by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS EIKEV 5774 BS"DCh. 10, v. 12: "Moh Hashem Elokecho sho'eil mei'imcho ki im l'yiroh es Hashem Elokecho" - What does Hashem your G-d request of you only to fear Hashem your G-d - When it comes to fearing Hashem we are put into the position of "sho'eil," a borrower. The law is that one who borrows an item from another is responsible for its loss or damage under all circumstances, even things that are beyond his control. This is the level of responsibility we have in "his is the level of responsibility we have in "yiras Hashem." (Noam Elimelech)
Ch. 10, v. 15: "Rak baavo'secho choshak Hashem" - Only our patriarchs has Hashem loved - Our patriarchs carry the appellation "y'shorim," the straight ones, as is recorded in Sefer Yehoshua, that the volume Breishis is sefer y'shorim, the book that relates the lives of our patriarchs. There lies here a most powerful idea. Notwithstanding many good deeds, the trait of being straight, upright, morally honest, is their title. On Friday evenings we say, "V'amim be'emunoso," and nations with belief in Him. In a later chapter of T'hilim we say "v'amim b'meishorim, and nations with straight behaviours. By the former, the first verse of the next chapter of T'hilim responds with "Hashem moloch to'geil ho'oretz," Hashem reigns, the land rejoices. This is because in the main people believe in a G-d. When it comes to "v'amim b'meishorim," the next chapter begins with "Hashem moloch yir'g'zu amim," Hashem reigns, the nations tremble. This is because they fail miserably in this field. (Rabbi Yechezkel Abramski)
Ch. 10, v. 15: "Rak baavo'secho choshak Hashem l'ahavoh osom va'yivchar b'zaro acha'reihem bochem mikol ho'amim" - Only our patriarchs has Hashem lusted to love them and He has chosen in his descendants after them in you over all the nations - In relation to our Patriarchs Hashem's love is expressed as "choshak, l'ahavoh." By their descendants we find, "va'yivchar," He has chosen, a much less endearing expression. This is because Hashem loves our Patriarchs independent of any calculations. When it comes to their descendants Hashem's love is not as strong. It is only "choosing" them "mikol ho'amim," that we are more beloved in relation to them. (Yalkut haGeirshuni)
Ch. 10, v. 15: "Va'yivchar b'zaro acha'reihem bochem" - And He has chosen in his descendants after them in you - What need is there for the word "bochem?" Our verse relates that from among all the nations Hashem has chosen the descendants of the Patriarchs. Avrohom and Yitzchok were the biological fathers of Yishmo'el, seven sons of K'turoh, and Eisov. Our verse specifies that it is only "bochem," the bnei Yisroel in the desert whom Hashem has chosen. (n.l.)
Ch. 10, v. 17: "Asher lo yisa fonim v'lo yikach shochad" - Who will not show favouritism nor take a bribe - The next verse continues with "O'seh mispat yosome v'almonoh v'oheiv ger lo'ses lo lechem v'simloh." Hashem shows no favouritism and does not accept the bribe of even a person who pursues some of the greatest accomplishments for the oppressed, standing up for the fair judgment of an orphan and a widow and loving the proselyte as demonstrated by his supplying him with sustenance and clothing. "O'seh" refers to the wrongdoer intimated in the previous verse. A wrongdoer must repent and set things straight. Trying to offset bad with a lot of good doesn't work. (Ksav Sofer)
In another vein the Ksav Sofer takes the words of verse 18 to refer to Hashem, the straightforward understanding. He then wonders why the verse limits the kindness to bread and clothing. He answers that the Torah wants to only mention basics overtly. This is because Hashem does not want a person to convert to Judaism because of perceived physical benefits, even though in truth Hashem offers the convert a lot more.
Ch. 10, v. 20: "Es Hashem Elokecho teera" - Hashem your G-d shall you fear - The word ""es" is expansive, inclusive. Rabbi Shimon hoAmsuni always was able to derive from "es" throughout the Torah an expansive thought. When he reached our verse he was unable to find anything to include so he retracted from his position and did not include other matters through "es." Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, derived the inclusion of Torah scholars, who are to be held in awe just as Hashem is.
Rabbi Shimon hoAmsuni grew up among Torah scholars and was exposed to their being held in great esteem as well as learning such great matters from them to the point that it was self-understood to hold them in great awe, hence nothing additional could be found to derive from this "es." Rabbi Akiva spent his younger years outside the positive influence of Torah scholars. He had such a negative view of them that he said that he felt like biting them. Thus, when he later learned to greatly appreciate them and even became the leading teacher of his generation he readily understood the need to teach this concept. (Tiferes Y'honoson)
Ch. 11, v. 13: "Ul'ovdo b'chol l'vavchem uvchol naf'sh'chem" - And to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul - Here we do not have "uvchol m'odchem," with all your possessions even though in the parsha of "shma" we have "uvchol m'od'echo." This is because the earlier parsha addresses the people in the singular. We can ask of each person to attempt to serve Hashem with all his abilities, including to set aside financial pursuits. Our parsha addresses the masses. We cannot expect the whole nation to forsake pursuit of income as "kol Torah she'ein imoh m'lochoh sofoh b'teiloh." (Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner)
The same point is made by the Holy Admor of Satmar zt"l on the words "Umi yitein v'yi'h'yu kol am hoElokim n'viim."
Ch. 11, v. 24: "Kol mokome asher tidroch kaf rag'l'chem bo lochem yi'h'yeh" - Any place that the sole of your feet will trod will be yours - This means that it will attain the sanctity of Eretz Yisroel. This is not always so. King Dovid expanded into Syria and received a prophecy that the area would not have "kedushas Eretz Yisroel" because he expanded before he had full control on the area totally within the original boundaries of Eretz Yisroel. He had not driven away the Yevusim, and to add insult to injury, they resided quite close to the area where the future Beis Hamikdosh would be built.
The Shem miShmuel asks, "Why then didn't the lands occupied by the tribes Reuvein, Gad, and half Menasheh attain full "kedushas eretz Yisroel? The bnei Yisroel did not master over it before the conquest of Eretz Yisroel by choice. Sichon and Og warred against them and the bnei Yisroel emerged victorious and thus had control over those areas. He answers that the 2½ tribes insisted on having ownership as their heritage over those lands before Eretz Yisroel was conquered. They could have first helped in the war effort and then taken ownership. This too was an affront to "kedushas Eretz Yisroel" and their lands were not on par with actual Eretz Yisroel.
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