תש”פ פ’ האזינו
Volume 30, Issue 10
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, The Vilna Gaon, Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin and The Call of the Torah.
יערף כמטר לקחי
“Me lesson shall drop like rain…” (32:2)
The Torah is likened to rain. Just like the beneficial effects of rain manifest only long after it has fallen, the impact of the words of Torah is felt long after the message is heard. Moshe assures us that once these words have sunk in, we will feel the great influence they have on our life. (Torah Treasures)
תזל כטל אמרתי
“May my utterance flow like the dew…” (32:2)
The Zohar teaches that the rain refers to the Written Torah and the dew to the Oral Torah, for the former is celestial and the latter terrestrial. We learn from this that the first contains principles and laws from an ideal, heavenly point of view and the second brings out rules from the viewpoint of earthly society.
One difference between rain and dew is that the raindrops can be subjected to standard liquid measurements (we can count how many drops of rain it takes to fill a pail) whereas dew cannot. Similarly, regarding the written Torah we know there are five books, 248 positive commands and 365 prohibitions. But, like the dew which cannot be counted as it spreads over the land, the Oral Law has no limit, no borders – the sea of Talmud overflows on all sides! (R’ Munk)
כשערים עלי דשא וכרביבים עלי עשב
“Like a rainstorm on the herb, like a shower on the grass…” (32:2)
If a rabbi’s admonition falls on deaf ears, don’t blame the rabbi. It may be the listeners who are at fault. This is the underlying idea of the abovementioned simile. Rainstorms and showers have the power to make grass and herbs grow – but only if the plants are rooted in the earth. Once they are cut off from their life-giving source, they dry out completely.
In the same vein, reproof has no effect on people who are completely apathetic, in whose heart the last spark of kedushah had died, who are indifferent toward Torah and mitzvot. (Shaar Bas Rabim)
ויאמר אלהם שימו לבבכם לכל הדברים אשר אנכי מעיד בכם היום
“He said to them, “Apply your heart to all of the words that I testify against you today…” (32:46)
Klal Yisrael is called adam; other nations of the world are not called adam (Bava Metzia 114b). The nekudot – vowels, under the word adam consists of two kamatzim. There is a value given to each letter of the aleph-bet, as well is to all the vowels. It is brought down in sifrei kabbalah that the value of a kamatz is sixteen. The word Adam has two kamatzim, for a total value of thirty-two, which is the gematria of לב – heart. Klal Yisrael needs to perform actions using their heart along with their guf – body. Only Klal Yisrael possesses this attribute of lev – heart.
The gematria of adam is forty-five. Adam and lev together total seventy-seven, which is the same gematria as עז – strength, a reference to the Torah, as in the verse ה’ עז לעמו יתן – “Hashem will give strength to His nation” (Tehillim 29:11). Only Klal Yisrael who is called “adam” is on the level of “lev” and has a connection to “oz”, the Torah.
The remez – hint, to the lev aspect is divided into two halves, two kamatzim. We learn from this that we must never become haughty but always approach the Ribbono Shel Olam with a broken heart, as it says in Tehillim (51:19), לב נשבר ונדכה אלקים לא תבזה” – A heart that is broken and humbled Hashem will not despise.” (Parsha Pshetl – Ben Ish Chai)