by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS HAAZINU 5770 BS"D GMAR CHASIMOH TOVOH
Ch. 32, v. 4: "Hatzur tomim po'olo" - The strong One His action is perfect - Yalkut Med'r'shei Teimon interprets the words of our verse to be referring to four kingdoms who have antagonized the bnei Yisroel. "Hatzur tomim po'olo" refers to the kingdom of Babylonia, "ki chol drochov mishpot" the kingdom of Midea, "Keil emunoh" the kingdom of Greece, "v'ein o'vel," the kingdom of Yishmoeil.
Ch. 32, v. 7: "Z'chor y'mos olom binu shnos dor vodor" - Remember the history of the world contemplate the years of generations - Although reading many types of information on Shabbos is prohibited, many halachic authorities permit reading history books, based on our verse.
Ch. 32, v. 8: "Yatzeiv gvulos amim l'mispar bnei Yisroel" - He will establish the borders of the nations as per the count of the children of Yisroel - The nations of the world will be under the influence of the zodiac powers, "mazolos," which are twelve, the same as the number of tribes of the bnei Yisroel. However, the bnei Yisroel themselves are not subject to this, as they are "cheilek Hashem amo." (Rabbi Nisim of Marseille)
Ch. 32, v. 17: "Chadoshim mikorov bo'u" - New ones have recently come - The word "mikorov" is spelled lacking a letter Vov after the Reish. This allows for a reading of "mi'kerev," to a recent claim of a god who was born in a painless manner, as he was conceived by immaculate deception. Our verse alludes to the negation of this claim. The newest god on the block has come from the innards of a mother, with all the accompanying birth pains. (Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid)
Ch. 32, v. 18: "Tzur y'lodcho teshi" - Your Former has created you with the ability to forget - This seems to be Rashi's translation. There is an edition of Chumash and Rashi, called the Alkabetz printing, were there is an added explanation taken from the Medrash Tanchuma parshas Nosso. Rabbi Zeira said in the name of Rabbi Yitzchok, "An adulterer weakens the Holy One's strength. A man sires a child and it is to take on the facial features of its parents at forty days of gestation. An adulterer sins with the pregnant woman before the facial features have been placed into the embryo. Hashem stands and is bewildered, wondering if He should give the embryo the facial features of its father or the adulterer. "Tzur," the Former, "y'lodcho," who is a partner in your being born, "teshi," is weak.
Ch. 32, v. 18: "Tzur y'lodcho teshi vatishkach Keil m'chol'lecho" - Your Former has created you with the ability to forget and you have forgotten G-d your Creator - The Dubner Magid offers a parable for these words. A person mismanaged his finances so poorly to the point that everyone, including the milkman was after him for unpaid debts. At his wits end, he went to a lawyer for advice on how to handle his deplorable situation. The lawyer told him that he would have to give him more than just a sketchy account of his financial woes. Rather, he needed to know the amounts owed, the due dates, the nature of the people owed, etc., etc. He told the destitute person that this would take up a chunk of his time and it would be somewhat costly. The person agreed and proceeded to do all that was asked of him. The lawyer looked over all the information and concluded that there was no monetary way out of his woes. He advised that the poor man began behaving in a weird manner, and to slowly go from bad to worse. When the collectors would come they would greet a seemingly deranged person and the news would spread until everyone would consider him a client for the loony bin, and they would consider their financial losses as a write off.
Despite his great embarrassment, having no other options, he followed this plan. It worked! Being known as the town "meshugener" was a better fate than being forced to give up the shirt on his back (a common phrase, but not literally halachically mandated).
The lawyer was aware of all that transpired, and after a wait of a few months came to claim his wages for his sage advice, which actually worked. The "meshugener" behaved the same way towards the lawyer, hoping to get him off his back for the large fee he demanded. The lawyer responded angrily, "I have given you a strategy to ward off the collectors who were ready to rip you from limb to limb to extract payment. Don't you dare use it against me!"
Hashem has given us the ability to forget. It is most useful for forgetting evil that others have done to us, to forget anguish and anger, etc. We have instead turned this wonderful gift against Hashem, "vatishkach Keil m'chol'lecho."
Ch. 32, v. 19: "Va'yar Hashem va'yinotz mikaas bonov uvnosov" - And Hashem saw and was enraged from the anger of His sons and His daughters - The simple understanding of this verse is that Hashem became enraged from the behaviour of His sons and daughters, i.e. the bnei and bnos Yisroel. However, the Tzror Hamor offers a somewhat merciful explanation of these words. Even though Hashem became quite angered by the behaviour of the bnei Yisroel, rather than responding with a level of anger that is appropriate towards an adult, He responded with "kaas bonov uvnosov," the level of anger that is shown to one's young sons and daughters, i.e. external anger to teach them that their behaviour is inappropriate, but not with the intention to them lash out at them with physical punishment. "Va'yar Hashem va'yinotz," and the anger displayed is of the level of "mikaas bonov uvnosov."
Ch. 32, v. 20: "Bonim lo eimun bom" - Sons who have no EIMUN in them - What does this mean?
1) They were lacking belief in Moshe and his Torah. This refers to Korach and his cohorts. (Yalkut Med'r'shei Teimon)
2) They are not to be trusted. (Radak)
3) They have developed no culture in their behaviour. (Father of the Radak)
4) They do not answer "omein" when they hear a blessing. This also applies to not responding to "kadish." (Yalkut Ho'eizovi)
5) They will not continue to exist. (Tzror Hamor)
6) They have not learned any truths for their parents. (Sforno)
Ch. 32, v. 26: "Omarti a'feihem" - I have said that I would send them into a far-flung corner - This is one of numerous translations for this phrase, which is the choice of the Ramban. He writes that this refers to ten of the bnei Yisroel's tribes being exiled to "n'har Gozen" (see M'lochim 2:17:6). It is called Gozen because it carries the meaning of being flung, as we find, "va'yogez slovim" (Bmidbar 11:31). This river is now called Sambatyon, meaning Shabbos, as in numerous foreign languages Shabbos is called Sa(m)bat. It was given this name because, although it churns strongly throughout the weekdays, it is calm on Shabbos.
Ch. 32, v. 35: "Ki korove yom eidom" - The day of their reckoning is close - This does not necessarily mean close timewise. Rather, it means that it is readily at hand. (Rashi) Do not despair when viewing world history and noting that many evil nations have existed for many generations.
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