by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS MATOS 5774 BS"DCh. 30, v. 2: "Va'y'da'beir Moshe el roshei hamatos" - And Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes - The Rashba"m asks why this parsha does not follow the normal format of Hashem telling Moshe a mitzvoh to tell over, "Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe leimore." He answers that this verse is a continuum of the previous parsha where it says, "Eileh taasu lashem b'mo'a'deichem l'vad minidreichem v'nidvoseichem" (29:39). A person who has vowed to bring an offering to the Beis Hamikdosh. Our parsha adds that "Lo yacheil d'voro, meaning "he shall not DELAY his word. He must actually bring the offering in a timely manner, as in "Va'yochel ad bosh." There seems to be a bit of difficulty with this as there is a parsha break of "psuchoh" after 30:1.
Ch. 30, v. 3: "Lo yacheil dvoro" - He shall not desecrate/transgress his word - A beautiful insight by the Ben Ish Chai: He shall not immediately begin his word. One should engage his mind before he puts his mouth into gear.
The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos says, "L'fum ztaara agra." This can be understood as: For the mouth there is either anguish or reward, depending on how it is used.
Parnosoh" has the letters that make "peh ressen." If one puts a restraint to his mouth, he will be blessed with parnosoh.
Ch. 30, v. 3: "K'chol ha'yotzei mipiv yaa'seh" - As all that has emanated from his mouth shall he do - This person who has promised to do something or to refrain is going beyond what the Torah requires of him. Before he takes on EXTRAS he should first do "all that emanates form Hashem's mouth," i.e. the basic mitzvos. How shameful it is that people take on extras when they don't even fulfill that which is required of them. (Rabbi Yoseif Nechemioh Kornitzer Rov of Cracow)
_ _Ch. 30, v. 3: "K'chol ha'yotzei mipiv yaa'seh" - As all that has emanated from his mouth shall he do - Last year I received a response to the following insight I offered in Chasidic Insights on these words. The insight is that the verse says that he should not transgress his word. If he is not heedful of this, then "K'chol ha'yotzei mipiv YAA'SEH," Hashem will see to it that he will do it.
This is the response I received: I thought I'd share a real life event - that happened to me - in perfect accord with this point.
During Vietnam. I was flying helicopters. I'd been involved in hard landings - as well as a few other scary events - with other pilots before. When one day - as I was making an approach - at about 400 plus feet - off the ground. I was suddenly caught - in a strong Wind Shear - cross wind - etc. My helicopter suddenly was flying - upside down. It was not designed to do that.
In my fright - - I called out to G-D. OH - G-D - get me out of this - and I'll never fly again.
By the next day - thoroughly calmed down. I was back flying again. Not giving it another thought. A couple of weeks later - out of the blue I was selected to be given a performance check ride. During the check ride. The check pilot - instructed me to perform - some improper procedures. Which I questioned him on. I was notified a couple of days later - that I'd failed the check ride. I was immediately relieved from flying status.
A couple of years later. I had found a pretty sure way - to get
reinstated on flight status. However - right after being relieved from flying status. I also had an accident - which caused an injury to my back. Now - Suddenly - I was almost virtually paralyzed. I was operated on. However - the operation meant that - I could no longer pass a flight medical exam.
Over many years I often lamented to G-D - that one of my life's passions - had been taken away. I was also no longer able to go on with - fellow pilots. Nor - with my brother-in-law - who was also a pilot. I felt a sense of shame - and loss of self esteem. Then - just a few years ago. I was praying and lamenting to G-D - about my loss. At that same time - I was about to open the Torah - and start studying. It just so happened that - this was part of my Torah study - for that day. Though I'd read this - many - many times. The moment I read it - this time - SUDDENLY - I was taken back - all those years - to that moment. WHEN - I was crying out - and asking G-D - to get me out of this - and I'll never fly again. I could hear G-D's voice clearly telling me - that I had asked Him - with the words of my mouth - to help me - and I would never fly again. And He - ensured that - I kept my word. Thanks for letting me share this. Quite an amazing story. I am quite pleased that I was able, albeit unknowingly, to bring calm and closure to a fellow Yid's anguish.
Ch. 31, v. 6: "V'es Pinchos ben Elozor haKohein latzovo" - And Pinchos the son of Elozor the Kohein to the army - Moshe knew that his impending death would not take place until after the war with Midyon. Nevertheless, he acted with alacrity and approached the task with joy. Obviously the war against Midyon was something very compelling. Nevertheless, he did not go out himself at the head of the army because the country of Midyon was the place that harboured him as a fugitive form Paroh. This is gratitude of the highest level. Even though the Midyonites deserved to be killed, Moshe had the sensitivity to not personally kill any of them. (Baalei Musor)
Ch. 31, v. 8: "V'es Bilom ben B'ore horgu bechorev" - And Bilom the son of B'ore they killed by the sword - See Targum Yonoson ben Uziel who relates a most action-packed pursuit of Bilom and how Pinchos caught him. He begged to be spared, swearing that he would no further curse the bnei Yisroel. Pinchos was very polite and explained why he could not allow him to live and proceeded to kill him.
It is noteworthy that the best Bilom offered was to no longer curse the bnei Yisroel. He didn't offer to do them any good, only not to hurt them. We cannot expect any better from our enemies, "v'ha'meivin yovin."
Ch. 31, v. 21: "Va'yomer Elozor haKohein" - And Elozor the Kohein said - Rashi explains that the reason Moshe did not relate the laws of extracting "taam issur," the absorption of prohibited flavours into the walls of vessels and how to extract them is because he angered, and therefore these laws became hidden from him. Why is it that specifically these laws were forgotten? The Pnei Yehoshua answers that the Ramban writes that the reason these halochos were not taught immediately after the wars with Sichon and Og is because there the bnei Yisroel gained land ownership. This gave the war a status of "milchemes mitzvoh" and even eating non-kosher foods, "kadli d'chaziri," was permitted. The gemara Chulin 17a derives this from Dvorim 6:11, "Ubotim m'leimore'im kol tuv." If the actual non-kosher object is permitted then surely its flavour that is absorbed into a pot is permitted. It is only here, where the war was declared as revenge on the Midyonites, "n'kome nikmas …" and is not a "milchemes mitzvoh," and in turn non-kosher is not permitted, that these laws were needed.
The Medrash Reuveini cites a medrash on the words "Va'yiktzofe Moshe" that says that Moshe became angry when the soldiers brought back enemy female survivors because he said to himself, "If there is a ruling that regarding the inhabitants of the land Canaan of "Lo s'cha'yeh kol n'shomoh," surely here where the Midyanites brought great sin upon the bnei Yisroel, that all of them should have been killed.
This logic brings in its wake that the war against Midyon, even though it involved no property acquisition, nevertheless, would also have the status of a "milchemes mitzvoh." If so, there would also be permission to eat non-kosher food. Here too there would be no need to invoke the laws of "extraction of non-kosher flavours. This is the meaning of "these laws became hidden from him."
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