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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 30, v. 2: "Zeh hadovor" - THIS is the matter - Rashi says that Moshe and other prophets prophesied with the expression "koh." ADDITIONALLY, Moshe prophesied with the expression "zeh hadovor." We find that Bilom was in some way on par with Moshe as a prophet. He attempted to put himself on the same level by saying "shvu noh voZEH" (Bmidbar 22:19), and "bneih li voZEH" (23:1).

However, Hashem responded that he was only on the level of "Koh," by saying "v'CHOH s'da'beir" (23:5). Bilom got the message and from this point on realized that he was only capable of KOH, "KOH al olo'secho v'onochi iko'reh KOH (23:15), "v'CHOH s'da'beir" (23:16).

In verse 29 we again find Bilom trying his hand at ZEH, but unsuccessfully, as he ended up blessing the bnei Yisroel. ZEH was the unique realm of Moshe.

Ch. 30, v. 2: "Zeh hadovor" - THIS is the matter - Rashi says that Moshe and other prophets prophesied with the expression "koh." ADDITIONALLY, Moshe prophesied with the expression "zeh hadovor." One would have thought that this most important point of information would be conveyed to us either at the beginning of Moshe's career as a prophet (according to those who posit that he had this level immediately), or at least at the receiving of the Torah. Why does the Torah wait until specifically this point to give us this information? MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki answers that since the Torah gives us the laws of oaths here, we see the power of a human creating "mitzvos" so to say, that must be fulfilled with the stringency of Torah law. The improper concept of thinking that possibly Moshe used his own imagination and wisdom to give us what he perceived as proper behaviour might creep into our minds. It is therefore essential at this point to inform us that Moshe received and transmitted Hashem's message in a perfect unadulterated manner, on the level of ZEH HADOVOR.

Ch. 31, v. 8: "V'eis Bilom ben B'ore horgu bechorev" - And Bilom the son of B'ore they killed with THE sword - Rashi explains the definitive (absorbed) Hei suffix to "chorev." The weaponry of the bnei Yisroel is their mouths, the power of prayer. The weaponry of Eisov is the sword, "v'al charb'cho sichyeh." Bilom has usurped the power of the bnei Yisroel by attempting to destroy them with his mouth, and in turn he was killed, not with the power of the mouth, but with THE sword, the weapon of his own people.

We see this point alluded to in Bilom's travels to Moav on his way to ch"v curse the bnei Yisroel. The verse says "v'charbo SHLUFOH" (22:31). The word "shlufoh" is spelled without a Vov, leaving us with Shin-Lamed-Fei-Hei. We can break this into two words, "shel peh," thus giving us the reading of "v'charbo shel peh," and his sword of the power of the mouth. (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Yutan es ho'oretz hazose laavo'decho" - May this land be given to your servants - The recital when bringing "bikurim," the first-ripened fruit to the Beis Hamikdosh includes thanks for living in the Holy Land, "V'eis ho'adomoh asher nosatoh lonu .. eretz zovas cholov udvosh, and the land that You gave us .. a land that flows milk and honey" (Dvorim 26:15). The gemara Yerushalmi Bikurim 1:8 states two opinions regarding land requirements for the mitzvoh of bringing bikurim. One opinion is that bikurim can only be brought from produce grown in Eretz Yisroel west of the Jordan since our verse says "eretz zovas cholov udvosh." Only west of the Jordan has this accolade. A second opinion is that the stress should be placed on the words "asher nosatoh lonu," meaning that only Eretz Yisroel that was GIVEN to us, is the land from which bikurim may be brought. The parcels of land that were given to the tribes of Reuvein and Gad were REQUESTED by these tribes. The gemara says that there is a difference in law between these two reasons. According to the opinion that we require a land that flows milk and honey, even the land parcel of half the tribe of Menasheh that was outside Eretz Yisroel is exempt from bikurim, while according to the opinion that bikurim is brought only from a land that was GIVEN, there is a requirement to bring bikurim from the land of Menasheh even though it does not flow milk and honey, but nevertheless, because the tribe of Menasheh did not request this land bikurim must be brought.

Based on this we have an answer to a difficulty the Meshech Chochmoh raises on the opinion of Rashi in Sanhedrin 10b. Rashi states that the "omer" meal offering may be brought from barley grown on the Trans-Jordanian side. The Ran in his commentary on the gemara N'dorim disagrees and says that it may only be brought from the western side of the Jordan. Meshech Chochmoh, based on the derivation of "asher NOSATOH lonu," and not that which was requested, says that we should likewise derive from the verse by the "omer" offering, "ho'oretz asher ani NOSEIN" (Vayikra 23:10), that "omer" only be brought from the west of the Jordan, as the Trans-Jordanian lands were requested.

However, it seems that this should present no difficulty for Rashi, based on the above gemara Yerushalmi. The land given to half the tribe of Menasheh was not in response to their request, and there is no reason to exclude it from "omer," and this could well be Rashi's intention. (Nirreh li)


Ch. 33, v. 24: "Va'yisu mei'har Shoffer va'yachanu baCharodoh" - And they traveled from Mount Shoffer and they rested in Charodoh - Kuntras M'samchei Lev writes that he heard in the name of the Holy Chozeh of Lublin that these words allude to the gemara Shabbos 89b. The gemara relates that in the world-to-come Hashem will take Avrohom to task, saying that his descendants have sinned. Avrohom will respond that they ch'v be punished accordingly. Hashem then went to Yaakov and the same conversation ensued. Finally, He went to Yitzchok with the same complaint and Yitzchok through some tricky mathematical calculations greatly reduced their sinning quantitively, and abated Hashem's anger through compromise.

This is "va'yisu mei'har Shoffer." They traveled away from protection through Avrohom, who carries the appellation of "har" (gemara P'sochim 88a), and from "shoffer," an appellation of Yaakov (gemara B.M. 84a). They rested in the protection of "charodoh," the appellation of Yitzchok, "pachad Yitzchok" (also see Breishis 27:33, "Va'yecherad Yitzchok charodoh g'doloh ad m'ode"). Another allusion might be based on the verse "Im yitoka shofor bo'ir v'am lo yecherod" (Omos 3:6) and the verse "Oloh Elokim bisru'oh Hashem b'kole shofor" (T'hilim 47:6). We see that with the sounding of the shofar there is a spiritual ascension and also a response of trepidation. This is alluded to in our verse. They traveled from HAR, the elevation brought about through the medium of Shoffer (shofar), and they concluded, "va'yachanu," in a state of trepidation, "charodoh." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 33, v. 26: "Va'yisu miMakheilos va'yachanu b'Sochas" - Chasam Sofer interprets: If they leave UNITY, then they will come to rest in THE DEPTHS of negativity.



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

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