, v. 2: "Ish echod" - Their sin was that each one thought he was a complete person, lacking nothing, and not requiring having to do with others. (Rabbi Chananioh Yom Tov Lipa of Sighet in Kedushas Yom Tov)

Ch. 13, v. 2: "Tishlochu kole nossi bo'hem" - Send away any vestige of haughtiness and elevation that is in them, "kole nossi bo'hem." (Rabbi Yehoshua Heshel of Monostritch in Divrei Yehoshua)

Ch. 14, v. 17: "Koach A-do-noy kaasher dibarto leimore" - Moshe's request was that the strict judgement of Hashem, as represented by "dibur," harsh words, should change to leniency, as represented by "leimore," soft words. (Rabbi Moshe Yechiel of Ozshrov in B'eir Moshe)

Ch. 14, v. 38: "Vihoshua bin Nun v'Cho'leiv ben Y'fu'neh choyu min ho'anoshim ho'heim" - Yehoshua and Ko'leiv received the life force of the other spies when they were punished with death. (Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov in Ben Poras Yoseif)

Ch. 15, v. 21: "Mei'reishis arisoseichem titnu laShem trumoh" - When a person is very young, still sleeping in a crib, "arisoseichem," he should elevate himself to be totally in the service of Hashem. He should not wait to do this in his old age when his physical desires have waned. (Rabbi Yisroel of Kozshnitz in Avodas Yisroel)

Ch. 15, v. 30: "V'ha'nefesh asher taa'seh b'yod romoh" - It is not sufficient to be a cardiac Jew and only feel emotional about mitzvos. Rather they must be brought into the realm of action. "V'ha'nefesh asher taa'seh b'yod," - when a person does the mitzvos with his hand, then "romoh," he becomes elevated. (Rabbi Moshe Yechiel Elimelech of Lebertov in Va'yomer Moshe)

Ch. 15, v. 39: "Vaasi'sem osom v'lo sosuru acha'rei l'vavchem" - Do the mitzvos because you were commanded to do so by Hashem, and not because of your heart's emotions that drive you to do them. (Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk in Ohel Torah)

Ch. 15, v. 39: "V'lo sosuru acha'rei l'vavchem" - Do not attempt to find permission, "v'lo sosuru" = do not be "matir," to do that which your heart lusts, "acha'rei l'vavchem," if you know that in truth it is prohibited. (Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov of Biala in Imrei Vinoh)

Ch. 15, v. 39: "V'lo sosuru acha'rei l'vavchem v'acha'rei ei'neichem" - Even if it is "acha'rei ei'neichem," that your evil inclination has already been provoked by viewing that which is forbidden, nevertheless, you are exhorted to control yourself, "v'lo sosuru acha'rei l'vavchem." (Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin in Amoros T'horos)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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