by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SOVO 5771 BS"D
Ch. 26, v. 1: "V'hoyoh ki sovo" - And it will be when you come - This comes on the heels of the command to obliterate the memory of Amoleik. This is well understood based on the gemara Sanhedrin 20b that upon entering Eretz Yisroel the bnei Yisroel were to destroy Amoleik. Amoleik told Lovon that Yaakov left him and had gone beyond a three day distance, and similarly he told Paroh that the bnei Yisroel went beyond a three day jaunt, all this to hamper them from entering Eretz Yisroel and destroying Amoleik. (Baal Haturim)
Ch. 26, v. 10: "V'atoh hi'nei heiveisi" - And now behold I have brought - The medrash comments: "V'atoh," now immediately, "Hi'nei" with happiness, "Heiveisi," I have brought of my own. The first two points are self-understood, but what is added by the third point, given that it is obvious that bringing "bikurim" is the mitzvoh to bring the first-ripened produce of one's own field?
A person sometimes gives generously when he has plenty left for himself, but if giving involves any sort of belt tightening then he gives nothing. The medrash is telling us that the person who brings "bikurim" should even do so when it is "misheli," of my own, and impinges upon what I would have otherwise eaten and it is not excess. (Divrei Shaar Bas Rabim)
Ch. 26, v. 12: "Bashonoh hashlishis shnas hamaa'seir" - In the third year the year of the tithe - These words make it sound like the first and second years of the seven year cycle are not years of tithing, and this is not so, as there is the requirement to tithe "maa'seir rishon" and "maa'seir sheini."
During the first and second years there is a responsibility to tithe for the Levi and for oneself to consume in Yerusholayim. Each of these can be accomplished in one go. The 1/10th for the tribe of Levi can be given in its totality to a Levi, and likewise a person can bring the complete 1/10th of his produce up to Yerusholayim for consumption in one go. However, in the third year where there is in addition to "maa'seir rishon, maa'seir oni," which is given to the poor, he may not give it all to one poor person. He thus gives it piecemeal to one destitute person after another. This is the intention of our verse. The third year is a "shnas hamaa'seir," a year of giving all year long. (Ponim Yofos)
Ch. 26, v. 14: "Lo ochalti v'oni mi'menu" - I have not eaten in mourning from it - Another insight into v'oni: By tithing the "maa'seir" a person is demonstrating that he recognizes that there is a "silent partner" in his endeavours, namely, Hashem, and that the agricultural success is to be attributed to himself. This is "lo ochalti v'oni," I have not eaten with the attitude that it is "ani" alone who has brought the agricultural efforts to fruition. (Shaa'rei Simchoh)
Ch. 26, v. 16: "V'shomarto v'ossiso osom" - And you shall safeguard and you shall do them - Rashi says that this is a blessing. A voice from heaven emanates and says, "You have brought the tithe this year. You will merit to repeat this next year." It seems that this comment is based on translating "v'ossiso" not as "you SHALL do," but rather, as "you WILL do." The Chasam Sofer raises the question that it seems as if one who brings the tithe will live forever. His son, the Ksav Sofer answers that the intention is that notwithstanding his agricultural success, he will not experience "V'ochalto v'sovoto, Hishomru lochem pen yifteh l'vavchem ……" (Dvorim 11:16) and not tithe the following year.
An alternative understanding of "tishneh l'shonoh habo'oh" is that you should merit to bring twice as much next year. (Va'y'da'beir Moshe)
Ch. 27, v. 15: "Orur asher yaa'seh pessel uma'seichoh …… v'som baso'seir" - Cursed is he who will create an etched or poured form …… and place it in a clandestine place - It is bad enough when one serves gods and thus negates his belief in Hashem. However, one who does this and hides his intention by packaging it in a philosophy of culture, nationalism, etc., and claiming that he is staying within the parameters of the holy Torah when he actually isn't is worse than the former. He is deserving of a curse on top of all else. (Avnei O'zel)
Ch. 27, v. 26: "Orur asher lo yokim es divrei haTorah hazose laasose osom" - Cursed is he who will not uphold the words of this Torah to do them - There is sometimes a person who does what the Torah dictates, but not because the Torah says to do this or that, but rather because he perceives a benefit, honour, being trusted by the Torah-true community, or the like. He is not doing the mitzvos "laasose osom," but instead for his own benefit. Even he is deserving of an "orur." (A'keidas Yitzchok)
Ch. 28, v. 2: "Uvo'u o'lecho kol habrochos ho'ei'leh v'hisigucho ki sisma el kole Hashem Elokecho" - And there will come to you all of these blessings and they will reach you when you will hearken to the voice of Hashem your G-d - All the good that will come upon you willl be a blessing only when you afterwards still hearken to the voice of Hashem, and don't ch"v turn away from Him on account of becoming wealthy. (Shaa'rei Simchoh)
Ch. 28, v. 2: "V'hisigucho" - And they will reach you - And they will reach you without your having to put in any effort. (Sforno)
Ch. 28, v. 2: "V'hisigucho" - And they will reach you - And they will give you an understanding, an "hasogoh," of how to use the blessings properly. Without that they are not a blessing. (Admor of Modzitz Rabbi Sho'ul Y'didiyoh Elozor)
Ch. 28, v. 3: "Boruch atoh bo'ir" - Blessed are you in the city - The medrash says that you are to be blessed on account of the mitzvos you do in the city. This is an enigmatic statement. Some people refrain from doing mitzvos in the public eye, a sort of modest behaviour. However, there is a time and a place where the opposite is necessary. When Torah observance has unfortunately ebbed even those who are still devoted to keeping its mitzvos might be shy to make a display of their actions. At a time like this it is important to publicize one's fulfilling mitzvos, thus providing guidance and a thrust for others to do the same. (Divrei Shaa'rei Chaim)
Ch. 28, v. 10: "V'ro'u kol a'mei ho'oretz ki shem Hashem nikro o'lecho v'yoru mi'meko" - And all the nations of the earth will see that the Name of Hashem is present upon you and they will fear you - Eventually the nations of the world will learn to fear Hashem, and this will be "mi'me'ko," sourced from you. (Botzina Dinhora)
Ch. 28, v. 13: "Unsoncho Hashem l'rosh" - And Hashem will place you to a head - What is the intention of the Lamed before "rosh?" One can be the head of a lower level such as being a head of a fox. In such a case it is better to be a tail of a lion, as stated in Pirkei Ovos. Our verse tells us that Hashem will place us to a head, a high level position, the head of a lion and not the head of a fox. (Oheiv Yisroel of Apt)
Alternatively, "l'rosh" is an acronym for "Laasose R'tzone Ovinu Shebashoma'yim." (Yeitev Lev)
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