Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS KI SOVO 5767 - BS"D

1) Ch. 26, v. 3: "Higadti ha'yom" - How can one say that he has "related today" in the past tense? It is only after the giving of the Bikurim to the Kohein and his placing them in front of the altar that the Torah says "v'oniso v'omarto," - and you shall respond and you shall say ......" (verse 5).

2) Ch. 26, v. 5: "Arami oveid ovi" - Rashi says that this refers to Lovon of Aram. Why doesn't the verse clearly say "Lovon oveid ovi"?

3) Ch. 26. v. 5: "Va'yei'red Mitzraimoh" - What connection is there between Lovon's diabolical schemes and our patriarch Yaakov Ovinu's descending to Egypt?

4) Ch. 26, v. 13: "Lo ovarti mimitzvosecho" - I have not transgressed any of Your precepts - Why is there a requirement to make a verbal confession specifically when bringing the required tithing, "maa'seir," to the Beis Hamikdosh?

5) Ch. 27, v. 15: "Orur ho'ish asher YAA'SEH fessel u'ma'seichoh" - Why is this admonition expressed in the future tense, YAA'SEH, while all the others are expressed in the present tense, "makleh" (v. 16), "masig" (v. 17), "mashgeh" (v. 18), etc.?

ANSWERS:

#1

1) Sforno translates "higadti" as, "I have let it become known to all through my actions." This has already taken place with bringing the "bikurim" to Yerusholayim.

Perhaps with the interpretation of the Sforno of the word "higadti" we can have a new insight into a well-known section of the Pesach Hagodoh. "V'higadto l'vincho" (Shmos 13:8) - and you shall relate to your son. This is the mitzvoh of MAGID. The Hagodoh asks "Ee 'ba'yom hahu' yochol mi'b'ode yom? Talmud lomar 'baavur zeh, baavur zeh' lo omarti elloh bizman she'yeish matzoh u'moror munochim l'fo'necho," - since the verse says 'on that DAY,' might I not conclude that the mitzvoh of MAGID takes place while it is still during the day of the 14th, on the eve of Pesach? The Hagodoh answers that this is incorrect because the verse teaches us through the words 'baavur ZEH' that the mitzvoh of MAGID only takes place when you have "THIS" in front of you. "THIS" refers to the matzoh and moror, which you use only on the night of Pesach and not on the eve of Pesach.

According to the Sforno it is possible that the Hagodoh is asking that since we so clearly show through our actions of preparation of the Pesach sacrifice our connection to the values and ideals that Pesach encompasses, possibly this act in and of its own is a fulfillment of MAGID on the eve of the 15th of Pesach.

2) The Malbim says that the word "hagodoh" does not have to mean "telling verbally," as we see in T'hilim 19:2,4 "U'maa'sei yodov MAGID horokia, Ein omeir v'ein dvorim."

3) Haksav V'hakaboloh translates the word "higadti" as "I have been FORTUNATE," as we find "boh gad" (Breishis 30:11). Thus the one who brings his first ripened produce offering is stating, "I have been FORTUNATE today to be able to live in this land and bring "

#2

1) Rabbeinu Efrayim says that the Torah alludes to the character trait of Lovon "ramai," which is how he attempted to destroy Yaakov. The letters of "Arami" are the same as "ramai."

2) MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l writes that the medrash relates that the whole community knew of Lovon's trickery when he passed off Leah as Rochel, and no one came to the aid of Yaakov to advise him of the change. Thus every Arami attempted to destroy our Patriarch Yaakov, as they were all eager partners in Lovon's plans.

#3

Rabbi Moshe Alshich answers that we have a rule in the gemara Shabbos 10b and Megilloh 16b that a person should not show favouritism to one child over another. However it is appropriate to favour a first-born (see Sforno Bmidbar 7:18). This was especially true during the era when sacrificial servitude was done by a first-born. The feeling of jealousy towards Yosef by his brothers came about because they considered Reuvein the first-born, as Leah was Yaakov's first wife and Reuvein their first child. Had Yaakov married Rochel first, even though Yosef was born later than Reuvein was, since Yosef would have been the first child of the first wife Yaakov married, they would have considered Yosef the first-born. They would not have been jealous of Yosef in spite of his father's giving him preferential treatment. They would never have come to the point of selling him. In turn, there would not have been a need to descend to Egypt, which was a cleansing process, an atonement for the sale of Yosef. The whole chain of events was initiated by Lovon's tricking Yaakov at the time of Yaakov's marriage, by Lovon's switching Leah for Rochel. We now clearly see the connection between Lovon tricking Yaakov and his family descending to Egypt.

#4

1) Since we are relying on the integrity of the farmer, as no one can claim with certainty that he has not brought a full 1/10th of his produce, the Torah requires that he make this statement. It surely takes a lot of audacity to come to the holiest place on earth and make a public proclamation that he has not transgressed any aspect of bringing the tithe. (Abarbanel)

This seems to only explain this section of "viduy" of our verse, but not the rest.

2) Someone might want to retain "maa'seir" tithes for himself and not give them to the poor or the Levites. Having to make a verbal declaration to Hashem at the Beis Hamikdosh to the contrary, an outright lie, is beyond the audacity of almost everyone. This way we are assured that people will give their tithes to the intended recipients. (Rashbam)

#5

The gemara Kidushin 40a says that when a ben Yisroel only contemplates to sin, it is not counted as a sin. However, there is an exception in the case of thoughts of heresy and idol worship. In those matters a thought of sinning is also considered as sinning. Thus the other admonitions only apply to one who does them, hence present tense. When it comes to idol worship even planning to do so in the future is a sin, hence the future tense is used in this case. (Niflo'ose Chadoshose by Rabbi Noach Mindes)

If you will raise the question that we also find the future tense used in verse 26, "Orur asher lo YOKIM," we may say that either this does not count as an admonition, as it is a general term used to encompass all the previous admonitions, as we see from Rashi in verse 24 and the Ibn Ezra in verse 14, where they both say that there are a total of 11 admonitions. If we were to count verse 26 as well we would have 12 admonitions. Even if we were to count this as an admonition as is the opinion of some Baalei Tosfos, we can say that the reason the future tense is used is because the general admonition of this verse "Orur asher lo YOKIM es divrei haTorah hazose" includes the sin of heresy, as mentioned by the Ramban on this verse. As mentioned before, even thoughts of heresy are also a sin, thus justifying the use of the future tense in verse 26 as in verse 15.

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


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