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May 15, 2008

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PARSHAS BEHAR

PARSHAS BEHAR
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹר דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים תִּזְרַע שָׂדֶךָ
What is the significance of seven years? The Chida has answers. The Gemara in Brachos says Rava told his students during Nissan and Tishrei don’t come to Yeshiva to learn, work the fields so you have the means to learn for the rest of the year. If you do the math over the six years it adds up to twelve months. Therefore the seventh Year is Shemita.
וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֶת-חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת-מִשְׁפָּטַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם וִישַׁבְתֶּם עַל-הָאָרֶץ לָבֶטַח
Why does the torah use the term עֲשִׂיתֶם by חוקים and by משפטים it uses the termתִּשְׁמְרו ּ? Rabbi Frand offers the following explanation. The difference between a חוק and a משפט is that a חוק has no logical explanation. We do it because Hashem told us too. A משפט is a logical like stealing and murder. Now with this we can understand the change. A חוקwhich is done without logic and without insight into its reasoning we say ַעֲשִׂיתֶם-just do it. But משפטים are logical, here we are thrown a loop. So if there is a situation where the logic does not seem so logical or maybe our modern sensibilities would tell us otherwise, we suddenly are not so sure about doing the Mitzvah. Take murder- euthanasia: assisted suicide and abortion are not necessarily logically murder .A person is suffering a child is destined to be a drain on Society (or is he).Stealing is also not so simple; we all grew up on Robin Hood. His motto was "steal from the rich and give to the poor". This might make sense to some of us, but the line has been blurred. Now it is clear to us why by משפטים we need to watch them and make sure we don’t loose our torah Ethics to our modern Sensibilities.
וְכִי תֹאמְרוּ מַה-נֹּאכַל בַּשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת הֵן לֹא נִזְרָע וְלֹא נֶאֱסֹף אֶת-תְּבוּאָתֵנוּ.
The question is wrong, in the seventh year we eat the crop of the sixth year, and so what is the posuk asking? The Sefer Peh Kodesh has an amazing Psychological insight. The Gemara in Yoma says אינו דומה מי שיש לו פת בסלו למי שאין לו פת בסלו.That means that a person who knows that he is provided for in the future is more psychologically fulfilled. Now we understand the Posuk easily. It is talking about the seventh year, but since in his mind he is concerned about the upcoming year he is unsure if his future source of income and is therefore unfulfilled so Hashem in the next posuk says וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת-בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם .Now he is sure and can enjoy himself in the seventh year without anguish over what he will eat in the next.
2) The Dubbno Maggid asked: Why is it that only if you ask questions on Hashem then you get a Bracha? He answered there are two types of Brachos one he will cause an open miracle and there will be more grain in the field and he will be forced to hire extra help. Then there is a second miracle that you eat less and you are satisfied this is the higher level of miracle, and that you get without questioning.
וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת-בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם בַּשָּׁנָה הַשִּׁשִּׁית וְעָשָׂת אֶת-הַתְּבוּאָה לִשְׁלֹשׁ הַשָּׁנִים
Why does the posuk use the word צִוִּ everything was created with a commandment? The Sefer Nitzutzeh Nissan has an amazing Diyuk Later in the torah Rashi provides us with the answer there the posuk saysצַו אֶת-אַהֲרֹן Rashi says on it לזרז במקום שיש בו חסרון כיס Its talking about a place where there is loss of money. The Rashi is saying that even thought there is a loss of money if you keep Shmitah Hashem will make up for it.
2) The Chasam Sofer asks on this Posuk: Why does Hashem have to cause a miracle to happen? Why not just cause a sudden influx of money from an external source? He answers based on a Gemara in Baba Metziah which says a person would rather have a Kav (measure of grain) of his own then a lot from his friend. Therefore Hashem in order for us to enjoy the Bracha fully makes it seem like it is the outcome of our own work.
כִּי-לִי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם
