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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 32, v.1: "Ha'azinu hashomayim va'adabeiroh v'sishma ho'oretz imrei fi" - May the heavens listen as I will speak and may the earth hear the words of My mouth - We find in the Prophet Yeshayohu 1:2, "Shimu shomayim v'ha'azini eretz." Why are the terms "ha'azonoh" and "shmioh" switched, as in our verse the term used by the heavens is used in Yeshayohu by the earth and vise versa? The Sifri answers that the term ha'azona is used when the listener is nearby. The term "shmioh" is used when the hearing is done from a distance. Moshe was so spiritual that he was considered close to the heavens. Therefore, he said "ha'azinu" to the heavens as they were right nearby, and to the earth which is considered distant from him, the term "shmioh" is used. The prophet Yeshayohu however, not being as spiritual as Moshe, considered the heavens distant and the earth nearby, so he switched the terms.

With this insight we have a most wonderful understanding of seemingly enigmatic words of our Rosh Hashonoh musof prayers. "Ki atoh sho'mei'a kol shofor umaazin tru'oh v'ein do'meh loch." What is meant by "v'ein do'meh loch?" When we mention "kol shofor" the default sound is the continuous "t'kioh." This represents the person who looks upon himself as compete, just as the "t'kioh" sound is continuous and unbroken. Hashem hears him from a distance, hence "sho'mei'a." The "t'ruoh," the sound that is a staccato, a series of broken sounds, represents the person who feels himself as incomplete, a broken vessel. Hashem is close to him and the word "umaazin" is used. This is the meaning of "v'ein do'meh loch." Every other king does not value broken vessels. They are discarded. Hashem, on the other hand, values the "broken" contrite vessels more than the complete ones. (Likutei Bossor Likutei Mahadura Tinyona)

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Shicheis lo lo bonov mumom" - When they act in a destructive manner to Hashem their blemish will be that they will be called "not His sons." (Mosaf Rashi first edition)

Ch. 32, v. 7: "Shal ovicho v'ya'geidcho z'kei'necho v'yomru loch" - Ask your father and he will relate to you your grandfathers and they will say to you - The Sforno on Dvorim 26:3, where it says "Higadti ha'yom," explains that this cannot mean "I have recited today," as the one who is bringing Bikurim has said nothing as of yet. Rather, it means "I have demonstrated today through my actions." In an earlier edition of Sedrah Selections I have applied this to "V'higadto l'vincho." We might say the following in applying this concept to our verse: It is insufficient for a parent to just talk and lecture to his child about the importance of Judaism, our history, destiny, Torah miSinai etc. Lecturing might get you a job but doesn't necessarily get you entry into your child's heart. This is done by living Torah yourself with simchoh, alacrity, etc. Our verse therefore says that if you will ask your father, he should "v'ya'geidcho," respond with demonstrating all that he tells you. When you ask your grandfathers they will likely only talk to you, "v'yomru," as they rely on your father to give over Torah values in a live, penetrating manner. (n.l.)

Ch. 32, v. 15: "Shomanto oviso kosiso" - You have become fat you have become coarse you have become layered - The Sforno comments that this complaint is leveled at Yeshurun, the highest echelon of the bnei Yisroel. They, who are the upholders of the Torah and have in-depth understanding of its intricacies, when they weaken themselves and pursue perceived pleasures become spiritually coarse and no longer grasp the fne details of the Torah. This brings in its wake, "Va'yitosh Elokah o'seihu," that the common man will ch"v forsake Hashem Who has created him.

In the simplest of words, we the "tofsei haTorah," if we weaken our spirituality, are responsible for the ripple affect of people forsaking the Torah!

Ch. 32, v. 15: "Va'y'na'beil tzur y'shu'osso" - And he desecrated the strong rock that is his salvation - One of the musical instruments used by the Levites in the Mikdosh was called a "neivel." This name alluded to its emitting such a beautiful sound that it shamed the other musical instruments by comparison. The Chidushei hoRi"m asks that according to this explanation it should have been named "m'na'beil," in the causative form. He answers that anything or anyone who is "m'na'beil" another is himself a "novol."

Ch. 32, v. 20: "Dor tahpuchos heimoh" - A generation of reversals are they - They have switched the large letter Dalet in "Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem echo*D*" (Dvorim 6:4) with the large letter Reish in "Lo sishtacha'veh el eil achei*R*" (Shmos 34:14). They have switched the letters of "DoR," which can be read as "Dalet v'Reish." (n.l.)

Ch. 32, v. 49: "U'r'ei es eretz K'no'an" - And see the land Canaan - The Sforno on 33:1 comments that Moshe's looking upon the land was granted him so that he bless the land and its future inhabitants, the bnei Yisroel. This is a continuum of "V'zose habrochoh asher beirach Moshe." We see from this that the tzadik's positive viewing of the land brought much blessing in its wake for both the people and the land. We can surely learn a lesson from this to have a positive attitude towards Eretz Yisroel.

Ch. 32, v. 51: "Al asher m'altem bi al asher lo kidashtem osi" - For your having wronged Me for your not having sanctified Me - The insight of the GR"A on Pirkei Ovos 3:1, where it says, "V'lifnei mi atoh osid li'tein din v'cheshbon, are well known. "Din" is the judgment for the actual wrongdoing, while "cheshbon," which literally means "accounting," means that you are also held responsible for not having spent the time in which you sinned productively. The Meshech Chochmoh explains our verse in the same vein. You are held responsible for having wronged Me, and at the same time you are also responsible for not having used the same time for sanctifying Me.

This insight also gives us a deeper understanding of the statement in the Toras Kohanim on parshas Emor. The verse says, "Ulkachtem ba'yom horishon." The T.K. comments that this is "rishon l'cheshbon avonos," the first opportunity for the calculation of sins. Although during the days of awe we hopefully repented from a position of fear, now when Sukos is upon us we repent from a position of love for Hashem. When one repents in this manner his sins become merits. The earlier type of repentance, when accepted, only wipes out the sins, but we are still left with the liability of not accounting for the time spent when we sinned. When we repent through "ahavoh" our sins are converted to mitzvos, and not only do we accrue the mitzvos, but we also can account for the time spent behaving improperly. It now becomes time spent doing mitzvos, and this is why the T.K. calls it L'CHESHBON, as we can account for the time spent. (Kedushas Levi)



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

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