This issue is sponsored l'iluy Nishmos
Vol. 22 No. 47
Yerachmiel ben Yitzchok Dovid Halevi
and Yitzchak Dovid ben Yerachmiel Halevi Wallace z"l
Standing Before Hashem
(Based on the Ramban)
"You are standing before Hashem today, all of you, your heads, your tribes (rosheichem shivteichem), your elders and your policemen, all the men of Yisrael" (29:9).
Yisrael had gathered šefore Hashem, either to receive the Torah with a detailed commentary or to enter into a new covenant (they had negated the one into which they entered at Har Sinai, when they worshipped the Golden Calf) (See also Pasuk 11).
Unlike Rashi and the I'bn Ezra, both of whom translate "rosheichem shivteichem" as 'the heads of your tribes', the Ramban translates it as 'your heads and your tribes'. What's more, he says, "your elders and your policemen, all the men of Yisrael" is the explanation of "your heads and your tribes", since "a head" incorporates every type of communal leader.
"Your little children, your wives, your converts who are in the midst of your camp, from your wood-choppers to your water-drawers" (29:10).
The Torah includes the children here, either because they too were included in the covenant that Yisrael was about to enter into (indeed, even the future generations, as yet unborn were included in the Covenant too), or in order to give their parents reward for bringing them along - as the Gemara explains in Chagigah (Daf 3a) with regard to the Mitzvah of 'Hakheil'.
As for the "wood-choppers to your water-drawers", Rashi already informs us that this refers to Cana'anim who approached Moshe in the way that the Giv'onim later approached Yehoshua. The Ramban adds that Moshe did not fall for their trick - as Yehoshua did. And appointing them to serve the community conformed to the rules that applied with any of the seven nations who opted to make peace with K'lal Yisrael.
"For you to pass into the covenant of Hashem your G-d and into the oath which He is making with you today" (29:9 & 11).
The covenant mentioned here refers to the covenant, the oaths that the Torah discusses in the Pesukim that follow. It is also likely, says the Ramban, that Moshe brought an Olah on their behalf, and that he sprinkled half the blood on the Mizbe'ach and half on the people, just as he did at Har Sinai, as the Torah describes in Mishpatim (in the opening Pesukim of chapter 24).
* * *
(Adapted from the Ramban)
The Days of Moshi'ach (1)
"And it will be when all these things happen to you, the blessings and the curses that I am placing before you, and you shall take it to heart among all the nations where Hashem your G-d has exiled you " (30:1).
The Ramban points out that the sequence of events listed in this Parshah, like the B'rachos listed in Bechukosai (See Ramban there, 26:11), will only come to pass in the era of Moshi'ach.
It is something that will occur only when Yisrael completely return to Hashem, and take upon themselves and their children - to carry out all of G-d's commands', as the Torah writes in the following Pasuk, and as they did at the time of the redemption from Bavel.
Incidentally, the fact that the Torah throughout the Parshah, refers to 'Teshuvah' in various forms, again and again, clearly indicates that, above all, it is on the merit of Teshuvah that Moshiach will come. See also following Pearl.
The Days of Moshi'ach (2)
"And Hashem your G-d will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children to love Hashem your G-d 'with all your heart and with all your soul, for the sake of your life" (30:6).
This Pasuk conforms, says the Ramban, to the Gemara in Shabbos (Daf 104a) 'Someone who comes to purify himself, receives Divine Assistance'. And since Yisrael will return to Hashem with all their hearts, Hashem will respond by removing the urge to sin from their hearts. From the time of creation, he explains, man was given the freewill to become a Tzadik or a Rasha. The tendency to sin lay forever in his heart, and the choice as to whether he overcame that tendency or whether he acquiesced to it was his. In this way, reward and punishment were strictly the result of the choices that he made.
In the time of Moshi'ach however, all that will change. People will no longer have the desire to sin; they will revert to the level of Adam ha'Rishon before the sin, whose sole desire was to fulfill the word of G-d.
The Nullification of the Yeitzer ha'Ra
And it is in this connection that the Ramban quotes the Navi Yirmiyah (31:30/31): "Behold days are coming, says Hashem, when I will establish with the House of Yisrael and with the House of Yehudah a new covenant, not like the covenant that I entered into with your fathers; because this covenant which I shall establish with the House of Yisrael … I shall place My Torah in their midst and I shall write it on their hearts" (with reference to the nullification of the Yeitzer-ha'Ra and the heart doing naturally what it is supposed to do). And he continues "Then I shall be for them a G-d and they will be for a nation, and one man will no longer say to the other or to his brother 'Know G-d'. It will not be necessary, because they will all automatically do so.
