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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 32, v. 2: "Kis'irim" - Like storm winds - This is Rashi's translation. However, the Ibn eZra and the Rada"k translate it as "fine droplets of rain." Either it is sourced from "tzo'ir," young, meaning small, or from "sei'or," hair, which is very thin.

Ch. 32, v. 3: "Ki shem Hashem ekra" - When I call in the name of Hashem - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel and Yerushalmi say that Moshe did not simply jump into a song of praise of Hashem with mentioning Hashem's Holy Name immediately. Rather, he said twenty-one words, which are eighty-five letters before he said the Name of Hashem. The Chizkuni says that our Rabbis likewise instituted the text of our weekday "kedushoh" to have twenty-one words before we say "Hashem." The "kedushoh" for Shabos Shacharis has eighty-five letters before we say the Name of Hashem. Similarly, the "kedushoh" of Musof has eighty-five letters before we mention the Name of Hashem. It is interesting to note that he says that the weekday "kedushoh" begins with "N'ka'deish," the Shabbos Shacharis "kedushoh" with "Nakdishoch," and the Musof "kedushoh" with "Kesser."

Ch. 32, v. 3: "Hovu godel" - Offer greatness - Rabbeinu Efrayim finds an allusion to a male reaching the age of majority in these words. "Hovu" has the numerical value of thirteen. When a boy reaches the age of thirteen he may be the congregation's "baal t'filoh."

Ch. 32, v. 4: "Hatzur tomim po'olo" - The Strong Rock His actions are perfect - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that when Moshe ascended to the heavens he saw that Hashem split His activities into four parts of the day. During the first He is involved in Torah study, the second in judgment, the third in matching up people for marriage (and deciding whom to elevate and whom to lower), and the fourth He is involved in supplying sustenance to all His creations.

These four points are alluded to in the four sections of our verse. "Tomim" refers to the Torah, which is called "t'mimoh." "Ki chol drochov mishpot" clearly indicates judgment. "V'ein o'vel" refers to properly matching up couples, as per the gemara Sotoh 2a, that people are matched up with whom they deserve, based on their behaviour. "Tzadik" refers to one who sustains the world, as we find that Noach is called "tzadik" and he sustained all the creatures in the ark. Yoseif is likewise called "tzadik," and he also sustained Egypt and the surrounding countries. Hashem is also caaled "Tzadik" in relation to His sustaining the world, as per the verse in T'hilim 145, "Po'sei'ach es yo'decho umasbia l'chol chai rotzone, "TZADIK Hashem."

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Lo lo bonov mumom" - Not to Him His sons have their blemishes - The words "lo lo" contain the letters Lamed-Vov-Lamed-Alef. This spells Elul. This is an allusion that during Elul His sons should do serious introspection and recognize their blemishes. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 32, v. 9: "Yaakov chevel nachaloso" - Yaakov is the measuring rod of His inheritance - Rashi says that just as a rope is strong because it is made up of strands, so too, Yaakov has his strength through combining the strengths of Avrohom And Yitzchok. Sforno says that just as a rope is long, so too, the bnei Yisroel remain faithful to Hashem generation after generation. This is not true of the gentile nations. Although from time to time there are righteous among them, this does not continue in the same family for numerous generations.

Ch. 32, v. 10: "K'ishon eino" - Like the pupil of his eye - This is Rashi's translation of "ishon." The Rada"k in Sefer Hashoroshim entry "ish" says the same and explains that this word is sourced from "ish," because when one looks into his friend's pupil he sees a reflection of himself in a much diminished form, hence the suffix Vov-Nun, which is diminutive. However, the Rashbam and Paa'nei'ach Rozo both say that it means the eyelid. It is called "ishon" because it blocks light from entering the eye, and thus darkens and allows for sleep, "shinoh." The Rashbam cites a proof for his translation from T'hilim 17, "Shomreini k'ishon bas oyin," - guard me as an "ishon" guards a "bas ayin," the pupil of the eye. Paa'nei'ach Rozo says that the term "ishon lailoh" is used to mean the darkness of the night, but intrinsically is also sourced from "shinoh," as the darkness of the night allows one to fall asleep.

Ch. 32, v. 18: "M'chol'lecho" -

1) Rashi translates this as "Who has extracted you from the womb," citing the word in T'hilim 29:9, "y'choleil." This word would then be sourced from "chil," meaning trembling, as the woman at the time of birth trembles, "chil ka'yoleidoh," (T'hilim 48). However, Rashi on the earlier verse in T'hilim offers an alternative translation, "created," and brings a source for this from Mishlei 8. In essence the two translations are similar, as when one is extracted from the womb and born, it has an aspect of being created.

If the source for this word is "chil," why do we have a double letter Lamed? It might be because the gemara Nidoh 31 says that the father and mother each contribute 5 components into the newborn child, while Hashem contributes 10. The double amount is expressed in the double letter Lamed. (Nirreh li)

2) Sifri translates "m'chol'lecho" as "the One who "forgives" you.

3) Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates it as "Who has created you with hollow areas.

4) Chizkuni translates it as "Who has taken you out of Egypt accompanied by "flutes."

5) This refers to your mother, as we find in Yeshayohu 51, "V'el Soroh t'cholalchem." (Rabbeinu Myuchos)

The GR"A explains that this word form is used to describe the mother because the child gestates in the womb, a hollow organ.

6) It means "Who has made you into a 'jewel,'" as we find in Hoshei'a 2, "V'cholisoh." (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 32, v. 19: "Va'yar Hashem va'yinotz mikaas bonov uvnosov" - And Hashem saw and was infuriated from the anger of His sons and His daughters -

1) And Hashem saw their actions and was infuriated with their leaders. Nevertheless, they remained HIS sons and HIS daughters. (P'sikta Zut'r'sa)

2) Targum Onkelos seems to disagree with this because he translates "bonov uvnosov" without the possessive suffixes, "bnin uvnon." Once they have so greatly infuriated Him it is as if they are ch"v not His any more. (Biurei Onkelos)

3) Even though Hashem was infuriated, He reacted with the type of anger that one displays to his sons and daughters, meaning that externally a parent shows a visage of great irritation, it is only to guide them to behave properly. (Tzror Hamor)

4) It is not typical to also enumerate His "daughters," as they are usually included in "sons," just as we find earlier in our parsha inverse 5, "lo BONOV." Here daughters are stressed because in the times of Yirmiyohu there would be many women who would be the moving force in serving idols (see Yirmiyohu 44). (Ramban)

5) Hashem's reaction to their bad deeds was to send them into exile and to suffer much degradation. This applied even to the young and even to the females. This is why "b'nosov" are pointed out separately. (Sforno)



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

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