Friday, September 23, 2016

Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Ki Savo 5776

As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Ki Savo and we begin this coming week the week of Selichos and we hope that all of our Tefillos for the Yomim Noraim should be Mekubel by Shamayim. 

1. On Parshas Ki Savo, I have a few technical Divrei Torah but the technical Divrei Torah have in them a tremendous Mussar as well. First, I have noticed in the Sefer Tamei Dikra which is from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, he has a theme which he mentions in many of the Parshios. That is, that there are certain words in the Torah which are occasionally spelled Malei and are occasionally Choseir. What I mean is that the Cholem sound when it is written out is occasionally written Malei with a Vav and occasionally Choseir, where it has the Cholem sound but it does not have the Vav. The word Bechor is sometimes spelled (בכור) which is Malei and sometimes (בכר) which is Choseir. It sounds the same way but spelled differently. 

Rav Chaim Kanievsky writes that he believes that wherever it is Malei it indicates that the word is complete. The reference to something is that thing in a complete way. However, when it is Chaseir, when it is missing the Vav, that indicates that the item is sort of incomplete. 

One of the most beautiful examples of this which is something which I mentioned in Parshas Behar 5774 (the second Dvar Torah) is that the word Yovel in Behar appears 14 times. Of the 14 times, 6 times it is spelled Malei, (יובל), and 8 times it appears Choseir, (יבל). Pronounced the same way but without the Vav. 

Rav Chaim Kanievsky writes there (טעמא דקרא דף קנא) based on a Gemara in Eiruchin 12b, that there were 14 Yovels that Klal Yisrael observed. After the Galus of the 10 Shevatim when it was not Rov Yisrael Al Admasan, where most Jews were not in Eretz Yisrael, Yovel ceased to exist. So it turns out that for 14 Yovels which was approximately 700 years there was 14 Yovels. The Baal Haturim says that is why it says the word Yovel 14 times in Parshas Behar. 

Says Rav Chaim Kanievsky, of those 14 Yovels, 6 Yovels occurred when the Bais Hamikdash stood. When Klal Yisrael was Malei it was sort of complete in Eretz Yisrael. 8 Yovels are for the first 400 and something years where there was no Bais Hamikdash and the Yovel came but it was Choseir. The Yovel in Eretz Yisrael was still missing the completion of Eretz Yisrael. So that is the Lomdus in the 8 Yovels that are Choseir. There were 8 Choseir Yovels and 6 Malei Yovels. A very beautiful Nekuda. 

Another example is in Parshas Ki Seitzei, last week’s Parsha. The word Bechor appears Choseir, (בְּכֹר) in the Posuk (וְהָיָה הַבֵּן הַבְּכֹר, לַשְּׂנִיאָה) 21:15. Rav Chaim’s rule is that if Bechor is spelled Choseir it indicates that it is not a complete Bechor. (Ed. Note: This is brought down in (טעמא דקרא דף רכג)). 

For example, if you have a Bechor that is a first born to his father but not the first conceived. He has two wives and one wife became pregnant first and the second wife became pregnant second. The second wife gives birth first, that is the Bechor. The Bechor goes Basar Leida, it goes by birth. But that Bechor is incomplete. Conception it is not the oldest, in birth it is. The GRA says (וְהָיָה הַבֵּן הַבְּכֹר, לַשְּׂנִיאָה) is a reference to such a child. A child who was born first but not conceived first. The GRA doesn’t say from where he knows this. Zagt Rav Chaim (page # 145) since the word Bechor is spelled Choseir it is an incomplete Bechor as the Bechor is missing something in the Bechoroskeit and therefore, it is spelled Choseir. These are two examples that he gives in Parshas Emor 21:2 (כִּי, אִם-לִשְׁאֵרוֹ, הַקָּרֹב, אֵלָיו). It calls a wife Karov, (קָּרֹב), Choseir and then it talks about (וְלַאֲחֹתוֹ הַבְּתוּלָה הַקְּרוֹבָה אֵלָיו). It talks about a sister being (קְּרוֹבָה). Why is one Malei and one Choseir?

