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FRUMToronto Articles Parsha Pearls

Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.


Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Parshas Ve’Eschanan
We cannot leave Parshas Ve’Eschanan without mention of at least several fundamental insights (English excerpts of the Sefer HaChinuch provided below are from the five volume masterpiece Sefer HaChinuch (Feldheim Publishers)):

1.  On the Mitzvas Lo Sa’Seh contained in the last of the Aseres HaDibros of “Lo Sisaveh--do not desire what belongs to someone else,” the Sefer HaChinuch writes as follows:  “For it is indeed in each man’s power to restrain himself, his thoughts and his longing desires, from whatever he wishes.  It lies in his free choice and in his decision to repel his desire--or to draw it near--in all matters, as he wishes; and his heart is given over to his control; however he pleases he may move it.  Hashem, before Whom all secrets are revealed ‘searches all the chambers of the innards’ (Mishlei 20:27), seeing the organs of understanding and the heart.  Not one, large or small, good or bad, out of all the thoughts of a man is hidden from Him, or concealed from the range of his sight.  For there is nothing so good for a man as a good, pure thought, since that is the beginning of all the good deeds and their end....”  Hakhel Note:  If you can, please read this again (and again).

2.  On the Mitzvas Aseh of Ahavas Hashem, the Sefer HaChinuch writes as follows:  “It applies in every place, at every time, for both men and women.  If a person transgresses this and fixes his thoughts on the material interests and vapid vanities of the world, not for the sake of Heaven but only to pleasure himself in them, or to attain esteem in this [lowly] world, to make his name great, not with any intention to do good for good people and to strengthen the hands of the honest--he disobeys this positive precept, and his punishment will be great.  This is one of the constant precepts for a man [i.e., one of the Shesh Mitzvos Temidios--the six constant Mitzvos], forever placed upon him to observe.”  This explanation of the Chinuch provides great insight for us into the backdrop of the Mitzvah of Ahavas Hashem.  Hakhel Note: If you can, please read this again (and again).

3.  HaRav Zalman Sorotzkin, Z’tl, asks why the first Pasuk of Shema must begin with the words “Shema Yisroel--Hear [and understand and accept] Yisroel.”  After all, the essence of the Pasuk is Kabbalas Ohl Malchus Shomayim--accepting upon oneself Heavenly Kingship--wouldn’t it have been sufficient to succinctly convey this very primary message with only the four words of “Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad?”  What do the words “Shema Yisroel” add?  HaRav Sorotzkin answers that if we are to properly accept upon ourselves Ohl Malchus Shomayim, we must be sure to advise and proclaim it to others, as well; it is insufficient for us to maintain this unwavering belief without joining in others.  After all, if a person knew the secret of life--would he keep it to himself?!  If a soldier knew how to save himself when surrounded by the enemy--would he not save his comrades as well?  If a person knew the difference between right and wrong--would he smile smugly as others faltered?!  No--we must remember that as a prerequisite to our own Ohl Malchus Shomayim--we must first begin with Shema Yisroel--a real quest for others to know, learn, study, and appreciate, as well!

4.  Yet another constant Mitzvah we find in last week’s Parsha is the Mitzvah of Mezuzah.  The Rema (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 285) writes that when a person enters and leaves his home, he should place his hand on the Mezuzah, to be reminded of what is written in the Mezuzah, and that Hashem is watching over him at all times.  HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, notes that he observed that the Chazon Ish (at least in his older years) would look at the Mezuzah, rather than touch it, as he entered and exited, because by looking at it, his mind was also directed to the Mezuzah, its content and its meaning.

Hakhel Note:  As we enter a room or leave it, let us remember to touch (or at least look at) the Mezuzah that we are blessed with on our doors--so that the two Parshios of Shema contained within it are with us not only at Shacharis, Ma’ariv and before retiring at night, but through the entire day!





Posted 8/4/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)

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