Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) 1) 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.

2) 2) Ch. 29, v. 19: "Lo yoveh Hashem slo'ach lo" - Hashem will not have the DESIRE to forgive him - Why doesn't the verse simply say "Lo yislach lo Hashem"?

3) ) Ch. 29, v. 27: "Va'yash*L*i'cheim el eretz acherres" - We find an oversized letter Lamed in the middle of the word "va'yash*L*i'cheim." What is its significance?

4) Ch. 31, v. 17,18: "V'histarti fonay mei'hem v'hoyoh le'echol umtzo'uhu ro'ose rabose v'tzorose v'omar ba'yom hahu al ki ein Elokay b'kirbi m'tzo'uni horo'ose ho'eileh, V'onochi hasteir astir ponay ba'yom hahu al kol horo'oh asher osoh ki fonoh el elohim acheirim" - And I will hide My countenance from them and he will be as fodder and there will find him many bad happenings that will compete one with another and he will say on that day, "Because my Hashem is not within me have these bad happenings found me." And I will surely hide My countenance on that day as a result of all the bad that he has done because he has turned to gods who are strangers - If the person realizes that his lack of belief in Hashem has brought about difficulties, why does Hashem respond negatively by hiding His countenance?

5) Ch. 31, v. 28: "V'o'idoh bom es hashomayim v'es ho'oretz"- The letter Vov of the word "V'o'idoh" appears as the first letter of the first word on a new column in a Torah scroll. Although it is unusual to have any letter besides a Vov as the first letter of a column, this word is accentuated, because otherwise another word beginning with a Vov might have been the first word of this column. What is the importance of emphasizing the Vov of specifically this word?

Answer to questions on parshas Ki Sovo:

1) Ch. 26, v. 5: "V'oniso" - What is the translation of this word?

1) Say in a raised voice. (Rashi, as per gemara Gitin 83a, Sotoh 32b) 2) Respond to the Kohein who has asked you, "What is this that you are bringing?" (Ibn Ezra)

3) Open your remarks. (Ibn Ezra, as per Iyov 3:2, "Va'yaan Iyov horishon")

4) Act in a humble subordinate manner, as an "oni." (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh.) Feel that you have received an undeserved wonderful gift from the King of Kings, which automatically brings about this feeling of humbleness and appreciation.

2) Ch. 26, v. 5: "Arami oveid ovi" - Who is Arami?

1) Rashi says it refers to Lovon.

2) Ibn Ezra and the Sforno say that it refers to Yaakov Ovinu.

3) Rashbam says it refers to Avrohom Ovinu.

3) Ch. 26, v. 9: "Va'y'vi'einu el hamokom ha'zeh" - And He has brought us to this place and he has given us this land. Rashi explains "this place" to mean the location of the Beis Hamikdosh. It would then seem that the two occurrences mentioned here are out of order, as the bnei Yisroel first were given Eretz Yisroel, and only afterwards were at the location of the of the Beis Hamikdosh.

1) Horav Chaim Aboleffia answers this with the words of the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel in Shmos 19:4, on the words "Vo'essoh es'chem al kanfei n'shorim" which most commentators translate as I WILL carry you on eagles' wings. The Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates it as I HAVE carried you on eagles' wings. He relates that on the night of the exodus from Egypt the bnei Yisroel were miraculously transported to the site of the future Beis Hamikdosh and ate their Pesach sacrifices there. Afterwards they were transported back to Egypt and left the next morning. According to this, the bnei Yisroel were at the location of the Beis Hamikdosh first, and later were given the land.

There is a bit of difficulty with this interpretation, as the verse says "And He has brought US." Since this verse is referring to the new generation that is about to enter the land, the word US is problematic. It was the previous generation which had died that was brought to the Mikdosh site to eat the Pesach sacrifice.

2) Rabbi Shmuel Wolkin answers, instead, with a Medrash Shochar Tov on T'hilim 68, s. 9, that says that at the time of the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai, Har Hamorioh (the site of the future Beis Hamikdosh) was uprooted and brought next to Har Sinai. At the time of the giving of the Torah the souls of all the bnei Yisroel, including future generations were present, as it says in Dvorim 29:14. Therefore it can be said that Hashem brought US to this place.

3) The Ari z"l writes that there really is no place for a public Mikdosh outside of Eretz Yisroel as "chutz lo'oretz" does not have sufficient sanctity. The only way it was possible to have the Mikdosh in the desert was by virtue of Hashem's "exporting" the sanctity of the location of the future Beis Hamikdosh to the desert. This spot is called "PI HASHEM." Whenever the bnei Yisroel traveled to a new location the terra sancta "PI HASHEM" would travel with them and would be the exact spot where they would relocate the Mishkon. Thus the verse is interpreted as "al PI HASHEM yachanu v'al PI HASHEM yiso'u" (Bmidbar 9:20), the bnei Yisroel came to rest with the location called PI HASHEM and traveled with the same location, PI HASHEM.

With the words of the Ari z"l we might have another answer. The location of the future Beis Hamikdosh "came" to the desert, thus the bnei Yisroel, even those who were born in the desert and eventually entered Eretz Yisroel, were at the location of the Beis Hamikdosh before entry into Eretz Yisroel, thus answering the original question and avoiding the problem raised by Rabbi Wolkin. A most interesting numeric allusion to the words of the Ari z"l is that "al pi Hashem yachanu v'al pi Hashem yiso'u" (i"h) equals "Zeh hu m'kome haMikdosh." (Nirreh li)

4) Ch. 26, v. 17-18: "He'emarta, He'emircha" - What is the translation of these words?

1) Rashi says: You have separated.

