Sunday, July 28, 2013

Re'eh 5773

The Torah Portion of Re'eh  

"See (in Hebrew: Re'eh), I present before you today a blessing and a curse." (Devorim 11:26)

The name of this week's Torah Portion, as well as its first word, is "Re'eh" (in Hebrew).  The letters of the word "Re'eh" in Hebrew are Raish, Aleph, and Hey.  These are the  Roshei Teivot (initial letters) of the Hebrew words: "Re'eh Elul Higia" (in English: "Behold, Elul has arrived!").  They are also the initial letters of the Hebrew words: "Elul Rosh Hashonah". 

"You shall not do so to Hashem, your G-d. Rather, only at the place that Hashem, your G-d, will choose..." (Devorim 12:4-5)

Someone who erases Hashem's name or destroys items in a Bait Knesset (synagogue) transgresses this verse, "You shall not do so to Hashem, your G-d..." (Devorim 12:4).  It is written in the Gemorrah Succah (53a), that at the time that David Hamelech dug deep pits for the Altar, he wrote the Divine Name on a shard of pottery and cast it into the depths, as Achitophel had advised him to do, so that the waters would not flood the world.  And this is hinted at in the verse "You shall not do so to Hashem, your G-d" (Devorim 12:4), but for the Bait HaMikdash (Temple) it is permitted, and that is why the verse after that says, "Rather, only at the place that Hashem, your G-d, will choose..." (Devorim 12:5)

"And the pig, for it has a split hoof, but does not chew the cud, it is impure to you... "(Devorim 12:5)

The Sages say that there is none as wealthy as the pig, and none as poor as the dog.  The simple explanation is that the pig eats all kinds of filth, but the dog is always hungry.  The Gr"a asks, why do the Sages teach us facts about nature?  And he explains, that behold, the negative commandment regarding the pig is wealthy, because there are many that fulfill it, since many Jews avoid eating pig.  But the dog, which hints at the prohibition of Lashon Hara (forbidden speech) is poor, because only a few people carefully observe the prohibition of Lashon Hara.

The Month of Elul

The Hebrew letters of the name of the month of Elul are: Aleph Lamed Vuv Lamed.  These are the Roshei Teivot (initial letters) of the Hebrew words: "L'Bracha V'lo L'Klala" (in English: "For a blessing and not a curse").  They are also  the initial letters of the Hebrew words: "L'Chaim V'lo L'Mavet" (in English: "For life and not for death").  And they are also the initial letters of the Hebrew words: "L'Sova V'lo L'Razon" (in English: "For satisfaction and not for starvation").

The Shofar

On the first day of Elul we begin to sound the Shofar.  The explanation of the Hebrew word Shofar is that it is similar to the Hebrew word  "Shifru", (in English: to improve), i.e., we need to improve our deeds.

"Of David, Hashem is my light and my salvation" (Tehillim 27:1)

On the  first day of Elul we begin to say the psalm "L'David Hashem Ori V'yishi" (Tehillim 27:1 -- in English "Of David, Hashem is my light and my salvation") until Simchat Torah.  According to the Midrash, the word "Ori" (in English; "my light") in this Psalm refers to Rosh Hashana.  The word "V'yishi" (in English: "my salvation") refers to Yom Kippur.  "Ki Yitzpinaini B'Succoh" (Tehillim 27:5 -- in English, "For he will hide me in his Succah") refers to Succot. 

"One thing I request of Hashem...that I may dwell in the House of Hashem all the days of my life...and to visit in His Sanctuary"  (Tehillim 27:4)

The above verse is written in the Psalm "L'David Hashem Ori" (27:1), which we begin saying on the first day of Elul.  It has been noted that there seems to be a contradiction here, because the phrase "all the days of my life"  implies that he would be there permanently, on a fixed basis, but "to visit" implies that he would not be there permanently. The explanation is that the nature of a person is that if he becomes accustomed to something, it doesn't arouse him and he doesn't get excited, but if he comes to a new place that causes him excitement.  And that is why David said "One thing I request of Hashem...that I may dwell in the House of Hashem all the days of my life", on a permanent basis, but as if on a visit, with renewal and arousal.

It used to be in Israel that when the announcement of the sancitification of the month of Elul was heard, every person was trembling with fear.

