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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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PARSHIOS B'HAR-B'CHUKOSAI - It is finally at this Shabbos Kodesh that the bnei chutz lo'oretz catch up to the bnei Eretz Yisroel and are synchronized in their weekly parsha reading. Next week we all read parshas B'midbar together. The "falling behind" is a common occurrence, caused by simply having the final day of a Yom Tov land on Friday in Eretz Yisroel while in chutz lo'oretz the Yom Tov extends into Shabbos. Thus the bnei Eretz Yisroel read the next weekly parsha while the bnei chutz lo'oretz read a Yom Tov parsha. What requires explanation is why we have waited so long to synchronize. Why wasn't only parshas Tazria read in Eretz Yisroel a few weeks back while in chutz lo'oretz the double parshios Tazria-Metzora, rather than waiting so long?

To answer this another question is posed. How can it be that there are two different readings on a non-Yom Tov Shabbos? When it is Yom Tov in Eretz Yisroel and not in chutz lo'oretz it is well understood how there can be two different readings, as the "hashpo'os" of the readings differ in two places, one where it is also Yom Tov and the other where it isn't. But where it is only Shabbos in the whole world how can we have two different influences of Torah reading? The answer is that once the Rabonon instituted this disparity the required influences for the two locations likewise differ. We can thus take this concept further and say that our Rabonon likewise knew through their elevated knowledge that the "hashpo'os" required for numerous weeks after Yom Tov are likewise different and they only align after parshios B'har-B'chukosai.


Ch. 25, v. 36: "V'chai ochicho imoch" - And your brother will live with you - How do these words flow after the prohibition against lending money with interest and fearing Hashem? The gemara says that he who lends money with interest does not stand up at the time of "t'chias ha'meisim." This extends itself to the borrower as well since he is the conscious enabler of the lender sinning. This is the flow of the concepts of our verse. Do not lend with interest. You should fear Hashem and be concerned that neither you nor the borrower will be revived at "t'chias ha'meisim." By not sinning you and your brother will be resurrected at that time, "v'chai ochicho imoch." (Nacha'lei Eison)

Ch. 25, v. 47,48: "O l'eiker mishpachas ger, Geuloh ti'h'yeh lo" - Or to a core of a foreign family, There shall be a redemption for him - Our Rabbis explain that this refers to someone who sold himself to an idol worshiping establishment. He now has to do the servicing of idol worship. Nevertheless, the Torah says that we should redeem him from this sorrowful situation even though he has consciously sold himself into idol worship. No matter how distanced from Torah a person places himself the Torah requires of us to get him out of that situation. (Sforno)


Ch. 26, v. 6: "V'nosati sholo-m bo'oretz" - And I will give peace in the land - Although this insight was offered some years ago, I take the liberty to repeat it, as I find it so exceedingly insightful. Revolutions take place when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The extreme disparity and the suffering of the masses breed an atmosphere of revolution. Hashem in His infinite wisdom commanded that heritage lands be returned when Yoveil comes. In the main the growth of fortunes is based on acquiring more and more land, especially in an agrarian society. By requiring lands to be returned to the families of those who inherited them son after son since the apportioning in the days of Yehoshua, the financial playing field is leveled off, avoiding revolutions. This is "v'nosati sholo-m bo'oretz," that internal wars are avoided. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 26, v. 8: "V'noflu oi'veichem lifneichem lecho'rev" - And your enemies will fall in front of you by the sword - Rashi comments that this means that your enemies will fall in front of you contrary to nature. What is Rashi's intention? If he simply means that the few will conquer the many, this has already been mentioned in the words, "V'rodfu mi'kem chamishoh mei'oh " The Rebbe Reb Heshel explains our verse based on the verse in Shmuel 1:17:49, "Va'yipol al ponov ortzoh." Dovid threw a rock at Golyas, which penetrated his head armor and killed him. The verse says that he fell "on his face." Our Rabbis take note of this anomaly. Normally whem someone is struck in the face with great force he falls backwards. Yet the verse says that he fell on his face. Golyas was 12 cubits tall. Dovid decapitated him. Had Golyas fallen in the normal manner, i.e. onto his back, Dovid would have had to walk to Golyas and an additional almost 12 amos to reach his head. Hashem made Golyas fall forward, an unnatural occurrence, to save Dovid this extra effort.

We can likewise say that this is the intention of these words of our verse. When we do war with our enemies and Hashem is with us, not only will be vanquish them, but they will also fall forwards onto their faces, closer to us, "lifneichem," so that we can finish them off with less effort.

Ch. 26, v. 11: "V'lo sigal nafshi es'chem" - And My soul will not be disgusted with you - After all the wonderful blessings Hashem promises for hearkening to His wishes how is it in place to say that He will not be disgusted with us? This is obvious! The Rambam in hilchos teshuvoh 9:1 writes that all the worldly blessings the Torah writes that will come as a result of following Hashem's dictates are not in and of themselves the reward for keeping His mitzvos. Rather, they are a positive medium that Hashem bestows upon us allowing us to keep His mitzvos unhampered. This is not the case with the wicked. Their "good life" is a reward for the few mitzvos the have done (see the last verse in parshas Eikev).

When an abundance of blessings comes upon us we might mistakenly conclude that we are wicked and Hashem hates us and is bestowing our reward upon us in this ephemeral world. This is why our verse says that Hashem will bless us and He will not be disgusted with us, i.e. we should not interpret the blessings as our final reward on this short-lived earth. This is why the verse goes on to say, "V'his'halachti b'soch'chem," upon which Rashi comments, "I will stroll with you in Gan Eden," meaning that the reward will be in the world-to-come. (Ksav Sofer)

Ch. 26, v. 19: "G'one" - Boldness - The name Gaon is frequently bantered and an insight was offered into this in a previous issue on parshas Va'yigash. When indeed is this title applied properly? The Me'iri in his preface to Pirkei Ovos writes: In the era of Rabbi Saadioh Gaon in many lands many people sent their children to learn Torah. When their children completed a large section of the Talmud they would return home, and thus the lands become full of Torah scholars. Those who became proficient in the three sections of the Talmud, Mo'eid, Noshim, N'zikin, would receive the title Chochom. Those who became proficient in four sections, i.e. with the addition of Kodoshim, received the title Rav. Those who became proficient in all six sections of the Talmud, meaning with the addition of Zro'im and Taharos, would receive the title Gaon, whose numeric value is sixty, the same as the number of volume of Shas.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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