Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON PARSHIOS NITZOVIM-VA'YEILECH 5773 - BS"D

1) Ch. 29, v. 9: "A'tem nitzovim" - You are standing steadfast - Why did Moshe choose to use the word "nitzovim," rather than "omdim?"

2) Ch. 29, v. 9: "Kulchem" - All of you - Since "all of you" is mentioned, why bother delineating "rosheichem shivteichem" etc.?

3) Ch. 29, v. 22: "Gofris vo'melach sreifoh chol artzoh k'mahpeichas S'dome vaAmororoh" - Sulfur and salt a conflagration of all her land as the upheaval of S'dome and Amoroh - The destruction Hashem will send will be self-evident. What need is there to equate this with the upheaval of S'dome, Amoroh, Admoh, and Tzvo'im?

4) Ch. 29, v. 25: "Va'yeilchu va'yaavdu elohim acheirim" - And they went and served foreign gods - "Va'yeilchu" seems superfluous.

5) Ch. 31, v. 25: "Va'y'tzav Moshe es haL'viim nosei aron bris Hashem" - And Moshe commanded the Levites carriers of the ark of the covenant of Hashem - Where the Levites mentioned here L'viim or Kohanim who are also of the tribe of Levi?

ANSWERS:

#1

"Omdim" only connotes standing at this moment, while "nitzovim" indicates permanence, as in "matzeivoh," a single-stone altar, an item that has extreme durability.

Moshe, at the end of his life, is conveying an important message. He is stating that he, and likewise future leaders, will eventually die. However, the nation as a united group will remain permanently. (Rabbi S.R. Hirsch)

Alternatively, you will remain standing as long as you remain committed to the Torah, about which at the time of their accepting the responsibility and privilege to adhere to it, the Torah says, "va'yisyatzvu b'sachtis hohor." Just as there the word form N-TZ-B was used, the same is used here. (Baal Haturim)

#2

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)

#3

The next verse states that the nations will wonder why Hashem has wrought such utter destruction upon us. If not for the historical fact that the same happened many years earlier to S'dome etc. (which was known to be Hashem's response as He sent angels to warn Lot and his family), the gentile nations might not attribute the present destruction to Hashem. (Sforno)

#4

Perhaps it is an allusion to the ruling that although thought to sin is not accrued to sinning itself, this is not so when it comes to thoughts of idol worship. When someone GOES to serve false gods he has not yet sinned by serving them, but has decided to do so, as he is only on his way. Our verse tells us that even for going one is accountable. (Nirreh li)

#5

The Ibn Ezra says that the Levites of our verse are not any of the Levites, but rather, specifically the Kohanim, who are also members of the Levite tribe. Our verse refers back to verse 9, which clearly states that Moshe gave the Torah he wrote to the Kohanim, who were carrying the Aron.

However, it seems that the Sforno disagrees with the Ibn Ezra. On verse 9 he writes that the Kohanim only carried the Aron when a miracle was to take place. It seems that the miracle was that all the bnei Yisroel fit in front of the Aron, as mentioned in the Ibn Ezra on Dvorim 29:9.

Perhaps the earlier verse discusses the giving of a Torah scroll to the Kohanim as representatives of the Levite tribe, and our verse the giving of the Torah that was placed into/next to the Aron. The second Torah might have been placed there when the bnei Yisroel were no longer miraculously all in front of the Aron.

Rabbi S.R. Hirsch notes that when the Kohanim carried the Aron the verse (31:9) says "hanosim," those who are carrying, while in our verse says "nosei arone," carriers. The Kohanim only carried it on special occasions, while the Levites had the regular task of carrying it, again seemingly in disagreement with the Ibn Ezra.


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


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