Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Parshas Bereishis


Ch. 33, v. 1: "V'zose habrochoh asher beirach Moshe ish hoElokim" - Moshe gave the bnei Yisroel a blessing with his whole heart. This is a most phenomenal deed considering that he was destined to die outside of Eretz Yisroel, never to realize his life's dream, while the bnei Yisroel, even the simplest person, would enter. To do this whole-heartedly was the act of an "ish hoElokim," a truly G-dly person. (Rabbi Yehudoh Asad in Goren Dovid)

Ch. 33, v. 3: "Af choveiv amim" - Even if the nations show us love, "choveiv," it is in essence anger, "af." (Rabbi Moshe of Boyan in Daas Moshe)

Ch. 33, v. 3: "Yiso midabrosecho" - Even though the bnei Yisroel went through many trials and tribulations in the desert, they became elevated from the experience. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 33, v. 4: "Torah tzivoh lonu Moshe" - Moshe connected us to the Torah. "Tzivoh" is from the word source "tzavso," joining. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 33, v. 10: "Yoru mishpo'techo l'Yaakov v'Soros'cho l'Yisroel yosimu k'toroh" - The Levites were given the blessing of teaching the bnei Yisroel Torah. Rashi in parshas Va'y'chi 48:7 writes that the Levites will have their livelihood come from agricultural tithes. Since they have no tracts of land for farming in abundance they have a limited income. Our verse tells us that they have the ability to become wealthy, as does every other tribe. This is through having the privilege to offer incense, which carries with it the blessing of wealth. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 33, v. 10: "K'toroh b'a'pecho" - even when You display anger, "af," they are tightly knotted, "k'turoh" = "k'shuroh," to You. (Rabbi Yoseif Zvi of Ostrovtza in Birkas Yoseif)

Ch. 33, v. 11: "M'chatz mosnayim komov" - When a person has his opponents stand up against him, he readily loses his cool and finds it difficult to deal with them. If one remains calm, "mosun," then he will be able to overpower, "m'chatz," those who stand up against him, "komov." (Rabbi Shlomo haLevi Gottlieb in Sheima Shlomo)

Alternatively, through the power of one's learning, "mosnov" as in "masnisin," he will overpower those who stand up against him. (Mo'ore Voshomesh)

Ch. 33, v. 18: "S'mach Zvulun b'tzei'secho vIsochor b'oho'lecho" - Just as Zvulun rejoices when going to sea in pursuit of a livelihood, so too, should Yisochor act. Zvulun could have stayed home and made a minimal livelihood. Instead he traveled to sea to bring himself wealth. So too, Yisochor should not satisfy himself with a bit of Torah knowledge. He should work hard at amassing tremendous Torah knowledge. (Rabbi Avrohom of Slonim in Beis Avrohom)

Ch. 33, v. 19: "Ki shefa yamim yinoku" - Rashi notes that "yinoku" is in the plural form, indicating that from the yield of the sea they will both benefit and BOTH will have time to toil in Torah. We see from this that it is insufficient for one to only support Torah study, even if he gives very generously. The supporter must himself also devote time to the study of the Torah. (Mata'mei Yaakov)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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