The Torah Portion of Re'eh has 126 verses.  17 commandments. 37  negative commandments.Haftora: "Ania Soara", until "Paarach" (Yishayahu 54:11 - 55:5). 

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.  
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

Eikev 5773

The Torah Portion of Eikev 

"And it will be that because of your listening to these ordinances, and your observing and performing them; then Hashem, your G-d, will safeguard for you the covenant and the kindness that He swore to your forefathers." (Devorim 7:12)

"And it will be" is a language of happiness.  "Because of'" (in Hebrew: Eikev) hints to the end of days [since the word Eikev in Hebrew is related to the Hebrew word for "footstep", and the end of days is also referred to as the footsteps of Mashiach].  There will be great happiness before the coming of the Mashiach, because there will an awakening of Teshuva (repentance).

"A land of wheat and barley, and grape, and fig, and pomegranate; a land of oil-olives and honey." (Devorim 8:8)

The Tzala"ch asks, there is a  law regarding the Sheva Minim (the seven kinds of fruits for which Israel is praised) which are written in this verse, that what comes earlier in the verse takes precedence when deciding which fruit to say a blessing on first.  This presents a difficulty, since the Torah needs to tell us the list of the fruits, and perhaps all of them are equal in value; and  if so, what is the proof that any of them take precedence?  And he explains, that there was no reason for the Torah to write the word "land" a second time in this verse, except to hint to us here the law of precedence (when making a blessing).

"A land of wheat and barley, and grape, and fig, and pomegranate; a land of oil-olives and honey." (Devorim 8:8)

The Rav of Brisk said that if the Torah tells us a list, then that in and of itself is a law of precedence.  And if the Torah wanted that things wouldn't be in a particular order, in another place it would have stated a list in a different order.  For example, "These are Moshe and Aharon" (Shemot 6:27) and "These are Aharon and Moshe" (Shemot 6:26), to show us that they are equal in importance.  And so we have found regarding the daughters of Tzelophad, that the Torah wrote two lists to show us that they are equal in their righteousness.

"A land of wheat and barley, and grape, and fig, and pomegranate; a land of oil-olives and honey." (Devorim 8:8)

The Rebbe told to his Students that the seeds of the fruit are a Siman (a sign to remember the order of precedence when saying a blessing on the fruits):
1.  "Olive" - It has only one seed.
2.  "Date" (which is referred to as honey in the verse) - It has a seed with a crack, so it is like two.
3.  "Grape" - When grapes have seeds, they have three seeds, so that is the third.  (And also the word for Grape in Hebrew is "Gefen", which starts with the letter Gimel, the third letter in the Hebrew alphabet.)
4.  "Fig" - It has many tiny seeds, so that is the fourth.
5.  "Pomegranate" - It has many large seeds, so that is the fifth.

"...A land whose stones are iron and from whose mountains you will mine copper." (Devorim 8:9)

The Targum Yonatan says (in the translation of this verse to Aramaic): "A land in which its Sages declare decrees which are  clear like iron, and its Students ask questions which are marked  like copper."  And it has been asked, why does this belong in the middle of verses that are speaking about the praises of the fruit of the Land of Israel?  The explanation is thus: by means of increasing his eating, a man comes to forget the Torah and its Mitzvot, as it is written: "Yeshurun became fat and kicked - you grew fat, you became thick, you became covered -- and he forsook G-d his Maker..." (Devorim 32:15) But when eating of the fruit of the Land of Israel, on the contrary, there is an increase of Holiness, as it is written by the  Ba"ch in Orach Chaim, Siman 208, that the Holiness of the Land emanates from the Holiness of the Upper Land (in the Heavenly Realms), and this emanates also into the Land's fruits which draw their Holiness from the Holiness of the Shechina (Divine Presence) which dwells within the midst of the Land.  And therefore we say "and we will eat from its fruits and be satisfied from its goodness", because by eating from its fruits we are nourished from the Holiness of the Shechina and from its Purity and we are satisfied from its Goodness.  And there are those that add, that the Sages say that the Land of  Israel is higher than all the other lands, and this is a hint that the earthiness, that is to say the  materialism, of Israel is higher in its level than that of the other lands because it adds Holiness to the person.

