CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS NITZOVIM 5768 - BS"D
1) Ch. 29, v. 9: "Kulchem" - All of you - Since "all of you" is mentioned, why bother delineating "rosheichem shivteichem" etc.?
2) Ch. 29, v. 17: "Pen yeish bochem shoresh poreh rosh v'laanoh" - Lest there is among you a root, an origin, that will profuse a bitter growth - Why the stress on the ROOT? Isn't it sufficient to concentrate on the sin itself?
3) Ch. 29, v. 19: "Haksuvoh ba'seifer ha'zeh" - This verse tells us that for the person who will not comply with the dictates of the Torah there await punishments that are WRITTEN in this Book. Yet in the admonitions of the previous parsha we find the opposite, "asher LO chosuv b'seifer haTorah hazose" (28:61).
4) Ch. 30, v. 11: "Ki hamitzvoh hazose" - The Ramban says that these words teach us that it is a mitzvoh to repent, to do teshuvoh, for our sins. According to the Ramban why is there no brochoh instituted for the act of teshuvoh?
5) Ch. 30, v. 14: "Ki korove ei'lecho hadovor m'ode b'ficho uvilvovcho laasoso" - Because the matter is very close to you in your mouth and in your heart to do it - The Ramban explains that this verse refers to teshuvoh, and "b'ficho" refers to oral confession, while "bilvovcho" refers to the emotional commitment to walk the straight and narrow in the future.
Why is the "b'ficho" component mentioned ahead of the "bilvovcho" component? One surely has the intent to repent in his heart before he confesses to
We find "kulchem" by another assembly, mentioned in parshas Dvorim, "vatik'r'vun eilai kulchem" (1:22). Rashi comments that they came to complain to Moshe as a disorganized disrespectful group. This is why our verse specifies the different types of people, to indicate that they assembled in an orderly respectful manner. (Arvei Nachal)
The ROOT of sin, say both Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonoson ben Uziel is in the realm of thought. This ROOT is so pernicious that it is felt generations before it comes to fruition. For example, when Efrayim was brought in front of Yaakov for a blessing (Breishis 48:8), Yaakov's spirit of prophecy left him because he sensed that the evil Y'rovom the son of N'vot would descend from him, even though that would take place numerous generations later. Similarly, the M.R. Shmos 41:1 says that when the bnei Yisroel were traversing Yam Suf they took an idol, called the "pessel" of Michoh, with them. This cannot be taken literally, as Michoh who made the idol lived numerous centuries later. Rather we must say that his ancestor entertained some thought of idol worship when passing through Yam Suf. As well, the gemara Sanhedrin 82b says that Zimri ben Solu, Shlumi'eil ben Tzurishadai, and Sho'ul the son of the Canaanite woman were one and the same person. This is also not to be taken literally. It is forbidden to think that Shlumi'eil, who was the tribal head of Shimon and therefore obviously a very righteous and elevated person, was one and the same as Zimri, a great sinner. Rather the gemara means to tell us that since Zimri committed such a great sin, it was obviously a great stain on the tribe of Shimon and in particular its leader, Shlumi'eil. The ROOT of Zimri's sinning was based in Sho'ul the son of the Canaanite woman. Zimri's audacious act generations later was the OUTGROWTH. (GR"A in A'derres Eliyohu)
The medrash says that this refers to the untimely death of the righteous. The person who does not comply with the Torah would likely treat the threat of the untimely death of the righteous lightly, saying "sholo-m yi'h'yeh li," since he is not of their camp. Therefore the Torah says in our verse that the punishments that await him are the ones that are written in the Torah, the rest of the 98 admonitions of parshas Ki Sovo, which even he would agree would impact upon him heavily. (Va'y'da'beir Moshe)
The Beis Yitzchok Y.D. #168 s.k. 12 answers that a blessing is never instituted for a mitzvoh that can only come about through an "aveiroh" first being committed. An example for this would be the mitzvoh of "hashovas g'zeiloh," the returning of an object that one stole. The Birkas Aharon on Brochos maamar 308, answers that a mitzvoh which is done only by the mind and not in action requires no brochoh. An example for this would be "bitul chomeitz." Although a blessing is said prior to the search for chomeitz on the night of the 14th of Nison, nevertheless, no blessing is made at the time of bitul on the morning of the 14th.
Perhaps another answer might be that a person does make a blessing on the act of repenting. The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 2:10 and the gemara Shabbos 153a say that a person should repent a day before his death. In practical terms this means that he should repent daily. We make a daily blessing (save Shabbos and Yom Tov) of "Horotzeh bis'shuvoh."
This teaches us that one should verbally confess as soon as he has even the slightest feeling of remorse, even before his heart is filled with remorse. Just by verbalizing that he has done such and such a sin he is well on the way to total teshuvoh. (Rabbi Hirsch Levinson, son-in-law of the Holy Chofetz Chaim)
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