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Dedicated in memory of Alice Setton

           Parshat Mishpatim/Rosh Chodesh/Parshat Shekalim                        February 13, 2021  1 Adar, 5781
                                               Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Mishpatim
                ARTSCROLL  416
                   HERTZ   306         Two words we read       reward for saying “We will do”   say na’aseh ve-nishma, by
           7th ALIYAH - rosh chodesh   towards the end of our   and the other is a reward for   which time they had already
                ARTSCROLL  890         parsha – na’aseh ve-    saying “We will hear.” Rabbi   heard much of the Torah.
                   HERTZ   695         nishma, “We will do and   Eliezer said, when the    [2] “We will do [what we
                                       we will hear” – are     Israelites rushed to say “We
               MAFTIR - Shekalim                                                  will do” before saying “We will   have already been
                                       among the most famous
                ARTSCROLL  484         in Judaism. They are    hear” a Divine voice went forth   commanded until now] and
                   HERTZ   352                                                             we will obey [all future
                                       what our ancestors said   and said: Who has revealed to
                   HAFTORAH            when they accepted the   My children this secret which   commands].” This is the
               ARTSCROLL   1213        covenant at Sinai. They   only the ministering angels   view of Rashbam. The
                   HERTZ   993         stand in the sharpest   make use of?                Israelites’ statement thus
                                                                                           looked both back and
                     Times             possible contrast to the   What, though, do the words   forward. The people
                                       complaints, sins,
           Weekly Times                  backslidings and      actually mean? Na’aseh is   understood that they were
                                                               straightforward. It means, “We  on a spiritual as well as a
                                       rebellions that seem to
           Shacharit: Sun.      8:30 am   mark so much of the   will do.” It is about action,   physical journey and they
                                                               behavior, deed. But readers of  might not know all the
           Mon - Fri.           7:45 am   Torah’s account of the
                                       wilderness years. There   my work will know that the   details of the law at once.
           Scholars’ Kollel     9:00 am                        word nishma is anything but   Nishma here means not “to
           (link in the daily          is a tradition in the   clear. It could mean “We will   hear” but “to hearken, to
           emails)                     Talmud that God had to   hear.” But it could also mean,   obey, to respond faithfully
                                       suspend the mountain
           Mincha               5:10 pm   over the heads of the   “We will obey.” Or it could   in deed.”
                                       Israelites to persuade   mean “We will understand.”   [3] “We will obediently
                                                               These suggest that there is
                                       them to accept the                                  do” (Sforno). On this view
           Shabbat Times                 Torah. But our verse   more than one way of       the words na’aseh and
                                       seems to suggest the    interpreting na’aseh ve-    nishma are a hendiadys,
                                                               nishma. Here are some:
           Candle Lighting      5:08 pm   opposite, that the                               that is, a single idea
                                       Israelites accepted the   [1] It means “We will do and   expressed by two words.
           Friday Night Mincha   5:10 pm   covenant voluntarily and  then we will hear.” This is the   The Israelites were saying
           Hashkama Minyan      8:00 am   enthusiastically: Then   view of the Talmud (Shabbat   that they would do what
                                       [Moses] took the Book of  88a) and Rashi. The people   God asked of them, not
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am   the Covenant and read it  expressed their total faith in   because they sought any
                                       to the people. They     God. They accepted the      benefit but simply because
           Main                 9:00 am
                                       responded, “We will do   covenant even before they   they sought to do His will.
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   and hear [na’aseh ve-  heard its terms. They said “we  He had saved them from
                                       nishma] everything the   will do” before they knew what  slavery, led and fed them
           Youth Minyan         9:45 am
                                       Lord has said.” (Ex. 24:7)  it was that God wanted them   through the wilderness, and
           Gemara Shiur         4:30 pm   On the basis of this, a   to do. This is a beautiful   they sought to express their
                                       counter tradition       interpretation, but it depends   complete loyalty to Him as
           Mincha               5:00 pm
                                       developed, that in saying  on reading Exodus 24 out of   their redeemer and
           Shabbat Ends         6:17 pm   these words, the     sequence. According to a    lawgiver.
                                       assembled Israelites    straightforward reading of the
                   Latest Times for                                                        [4] “We will do and we will
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   ascended to the level of   events in the order in which   understand” (Isaac Arama
                                       the angels. Rabbi Simlai   they occurred, first the
           Feb. 13          9:30/10:23 am   said, when the Israelites   Israelites agreed to the   in Akeidat Yitzchak). The
                                       rushed to say “We will   covenant (Ex. 19:8), then God   word shema can have the
           Feb. 20          9:25/10:19 am                                                  sense of “understanding” as
                                       do” before saying “We   revealed to them the Ten
                                       will hear,” sixty myriads
                    Next Shabbat                                             Commandments (Ex. 20), then   in God’s statement about
                     Terumah           of ministering angels   Moses outlined many of the   the Tower of Babel: “Let us,
           Candle Lighting      5:16 pm   came down and fastened  details of the law (Ex. 21-23),   then, go down and confound
                                                                                           their speech there, so that
                                       two crowns on each      and only then did the Israelites
           Mincha               5:20 pm                                                    they shall not understand
                                       person in Israel, one as a
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