SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SEITZEI 5764 BS"D
Ch. 21, v. 10: "Ki seitzei lamilchomoh al oi'vEcho unsonO Hashem Elokecho
b'yo'decho v'shoviso shivyO" - When you will go out to war against your ENEMIES
and Hashem your G-d will give HIM into your hand and you will capture his
CAPTIVE - The verse begins with the plural form of enemies and continues with the
singular. The commentators say that this verse strongly alludes to the internal
war we have with our evil inclination.
The gemara Yoma 69b relates that the "men of the great assemblage" fasted and
then prayed for the evil inclinations of serving false gods and of immoral
unions to be removed. Both wishes were granted and idol worship stopped.
However, the lack of urge for interaction with women created a problem. This
permeated the atmosphere and there was no procreation. They prayed that in this realm
things return to the former state, but they were able to pray for some
lessening of this urge, and there was a great reduction of incest.
We can thus say that this is alluded to in our verse. When you go out to do
spiritual war against your ENEMIES, plural, the inclinations for idol worship
and immoral behaviour. Hashem will give HIM, the urge for idol worship only,
into your hand. You will also capture ONE captive, this is the inclination for
immoral behaviour, whom you will not kill in war, only capture. This is the
lessening, but not obliteration of this urge. (Nachal K'dumim)
Ch. 21, v. 15: "V'hoyoh ha'bein habchor lasnioh" - And the firstborn son will
be born to the hated wife - The verse does not say "v'im hoyoh," if the
firstborn will be born to the hated wife. This indicates that the firstborn will
surely be born to the hated wife. Indeed, this will always be the case. Hashem,
in His great mercy, will rally for the underprivileged. This is because they
have a humbled spirit. We find the same by Leah. "Va'yar Hashem ki snuoh Leah
va'yiftach es rachmoh" (Breishis 29:31). (Abarbanel)
Alternatively, the gemara Y'vomos 64a and Breishis M.R. 45:5 say that Hashem
yearns for the prayers of the righteous, and this is why our Matriarchs did
not easily conceive. Since the "snuoh" of our verse is a woman whom Hashem does
not want this man to marry, as it is only a concession, the righteous woman,
who is more beloved by Hashem, will not readily conceive. Therefore the "snuoh"
will give birth to the firstborn. (Tiferes Y'honoson)
Ch. 21, v. 16: "B'yom hanchilo es bonov eis asher y'h'yeh lo" - On the day
that he will give his sons an inheritance that which belongs to him - Rashi
(Sifri 21:29) on the next verse says that the firstborn only has primogeniture
privileges in items that the deceased father actually possessed, but not in items
that were not in his possession at the time of death, but would eventually
come into his estate. This is alluded to in our verse and the next verse. Our
verse does not mention the double portion of the firstborn. This is because our
verse is discussing items that will in the future come to his estate, "asher
Y'H'YEH lo," in the future tense. The next verse tells us that the firstborn
does receive a double portion in "asher YIMOTZEI lo," that which is already in
his possession. (GR"A)
Another allusion to this is based on the final letters of "b'choL asheR
yimotzEI lO kI hU," Lamed-Reish-Alef-Vov-Yud-Alef. When these letters are
rearranged we have "lo ro'uy," not that which will is expected to come but has not yet
come (into his possession). (Variation on the Baal Haturim)
Ch. 21, v. 18: "Ki y'h'yeh l'ish bein soreir umoreh" - If a man will have a
son who turns from the right path and is rebellious - The gemara Sanhedrin 71a
says that the requirements for bringing this son to justice are so demanding
that in actuality there never was a rebellious son who was killed by the
courts. Rabbi Yochonon said that this did actually take place. He stated, "I sat at
the grave of a rebellious son." Rabbeinu Bachyei says that we can interpret
Rabbi Yochonon's words to mean that he sat at the gravesite of a rebellious son
who did not have the status of "ben soreir umoreh" and was not killed through
the court system, only that he behaved very badly towards his father, as was
the case with Avsholom.
Ch. 21, v. 23: "Ki kil'las Elokim toluy" - Because a curse/cheapening of G-d
is hanging - A number of interpretations:
1) Man is created in the image of Hashem (Breishis 9:6). Leaving a corpse,
made in the image of Hashem hanging is a cheapening of Hashem. (Rashi)
2) The dead corpse gives off a negative influence of a curse. (Ibn Ezra)
3) The gemara Sanhedrin 45b concludes that only he who sinned with idol
worship or blasphemed is hung after being put to death. Having his body hang for
an extended period of time brings spectators to ask why he was hung. They would
hear the details of how this person did one of the two sins just mentioned.
This discussion in its own right is either a cheapening of Hashem or will bring
a curse. (Ramban)
4) A dead body that is hanging is a most cursed and despicable situation. It
also brings impurity to the land. We are told that the Holy Land is a source
for blessing and not for curse "Ki shom tzivoh Hashem es habrochoh chaim"
(T'hilim 133:3). (Ramban)
5) It is a cheapening of Hashem to "advertise" the body of one who has so
grievously sinned against Hashem. (Ralbag)
6) It will bring about cursing the judges, called "elohim" (Shmos 22:27).
That verse prohibits cursing them. People who see the sorrowful sight will curse
the witnesses and the judges who brought this guilty person to justice.
Ch. 22, v. 2: "Ad drosh ochicho oso" - Until your brother searches for it -
The Holy Zohar translates the word "oso" in a most novel manner (Chukas page
184a). He says that this word is spelled in full, with a letter Vov between the
Alef and Sof. (In our Torah it is spelled without this Vov.) He translates the
word "oso" as its sign. Halacha requires that when a person comes to you to
claim his lost object, that you not just give it to him on his word alone. It
is required to ask him for a distinct identifying sign on the object, an "ose,"
before you may return it to him.
Ch. 22, v. 2: "Vahasheivoso lo" - And you shall return it to him - When the
Holy Admor of Satmar zt"l visited Jerusalem he was asked by a local doctor if
the ruling of "v'rapo y'ra'peh" (Shmos 21:19), from which we derive that a
doctor has permission to heal, requires of him to answer every call to heal. The
Holy Rebbe responded, "This is clearly included in the mitzvoh of 'vahasheivoso
lo.'" The next morning this response was publicized in a local shul. One
upstart said, "What kind of answer is this? The verse quoted has nothing to do
with the question!"
A true Torah scholar was present and said, "Look into the Rambam in his
commentary on the mishnoh N'dorim chapter #4, where he clearly states what you've
just heard quoted in the name of the Rebbe. (Olomos Shechorvu)
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