Torah Teaser – Parshat V’ESCHANON Questions & Answers – August 8 2114-5774

Moshe’s Eyes Are Opened To The Kedusha Of Eiver HaYarden Hashem tells Moshe he will not go into Eretz Yisrael. Instead He tells him, “Alei Rosh HaPisga; Go on top of the mountain; V’Sa Einecha Yama V’Tzafona V’Teimana U’Mizracha; to look in all four directions and see Eretz Yisrael.” Rav Shimon Schwab asks that the eastern direction was Eretz Sichon and Og, which were already captured and were not part of Eretz Yisrael proper. What was there for Moshe to see there?
He answers that Eretz Sichon and Og only became Kadosh after Eretz Yisrael itself was captured. Moshe was looking at the Kedusha, not a piece of land. Sichon and Og were the last to become Kadosh and we see this in Hashem’s words. First Hashem tells Moshe to look in the other three directions. Only after he had done that does Hashem tell him to look eastward, to see a dimension of the land of Sichon and Og that he had never seen before, despite having conquered it.

When Hints Will Suffice We find before Mattan Torah, when Hashem told Klal Yisrael to separate from their wives, He said a direct and explicit command,” Al Tigshu El Isha – Do not come close to a woman.” However, when He told them to return to their wives after Mattan Torah, it was only hinted to them with the words, “Shuvu Lachem L’Ahalaychem; Return to your tents,”
R’Yisrael Salanter says, “We see from here, when telling someone that something is prohibited, you must spell it out to the person in a clear and concise language. A hint will not suffice, since he just won’t get it. However, when it comes to a Heter, telling someone that something is allowed, a person will understand what you mean even with the most vague hint! That is why when it came to tell Klal Yisrael that they must separate from their wives it was said explicitly. However, when it came to be allowed again to their wives the words, שׁוּבוּ לָכֶם לְאָהֳלֵיכֶם sufficed.”

Moshe’s Burial Place Is A Favor To Klal Yisroel “VaYisaber Hashem Bi L’Ma’anchem; Hashem became angry at me because of you.” (VaEschanan 3:26). Moshe says that because of Klal Yisroel, Moshe was not buried in Eretz Yisrael. The Netziv points out that the word L’Ma’anchem means “for your sake” which implies that it was a favor for Bnei Yisrael that Moshe did not go into Eretz Yisroel. What kind of favor was this?
The Netziv answers that after Moshe finishes telling them that Yehoshua will lead, the Torah says, “VaNeishev BaGai Mul Bais Pi’or; Bnei Yisrael encamped in Gai opposite Bais Pi’or.”
“This Pasuk, which is out of place, explains the riddle,” says the Netziv. Pi’or was very attractive to Bnei Yisrael, and they had a very hard time resisting it. In fact they were already Nichshol once.
Moshe was buried opposite Pi’or as extra protection for them to help them resist. This Makom Tumah was transformed into a Makom Kadosh as Moshe’s resting place, as a huge favor for Bnei Yisrael who resided there.

Two Halves Equal One Fool The pasuk tells us (4:2) “Lo Sigri’u Mimenu”. The Torah cannot be broken into components. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (Divrei Agadah) tells a Mashal to explain this. There was a naïve villager who somehow had a large fortune of money. A city slicker came to him one day to borrow money from him. He hesitated, wondering aloud how he will get his money back. The city boy explained to him that he can write a contract and guarantors will sign as well. If he has trouble collecting, he can take the document to court and they will force the him to pay. Agreeing with this plan the villager lent him a large sum of money for a year’s time.
In middle of the year, the city boy came back the villager and told him that he wants to return half the money because he doesn’t need anymore. After returning the money he asked the villager to give him back half the document. The village cut the document in half and returned it to him. A few days later he returned again explaining that after rechecking the situation he does after all need the second half of the money. So the villager gave him back the money and received the second half of the document once again. Now the naïve villager had a document ripped in half and the city slicker had all the money. The same is with our torah explains Rav Elyashiv. If you rip out any part of it, it becomes a worthless document. The Torah must be kept in its entirety.

When The Mon Falls, Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos Observe (“Shamor”) the Shabbat day, that you may sanctify it… (Devarim 5:12,15). Compare this with the earlier mention of the Aseres HaDibros in the Torah. Remember (“Zachor”) the Shabbat day, that you may sanctify it… (Shemot 20:8,11).
Rashi inquires why the Torah begins its first account with the word “Zachor” and the second with the word “Shamor?” He answers with the famous Midrash that both Shamor and Zachor were spoken and heard simultaneously as one word (Mechilta 20:8). Hence, the opening verse of the Lecha Dodi: Shamor VeZachor BeDibbur Echad – “Observe” and “Remember” in one utterance”. Nevertheless, the question remains why mention Zachor specifically in the first account and Shamor in the second reading?
Meshech Chochmah explains that one purpose of our Shabbos is to testify that Hashem created the world in six days and ceased from creative activity on Shabbos. Another reason is to give people a day off work, enabling them to direct their attention solely to spiritual pursuits. It provides an ideal opportunity to learn about Hashem and to study His Torah.
In the desert, where Klal Yisroel did not work for a living because they received the Mon daily, they spent their time studying the Torah in great depth. For them, Shabbos was not needed as a day off to learn. Its main purpose was to testify that Hashem created the world. This is why the Aseres HaDibros in Shemos, taught in the first year of Klal Yisroel’s sojourn in the desert, emphasizes Zachor, i.e. remember that Hashem created the world. Zachor is the positive aspect of remembering Shabbos that includes reciting Kiddush (at the beginning) and Havdallah (at the conclusion), which speak

about creation.
In our Sidra, when Moshe is reviewing the Mitzvos, just weeks prior to the Klal Yisroel’s entry into Eretz Yisroel, the other reason for Shabbos had to be accentuated. The people were about to conquer the land, where they would begin a new life of agriculture and industry. They needed to appreciate that Shabbos would provide them with an opportunity to recharge their spiritual batteries, to energize themselves for the week ahead. The Torah therefore emphasized Shamor, meaning observe the Shabbat prohibitions (Melachos) so that Shabbos becomes a truly spiritual encounter, without distractions.

Created By Avrohom Sherman
[email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email