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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 29, v. 9: "A'tem nitzovim kulchem ha'yom lifnei Hashem" - You are all standing today in front of Hashem - "Ha'yom" is a composite of the letter Hei, whose numerical value is 5, and "yom." There are 5 days that all of the bnei Yisroel stand in judgment in front of Hashem. They are, the 2 days of Rosh Hashonoh, Yom Kippur, Hoshana Raba, and Shmini Atzerres (day of "m'siras piskin). (GR"A in A'derres Eliyohu)

Ch. 29, v. 12: "L'maan hokim os'choh ha'yom lo l'om" - So that you are established today for Him as a nation - These verses are discussing the positive effects of commitment to "arvus," each individual's responsibility for the actions of every ben Yisroel. This is an awesome undertaking. If someone has acted incorrectly all have some level of responsibility. If so, how does this help establish us as a nation? If anything, it seems that the opposite is true. It adds demerits to each of us.

Without "arvus" we would not take notice of another's acts and he would turn further and further away from the Torah until he might ch"v totally abandon it. The next person and the next person might do the same. By having this "mashgiach" system in place, when someone does not toe the line he is almost immediately reprimanded, and thus we remain loyal to the Torah. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 29, v. 26: "Va'yichar af Hashem bo'oretz ha'hee" - And the anger of Hashem was kindled in that land - There is a message of consolation in these words. Hashem's anger targeted the land, "shofach chamoso al ho'eitzim v'al ho'avonim," and not onto the people. (Sha"ch)

Ch. 30, v. 14: "Ki korove ei'lecho hadovor m'ode b'ficho uvilvovcho laasoso" - Because the matter is very close to you in your mouth and in your heart to do it - The Ramban explains that this verse refers to teshuvoh, and "b'ficho" refers to oral confession, while "bilvovcho" refers to the emotional commitment to walk the straight and narrow in the future.

Why is the "b'ficho" component mentioned ahead of the "bilvovcho" component? One surely has the intent to repent in his heart before he confesses to having sinned? This teaches us that one should verbally confess as soon as he has even the slightest feeling of remorse, even before his heart is filled with remorse. Just by verbalizing that he has done such and such a sin he is well on the way to total teshuvoh. (Rabbi Hirsch Levinson, son-in-law of the Holy Chofetz Chaim)


Ch. 31, v. 7: "Ki atoh tovo es ho'om" - Because you will come along with the nation - These are the words of Moshe to Yehoshua. Compare this with "ki atoh toVI es ho'om" (verse 23). Rashi explains that TOVO indicates that Yehoshua will be equal to other tribal heads. Verse 23, which is Hashem's exhortation to Yehoshua (Through Moshe), where TOVI is used, teaches us that Yehoshua is the master over the whole nation and will bring them even if it requires coercion. The Gri"z Brisker derives from these two verses that when Yehoshua took on the role of leadership, had both the status of a Nossi and the King of the nation.

Ch. 31, v. 12: "Hakheil es ho'om ..v'hataf" - Assemble the nation .. and the children - The gemara Chagigoh 3a relates that Rabbi Elozor ben Azarioh explained why the men and women attended. He asked, "Why did the young children come, as they were incapable of absorbing knowledge from the king's reading of the Torah?" He answered that the Torah gave this command to bestow reward upon those who brought the young children. The Mechilta adds, "Fortunate are you, our Patriarch Avrohom, for having Rabbi Elozor ben Azarioh as your descendant." This deserves clarification.

One who totally immerses himself in pursuit of Torah knowledge can amass great knowledge, while one who spends some of his time dispensing his knowledge will not have as much time to amass more and more. Avrohom took the latter approach. Likewise, when one comes for "hakheil," his experience will be maximized if he is not disturbed by children who are in attendance. However, if they do attend there is some level of absorption of the experience, possibly on a subliminal level. This bit of "dissemination of Torah," albeit at the expense of gaining a maximum experience for oneself, is a lesson in priorities. Hence Rabbi Elozor ben Azarioh mirrors our Patriarch Avrohom's viewpoint. (Rabbi Noson haKohein Adler in M'orose Aish)

Ch. 31, v. 17: "V'choroh api vo va'yom hahu vaazavtim" - And My anger will burn in HIM on that day and I will forsake THEM - Why the change from singular to plural? This is in keeping with the maxim that when a person sins he not only affects himself by possibly putting himself into the category of those who have a majority of liabilities, but he can likewise affect the balance of liabilities against merits of the whole world, putting it into the same category. Therefore our verse tells us that through the anger kindled by one person's sinning it is possible that Hashem will forsake many. (M'leches Mach'she'ves)

Ch. 31, v. 19: "V'lamdoh es bnei Yisroel simoh b'fi'hem" - And teach it to the bnei Yisroel place it into their mouth - What is meant by "put it into their mouth"? Moshe was exhorting the bnei Yisroel to keep the Torah's laws and if they would ch"v transgress they would be punished. The gemara Sanhedrin 81b says that for one to be liable to punishment he must be warned and must also respond that he has heard the warning, the accompanying punishment, and accepts this upon himself. "Simoh b'fi'hem" means to have them verbalize that they accept all the above. (Rabbi Mordechai Gimpel Yafah)

On a purely technical level this seems to not be accurate, as Heavenly intervention requires no warning, let alone a response.

Ch. 31, v. 28: "Hakhilu ei'lay es kol ziknei shivteichem v'shote'reichem" - Assemble for me all the elders of your tribes and your enforcement officers - Since Moshe was to exhort the assembled about the rewards and punishments inherent in compliance and non-compliance with the Torah, bringing the enforcing officers seems out of place. However, this is readily understood if we remember that Moshe was speaking to an assemblage of L'viim (verse 25). Since the enforcement officers came from the ranks of the L'viim it was appropriate to have them at the assemblage. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 31, v. 29: "V'koros Eschem Horo'oh B'acharis Ha'yomim" - And the bad will come upon you at the end of days - Even though our sages say that the trials and tribulations that will be a prelude to the end of days will be extremely challenging, they will be administered with love, as indicated by the first letters of "Es'chem Horo'oh B'acharis Ha'yomim," which spell "ahavoh." (Ohr Torah)

Ch. 31, v. 30: "Ad tumom" - Until they were complete - Isn't it obvious that Moshe told over the "shiroh" in its entirety? This "shiroh" is an admonition. Moshe so strongly drove home the points included in these words "ad tumom," until the people totally repented and "they were complete." (Chidushei HoRi"m)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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