Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shelach

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

Rabbi Frand noted that in this week's parsha, Moshe gives Hoshea Bin Nun, the name Yehoshua. The mefarshim ask, why does Moshe only give a bracha to Yehoshua and not the rest of the meraglim?

The Maharal writes that since Yehoshua was Moshe's talmid, it would have been very embarrassing to Moshe if Yehoshua went off the derech. As such, Moshe felt a responsibility to daven for Yehoshua.

Rabbi Frand then quoted a sefer called Milchemes Yehuda that gave a different answer. Moshe felt that the other meraglim had a zechus that Yehoshua did not have. During the sin of the Golden Calf, the other meraglim withstood the will and desire of the people to participate in the sin. Yehoshua did not have this problem, since he stayed at the foot of Mt Sinai during the entire time that Moshe was on the mountain. Moshe believed that since the meraglim had not succumbed and participated in the sin of the Golden Caf, they had a zechus which would assist them during their mission. However, since Yehoshua did not have this zechus, Moshe felt a need to pray for assistance for him.

Rabbi Frand explained that there is a lesson in this vort. Some people have easy lives and they are never tested. Other people have troubles and twists and turns and they come out stronger. If we had a choice, we would probably select to have the easier time, but the one who goes through the troubles and comes out unscathed is usually better off. [R Frand then used an expression, if it does not break me, it makes me, but I prefer the old adage, if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you stronger].

Rabbi Frand then quoted a vort in the name of R' Shach. R' Shach noted that when Yaakov met with Eisav, Yaakov first put the children of Bilha and Zilpa first and then those of Leah and only then Rachel. Why did Yaakov do this, did he see the children of Bilha and Zilpa like cannon fodder? That would not be Yaakov.

Rabbi Frand stated that R' Shach explained that the sons of Bilha and Zilpa were put first because they had the most zechuyos. Since they were always treated as less than the others, they had a zechus for continuing. The sons of Leah also were seen as lower than the sons of Rachel and they earned a zechus for carrying on despite this. The sons of Rachel had the least zechuyos, thus they were placed last.

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