Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 1: "B'midbar Sinai" - Through much talk, "bimda'beir," there is hatred, "sinoh." Keep quiet and you'll likely have more friends. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 1, v. 2: "S'u es rosh kol adas bnei Yisroel" - If you want to appoint a person to an elevated position it is advisable to only do it with the approval of "kol adas bnei Yisroel." (Rabbi Yaakov son of the Ben Ish Chai)

Ch. 1, v. 2: "S'u es rosh kol adas bnei Yisroel" - The parsha of Bmidbar usually is the parsha read just before Shovuos. Just as the necessary prelude for Shovuos was the total unity of the bnei Yisroel, as per the verse, "va'yichan shom Yisroel k'neged hohor," so too we have the counting of all the bnei Yisroel, unifying them as one "adas bnei Yisroel. (Rabbi Avrohom of Slonim in Beis Avrohom)

Ch. 1, v. 2: "Kol zochor l'gul'g'losom" - The Holy Ari z"l writes that women seldom are reincarnated, as per our verse, "ZOCHOR l'gul'g'losom."

Ch. 1, v. 18: "Va'yisyaldu" - The counting of the bnei Yisroel so elevated them, as expressed in the words "s'u es rosh," that they were as if newly-born, "va'yisyaldu." (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 1, v. 49: "Ach es mattei Levi lo sifkode v'es roshom lo siso" - The tribe of Levi symbolizes the leaders. Do not find their faults ("lo sifkode" as in "v'lo nifkad mi'menu ish"), nor should you be those who decide their level of merits, "lo siso." Hashem has given them their positions and you should simply accept this. (Chasam Sofer)

Perhaps this same idea can be culled from the first words of our verse, "Ach es mattei Levi lo sifkode." "Ach," a word that connotes limitation, "es," a word that connotes addition, "mattei Levi lo tifkode." Don't calculate their "ach" or "es." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 3: "Degel macha'neh Yehudoh" - Although the tribe of Reuvein was the first in the census, by the encampment and travels Yehudoh came first. This is a result of "maa'sei Ovos siman labonim," just as Yaakov mentioned Reuvein first by the blessings, and sent Yehudoh first to establish a house of Torah study in Egypt. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 14: "Elyosof ben R'u'eil" - In Bmidbar 7:42 we find the name of this tribal head as Elyosof ben D'u'eil, with the Reish changed to a Dalet (see Ramban). Although we have this change from a Reish to a Dalet here, do not ch"v also make this change ("Elyosof" = "al yosif," "ben," = "binyan," to build from this) by either the verse "Lo sishtacha'veh el eil acheiR," nor by "Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem echoD."

Ch. 2, v. 17: "Kaasher yachanu kein yiso'u" - As much as they allow others to find favour in their eyes, they will accordingly travel forward in their spiritual pursuits. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 3, v. 7: "V'shomru es mishmarto" - That which they guard is already guarded by Hashem. All human efforts are insufficient to totally safeguard anything. We just have to go through the motions and do our best, all the while realizing that the results come from Hashem. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 40, v. 20: "V'lo yovo'u lirose k'vala es hakodesh" - While some people come to spend time with a holy person or holy congregation to absorb sanctity, others come simply because of taking in the action, the crowds, and feel good by virtue of being in attendance and noticed by others. Our verse tells us that they should not come to see only, as if they are swallowing sanctity. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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