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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 26, v. 3: "V'omarto" - And you shall say - Rashi says that by reciting the following the person shows that he is not a "kofuy tovoh," an ingrate. The recitation is full of thanks, so why does Rashi say that this shows he is not a "kofuy tovoh?" It shows more than that, that he is a "makir tovoh," grateful.

A person can never express in full the gratefulness that he should, no matter how elaborate and detailed he is. Thanks to Hashem is really boundless. What is at least accomplished by this recital is that he shows that he is not an ingrate. (shomati)

Ch. 26, v. 13: "Lo ovarti mimitzvosecho v'lo shochochti" - I have not transgressed Your precepts nor have I forgotten - This recitation that accompanies the bringing of the tithe is called "viduy maa'seir," the confession of maa'seir. How is this a confession if the one who recites it is clearly saying that he has done everything correctly? It is the nature of a lower level person to loose sight of his sins and to readily forget them, as he does not take to heart their severity. On the other hand, when it comes to the mitzvos he does he inflates them and makes sure to always mention that he did this or that meritorious act. The righteous person feels "V'chatosi negdi somid" (T'hilim 51:5). He does not feel haughty about the mitzvos he has done and easily forgets them. The reciter of "viduy maa'seir" is bemoaning and confessing that he has not forgotten the mitzvos he has done. (Rabbi Meir Arik)

Ch. 27, v. 26: "Orur asher lo yokim es divrei haTorah hazose laasos osom" - Cursed is he who will not substantiate the words of this Torah to do them - Unfortunately there are people who involve themselves in the study and fulfillment of the Torah only as a ruse to fool others. "Lo yokim" does not mean that he will not confirm the Torah, but that he does not do so in truth, for the sake of Hashem and what He asks us to do. This person's going through the act of doing mitzvos for his own personal reasons is the recipient of "orur." One who does not do the mitzvos at all does not receive this "orur." (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

It seems that the underlying motivation for this person is not the same as one who does mitzvos "shelo lishmoh," as this person is advised to do the mitzvos anyway, as it will bring to "lishmoh."

Ch. 28, v. 11,12: "V'hosircho Hashem l'tovoh bifri bit'n'cho, Yiftach Hashem l'cho es otzoro hatov" - And Hashem will leave you for good in the fruit of your womb, Hashem will open for you His good storage house - This is a powerful blessing. A person does has great merits and the reward is saved for his descendants. He himself will receive a present form Hashem's endless storage of good. (Imrei Shefer)

Ch. 28, v. 10: "V'ro'u chol a'mei ho'oretz ki shem Hashem nikra o'lecho v'yoru mi'meko" - And all the nations of the land will see that the Name of Hashem your G-d is is called upon you - Sforno says that an example of this is the story of Alexander (the so called great) who bowed down to Shimon Hatzadik and said, "Blessed is the G-d of Shimon Hatzadik." I believe that he is taking the words "shem Hashem nikra olecho" literally, and rather than say as the gemara, that it refers to the tefillin that is "in" the head, where one cannot literally read the "shem Hashem," it refers to a non-ben Yisroel who was able to see the actual "shem Hashem" on the "tzitz" of the Kohein Godol. (n.l.)

Ch. 28, v. 34: "V'hoyiso m'shuga mima'reh einecho" - And you will become insane from what your eyes see - "Einayim" can mean the leaders, as Moshe told his father-in-law Yisro, "V'hoyiso lonu lo'einayim." There will come a time when you will wonder in astonishment to the point of insanity when you see who the leaders are. (Rabbi Shimon Sofer) - Umah yaasu eizovei kir?