"You will eat and you will be satisfied and you will bless Hashem, your G-d, for the good land that He gave you."  (Devorim 8:10)

The Rishonim (Early Ones) ask, why didn't they establish a blessing about Birkat HaMazon, "Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to bless Birkat HaMazon"?  And the explanation is, that they didn't establish a blessing on another blessing, because if they did so there would be no end to the matter, for similarly one would also need  to say another blessing on the blessing that was made.  And the "Sfat Emet" explains, that Birkat HaMazon is a blessing about gratitude, and everyone understands that on eating it is necessary to give thanks, and this is not just a matter of sanctity which would require one to say "Who has sancitified us...", and therefore they didn't establish the saying of the blessing "Who has sanctified us...".

"And now Israel, what does Hashem your G-d ask of you..."  (Devorim 10:12)

From this verse, the Rabbis said (in Menachot 43:2) that a man is required to say 100 blessings every day.  For they said, don't read "Mah" (in English: "what") but "Meah" (in English: "100").  That is to say, "a hundred Hashem your G-d asks of you".

"And now Israel, what does Hashem your G-d ask of you..." (Devorim 10:12)

The word "what" is a language of humility, as in the verse "and what are we" (Shemot 16:7).  One needs to behave with humility.

"And now.." (Devorim 10:12)

Also, the fact that it is written "and now", means that one always needs to say "and now"-- from now it is necessary to serve Hashem.  For the Evil Inclination alwasy causes a person to despair, and it is necessary to tell oneself, from now I am beginning, just like we say at the end of the Ashrei prayer "from now until forever", immediately "from now" I will begin again.

The Torah Portion of Eikev has 111 verses.   6 commandments. 2  negative commandments.Haftora: "Vatomer Tzion" (Yishayahu 49). 

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.  
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

Monday, July 22, 2013

V'etchanan - Shabbat Nachamu 5773

The Torah Portion of Va'etchanan - Shabbat Nachamu 

"And I implored Hashem at that time saying." (Devorim 3:23)  

The "Ohr HaChaim" says that there are four aspects to prayer: 
1. supplication, 
2. asking for a free gift,
3. appropriate timing, 
4. clarity. 
All of these aspects are present in the verse "And I implored Hashem at that time saying" (Devorim 3:23): 
"And I implored" --  this is a language which implies both supplication and asking for a free gift;
"at that time"   -- this indicates that it was at an appropriate time; 
"saying" -- this implies that Moshe prayed clearly.

"And I implored Hashem  (in Hebrew: Va'etchanan)..." (Devorim 3:23)  

The first word of this week's Torah Portion in Hebrew is "Va'etchanan" (Devorim 3:23), which has the Gematria (numerical sum of the values of the Hebrew letters) of 515. The Sages say that Moshe prayed 515 prayers to Hashem, which is equal in number to the Gematria of  the Hebrew word Va'etchanan. The Gr"a says that Moshe's prayer included 515 topics, that is to say, 515  additional concepts that were different one from another.  In any event, if Moshe had added anything more to that and prayed one more prayer, it would have been effective to cancel the decree.  The Hebrew word "Shira" ("Song" in English), as well as the Hebrew word "Tefillah" ("Prayer" in English) both also have the Gematria of 515. 

"And I implored Hashem at that time saying." (Devorim 3:23)  

The "Ohr HaChaim" says that even though the prayer of Moshe was not accepted, no prayer every goes to waste.  And occasionally it helps after the passage of time, or even may help future generations.  The "Chazon Ish" says that occasionally we see an important and great man who comes from a simple family, and that is because some grandmother prayed at the time of lighting candles.

"Please let me cross and see the good land..." (Devorim 3:25)

The Sages ask: "And is it because he needed to eat from its fruits?"  The Tzala"ch asks two questions regarding this:
1.  Why did the Sages establish in the Three Faceted Blessing (Birkat M'ain Shalosh) which we say after eating certain foods, the phrase "to eat from its fruits", since regarding Moshe the Sages questioned whether he needed "to eat from its fruits", and if so why should we say a blessing about that?
2.  What is the meaning of the word "needed"?  Shouldn't it have said, "is it because he wanted to eat of its fruits"?
The answer that the Arizal gives on these questions is that the fruits of the Land of Israel have within them qualities that enable one to go up in the levels of Holiness.  And also it was written by the Ba"ch (in Tur Orach Chaim 208, 8) that the Holiness of the Land of Israel which flows to it, emanates from the Holiness of the Land which is Above (i.e., in the Heavenly realms), and that this Holiness also flows into its fruits, which draw down nourishment from the Holiness of the Shechina (Divine Presence).  And therefore we find that by eating its fruits we are given nourishment from the Holiness of the Shechina.  And this is the question, for behold, about Moshe it is written that "You have made him slightly less than the angels" (Tehillim 8:6) - that Moshe rose up in the 49 levels of Holiness and therefore he didn't need the  Segula (i.e., the special spiritual benefits ) of eating the fruits.  But we, who are very distant from the levels of Moshe, cerrtainly we need the fruits of the Land of Israel, and certainly it is relevant to say in the Three Faceted Blessing "to eat from its fruits and to be satisfied with its goodness". 