2) Rashi in gemara Chagigoh 3a says: You have praised.

3) Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Sforno, and Daas Z'keinim (first translation) say: You have elevated.

4) Ibn Ezra in the name of Rebbi Yehuda haLevi haS'faradi says: You have caused Hashem to say (that he has chosen you as his special nation).

5) Daas Z'keinim (second translation) says: You have exchanged (others, and are only loyal to Hashem).

6) Targum Yerushalmi says: You have coroneted as a king.

5) Ch. 28, v.10: "Sheim Hashem nikra" - The gemara M'nochos 35b and the medrash Shir Hashirim 7:6 (See also Targum Yonoson ben Uziel) say that this refers to the tefillin "she'b'rosh," literally IN one's head. We have an halacha l'Moshe miSinai that the exterior of the tefillin housing of the shel rosh has the letter shin on it. a) Why a "shin"? b) Why does one of the two "shinin" have four strokes and four heads rather than the normal three headed "shin"?


1) An allusion from our verse, the first letters of the words "SHeim-Hashem (yud)-Nikra" create "shin."

2) The shin is indicative of Hashem's name as the four letter name of Hashem, yud, kay, vov, kay equals 26, and their corresponding letters in the "atbash" transpermutation system is mem, tzaddi, pei, tzaddi which equal 300, the numerical value of the letter shin (Beis Yoseif on the Tur Orach Chaim #32 in the name of the R"i Askandrani).

3) The Beis Yoseif in the name of the Orchos Chaim #27 says that "shin" equals 300 and this is the number of days per year that a person wears tefillin. I have found this last reason in the Rabbeinu Bachyei on our verse as well.

4) The Toras Chaim #101 says that since we have knots in the tefillin straps that form a dalet and a yud, we create a shin on the shel rosh to complete the name of Hashem, Shin-Dalet-Yud.


1) The Tosfos in gemara M'nochos 35a, d.h. "Shin" says in the name of the Shimushoh Rabboh that the three-headed shin corresponds to the normal writing we find in a Torah. The four-headed shin corresponds to the way the shin looked in the luchos of the Ten Commandments. Since the script of the luchos was actually a lack of stone, as the letters were etched out, the physical part of each letter was its background. A circle drawn around a three-headed shin would loosely produce an inverted four-headed shin.

2) The Likutei Hagohos on the Tikun Tefillin #9 quotes a gemara (which we do not find) which says that Moshe asked Hashem the details of creating tefillin. Hashem said that the shel rosh requires a shin. Moshe asked how it appears, and Hashem (kav'yochol) showed Moshe four fingers. Moshe didn't know if the intention was a four-headed shin like the four fingers he was shown, or a three headed shin like the spaces between the four fingers, so he made both.

3) The Zohar interperets the words "shivasayim" (Tehillim 12:7) as seven times seven. He says that this refers to tefillin shel rosh. He explains that the shin is a composite of three zayins that are joined at their base. With a four-headed shin on one side and a three-headed shin on the other side, we have a total of seven zayins. Since the numeric value of zayin is seven, we have the fulfillment of "shivasayim," seven times seven.

4) The Baal Tikun Tefillin, Rabbi Avrohom of Zuns'heim, a Rishon, says that the configuration of the tefillin shel rosh corresponds to the encampment of Bnei Yisroel in the desert. There are a total of 12 stitches closing the tefillin, 3 on each side of the central cube. This corresponds to the 12 tribes encamped in the desert, 3 on each side of the central area of macha'neh L'viyoh and machaneh Sh'chinoh. In the centre, we have the cube that houses the script, parshios, of the tefillin. The cube corresponds to the ark and the script to the luchos which were inside. The ark had on its lid (kaporres) the two cherubs whose wings were spread aloft. The cherubs with their wings spread aloft loosely had a configuration similar to the letter shin. The luchos upon which the Ten Commandments were etched had as their first word, "onochi." Here again we have a striking similarity. The cube of the tefillin (k'tzitzoh) which houses the script of four paragraphs of the Torah has two letters shin on the outside, similar to the ark and the two cherubs. Rabbi Avrohom adds that these last two similarities are alluded to in the verse in T'hilim 119:162,"Sos onochi." "Sos" is spelled sin,sin. These are the two cherubs and also the two shins on the tefillin housing. Onochi, the letters sin and sin, symbolizing the two cherubs are over the Ten Commandments which begin with "onochi."

5) Rabbi Shimshon "Boruch She'omar" says that they are alluded to in Shir Hashirim 4:1,2. "L'tzamosheich" equals tefillin. The next verse begins with the word "Shin'ei'yich." We can interperet shin'ei'yich to mean "your two letters shin."

6) He also says that two shins in "mispar koton" (a gematria calculation that only deals with single integers and drops all tens, hundreds, etc.) equal six, to indicate the six days of the week that we don tefillin.

7) He also says that the three-headed shin corresponds to our three Patriarchs and the four-headed one to our Matriarchs. Possibly, the three-headed shin is three zayins, as mentioned above from the Holy Zohar, equaling 21, the same value as the first letters of our "Ovos," A-Y-Y. Rebbi Y.T.L. Michelhoizen (a Rishon) says that the acronym of the four Matriarchs S-R-R-L equals 710, and shin-yud-nun twice equal 700, plus add 10 for the extra yud stroke in the four headed shin (to which the Matriachs correspond) and we also have 710.

8) He also says that the three-headed shin corresponds to the three days a week that we read the Torah, and the four headed one to the four days we don't. Incidentally the word tefillin is plural, referring to the rosh and the yad. The singular form is "tefilloh." The word tefillin in gematria equals "l'rosh u'l'yad."



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

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