Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Devorim & Shabbat Chazon

The Torah Portion of Devorim

The Gr"a says, that Chumash Devorim is divided into three parts:

1) Words of Mussar (Ethics) and rebuke, from the beginning up until the Torah Portion of Va'etchanan Chapter 5.
2) Mitzvot of the Torah, from the fourth Aliyah of the Torah Portion of Va'etchanan, until the Torah Portion of Ki Tavo Chapter 27 Verse 9.
3) Blessings and Curses, from Chapter 27 Verse 9, till the end of the Chumash.
And this is hinted at within the first five verses of Devorim:
"These are the words that Moshe spoke..." (Devorim 1:1) -- this refers to the part about Mussar (Ethics) and rebuke.
"...Moshe spoke to the Children of Israel according to everything that Hashem commanded..." (Devorim 1:3) -- this refers to the part about the Mitzvot.
"...Moshe began clarifying this Torah..." (Devorim 1:3) -- this refers to the part about the Blessings and Curses. (from Mayana Shel Torah)

"These are the words that Moshe spoke to all Israel, across the Jordan, in the desert, in the Plain, opposite (the Sea of) Reeds, between Paran and Tophel and Lavan, and Chatzerot and Di-Zahav."(Devorim 1:1)

Moshe spoke to Israel in hints:
"in the desert" -- on what they did in the desert, when they said "Who will grant that our death will be at the hand of Hashem."
"in the Plain" -- on what they did in the Plains of Moab, in the sin of Ba'al Peor.
"opposite (the Sea of) Reeds" -- on what they did at the Sea of Reeds, when they said "Are there no graves in Egypt, etc."
"between Paran" -- the sin of the spies.
"Tophel and Lavan" -- when they spoke about the Manna saying "And our souls are disgusted with this light bread."
"and Chatzerot" -- this is the Machloket (dispute) of Korach.
"and Di-Zahav" -- this is the deed of the Golden Calf.

And why did Moshe speak in hints?

Because of the honor of Israel. And it has been asked, if so, why did he go on at length afterwards?  The explanation is that, since Moshe spoke to Israel in hints they immediately did Teshuva (repented) out of love -- for when words come from the heart they enter into the heart (of the listener).  Then Moshe began to go on at length and explain the details of the sins, because when someone does Teshuva out of love, the sins are turned into merits, and therefore Moshe went on at length, so that they would have many merits. (from Mayana Shel Torah)

Another explanation for why Moshe shortened the rebuke at the beginning:

Another explanation for why Moshe shortened the rebuke at the beginning, is because that needs to be the way of Mussar (ethics).  When someone is brought close to the Torah it needs to be done in stages, in the beginning by means of hints, and after that when we see that he accepts it then we need to expand upon the Mussar.  (from Torat HaParsha)

"There are eleven days from Chorev..." (Devorim 1:2)

The Kli Yakar says that there is a hint here about the eleven days that we mourn on the Churban Bait HaMikdash (Destruction of the Temple) in the year: the Nine Days of the Month of Av, the 17th of Tammuz, and the 10th of Tevet.

Haftorah and Tisha B'av

The Sages say: "Every generation that the Bait HaMikdash (Temple) is not built in its days, it's as if it was destroyed in its days."

A story is written in one of the books of the Rama:  

After the destruction of the First Temple, the sages of the world's nations came to see the Temple when it was burnt.  And one of them came who was the greatest sage of the nations of the world and his name was Appleton.  And he saw how Yirmiyahu was sitting there and crying and crying without stopping.  He said to him:  "I can see about you, that you are a wise person.  How is it suitable for you to cry about stones that are burnt?"  Yirmiyahu answered him: "They say about you that you are the wisest person of all the non-Jews.  Certainly you have questions that you haven't solved."  Appleton answered him: "Yes, I have questions, but no human being in the world is able to solve them."  Yirmiyahu said to him: "Try to ask me.  Perhaps I will succeed to solve them for you."  And Appleton began with his questions, and Yirmiyahu answered him immediately on everything.  Appleton said to him: "If so, the puzzle is even greater.  If you are so wise, why are you crying about a building which is burnt?"  Yirmiyahu answered him: "All of my wisdom comes from this House (i.e. the First Temple), and how will I not cry?"

The Torah Portion of Devorim has 105 verses.   2 negative commandments.

Haftora: "Chazon Yishayahu" (Yishayahu 1).

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l

Everyone who mourns about Jerusalem merits and sees her happiness.

Shabbat Shalom.

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