Ch. 28, v. 47: "Tachas asher lo ovadto es Hashem Elokecho b'simchoh" - As a result of your not serving Hashem with joy - Our Rabbis tell us that this refers to their not being "m'a'neig" Shabbos. How is this derived from these words? "Tachas ASHER" can be understood as "under is the word 'asher.'" The letters of ASHER are one before the letters of Shabbos in the Alef-Beis. (GR"A)

Ch. 28, v. 47: "Meirov kole" - From abundance of all - There is an allusion here to the chastisement being one of not serving Hashem with the recognition that all the good comes from Him. "Meirov kole" can be understood as "from the majority of "kole." "Kole" has the numeric value of fifty. The majority of fifty is twenty-six, the numeric value of the Holy Name of mercy and kindness Y-K-V-K. (n.l.)

Ch. 28, v. 61: "Kol choli v'chol makoh asher lo kosuv b'sefer haTorah ha'zeh" - Every malady and every plague that is not recorded in this Torah scroll - Chaza"l tell us that this refers to the death of the righteous. Why wasn't it written overtly in the Torah? The death of the righteous is likened to the burning of the Beis Hamikdosh, the most severe of all punishments. As the listing of punishments goes on, each is harsher than the previous one. Logically, the death of the righteous should be written last. However, Hashem removes the tzadik from this world before the onslaught of punishments. This creates a conundrum. Where can the death of the righteous be written? If at the end, it means that their death will take place after all the punishments. If earlier, then it seems that there are other calamities that are worse. There is no choice but to allude to it. (Rabbi Yitzchok Elchonon Spektor - Kovner Rov)

Ch. 28, v. 63: "Kein yosis Hashem a'leichem" - Thus will Hashem bring to rejoice over you - "Yosis" is causative. We derive from this that Hashem does not rejoice over punishing us, but He brings others to rejoice. What is gained by this? "Binfol oyivcho al tismach Pen yireh Hashem v'heishiv mei'olov apo" (Mishlei 24:17,18), and the punishment will move from the punished one to the one who rejoices over this. (Ksav Sofer)

Ch. 28, v. 68: "V'hismakartem shom l'oyvecho laavodim v'lishfochos v'ein koneh" - And you will attempt to sell yourselves as slaves and maidservants and there will be no purchaser - "L'oyvecho laavodim" means "to your enemies who they themselves were once slaves." "V'eved ki yimloch" is a most sorrowful situation. (Ho'rei v'somim)

Alternatively, "You will be sold to those who are themselves slaves and maidservants" and this is why there is no purchaser. A slave who purchases something does not acquire ownership, as per the gemara Sanhedrin 105, which cites the verse "Nevuchadnetzar avdi," and explains that the bnei Yisroel might think that they have been sold to Nevuchadnetzar. The verse tells us that this is not so because he is Hashem's slave and has no ownership of his own. (Va'y'dabeir Moshe)

Ch. 29, v. 3: "V'lo nosan Hashem lochem lev lodaas ad hayom ha'zeh" - And Hashem has not given you a heart to understand until this day - The next two verses tell of the bnei Yisroel's miraculous existence in the desert. Their clothes lasted, their food came to them in a miraculous manner, not requiring any work. The Ksav Sofer explains that these verses are a sharp chastisement of the bnei Yisroel. They were relieved of all the digressions that are brought about by funding sustenance, clothing, and housing. Notwithstanding this, they were not ready for 40 years to receive from Hashem a level of complete understanding.

Ch. 29, v. 5: "Lechem lo achaltem l'maan teidu ki ani Hashem Elokeichem" - Bread you did not eat so that you will know that I am Hashem your G-d - Since the bnei Yisroel ate exclusively manna throughout their forty years of wandering why does the Torah point out that they did not eat bread? Also, what is the connection to the end of the verse, that this would bring to their knowing their true G-d? There was a recent time when some people ate bread. This was when some sinned with the idol baal p'ore. Its service required a person to defecate in front of it. This could not happen when one only ate manna, as there was no waste. They therefore were offered bread (see Bmidbar 25:2 although it does not specify that it was bread) to be able to produce waste. Our verse is telling us that for those who did not eat bread, i.e. the ones who did not serve baal p'ore, they had the opportunity to only serve the One and Only Hashem. (n.l.)



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

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