Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vaeschanan

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I have continued with my usual summer practice of substituting a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort I heard last night from R' Yisrael Meir Lau at the 12th Siyum HaShas which I was zoche to attend. As I was writing very quickly, I am unsure as to the accuracy of this reproduction and am just attempting to provide the flavor of the vort. As always, any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the maggid shiur.

The Torah writes in Vaeschanan 4:9 "Rak Hishamer Lecha U'Shmor Nafshecha Me'od Pen Tishcach Es Hadevarim Asher Ra'oo Einecha..." which can be translated as "Only beware for yourself and watch your soul greatly, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen...

R' Lau quoted the Klei Yakar on the pasuk who says that there is an angel of forgetfulness whose names is Shachoach which has a gematria of 328. There is also an angel of remembering called Zachor, which has a gematria of 227.

R' Lau noted that the mathematical difference between the two names is 101. This then tied into a gemara in Chagiga which discusses the value of reviewing one's learning. The gemara there states on 9b that there is no comparison between reviewing a topic one hundred times vs one hundred and one times. R' Lau asked -- why is reviewing only one hundred times not enough? He answered that every time that a person reviews his learning he reduces the power of the angel of forgetfulness and boosts the power of the angel of remembrance.

R' Lau also quoted a gemara in Bava Basra 10b in which R' Yosef states that he had seen the world to come and that there was a saying there "Ashrei Mi Sheba Likan V'Talmudo B'Yado" - praiseworthy is he who comes here with his learning in his hand. Simply understood the expression is that a talmid chacham who comes to the next world with learning is rewarded. However, R Lau noted in the name of the Minchas Yitzchak that the gematria of Likan is 101 - its the learning and not forgetting which assists the talmid chacham in the next world.

R' Lau also tied this concept to the last gemara in Shas wherein the school of Eliyahu teaches that anyone who is "Shoneh Halachos" every day is called a ben olam haba - he earns a place in the world to come. R' Lau noted that the statement is not one who is lomaid - learns. Rather it is shoneh - a person who repeats his learning.

I hope to write more on this after shabbos and relate how I incorporated this vort into the siyum hashas which I iy'h hope to make on Shabbos. If you find yourself in or near the 13780 zip code, why not stop in Shabbos at the Kollel in Camp M and hear for yourself...

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