Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Va'eschanan

After taking most of the week off from blogging due to various work and religious obligations, Kosher Beers returns with Thursday's Parsha Tidbits on Parshas Va'eschanan.

As mentioned in last week's post, since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim for the next month, I would like to substitute 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 heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on, which (in my mind) is linked to a vort said by Rabbi Frand a number of years ago. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts 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 the maggidei shiur.

In Devarim (3:26) Moshe tells the Jews that Hashem had told Moishe that Moshe had enough and that Moshe should not ask anymore. In so doing, the Torah uses the words "Rav Lach."

The gemara in Sotah 13b states that this an example of Hashem treating a person middah k'neged middah - giving to a person with the same trait that the person himself acted. Moshe told Korach in Bamidbar (16:7) when Korach sought to be Kohain Gadol, "Rav Lachem Bnei Levi" - you have enough, sons on Levi. Hashem then tells Moshe now, you have enough, you don't need to go into the land of Israel.

R' Mansour then asked - but Korach was arguing and looked to take what belongs to Aharon and Moshe? What was wrong with what Moshe said to Korach that this was practically thrown back in his face?

R' Mansour answered that tzadikkim are held to a higher standard of speech and activity. Moshe told Korach, "be happy being a Levi." But while Korach was challenging Moshe, he was also looking to talk to Hashem like a Kohain and to serve Hashem like a Kohain. Korach was seeking spiritual growth, even though it may not have been for purely noble purposes. By using this language to respond to Moshe, Hashem was saying to Moshe - you should have acknowledged that it was positive that Korach wanted to elevate himself, but it could not be done.

Moshe somewhat similarly sought to challenge a decision. Moshe did not want to come to Israel to eat its fruit. Moshe wanted to be able to keep the myriad of mitzvos which could only be done in Israel. So Hashem reminded him - you have enough - you should not have put Korach off by telling him that he had enough spirituality. You were right that Korach could not attain the position, but your language of enough when Korach wanted to grow in yahadus was not correct.

R' Mansour closed this portion of the vort by quoting to a Rebbi of his (Rabbi Davis) who told him don't be a pickle. What does that mean? A pickle is a cucumber which is soaked in spices so that it does not change. A person in Judaism should not try to stay the same, there must be a constant movement upward. Because life is like a down elevator, if we don't keep trying to move up in spirituality, we will fall back.

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