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 5771 - BS"D

1) Ch. 26, v. 2: "V'samto ba'tenne" - The Rambam in hilchos Bikurim 2:15 writes that the Torah does not specify the amount required to be given for Bikurim. However, the Rabbis required a person to give 1/60th. Where in this parsha is this ration alluded?

2) Ch. 26, v. 7: "Va'yar Elokim es on'yeinu v'es amo'leinu v'es lachatzeinu" - What are these three types of travail?

3) Ch. 26, v. 12: "Bashonoh hashlishis shnas hamaa'seir" - Aren't the first and second years of the "shmitoh" cycle also years of "maa'seir?"

4) Ch. 27, v. 2,3: "V'hoyoh ba'yom asher taavru es haYardein vaha'keimoso l'cho avonim, V'chosavto a'lei'hen es kol divrei haTorah" - Why at this juncture, upon entering Eretz Yisroel, was it necessary to rejuvenate the bnei Yisroel with the complete Torah being written upon stones?

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

The Ba'al Haturim says that this is alluded to in the word "tenne" which in gematria equals 60. He adds that therefore the letter "Samach" does not appear anywhere in the chapter dealing with the laws of Bikurim. I believe his intention is that since one is required by Rabbinical decree to give a sixtieth, he will be left with 59 parts, not sixty. Therefore we don't have the letter that equals 60 in this chapter.

The Aliose Eliyohu (GR"A) on mishnayos Z'ro'im says in the name of the Yo'ir Kino that this amount is alluded to in our verse. The gemara K'subos 111b says that even a barren tree in Eretz Yisroel will produce enough fruit to require two donkeys to carry the load. The gemara B.M. 80a says that the carrying capacity of one donkey is 15 "so'oh." Thus one tree produces a minimum of 15 "so'oh" of fruit. We see from the mishnoh Bikurim 1:11 that even if a person owns only one tree he is required to bring Bikurim from its produce. The mishnoh Keilim 12:3 says that the vessel called "tenne" has the capacity of of a "so'oh" according to the commentary of Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenuroh. Our verse says that the Bikurim should be placed into a "tenne," which can be interpreted to mean to fill up the vessel. One-half a "so'oh" of produce is 1/60th of the produce of one tree, 30 "so'oh."

#2

The Rebbi R' Heshel says that what was supposed to be 400 years of enslavement in Egypt (Breishis 15:13) was compacted into 210 years in three manners:

1) The bnei Yisroel worked at night as well as by day.

2) Their population explosion brought about a large amount of work being done.

3) They had an extremely heavy and painful workload, "koshi hashibud."

He says that this is indicated in our verse and the next verse. "Va'yar Elokim es ON'YEINU v'es AMO'LEINU v'es LACHATZEINU. Va'yotzi'einu Hashem."

The Hagodoh tells us that "on'yeinu" refers to the men being separated from their wives at night. The men were forced to work at night as well as by day. "Amo'leinu" refers to their children. The great increase in the number of bnei Yisroel. "Lachatzeinu" refers to the great oppression. Their extremely heavy and painful workload. Because of all the above, "And Hashem took us out (earlier)"(verse 8).

#3

Rashi says that the term "shnas hamaa'seir," the year of (one) tithing, refers to the third year of the "shmitoh" cycle. Although there are two tithes that year, just as the previous two years, nevertheless, only ONE of the tithes of years one and two are tithed in year three, thus understand "shnas hamaa'seir" as the year of ONE of the two tithes.

Haksav V'hakaboloh finds this explanation a bit difficult since in fact the third year also has two tithes, that which is given to the Levi and that which is given to the poor. He translates the word "shnas" differently. Its meaning is CHANGE, as in "Ki ani Hashem lo SHONISI" (Malachi 3:6), the year of CHANGE of the tithing. The previous two years had tithing of "maa'seir rishon" and "maaseir sheini," and in the third year one tithes "maa'seir rishon" and "maa'seir oni."

#4

The Abarbanel writes that the writing of the complete Torah upon stones at the time of entry into Eretz Yisroel is similar to the writing of a mezuzoh for the doorposts of one's home. Just as the mezuzoh contains the text of acceptance of the Heavenly yoke, so too the bnei Yisroel were required to have the complete Torah written upon stones at the "gateway" to Eretz Yisroel. Thus when they will be victorious in their battles and vanquish the inhabitants of the land, they will remember that the success is not theirs, but rather, the hand of Hashem, "Hashem ish milchomoh" (Shmos 15:3).

#5

The gemara Kidushin 40a says that when a ben Yisroel only contemplates to sin this 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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