Why does the Posuk have a double wording עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי? There is a din in the Rambam that a slave during his conversion to become a slave immerses himself and if he has in mind for his freedom, he goes out free. The din only applies when he was sold by his previous owner, but if he was sold by the government because of loans "גבהו הגוי בחובו" his intention by the immersion has no affect and he does not go free. In our Posuk Hashem is saying I bought you as Slaves but you can't immerse to be free like the din of a slave because I bought you as a governmental purchase מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.
וְכִי-יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ עִמָּךְ וְנִמְכַּר-לָךְ לֹא-תַעֲבֹד בּוֹ עֲבֹדַת עָבֶד
Rav Shlomo Gantzfreid the Baal Kitzur Shulchan Aruch asks why does the Posuk use repetitive language saying עֲבֹדַת עָבֶד? He translates don’t do the work of a slave. This means busy work to assure he does not become lazy. Hashem is warning us when you have a Jewish slave don’t work him as you would a regular slave. There are extra precautions you have to take.
אֶת-כַּסְפְּךָ לֹא-תִתֵּן לוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ וּבְמַרְבִּית לֹא-תִתֵּן אָכְלֶךָ. אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לָתֵת לָכֶם אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים
The Medrash says on this Pasuk says whoever lends with interest it is as if he is saying he has nothing to do with Yetizas Mitzrayim. What is the connection between Yetizas Mitzrayim and interest? It is explained with an example if someone gives you a lot of money and tells you my gift is conditional. The condition is when my children need money in the future you will lend it without interest. This would be a condition everyone would agree too. Here by Yetizas Mitzrayim says the Chasam Sofer the same applies. When Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim it was with great wealth. There was a condition in the torah of lending without interest. Now you understand why it is as if he is saying he has nothing to do with Yetizas Mitzrayim. The Darash Vihaiyun has another answer. It is asked why where the Mitzriyum Punished for enslaving the Jews? Avraham was told ועבדום וענו אותם that the Jews would suffer in Golus. The Ravad answers they added the work was בפרך and now we understand the connection between Yetizas Mitzrayim and Interest. That is the Egyptians worked us בפרך hence taking interest.
וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שָׂדְךָ לֹא תִזְרָע וְכַרְמְךָ לֹא תִזְמֹר
The Har Tzvi points out an inconsistency in our Parsha. When talking about Yovel all the Issurim are written in plural לא תורעו ולא תקחו .Then by Shmitah it speaks in singular. The answer is simple the Din of Yovel is only when most Jews are in Israel, hence plural. The din of Shmitah is if even one Jew is there he must keep Shemita, therefore singular. Therefore the Posukim are exact.
וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם, אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה, וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ, לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ; יוֹבֵל הִוא, תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם, וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל-אֲחֻזָּתוֹ, וְאִישׁ אֶל-מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ
The Pnei Yeshouah asks what does it mean לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ.It is only the slaves are going free? He answers based on a Gemara in Kiddushin. The Gemara says "whoever buys himself a Jewish slave Buys Himself a Master". This is Because Halacha says if there is one pillow in the house the servant gets it, and the servant must be served food of equal or greater quality then his master. Therefore now the Posuk is clear לְכָל even the masters of the slaves.
לֹא-תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם אֱלִילִם וּפֶסֶל וּמַצֵּבָה לֹא-תָקִימוּ לָכֶם וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת עָלֶיהָ כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ
The Chasam Sofer asks if Hashem dislikes stone floors why did he command that the Beis Hamikdash be made with them and what is the connection to Shabbos? The answer is simple stone floors in the Beis Hamikdash are needed because of the blood of the Korbanos would muddy a sand floor. The connection to Shabbos is because on Shabbos you would need to clean it up. That would mean you would be Desecrating Shabbos it is this very reason that Hashem wants the stone floors. Therefore the Parsha ends talking about the stone floors and Shabbos.


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