And finally, the author cites the Gemara in Shabbos (151b). which commenting on the Pasuk in Koheles (12:1) "and the years arrive about which you will say 'I have no desire' ", writes - 'These are the days of Moshi'ach, which are subject to neither merit or guilt' because in the days of Moshi'ach there will be no desire to sin, and merit and guilt are based on the desire to sin, as we explained earlier.
* * *
This issue is sponsored l'ilui nishmas
Vol. 22 No. 47
Rebbitzen Eva Wilschanski Esther bas Moshe Halevi z"l
on her third Yohrzeit, Tzom Gedaliah
by her husband and children
When the Shofar is Blown
(Based mainly on the Tosfos Chayim, Chayei Adam, Kl'al 141)
Speaking during the Teki'os:
One may not speak during Teki'as Shofar, even in between the first Teki'os (di'Meyushav) and the second ones (the Teki'os di'Me'umad), because the B'rachah that precedes the Mitzvah covers all the Teki'os - right until the last notes that are blown at the end of Musaf.
Consequently, even though one is obligated to answer 'Amen ' after the B'rachos of the Shofar and of the Chazan during Chazaras ha'Shatz, one may not answer 'Boruch Hu u'Voruch Sh'mo', which does not have a source in Shas - like on many other occasions, where one does not say it even though one answers 'Amen'.
In any event, one may not speak before the Ba'al Toke'a has finished blowing the Teki'os di'Meyushav (the Teki'os prior to Musaf) because that would constitute an interruption in the basic 'Tarat' ('Teki'ah, Teru'ah Teki'ah ' [x three]) which the Torah prescribes, and which, due to the Safek as to what exactly constitutes a Teru'ah, one only fulfils after the third 'Tarat'.
Based on these two reasons, some commentaries rule that one should not recite the 'Y'hi Ratzons' that are printed in all the Machzorim between the sets of Teki'os. Even those who have the Minhag to do so however, should take care not to verbalize the names of the holy angels mentioned there.
Thinking during the Teki'os:
The most important thing to do during the Teki'as Shofar is to have the intention of performing the Mitzvah of hearing the tone of the Shofar . And this is especially the case on the first day, when the Mitzvah is min ha'Torah, and we Pasken that Kavanah (to perform a Mitzvah d'Oraysa) is crucial. It should be stressed that all other reasons for blowing the Shofar are secondary to that of fulfilling the Mitzvah.
That is what one should have in mind during the actual Teki'os. In between the sets, the commentaries say, one should arouse oneself to do Teshuvah on one's sins with all one's heart. One should confess one's sins and feel remorse at having transgressed the word of Hashem. The confession however, should be in one's heart and not verbal, since this would be an interruption during the Teki'os, as we explained earlier. Moreover, it is forbid-den to recite Viduy on Rosh Hashanah, because it is a Yom-Tov. That is why we do not bang our hearts when saying 'Avinu Malkeinu, Chotonu Lefonecho'.
* * *
(Adapted from the Ramban)
" … a remembrance of blowing it shall be for you" (23:24).
To mention Pesukim of Zichronos (of Malchiyos - See Ramban) and of Shofros, Rashi explains, so that Hashem will reciprocate by remembering for you the merit of the Akeidas Yitzchak, in place of whom Avraham brought a ram.
The Ramban queries Rashi, based on the fact that the Pesukim of Mal-chiyos, Zichronos & Shofros are only mi'de'Rabanan - and he cites the Ge-mara in Rosh Hashanah (32b) , which rules that, Teki'as Shofar takes prec-edence over the B'rochos - to the point that someone who knows for sure that in location a, he will have access to the B'rachos and in location b. he might be able to hear the Shofar, he should go to the latter loca-tion.Consequently, he concludes, Rashi's D'rashah is merely an Asmachta.
And the same problem will pertain to the explanation of the Ba'al ha'Turim - that "Zichron Teru'ah" applies to Rosh Hashanah that falls on Shabbos, since the prohibition of blowing on Shabbos is only mi'de'Rabanan.
The Ramban therefore interprets "Zichron Teru'ah" to mean simply that when we blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah, Hashem remembers us for the good - as the Torah explicitly writes in Beha'alosc ha (10:10) in connection with blowing the trumpets in the Beis Hamikdash.
* * *