by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS B'CHUKOSAI 5768 BS"D
Ch. 26, v. 3: "Im b'chukosai teileichu" - If you will walk in my statutes - The blessings, contained in the first eleven verses of our parsha, have sixty words. They contain every letter of the Alef-Beis save the letter Samach. This teaches us that even though the blessings are predicated on toiling in Torah and actually fulfilling the mitzvos, the blessings of the Kohanim, which similarly contain sixty letters, are always effective, hence the lack of the letter Samach. (Rabbeinu Efrayim)
As well, the verse, "V'zocharti es brisi YaakOv" (26:42), contains sixty letters. This is also an indication that the merit of our forefathers is effective in all circumstances. This is why the word YaakOv is spelled with a letter Vov, an anomaly that only appears in Tanach five times, so that the verse has sixty letters.
Ch. 26, v. 3: "V'es mitzvosai tish'm'ru vaasi'sem osom" - And My precepts you will safeguard and you will do them - The word "osom" is spelled lacking a Vov, allowing for a reading of "a'tem," you. The Sefer Chinuch on the mitzvoh of sacrificing a Paschal lamb writes that it is insufficient for a person to only ideologically believe in a concept. This will not bring him to absorb the value into the fibers of his soul. Rather, action is required, "ho'odom nifol l'fi p'ulosov." If you safeguard and actually DO My mitzvos, then you will make YOURSELVES, "vaasi'sem a'tem." (Nirreh li)
Ch. 26, v. 3: "V'es mitzvosai tish'm'ru vaasi'sem osom" - And My precepts you will safeguard and you will do them - Do not explain these words as a continuum of what we are exhorted to do, to walk in the path of fulfilling Hashem's statutes, to safeguard His mitzvos, and to actually do them. Rather, if you will walk in the path of Hashem's statutes, meaning to continuously toil in Torah study, as explained by Rashi, then you are guaranteed that you will safeguard and do Hashem's mitzvos, as the light of the Torah brings a person to do that which is proper (gemara Yerushalmi Chagigoh 1:7). (Rabbi Nochum of Tchernobel)
Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem losova" - And you will eat your bread to the point of satiation - Rashi (Toras Kohanim) explains that this is the blessing of eating a small amount but being satiated, as if one ate a large amount. How is this indicated by our verse? Mizrochi says that since the verse begins with the blessing of a bumper crop, "V'hisig lochem da'yish es botzir," that there will be so much to thresh, that by the time you have completed threshing it all you will have the next crop ready for harvest, what are these words of our verse adding? If one has so much it is obvious that he will eat a lot and be satiated. The answer is that there is an additional blessing, that even if one were to only consume a little, he would nevertheless be full.
Moshav Z'keinim explains that if one has an extremely large yield he will be totally consumed with agricultural activities, a lot of harvesting, laying out to dry, bundling, bringing into silos, etc. There would be no time to eat to one's satisfaction. This blessing must carry with it that there is no bigger yield than normal, hence there is plenty of time to enjoy the food, and that a little satiates. (The earlier blessing of a bumper crop can be explained as follows: The Kedushas Levi says that one who is lacking somewhat in faith and asks what will be available since there will be no planting receives a bumper crop, while one who doesn't ask receives the greater blessing of a regular sized crop that goes much further.)
Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vishavtem lo'vetach b'artz'chem" - And you will reside with security in your land - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh writes that if you toil in Torah study and fulfill its mitzvos, you will reside in your undisputed land, i.e. everyone will agree that it is your land. (A much better resolution than the Oslo accords.)
Ch. 26, v. 7: "V'nosati sholo-m bo'oretz v'cherev lo saavore b'artz'chem …… v'ein macharid" - And I will give peace in the land and a sword will not pass in your land …… and there will be no one who fears - There are two ways in which a country is secure. One is that it has a powerful, well-armed army. Another is that it has no enemies. The advantage of the latter over the former is that with the former, although there is no war, there can be fear of war when an existing enemy builds up a sufficient army and armament to attack. The blessing of our verse is that a sword will not pass through the land, meaning a sword of our country's army, because there will be no enemy, hence, "v'ein macharid." (adaptation of Shvi'vei Aish)
Ch. 26, v. 7: "Ush'chavtem v'ein macharid" - And you will lie down and there will be no one causing fear - The gemara Brochos 55 says that King Dovid never dreamed pleasant dreams because of the many wars he fought. The blessing of these words is that since there will be no wars you will be able to sleep and not have terrifying dreams. (M'lo Ho'omer) Alternatively, the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos (2:8) says that having many possessions brings in its wake many worries. The blessing is that even though there will be a bumper crop, no one will have worries. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 26, v. 17: "V'nastem v'ein rodeif es'chem" - And you will escape and there is no one pursuing you - The curse is that in reality there is an enemy chasing you. When you complain that you are being persecuted the response is that it is only your perception. (Leket Amorim)
As the prime minister of France continually reiterates, "There is no anti-Semitism in our country."
Ch. 26, v. 26: "V'ofu esser noshim lach'm'chem b'sanur echod" - And ten women will bake your bread in one oven - When things go well, each family has lots of fuel and is able to bake its bread in a private oven. No one else sees what the other person has and there is a blessing in the bread. The curse is that when ten women bake in one oven they see each other's bread and since there is a great food shortage, each is jealous of what the other has. This places an "ayin hora" in the bread. As well, when the bread is done baking they attempt to split it evenly. This requires weighing it. Items that are either counted or weighed do not have a blessing in them. (Divrei Sho'ul)
Ch. 26, v. 44: "V'af kol zose bi'h'yosom b'eretz oiveihem lo m'astim v'lo g'altim l'hofeir brisi itom" - And in spite of all this while they are in the land of their enemies I have not despised them nor have I ejected them to annul My covenant with them - The gemara Shabbos 55a says that although the merit of our Patriarchs might have ended, Hashem's covenant with them still protects us. This is alluded to in our verse. The bnei Yisroel are disbursed in the lands of their enemies. The merit of their Patriarchs has not protected them to allow for their remaining in their land. Nevertheless, I have not despised them nor have I ejected them in a manner that I have annulled My covenant with them, the Patriarchs. (Rabbi Avrohom Palagi)
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