פ’ כי תצא תשע’ז
Volume 20, Issue 6
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 Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
כי תצא למלחמה על אויביך
“When you will go out to war against your enemies…” (21:10)
QUESTION: The words “ki teitzei” – “when you will go out” – seem extra; it could have said “ki tilachem” – “when you will fight your enemies”?
ANSWER: Parshat Ki Teitzei is read in the month of Elul, a time when one makes an effort to improve his ways, and particularly to daven with more kavanah. “Your enemy” is the yetzer hara with whom one is constantly at battle. The Zohar compares the inner struggle in man during prayer to a time of war. The yetzer hara tries in every way to distract the person and disturb his kavanah, and man endeavors very hard to overcome him. Therefore, the Torah advises: The ideal solution is “ki teitzei”- to “go out” i.e. one should leave his home and go to shul to daven with a minyan. There, one will eliminate many distractions one encounters while praying at home, and the battle with the yetzer hara will be won easily. (Likutei Torah)
כי את הבכר…יכיר לתת לו פי שנים בכל אשר ימצא לו
“He must recognize the firstborn…to give him the double portion in all that is found with him.”(21:17)
1)The letter “ב” is numerically equivalent to two times the “א” that precedes it, the letter “כ” is double the letter “י” preceding it, and the letter “ר”, which has the numerical value of 200, is double that of “ק” which precedes it. These are the only letters in the aleph-bet whose numerical values are double the letters they follow. Thus, the title of the firstborn is composed of these three letters, hinting to the fact that he receives a double portion.
2) The “ב”, “כ”, and “ר” are double the letter which comes before them. This hints that the bechor only receives a double portion of that which is already “before” the sons when the inheritance takes place, but not of that which only becomes available afterwards. (Vilna Gaon)
איננו שמע בקול אביו ובקול אמו
“He does not listen to the voice of his father and his mother.” (21:18)
According to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 71b), the laws of the unruly and rebellious son only apply if the voices of the mother and father are equivalent. If the father and mother differ in their ways and the son is witness to this kind of fighting between them, it is unfair to judge him for he is not at fault for having become unruly and rebellious.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky points out that the behavior of parents within the home is the most fundamental educational lesson that a child receives. When a child sees his father and mother acting in a manner that is totally consistent with the beliefs that they profess and which they urge him to follow, then there is reason to assume that this child will follow in their paths. But if all he sees is fighting and hypocrisy, not only will he not follow them, but we have no right to judge him for he is not at fault. (Torah Treasures)
כי תבנה בית חדש ועשית מעקה לגגך ולא תשים דמים בביתך כי יפל הנפל ממנו
“When you build a new house, you must make a guard-rail around the roof, so that you do not cause bloodshed in your house, if someone falls from it.” (22:8)
At first glance, the word “mimenu”, “from it”, seems to be superfluous. Its significance becomes apparent, however, by means of the following gematria: The numerical value of בית, house, is 412. Subtract from it the numerical value of מעקה גגך, guard-rail on the roof, which is 241, and you obtain 171, which is the gematria of הנופל, someone who falls. This equation conveys the message, that if a בית, a house, lacks a מעקה גגך, a guard-rail on the roof, then הנופל, someone will fall off. That is learned “mimenu” “from it”, that is to say, from the בית, “house”, itself. (Ben Ish Chai)
לנכרי תשיך ולאחיך לא תשיך
“T o a gentile you may lend interest, but to your brother you may not lend upon interest.” (23:21)
A priest once asked a rabbi, “Doesn’t this Biblical statement justify the gentile world’s hatred for the Jews? The Rabbi responded “On the contrary, the Torah is fair in all of its rulings. According to halacha it is forbidden for a Jewish borrower to pay interest, and it is forbidden for the lender to collect interest. However, the Torah never prohibited a gentile from charging interest to a Jewish borrower, and thus it is only fair that a Jew can charge interest when he lends money to a gentile.” (Vedebarta Bam)
וכתב לה ספר כריתת
“And he wrote her a bill of divorce…” (24:1)
Why is the divorce document called a “get”? The word get,גט , has the numerical value of twelve. It is called get to allude to the fact that it should be written in no more or less than twelve lines. Though the number twelve can be reached by many other combinations of Hebrew letters, e.g. ב”י or ד”ח etc., the combination of ג”ט was selected because throughout the entire Torah, there is no word in which the letters “gimmel” and “tet” are together. Since this document is the Torah-prescribed method of separation, it is appropriately called get because these two letters are always separated from one another in the Torah and represent the opposite of unity and peace. (Vedebarta Bam)
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