"You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor shall you subtract from it." (Devorim 4:2)

The Maggid from Dovna asks, it is understood why you shouldn't subtract from Hashem's word, but why not add to it?  And he explains by means of a parable: A person borrowed a chair from his friend, and returned him a large chair and a small chair.  He told him "The large chair gave birth to the small chair and so the small chair belongs to you", and the lender was happy.  Afterwards he borrowed a watch from his friend and returned him a large watch and small watch; he told him that the large watch gave birth to the small watch, and the lender was happy.  And afterwards, he requested to borrow of large, expensive lamp made of gold.  The lender agreed to give it to him because he thought that it would give birth to a small lamp made of gold.   But the borrower didn't return it.  The lender asked him: "Where is the gold lamp?"  The borrower answered that it had died.  The lender asked him "Is it possible that a lamp can die?"  And the borrower answered him, "Just as you understood that it's possible to give birth, it's also possible to die." And that is what the Torah says, "do not add and do not subtract", because if you add to it, it's also possible to subtract.

"And you who are attached to Hashem Your G-d, you are all alive today." (Devorim 4:4)

The first word in this verse in Hebrew is "V'atem", which means "And you".  It has the same letters as the Hebrew word "V'emet", which means "And truth."  Someone who walks with the truth is able to attach himself to Hashem.

"And you shall not covet your fellow's wife, you shall not desire your fellow's house, his field and his slave and his maidservant, his ox and his donkey, and anything that belongs to your fellow."  (Devorim 5:18)

It is written at the end of the Ten Commandments, "...and anything that belongs to your fellow." (Devorim 5:18)  If so, why was it necessary to specify a house, a field, a servant, etc.?  A witty explanation of this is that if you covet what your friend has when you see that he has a nice house and other similar things, take also the problems and the debts that he has "and everything that belongs to your fellow."

"And you shall love Hashem... with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." (Devorim 6:5)

When Rabbi Avraham, the young son of the Chafetz Chaim passed away, his father the Chafetz Chaim  gave a moving eulogy, and within his words he said: It's told that in the time of the Inquisition in Spain in the year 5252 (1492 on the secular calendar), the Gentiles slaughtered before the eyes of one woman, her two precious sons.  The mother was a Kosher Jewish woman, and lifted up her eyes to Heaven and whispered: "Master of the World!  I confess before You that all the time that my sons were alive, my love for You was incomplete because there remained in my heart a corner for loving my sons.  And now at this time with the death of my sons, behold, all of my love is given over to You. From now on I can fufill the Mitzvah of 'And you shall love Hashem...with all your heart'  completely."   The Chafetz Chaim concluded with feeling, "Master of the Worlds!  The love that I felt until now for my son, behold, I am consecrating it to You!"

Haftorah: "Nachamu Nachamu Ami

There are seven Haftorahs of Nechama (Consolation):
1. "Nachamu Nachamu Ami" (in English: "Comfort, comfort My people")
2. "Va'Tomer Tzion Azavani Hashem" (in English: "And Tzion said Hashem has forsaken me")
3. "Aniah So'arah Lo Nuchama" (in English: "O Afflicted, storm-tossed, unconsoled one")
4. "Anochi Anochi Hu Menachemchem" (in English: "It is I, I am He who comforts you")
5. "Rani Akara" (in English: "Sing out, O barren one")
6. "Kumi Ori Ki Va Oraich" (In English: "Arise! Shine! For your light has arrived")
7. "Sos Asis Ba'Shem" (In English: "I will rejoice intensely with Hashem")

