Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 21, v. 10: "U'n'sono Hashem Elokecho b'yo'decho v'shoviso shivyo" - When engaging in war be fully aware that any successes are Hashem's and are not your doing. This is stressed by the verse saying "u'n'sono Hashem Elokecho b'yo'decho." Hashem gives your foe into your hands, and "v'shoviso shivyO," anyone who is captured is His, Hashem's, captive. (Kanfei N'shorim)

Ch. 21, v. 11: "V'choshakto voh v'lokachto l'cho l'ishoh" - The Torah understand human frailties, and when on the war-front, when a person's emotions run in high gear when faced with the danger of death, and away from family, his desires are likewise in high gear. The Torah gives a dispensation, albeit a concession, to take a wife from a foreign nation.

How powerful a lesson this is! Let no one say that complying with this or that mitzvoh of the Torah is too difficult. If it were truly so, the Torah would have permitted it. "Ein haKodosh Boruch Hu bo bitrunia im briosov," Hashem does not give a person a responsibility that is beyond his ability. (Rabbi Yechezkeil Abramsky)

Ch. 21, v. 15: "V'ho'achas snu'oh" - And one who is hated - We have dealt at length with the difference between the synonymous words "o'yeiv" and "so'nei" in Oroh v'Simchoh, Meshech Chochmoh on Eichoh. The Rada"k in his Sefer Hashoroshim entry Alef-Yud-Veis writes that an "oyeiv" is a more severe enemy than a "sonei." He proves this from our verse which says that one wife is "snu'oh," - hated. It is obvious that she is not truly hated, as he has married her. Rather, she is less loved than the man's other wife. Thus the word "snu'oh" cannot mean a severe form of hatred.

Why indeed does the Torah express "less loved" with the word "snu'oh," - hated? Perhaps this conveys an important lesson in human relations. When a person anticipates and expects a certain level of closeness and is disappointed, albeit only slightly so, as is the case with the less-loved wife, it is not taken lightly, but rather, is interpreted as hatred. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 21, v. 19: "V'sofsu vo oviv v'imo v'hotziu oso el ziknei irO v'el shaar m'komO" - Why does the Torah express the parents' bringing their rebellious son to the court as "and they shall grab onto him" and take him? As well, why is it necessary to bring their son specifically to the elders of HIS city and to the gate of HIS place? The Torah is teaching us that the parents should not feel that the acts of their son are an aberration, and that they are not to be held responsible. To the contrary! The Torah says that they grab onto their son, "v'sofsu," meaning that they are "nitfosim," held responsible, for his behaviour. This is why they must bring him specifically to the elders of his city and to the gate of his place, i.e. in their hometown, so that they will suffer more disgrace than if they would have brought him to the judges of a city in which they would be complete strangers. These requirements show the parents that they are at fault. (Holy Admor of Skulen zt"l)

Ch. 23, v. 8: "Lo s'sa'eiv Adomi KI OCHICHO hu" - These words can be interpreted homiletically. The word "odome," red, is symbolic of sin, as stated in Yeshayohu 1:18, "Im Y'h'yu CHato'eichem Kashonim Ka'sheleg Yalbinu." "LO s'sa'eiv ADOMI," do not hate the redness of sin, saying that it is hopeless to make amends, and that no good can come from a sin. Rather say that with repentance through love of Hashem, "teshuvoh mei'ahavoh," the sins become merits. The letters of KI OCHICHO, Kof-Yud-Alef-Ches-Yud-Chof, are the "roshei seivos," the first letters of, "Im Y'h'yu CHato'eichem Kashonim Ka'sheleg Yalbinu." (Y'sode haTorah)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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