Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 21: "V'im teilchu imi keri" - The gemara Shabbos 118b says that one who recites Hallel daily is considered a blasphemer. On the other hand, the gemara Brochos 4b one who recites the chapter of "T'hiloh l'Dovid" (T'hilim #145, commonly known as "Ashrei") thrice daily is assured that he has a place in the world-to-come. Is one not praiseworthy for saying Hallel daily, extolling the great open miracles that Hashem has wrought? The MESHECH CHOCHMOH explains that Hallel stresses the open miracles that Hashem wrought. We recite it only on the anniversary of special occasions. By reciting it daily we give credence to the concept that miracles are worthwhile praising daily, and that nature is relegated to a lower rung, to the level of "keri," happenstance. However, this is not so, as nature itself is also a miracle wrought by Hashem, just that our senses are dulled by its constant occurrence (See responsa Chacham Zvi #18 regarding the gematria taught by Rabbi Dovid Nieto that "Elokim = teva.") The praises in Ashrei are of Hashem acting within the rules of nature, sustaining all creatures, etc. For praising Hashem daily for His "miracles within nature" one is indeed assured that he has a place in the world-to-come.

Ch. 27, v. 4: "V'IM n'keivoh HEE v'hoyoh er'k'cho shloshim shekel" - Why does the Torah write HEE here and not HU by the male in the previous verse? This might teach us that if she is pregnant we only calculate her and not the fetus, hence HEE. Even if she later gives birth to a male, the evaluation is calculated at the time of the oath. The male she is carrying is under the age of a month, as he is not yet born. The Rabbis in the gemara Arochin 5a say that one who makes an oath to give the Mikdosh the value of a person who is under thirty days of age does not have to give anything. The word HEE is used by the woman who is between the ages of twenty and sixty years and not by any other ages, as those are the vast majority of the years in which a woman bears children. As well there could be another indication that these words teach us that a pregnant woman has the same evaluation as one who is not pregnant from the word V'IM. If we read this word vowelized with a "tzei'rei" it is read V'EIM, - and a mother. Since this is not relevant to a man the word HU is not used. We find the word V'IM here by the woman who is between the ages of twenty and sixty years and not by the male of the same age. As well the word V'IM is used by the male over the age of sixty years and not by the female. This can be explained as follows: The gemara B.B. 119b says that a woman who marries under the age of twenty can bear children until the age of sixty. Tosfos on the gemara K'subos 23b d.h. "misoh sh'chichoh" writes that men live to an older age than woman on average because of the incidence of death during childbirth. However, women who live past their childbearing years outlive men. The word V'IM, - and if, indicates a situation that is not all that common. In relation to men between the ages of twenty and sixty years, women are less common, hence V'IM. Once above the age of sixty years, men are less common, hence "V'IM mi'ben shishim shonoh."


See also Sedrah Selections, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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