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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 9, v. 5: "Lo v'tzidkos'cho uvyosher l'vovcho . ki v'rishas hagoyim Hashem morishom" - It is not because of your righteousness and straightness of heart but rather through the evil behaviour of the nations that Hashem is chasing them out - This is most unusual. At the end of parshas Vo'es'chanan it clearly states that Hashem will bring the bnei Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel because of His love for them and now it says that it is because the nations that occupy Eretz Yisroel are evil and they will be chased out of the land.

At the end of the previous parsha Moshe recounted the time after the bnei Yisroel left Egypt and their entering the Holy Land in the near future would have been a result of Hashem's great love for them. Our verse is recounting post-golden calf. The reason for entering has changed. Hashem's love if the bnei Yisroel has waned. In the main, they will enter because the presently occupying nations are evil and will be driven out of the land. (Imrei Shefer)

Ch. 9, v. 18: "Vo'esnapal lifnei Hashem korishonoh arbo'im yom v'arbo'im loyloh lechem lo ochalti umayim lo shosisi al kol chatas'chem asher chato'sem" - And I brought myself to fall down in front of Hashem as the first time forty days and forty nights bread I did not eat and water I did not drink for all the sins you sinned - Moshe's throwing himself down in front of Hashem seems to be because of the sins. However, then the phrase "al kol " should have been placed before "arbo'im yom." Earlier in verse 9 it relates Moshe's previous celestial visit, also recalling that he did not eat nor drink. There it was because he received the Holy Torah and his great spiritual satisfaction negated the need to eat. Here it was because of their sins that he lost his appetite. "Al kol chatas'chem" is the explanation for why this time he did not eat. (Imrei Shefer)

Ch. 10, v. 16: "Umaltem eis orlas l'vavchem" - Ad you shall circumcise the blockage of your heart - The Chidushei hoRi"m once opened the door to his Beis Medrash before Shabbos shacharis prayers were to begin and saw that almost all the seats were taken with people learning Torah with great energy. He said that it might seem better to begin davening at daybreak, which in turn would allow for eating the seudas Shabbos earlier and fulfilling the verse of "V'koroso laShabbos oneg." Hoever, with their learning Torah with such vigour, his Chasidim were accomplishing "Umaltem es orlas l'vavchem," and circumcision overpowers the laws of Shabbos.

Ch. 10, v. 17: "Ki Hashem Elokeichem lo yisa fonim v'lo yikach shochad" - Because Hashem your G-d will not show favouritism nor will He accept bribery - This is supposed to be understood as flowing into the next verse, which states, "O'seh mishpat yosom v'almonoh v'oheiv ger lo'ses lo lechem v'simloh." A person might believe that although he has transgressed Hashem's precepts he will not be taken to task for this because he has done much good. He has taken an orphan and widow under his wing or befriended a convert to Judaism by supplying him his physical needs. This is not true. Hashem does not take this form of bribery. The antecedent of "O'seh mishpat yosom v'almonoh v'oheiv ger lo'ses lo lechem v'simloh" is not Hashem. It is the person who attempts to bribe Hashem with these laudable actions. (Ksav Sofer)

Ch. 10, v. 20: "Es Hashem Elokecho tira" - Hashem your G-d shall you fear - The word "es" is inclusive and our Rabbi Akiva says that this means to include fearing a Torah scholar. However, Rabbi Aharon Hagodol of Karlin offers another insight. A Torah scholar should not rely on his great diligence in Torah study and his having amassed great amounts of Torah knowledge to automatically satisfy his responsibility to fear Hashem. "Es" includes the Torah scholar to consciously work of his fear of Hashem.

Ch. 11, v. 6: "V'es kol ha'y'kum asher b'ragleihem" - And all their stance that is at their feet - Rashi explains that it is one's money that keeps him upright. The reason the word "y'kum" is used to express one's money is because we find "Kaasher yokum ish al rei'eihu urtzocho nofesh." A person should realize that his pursuit of money can kill him spiritually, destroying any and all vestiges of good behaviour. (Kli Yokor)

Ch. 11, v. 13: "Asher onochi m'tzavchoh hayom" - That I command you today - Rashi comments that although the command was earlier, nevertheless, one should feel as if the commands were fresh, just given that day. Rashi in parshas "shma" expands. They are not to be treated as an aged, old edict of a king. At the marriage ritual the choson says to the kaloh, "Ha'rei at m'kudeshes li b'tabaas zu k'das Moshe v'Yisroel." We can explain these words to mean something deeper, beyond their basic understanding that the man says to the woman, "I am marrying you to me as the law of Moshe and Yisroel are married to each other." When one marries both the choson and the kaloh are very excited with their new status and relationship. After a while the newness wears off, and sometimes unfortunately, the most scintillating conversation between them goes something like this: "Have you taken out the garbage? You left your socks on the floor again." If they would feel the newness of their marriage in an ongoing manner this would not be. The words of the choson to the kaloh are, "You are married to me as is the Torah to the bnei Yisroel," always to be considered new. (Ro'isi)

Ch. 11, v. 19: "V'limadtem osom es bneichem l'dabeir bom b'shiv't'cho b'vei'secho uvlech't'cho va'derech" - And you shall teach then to your children to speak in them when you sit in your home and when you walk on the path - A person can train his children to study and adhere to the mitzvos of the Torah in a manner where they will do so only during his lifetime, to keep him happy, because they love him, etc. however, this is insufficient. One has the responsibility to train his children in such a manner that they themselves want to continue on this path even after the father dies. This is the intention of our verse. Teach your children to speak words of Torah not only when you are home, in their presence on this world, but also, "uvlech't'cho va'derech," when a person goes on the path of all mankind, when he dies. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 11, v. 20: "Uch'savtom al m'zuzos bei'secho uvisho'recho" - And write them upon doorposts of your house and your gateways - The gemara Shabbos 32 says that we derive from the juxtaposition of the next verse, "L'maan yirbu y'meichem vimei bneichem" that one who does not fulfill the mitzvoh of mezuzoh will ch"v experience the death of his children. This seems problematic. Since the verse also mentions the person himself, "y'meichem," why doesn't the gemara say that he himself will also die as a result of his neglecting this mitzvoh?

This can be answered from the verse itself. Since one who fulfills the mitzvoh has the merit of "yirbu y'meichem vimei bneichem," he also brings merit to his child who does not himself do the mitzvoh. However, when this child grows up and does not do the mitzvoh, his children will suffer, as they do not have this merit passed on to them from their father. (P'ninim Y'korim)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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