Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 18: "Shoftim v'shotrim ti'ten l'cho" - Rather than busying yourself with judging others, judge yourself! (Toldos Yaakov Yoseif) Alternatively, once you have judged yourself and decided what you are responsible to do, place yourself as a self-imposed officer to enforce your decision, springing you into action. (Rabbi Yitzchok of Vorke in Ohel Yitzchok)

Ch. 16, v. 18: "Ti'ten l'cho" - Place judges and officers on "l'cho," your personal pursuits. Make sure they do not bring you far away from your purpose on this world. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 18: "Asher Hashem Elokecho" - Your self-imposed judges and enforcement officers who push you to righteousness are for one purpose, "Hashem Elokecho," for you to realize "ein ode milvado." (Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin in Imros Moshe)

Ch. 17, v. 3: "Asher lo tzivisi" - We are prohibited to bow sown to the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies, even as a sign of respect to the agents of Hashem. Since "malchusa d'aro k'ein malchusa d'rokia," kingship on earth is fashioned after kingship in the heavens, why do kings allow, and at times even demand that we pay homage to their appointed underlings, since Hashem does not allow us to do the same, even with the intention of this being an act of honouring Hashem Himself? It is because no king allows one to bow down or the like in front of his appointed officer in front of the king himself. Hashem is Omnipresent, so we are always directly in front of Him.

Why then does Hashem command us to honour Torah scholars, a Torah scroll, and the like? It is because he has commanded us to do so in the Torah. Thus the only reason we may and should bestow honour to these but not to celestial bodies and the like, even as representatives of Hashem, as are a Torah scholar or Torah scroll, is simply "asher lo tzivisi," I have not commanded that you should do so. (Agra D'kalla)

Ch. 18, v. 18: "Novi okum lohem mi'kerev achecho komocho" - Every prophet will be "komocho," like you, a human being born of a father and mother, as the verse clearly states, "Va'yeilech ish mi'beis Levi va'yikach es bas Levi, Vatahar ho'ishoh va'tei'led bein " (Shmos 2:1,2). If someone comes along and claims to be a prophet, born of immaculate deception, "lo ish eil," a G-dly person but not a product of a human, "vicha'zeiv," you can be sure that he is lying. (Yalkut Pninim)

Ch. 20, v. 8: "Mi ho'ish ha'yo'rei" - The gemara Sotoh 44a explains that the man who fears refers to one who fears that the his sins will negate his merits and he will die in battle, "ha'yo'rei mei'aveiros shebyodo," of sins IN HIS HAND. "Shebyodo" requires clarification. It seems that everyone has some sins as, "ein tzadik bo'oretz asher lo yecheta." We would have no one fit for the army. This is the intention of "b'yodo." He fears the sins that "ensnare him," the ones that he is still in the evil inclination's clutches. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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