Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 25, v. 1: "B'har Sinai" - Why is the mitzvoh of "shmitoh" highlighted as coming from Har Sinai more than other mitzvos?

2) Ch. 25, v. 2,3: "V'shovso ho'oretz ......, Sheish shonim tizra" - Shouldn't the order be reversed, first stating that for six years you will plant, and then on the seventh year the earth shall rest?

3) Ch. 25, v. 3: "Sheish shonim tizra SO'DECHO" - Compare this with "Sheish shonim tizra ARTZECHO" (Shmos 23:10).

4) Ch. 26, v. 4: "GishmeiCHEM" - Why doesn't the verse say "g'shomim" rather than "gishmeiCHEM?"

5) Ch. 26, v. 21: "Keri" - This word appears as is or with the prefix letter Beis in this chapter seven times. The "Mesoroh" writes that the first and second time it is "keri," the third and fourth time it is "b'keri," the fifth time it is "keri," and the sixth and seventh time it is "b'keri." The "Mesoroh" goes on to say that where we find "es" it is "keri," and where we find "v'es" it is "b'keri." What does this connection with the words "es" and "v'es" mean?



The Baalei Tosfos in Hadar Z'keinim explain this. From the beginning of Vayikra until this point, the mitzvos were told to Moshe from Ohel Mo'eid, which was on the Mikdosh campus, since the mitzvos were all relevant to the Mikdosh, korbonos, purity, impurity, restrictions to entry into the Mikdosh area, and the dedication. (They do not explain the mitzvos of parshas Emor.) From this point on, there is no direct connection to the Mikdosh, hence the mitzvos were told to Moshe at Har Sinai. If you will ask, "Why is this included in Vayikra altogether," they answer that the mitzvos of B'har and B'chukosai are at least indirectly connected to the Mikdosh or at least to the Kohanim.

Rashi quotes the T.K. 25:1 which says that this teaches us that just as the mitzvoh of "shmitoh" was given with all its details at Har Sinai, likewise all the mitzvos of the Torah were given to Moshe at Har Sinai.

The Chasam Sofer explains this to mean that just as it is obvious that the mitzvoh of "shmitoh" could not possibly be a man-made mitzvoh, since no one in his right mind would give such a demanding mitzvoh, and furthermore, no one would dare give a promise of the earth giving forth a triple bounty in one year, and therefore it is clear that this mitzvoh was given by Hashem, likewise, we should realize that all the mitzvos of the Torah with all their details were also given by Hashem.


The Taamo Dikro answers with the words of the Mechilta in parshas Mishpotim. If you will keep the Sabbatical year properly, you have a Heavenly assurance that for six consecutive years you will plant. If however, you don't keep the laws of the Sabbatical year, then you will only plant three of the six years, as Hashem will weaken the growing power of the earth and it will only be able to bring forth produce if planting is done on alternate years.


The Mechilta explains that the choice of the word ARTZECHO is used because it alludes to the time of the entry of the bnei Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel in the days of Yehoshua. No one had a specific parcel of land to call his field, although the land was the possession of the bnei Yisroel. (Do not misunderstand this to mean that "shmitoh" calculations began immediately upon entry into Eretz Yisroel. They did not begin until after 14 years of conquest and division of the land.) Our verse, which expresses itself with SO'DECHO alludes to the re-entry into Eretz Yisroel after being in golus.


1) The B'eir Yoseif answers with the words of the Medrash Vayikra Rabboh 27:1. A story is related there of a king from Africa visiting Alexander of Macedonia. The African king asked many questions of Alexander in the vein of gathering information about the justice system of Macedonia. The African king quickly realized that there was no true justice and basically Alexander usurped what he could for the government, a.k.a. himself.

Feeling that the people of Macedonia were very unworthy for having such an unjust system, he blurted out, "Does it ever rain in this country?" Alexander promptly responded in the affirmative. The African king retorted, "The rain must come in the merit of the animals that reside here, as the people don't merit it."

The medrash goes on to say that this is a correct concept, as is stated in T'hilim 145:9, "V'rachamov al kol maasov - Hashem's mercy is upon all his creations (even animals)," and even if the people don't deserve rainfall, it may come so that the animals shouldn't suffer, as is also stated in T'hilim 36:7, "odom u'v'heimoh soshia Hashem - You, Hashem bring salvation to man and to animals," to be interpreted as "through the merit of the animals You bring salvation to man."

The blessing of our verse tells us that when we follow Hashem's dictates He will deliver YOUR rains, rains that will come in the merit of the people and not in the merit of animals, in a timely manner.

2) The gemara Taanis 10 says that the rains that Hashem sends to Eretz Yisroel come directly from Him and not through an intermediary, as is the case with all of "chutz lo'oretz." This is part of the special connection Hashem has with the bnei Yisroel, and is therefore correctly called YOUR rains. (Abarbanel)

3) The Torah is called "mayim," and in the merit of the bnei Yisroel's committing themselves to fulfill the Torah, water is likewise called theirs, meaning that their prayers for rain are more readily heard than those of other nations. (Tzror Hamor)


There is a verse in M'lochim 1:8:64 that has the words "es" and "v'es" appearing seven times. The order of these two words corresponds exactly to the order of "keri" and "b'keri" as they appear in our chapter. (Minchas Shai, Chid"o, and GR"A)



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

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