It is written that in the future to come, Hashem will say to the nations: "Comfort Israel, for you have done evil to them."  And Israel will say, "But after an exile like this and all the difficulties the nations made for us, will they still be able to comfort us?  We don't want to receive from them comfort."  And Hashem will say: "If so, I will comfort you." And there are those who connect this concept to the beginning verses of each of the seven Haftorahs of Consolation, as follows: 
1. Hashem said to the nations: "Comfort, comfort My people" 
2. And Israel will say: "And Tzion said Hashem has forsaken me" -- Hashem doesn't want to comfort us
3. Hashem will say: "O Afflicted, storm-tossed, unconsoled one" -- they don't want to accept consolation from the nations
4. And therefore Hashem will say, if so: "It is I, I am He who comforts you"
5. And Israel will say, Now that's what we want -- "Sing out, O barren one"
6. They are happy to be comforted by Hashem: "Arise! Shine! For your light has arrived"
7. "I will rejoice intensely with Hashem", the meaning is that we are happy with Hashem's consolations.  May Hashem grant that the next Tisha B'av, will come to us for the Salvation of Klal Yisrael (the entire congregation of the Jewish people) and for Consolation, Speedily in our days, Amen.

Tu B'Av

HaTov V'HaMaitiv (Who is Good and Who Does Good)

The Evil Adrianos (i.e. the Roman Emperor Hadrian) had a vineyard of 18 miles by 18 miles, and commanded to make from the corpses killed in Beitar a fence for his vineyard, and they were placed there for several years.  And when that ruler died and another ruler replaced him, the new ruler commanded to bury them, and that was on Tu B'Av.  Upon this the Sages established the fourth blessing in the Blessing after Food (Birkat HaMazon), "Who is Good and  Who Does Good" (HaTov V'HaMaitiv).  Hashem is Good, because the bodies weren't malodorous, and He Does Good, because they were given burial.

What else happened on Tu B'Av?

Tu B'Av is also the day that the men who died in the desert (for 40 years) stopped dying. It's the day that the 10 tribes were permitted to marry one another.  It's the day that the tribe of Benyamin was permitted to become once again part of the general Congregation of Israel. It's the day that the  King Hoshea ben Aleh canceled the guards that Yerovam ben Nevat had posted to prevent  Jews from going up to Jerusalem for the Holy Days.  It's the day that they stopped cutting trees for the fire which burnt on the sacrificial altar -- the happiness was that they had completed the Mitzvah, like when someone makes a Siyum (Party for completing the learning of of something, such as a tractate of the Talmud).  And there are those that explain that the happiness was that they now had time to learn more.

The Torah Portion of Va'etchanan has 118 verses.  8 positive commandments. 4  negative commandments.Haftora: "Nachamu Nachamu Ami" (Yishayahu 40). 

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.  
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Devorim - Shabbat Chazon 5773

The Torah Portion of Devorim - Shabbat Chazon 5773

Chumash Devorim.

A good beginning -- we are beginning Chumash Devorim.  Chumash Devorim is also called "Mishneh Torah" (in English: "a review or repetition of the Torah").  Every Chumash has an additional name.  The Chumash Breisheet is also called "Sefer HaYashar" (in English: "the Book of the Straight"), because it speaks about the Avot (Patriarchs) who are called Straight Ones.  We see this in the Book of Yehoshua, that when the sun was made to stand still  there is a verse which says, "Is it not written in the Sefer HaYashar" (Yehoshua 10:13), and that verse is referring to the Chumash Breisheet  within the Torah Portion of Vayechi, when Yaakov said to Yosef, "However his younger brother will be greater than he"  (Breisheet 48:19) -- and the intention was that Yehoshua would descend from him (that is, from Ephraim), and that in his merit the sun would stand still.  From here we see that Chumash Breisheet is called "Sefer HaYashar" ("The Book of the Straight").  

The Names of the "Chamisha Chumshai Torah" ("The Five Books of the Torah"):

1.Breisheet -- Sefer HaYashar ("The Book of the Straight")
2. Shemot -- Sefer HaGeula ("The Book of Redemption", and and there are those that add also, "Sefer Michamot Hashem" ("The Book of the Wars of Hashem")
3. Vayikra -- Torat Kohanim ("The Torah of the Priests")
4. Bamidbar -- Chumash HaPekudim ("The Chumash of The Countings")
5. Devorim -- Mishneh Torah ("Review or Repetition of the Torah")

Why is the Torah called Chumash?  

