CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON PARSHAS R'EI 5773 - BS"D
1) Ch. 14, v. 1: "Bonim a'tem laShem Elokeichem" - You are children of Hashem your G-d - How is this a cogent explanation for what follows, to not gouge oneself in mourning?
2) Ch. 14, v. 1: "Lo sisgod'du v'lo sosimu korchoh bein eineichem" - Do not gouge and do not create a bald area between your eyes - The Torah prohibits these forms of mourning upon the death of a person. We likewise derive from these words two other important rules. One is that we should not create separate groups that might bring rancor, disparity among us (gemara Y'vomos 13b). The second is that although the Torah says to place our head tefillin between our eyes (Dvorim 6:8, 11:18), the intention is on our hair above the area between our eyes, as our verse also mentions "between your eyes," and obviously the intention is our hair on the top of our heads, as this is the place that we can create a bald spot.
It is most interesting to note that the placement of our tefillin is clarified in a verse that carries the message to not create rancor and disunity in our ranks. How do these two thoughts connect one with the other?
3) Ch. 14, v. 21,22: "Bacha'leiv imo, …… Shonoh shonoh" - In its mother's milk, …… Year after year - What do we derive from the juxtaposition of these two verse?
4) 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.
5) Ch. 15, v. 18: "Lo yiksheh v'ei'necho b'sha'leichacho oso chofshi …… avodcho sheish shonim" - Do not find it difficult in your eyes when you send him away free …… he has served you for six years - The master owned this slave for a maximum of six years only. When sending away an indentured slave who might have worked for his master as for as long as 49 years (Vayikra 25:10,13) the Torah does not commensurate with the owner or comfort him by stating that the servant did what was required of him and that we were likewise slaves in Egypt and were freed (verses 15 and 18). It would seem that there is a greater need to mention these concepts there.
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)
This is because the gemara Brochos 6a says that Hashem's tefillin contain the passage, "U'mi k'amcho Yisroel goy ECHOD bo'oretz" (Divrei Ha'yomim 1:17:21). (Nirreh li)
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)
The difference between a husband, who may resume relations with his nursing wife, even shortly after she gave birth, thus bringing about the possibility that she would become pregnant and not be able to properly continue nursing her child, and becoming pregnant for a new husband, is explained in the gemara. 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.
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)
Possibly, we can answer this with the insight of the Meshech Chochmoh. He says that to lessen the impact of setting a slave free on Yom Kippur of the "yoveil" year and receiving no compensation, the Torah gives a transition period. From Rosh Hashonoh of "yoveil" until the blowing of the shofar on Yom Kippur, which is when the servant actually leaves, he has no responsibility to work and must still be given room and board by the master gratis (gemara R.H. 10a). This makes it relatively easy for the master to let go with no pep-talk. (Nirreh li)
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