Me, I wouldn’t know. To someone like Rav Chaim who knows Shas on his fingertips, it is simple. Zagt Rav Chaim, the Halacha is that a Kohein can be Metamei to a sibling, a brother or a sister even when that brother or sister is a Posul, a Mamzer, no matter what. (הַקְּרוֹבָה אֵלָיו) that Kirvus is complete, is Malei. However, a Kohein who is married could be Mitamei (לִשְׁאֵרו) which is his wife (הַקָּרֹב, אֵלָיו). The Gemara says only if that relative has no Psul. Metamei L’ishto Keshaira V’lo Lishto Pesula. If his wife is a divorced person that he married he cannot be Metamei for her. So (לִשְׁאֵרוֹ) is a relative (הַקָּרֹב, אֵלָיו) that it is an incomplete relationship, only under certain conditions is it a Karov. These are three examples and there are numerous other examples in the Sefer Taima Dik’ra in many of the Parshios Hatorah of this Yesod. Vayechi 49:29 would be an example. Look it up (page # 63).

What does that have to do with this week’s Parsha? In this week’s Parsha we seem to have the exact opposite. It says in the Parsha, in the Tochacha in Posuk 28:15 that in times that Klal Yisrael is not deserving (וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ). The curses will run after you (וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ) and will reach you. (הִשִּׂיגוּךָ) is spelled Malei. Hei, Sin, Yud, Gimmel, Vav, Ende Chaf. It is spelled Malei. We have the same language earlier when the Posuk is talking about Berachos that Klal Yisrael is blessed. There it says that the Berachos will run after you (וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ) and the same Lashon that they will reach you. However, over there when it talks about Berachos it says (וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ) Choseir, Vav, Hei, Sin, Yud, Gimmel, Ende Chaf. It is missing the Vav. Here we have a problem. If it would be reversed that Berachos it would be Malei and that by Klalos it would be Choseir then it would be Geshmak. The Berachos will reach you completely and the curses, Middah Tova Miruba Mai’Midda Puranios. The Midda Puranios, the bad thing is not complete. However, it is the reverse. It is Malei by the curses and Choseir by the Berachos. What is going on?

In the Sefer Talelai Oros he says such a beautiful Geshmake Teretz. He says the following. We have a Yesod which the Gemara spells out, that a person is fortunate with whatever Onshin a person he deserves Lo Aleinu he receives those punishments in this world and not in the world to come. Berachos is just the opposite. Schar, we don’t want Schar in this world. We want the Schar in the next world which is of course the real Schar. 

Zagt the Talelai Oros very Geshmak. In 28:2 (וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַבְּרָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ) it is spelled Choseir. Berachos you will not get all of them in this world. Some of them will reach you. When it comes to the Klalos in Posuk 15 (וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ) anything for which a person deserves punishment he should get in this world. Therefore, the Klalos will reach you completely and you will come to the Olam Ha’emes without Onshim. Such a beautiful Vort. 

The Emunah in Chazal in the Diyuk of every single word in the Posuk, every single letter in a Posuk is Gevaldig with this Yesod. Bli Neder, we will return to it at some other time. 

2. Let me move on to a second Yesod in the Parsha. We have in the Parsha half the Shevatim on Har Eival and half on Har Grizim. Kehas in the middle with the Aron and the splitting up of the Shevatim is very confusing. On Har Eival you have the 4 Bnei Hashefachos together, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naftali, we would expect them to be together, plus Reuvain and Zevulun. It is very hard to understand that set. On the other mountain there is Shimon, Yehuda, Yissochor, Menashe, Efraim, Binyomin. Why is it divided this way? The Meforshim struggle. 

