by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VO'ES'CHANAN 5768 BS"D
Ch. 3, v. 26: "Va'yisa'beir bi Hashem l'maanchem" - And Hashem angered in me on your account - Although Rashi explains that "l'maanchem" means 'because of you," others say that it means "for your sake," for your benefit. What benefit did the bnei Yisroel derive from Moshe's being denied ingress into Eretz Yisroel?
1) Had he entered he would have immediately had the Beis Hamikdosh built and it wold have had permanence. When the bnei Yisroel would sin grievously Hashem would not take out His wrath on the physical building, and would have ch"v taken it out on the bnei Yisroel themselves. (Malbim and others)
2) Since Moshe would die and be buried in the desert he would lead the generation of desert wanderers into Eretz Yisroel at the time of "t'chias ha'meisim."
3) Moshe would be buried in the desert across from the location of the false god baal p'ore. As explained in the gemara at the end of the first chapter of Sotoh, this brings atonement for the sin of baal p'ore. See Tosfos there for elaboration.
4) Although some commentators apply these concepts to the verse that says "biglalchem" in the previous sedrah, they seem to be better applied here, as the word "l'maanchem" more readily lends itself to be translated as "for your benefit" than does "biglalchem."
Ch. 3, v. 26: "Al tosef da'beir eiloy" - Do not continue to speak to me - It seems that with this response the door of entry to Eretz Yisroel was closed, shut, and sealed for Moshe. Was there any hope of his meriting entry to Eretz Yisroel at this point? M.R. Dvorim #7 says that had the bnei Yisroel prayed to Hashem that they wanted only Moshe as their leader in Eretz Yisroel, Hashem would have complied with their entreaties.
Ch. 4, v. 2: "Lo sosifu al hadovor asher onochi m'tza'veh es'chem v'lo sig'r'u mi'menu" - You shall not add upon the matter that I command you and you shall not diminish from it - Rashi gives some examples. You shall not wear tefillin that contain five chapters, nor tefillin that contain only three chapters. The Ramban says that not only these cases are included in the prohibitions, but also one who resides in a Sukoh for eight days or one who does so for only six days.
The Ramban's examples differ from Rashi's. Rashi gives examples that add or detract from the basic mitzvoh. A set of tefillin that contains three or five chapters is a deviation from the basic mitzvoh. Residing in a Sukoh for an eighth day does not intrinsically change the residing that was done properly on the previous seven days. Nevertheless, because the intention of residing there for an eighth day was "l'shem mitzvoh," one has transgressed the sin of "not increasing," even though the mitzvoh of the previous seven days remains intact. By residing in a Sukoh for six days only, there are both the prohibition of "v'lo sig'r'u" and not residing in the Sukoh on the seventh day. Rashi's "bal tigra" and "bal tosif" are of the same nature, while the Ramban's differ. (Ponim Yofos)
Ch. 4, v. 34: "Lokachas lo goy mi'kerev goy" - To take a nation from within a nation - The M.R. on parshas Acharei says that it was difficult for Hashem to extract the bnei Yisroel from within the Egyptians, as both had the "bluris" hair style and both wore garments that contained shaatnez.
Ch. 4, v. 34: "B'masos" - Rashi says that this means tests, such as, "hispo'eir olai" (Shmos 8). Both Targumim say it means with the melt down of Paroh's and all the Egyptians' hearts through the 10 plagues.
Ch. 4, v. 34: "B'osos" - With signs - Rashi says that this refers to the signs of the staff turning into a snake, to Moshe's hand being stricken with leprosy, and the water turning into blood in front of the bnei Yisroel, all signs that he was Hashem's agent. The Malbim says that this refers to the specific plagues that taught Paroh certain lessons, "So that he know that I am Hashem, that I am active on earth, that there is none like I am."
Ch. 4, v. 34: "Uvmofsim" - And with wonders - This refers to all ten of the plagues, which were each a wonder, contrary to the laws of nature. (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Ch. 4, v. 34: "Uvmilchomoh" - And with war - Rashi says that this refers to what took place at Yam Suf. Ibn Ezra says that it refers to the slaying of the first-born and the melt-down of the Egyptian deities.
Ch. 4, v. 34: "B'yad chazokoh" - With a strong hand - Ibn Ezra says that this refers to the bnei Yisroel's leaving Egypt "b'yad romoh," in plain public view. The GR"A says it means with open defiance of the Egyptians. The explanation of the GR"A requires some clarification as the verse in T'hilim 105:38 says, "Somach Mitzrayim b'tzeisom ki nofal pachdom a'leihem." However, we might say that they had mixed feelings.
Ch. 4, v. 34: "Uvizro'a n'tu'yoh" - And with an outstretched arm" - Ibn Ezra says that this means the pillars of fire and cloud that protected the bnei Yisroel. The GR"A says that it refers to the bnei Yisroel's exodus in plain view, and the Malbim says that it means Hashem taking action not as a result of any merit the bnei Yisroel had, a.k.a. "isarusa dil'eila."
Ch. 4, v. 34: "Uvmoro'im g'dolim" - Targum Onkelos translates this as "with awesome visions," sourcing "uvmoro'im" from "r'iyoh." The Hagodoh shel Pesach seems to say the same, saying "uvmoroh godol" is "giluy haSh'chinoh."
Ibn Ezra says that it refers to the happenings at Yam Suf, the splitting of the sea and the death of the Egytian army. These happenings brought great fear into the hearts of the neighbouring nations, as is related in the "shiras ha'yam."
Ch. 4, v. 35: "Atoh ho'reiso lodaas ki Hashem hu hoElokim ein ode milvado" - You have shown to make known that Hashem is the G-d there is none besides Him - There was a prevalent theological belief that there is ch"v a G-d who bestows good on the world and another one who bestows punishment. Some commentators say that this is why the Ten Commandments in parshas Yisro begin with, "I am Hashem your G-d Who has teken you out of Egypt," rather than "Who has created the world." By stating that Hashem took us out of Egypt the verse advises that there is but one Deity who has both punished the Egyptians and taken us out, doing both good and punishing. Perhaps this is also the intention of our verse. You have shown that Hashem is Elokim, that Hashem, "midas horachamim," and Elokim, "midas hadin," are one. There is no other. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 4, v. 36: "L'yasreko" - Targum Onkelos, Rabbeinu Myuchos, and the Rada"k translate this word as "to teach you." Thr rada"k elaborates. "Musor" can either mean to teach ethis or to cause pain. Here where the verse begins with, "Min hashomayim hishmia es kolo," it is obvious that "l'yasreko" must mean to teach you, as words have been spoken. However, the Ibn Ezra translates it as "to cause you pain." Since Hashem's transmitting His words directly to the bnei Yisroel caused them to fear for their lives, "v'al y'da'beir imonu Elokim pen nomus," this brought them to fear greatly. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel combines these two translations and says that it means, "Hashem has caused you pain as a means to teach you."
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