Because it has within it five books.  [Note: the Hebrew word "Chumash", which refers to the five books of the Torah, has the same root as the Hebrew word for "five", "Chamisha".]    The Mabi"t adds that there is another reason, and that is because the Torah was given in five places: 1) in Mitzrayim (Egypt) -- the Korban Pesach (Passover Offering) and the laws regarding the firstborn offspring were given, 2) At Mara -- Shabbat, and the Parah Aduma (Red Heifer) and its laws were given, 3) at Har Sinai, 4) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the Tent of Meeting, and 5) in the Plains of Moab.

"These are the words that Moshe spoke to all Yisrael..."  (Devorim 1:1)

The Sages say: "The majority [stumble in the sin of] robbery, the minority in the sin of illicit relations, and everyone in the sin of Avak Lashon Hara (the dust of forbidden speech)".  The first word of Chumash Devorim in Hebrew is "Aileh" (in English: "These are") -- and the verse continues that "Moshe spoke to ALL Israel" (that is to say, this is a hint that everyone stumbles in the sin of Avak Lashon Hara).   The letters of Aileh are Aleph, Lamed, Hey, and these are the initial letters of  the words "Avak Lashon Hara" (in English: "the dust of forbidden speech").  The Ohr HaChama brings in the Siddur (prayer book), that the Sages say that the Ketoret (incense offering) atones for Lashon Hara (forbidden speech).  There should come something in secret, that is to say, quietly, because it is forbidden for any man to enter at the time of the incense offering except for one Kohen.  And that thing (the incense offering) should atone for something which occurs secretly, for usually people speak Lashon Hara quietly.  And in the case of the Ketoret, it is written that "you should grind some of it very finely" (Shemot 30:36) -- that you need to break down the components of the incense very finely, like dust.  And this is a hint about Avak Lashon Hara (the dust of forbidden speech).

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."  (Shemot 16:3) 
"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." (Shemot 14:11)
"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." (Bamidbar 21:5)
"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, 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.  

Tisha B'av

Yermiyahu wrote the Megillat Eicha according to the order of the Aleph - Beit (the Hebrew alphabet), because they  transgressed the Torah which was given with the Aleph - Bet.  But the letter Pei  (which hints at the  Hebrew word for "mouth" , "Peh") comes before the letter Ayin (which hints at  the Hebrew word for "eye", "Ayin").  (And that is not in its usual sequence.)  This is because they spoke with their mouth what that they didn't see with their eye.  But in the first chapter  the Ayin comes before the Pei -- because that chapter hints about the spies who spoke also a little bit truth. (from Taamei Minhagim)

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?"

"My soul well remembers and is bowed down within me" (Eicha 3:20)

The Tzaddik R' Avraham Bardaki ztz"l would always repeat the verse in Eicha (3:20) "My soul well remembers and is bowed down within me".  Rashi says, I know that in the end You will remember us, but we don't have strength to wait so much time.  He  (Rav Avraham Bardaki ztz"l) also would repeat the last verse (Eicha 5:22): "For if You have utterly rejected us, You have [already] been exceedingly wroth against us."  Rashi explains, that in response to our sinnning You didn't need to increase your anger against us as much as You did".  If it weren't the case that this verse had stated it, it would be forbidden for us to make such an interpretation on our own.

"Why do you forget us forever, abandon us for lengthy days?  Return to us Hashem and we will return.  Renew our days as of old."  (Eicha 5:20-21)

At the end of Eichah (that is, in the verses right before the last verse, which we repeat at the end of the reading of Eichah) it is stated (Eicha 5:20-21): "Why do you forget us forever, abandon us for lengthy days?  Return us ... renew our days as of old".  The Chatam Sofer explains, that it is written "Make us rejoice like the days in which You afflicted us" (Tehillim 90:15).  And if so, after a lengthy exile like this there won't remain many days left until the end of 6,000 years to "make us rejoice". But the answer is that the Holy One Blessed Be He will make the days long in order to compensate us.  And upon this we say "Why do you forget us forever", and therefore "abandon us for lengthy days" -- that is to say, that the days will be lengthy days.  "Return us Hashem and we will return", and then "Renew our days as of old"  -- regular days will suffice to be like the ancient days.

The Torah Portion of Devorim has 105 verses.   2 negative commandments.Haftora: "Chazon Yishayahu" (Yishayahu 1).

Everyone who mourns about Jerusalem merits and sees her happiness.

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.  
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772