When I gave Shiur on Sefer Yehoshua I had seen a Pshat (I don’t remember where it is), however, the Pshat I said was the following. The Shevatim were divided as evenly as possible on the two mountains. So that the number of people on each mountain should be as equal as possible. If you add up (the people on Har Eival), Reuvain, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Dan, Naftali you get a total of 307,930[1] people. If you add up Har Grizim, Shimon, Yehuda, Yissochor, Menashe, Efraim, Binyomin you get a total of 293,800[2] people. Of all of the combination of Shevatim this appears to be the closest. But that is not enough. It is still not exact. But one minute, we forgot to add Gershon and Merari who are on Har Grizim as well. 

Har Eival is set at 307,930. On Har Grizim it is 293,800. So let’s add Gershon and Merari the two families of Sheivet Levi that stood on the mountain. How many were there? We have a problem because in Pashas Pinchos it just says that the Leviim were 23,000 and it doesn’t divide them by family. However, earlier in Parshas Bamidbar when the Leviim were slightly fewer at 22,300, it does. There we find that Merari and Gershon together had 13,700[3] people. Kehas who stood in middle had 8,600. Now, from Bamidbar to Pinchas, Sheivet Levi went from 22,300 to 23,000. Proportionality if you do the math, Merari and Gershon would have 14,130[4] people. That is exact. If you add 14,130 to the 293,800 people that were on Har Grizim you get 307,930. Which means that the Shevatim divided on Har Grizim and Har Eival were exact, not close but precisely divided in half by number of people. 

It is a wonderful Pshat in the understanding of the division of Har Grizim and Har Eival. They had to be equal. The Koach of Klalos and Berachos are equal. They had to be equal and they were equal. The numbers are there and they are precise. It is Gevaldig. It is an extraordinary lesson about how much is hidden in Torah. How much is underneath. How precise everything really was. 

An Am Ha’aretz could read the Chumash and think that things were done haphazardly. It is not so. Everything in Torah was done with precision. Both of these Divrei Torah for Parshas Ki Savo indicate that. The precision of Malei and Choseir, the precision of Jews on Har Eival and Har Grizim. Ashreinu Ma Tov Chelkeinu Uma Yafa Yerushaseinu, someone who is Zoche to delve into Torah. 

3. We come to the week of Selichos this coming week and I want to urge you all to make it a meaningful week. Selichos means that you get up early for Selichos not that you start everything later. 

Certainly this Thursday night, the last Thursday night before we come to Selichos is a night which you should all be staying up later for Mishmar. It is a time to prepare for the Yom Hadin. At the very least, if you have never attended a Mishmar come and learn Hilchos Rosh Hashana and prepare for it. You don’t have time? 

Nowadays you can take a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch with notes where the Mishna Brura argues and go through it easily in one hour the Halachos of Rosh Hashana and become an expert and be a Talmid Chochom. Of course you have to Chazir it as well. Do it. Do it. 

I have a feeling that just like there are barbers and tailors and I am not a barber and I am not a tailor. Many people feel that there are barbers, tailors and Mishmar goers and I am not a Mishmar goer. There are certain people who are Mishmar goers. Nothing doing. Everybody is a potential Mishmar goer. The only way is that you pick yourself up and get to the Beis Medrash tonight. IY”H we will order extra black and whites for you. I look IY”H forward to greeting you. Tell me you came because you heard this on the phone today and this is your very first time and IY”H you will be happy you did it. With this I wish everyone a meaningful coming week, a preparation for the Yom Hadin. A Gutten Shabbos to one and all!

[1] Reuvain – 43,730, Gad – 40,500, Asher – 53,400, Zevulun – 60,500, Dan – 64,400, Naftali – 45,400 = Total of 307,930. 

[2] Shimon – 22,200, Yehuda – 76,500, Yissochor – 64,300, Menashe – 52,700, Efraim – 32,500, Binyomin – 45,600 = Total of 293,800. 

[3] Merari – 6,200, Gershon – 7,500 = Total of 13,700. 

[4] 13,700/22,300 x 23,000 = 14,130.