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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHIOS NITZOVIM-VA'YEILECH 5773 BS"D

NITZOVIM

Ch. 29, v. 9: "A'tem nitzovim ha'yom kulchem lifnei Hashem Elokeichem" - You are all standing today upright in front of Hashem your G-d - Moshe is addressing the bnei Yisroel on the last day of his life. His being a personage of such great stature, that there never was nor will be a prophet on his level, brings in its wake a feeling of there being a powerful go-between between the people and Hashem. Moshe is telling the bnei Yisroel that since he will pass on this day the whole nation will be able to feel a greater closeness to Hashem without a go-between of Moshe's stature. They are more directly "lifnei Hashem Elokeichem." (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 29, v. 9: "A'tem nitzovim ha'yom kulchem lifnei Hashem Elokeichem rosheichem " - You are all standing today upright in front of Hashem your G-d your heads - "Kulchem" means that you are all present in a manner of unity. "Ha'yom" refers to Rosh Hashonoh, as per the Holy Zohar. If you are all in unity then you will have "nitzovim," an upright verdict on Rosh Hashonoh. The need for the verse to them enumerate the different strata of hierarchy of the bnei Yisroel is because we find "kulchem" where there was an appearance of all, but not in a respectful disciplined manner. Rashi in parshas Dvorim on the words "Vatik'r'vun eilai kolchem" (1:22) says that they came in a jumble, a disarray of people, where the young pushed the elder and there was no sign of respect. This type of coming in unity will not bring a positive outcome, and this is why our verse lists the hierarchy of who was at the head, etc. (Arvei Nachal)

Ch. 29, v. 13: "V'lo itchem l'vadchem onochi ko'reis es habris hazose v'es ho'olloh hazose" - And it is not with you alone that I cut this covenant and this oath - Moshe scared the populace to the extreme with no less than ninety-eight chastisements. It is in place to scare a child to behave since he has limited understanding of the consequences and the seriousness of his behaviour. Here we have people who have lived a supernatural existence and have been exposed to many miracles. What need was there for all the "ollos?" This is why Moshe goes on to explain in the next verse that the covenant is not just for the present generations. Even those who were not even born yet have to accept the seriousness of the Torah and all it entails. This is why such strong chastisement was given, so that it be given over to the next generation, and the next to the next, etc. (K'hilas Yitzchok)

Ch. 30, v. 1: "B'chol hagoyim asher hadichacho Hashem Elokecho shomoh" - Among all the nations that Hashem your G-d has pushed you there - In all the nations that He has pushed you, "Hashem Elokecho shomoh," Hashem is still with you there. When you take to heart not only your pain from being in the Diaspora, but also that Hashem is in "golous" with you and is suffering along with you, then you will be collected from there. (Noam M'godim)

Ch. 30, v. 3: "V'richa'mecho" - And He will have mercy on you - The mercy is that Hashem accepts your remorse and repentance even though they were brought on by all the difficulties the verses spell out. (Imrei Shefer)

Ch. 30, v. 3: "V'richa'mecho v'shov v'ki'betzcho mikol ho'amim asher hefitzcho Hashem Elokecho shomoh" - And He will have mercy on you and He will return and collect you from all the nations that Hashem your G-d has spread you out there - Hashem will place mercy into the hearts of the nations where you live and they will allow you to leave their countries and be returned to Eretz Yisroel. (Droshos hoRan)

Ch. 30, v. 14: "Ki korove ei'lecho hadovor m'ode b'ficho uvilvovcho laasoso" - Because the matter is extremely close to you in your mouth and your heart to do it - The ability to make the Torah extremely close to you is within your mouth and your heart. (Sfas Emes)

VA'YEILECH

Ch. 31, v. 10: "Mikeitz sheva shonim b'mo'eid shnas hashmitoh" - At the end of seven years at the time of the year of shmitoh - This is the perfect time to read "mishneh Torah" to the nation. Everyone has had a full year of separation from agricultural activities and is sensitized to receive spirituality. (Akeidas Yitzchok)

Alternatively, since everyone is eager to get back to work in his fields and vineyards, having been away for a full year, this is the time to give a pep talk to remain connected to spirituality. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 31, v. 17: "Umtzo'uhu ro'os rabos v'tzoros" - And there will befall him many evils and troubles - Our Rabbis tell us that this means conflicting problems. He will be bitten by both a hornet and a scorpion. For one type of bite water is beneficial and without it he will die, while for the other it is fatal. The Daas Z'keinim apply this to the challenge of Eisov's descendants persecuting the bnei Yisroel. If they complain they bring on the ire of Eisov even more, and if they don't then Eisov will increase his persecution as he sees no opposition.

Ch. 31, v. 19: "V'atoh kisvu lochem es hashiroh hazose" - And now write for yourselves this song - Those who tally the 613 mitzvos count this as a mitzvoh, to write a Torah scroll. However, many authorities, among them the Rosh, rule that one fulfills this mitzvoh with writing "Torah sheb'al peh" and in particular halachic rulings. This is alluded to in the word "v'atoh," and NOW. At the time Moshe gave this mitzvoh it could only be done through writing an actual Torah scroll. In the future writing "Torah sheb'al peh" is also a fulfillment of this mitzvoh. (Imrei Emes)

Ch. 31, v. 19: "Kisvu lochem" - Write for yourselves - The gemara says that even if one owns a Torah scroll that he has inherited from his father, he should still write his own, "lochem." This can be interpreted to mean as follows: One has inherited Torah values and seen his father apply this in his own life. Nevertheless, one should write his own Torah scroll. He has to realize that with the passage of generations there are new challenges and that which was a priority and at the top of the list to do or not do, might well not be all that important now, given that there are new challenges. He has to write his "own Torah." (n.l.)

Ch. 31, v. 19: "Simoh b'fihem" - Place it into their mouths - Do not write a Torah scroll and place it into a Holy Ark and let it sit there. Instead, write it and put it into your children's mouth. Teach the Torah to them so that will be their conversation. (Avnei Ozel)

Ch. 31, v. 26: "Loko'ach es sefer haTorah ha'zeh v'samtem oso mitzad arone bris Hashem Elokeichem v'hoyoh shom b'cho l'eid" - Take this Torah scroll and place it at the side of the Ark of the Covenant of Hashem your G-d and it will be there for you as a testimony - The importance of placing the Torah scroll next to the Holy Ark is that no one enters the Holy of Holies except the Kohein Godol, and only on Yom Kippur. This is a safeguard that protects against anyone taking this "master" Torah scroll and falsifying the text. (Sforno)

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


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