by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS B'HAR-B'CHUKOSAI 5773 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 17: "V'lo sonu ish es amiso" - And you shall not wrong one another - The gemara B.M. 59a says on these words, "Im she'itcho baTorah uvmitzvos al tonu," that this prohibition only applies to behaviour towards a person who keeps Torah and mitzvos. This is derived from the choice of the word "amiso," from which we can extract "im," that he is with you in some manner. Since this verse discusses talking in a pleasing manner it is most appropriate to apply only to a Torah observer, as a sinner is to be reproved. Earlier, where the verse is discussing "ono'as momone," monetary deceit, the verse does not say "amiso" because the monetary prohibition applies to your behaviour towards a non-Torah observant person as well. (Maharsh"o) The Ritv"a, as cited in the Shioth M'kubetzes, says that this refers to one's wife. She is considered "with you in Torah and mitzvos" because she gets half your reward as an enabler. He adds that this explanation seems proper as the gemara then cites Rav, who says that one should be very vigilant against hurting his wife with his words.
We might add that "she'itcho" has the same letters as "ish't'cho." (n.l.)
Ch. 25, v. 17: "V'lo sonu ish es amiso" - And you shall not wrong one another - As just mentioned, the gemara B.M. says that this is a prohibition against causing pain verbally. Although the Rambam in his commentary on mishnios Makos chapter 3 and the Chinuch #338 say that there is no court punishment of lashes for transgressing this sin, the Chinuch says that Hashem has many ways of administering lashes without a leather strap.
Ch. 25, v. 18: "Vishavtem al ho'oretz lo'vetach" - And you will reside on the land securely - The ten letters of "al ho'oretz lo'vetach" are a mnemonic for the ten facilities that are required to be present in a city for a Torah scholar to be allowed to live there. They are: Ayin - a wellspring, Lamed -"limud" of young children, Hei - "heichal kodesh," Alef - "umon," Reish - "rofei", Tzadi - "tzedokoh," Lamed - "lavlar," Beis - "beis haknesses, Tes - "taboch," Ches - "chachomim," a court. (Rabbi Avrohom Pettal in Va'yomer Avrohom)
Ch. 26, v. 3: "Im b'chukosai teileichu" - If you will walk in My statutes - By walking in My statutes you will bring Moshiach. "IM" is spelled Alef-Mem, the letters of the redeemers, Aharon-Moshe, Esther-Mordechai, and in the very near future Eliyohu-Moshiach.
Ch. 26, v. 3: "Im b'chukosai teileichu" - If you will walk in My statutes - Even when you leave your secure environment and walk somewhere else, you must still remain steadfast in upholding My laws.
Ch. 26, v. 4: "V'nosati gishmeichem b'itom" - And I will give you your rains in their correct time - There are many, many mitzvos that a person can do, so why is specifically toiling in Torah that which will bring rains? Also, what is meant by YOUR rains? The gemara R.H. 17 says that on Rosh Hashonoh Hashem allots rain for each person, city, country, and the whole world. If an abundance of rain was allotted for a country and its inhabitants afterwards behaved badly, Hashem still brings the allotted rain, but sends it in a season that it is not of benefit, and also to areas of the country where it is not beneficial. The gemara Sotoh 21a says that a sin extinguishes the merit of a previous mitzvoh that was performed, but it does not extinguish Torah learning. We now have answers to the above questions. Any mitzvoh brings merit including the reward of having needed rain. However, performance of the mitzvoh is no guarantee that the rain will in fact come, as sins performed afterwards can negate this. This is not the case with learning Torah, as the reward of timely rains cannot be abrogated. This is why our verse calls these rains "gishmeichem," YOUR rains, as the rain allotment was decided on R.H. However, it is only with true Torah diligence that one is guaranteed that the rains will come in a timely manner, when they are beneficial, "b'itom." (Kosnos Ohr)
Ch. 26, v. 5: "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem losova" - And you will eat your bread to satiation - Once a person has had his fill of bread and is satiated he has no interest in stuffing himself. However, when it comes to sweet treats the gemara Megiloh says, "Ravcha livsumi sh'chicha," there is always room for sweets. That is the bleesing of our verse. The bread will be so sweet that even when one is satiated e wants to have more. "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem" when you are already "so'vei'a." A variation on this is offered: The bread of our verse is Torah study, as per the verse, "L'chu lachamu v'lachmi" (Mishlei 9:5). Even when you feel satiated from much learning, you will still have the drive for more. (n.l.)
Ch. 26, v. 5,6: "Vaachaltem lach'm'chem losova, V'nosati sholo-m bo'oretz" - And you will eat your bread to satiation, And I will give peace to the land - Rashi on verse 6 comments, "When you have bread and drink, what is it worth without peace?" This is why this verse adds that "I will give peace." Why would I think that with sufficient food and drink there would be no peace? To the contrary, when there is a lack of sustenance that is when wars break out. The gemara Brochos 20 says that the angels asked Hashem, "You have stated in Your Torah that You do not favour a wrong-doer, so how is it that You show favouritism to the bnei Yisroel? Hashem answered that He rightfully does so because in the Torah it is stated that one is required to recite grace after meals only when one is satiated and the bnei Yisroel are stringent with themselves and even recite grace after meals on a lesser amount. Therefore they merit the blessing of "Yisa Hashem ponov eilecho v'yo'seim l'cho sholo-m."
When Hashem bestows the blessing of satiation it does not mean that a lot of food abounds. Rather, it means that one eats just a bit and that is sufficient to satiate, "Ochel kima umisboreich b'mei'ov." If so, there is no special piety in reciting grace after meals after eating just a bit, as it satiates and there is a Torah level responsibility to recite grace after meals. This is why there is a need to specify that there will still be the blessing of peace. (Tiferes Y'honoson)
Ch. 26, v. 13: "Vo'oleich es'chem kom'miyus" - And I have made you go upright - Rashi says, "b'komoh z'kufoh." This seems to run afoul of the statement of our Rabbis that he who walks "b'komoh z'kufoh" is haughty and this, so to say, forces away the "feet of the Holy Spirit."
The Chasam Sofer near the beginning of his droshos on Shovuos explains that Hashem's Holy Spirit is above us. So when we walk in a stalwart manner, with our view upwards, we are peering into an area that is above us and this is akin to haughtiness and brings about the undesirable result of pushing away Hashem's sanctity. Here, where the verse discusses "Im b'chukosai teileichu ……" the end result is "v'his'halachti b'soch'chem" (verse 12), and the Divine Presence is not above us, but with us, and walking stalwartly is not a display of haughtiness.
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