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 R'EI 5768 - BS"D

1) Ch. 12, v. 11: "V'chole mivchar nidreichem" - The Sifri 12:19 says that the word "v'chole" comes to include that even the first-born sacrifice, "b'chor," should also be "choice." Since a "b'chor" is the first-born, how is it possible to offer that which is choice?

2) Ch. 14, v. 1: "Bonim a'tem laShem Elokeichem lo sisgode'du" - You are sons to Hashem your G-d do not gouge your flesh - The gemara Y'vomos 13b derives from "lo sisgode'du" that it is prohibited to create factions of discord and acrimony, "agudos agudos." How does this interpretation of these words follow "Bonim a'tem laShem Elokeichem?"

3) Ch. 14, v. 1: "Bonim a'tem laShem Elokeichem lo sisgode'du" - Based on the interpretation that this is a prohibition against scraping one's flesh in mourning, what is the connection to "Bonim "?

4) Ch. 14, v. 21,22: "Bacha'leiv imo, Shonoh shonoh" - In its mother's milk, year after year - The juxtaposition of there two phrases alludes to the ruling in the gemara K'suvos 60b, that one who wants to marry a divorced woman who is nursing should wait until the nursing child is two years old because if she becomes pregnant earlier it will ruin her milk and be disastrous for the nursing child. (Baal Haturim)

Why then may a husband have relations with his nursing wife within this time?

5) Ch. 15, v. 7: "Ki yi'h'yeh v'cho evyon" - If there will be within you a destitute person - The word "v'cho" seems superfluous.

ANSWERS:

#1

1) The Holy Admor of Gur, Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai, in Rosh Gulas Ari'eil answers that this is possible if a lamb gave birth the first time to twin males in a manner that was impossible to know which was born first. The law is that only one is treated as the first-born. The verse tells us that we must choose the better of the two.

2) Alternatively, he offers that "shelo y'vi'eim shelo min hamuvchar" does not refer to choosing an inferior animal, but rather, refers to the MANNER in which the first-born is brought to the Kohein. The gemara B'choros 26b says that the owner must raise a sheep or goat for thirty days and a bovine for fifty days before offering them to the Kohein. Thus bringing them in a "muvchar" manner means to fatten them before offering them to the Kohein.

#2

Hashem prides Himself and publicly announces in this verse that we are His children (see Pirkei Ovos 3:14). If one's son behaves in a most unbecoming manner to the point that it would bring shame upon his parents, they distance themselves from him and surely don't announce that he is their son. Since Hashem has publicly proclaimed that we are His sons it is most important that we do not behave in a manner that brings discord. Other shortcomings can be kept under wraps, but conflicts always end up in the public domain. (Adaptation of the words of Yalkut Yehudoh)

#3

1) Because you are Hashem's children you should not damage yourselves or your appearance, as this is not befitting for the King's children. (Rashi)

2) You should not over react because you are always left with your Father in Heaven. Likewise you should not do this because of the loss of the deceased. He is likewise Hashem's child and will receive his reward in the world-to-come. (Sforno)

3) You should not over react because your loss is only temporary. This is like mourning over the descent of the sun below the horizon. It will shine again. Similarly, the souls of the departed are collected by Hashem, and will shine again. (Ramban, Kli Yokor, Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

#4

The gemara says that the father of the first child will go to the expense of properly nourishing the child, while a new husband, who is not the father of the nursing child, will not do so, and the child will not be properly fed.

#5

1) The reason there is a destitute person is within you. It is because you need the merit of supplying him with his needs, as per the gemara B. B. 10a. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

2) The poor man is Moshiach, as per the verse "Oni v'rocheiv al chamore" (Zecharioh 9:9). He is WITHIN you, i.e. it is your fault that he is not able to herald in the "days of Moshiach." (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

3) Do not think that you are donating YOUR money. His money is in your safekeeping, "v'cho." (Ohel Yaakov)

4) Poverty is like a turning wheel. That which is on top one moment, is on the bottom a moment later. Do not harden your heart, because poverty is within you, it could well be your lot. (Nirreh li)


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


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