by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SEITZEI 5772 BS"D
Ch. 21, v. 10: "Ki seitzei lamilchomoh" - When you will go out to war - When there was actual warfare the simple of these words is actual warfare. When there is no actual war the simple meaning is the war against our evil inclination. (Rebbe Reb Bunim)
Ch. 24, v. 5: "NokI yi'h'yeH l'veisO shonoH …… v'simach" - He should be free for his household a year …… and he should bring joy - the final letters of "NokI yi'h'yeH l'veisO shonoH" form the Holy Name Y-H-V-H. Right after this the verse says "v'simach." This is an allusion to the statement of our Rabbis that the Holy Sh'chinoh only rests where there is joy. (Rabbeinu Efrayim)
Ch. 25, v. 3: "Arbo'im ya'kenu lo yosif pen yosif l'hakoso al eileh makoh raboh v'nilkoh ochicho l'einecho" - He shall lash him forty he shall not exceed lest he exceed to lash him on these a great lashing and your brother will be lashed in your sight - Many, many laws and insights are derived from this verse. First of all, including the last words of the previous verse we derive that the number of lashes is actually 39, one less than 40. Rabbeinu Yonoh writes in Shaarei Teshuvoh 3:77 that he who hits his fellow man or his wife transgresses not one, but two sins as both "lo" and "pen" are terms for prohibitions.
If a person received 39 lashes, why would just one extra lash be called "makoh raboh?" A totally innocent person who receives even one undeserved lash considers it a "great lash" given that he is innocent. Rashi (Sifri 25:153) derives from "v'nikloh ochicho" that once he has received the prescribed lashes he is totally cleansed of sin and is called "ochicho," your brother on an equal footing. Hence, even one extra lash is "raboh." (Abarbanel)
There are 365 negative precepts, but not all of them have a punishment of lashes. There are only 207 that receive lashes. This is "makoh RaBoH." The numerical value of RaBoH is 207. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
"Ochichoh" has the numerical value of 39, the number of lashes for a sin. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
"Eileh" plus its three letters also has the numerical value of 39. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Perhaps we can add that the added three, alluded to by the three letters of the word also allude to the halacha that if the sinner is not sufficiently strong to receive 39 lashes, then he receives a lesser amount, but always divisible by three. (n.l.)
The gemara Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 11:1 derives from our verse that one who smites his fellow man has transgressed "lo yosif." I heard from MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l that hitting another person is so removed from one's radar that the Torah does not spell it out as a sin. Rather it is embedded in a parsha where there is a mitzvoh to lash someone and the court's officer who is already hitting someone might consider doing a "hidur mitzvoh" of adding a lash or two.
Ch. 25, v. 6: "V'lo yimocheh shmo miYisroel" - So that his name not be obliterated from the nation Yisroel - The story is told of numerous great men, among them the Avnei Nezer and Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld, that upon hearing someone curse a fellow Yid with "yimach shmo," the response was that the Torah says that "yibum" should be done so the name of the deceased should not be erased. This applies even if he is sinful. Rabbi Yoseif Scheinberger of the Eidoh Hachareidis related that the holy Admor of Satmar zt"l told him that even though he was displeased to an extreme with the behaviour of some people, he NEVER EVER let out a curse against a ben Yisroel.
What deserves clarification is the verse in T'hilim 109:13, "B'dor acheir yimach shmom."
Ch. 25, v. 14: "Lo yi'h'yeh l'cho b'veis'cho eifoh v'eifoh g'doloh uktanoh" - You shall not have in your home varying volume measures a heavy and a light - Rabbi Levi (gemara B.B. 88b) says that the punishment for using dishonest measuring implements is greater than the punishment for immoral behaviour. By immoral behaviour the expresses itself with, "Es hato'eivos ho'eil" (Vayikra 18:27), while by measurements the ferse says, "Kol o'seh eileh" (verse 16). "Eileh" is a larger word than "eil."
Conceptually this seems quite difficult. For having dishonest measuring equipment there is only a "lav," punished at most with lashes, while some acts of immorality carry the death penalty, including the strictest "skiloh."
However, this can be understood in light of the halacha of permitted desecration of the holy Shabbos for a dangerously sick person. If we have a situation where meat is needed for this very ill person and we have a dead "n'veiloh" or "treifoh," and also the choice of properly slaughtering an animal, the halacha is that if he needs numerous amounts of meat, we rather desecrate Shabbos and slaughter, rather than continuously feed him "n'veiloh-treifoh." This is because it is preferable to transgress a severe sin once rather than to transgress a lighter sin numerous times.
A shopkeeper who uses false weights and measures transgresses many, many times a day, while the sin of immorality is done just once. (Rabbi A. Entebbi cited in Mei'am Lo'eiz)
n.b. - We find a similar concept when Avrohom feared that he would be killed and Soroh taken away even though murder is a worse sin than immorality even for bnei Noach. Again, it is because murder would be performed once, while if Avrohom were to remain alive and Soroh would have the status of "eishes ish," the king would sin numerous times.
Ch. 25, v. 17: "Zochor asher ossoh l'cho Amoleik" - Remember what Amoleik did to you - Amoleik behaved badly towards Hashem and towards the bnei Yisroel. They taunted Hashem with the mitzvoh of circumcision, tossing the removed foreskin sections and throwing them heavenward, saying, "This is what You commanded, so here it is" (Medrash Tanchuma #10). They acted badly towards the bnei Yisroel simply by attacking them. Hashem in our verse is telling us to remember what Amoleik did L'CHO, putting aside the affront to Him.
This is a display of Hashem's great modesty, only concerning Himself with the affront to His children. Similarly, when Paroh said "Who is Hashem that I should hearken to His voice and also the bnei Yisroel I will not emancipate (Shmos 5:2), Hashem reacted in the main to force Paroh to let the bnei Yisroel free. For many years Y'rovom offered burned offerings to false gods and Hashem was patient. When he raised his hand to strike the Prophet he was paralyzed (M'lochim 1:13:4). (Holy Alshich)
Ch. 25, v. 19: "Timcheh es zecher Amoleik lo tishkoch" - Erase the memory of Amoleik do not forget - The cantillation on the word "lo" is a "tipcha," a partial stop like a comma, and in turn the next word is "tiskoch" and not "sishkoch." How are we to understand this as a phrase ending with "lo?" Rabbi Yaakov Emden answers that the verse is telling us that it is permitted to not forget the name Amoleik, and this is in a circumstance where there is a fear that you will forget divrei Torah. We find the gemara B.B. 46b using the word Amoleik as a mnemonic for "O'reiv-Malveh-Lokei'ach-Kablon." So where there is a fear of "tishkoch," then do not forget the name Amoleik.
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