Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 19, v. 2: "Foroh adumoh t'mimoh" - The adjectives seem out of order. Shouldn't the Torah first mention that the cow is complete, without blemish, a description of its actual body, before mentioning its colour, an external feature? We see from this that a creature's colouring so strongly affects it that it also becomes an intrinsic characteristic. (Holy Admor of Kotzk)

Ch. 19, v. 14: "Zose haTorah odom ki yomus b'ohel" - The gemara says that we derive from these words that Torah is permanently retained only in a person who puts himself to death over it. Why does the Torah specify that he will die in a TENT? Perhaps this alludes to the words of the gemara Yerushalmi K'subos, which says that it is more important to pray that delicacies not enter one's digestive system, than that words of Torah should, i.e. the two are incompatible. The "Torah miska'ye'mes" can only take place in an "ohel," a temporary insecure dwelling, and not in a mega-home, i.e. when one has all physical niceties. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 20, v. 8: "V'dibartem el ha'sela l'ei'nei'hem v'nosan meimov" - The N'tzi"v in Haa'meik Dovor explains, based on the medrash that says that Moshe was commanded to say "divrei Torah" in front of the stone, that he was to do this with such holiness that he would recreate "maamad Har Sinai." This would bring water, as per the verses in Shoftim 5:4 and T'hilim 68:9 that water flowed supernaturally at the time of "matan Torah."

This is alluded to in the words "V'dibartem el ha'sela l'ei'nei'hem." We can translate "l'ei'nei'hem" not as "in front of their eyes," but rather, as "TO their eyes." Just as at "matan Torah" the bnei Yisroel merited to see that which was spoken, so too here, Moshe would recreate "maamad Har Sinai," and his words would be seen by their eyes. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 20, v. 10: "Shimu noh hamorim hamin ha'sela ha'zeh notzi lochem moyim" - Some teachers have insufficient patience when teaching students. When they have a student who is not gifted with a quick grasp they give up on him. Moshe warns them, "Shimu noh hamorim," - teachers, please hear. "Hamin ha'sela ha'zeh," even from this student whose mind seems like a stone, "notzi lochem moyim," we are capable of extracting Torah, which is likened to water. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 21, v. 7: "Ki dibarnu vaShem vovoch hispa'leil el Hashem" - Because we have spoken negatively against Hashem and you, it is most befitting that you, Moshe, pray to Hashem to forgive us. If you, a human whose feelings can be hurt, is willing to forgive us, surely Hashem will forgive us. (Rabbi Chaim Mayer of Vizhnitz in Ahavoh M'shu'leshes)

Ch. 21, v. 8: "A'sei l'cho sorof v'hoyoh kol hanoshuch v'ro'oh oso vochoy" - Make yourself into a fiery dynamo in your service of Hashem. This will have a positive effect. Whoever serves Hashem coldly, "hanoshuch" (as in "vachamas ha'melech shochochoh"), "v'ro'oh oso vochoy," when he will see you he will also be alive, with enthusiasm. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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