פ’ מטות-מסעי תשע”ח
Volume 24, Issue 10
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholars’ 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.
וידבר משה אל ראשי המטות
“Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes…” (30:2)
The expression of “speaking to the heads of the tribes” is not found anywhere else in the Torah. Why here?
I once saw an interesting answer, very relevant to our times. It is typical of people who seek positions of power to make grandiose promises to the people in the hope of being chosen, but with no intention of ever fulfilling them. In time, people become cynical about their dishonest leaders and the general level of honesty and integrity in all matters declines among the population. Hence, in this chapter that deals with keeping one’s words, Moshe began with the leadership, who will set the tone for all the people. Nothing changes. (Chasam Sofer)
איש כי ידר נדר לה’ או השבע שבעה
“If a man takes a vow to Hashem or swears an oath…” (30:3)
The difference between a vow and an oath is explained by Ramban, with reference to the Talmud. In a vow one dedicates a specific object or creature to Hashem, and thereby prohibits himself from deriving benefit from it. In contrast, an oath is an obligation taken upon himself rather than imposed upon the object. That obligation may require him to abstain from doing something or from gaining some benefit. The Sifrei teaches than a vow is valid only if it forbids that which is otherwise permitted. Also, an oath which either affirms or opposes an action required by the Torah is null and void.
It follows that the famous oath made by Yiftach to offer the first thing to come out of his house to meet him in case of a victory over the Ammonites (Shoftim 11:31) was not valid, for that “first thing” was his own daughter. The fulfillment of that vow required the killing of his daughter, which is clearly forbidden by the Torah. (Ramban)
והורשתם את הארץ וישבתם בה
“You shall rid the land and you shall settle in it…” (33:53)
There is a positive mitzvah from the Torah that obligates Klal Yisrael to reside in Eretz Yisrael, and inherit it. Hashem gave it to us and it is improper to reject it. (Ramban)
The verse says “v’horashtem” first and then “v’yishavtem.” Even according to the Ramban who says it is a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael, that is only where Klal Yisrael can posses the land, “v’horashtem.” Only when one can provide an atmosphere of kedushah, sanctity and holiness, is there a mitzvah to settle the land. (Ta’am V’da’at)
Rav Moshe Yehoshua Hager tz”l (Vishnitz/Bnei Brak) would say: “Chazal say: He who comes to cleanse himself receives help from Above (Shabbos 104a). It does not state, He who cleanses himself, but rather, He who comes to cleanse himself. This wording teaches us that with the slightest beginning, the first faint spark of intent to do teshuvah, a wondrous helping hand is extended from Hashem to assist that individual. As a result of this Divine assistance, the tiny spark of teshuvah will ignite into a bright flame, and the desire to return will become a reality.”
Rav Moshe Sofer tz”l (Chasam Sofer) would say: “The power of tefillah is so great that if a person were to daven one single prayer with perfect concentration and the purest intent, that single prayer would have the power to gather together all the other tefillos that he may have cast away and davened without proper thought throughout the year and bring them all up to be accepted in front of the Heavenly throne!” (Torah Tavlin)
The Scholars’ Kollel will be having its 9th annual “Nine Days Siyum” on Wednesday July 18th at Chattanooga Restaurant, 37 Cuttermill Rd. in Great Neck. We will begin at 7:15 pm with hors doeuvres followed by Mincha, siyum and dinner. Please make reservations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $45.00 per person all inclusive.
For future sponsorship opportunities please call Steve Zuckerman at 516.652.5266 or email email@example.com or Rabbi Lichter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.