Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 18, v. 1,5: "Va'yishma Yisro, Va'yovo" - Rashi says that upon hearing of the splitting of yam suf and the war with Amoleik he came. Yisro was at home for many years away from the bnei Yisroel, leading a spiritual life. He was content. Upon hearing that one could experience the miraculous wonders of the splitting of yam suf and still having to do battle with Amoleik, the evil inclination, he was no longer content. He came to Moshe, the most holy of men, to get a spiritual booster shot. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 18, v. 16: "Ki yi'h'yeh lo'hem dovor bo eilai" -The verse begins with the plural, "lo'hem," and ends with the singular, "bo." This is because the people were so attuned to being upright in monetary matters, that when a person had any fear that he might owe another money, i.e. because of damages etc., he would come to Moshe on his own, without having to be dragged there by a plaintiff. (Malbim)

Ch. 18, v. 21: "Anshei emes sonei botza" - Both these traits are required or else you might end up with a judge who is a "sonei betza," whom you've hired because you met his price. This person's fa?ade is one of a "sonei betza," but is lacking in "emes." (Nirreh li minisoyon hachaim)

Ch. 18, v. 21: "Sonei botza" - This is an important trait not just because of the fear of judges being bribed. A true "sonei betza" creates an aura of not being enslaved to the pursuit of money, and in turn the positively affected litigants will be more honest when they bring their issues to the court, and proper judgment can be arrived at more easily. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 19, v. 5: "Vi'h'yi'sem li seguloh .. ki li kol ho'oretz" - You will be unto Me a treasure when you do all your physical acts in pursuit of Me. (Rabbi Dovid Moshe of Tchortkov in Yismach Yisroel)

Ch. 19, v. 8: "Va'yoshev Moshe es divrei ho'om el Hashem" - Moshe wondered, "How is it possible that all the bnei Yisroel were inspired at one moment to say 'naa'seh v'nishma?'" He attributed it to Divine inspiration. "Divrei ho'om" refers to their saying "naa'seh v'nishma." (Rabbi Yehoshua of Apt in Oheiv Yisroel)

Ch. 20, v. 3: "Lo yi'h'yeh l'cho elohim acheirim al ponoy" - Why doesn't the Torah simply command us to not be atheists? There is no such thing as an atheist. Everyone believes in a G-d/god of some sort. Some in the true G-d, while others l'havdil in the god of money, lust, power. (Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik)

Ch. 20, v. 7: "Lo siso es shem Hashem Elokecho lashov" - Don't carry yourself, i.e. portray yourself, as a more G-dly person than you really are. This is "lashov," wasted effort. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 20, v. 12: "Ka'beid es ovicho v'es i'mecho" - The command to honour one's parents comes immediately after the command to sanctify Shabbos because the Holy Zohar writes that when one conceives original Torah thoughts on Shabbos, these Torah "chidushim" create a crown on his father's and mother's heads, even if they are no longer living, hence the connection of Shabbos to honouring one's parents. (Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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