subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


Ch. 7, v. 13: "Alo'fecho" - Your animals - The Meshech Chochmoh says that the reason this word is used for animals is because the source is "teaching," as in "va'a'a'lefcho chochmoh" (Iyov 30:13), and more directly, "malfeinu mibahamos o'retz" (Iyov 35:11). There are many moral lessons we learn from animals.

Ch. 7, v. 26: "V'lo sovi so'eivoh el bei'secho" - And you shall not bring an abomination into your home - Even though the Torah permits bringing an idol worshipper into your home, a "y'fas to'ar," during war, but do not allow her in with her idols and graven images. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 8, v. 2: "L'maan anos'cho l'nasos'cho" - To cause you pain so as to test you - Hashem does not test and stress a person beyond his capabilities. This is alluded to in the words of T'hilim that we say daily, "Hanosein sheleg katzo'mer" (147:16). Hashem gives as much snow as there are woolen garments to protect.

Ch. 8, v. 10: "V'sovoto u'veirachto" - And you will be satiated and you shall bless - We all say "birkas hamozone" while we are seated. This is alluded to in these two words. "V'sovoto" can be split into two parts, "sheiv" and "eis." SIT at the TIME that you bless. (Baa'lei Tosfos)

Ch. 9, v. 4: "Al tomar bilvovcho b'tzidkosi" - Do not contemplate in your heart because of my righteousness - In Dvorim 7:8 the verse says "Ki mei'ahavas Hashem es'chem." Obviously Hashem loves us because of our righteousness, because if we were evil it would spark a response of acrimony. If so, it seems that we have our own merit to enter the land. However, we can say that the verse at the end of parshas Vo'es'chanan refers to the bnei Yisroel of all generations in a general manner, while our verse refers specifically to the generation of the desert, which challenged Hashem numerous times. (Ramban)

Ch. 9, v. 17: "Vo'espose bishnei haluchos" - And I gripped the two tablets - Verse 15 already tells us that Moshe had the two tablets in his hands, "ushnei luchos habris al shtei yodoy." If so, why doesn't our verse simply say, "vo'ashlich shnei haluchos"? Verse 15 says that the tablets were "al shtei yodoy," UPON my two hands. Moshe did not have the tablets in his hands, but rather, they sat on his hands and through their extreme holiness they did not bear their weight upon his hands. After Moshe became aware of the bnei Yisroel's sinning with the golden calf there was a diminishing of their sanctity, and they became heavy, requiring Moshe to grip them. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

I have a bit of difficulty with the next words of our verse, "MEI'AL shtei yodoy," as according to the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh our verse should have said "MISHTEI yodoy."

Ch. 10, v. 5: "Vo'osim es haluchos bo'orone asher osisi va'y'h'yu shom kaasher tzivani Hashem" - And I placed the tables into the ark that I made and they remained there just as Hashem commanded me - These words seem to be out of order. Should not the verse have said the words "kaasher tzivani Hashem" before "va'y'h'yu shom"? Secondly, isn't it obvious that if Moshe placed the tablets into the ark that they would remain there? Possibly we can answer these two questions based on the words of Rashi on verse 1. Rashi says that Hashem first commanded Moshe to etch the tablets and then to build an ark, and Moshe understood that he should first create an ark (as evident from verse 3), because upon descending from the mountain he would have no appropriate place for them. This might be the intention of our verse. Moshe says that immediately after descending from the mountain he placed the tablets into the ark that he already made, "vo'osim es haluchos bo'orone ASHER OSISI." He then added that they remained there, "va'y'h'yu shom," meaning that because he switched the order they had an appropriate vessel in which they remained and did not have to wait for the building of an ark. This logic indicates that although Moshe switched the order, this was surely Hashem's intention, "kaasher tzivani Hashem." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 10, v. 19: "Ki geirim he'yi'sem b'eretz Mitzroyim" - Because you were sojourners in the land of Egypt - The Rambam in hilchos chometz umatzoh 7:2 that one relates the story of bondage and exodus from Egypt to his son, and even to a young or simple-minded son he should say that we were slaves just as this maidservant or male servant of ours. We see from this that later generations who live in total freedom would have no grasp of what it means to be a slave if not for literally pointing to their own slaves and using them as an example (albeit we treat them infinitely better than we were treated by the Egyptians).

This is one reason for loving the "geir." By treating him nicely he will want to reside in our midst. We can thus also point to a "geir" and by example explain to our children that we were also "geirim" in the land of Egypt. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 11, v. 4: "Va'y'abdeim Hashem ad ha'yom ha'zeh" - And Hashem destroyed them until this day - If these words refer only to those who actually took chase and entered Yam Suf, they are permanently gone.

1) We must say that the verse refers to the horses and chariots. It took forty years for Egypt to fully recover its military fleet of horses and chariots. (Ramban)

2) The verse refers to warriors in general. (Ibn Ezra, Sforno)

3) The verse refers to an adult male population. Just as the warriors drown at Yam Suf, so too the Egyptian males left behind in Egypt drown. (A commentator on Hagodoh Shel Pesach)

Ch. 11, v. 10: "V'hishkiso v'rag'l'cho" - And you will water it with your foot - Rashi explains that in Egypt fields that were distanced from the Nile had no source of water, and it was therefore necessary to bring water by foot. Rabbi Yoseif B'chor Shor says that the Nile overflowed and ran into tributaries. To avoid having water run into the fields before it was needed, stoppers were placed into the tributaries at the edge of the fields. These were knocked out when the water was needed, allowing the water to enter. It seems that the use of the singular, "v'rag'l'cho," and not the plural, "v'rag'l'chem," is more readily understood according to Rabbi Yoseif B'chor Shor, as both feet are used when carrying water.

Ch. 11, v. 11: "Limtar hashomayim tishteh moyim" - From the rain of the heavens the earth will drink water - This is the common translation, with "tishteh" referring to the antecedent "eretz," and the Tof prefix is future, singular, female, third person. However, we can say that the blessing is that the rainwater will be as tasty as spring water and the verse is saying, "from the rain of the heavens YOU will drink water," future, singular, male, second person. (T'chei'les Mordechai)

Ch. 11, v. 17: "Vaavad'tem m'heiroh" - And you will be lost (from the land) quickly - "M'heiroh" can be explained as follows: The gemara Gitin 88a says that Hashem was very kind to us by sending us into exile to Babylon two years earlier than indicated by the word "v'noshantem" (Dvorim 4:25). Its numerical value is 852. However Hashem sent the bnei Yisroel into exile after 850 years, allowing for great Torah scholars to join those already in exile earlier and by teaching them Torah values and their becoming elevated from this "ovode toveidun" (verse 26) was avoided. This is the intention of "m'heiroh." (Apirion)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel